Clara’s sadness over last week’s events when the Doctor left her to decide the fate of the human race is still very pervasive. The trip aboard the Orient Express is supposed to be her last trip with the Doctor. Her “last hurrah” as they put it.
The episode had a number of fun shout outs to past episodes, especially The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. The first one I caught was when the Doctor talks about having a picnic on a planet with constant acid rain where he had to wear a gas mask. Continuing with references to the past, the Doctor offers Moorhouse a Jelly Baby then later says to the Foretold, “Are you my mummy?”
The old-fashioned flip timer for the 66 second countdown was a neat and stylish way to display the mummy’s approach. It fit well with the anachronistic decorations on-board the train.
We never found out who was behind the experiments involving the Foretold and people dying. This is just a wild stab in the dark, but I wonder if this isn’t part of Missy’s plan? She’s been collecting people in “heaven” as they die so a plan such as this that necessarily involves death would seem right up her twisted alley.
When the Doctor gets Clara to lie to Maisie, Clara understandably goes off on him, telling him that’s why she’s leaving him. But then the Doctor transfers all of Maisie’s grief and trauma into himself when the Foretold comes for her, saving Maisie and causing the Foretold to go after him instead.
Clara thought he was just using people again, but he wanted Maisie nearby so he could see the monster himself. Although, he did admit later if his plan hadn’t worked he would have just gone on to the next victim in line, continuing that pattern until he’d solved the mystery. The Doctor does use people, but his intentions are good.
Clara comes away from this adventure with a newfound respect for the Doctor. She’s realizing that he often has to make difficult choices and sometimes those choices seem cruel. When it came time for her to leave the TARDIS she has a change of heart.
Clara’s in love with two men, just in different ways.
And now the quotes …
Doctor: Completely faithful recreation of the original Orient Express. Except slightly bigger … and in space. Oh, and the rails are actually hyperspace ribbons, but in every other respect, identical.
Doctor: It’s the sad smile. It’s a smile, but you’re sad. It’s confusing. It’s like two emotions at once. It’s like you’re malfunctioning.
Clara: I really thought I hated you, you know?
Doctor: Well, thank God you kept that to yourself!
Doctor: There was also a planet that was made completely of shrubs.
Clara: I went to a concert once. Can’t remember who it was, but do you know what the singer said?
Doctor: Well, frankly, that would be an absolutely astonishing guess if I did know.
Quell: So, what are you a doctor of?
Doctor: Now, there’s a question that’s never asked often enough. Let’s say intestinal parasites.
Clara: There’s a body AND there’s a mummy. I mean, can you not just get on a train? Did a wizard put a curse on you about mini-breaks?
Doctor: Old ladies die all the time. It’s practically their job description.
Moorhouse: They that bear the foretold stare have 66 seconds to live.
Moorhouse: That’s why I chose this field, to be honest, hoping one day I might meet a real monster.
Doctor: Isn’t that everyone’s dream?
Maisie: Do you ever wish bad things on people?
Clara: Oh, yeah, all the time. Whoever designed this door, for a start.
Doctor: I’m not a passenger, I’m your worst nightmare. <raises psychic paper>
Quell: A mystery shopper. Oh, great.
Doctor: Really? That’s your worst …? Okay, I’m a mystery shopper. I could do with an extra pillow and I’m very disappointed with your breakfast bar and … all of the dying.
Quell: This is not exactly within your job description.
Doctor: Come on, Captain. Where would we all be if we all followed our job descriptions? Mm? Good question. Glad you asked. In your case, you’d be doing something instead of climbing inside a bottle.
Doctor: Yes, let’s just sit around and wait for the evidence while the bodies pile up. Or here’s a crazy thought – we could do something to stop it.
Perkins: Passenger manifest, plan of the train, and a list of stops for the last six months.
Doctor: Quick work, Perkins. Maybe too quick.
Perkins: Yes, sir. I’m obviously the mummy. Or perhaps I was already looking into this.
Clara: This is a … I don’t know. Goodbye to the good times.
Moorhouse: In all of the accounts conventional weapons have no effect on the Foretold. It’s immortal, unstoppable … un-killable.
Perkins: Can we get a new expert?
Maisie: Life would be so much simpler if you liked the right people, people you’re supposed to like. But then, I guess there’d be no fairy tales.
Doctor: I’m going to have to mark you down for this.
Quell: You are NOT a mystery shopper.
Quell: It turns out it’s three. The amount of people that had to die before I stopped looking the other way.
Doctor: Ladies and gentlemen, could I have a moment of your time, please? There’s a monster on this train that can only be seen by those about to die. If you do see it, you will have exactly 66 seconds left in which to live. But that isn’t even the strangest thing. Do you know what is? You. <points to everyone> The passengers. Experts in alien biology, mythology, physics. If I was putting together a team to analyze this thing, I’d pick you. And I think somebody has. Someone of immense power and influence has orchestrated this whole trip. Someone who I have no doubt is listening to us right now. So are you going to step out from behind the curtain and give us our orders?
Gus: Good morning, everyone. Around the room, you will find a variety of scientific equipment. Your goal is to ascertain the Foretold’s true nature, probe for weaknesses with a view to capture, after which we will reverse engineer its abilities. Isn’t this exciting?
Quell: What if we say no? Down tools. Refuse to work.
Gus: That is your choice, of course, but it would be very upsetting were you all to die at the hands of the Foretold.
Perkins: So, hurry up before it kills you.
Gus: We apologize for any distress you may have just experienced. Grief counseling is available on request. On the bright side, I’m sure you’ve all collected a lot of data. Well done, everyone!
Quell: Still can’t sleep without pills.
Doctor: Which means that you are probably next. Which is good to know.
Quell: Well, not for me.
Doctor: Well, of course not for you because you’re going to die.
Perkins: You know, Doctor. I can’t tell if you’re a genius or just incredibly arrogant.
Doctor: Well, on a good day I’m both.
Perkins: Oh, it’s not just a mummy, it’s a vampire – metaphorically speaking.
Doctor: You, sir, are a genius! This explains everything … apart from what it is and how it’s doing it. Sorry, I jumped the gun there with the “you’re a genius, that explains everything” remark.
Clara: You knew. You knew this was no relaxing break. You knew this was dangerous.
Doctor: I didn’t know. I certainly hoped.
Doctor: I’m the Doctor and I will be your victim this evening. Are you my mummy?
Doctor: Oh, you really didn’t like your gran, did you?
Doctor: By the way, you weren’t being paranoid. She really did poison your pony. Oh, and your father. Sorry.
Doctor: You’re relieved, soldier.
Perkins: He’s not the only one.
Clara: So you saved everyone?
Doctor: No, I just saved you and let everyone else suffocate. Ha ha ha. Yeah, this is just my cover story.
Doctor: Sometimes, the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose.
Perkins: That job could, uh, change a man.
Doctor: Yes, it does. Frequently.
Clara: I know it’s scary and difficult, but do you love being the man making the impossible choice?
Doctor: You can’t really tell if something’s an addiction till you try and give it up.
Clara: Oh, to hell with the last hurrah, let’s keep going!
Clara: Now, shut up and give me some planets.
Doctor Who: Flatline airs Saturday, October 18 at 9/8c on BBC America