Well it feels like series 8 just premiered yesterday, but believe it or not there are only three episodes left in this season! I just had a chance to watch and re-watch Flatline and I wanted to give my overall thoughts and feelings on it. Alright, let’s jump into the review!
Quick summary of the episode, a man is seen talking on the phone, when suddenly he starts to scream and disappears. The camera zooms in on a wall and it’s clear he is in the wall looking quite frightened.
Enter The Doctor and Clara who end up stranded in Bristol when The Doctor discovers his TARDIS has shrunk (but only on the outside), apparently there is some force that has been leaching all of the dimensional energy thus causing The TARDIS to shrink. The Doctor gives Clara an earpiece that allows him to communicate with her and see what she sees and asks her to investigate what is causing this. Clara ends up meeting Rigsy (Joivan Wade), a teenage graffiti artist who is on community service painting over all of his graffiti art with a group of community service workers. Clara gets to walk in The Doctor’s shoes for awhile, fully equipped with his sonic screwdriver and psychic paper and even introduces herself as The Doctor to Rigsy even mentioning how she chose the name The Doctor because “…it makes me sound important.” haha.
Clara returns to The Doctor and is amused to find that his TARDIS has shrunk to the size of a toy making for some very funny scenes between Clara and The Doctor. The Doctor asks Clara to find out more information and Rigsy tells Clara a man had disappeared earlier (the man shown at the beginning of the episode) and they visit his house. Clara discovers with the help of The Doctor, (whose TARDIS is being carried around in Clara’s purse) that the man seen earlier didn’t disappear, but was made a part of the wall by some unknown creature (freaky). In order to get Rigsy to listen and trust her, Clara takes out The TARDIS and introduces him to The Doctor. Clara and Rigsy then meet a policewoman who is eventually sucked into the floor by these unknown creatures, who The Doctor realizes are two dimensional creatures trying to dissect and study humans to understand how their bodies work. Clara and Rigsy end up narrowly escaping the creatures, while Clara receives a phone call from Danny and is lying to him about what she is doing. The Doctor hears Clara talking to Danny and realizes she is lying and begins yelling at Clara for lying to him about Danny.
Clara and Rigsy return to where Rigsy was painting over graffiti with the rest of his community service group, when Clara notices people on the wall appearing like a mural. The Doctor realizes those are not paintings but real people who were killed and the creatures are using their bodies as camouflage because they are trying to understand three dimensions! (how disturbing) One of the members of the group is sucked into the wall, and Rigsy, Clara, Fenton (another community service group member, who is kind of an a****** to be honest) and the other members of the community service group run to a warehouse and the Doctor along with the help of Clara tries to communicate with the creatures. The creatures communicate and The Doctor translates, but they are just saying the numbers 55 and 22. Rigsy realizes those are the numbers of community service workers, one who has died and one who is with them. Number 22 ends up sucked into the wall and the rest of them run into a room leading to an out of service train tunnel.
Clara, Fenton and Rigsy see a train coming and Clara uses the sonic on it to stop the train. The conductor comes out and asks what’s going on and Clara says there is a blockage at the end of the tunnel and asks if there is a way to ram the train into it. Rigsy jumps on the train and begins riding it in the direction of the creatures, ready to sacrifice himself, when Clara finds him and instead thinks to use her hair band to hold the lever down crashing the train into the creatures. Their plan is unsuccessful and the train becomes a part of the tunnel wall. Another community service worker is suddenly grabbed by a huge hand that pulls him down the tunnel! (very similar to a horror film, which in all honesty scared the living daylights out of me!)
The Doctor (before he ends up separated from Clara when Rigsy and Fenton fight over the TARDIS and it falls down a shaft) realizes the creatures are learning how to take three dimensional forms and all of the people who have died rise up from the ground as these paper-like, shifty, and slow moving creatures (very similar to the people in the music video Take On Me by Aha).The Doctor creates a device that can change two dimensions back into three dimensions and vice versa (aptly dubbed the 2dis lol) and gives it to Clara. The Doctor relays a plan he has to Clara, he can theoretically send the creatures back to their own dimension, but The TARDIS needs more energy in order to accomplish this. Then of course The TARDIS ends up separated from Clara, thanks to Fenton! (I hate that guy) The Doctor is in The TARDIS and tells Clara the life support systems are failing and believing he might die tells Clara that she “made a very fine Doctor, indeed.”
While everyone is running from the creatures, Clara finds The Doctor’s TARDIS which has shrunk to the size of a cube and she cannot communicate with him anymore. Clara, Fenton, Rigsy and the conductor run into a room and Clara must think of a way to save them realizing that The TARDIS needs energy. Clara finds a map and turns it over and asks Rigsy to put his graffiti skills to good use. Clara then places The TARDIS on a pipe behind a wall, in the tunnel, while the creatures use energy to try and open what looks like a two dimensional door. Clara reveals that she is transferring energy through the door and into The TARDIS! Showing the creatures transferring energy into a fake door created by Rigsy! Enough energy is transferred into The TARDIS and it grows back to its normal size, (waking The Doctor up who had almost passed out) flying and appearing in front of the creatures! The Doctor exits The TARDIS and declares that the creatures are monsters and that this plane (plane of existence) is protected! The Doctor names the creatures The Boneless and uses his sonic screwdriver on them sending them back to their own dimension!
The Doctor returns Rigsy and Fenton to a railroad somewhere outside and has a talk with Clara. Clara wants The Doctor to admit that she did good pretending to be him, and The Doctor says “you were an exceptional Doctor, but goodness had nothing to do with it.” (Wow, that’s intense) Clara seems upset by The Doctor and we zoom out to an Ipad type device and we see Missy watching everything and saying “Clara, my Clara, I have chosen well.” Thus revealing she has been watching the events of the episode unfold and has plans for Clara (very interesting indeed).
Okay now I’m going to talk about what I liked and what I disliked about the episode.
What I Liked: The story, it was very original as far as Doctor Who is concerned and had a very horror film vibe to it (congrats to Jamie Mathieson on another great script).
The villains, and how they were two dimensional creatures sucking people into walls and using their bodies as camouflage, all very interesting ideas that made for a very creepy and unsettling episode.
The special effects with the creatures and how the people got sucked into the walls.
The new relationship between Clara and The Doctor and how it is clearly changing in a negative way.
Peter Capaldi’s “Doctor Moment” when he stopped the creatures and dubbed them The Boneless.
Clara saying she chose the name The Doctor because “…it makes me sound important.” Haha
The Doctor discovering Clara has been lying to him about Danny being okay with her traveling with him and being aware of the negative influence he has had on Clara.
Clara stepping into The Doctor’s shoes and really understanding why he is the way he is, and how overwhelming it is being The Doctor.
Missy and how she had been watching the events of this episode unfold and how she seems to have used Clara as a pawn in some yet unknown scheme.
What I disliked: Fenton (Christopher Fairbank), his character was extremely unlikable and such a miserable jerk and made Capaldi seem like a breath of fresh air in comparison.
Clara lying to Danny and how it clearly is going to blow up in her face.
Overall I really enjoyed the episode, it was very freaky, unsettling, dark and made me think of those creepy horror films that give you goosebumps.
MY FINAL RATING, FLATLINE IS 9/10