Doctor Who RECAP: Plot Holes on the Orient Express (S8:E8)

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FADE IN:

INT. THE ORIENT EXPRESS… IN SPACE

Apparently people in the future take cosplay EXTREMELY seriously because a bunch of super-rich people are spending their entire vacations riding around in space on a replica of the 1932 “Orient Express” passenger train to London—in perfect period costumes, with perfect period behavior.

REALLY, REALLY OLD WOMAN:
Should somebody mention Agatha Christie? I really think someone should mention Agatha Christie.

MISS PITT:
Nah, even though her “train passengers getting murdered one by one” novel is the only reason anyone in the future would bother recreating the Orient Express, we won’t say anything about it—even after passengers start getting murdered one by one.

REALLY, REALLY OLD WOMAN:
Will we also continue to dress and behave like Downton Abbey characters even after it’s clear a real-life murderer is among us?

doctor who 8.8 old woman

MISS PITT:
Of course! We’re just that committed to our cosplay.

REALLY, REALLY OLD WOMAN:
Fine, fine. But why is that fellow dressed like a mummy? Seems dreadfully out of place to me.

MISS PITT:
I don’t see anyone dressed as a mummy.

REALLY, REALLY OLD WOMAN:
This man right here, the one who’s about to touch my fa—
(dies)

doctor who 8.8 mummy attack

INT. DIFFERENT PART OF THE ORIENT EXPRESS… IN SPACE

The Doctor and Clara pop out of the TARDIS, and there’ll eventually be an explanation why Clara is still hanging out with the Doctor after last week’s blowup, but you’ll just have to wait for now.

doctor who 8.8 doc and clara

THE DOCTOR:
I find your sad smile confusing. I can’t follow mixed emotions.

CLARA:
Why not? You have them all the time. Besides, you’re 2,000 years old and have been hanging out with humans for the vast majority of them, and this has never been an issue before now.

THE DOCTOR:
Apparently the old I get, the less emotionally mature I get. Did you not see the Matt Smith years? And I make HIM look like the model of empathy and stability.

MISS PITT:
Flibbity jibbit! Wakka wakka!

TRAIN CONDUCTOR:
Please forgive Miss Pitt. She went crazy after watching her grandmother die in front of her a few hours ago.

THE DOCTOR:
It drove her mad? Were they that close?

TRAIN CONDUCTOR:
Actually she hated her.

THE DOCTOR:
Was it a gruesome death?

TRAIN CONDUCTOR:
No, she simply dropped her head to the side and died in her chair… as it would not be entirely unexpected for anyone over the age of 100 to do. The only strange thing about it was that the old woman began babbling about a mummy coming after her a few seconds before she died.

CLARA:
There’s a killer mummy on board?! Let’s investigate!

THE DOCTOR:
I thought you were done with my adventures. This is just supposed to be one final relaxing trip together before we part ways.

CLARA:
Oh. Okay then. I guess I’ll just go to bed.

She does.

THE DOCTOR:
Let’s investigate!
(approaches random person)
You! You’re an expert on alien mythology! What can you tell me about “The Foretold,” the legendary space mummy!

doctor who 8.8 expert

ALIEN MYTHOLOGY EXPERT:
What species would that myth be from?

THE DOCTOR:
Like I said… alien.

ALIEN MYTHOLOGY EXPERT:
That’s as much detail as we’re going to give, huh? Fine. Legend has it that The Foretold kills all its victims in exactly 66 seconds unless you know the magic phrase to s—

THE DOCTOR:
Yes, yes, I already know everything about it so fuck off.

INT. KITCHEN OF THE ORIENT EXPRESS… IN SPACE

One of the chefs sees the mummy and starts freaking out, but no one else can see it. The chef dies as soon as the mummy touches him.

OTHER CHEF:
Maybe it’s the mummy of Gordon Ramsey?

doctor who 8.8 mummy

INT. CORRIDOR OF THE ORIENT EXPRESS… IN SPACE

Clara gets out of bed and stumbles across Miss Pitt again, who is obsessing about getting to see her grandmother’s body. They break into the room where it’s supposed to be, but find only an empty high-tech sarcophagus. Then they somehow lock themselves in.

CLARA:
Okay, two women alone in a scene together… Should we talk about shoes or men?

MISS PITT:
Tell me all about this doctor friend of yours. Are you boning each other or what?

CLARA:
Men, it is. But there’s nothing between me and The Doctor. In fact, I’m over him. Completely and totally over him. No interest in carrying on as his companion whatsoever. I never dream about his warm hands on my body, or wrapping my mouth around his—

MISS PITT:
I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit in case anyone in the audience is too dumb to see it for themselves.

INT. WHEREVER THE DOCTOR IS ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS… IN SPACE

The Mummy strikes again, killing off a random redshirt.

THE DOCTOR:
I’ve been looking over the passenger manifest, and I’ve realized there’s too many alien mythologists and biologists and engineers here to be a coincidence! Someone has gathered us here and set the Mummy loose among us so we’d have no choice but to study it and find away to stop us before we’re all dead.

CLARA:
And by coincidence, I’ve just discovered documents that prove whoever’s behind this whole thing has pulled this same trick with other groups of scientists before, but all of those groups died without finding the Mummy’s secret.

Suddenly all the non-expert passengers disappear! They were only holograms! Only the experts and the train staff remain.

MISS PITT:
And me. Neither my grandmother nor I seem to have any expertise that would make us part of this deranged experiment, but for some reason we’re still real.

THE DOCTOR:
This is no time to worry about plot holes! We need lab equipment to study the Mummy and its victims!

doctor who 8.8 experts

In the blink of an eye, all of the train décor disappears and is replaced by lab equipment. Also, there’s suddenly a computer named GUS in the room monitoring the situation.

GUS:
‘Ello, chaps. All I can tell you about The Foretold is that he tends to show up wherever this old scroll is. Now, best get to work before you die.

ALIEN MYTHOLOGY EXPERT:
Wait, so whoever is holding us captive was withholding instructions and lab equipment until we discovered the whole Orient Express thing was a charade? Why not drop the pretense the moment we were all locked onboard? Half us would have been dead before we figured it out if The Doctor wasn’t here.

The Mummy comes and kills the alien mythology expert.

CONDUCTOR:
I still can’t figure out why creating an elaborate ruse with a cosplay vacation space train was better than just kidnapping you experts at locking you in a room with the scroll in the first place. Would’ve been a lot cheaper and required a lot less ancillary train staff like me.

The Mummy comes and kills the conductor.

THE DOCTOR:
It’s killing anyone who points out plot holes! Or possibly anyone with physical or psychological disorders! Either way, it means Miss Pitt is next to die!

The Mummy comes for Miss Pitt, but The Doctor sucks all of Miss Pitt’s psychological trauma into his own brain with some story of trauma sucker/asthma inhaler/thing.

THE DOCTOR:
Now the Mummy will come after me! Unless I figure out the right magic phrase to say! I’ve got 66 seconds… Okay, what if that scroll is actually a flag, which means the mummy is really a soldier, which means he’s got a computer in his chest that keeps him alive no matter how old or damaged it gets, and it also forces him to keep fighting a 5,000 year old war, which means the computer just needs to know the war is over, which means the magic phrase is, “I surrender!”

doctor who 8.8 doc and mummy

The Mummy stops, then dissolves into dust.

CLARA:
Wow, any random enemy soldier is good enough to surrender for the entire opposing army? And why would a soldier only go after the most physically and psychologically damaged people? And if the magic phrase makes the Mummy dissolve, how did anyone discover there was a magic phrase to begin with without the Mummy being destroyed the first time?

GUS:
Make her shut up or I’ll blow up the train myself!

THE DOCTOR:
If I knew how to do that, we’d all be a lot happier.

Gus blows up the train!

INT. EPILOGUE

The Doctor and Clara are hanging out resolving any dangling plotlines.

THE DOCTOR:
I used the mummy’s teleporter to rescue everybody just before the explosion. But we still don’t know who was behind the whole elaborate scheme.

CLARA:
I’ve decided to lie and blame Danny Pink for forcing me to quit hanging out with you because I’m a total bitch and making you think he’s the kind of boyfriend to make those demands and I’m the type of girlfriend to follow them seems like a brilliant idea.

THE DOCTOR:
I’m totally fine with that.

CLARA:
But now Danny has given me permission to hang out with you again!

THE DOCTOR:
Great!

CLARA:
Yep, I totally have permission. I’m certainly not lying to you about him being cool with all this and lying to him about still travelling the universe with you. That’d be completely unhealthy and destined to blow in everybody’s faces.

THE DOCTOR:
So glad to hear it. Wanna go see an entire planet of bush?

CLARA:

THE DOCTOR:
Get your mind out of the gutter.

END.

Previous Episodes:

Season 8

Episode 1: Deep Breath 

Episode 2: Fail-tastic Voyage

Episode 3: Legendary Fail

Episode 4: Much Ado About ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

Episode 5: Occupy Gallifrey

Episode 6: (INCOMPLETE)

Episode 7: That’s No Moon, That’s a Space… Egg??

TV Show: Doctor Who
Tag: Doctor Who

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  • Pasquinn

    A minor quibble: It’s not a novel about “train passengers getting murdered one by one”; it’s a novel about “all the train passengers murder that one guy.”

  • Rick Wagner

    I was hoping Clara and Miss Pitt were going to have an in-depth discussion about the Bechdel test.