By Will Barber – Taylor
The Doctor and Clara are on the most beautiful train in history, speeding among the stars of the future – but they are unaware that a deadly creature is stalking the passengers. Once you see the horrifying Mummy you only have 66 seconds to live. No exceptions, no reprieve. As the Doctor races against the clock, Clara sees him at his deadliest and most ruthless. Will he work out how to defeat the Mummy? Start the clock!
Mummy on the Orient Express is a strange old story. It has everything that could be desired; a great plot, good use of suspense and some great acting. However, it doesn’t quite go the full mile to being an all-out classic simply because it isn’t long enough. While the first two acts go along excellently the final act feels short and rushed, this is mainly due to the fact that before that the episode had progressed along a slow and steady pace. If the episode had been a bit longer then maybe it could have been better and not feel as though the conclusion was so rushed. While the enigmatic nature of the Mummy was interesting and exciting it would have improved the episode if we got a bit more explanation as to why the Mummy was on the train or who was controlling it.
Peter Capaldi shines as The Doctor in this episode. In some ways this story truly cements Capaldi as The Doctor more than any other. During the climax, Capaldi’s Doctor manages to save Maisie (Daisy Beaumont, Star Stories) who has been chosen as The Mummy’s next victim. Capaldi skilfully shows the heroic side of his Doctor, something we have not seen as much of seeing as he has been more of a brooding antihero rather than an out and out hero. By saving Maisie from the monster The Twelfth Doctor shows off his caring side, a side which was not seen much particularly in the previous episode. Capaldi also manages to work well with Frank Skinner as Perkins. Though they don’t share that much screen time together The Doctor and Perkins are clearly kindred spirits though Perkins knows that travel isn’t always the best option. This excellently shows off in the scene in which The Doctor offers Perkins a trip in the TARDIS which he declines because “something like that can change a man”.
Although it is an improvement on last week’s episode, Mummy on The Orient Express may not be a classic Doctor Who episode but it certainly is a great old adventure tale with high drama, comedy and tension all the way through it.