This week’s episode begins with a murder. A poor, frail, elderly woman, sees a mummified figure slowly walking towards her, taunting her, seconds before her untimely demise. This is the Foretold, anyone who sees the Foretold only has a matter of 66 seconds before the creature absorbs them of their energy. Almost like ancient technology…
This story also has guest appearance by life-long fan Frank Skinner as Perkins (a technician). The Doctor arrives with Clara in the cargo hold of the only space train to take on the name Orient Express.
Dressed in what appears to be either a homage to Jon Pertwee (Doctor number three) or William Hartnell (Doctor number One). His mannerisms and movement again this week reminded me of William Hartnell. It seems that Capaldi is bringing the Doctor’s he grew up watching into the role, which is enough for any fan boy or girl out there.
Another little nod to the classic series was the brief shot of the Doctor offering Emile (a historian) a Jelly Baby. Well played Doctor, Well played!
Another guest actor was the beautiful Jazz singer Foxes. Who performed her own take on one of Queen’s well-known songs ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ to which the BBC have released a music video of the singer performing the piece with a selection of clips from the current series that we have already seen along with little teasers of adventures yet to come.
The idea of having a Mummy on the Orient Express, kept making me think of the evil Egyptian God Sutekh, who was last seen in the 1975 serial The Pyramids of Mars, which starred Tom Baker as the bohemian Time Lord with his faithful companion Sarah Jane Smith, played by the late Elisabeth Sladen.
Another expectancy was having Hercule Poirot pop up at ay moment, just to give that extra nod to Agatha Christie. But alas it didn’t happen, which I think did the story justice.
I liked the mystery that was shrouded around the story’s antagonist and that the Doctor FINALLY accepted the invite to the Orient Express, to which he received a phone call in his Eleventh incarnation in the 2010 episode The Big Bang. This episode used a reasonable amount of references to past Doctors and adventures.
The main impression that I got was that this was going to be Clara’s last outing with the Doctor, being as she’s now got a job, a boyfriend and possibly a normal life on the horizon but no - The story’s conclusion put that to rest where after telling the wonderful Danny Pink her feelings towards him (over the phone that is), she goes against her decision and stays on to do some more travelling with the Doctor.
This brings me to the conclusion that Clara WILL be leaving at the end of the series. Let’s hope I’m wrong as I’m really enjoying Clara this season.
Overall I enjoyed this episode. The storyline was witty and enjoyable. My slight problem, is that the revelation of the Mummy that was terrorizing the “passengers” being a soldier, was a bit rushed. 45 minutes was too short for a story like this. It would’ve worked better if the story was a two parter. The special effects, the acting and the overall bundle were brilliant!
Therefore this story again receives a Mummified 9 out of 10 soldiers. Full Steam ahead for the next episode Flatline, choo choo!