8.4. Listen

Series 8 - 2014

Writer: Steven Moffat
Produced by: Peter Bennett
Director: Douglas MacKinnon
Music: Murray Gold


Alone in the TARDIS the Doctor has been asking himself, out loud, why people talk to themselves when they know they are along. His conjecture is that they are not. Evolution has bread animals that are perfect hunters and animals that have perfect defence. So why are there no animals with perfect hiding?

Logically if there was a creature that had perfected the skill of hiding, how would you know it existed? The Doctor asks out loud what, if such a creature exists, would it do. On a black board he sees the word "Listen".

Back at her home Clara recalls the disastrous date she had with fellow teacher Danny Pink. They had finally got round to having the promised drink, and dinner. Both Clara and Danny are a bit awkward around each other, but they soon warm to each other. That is until Clara accidentally jokes about killing a student, and Danny thinks this is about his previous time as a soldier.

As she makes her way to her bedroom she finds the door partially blocked and the Doctor sitting in her room. The Doctor goes back into the TARDIS and Clara follows. He tells her about his theory that everyone has, at some point, the exact same nightmare that there is someone in the room. People believe this, until they feel something grab their legs.

The Doctor takes Clara over to the console and sinks her fingers into the controls. The Doctor tells her she is mental contact with the TARDIS' telepathic circuits. The TARDIS extrapolates Clara's time-line from birth to death. The Doctor tells Clara to focus on when she had the dream and the TARDIS would extract the information and home in on the moment so they could find out what was under her bed.

As the TARDIS starts to travel the Doctor tells her she is flying the TARDIS and not to get distracted. When her phone rings she is distracted by thoughts of Danny and the TARDIS materialises at night outside the West Country Children's Home, Gloucester, mid 1990s. Clara tells the Doctor she has never been to Gloucester in her life.

The Doctor insists the time and place are right. The Doctor tells Clara it would be catastrophic if she met herself and she should wait in the TARDIS as he investigates. As she is standing outside she sees a boy in one of the windows waving. He tells Clara his name is Rupert Pink - which he thinks is a stupid name.

Inside the Home the Doctor meets a member of staff, Reg. Using his psychic paper the Doctor convinces Reg he is making a surprise inspection. As the Doctor talks to Reg Clara sneaks past and finds her way to Rupert's room. She finds him sat on the floor, and asks why he is not sitting on the bed and does he think there may be something underneath it.

Clara asks if he has ever had a dream of a hand grabbing his foot, and Rupert asks how she knows about it. To convince Rupert there is nothing under the bed she hides underneath it and asks Rupert to join her. Until the mattress starts to sink downwards as though there is someone on the bed.

Rupert has been watching the door and tells Clara no-one came into the room. When she gets out from under the bed Clara sees a covered figure on the bed. Clara tries talking to the figure but it remains silent. When the light comes on it reveals the Doctor reading one of Rupert's books.

The Doctor reassures Rupert that it is good to be scared. The Doctor tells Rupert to turn his back on the figure as he and Clara stand at the window and look out. Rupert joins them at the window. The Doctor tells Clara and Rupert to close their eyes and not look at the reflections and calls out to the figure to leave. Moments later they hear the door slam closed, and when they look the figure has gone.

Before they leave Clara arranges Rupert's toy soldiers around his bed with their guns pointing under the bed. One is broken and does not have a gun. Clara calls this the boss, and Rupert names him Dan, the soldier man.

Leaving Rupert asleep in bed the Doctor asks if Clara had any connection to Rupert, and Clara tells him she doesn't. Clara asks the Doctor for a favour, and he returns Clara to the restaurant just after she previously left so she can try again with Danny. Things go well until she accidentally calls him Rupert.

Thinking Clara is weird, and making fun of him, Danny leaves. At the back of the restaurant Clara sees a space-suited man beckon to her before disappearing back into the TARDIS, which is now inside the restaurant kitchen. Inside the TARDIS the man takes of his helmet to reveal a man who looks similar to Danny. The Doctor introduces him as Colonel Orson Pink from 100 years in Clara's future.

The Doctor tells Clara she left a telepathic trace in the TARDIS and it took the Doctor straight to Orson on the last planet at the end of the Universe, and the TARDIS takes them back to Orson's stranded ship. Orson was a pioneer time traveller and on his first trip he went a bit far. The Doctor has promised Orson he can get Orson back home to his own time.

The Doctor makes an excuse that the TARDIS needs to recharge overnight, and Orson says he does not have a problem spending another night in his ship. The Doctor knows Orson is lying. They are the only three people in the Universe. Outside the door is nothingness. So why is it is locked?

Orson tells the Doctor there is something outside. Clara tells Orson he can spend the night inside the TARDIS and helps him with his stuff. Inside the TARDIS Orson hands Clara and old family heirloom - Dan the soldier man toy soldier. When Clara tells him to stay away from time travel in the future he tells her it runs in the family.

Whilst Orson spends the night in the TARDIS the Doctor and Clara spend the night in the ship. When the lighting changes to energy saving night mode a message is revealed on the door, a reminder: "Do not open this door".

The Doctor and Clara can hear all sorts of strange noises. They could just be the ship cooling down and screeching from atmospheric pressure equalising. Or it could be company. The Doctor asks Clara what would creatures who live to hide do when there is no-one else left in the Universe. The Doctor becomes curious when he hears knocking on the hull. The Doctor scans the door with his sonic screwdriver and it unlocks and starts to open.

The Doctor has to know what is outside. As there is no atmosphere the Doctor tells Clara to get back in the TARDIS for her safety. She reluctantly agrees and watches on the monitor in the TARDIS. The airlock opens and as air escapes from the room the TARDIS shakes and the picture breaks up. She can make out the Doctor holding on to a console, and Orson goes out to help and brings him back, unconscious, into the TARDIS.

Plunging her hands back into the console Clara is able to fly the TARDIS, and it takes her to a barn at night. Inside there is a bed and a boy crying. At first she thinks it is Rupert. When a man and woman enter the barn she hides under the bed. They invite the boy to sleep in the house with other boys, but he stays in bed. The last thing Clara hears as they leave the room is the man saying the boy will never "make a Time Lord".

Inside the TARDIS the Doctor wakes and calls for Clara. In the barn the boy hears the Doctor and starts to get out of bed. Instinctively Clara grabs the boy's ankle. She tells the boy he is dreaming, and he gets back into bed. Before she leaves Clara talks to the boy to comfort him.

Back in the TARDIS Clara wonders what if, at the end of the Universe, there really was nothing and that the "big bad Time Lord" is just afraid of the dark. Clara tells the Doctor to take off and not ask where they have been, and he returns Orson back to his proper time before dropping Clara back outside Danny's house.

Regular Cast

  • Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman

Guest Cast

  • Danny Pink: Samuel Anderson
  • Rupert Pink: Remi Gooding
  • Reg: Robert Goodman
  • Figure: Kiran Shah

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 4. Listen Saturday, September 13, 2014 7:30 PM - 8:15 PM 7.01M 82

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC