Mummy on the Orient Express puts us on a recreation of said train – except slightly bigger, where the rails are hyperspace ribbons, and it’s in space – and Clara immediately says “It’s a good one to end on”. So, is this her last ever episode?
Frank Skinner plays Perkins, an initially mysterious Chief Engineer on the train who is onto the fact that someTHING else killed an old woman on the train, rather than her suffering a heart attack. Well, the title gives it away as being a Mummy. And once you see it, it means you’ll be dead in 66 seconds time. And in the end, Perkins isn’t particularly mysterious, it’s just Frank Skinner overacting.
This turns out to be the thing called The Foretold, and the train is a laboratory, most of the passengers are holograms – including musician Foxes, singing a 1920s version of Queen‘s Don’t Stop Me Now – and the whole thing is a bizarre experiment which has happened to other vehicles.
Oh, and a rare occurence – the Doctor is asked what he’s a doctor of, and he says “intestinal parasites”, as an off-the-cuff answer.
There’s briefly amusing moments in Mummy on the Orient Express as the Doctor quips that it’s useful that he knows someone’s about to die, as they can describe what exactly is happening regarding the Mummy, but acknowledging the fact that it’s not useful for the person about to die.
However, there’s way too much of “Why is this happening?”, and there’s also bizarreness of The Doctor asking Clara to lie when Maisie (Daisy Beaumont) is picked… And the fact that Clara spends almost ALL her time with Maisie, and precious little time actually *doing* anything.
Throw into the mix a disembodied voice called Gus (voiced by John Sessions), who is like the sarcastic computer Eddie from Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a Mummy which turns out to be an ancient soldier brought back to life with malfunctioning tech, and Clara changing her mind and staying with the Doctor until she gets a Hollywood contact like Karen Gillan.
Yes, another duffer of an episode. Still, at least the eternally pointless Danny Pink only puts in a brief appearance.
Next week: Aliens trying to understand the fact we’re in three-dimensions, thus causing more death. Auf Wiedersehen Pet‘s Christopher Fairbank looks worried.
Director: Paul Wilmshurst
Producer: Peter Bennett
Screenplay: Jamie Mathieson
Music: Murray Gold
The Doctor: Peter Capaldi
Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman
Danny Pink: Samuel Anderson
Perkins: Frank Skinner
Captain Quell: David Bamber
Gus: John Sessions
Maisie: Daisy Beaumont
Mrs Pitt: Janet Henfrey
Prof Moorhouse: Christopher Villiers
Foretold: Jamie Hill
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.