Review: Doctor Who Season 8, Episode 9: Flatline

Clara takes a more active role in this week's adventure, as the Doctor finds himself trapped inside a mysteriously shrinking TARDIS

Flatline sees Clara (Jenna Coleman) take a more central role, with her acting as the eyes and ears for the Doctor (Peter Capaldi). An unknown force is shrinking the TARDIS while the Doctor is trapped within. People have been disappearing in the area where they have landed; Clara and the miniaturised TARDIS with the Doctor inside must investigate.

The Doctor seems helpless and relies heavily upon Clara, who has to be more independent here.  As for Danny (Samuel Anderson) he is still in the dark about the fact that Clara has chosen to continue travelling with the Doctor. A dramatic scene with Clara on the phone to Danny, who at the time doesn’t have a clue of the danger Clara is in, is quite amusing to watch.

The Doctor’s helpless entrapment in this episode makes him angry, but this doesn’t stop him trying to find out what is causing the dimensions of the TARDIS to shrink on the outside. This adventure was a test for both Clara and the Doctor, with Clara growing frustrated as the Doctor fails to recognise her hard work.

There were hopes here that the Doctor would be warmer towards Clara, as he almost lost her as a companion earlier in the season, suggesting that Clara may experience another crisis of faith as to whether she should stay with the Doctor.

The episode was one of the scariest of the season, as we question whether the Doctor will survive, with the alien entity wanting to reduce our 3D world into 2D – plus, the great special effects really enhanced the action.

The mystery woman appears again (having recurred throughout the series), seeming to save some of the people who have died. Her identity, however, is still to be uncovered…

Discussion feed

Up next in tv