Doctor Who – Series 9, Episode 3: “Under The Lake”

  • So early on, we can recognise the stupid business-minded character, plus the tomboy, identifiable by her sleeveless vest and cap.
  • Clara saying “I want another adventure” seems like a bit of self-awareness again, as the audience themselves may well be wanting a simple adventure after the more complex opening two-parter. But it’s interesting that Clara is explictly seeking adventure, unlike some companions who would seem happy with just harmless sight-seeing. It’s also interesting that she’s still like this after all the trauma of last series.
  • The Doctor’s enthusiasm at encountering something he can’t explain – seen plenty of times before, and perfectly understandable for a guy with his brain.
  • I guessed that Cass being deaf would mean she could lip-read the silently speaking ghosts, partly because I once read a book in high school (I think it was called The Headless Ghost or something) that used the exact same concept.
  • The Doctor knows so much that you would have expected him to know sign language – but at least we get the explanation of “It’s been deleted for semiphore”, rather than the more unlikely prospect of him not bothering to learn it at all.
  • The whole scene of the Doctor getting excited about the ghosts is a great one for Peter Capaldi – even while he’s so gleeful, we can see his detachment from the traumatised humans around him as he fails to understand how they might be feeling. Clara writing out cards for him is a good touch, as if she’s trying to help somebody who has a learning difficulty.
  • When the Doctor talks about how there’s only room for “one me” in the TARDIS and that he “had to say something” to Clara, is the implication that he’s concerned how she’s throwing herself into adventure following the events of last series?
  • Giving the ghosts big empty holes where their eyes should be is simple, but effective. As with the vampires in The Vampires Of Venice, Toby Whithouse takes general tropes with the creatures (e.g. only coming out at night) and comes up with proper logical reasons for them within the show.
  • Following all the fear and running around of the episode so far, it slows down and becomes more thoughtful in the final third or so.
  • When separated from Clara at the end, Twelve displays more typical behaviour – he reassures her that he’ll take care of her, but he’s not going to be sensitive about it.

This was indeed a more standard adventure, with scary monsters and some particularly good scenes and one-liners for the Doctor – average overall, but the next part looks intriguing. Rating: 3.5/5.

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About velociraptor256

Hi, my name's Richard. I created this blog to talk about my interests - and I have quite a few of those. I love zoology in general, herpetology in particular (especially snakes!), writing (have won National Novel Writing Month seven times so far, plus three Camp Nanowrimos), reading, astronomy, palaeontology, and travel. Thank you for coming to my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you here!
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