So here’s the first of four Peter Capaldi episodes written or co-written by Jamie Mathieson, and every one is darn near flawless in my book. Why he’s not writing most of the program right now I couldn’t tell you. “Mummy on the Orient Express” is completely wonderful, sinister and creepy and weird and frightening and with a fantastic mystery about a monster that only its victims can see, for the final sixty-six seconds of their lives. I love this one to pieces and have enjoyed revisiting it several times.
But I’m also disappointed that the real villain of the piece has never resurfaced. One of modern Who‘s flaws is that if there is a recurring villain, it’s probably the Master again in a new disguise or body. But the Doctor’s involvement in this story was orchestrated by a computer – possibly? – called Gus, who has been trying to get the Doctor on board its space train – a visual we’ve seen before in other media – for quite some time. The Doctor reminds the audience that he’d been invited to this train once before, back in season five’s “The Big Bang”, and that Gus has the TARDIS’s phone number. So you’re telling me that Gus only wanted the Doctor here to solve this one mystery for him and now he’s done? I don’t believe it for a minute. Gus has got to be out there somewhere ready to use our hero again for something. I sure hope so.