#952 – Doctor Who-esday: Mummy on the Orient Express



I would love to be the production designer for Doctor Who. On any given week I’d get to create alien worlds, Victorian England or a 1920s Orient Express train in space.

“Mummy on the Orient Express” was another strong episode in Series 8. The mummy did provide some good scares, even though he just ended up being another misunderstood alien. I also enjoyed the further development of the Doctor and Clara’s relationship, as Clara’s conscience lost out to the Doctor’s deception.

Here are some other thoughts I had while watching “Mummy on the Orient Express.” 


Between this episode and “Robot of Sherwood” Doctor Who is making a strong case for the reality of mythologies. When discussing the Foretold with Professor Moorhouse, the Doctor says that sometimes myths are true. This is a far cry from his certainty that Robin Hood couldn’t exist, choosing to believe in an even older legend than the heroic thief. Obviously many people choose to label the Christian faith as a myth, but that doesn’t change the reality of its truth. I want everyone to see the truth of the Christian faith so that when death does come, they won’t scream like they’ve seen a mummy but celebrate that they’re on their way home.


Captain Quell was hoping to finish out his working days sitting behind a desk, coasting into his retirement. Unfortunately Gus had different ideas and Captain Quell ended up meeting an untimely end. The Captain was a lot like the rich fool, who tore down his barns and built bigger barns to enjoy the remaining years of his life. The fool’s plans were all for naught, though, as his life was cut short early. We like to think that we have plenty of time to accomplish the things that really matter. Why do today what we could easily do tomorrow or next year? The reality is that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. If we want to make the most out of our lives and be as effective for God’s kingdom as we can, we need to start with today. Today may be all that we have.

Bad Company

After last week’s emotional explosion I wasn’t even sure if Clara was going to appear in this episode. I thought it might be a companion-lite episode. Clara was there alongside the Doctor, though, for one last hurrah. The Doctor had promised a danger-free trip on a train in the stars. However that assurance later proved to be a lie and Clara seemed ready to finally leave the Doctor behind. But the Doctor’s bad company corrupted Clara’s good character. Throughout the episode Clara lied to those around her, eventually even lying to Danny and the Doctor. It appears that the Doctor’s penchant for adventure and danger aren’t the only things rubbing off on Clara.

I knew that Clara and the Doctor had to reconcile somehow. I thought that their reconciliation might be precipitated on the Doctor changing, but it really came about because of Clara’s transformation. Her addiction to adventure pushed her to compromise her own standards, lying to the man she loves in order to keep doing what she loves with the man in the blue box.

What did you think of “Mummy on the Orient Express?”


2 comments on “#952 – Doctor Who-esday: Mummy on the Orient Express”

  1. Great observations and thoughts, Scott. I do think you’re a bit too tough on Captain Quell. He ultimately rises to the occasion, actively giving details on the Mummy to the Doctor as it’s killing him. The rich fool was too late, but Quell wasn’t.

    I really enjoyed this episode but am quite concerned for Clara, as it sounds like you may be, too. We shall see!

    1. Captain Quell did pull it out in the end. But I don’t want my final minutes to be the only time my life has meaning.

      I’m kind of looking forward to the Doctor and Clara having adventures without a conscience. It could make for some interesting episodes.

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