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TV Review: Doctor Who 8.4 “Listen”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Teaser image for Doctor Who episode 8.4 "Listen"

Doctor Who
Season 8, Episode 4 “Listen”
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Samuel Anderson
BBC America
Air Date: Saturday, September 13th, 2014

There is nothing like a good scare. The creators of Doctor Who have known this for decades, and made more than a couple generations of children scurry behind furniture to peek out at the television screen from relative safety. That is Steven Moffat‘s intention with the fourth episode of season eight, “Listen,” to scare us and then soothe our fears. He does this by treading familiar ground: the realm of things that live in the dark and go bump in the night. It’s a mythic territory to which we can all relate, and Doctor Who can be at its best when the roots of its stories run deep and show it.

This may indeed be lauded as one of the best episodes of the season. Broken into multiple small acts, it is a tour de force for actors Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, and Samuel Anderson. Together with director Douglas Mackimmon, they weave the various story lines in the episode into something like a dream that captivates while it is in progress but evaporates when it is done. It shows a cast fully in command of the material at hand, but can leave the viewer wondering if ending of the episode really pays off the marvelous setup (and it is truly a marvel at points) that proceeds it.

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