1)I'd never heard of Hermione Norris, but my cousin's husband, who isn't a big Who fan but happened to watch part of this episode with me, recognized her instantly. I don't know if that means putting her in an episode constitutes "stunt casting" in this case.
2)The yo-yo is a callback to the Fourth Doctor, who used to use one to test gravity all the time.
3)The whole "fixed points" business is all a little too "Plot Convenience Playhouse" to me. What it seems to really mean is that there are fixed points in time that the Doctor can't change, unless the wirters need him to be able to do it, so he can agonize over it afterwards.
4)"When I say 'run', run." Another old favorite.
5)And another "Blinovitch" reference.
6)Maybe it's becaue I'm the son of a schoolteacher, but one of the parts about this episode that really caught my attention was how insanely irresponsible it was for the Doctor and Clara to bring Courtney along on their little jaunt. Granted, the Doctor's an alien, and has never particularly scrupled about bringing people into danger, and to him at age 2000+ there probably isn't a measurable difference between a 16 year old human and a 27 year old human. Clara, however, should really have known better. She would have had an "interesting" time explaining it all to Ma and Pa Woods if little Courtney had been eaten by the space spiders. This is, of course, not even thinking of what all this does to poor little Courtney's already fragile psyche, especially when Kate Stewart's goons show up and have her dragged off to the Tower of London to be mindwiped.
7)I have no problem with the whole "the Moon is an egg" notion - it's certainly not the most "out there" concept the show has ever done over the years. The execution was a little shaky, however. I think the hardest part for me to swallow was the idea that the space-chicken laid an egg that was eggs-actly the same size as the previous Moon. I will set aside the issue of what this may do to the continuity of "The Moonbase" until I get achance to watch that one again.
8)I'm still roiling around in my head how I feel about the Big Confrontation at the end, except to say that it seems that the Doctor apparently still remembers the events of "The Beast Below" and perhaps wondered how humans would handle a similar situation. Of course, Clara will be back, although I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see them together much for the next two episodes, allowing them to build up to the end of the season.
Overall: For all of the above, I enjoyed this episode, I'm curious to see where they'll go next.
On a rleated note, I'm seeing a certain amount of "Clara-hatred" amongst certain fanboy elements on some sites I visit, calling her a Mary Sue, and lamenting the fact that the soap opera of her life is taking up to much of the show and so on. What do you folks think of Clara?
I've not seen the episode. The egg thing might be borrowed from Jack Williamson's story "Born of the Sun" (1934).
Regarding Clara, Jenna Coleman is amazingly pretty, and I like her acting and the character's characterisation. I've been missing this season. Previously my take on her has been that she almost never does anything useful in the stories.
I like Coleman. I like Capaldi. I particularly like how happy Grumpy Doctor was at this new and unexpected sciencey thing. And I like big, new, fantastic ideas.
OW OW OW! My head hurts from all the stupidy-stupid "science"! And when I start wincing at scientific improbabilities in a show that always about a 2000-year-old alien who travels through paradox-free time and space in a magic box, something has definitely gone off the rails.
Clara has really grown on me, and I think a lot of that is due to the way she interacts with Capaldi. Because before this season she was easily the most annoying of the companions I've seen.
Before Capaldi, Clara was only a walking plot device to me. This season she is more fully rounded, with a job, a boyfriend everything. I've just watched the Orient Express episode and I found myself looking at her with ...ah..new eyes. Maybe it was the Flapper dress...
Moffat has changed gears considerably with this season. Really toned down the nonsensical hollow supposedly 'epic' stuff that was putting me off.
Actually, the plot resembles considerably Nelson Bond’s “And lo! The Bird.” I predicted the ending because I still recall the story, which I read when I was ten or eleven. There, the earth itself (like the other planets) is the egg, so the situation is much more dire. Unfortunately, what works in a one-off thought experiment story does not work so well here– especially with the Doctor leaving his companions with so little information.
I would agree that Clara is developing significantly as a character this season.