Collaborative Reviews Of “Doctor Who,” Series Eight + In The Forest Of Titles And Theories

Today’s post is all about Doctor Who! More specifically, the brand-new eighth series. It is kind of a long post, so if you only read part of it, read the next section… because it’s slightly more important to me than fangirling over titles. But only slightly.


A couple of days ago, I decided that I’d like to review each series eight episode.

Yesterday, I had a better idea: What if I reviewed the episodes with other people?

I’ve successfully convinced my brother to review the first episode, “Deep Breath,” with me, and now I’m looking for a few other people. If you’re a Whovian and a blogger (preferably someone I know fairly well – it would be a little weird to co-write with total strangers) and you’d be interested in reviewing collaboratively, let me know in the comments! I do already have a few people in mind and will message them on Facebook (or leave a comment on their blogs, if we’re not Facebook friends) later today to see if they’re interested.

How would we cowrite the reviews? I’m thinking of simply using Facebook instant-messaging, then writing up the transcript of that for the post. That could be a lot of fun, and it’s the format I’m aiming for, anyway: One person would write a little, then the other would write a couple of sentences, and so on and so forth. And I’d write it up as lines of dialogue, as if we were having a conversation.

Another option is to use Google Docs, because then we can edit a document at the same time. Let me know what you think.

What types of posts could we write? Anything and everything. All the posts would be reviews, but after that I don’t really have any specifications. We can write short posts, long posts, silly posts, serious posts, top ten lists, whatever. We can talk about most of the episode (my brother and I will do that) or only one aspect of the story. And I’m happy to take suggestions for post ideas.

I look to writing these collaborative reviews, if anyone is indeed interested! I got the idea from Cait and Mime @ Notebook Sisters – they often discuss books, movies, et cetera together and it’s always fun to read about what they agree and disagree about.

P.S. If multiple people are interested, how do we decide who reviews which episode? Truth be told, I have no idea. Call dibs on a particular episode if you’d like, but as you can see below… we’re given only vague clues as to what happens in each one, so maybe just pick whatever.

(Edit: Actually, there’s one more thing – if you pick the eleventh episode, make sure you have time to write a review for the twelfth as well. I think it would make sense to write with the same person/people, since together those episodes form one story.)


I have an odd interest: Unusual titles! I love stumbling across beautiful, mysterious, or just plain odd titles – for books, chapters, movies, whatever.

Blame it on J.K. Rowling. I really admire her talent for creating interesting chapter titles that make me excited to read more; I may not love her books quite as much as I used to but that aspect of them still amazes me.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that the other day, I found the Doctor Who series eight episode titles listed on Wikipedia and I LOVE THEM. For a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is that only one starts with, “the.” I get tired of titles that are “the _____,” especially since the THREE most recent Doctor Who episodes have all been titled “The _____ of the Doctor.”

Prepare yourself for fangirling and a LOT of theorizing, based on what may or may not be tiny clues hidden within the titles… let’s see how well I predict what happens in each episode!

Warning: Spoilers ahead, kind of! Don’t read the rest of this post if you’d rather be surprised about each and every episode!

1: “Deep Breath”

Honestly, I think I like this title just because it’s a nice change from “The ____ of the Doctor.” Also, I have NO IDEA what it’s referring to – and I like that mystery! (Note: I’m writing this post on 8/21, so the episode hasn’t aired yet.)

2: “Into the Dalek”

Hmm, I wonder who the villains of this episode will be.

All kidding aside, what does this mean, exactly? Will the main characters journey inside a huge Dalek? Are they going into an area infested by Daleks? Is someone going to literally become a Dalek once again, à la Oswin Oswald in “Asylum of the Daleks?”

3: “Robot of Sherwood”

This sounds ridiculous, but it did make me laugh, so I’ll give it points for that. Sherwood as in Sherwood Forest? As in Robin Hood? Who knows?

4: “Listen”

I’m having quite a lot of fun with my theorizing, so I’m going to go out on a limb here and posit a really wild theory: I bet this is a creepy episode. No, really. Think about it. Wouldn’t it be creepy if Clara and the Doctor thought they were alone, and then one of them says, “Wait, listen!” and then WEIRD STUFF HAPPENS?

…my other theory is that this episode is somehow related to music, but that’s not quite as scary, is it?

5: “Time Heist”

I love love love how strange this title is – how can one steal time?

So, I like it for that reason, and because I think it supports my theory that Captain Jack Harkness will return to the show, at least for one episode. I mean, he’s a con man and Time Agent, or was. A time heist sounds like something he’d attempt, right?

(If you don’t already know my theory: Jack met John Frobisher – who was played by Peter Capaldi, the current Doctor – in series three of Torchwood. I wondered if maybe they’d bring Jack back for a while as part of their explanation about why Twelve’s likeness has appeared multiple times in the Whoniverse.)

6: “The Caretaker”

At first I thought this episode might feature Tom Baker (who played the Fourth Doctor)!

…and then I realized that his character from The Day of the Doctor is the CURATOR, not the Caretaker. I think.

7: “Kill the Moon”

So at first I went OOH THIS IS COOL because, like, how can you kill the moon? It sounds kind of dramatic and serious.

And then I remembered this scene:

Well, then. I would be happy even if this episode was ridiculous instead of serious, because Strax is the greatest.

8: “Mummy on the Orient Express”

Oh, dear. This episode sounds absolutely ridiculous.

…bring it on.

Also, does the Poirot reference mean there will be another Agatha-Christie-themed episode?!

9: “Flatline”

I’m sorry if this is morbid, but all I can think of here is DEATH. When a person’s heart stops beating and the monitor-machine-thing stops beeping to indicate they’re alive, isn’t that called flatlining?

Maybe this is a sad episode? I don’t know.

10: “In the Forest of the Night”

If this isn’t a Rowling title, then I don’t know what is. I LOVE beautiful, fantastical titles. There aren’t really any clues to be found here, other than that a forest will presumably feature in the episode, but I’m happy to just imagine something fantastical and awesome.

11, 12: “Dark Water” and “Death in Heaven”

 Aaaaaand following right on the heels of #10 are two more episodes with neat titles! I particularly like “Death in Heaven” because of its contradictions – you go to heaven once you’re already dead, right? (Well… I don’t believe any of that, personally, but I’m getting off topic here. I’m discussing it from a literary point of view, rather than a religious one, I guess.)

Maybe a character dies in a wonderful place, an absolute paradise that they say is just like heaven. That could be a very sad episode. I don’t know. I’m just casting random theories into the void, and quite honestly I’m probably way off the mark and then you’ll all laugh at me once the series has finished.

(Edit, 6/26: At the end of “Deep Breath,” that lady said, “Welcome to heaven.” Did she mean that metaphorically, or is there literally a place called Heaven in the Whoniverse? I mean, there was a town called Christmas. Anything could happen, right? She’s already been set up as a possible villain, so will the Doctor meet her there?)

Anyway. The most important issue here is, of course, who’s dying? I really hope it’s not Twelve, because one series is far too short for any Doctor.

There’s another possibility, though. Jenna Coleman, the actress who plays Clara Oswald, has said she’s leaving after the Christmas special, so maybe her character will die. Except… I’m not sure that “Death in Heaven” is the Christmas special. If my calculations are correct, this series will end a few weeks before Christmas. I mean, there’s a chance Clara will die/otherwise disappear from the plot before Christmas (I am probably a bad person for saying this, but: THAT WOULD BE GREAT) but then again, she might not.

Also, apparently the series eight finale will (SPOILERS) feature Cybermen (END SPOILERS).

P.S. I find it interesting that this series, there’s only one two-part story! Usually there are one or two more…


What do you think of all my wild theories? If you have any predictions of your own, I’d love to hear them!

Oh, and one more thing: Feel free to laugh at me throughout series eight, because without a doubt, at least one of my predictions will later be proved wrong. Hilariously, ridiculously wrong.

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42 Responses to Collaborative Reviews Of “Doctor Who,” Series Eight + In The Forest Of Titles And Theories

  1. themagicviolinist says:

    Ohmygosh I would LOVE it if Jack returned to “Doctor Who”!!! 🙂 I like his character even more now after watching “Torchwood.”

    Yes, I think something needs to be said about Peter Capaldi’s other roles. I thought they were going to mention it before when he said that he could have sworn he’d seen that face before in “Deep Breath,” but nope.

    Wouldn’t it be absolutely BRILLIANT if J.K. Rowling wrote one of the episodes?!

    All right, since it’s first come first serve I’m going to go ahead and say that I call dibs on “Flatline.” I might be able to do more, and if so, I’d love either “Dark Water” or “Death In Heaven.” But no promises yet, so go ahead and let someone else do the last two if they want. 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      Torchwood is amazing. 🙂 I’d love it if they were featured in this new series. (Or if UNIT were featured again… I know they were just a few episodes ago, but they’re cool.)

      I LOVED THAT SCENE. I think the writers are setting up for him to realize where he’s seen that face before, don’t you? He didn’t realize it in /that/ episode, but it was mentioned, and I feel like if the writers were going to ignore the issue, they wouldn’t have brought up the deja-vu-face-thing at all.

      I, um, am actually not the biggest Rowling fan anymore buuuuut that would be kind of cool. And I keep hearing rumors that Peter Jackson (director of LotR/The Hobbit) is writing the Christmas special?! I have no idea whether or not that’s true, but I keep hearing that.

      Awesome, thank you so much! 😀 I wonder what we’ll talk about in our review, since I have NO IDEA what will happen in it!
      (OK, that works. And actually, unless there are very few people interested, everyone will probably do just one episode, except for the person who takes the series finale.)

  2. matttblack42 says:

    I would love to do this! In the beginning I was on the fence as to whether or not to review the whole season, but this option seems much better. I call dibs on “Listen.” That episode sounds great.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yay, thanks! Yeah, I was too. I really really wanted to talk about the episodes, but now I don’t have to do all the work on my own. xD Also, I thought the end result might be more interesting for readers, not to mention that I’ve never co-blogged with anyone before so I’m looking forward to that experience!

      Awesome. I’ll make a Google Doc and send the link to you in a blog comment within a few weeks… until the episode airs, there really isn’t much to do!

  3. magicfishy says:

    Ooh, collaborative reviews! I’d maybe be interested, though I’d probably have to do it over something that wasn’t Facebook. But then again, I don’t actually have much review experience, and I may be sort of bad at it.

    Anyways, titles! ‘Kill the Moon’ is probably my favorite, just because it’s so ridiculous and immediate stood out to me. ‘Listen’ definitely sounds like a creepy episode to me (the title reminds me a bit of… I was going to say ‘Hush’, but I can’t remember if that’s the right title, since that’s also a Buffy episode? I am the worst Whovian). I’m pretty sure that I did read somewhere that this season (series? I know that it’s technically series eight, but) is aiming to be creepier ([citation needed]).

    I like ‘Dark Water’ as well – it reminds me of something, but I’m not sure what. Google says that it’s a movie, so that might be it, though I haven’t seen it. I’m going to assume an aquatic villain here, but then again, I also thought that that might be the case for ‘Deep Breath’. Yeah, nope. Aquatic villains… The only ones that come to mind are the Sea Devils, but I’m assuming that there’s more which I’m forgetting.

    ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’, oh my… It sounds like a historical episode though, and those are fun.

    ‘Time Heist’! Heists! With time travel! Yes! I hadn’t thought of it until I read this post, but /please/ let them bring Jack back. Please. Please?

    This isn’t even slightly in order. Robot Robin Hood? If that’s true, I’m… Going to reserve judgement until I see that episode.

    ‘Flatline’. Er… Zombies? Zombies or a sad episode, I suppose. Or both.

    What haven’t I commented on… The Caretaker. I suppose that they /could/ be using Caretaker as a synonym for Custodian. I wonder if they’ll ever actually explain that, anyways?

    ‘In The Forest Of The Night’ really is a Rowling title, you’re right. I’ve sort of given up on commenting on these by now, whoops.

    ‘Into The Dalek’… I’ve seen the preview for this one, and still have no idea why it’s called that. I guess that we’ll find out soon.

    So, let’s talk about the Heaven thing! (Contains spoilers, but none that weren’t already in the original post)

    The ending of the premiere confused me deeply, partially because Missy looked vaguely familiar and I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to recognize her character from somewhere. Apparently not, so I guess that I just recognised her actress. I suppose that Heaven is going to be this series’ arc (though what it has to do with Cybermen, if they’re going to be in the finale, is beyond me) – presumably it’s not meant to /actually/ be Heaven? I have no idea what it /is/, though, especially considering that the Half-Faced… Cyborg… Guy (is there a canon/Gabon name for him?) did seen to die before waking up there… But then again, he was a robot. Hm.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yay! I can just make a Google Doc and leave the link in a comment on your blog, then – and then we can edit it at the same time! (If you are interested, which episode would you like?)

      *nodnod* I’m not going to write comments back to allllll of your title comments, because I have SCHOOLWORK and stuff to do buuuut I’m glad that you like my weird little theories.

      SAME HERE! I /swear/ I’ve seen that character before!
      (Also, I’ve seen theories that she’s either working for the Master, or she’s the Rani. Or quite possibly both. 😀 )

      I keep seeing people refer to him as Half-Face? But idk whether he has a canon name.

      (Also, the heaven/garden/thing looked suspiciously similar to the one on Apalapucia. *snickers* Methinks Doctor Who has only a few sets/a very small budget.)

      • magicfishy says:

        And if we’re doing the calling dibs thing… Hm, I’m conflicted. “Flatline” and “Listen” have been taken, and as much as I love the title of “Dark Water” I don’t know how I’d feel about reviewing a finale (assuming that the same person would do both parts? Your comment above sounds like it), especially a two-parter (though I wouldn’t mind doing more than one episode, but at this rate it looks like there’ll be too few episodes and too many reviewers). I’m tempted to ask to do a ridiculous-sounding episode like ‘Kill the Moon’ or ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’, but I can hear ‘Time Heist’ calling my name (regardless about the fact that I’d probably spend too much of the review yelling about how Jack’s back/should be back)… *ponders* Yeah, I’m going to say Time Heist. Again, heists! And time travel!

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, I’d prefer that the same person wrote reviews of “Dark Water” and “Death in Heaven” so that, like, the two of us who wrote the first post could follow up on any predictions/whatever and discuss whether we were right in the next post. 🙂

      “Time Heist” it is, then! 🙂

  4. If you want, we could collaborate. If you hadn’t noticed by my name, I enjoy Doctor Who.

  5. Alexandrina Brant says:

    Yes! I’d not see many of those titles before (except #11 and #12, for which I’m surprised there are loads of spoilers/crew pictures already. In fact, there are a fair number of official teaser trailers, too. Surprising. I was reading the summary of Kill the Moon and it sounds pretty creepy), and they are pretty witty. I’d quite like to see who wrote them, since I agree that Moffatt isn’t so snappy when it comes to titles.
    I see Time Heist is taken (it reminds me of my Time, Stopped Trilogy), so that makes my life a little easier, and I’ll call dibs on Mummy on the Orient Express. It’s probably not gonna be a Christie-esque episode, but it’ll be nice to see the Orient featured, simply for the beauty of the train. And Egyptian-y stuff.

    Of course, if you run out of reviewers (unlikely), I’ll happily do another. 😉

    • nevillegirl says:

      Really, teaser trailers already?! *will try not to look at them because she doesn’t want too many spoilers and anyway it’s always more fun to see the what-happens-in-the-next-episode previews*

      Pffft, I was kind of hoping you’d pick that one in case it is a Christie-esque episode! And even if it isn’t, it sounds amusing, so I’m sure we’ll have a good time talking about it.

      And of course. 🙂

  6. Fiona says:

    I’ve already seen Deep Breath and have a lot of thoughts on it, so that would probably be best. I’d also be happy to help with “Listen” or “In The Forest of Night” (Unless someone else wants to do those, in which case there are a lot more that sound cool :P)

    • nevillegirl says:

      My brother and I are actually reviewing “Deep Breath” (we finished the review last night and the post is scheduled for tomorrow) and “Listen” has already been taken by another blogger, but no one else has claimed “Into the Forest of the Night” yet! 🙂 So how about that one? 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      Wonderful; I look forward to reviewing with you!

      (P.S. You’re on the NaNo YWP, right? What’s your username there? In case I need to contact you? I mean, “Into the Forest of the Night” won’t air for a couple of months still, so just in case it slips your mind that you’re reviewing I want to remind you…)

    • nevillegirl says:

      Thank you! 🙂 I just want to make sure that no one forgets / gets busy and isn’t able to write.

  7. Hi 😀
    Me again 😛
    As I replied in my very long comment on my blog, here are a few of the episodes that I’d be interested in (not sure if anyone’s doing them):
    – “Flatline”
    – “Mummy on the Orient Express”
    – “Robot of Sherwood” (I actually thought Charlemagne and the robot computer Ten mentioned in “The Unicorn and the Wasp”… I think that’s the name of the Agatha Christie episode? *is too lazy to check* But it’s Twelve now… who I LOVED.)
    – “Time Heist” (JACK??! Though if it’s Moffat, I’ll be putting my bets on River instead.)
    And I’d love to do the finale two-parter with you, but as I explained in a very long comment on my blog, it might coincide with the week of finals, so I will have to check once the episode air dates are out. 😀

    And I’m actually so sad Clara’s going to be leaving. We just saw her become a slightly-RTD-style companion, and I don’t want that to go. I hope we get to meet her family/the members are EX-PLAI-NED. *imagines that in dalek voice*

    • nevillegirl says:

      Well, no one has claimed “Robot of Sherwood” yet, buuuuut as for the finale? Moffat’s said that the series WON’T be split in two and will air continuously, so that would mean episode #11 airs on November 1 and #12 airs on November 8. Idk if that’s when your finals are (that seems really really early for finals but maybe that’s just me), but anyway I’m pretty sure those are the dates, in case you can review the finale episodes with me 🙂

      I know, right? I liked her soooo much better in “Deep Breath”… and I posted my review of the episode today, btw! 🙂

      • Well, my finals aren’t in November 😛 That IS ridiculously early. (Twelve is my first live Doctor, so I’m not quite sure how long a series takes to air completely… or where to find the air dates. Though that just may be that I am horrific at finding air dates. 😛 ). I believe I will be able to do the finale with you! *squeals excitedly* I just have to check on some family/scheduling stuff, but right now, I’ll probably be able to do it… (Am I getting this wrong or do we have to watch the episode at the same time? Like if it airs 5 EST, we have to watch it at whatever time that is time in our respective time zones? Because if not, I can definitely do it.)

        EEEK. *runs to check it out*

    • nevillegirl says:

      (Same here. 🙂 )

      Nope! We’re not writing the review as the episode airs, but after it. So it doesn’t really matter when we watch it, as long as it’s fairly soon after the episode. So, like, they air on Saturday nights and I’ll probably watch on Sunday nights. 🙂

      • Ah, okay! That’s good. Because I just may watch the episode a few hours after it airs, etc. 😛 *flails* I can’t wait to review it with you! 😀 😀 *adds enthusiastically to calendar*

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  9. Hello, Izzy dear! :3 I’d be happy to collaborate with you on any of these (I’m personally interested in “Flatline”, “In the Forest of the Night”, and “Death in Heaven”, but I’m not too picky), but I need to catch up. Message me if you want to collaborate on one, because I am, as we all know, absolutely horrid at remembering to check anything on any blog.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Eeeee yay! I was hoping you’d participate! Um… actually, all of those posts have already been claimed by someone else… would you want to review “Robot of Sherwood”? No one’s said they would do that, and it’s next week so I hope someone will sign up…

  10. As I said in the message, I’ll look forward to it. ^^ Although I must note that I am kind of a Clara fan? So our opinions will probably clash there.

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