So here's your female Doctor Who after all. Well, it's just Clara calling herself Doctor while the real Doctor helps her through an earpiece. Which she readily admits--I love when someone catches her talking to him she doesn't come up with some lame sitcom excuse about how she's not talking to herself, instead just plainly saying she's talking to someone. In the age of Blue Tooth, that old plot device may be dead.
It was a good episode, "Flatline", to-day's new Doctor Who. The second written by Jamie Mathieson, not quite as exciting as his previous, last week's "Mummy On the Orient Express", but good. Solid.
It's another gimmick monster, if you will, this time a species that lives in two dimensions. Sometimes this was very effective, I particularly liked a scene where Clara and guest star Joivan Wade watch the beings swallow a sofa as it rapidly crunches into what looks like moving paint.
The whole tiny TARDIS thing was pretty fun, especially with the Doctor still able to reach his hand through when the TARDIS is stashed in Clara's purse. Just imagine what Alfred Hitchcock would make of that.
Clara's purse essentially becomes Mary Poppins' carpet bag and I love when the cop turns around to see Clara suddenly holding a sledge hammer.
The business about trying to communicate with the beings, trying to figure out what they want and stopping just to try and imagine how two dimensional entities could understand our universe, was nice.
The idea behind Clara being the Doctor's temporary surrogate was pretty obvious in the context of what has been the ongoing story of the season, Clara being the judge of the Doctor's virtue. Here Clara is actually put in the Doctor's shoes and she can see from her own perspective whether the things she's criticised the Doctor for--lying to keep hope alive, making ruthlessly pragmatic decisions--are necessary.
Here's a thought--what if the mysterious woman, Missy, played by Michelle Gomez, is the Doctor? Maybe that's why people who die during the Doctor's adventures seem to be snatched up by her. Maybe the Doctor regenerates into Missy at the end of the season? I suppose I'm probably not the first one to think of this.
That might be kind of fun. If she ends up being the Doctor's romantic interest, I fear it would be another River Song case, where plot takes the place of chemistry.