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Saturday, 6 September 2014

S8E3: "Robots of Sherwood"

What happens when "a timeless hero...and the Doctor" are mixed? 
I write under the assumption that you've seen the episode if you go past the page-break, which is only visible if you're on the home-page of the blog. Any other way, you must have clicked directly here, in which case, there is your error. I do not give a synopsis, I give a critical reaction.

This picture, it seems, was released to imply that
Robin Hood was the titular Robot of Sherwood
While I enjoyed watching the episode, I can't really say that it was fantastic. It expressed the darker side of the Doctor we heard so much about before the series started. Although that trait has been present in the past two stories, it was more so in this one. He constantly asserts that he is not a hero, and things of that ilk, and hates how much Robin Hood can laugh--perhaps because he himself cannot bring himself to laugh anymore.

One of the things that is really evident that hasn't been for this Doctor so much is his deep affection for Clara. Instead of storming into the TARDIS after finding out that Clara told Robin Hood his story, he goes in, calmly, and pretends like nothing happened. He is palpably upset when she is missing. Not to mention that he indulges her request to go to Sherwood Forest when he "knows" that there is nothing there. On a related note, Clara was written well--she may have been  dressed like a damsel who might end up in distress, but she was never in distress at all, and was even credited as being the ring leader of a mostly-male trio.

Circuit board from "Fires of Pompeii"
Doctor Who's original intent, back when it first started almost 51 years ago was to be about history and science. With the First Doctor, they had Marco Polo and the Aztecs, but as the show grew, it became more sci-fi and less educational. It does not return to it's original purpose in this, but going back to the historical (?) events is always nice, like it was "Fires of Pompeii". I might add that the gold being poured into the mold did look a lot like the circuits form that story.

I would have liked to see a lot more from this episode, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. There was just something missing. I'm not entirely disenchanted with it, but I find that as much as I really do like twelve that there has been something missing from the episodes. I don't think its an acting thing or a directorial thing, I think it might be related to Moffat having been with the show as long as he has been, like he is getting stale.

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