Sunday, October 19, 2014

Doctor Who-Flatline

                       When the doctor attempts to return Clara back to her precise,previous destination the TARDIS finds itself in Bristol. Oddly enough,the exterior of it has been reduced to half it's normal size and it's continuing to shrink. Clara goes to investigate the situation while the doctor stays and attempts to solve the problem. At a nearby highway tunnel she meets Rigsy,a young Graffiti artist doing community service. She's quick to notice the graffiti on the side of the tunnel-all full bodies of people with their backs turned. Rigsy and lead civic worker Roscoe proceed to point out that there have been mysterious deaths all over town. When Clara returns to the TARDIS,she finds it further reduced  to roughly the size of a human hand.

                      Considering the doctor is now longer able to exit,he gives Clara the sonic screwdriver and asks her to operate on his behalf. She proceeds to go with Rigsy to his home,the doctor talking to her through a type of psychic Blue Tooth that allows him to see through her eyes. The screwdriver is able to detect,following a police officer who suddenly disappeared,that what seem to be unusual patterns on the wall are actually two dimensional human remains. By the time the doctor determines the city is being invaded by lifeforms that can affect dimension? Clara and Rigsy are escaping the creatures,apparently living in the walls,as they pursue the pair into Rigsy's glass hammock.

                    Once outside Rigsy's flat,he and Clara return with the shrunken TARDIS in tow back to the train station where Clara unites Roscoe and his civic crew in escaping these lifeforms-who continually seem to outrun them at every turn. Even to the point of killing at least one more time. As the doctor determines that these creatures are in fact parasitic somehow,the nature of this is determined by Clara who,by talking to Rigsy about the graffiti of the people in the tunnel that these represent the physical bodies of some of those who had been killed. The lifeforms then begin to manifest themselves as flesh twisted versions of the bodies of those who'd been killed.

                          During Clara and company's escape the shrunken TARDIS,having fell into the center of a railroad track,is forced to go into a siege mode wherein no one can get out or in. Once Clara is able to retrieved the "locked" TARDIS she is able to overhear the doctor speak of the need for energy reserves to make it function,and that he has a solution for dealing with the aliens. She asks Rigsy,following a near self sacrifice to stop the train before it ran over the TARDIS,to great a graffiti painted gate the aliens would be fooled into opening-with the TARDIS behind it and allowing the energy they create to re-fuel it. With the TARDIS restored? The doctor managed to use the sonic screwdriver to feedback the aliens energy and return them to their dimensional realm-after which he returns everyone involved back to where they came from.

                            This is a very captivating story for a number of reasons. For one,it provides many informative and often comic moments (such as the doctor using his hand to pull the miniature TARDIS out of danger ala' the Addams Family's Thing). Also we learn the TARDIS has a safe mode-rather like a far more advanced one on a personal computer. The thrust of the story,aliens who have the capability of altering the entire 3 dimensional nature of matter to it's own benefit,makes for some exciting and sometimes horrifying moments-as well as bringing out a compelling scientific theory at the core of Doctor Who itself with the TARDIS: the idea of relative dimension  itself. 

                         Even the doctor admits the Clara really showed her mettle as a vicarious doctor-solving a life and death problem with brain over bron and wits over fear. Jenna Louise Coleman plays it up wonderfully in what Whovians refer to as a "doctor light" story. Of the human characters Rigsy,the everyday man of the setup acts as Clara's companion and helps save...perhaps humanity from losing their life and dimension in the end. The blustery protagonist of Roscoe,potentially a minor irritant in the story,turns out to embody the worst aspects of humanity in the end. While the world is saved,people have died. Most of the human characters sho compassion save for Roscoe-who just feels they are lower class people no one will truly miss. This says as much for the dimension of the mind as the story itself does for the dimension of the physical self.

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