Again, it is time for the weekly Doctor Who review! It is for episode 3 of Series 9, titled Under the Lake. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, beware of Spoilers ahead.
First off, I want to say that I had no idea that pretty much all the episodes this Season would be 2-parters. Officially there are 4 declared ones, but you can’t tell me that “The Girl Who Died” and “The Woman Who Lived“, which play in consecutive weeks, aren’t a 2-parter as well. That leaves only 2 episodes as standalones and that is not a lot for a whole season. Don’t get me wrong, I like the longer stories most of the time, but it messes a bit with the Season-arc because it focuses more on the episode-storyline. Well, we will see how it goes in the following weeks and either way, I really, really enjoyed this week.
What was it about?
The Doctor and Clara land in an underwater base in 2119. Shortly before their arrival, the crew has discovered a spacecraft nearby and brought it to the base. Ever since then, there are ghosts haunting the base and trying to kill the remaining crew. The ghosts are messing with the base, so that the Doctor and Clara are separated. He wants to go back in time to find out what happened, but shortly before the episode ends, Clara sees the Doctor’s ghost floating her way and knows that something went wrong.
TO BE CONTINUED …
It’s been a while since I’ve really been enthusiastic about a Doctor Who episode, but I thoroughly enjoyed Under the Lake. It was scary, it was funny and it had a lot more Doctor than in the past couple of episodes!
First I want to appreciate that the BBC included a deaf actress/signing person into this episode. The community is barely represented on television. (Except for Switched at Birth and Nyle participating in America’s Next Top Model not much comes to mind.) So, I think it is great that they found a way to incorporate it in the show.
But on to the content of the episode: By using plain old ghosts, they definitely toned it down a little, but that is maybe a thing I liked about the episode. Not everything needs to be ampted up all the time! Also, I think it’s great that the TARDIS stepped up her game and decided to bring them there because she knew the Doctor was needed. Whenever the TARDIS doesn’t really want to be at a place but brings the Doctor anyway, I have the feeling it’s going to be good.
Speaking of the Doctor, he was on fire tonight – speaking to the TARDIS, having index cards to master human communication and just delivering some great lines in general (“So who’s in charge now? I need to know who to ignore.”). He was back to old spirits, being as enthusiastic as a child about finding out that there are real ghosts and not knowing what they actually want. And those ghosts were actually scary! The real shocker was the cliffhanger though and I have no idea what it means. I can’t imagine the Doctor dying – not like this, he would regenerate after all, right? Either way, I had fun tonight and am really looking forward to next week!
What did you think? Did you think it was as entertaining as me or was it more flawed than I wanted to admit?
P.S.: Unfortunately it seems like the sonic sunglasses weren’t a one-time-thing, but rather are here to stay. I am sorry, but they just don’t do it for me. And as I said last time, I won’t ever accept them.