#957 – Doctor Who-esday: Flatline



Oh no! There are only three episodes left in this series of Doctor Who. I feel like I’ve barely gotten to know the Twelfth Doctor and now he’ll be out of the office for another nine months. Instead of worrying about the Doctor’s coming departure, we should instead focus on the remaining episodes.

I enjoyed the Doctor’s most recent adventure “Flatline.” I thought the two-dimensional monsters were creative and creepy, especially in their three-dimensional forms. We also saw Clara’s continued journey into becoming more and more like the Doctor, along with all the good and bad that comes along with that journey.

Here are some thoughts I had while watching “Flatline.”


I loved the two-dimensional creatures. It’s mind bending to think about a two-dimensional existence. Everything we experience occurs in three dimensions; even a piece of paper is three-dimensional. Two-dimensional creatures would have a difficult time comprehending a third dimension, much like we’d have a hard time comprehending a fourth dimension or even a ninth dimension. I read the book The Elegant Universe a couple years ago. I didn’t even begin to fully understand it, but it did discuss interesting points about different dimensions in our own universe. At the time I thought about heaven and God’s existence, potentially in a ninth or tenth dimension. I’d have an easier time understanding a two-dimensional existence than God’s existence somewhere else. Which further cemented my belief that we’re not supposed to understand God but we’re just supposed to trust him.


“Hope makes people run faster.”

Clara learned that the Doctor isn’t always malicious when he lies. Clara wanted to lie to the maintenance workers, to convince them that everything would be OK. Because, if everything were going to turn out all right, then they would have hope and, as Clara said, hope makes people run faster. We need hope in our lives in order to press forward and persevere. Whether we’re just having a bad day or have been facing a long, difficult season, we need hope. Thankfully we don’t have a false hope from a Time Lord and his companion. We have a real hope that is found only in Jesus Christ. Because he defeated sin and death through his own death and resurrection, we have hope. We have hope that no matter what we’re facing God can take the brokenness in our lives and turn it into something beautiful.



“You were an exceptional Doctor, Clara. Goodness had nothing to do with it.”

This episode saw Clara further herself from her role as the Doctor’s conscience. When this series began Clara prided herself on her ability to keep the Doctor in check, to help him balance his scale with a conscience. As the series has progressed, however, Clara is losing her conscience, which means the Doctor is losing his as well. She’s addicted to the adventure and that addiction has caused her to lie, devalue life and ignore her loved ones. And apparently Clara’s also caught the eye of Missy, the keeper of the Promised Land or whoever she is. This is the most interesting Clara has ever been, which makes me sad to know she’ll be leaving after this series.

“Flatline” was another strong episode, focusing on Clara and her ability to save the day apart from the Doctor. Next week’s episode looks exciting as Danny finally joins Clara and the Doctor for an adventure. I’m sure that will have plenty of implications for Clara and her relationships with the Doctor and Danny.

What did you think about “Flatline?”


4 comments on “#957 – Doctor Who-esday: Flatline”

  1. An additional thought on multi-dimensional creatures: these was a recent article in Scientific American that talked about how the supernova collapse of a massive start in a four-dimensional reality fits most all the parameters of the big bang in our three-dimensional reality. I love having my mind blown by ideas like these!

  2. “Clara is losing her conscience, which means the Doctor is losing his as well” – I think I agree with this, except that, this week, the Doctor threw me a curve by being the one who called Clara out on lying, and insisting on “goodness” as a criterion for being the Doctor. I.E., he was the only one addressing moral questions. And, as you point out, his idea that hope makes people run faster, and therefore gives them a better shot at being saved (and him a better chance at saving them) is in its own way moral, even if the hope he offers is sometimes (usually?) a false or cynical one. (Which doesn’t strike me as true to the Doctor in other incarnations…more like he sees hope where others don’t, much as he sees many things others don’t.) Why this Doctor is so reluctant to embrace the reality of goodness, I don’t yet know.

    Your comments are clear and to the point, as always, and well worth pondering. Thanks for another great “Whoesday”!

    1. I think you really nailed it both here and at SFC about the Doctor being reluctant to embrace the role of a hero. Perhaps after centuries of protecting the people of Trenzalore, of filling the role of the hero, the Doctor was just tired. It not only takes physical energy to protect people, but it also takes a tremendous amount of emotional energy. Referring to us as “pudding brains” might make it easier to maintain that separation, which the Doctor wasn’t able to do on Trenzalore. But, as you pointed out on SFC, the Doctor took up that mantle again by naming himself earth’s protector.

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