Saturday, 18 October 2014

Dr Who Series Eight: Episode 9 — Flatline: Nice!

18th October, 2014.

You know, I’m something of a science fiction fan.

In a light and frothy kind of way.

At any rate, it’s something I’ve enjoyed, over the years.

Especially Dr Who: I grew up on the series, and haven’t stopped watching it in all that time.

At times the show — both the original version, and in its new iteration — has had both its good points: and it’s bad points.

And … ?

And, like any long running science fiction show, there’s times the show concentrates on different things.

Story arcs stores, character driven episodes, what have you … 

Then, occasionally, Dr Who does something interesting.   Like Star Trek and others before it, it does a show with a premise … 

Based on science fiction. 

Yes, I know that sounds daft: emphasising that a science fiction show occasionally has science fiction elements.

But … ?

Hmmm … Let me see if I can’t explain the episode.   Once I’ve done that, I’ll see if I can’t tell You what I mean … 


Set on modern-day Earth, the Jamie Mathieson penned, Douglas Mackinnon directed, Flatline sees the Doctor dropping off Clara: ostensibly so she can share some quality time with boyfriend, Danny.

The pair find themselves landing not near Coal Hill School … 

But in Bristol.

And what’s more … ?

The TARDIS is shrinking.

At least, the TARDIS exterior is shrinking.

Leaving the Doctor trapped inside, and Clara on the proverbial out.

On the out: near a bunch of youngsters on community service, cleaning up graffiti.

Graffiti that looks suspiciously alive: in a town where people are going missing leaving only graffiti behind them.

Turns out that’s not paint.

It’s something a lot nastier … 


Now … 

I said about a science fiction premise?

Well, yeah.

Something that’s been written about, before now, is dimensions: and bear with me, here, I’m no mathematician!

We live in a world where everything — you, me, the chair we’re sitting on, that tree over there — have three — and possibly more — dimensions.

We’ve got variations of length, width and height.   (Whether mass, volume and time count, I couldn’t tell you: I’ll wait for Professor Brian Cox to turn up and tell us.)

And one bit of speculation — prompted by the writing of the satirical novel, Flatland, if nothing else — is “What if there’s a plane of existence where everything has two dimensions?”

In the novella, everything is two-dimensional: buildings, people, what-have-you.

It’s only when the main character — a square — goes visiting a three-dimensional world, things get strange.

Exactly how strange, I really couldn’t tell: never actually having read the novel for myself.

But the basic idea — that there’s intelligent, two dimensional beings out-there — is one that the book put before the public: where’s it’s been ever since.


Been: frankly waiting to be used by SOMEONE … … 

Which is what Dr Who’s done tonight: used a simple old science fiction idea, and turned it into a very creditable story.

One that sees Clara to the fore, again: only this time, having to take on something of The Doctor’s role in preventing trouble and helping save the Earth from danger.

Overlooking the fact that people who get overlooked in life can be overlooked in death.

And … ?

Well, AND not knowing she’s being watched … 

Speaking personally … ?

Speaking personally, I say Flatline was a great little episode.

Things keep going like this, I can’t WAIT for next week’s episode … !


Anonymous said...

I would argue that the beings were 3 dimensional and we are actually 4, because both move forward in time. #geeky
Good episode though


Nik Nak said...

I think it’s going to be one of those discussions, Mike … ! :D

#dimensions #geeky

And, yeah: you’re right: it’s a good one.

This Series has got me thinking of some the Phillip Hincliffe years.

(Actually, if Mummy On The Orient Express wasn’t a Robert Holmes homage, I’m a duck!)

Anonymous said...

A lot of homage to the 4th doctor too


Nik Nak said...

Exactly when Robert Holmes and Phillip Hinchliffe did their best production work :D