/ TV

Mummy on the Orient Express

I loved this story. I had forgotten what it felt like to go back and replay my favourite moments obsessively during the week. ‘Mummy’ reminded me. I was initially terrified… not of the Mummy, but that they were going to brush off the argument from last week. I was intensely relieved when the Doctor went into his “sad smile” routine.

I liked this so much, that I’m going to phone in the jibber jabber this time, and just list what was awesome.

  • “It’s like you’re malfunctioning.” The Doctor’s awkward relationship with emotion is joyful. And Clara’s refusal to let him shut her up is the perfect counterpoint. “Can I talk about my planets now?”
  • The costumes. I kind of wish the Doctor’s outfit here was his regular duds. I’m not a fan of buttoned-up shirts with no ties. Oh, Clara looked okay, too.
  • The cover of Don’t Stop Me Now. I’m a sucker for historical anachronisms, and for having songs in Doctor Who episodes. So this was always going to make me happy. Actually, the incidental music is great fun this week, too. I forgive Murray Gold for his comedy music last week.
  • The Doctor and Clara’s awkward conversation about their final fling, and just how final it might be.
  • Peter Capaldi’s Tom Baker impersonation. I couldn’t even write that without going back and playing it again.
  • The characters. I’m massively impressed with how many decent characters this script sets up in very little time. I really felt for most of them… except maybe for Perkins, who had convinced me he was the bad guy right up until the end. I’m not sure if that was deliberate, or Frank Skinner’s under-acting creating a bizarre sense of menace.
  • Clara lying for the Doctor.
  • The Doctor getting a heroic moment of deduction; it was surprisingly satisfying, by way of actually making some sense.
  • The Doctor and Clara discussing the difficult decisions they needs to make. “Sometimes, the only choices you have are bad ones. But you still have to choose.” There’s some awesome music in that scene. I’m guessing there’s a Doctor-theme for Capaldi, and maybe that was it. I’m glad they’re being more subtle with it than they were with 'I Am The Doctor’, which was starting to give me the shits, a little.

So well done, that man, where that man is Jamie Mathieson. It’s worth reading his blog on the writing of the story, if you’re interested in how the classic Doctor Who sausage is made.[1]


  1. And while you’re there, his blog on being the stand-in for Gus. ↩︎