Doctor Who season 8 is chugging along nicely, with Peter Capaldi bringing a level of grumpy old man to the venerable Time Lord that hasn’t been a part of the repertoire for quite some time. Next weekend sees the ninth episode of the new year, “Flatline,” and the BBC has released a trailer and a bunch of still photos from the next chapter.
In “Flatline,” Clara (Jenna Coleman) gets separated from the Doctor and encounters a harrowing new menace that originates in another dimension. From this footage it certainly looks like someone is pulling people through into other realms where the abductees are then being experimented on in some way. You can’t help but feel like they’re trying to understand us in order to better deal with us when they invade. If that’s the case, it feels a little bit like parts of Fringe. As the synopsis says, “how do you hide when even the walls are no protection? With people to save and the Doctor trapped, Clara comes up against an enemy that exists beyond human perception.”
Written by Jamie Mathieson and directed by Douglas Mackinnon, “Flatline” guest stars Christopher Fairbank, John Cummings, Jessica Hayles, Jovian Wade, Matt Bardock, Raj Bajaj, James Quinn, and Michelle Gomez, most of whom you can see in this gallery of stills from the episode.
It certainly appears that the action involves a crew of maintenance workers on a subway line, and it looks like a fair amount of the episode will feature the Doctor, Clara, and an assortment of others roaming around in the London underground. You might want to approach this cautiously if you’re prone to bouts of claustrophobia. Whatever turns out to be sucking people through walls and into new and frightening dimensions, that effect of what otherwise looks like imprints of people painted on walls, is a cool, unique visual.
To be honest, I’m way, way behind on season 8 of Doctor Who, but people seem to be digging Capaldi’s turn (the Twelfth Doctor is even getting his own continuing comic book title starting tomorrow). We’re going to have to wait until later this year, until the annual Christmas special, to learn for sure whether or not Coleman, and consequently Clara, is leaving the show, as has been indicated in the past. In the meantime, Doctor Who continues to air on its usual Saturday night timeslot, and we have a while longer yet before we have to worry about that.