Doctor Who Review: Mummy on the Orient Express
The one where they go on a final hurrah aboard a space-bound Orient Express.
Best Moment: Hmm, jelly babies in the cigarette case, or “Are you my mummy?” Am very torn on this one.
Verdict: Difficult to say. First off, I kudos in the SFX department. That mummy was probably the scariest mummy I’ve seen in years. Possibly ever. It was a fun enough story, a mysterious mummy that no one can see with a set time in which it will suck the life out of its victim. Turning everything upside about halfway through, by making the train be actually part of an experiment was also an interesting idea. There were some wobbly plot bits though. It wasn’t entirely clear at first that Clara was locked in with the sarcophagus. Also, it puzzled me just why it took the Doctor so long to research what the victims had in common. I mean, really, that’s Murder Investigations 101, isn’t it? The end of the story was a bit weird too. The leap the Doctor makes to the idea the mummy is an alien soldier was…. well, a very big leap indeed. Add to that, the soldier’s salute… it didn’t make much sense.
Still, it was a pretty well-done episode, and it certainly had some enjoyable bits to it. Actually, the part that really let me down was the Clara/Doctor relationship. Rather than continuing from where they left off, the writer’s decided to leap to them suddenly travelling together on one last hurrah. It was strange. Like I’d missed an episode. Not to mention that this big relationship drama doesn’t really go anywhere again until the final few minutes, which also seemed very off. One minute Clara’s done with the Doctor, and the next, she wants to travel with him, presumably after lying to Pink. Yes, I realise this is supposed to be some “junkie” metaphor. I understand that most likely next week’s episode will feature a much bigger clash between Clara and the Doctor. But it all feels so much like pieces manoeuvred on a board. There’s not enough character development. There’s no through-line for Clara, which is such a shame. They were doing so well with her this season. Given how much they’ve put the Doctor and Clara’s relationship in the foreground lately, it annoys me to see the characters making decisions because “that’s what the writers need them to do.” This all better be leading up to something good!