Episode 4: “Listen”
Steven Moffat’s synopsis:
What scares the grand old man of time? What horrors lurk under his bed? Ghosts of the past and future crowd into the lives of the Doctor and Clara; a terrified caretaker in a children’s home, the last man standing in the universe, and a little boy who doesn’t want to join the army…
Pair It With: “Blink”
Before he was promoted to showrunner, Steven Moffat was writing some of the very best episodes of modern Who, and they rarely get better than the Hugo Award-winning “Blink.” In addition to introducing one of the best new Who monsters in ages, it crafted a twisted and genuinely frightening little science fiction short story that perfectly demonstrated what the show can do so well when firing on all cylinders. Part of the reason it worked so well is that it tapped into an instinctual fear that gives almost all of us the willies: the half-glimpsed something that moves when you’re not looking. This is an episode that invested the mere act of blinking with visceral, heart-pounding terror, and it’s still the best usage of the Weeping Angels thus far.
So now we have “Listen,” another Moffat script focused on yet another of the five senses. I won’t reveal anything more than the general blurb above because, if “Listen” works as well on the screen as it does on the page, it’s got the potential to be every bit as frightening and unforgettable as “Blink.” (There’s one sequence in particular that freaked the hell out of me even though I was reading it in the middle of the day.) It’s also a reminder that Moffat is often a better writer of self-contained episodes than he is a showrunner of the whole enchilada, and “Listen” is a great example of combining several clever ideas into one greater whole. Watch it with the lights off, I dare you.