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Jamie Mathieson (#110 of 3)

Doctor Who Recap Season 10, Episode 5, "Oxygen"

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 10, Episode 5, “Oxygen”

BBC America

Doctor Who Recap: Season 10, Episode 5, “Oxygen”

Writer Jamie Mathieson’s “Oxygen” is a taut, gripping thrill ride. As in his previous three Doctor Who episodes, he shows a particular flair for coming up with both snappy dialogue and creepy monsters. This time he has the Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Bill (Pearl Mackie), and Nardole (Matt Lucas) facing what amounts to a zombie plague when the Doctor, once again chafing at his ongoing task of guarding the vault on Earth, receives a distress call in the TARDIS and promptly takes all three of them to a deep-space asteroid mining station whose crew of 40 has been reduced to four. As the episode’s bleak opening teaser makes clear, the dead are still walking or floating around the station, intent on killing the remaining personnel.

Doctor Who Recap Season 8, Episode 9, "Flatline"

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 8, Episode 9, “Flatline”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 8, Episode 9, “Flatline”

Hot on the heels of last week’s “Mummy on the Orient Express,” new writer Jamie Mathieson delivers an intriguing and suspenseful standalone episode with “Flatline.” He certainly knows how to start a story with a good visual hook, as the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) land in present-day Bristol and find themselves struggling to emerge from a police box that’s suddenly shrunk to half its normal height. There’s a refreshingly old-school feel to the episode in that the Doctor has no prior knowledge of what’s going on, in contrast to much of the past few seasons (as he says to Clara, “Could you not just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something? They happen so rarely”). Thanks to the TARDIS shrinking even further, the Doctor becomes trapped inside until the end of the episode, able only to offer advice and the occasional bit of equipment as Clara does the legwork, carrying the TARDIS with her in her handbag. The shots of the Doctor’s face filling the tiny doorway, or his hand reaching out of the little police box, are equal parts funny and slightly disturbing.

Doctor Who Recap Season 8, Episode 8, "Mummy on the Orient Express"

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 8, Episode 8, “Mummy on the Orient Express”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 8, Episode 8, “Mummy on the Orient Express”

“Mummy on the Orient Express,” written by Jamie Mathieson, who’s new to the series, is a particularly satisfying episode of Doctor Who, successfully striking a balance between telling a suspenseful story in its own right and further exploring the tension between the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman). The setting grabs your attention immediately: A recreation of the famous luxury train, steaming through space on hyperspatial rails, provides the excuse (as with the Titanic in 2007’s “Voyage of the Damned”) to combine a period setting with sci-fi trappings. The art deco production design is beautifully done, with the costumes of the characters (including Clara in a striking flapper outfit) perfectly creating the pseudo-1920s feel. But after last week’s explosive argument between the Doctor and Clara, there’s a melancholy start to the episode, with the Doctor bringing Clara here as a special treat for their last time together. But even as they return to the sort of sharp-edged banter we saw earlier in the season, the deaths begin, and they’re soon thrown into a desperate struggle against an ancient mummy haunting the train that can only be seen by the person it’s about to kill.