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Doctor Who: Flatline (Review)

Same time, same place… ish.

…ish? Don’t give me an ish.

These readings are very… ish-y.

In many respects, Flatline can be seen as the flipside of Turn Left.

Turn Left was twinned with Midnight towards the end of David Tennant’s final year in the lead role. If Midnight was a story about the Doctor trapped in an adventure without his faithful companion, Turn Left was very much the story of the companion trapped in an adventure without the Doctor. Both of those stories seem to stress the need for both a Doctor and a companion to form a functioning team, building very consciously towards the merging of the two in the season finalé, Journey’s End.

Eyebrows!

Eyebrows!

While Midnight suggests that the Doctor would have great difficulty without a companion to help ground him, Turn Left is even more pessimistic. It seems to set a ceiling for the role of the companion. Without the Doctor, the best that his companions can do is fight to a depressing stalemate and hope to rescue some alternate universe where the Doctor is still alive. As far as Turn Left is concerned, the companion fills a very important function – but that function is very clearly secondary to the Doctor.

In contrast, Flatline seems to suggest that the companion can step up to fill the vacancy left by the Doctor. Flatline builds off the climax of Kill the Moon in positioning Clara as a character who could step in to the role of the Doctor. It is an interesting idea, arguably one that the show has been teasing from as early as Ace’s character during the final season of the classic show. Here, Clara suggests that it might be possible for a companion to elevate themselves to such a position. However, it remains questionable if such a possibility would be desirable.

Drawn together...

Drawn together…

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