Review: Doctor Who – Mummy on the Orient Express

Mummy

Clara Oswald joins the Doctor on one last hurrah aboard a simulation of the Orient Express flying the hyperspace lanes.

Clara (Jenna Coleman) is miffed with the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) after abandoning her in a moment of crisis last week in Kill the Moon. There’s a real sense that might walk out of the TARDIS for the last time. Her girlie chat with a fellow passenger gives an insight into her feelings for the Doctor which have changed since his regeneration and her meeting fellow Coal Hill School teacher Danny Pink. It seems odd that she can be so indifferent to the Doctor, given she once sacrificed herself for him.

Mummy on the Orient Express has to be the weakest 12th Doctor story since Robot of Sherwood. In both cases the writer, in the latest example it’s Jamie Mathieson, has taken something familiar and given it a Doctor Who twist. There’s a mysterious mummy aboard the space borne train that is picking the passengers off.

But it didn’t really work, at least for me. This episode relies too heavily on its central premise and fails to deliver much else. That’s not to say that it didn’t work for everyone. As I finished writing my critical review of Robot of Sherwood a friend texted me to say: “First Capaldi I enjoyed . . . frivolous and fun . . .” That’s how it felt the production crew were trying to make this episode too, but I felt they didn’t pull it off.

That’s not to say there’s not some good moments in this episode.

British singer Foxes appearance as a lounge singer on the train is dripping with charm, as she pouts out a film noir version of the Queen classic Don’t Stop Me Now.

Mathieson is also behind next week’s episode, Flatline, so let’s hope he redeems himself then. I came away feeling this one was different to most of the rest of the series, and feeling disappointed about that.

 

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