15th September 2014 • Review by Seb Patrick •

This is a Choose Your Own Doctor Who Review. Please click on the statements that most accurately reflect your opinion in order to proceed through the review.

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Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.


4 Responses

  1. I loved it, in fact this series thus far has been one of the best since the show returned. As for the episode, it reminded me of why we got excited about seeing “by Stephen Moffat” under the episode title back in the RTD era in the first place. It was hugely atmospheric, creepy, well-written (sadly quite rare in New Who) and stays with you long after the credits have rolled. I actually had tears in my eyes at the end.

    There were harks back to “Blink” and “Midnight” (which for me was easily RTD’s best episode and an example of why, despite my reservations about him as a showrunner, I’d love for him to return to write an episodes per series) but beyond that it reminded me in parts of MR James’ “Oh Whistle and I’ll Come To You My Lad” and even Wells’ “The Time Machine”, specifically the hugely atmospheric scene from the book (never portrayed in any other media as far as I know) where the Time Traveller voyages to the last days of the Earth and finds himself alone on a creepy beach whilst the sun hangs low and red in the ancient sky. I loved it as an adult but I think it would have been amazing if you were, say, 12 or 13 years old. All the best episodes of Who make me jealous of those who are still young enough to have their minds blown by the best kind of telefantasy before they get all old, cynical and nit-picky, as we all eventually do.

    Speaking of which, yeah, let’s just draw a veil over whether the Barn is on Gallifrey or not.

  2. See this is the problem with a choose your own review. I fall between the cracks. I’m someone who generally doesn’t like Moffat’s writing, or hasn’t since about 2008 (one or two minor exceptions) Not only that, but my problems with Moffat’s later writing have colored how much I liked his earlier stuff. I enjoyed Coupling and Girl in the Fireplace less after Series 6.

    And yet I really really liked Listen. I’m still trying to analyze why. It’s not the Capaldi effect. Was it because I found it less glib? More emotionally honest? Was it because it was about more than other Moffat episodes? The Cleverness felt earned? Was it because it was, in some ways, new type of story? Or a combination of these facts. I don’t know. Someone said it felt like something Moffat would’ve written if he’d never been show-runner, a returning guest writer. But it’s much more than that.

    Anyway while I agreed with parts of this review, I wish there was a place for people like me. People who pick number 2 in the first choice, and yet still loved the episode.

  3. I felt there were monsters in the episode, but they weren’t the same monster and had nothing to do with the question.