Stay for a while, and listen.
Listen is a much improved episode from the last one. It has a very nice tension and to my delight refrain from any obvious jump scares. It keeps on building tension pretty much right up to the end. Unfortunately the end goes a bit… I would say off the deep end but this is in my mind more along the lines of rocket-assisted swan dive.
Any way the episode begins with the doctor in rant mode as he is trying to work out if there is in fact something under our bed, that everyone at one time or another has the same dream and that there very well could be a kind of being that live it´s life hiding. After all if someone is a master of hiding, how would you ever know? I like this premise as it has that same kind of slow creed as the Angels have. It sits up a very nice scene.
We then cut to Clara and after some back and forth finds out that she is on a date with Danny Pink, Dan is very weird and the way he delivers his line and they cut the scenes with him still lead me to believe that there is something up with him. Could also be that he is the red herring. Any way the Doctor and Clara sets out to visit young Clara at the point she has the dream of someone under her bed for the first time in order to see if there is actually someone there.
It is safe to say that things to awry and they end up in Dan´s past instead but it is ok as the plot works any way by the way of deus ex TARDIS (it is established that the TARDIS always take the doctor to where he is needed.. no matter if he knows it or not… Because free will is overrated. ) So Clara pretty much set her future FRI up with a serious of ticks, but as it will turn out later this was the least of her sins. The Doctor and Clara leave after anti-confronting the thing that was supposedly hiding under Dannys´s bed. It is not too big of a stretch that this will somehow have a payoff later but for now we leave it there. Clara try to go back and patch things up with Dan after having stormed out on him earlier but ends up making things even worse. The Doctor on the other hand have picked up Dan´s grand-grandson or some such after the TARDIS pointed out that he might be important. More mystery ensues and Clara is forced to fly the TARDIS… And here is where the plot lost me completely…
You see she lands more or less under the bed of the boy that will become the Doctor… She is literally the cause for this entire episode as her being there is what sets of the Doctor and what he was thinking about in the past-future and apparently the source of some strong ideological conviction of the Doctor. Wibbely-wobbely in deed.
But all in all this is a very solid episode. Pacing is good and the banter between the Doctor and Clara is very good. Danny is interesting character on his own and while Clara more than once fall in to the mother cliché she if a fairly well rounded character in this episode. I also like that it was a creepier episode that did not rely on jump scares and gimmicks but rather worked with the suspense and ambiance to build tension. It is also really fun to see a slightly less dominant Doctor. Also extra bonus point for the very small scene when the doctor puts down the sonic screwdriver and picks up a regular one… That brought a real honest smile.
So the theme for this episode is absolute about facing your fear and turning it to a strength… It is literally spelled out for us at least twice. But it is a good message and a decent thing to build a plot around. Next episode seems to be a light hearted thing but more about that next time.