Doctor Who series 7 review: Hide

Review Simon Brew 20 Apr 2013 - 19:27

Lots of spoilers, as we take a look at Neil Cross' second Doctor Who episode, Hide, starring Matt Smith...

This review contains spoilers. Our spoiler-free review is here.

Hide

"It's 1974. You're the assistant".

While the internet bubbles with a generous dose of negativity towards the current run of Doctor Who, the show itself continues to get on with the job, and also continues, for our money at least, to impress. That's with the caveat this week that we could have lived without the last two minutes or so of Neil Cross' otherwise really impressive Hide. So if it's okay with you, we'll get that ending out of the way first, as there's nerd gold to explore after that.

In days of old on Doctor Who, the TARDIS would have dematerialised and things would have finished once the foe of the episode had apparently been defeated. But there's a trend in modern Who, and it's a hard one to knock, to genuinely make sure pretty much every creature and monster has some kind of motivation to what they're doing. Every now and then there's an exception to the rule, Russell T Davies' wonderful Midnight being an example, but then it's arguably because the unexplained foe option is so rarely used that makes it so impactful.

Here, a really atmospheric and well executed haunted house tale segued into a second love story by the end (the first, between the two lead guest stars, worked fine), and, to us at least, it didn't feel like a comfortable fit. It felt a little too bolted on, and didn't convincingly gel with what had gone before. Perhaps in a longer draft of the story, it may have had more resonance. But it felt a little bit like a twist for the sake of a twist.

Granted, it explained the emotions and the rationale for what had happened, but was that, in this case, really necessary? One of the most frustrating omissions to modern Who was the never-filmed scene that followed the events of The Angels Take Manhattan, that we reported on here. It seems a shame that Hide got an emotional, love-driven ending it didn't seem to build to, but The Angels Take Manhattan never had the one that could have really turned it into something extra special.

That out of the way, there's a lot to be positive about here, in what was a very good episode of Who. For the main narrative itself, Hide took place in an old, creeky, period drama-style house in the early 1970s (with Clara happily poking fun at the idea that anyone would buy such a place, given its history). That means impressive knitwear, shades of brown, and the kind of technological equipment that doesn't just leave the Doctor wanting to fondle it. You got the feeling very early on that it's all going to hang together well, and that the show was in a confident mood.

After a breezy introduction, that slotted things where they needed to be economically, Hide really hit its stride as it gradually upped the smoke and mirrors of the seeming haunted house story. It did it by keeping its cast small, with the characters of Alex (Dougray Scott) and Emma (Jessica Raine) having room and time to be fleshed out satisfyingly as a consequence of that. Granted, we got CG beasties, which weren't bad, but it was a human story in the midst of all the creepiness.

But what was also clever here was that a good, solid sci-fi subversion was thrown into the mix of what could have been a straight horror-esque episode. The TARDIS hasn't been doing a great deal of zapping around in episodes in this latest run, and when it does here, it's used to effect to get across the story of a woman stuck in time.

It's a thoughtful spin on what could have been a pretty basic setup, and it goes against how the Doctor usually sees things. After all, the Doctor generally sees people for a miniscule fraction of their lives, whilst they see him for proportionally a lot longer. Here, the fact that the character of Hila is basically stuck in her own three minutes or so of time, just stretched over many, many years, turned that on its head somewhat.

On top of that, the excellent production team here certainly had a lot of fun playing with haunted house conventions as things heated up too, with stares into empty spaces, some Most Haunted-style vibes and lots of candelight. Curiously, it was a 1970s house with some power, but candles still seemed very much in vogue.

Yet the gold for dedicated Who viewers came in two chunks. Firstly, and tying into the theme of the overall series so far, there's the ongoing question of just who or what Clara is. In fact, we learned that the reason the Doctor turned up here in the first place was to ask Emma Grayling that very question (but why?). Furthermore, the Doctor and Clara had a chance for a chat in the middle of the episode. "You are the only mystery worth solving", the Doctor said to her. And a mystery she remained, albeit a deeper one by the time Hide is finished.

Because Hide also paved the way towards next week's nerd-bait, Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS. And it's the TARDIS that's begun to take more prominence. So then: just why doesn't the TARDIS like Clara? Earlier in the series, it wouldn't let her in, you may remember. Here, she made a comment about her feeling it doesn't like her, which seemed all but confirmed just a little later. And when you threw in the conversation she had with Emma, where she was warned to not trust the Doctor, because "there's a sliver of ice in his heart", things seemed to be deepening. It's interesting that Emma has advice for Clara about the Doctor, and the Doctor about Clara. Is this one of those moments where we read too much into things, we wonder? We'll be speculating that Clara is the Rani at this rate.

As well as that for old-time Who devotees, outside of a Battlefield-esque chalk circle, two TARDIS references will not have surpressed the geekbumps. The reference to the Eye Of Harmony, for starters, something rarely touched on but not utterly ignored in new Who. And then there was the small matter of the cloister bell going off as well. Again, given the episode that's about to follow, and given how TARDIS-centric that looks, you'd have to say that's no coincidence. We're really rather excited.

It's the fact that Hide managed to pack all this in, along with a predominantly satisfying central story, that made it an impressive episode, and one of the strongest of the current run so far. Writer Neil Cross is certainly likely to get a far more positive reaction to this story than he did for the divisive The Rings Of Akhaten, and there's enough here to make the idea of a further adventure from him a welcome one.

A couple of bumps aside then, Hide was a welcome mix of old and new Who, blurring the lines between them both and bringing them together as one show particularly well. Next week, though, we get that TARDIS-centric episode. The last time that happened, we got The Doctor's Wife. One of the best episodes of the show in living memory.

No pressure, then...

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I'm afraid I must disagree wholeheartedly with your main comment: the twist at the end was satisfying and undoubtedly what modern Who has been missing recently. Loved every moment of the episode, bravo.

Really enjoyed that. First time I enjoyed an episode so much since The Doctor's Wife.

Totally agree. This was a fantastic episode, and unlike Rings Of Akhaten, it was perfectly paced to deliver the satisfying finish. The final scene made no sense. The monster was clearly in a hunting mood, chasing and laughing across the pocket universe. The retort could be that it's all in the head of the Doctor but that is a weak argument. It didn't seem like it was looking for love at all.

"The reference to the Eye Of Harmony, for starters, something rarely touched on but not utterly ignored in new Who. And then there was the small matter of the cloister bell going off as well."

Not forgetting the reference to Metebelis III also...

Not a classic by any stretch but enjoyable and a welcome change of pace. One thing that irked me, why say you can't fly the tardis in to the pocket universe then 5 minutes later have Clara do it? I'm fully willing to accept she can do it as part of the mystery of whatever it is that she is, a couple of lines from an astounded Doctor would have done it, So why not even mention it?

Didn't like The Doctor's Wife, one of the most overrated episodes of Doctor Who in memory. Had it been written by someone else, it would not be so hyped.

That said, I like this review because -- even though Doctor Who won't play where I am for several more hours -- I can read it and still not know what happens in the episode.

I'm getting that it's a flawed episode, though, by the talk of the ending. Which is hardly a surprise in this iteration of New Who, at this point.

That said, the only episode I've disliked was the second one in the current series, er, "7b."

Enjoyable episode that probably had too many ideas for its own good but far better to have too many than too few. The ending was ok, maybe a bit tacked on but it didn't bother me too much. All in all, good Who with some nice tidbits about the Clara mystery to tide us over. Oh and next week's looks wonderful!

The Doctor seems to have forgotten how to pronounce Metebelis Three. A much better paced episode all in all. Enjoyable!

I think it was more that the Doctor didn't want to fly it in to save the woman because it could only stay there for a matter of minutes. As an emergency, quick rescue I suppose it was worth the risk maybe?

Clara- "Whiskey is the 11th most disgusting thing ever created"
What, after the Doctor's previous 10 incarnations I wonder? A coincidence? Or does the Tardis hate Clara for a good reason- maybe she hates the Doctor?

Good episode, very Pertwee esque, I felt. The add on ending- well, if you like it, keep it, if you don't press stop a couple of minutes early- Ends well enough either way. (Canon, to me is what I like. As far as I'm concerned, for example, Matrix 2 and 3 never happened, and Ripley and Newt made it home and lived happily ever after)

I'm once again unimpressed, and I do hope it's just me not being able to enjoy the show at the moment, but this entire season, last year's half and this one, is just not very good as far as I'm concerned.

I find it hard to put the finger on what exactly rubs me the wrong way, but it's partially everything being about the companion (as most NuWho has been) and Matt Smith being some sort of superhero most of the time. Even though I hardly grew up with them, I miss the times where the Doctor would just stumble into a situation and had to get out again, saving everyone in the process. These days, he dives in head first, knowing full well what he's setting out to save. Maybe that's only part of a problem, but something is off this season.

I was giggling over the reference to the umbrella / coat stand being "over there or somewhere"!

Well I really enjoyed that!!....For me 8 out of 10 at least....great looking monster (very Cthulu looking!), great supporting cast, the cloister bell and the rfeturn of the blue crystal from Metebelis 3 (although he did take it back at the end of "Planet of the Spiders" which caused him to regenerate....guess he got another one!).....Neil Cross all is forgiven :)

I liked it, but someone really should have corrected Matt's pronunciation of 'Metebelis III'.

I thought it was brilliant. Constantly, piercingly clever. So many completely unexpected turns - the last three delivered exactly the episodes I expected. This one... oh!! Completely ingenius, so inventive, unique. A brand new Doctor Who story. And, we got to chat to the TARDIS again! The fighting, the arc, the pocket universe - so many superb flourishes. These are the episodes I live for. Give me more days like this!

Excellent stuff. After two wobbly episodes and a cracker last week, this half of the season seems to be getting a bit of a stride on at last. A nice solid, classic Who story (with a slight twist of course), and the cast seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. Matt Smith is rapidly becoming my second favorite incarnation of the Doctor (Tom will ALWAYS be my Doctor), he's really worked hard to make this role his own, and this episode proved that. Clara is settling in, and I'm hoping that whatever the big secret is, she gets the chance to stay on after we find out what it is. It's all seems like it's building up to something special (I hope).

That was a good overall episode in my opinion. The only one so far this run that was a bit...meh, for me was the Rings of Ak-a-whatsit, which started well and then just lost what it was doing. Still enjoying Matt Smith's brand of "weird" Doctor, which I enjoy because it is so different from Tennant's version. It'll be great to see them together in the 50th Anniversary. It'd be nice if the 50th concerned the Time War, but I imagine the Beebs budget only stretches so far even for a flagship show like Doctor Who.

Having a bit of a Doctor Who-a-thon recently from the start of Modern Who series 1 and I have gained the perspective recently that the quality of the show has not really diminished, it has CHANGED significantly in its style and tone, but RTD's era certainly had its fair share of episodes that weren't good in the slightest. For instance the less said about any of the epsiodes with John Simms version of the The Master the better. It's a shame because Simm and the character of the Master were wasted on stories that were tremendously silly in their execution.

Anyway, back to "Hide", nice twist on the old Ghost story, a few genuine little scares and some further expansion on the mystery of Clara, which is good. I like her far better as a companion than Amy Pond.

I've actually quite like this season of Doctor Who but I can't help but feel that was the worst episode in a long time.

Well you should take some antibiotics and a dose of common sense to cure that. One of, if not the, best episodes this series.

A significantly better effort, could still have done with an extra 10-15 minutes but still, I hope Mr M sees the positive response to this one.

Bad ending on a really good episode.

The Metabelis 3 references...the confirmation that the TARDIS has a link to / piece of the Eye of Harmony in it, thusly solving the questions posed by the TV movie...
These things made my geek gland throb.

I agree, that was actually kind of cool and rather sweet.

Maybe that's how it shows it's love? How should we know? We all fear what we don't understand I suppose is the lesson maybe?

It reminded me of a 1970's sci fi horror movie called The Watcher in the Woods. Similar setting and interdimensional story.

I really think that this series is suffering from a lack of two parters. This current run of episodes have just felt really rushed and the characters aren't fleshed out as much as they were in prior seasons. Overall I enjoyed the episode though.

I'll forgive the misprounciation of Metebelis 3.

Even if he did it twice.

I don't agree with you and suddenly I don't have common sense? Really?
I'm happy you liked it and all, but really?

I wonder whether there's more to come on that. The show is run by fans more than it ever was, so that particular mispronunciation has the whiff of fan-baiting to me.
Also a big shout to Emma as the "assistant", surely deliberately written, cast, played and costumed in reference to Lis Sladen.
There seems to be a lot of tribute stuff going on. Last week's overt Troutery, a lot of Tom-era gothic/scifi cross this time. Shame about the bolted-on feel to the ending, but then it might well wind up as a segue into the TARDIS crash to come next week.
Of course, Dr Who is always going to be a tribute to itself, but Rings of Wotevah seems to have been a tribute to Disney, so who knows.

PS Matt went against received opinion on pronunciation of Akh-AH-ten as well.
PPS If they're going to go for the odd Russian phrase in dialogue, will they please do it properly.

And even a very literary nod to Graham Greene, who once said that every writer needs a little "sliver of ice in the heart".

May I just say... You have a very healthy way of interpretating what is canon and what is not!

Am I the only one peeved that Clara somehow can pilot the TARDIS? Rose had to use a tow truck to reach the heart of the TARDIS in order to save the Doctor and she had been travelling longer with the Doctor by then. So Clara manages to learn how to pilot the TARDIS in just a short time? Or the TARDIS didn't like Rose? Or it was acting on orders? Didn't it have a voice interface then? Clara didn't know how to activate that. Nor did Rose. Saving Nine wouldn't have killed the TARDIS the way it would have by entering the pocket universe! Which begs the question whether the TARDIS has any free will and is forced to go through the motions and do what she must in order to create the Bad Wolf or save the Doctor from a pocket universe.

Sorry, but that was definitely a weak point to me. Other than that, the episode was fine. Truly frightening at times, and then with a terrific sci-fi twist makes the ghost story make sense. Although it did resort to the wormhole one too many times. That's what made the ending tacked on, not the monster love story. I really liked that. It's the fact that the wormhole process became repetitive.

I didn't mind the ending at all - and I think they were right to rush through it, rather than dwell on it - the human story deserved the more drawn out conclusion.

Also, I don't understand the title of 'Hide'. The Doctor says it once as he describes what he thinks the creature is doing, but that turns out to be wrong. Who is hiding in this episode? The Doctor is hiding from Clara? This deserves a better title, really.

Wonderful start. Ruined by the Dr and Clara. How smug and childish could they be. Rushed rushed story. Then end. Even the tardis finds them annoying.

The Doctor - "What's the opposite of bliss"
Clara - "Carlisle?"
The Doctor - "Yes, ignorance is Carlisle"

:D

I'm from Carlisle!

I liked the subtle reference about what time it was: 11:04. Eleventh doctor and the Doctor in 1974 was Tom Baker #4. I doubt that was coincidence. Also Clara saying that's the eleventh worst.... sorry forgot what it was she said it was. Those were nice as was the overall look of the show. Seemed straight out of the 70's even the all white spacesuit the time traveler was wearing.

This might be because I've only just finished watching it and the buzz still hasn't worn off yet, but I think this might be the best episode this series.

Doctor Who on top form outshines everything else on television, and it did so tonight. The writing, the acting and direction were all superb. I thoroughly enjoyed that and can't wait for next week. Did I spot the swimming pool in the trailer? And will we finally get to see the TARDIS library...?

Agree 100% with the review- pacing much improved from Neil Cross' last effort, though I gather he wrote this one first- if I was feeling nice I would suggest maybe he wrote Rings in a hurry. Really enjoyed some of the dialogue, it felt like it went a tad deeper than most episodes do, and touched on some things a lesser story would have swept under the rug- Clara's reaction to seeing the world's lifespan and the ghost conversation following in particular. Ending didn't work, though nice idea, didn't really fit with the story or what we'd seen of the monster (if it was only in love, why was it laughing at the Doctor when he was talking about how scared he was?)

One thing I didn't like was some of the CGI landscapes, which felt a bit off in places, plus the shot of the vortex, though I haven't seen any other complaints so maybe that's just me? (Also, this is just a fannish thing, but the fact they keep changing the vortex since 2005 with no explanation whatsoever really bugs me. IMO the RTD era one was the best, rather than Cloudy Vortex or now Strobe Lighting Vortex)

You mean the less said about the end of Ten the better?

Actually, that was terrific stuff, very memorable. I'd love to see more of Simm's Master.

Moff's stuff tends to blur for me after the brilliance of Series 5. I find it enjoyable, but its cleverness isn't really all that clever.

> For instance the less said about any of the epsiodes with John Simms version of the The Master the better.

Whiskey being the 11th worst tasting drink.

Very good indeed. Took me right back to Image of the Fendahl. This and "Cold War" are what the series really needs, i.e. stand-alond episodes that have room to breathe, with the sonic screwdriver never used as a solution, only as an action speeder-upper. Now I know us fanboys'n'girls might be gasping for a little more challenge, but if our beloved show (or rather, 'field of study') seeks longevity, it has to go back to basics every three years, establishing the TARDIS, time travel, the translation matrix, the Doctor's two hearts and all the other basic ingredients loud and clear for our children and new converts. My viewing started in season 18, a very clear re-boot which made me a life member.

On "Hide" itself, it was very well crafted, with super performances from the four leads. Clara's double really made me sit forward, and to have it turn out to be the emergency hologram thingy was cleverly cheeky. The episode contained some good sci-fi concepts (bubble universes running at different rates) and what a blessed relief that beasts weren't defeated with soppy speeches or magic wands (really, it's got to go).

I have one gripe: does the show have to have so much musical scoring? I'm a composer myself, but there's a lot to be said for the tension that can be created with little or none (there was mercifully less in "Hide"). I beg the BBC to give it a go one of these days - not just with DW, but all its new shows - to stop drama becoming melodrama.

Enjoyed it, even though I was afraid it was going to turn into Ghost Light.

Please can the sonic screwdriver break. Fed up with him waving it around all the time!

I assumed it was because in Parting of the Ways the Doctor orders the TARDIS to return home or whatever with the screwdriver, and so it couldn't directly contradict his orders (without a big yellow tow truck). But in Hide, the Doctor hasn't ordered it not to come after him, and cos it's sentient and cares about the Doctor, it'll try.

Voice interface in PotW, I assumed the Doctor orders it to with the screwdriver, voice interface in Hide, cos it's sentient and wants to help save him.

So, I reckon the TARDIS does have free will, but can't contradict a direct order from the Doctor.

"Curiously, it was a 1970s house with some power, but candles still seemed very much in vogue."

Being the early Seventies, the era of the Three Day Week and power cuts, having many candles would be practical, no?

He said 'Geronimo!'

"Curiously, it was a 1970s house with some power, but candles still seemed very much in vogue." For the benefit of younger viewers, and quite fitting this week...candles were very much a necessity in the 1970s since the power workers were usually on strike ;)

Another good episode for me - Doctor Scooby-Who meets a bit of Narnia; other than that boring "rings of arse" episode this has been one of the best series of modern Who imo.

Really looking forward to next week - was that a swimming pool spotted in the trailer?

Well chaps, it certainly has been a remarkable history making week in the news, but, all that aside, let's get down to business and take a look at the latest Cross penned episode, Hide.

After absolutely loving the episode last week, in which the Ice Warriors returned for the first time in decades, I was really not anticipating that this one would be anywhere near as fun to watch, and yet here I am, utterly surprised. It seems this latter series of Who is following the trend set by The Undertaker at Wrestlemania (pro wrestling is real, people are fake!) and for the fourth week in a row, maintains it's winning streak.

So, what impressed me in this week's offering? Well I'll start by saying that the thing that impressed me most, was the fact that I couldn't find a single thing to complain about, which is a rarity indeed, for Who, these days. It was a solid, all round, well developed eerie little tale, and I felt it delivered on all fronts.

The story was most adequate, well written, executed, pacing was spot on, and everything seemed to come together in harmony. One of the better episodes of Moff era, and that is saying quite a lot considering how much I enjoyed last week's.

The romantic sub-plot was handled well, not too in your face, just really subdued and pitch perfect. The idea of the Doctor playing Cupid reiterates how instrumental the TimeLord is, in even the most gaudy parts of the human, erm, "comedy", that is Love. And now alien love, it would seem. Cilla Black, here's your pink slip, it's time for the Doctor to do Blind Date.

Yes, yet again I found myself extremely impressed with Matt Smith. Since the beginning of series 7B, he seems to have just clicked, for me, into the role of the Doctor. Please Matt, I am sorry I doubted you, keep up the good work and make me proud. Make me want to stay hooked on Who.

The episode was very atmospheric, at times, it seemed tonally similar to Blair Witch. Bet the kiddies were suitably creeped out, especially from the Licker-like creature that was in pursuit of the Doctor and the time traveller.

It was well shot. The use of locale, and shadows were intricately woven into the camera work, really did feel like I was watching a ghost story.

It was an enjoyable, 45 minute romp, that was fun and engaging.

The supporting cast, though rather small, was excellent. Hint for future reference, Steven and co, keep the cast levels intimate, it is much easier to build "disposable" character arcs. Too many chefs and all that.

Jenna Louise Coleman's acting is competent. I really did believe she was scared of things that go bump in the night. Well done. It would be far too easy for her to over act and get all hammy in these sort of situations, but she kept it low key, and believable. The mark of a good Thespian

I liked the brief but well handled morality subtext from the humble war hero, not many of them around any more, the regret he felt for all the people he had killed during the war. These are the sort of things we need to see more often in Who We need our children to learn these values. And Who used to stand for teaching one valuable lessons in life (I read too much into it, it's a kid's show, right? Except, this is where our children learn the most now, so we can't have their fave tv show teaching them that lesbian lizards will solve all their problems, but we can allow our tv shows to teach them that death is not something to be taken lightly, especially not in light of recent events, and that a life should never be taken cheaply, or for granted.)

No bombastic music, it seems as if the sound dep have finally ironed out all the creases in this regard. I could hear everything concisely.

The DT era spacesuit made a re-appearance. The fangirl in me went all mushy, alonzey!

The dialogue was well written. Even the wibbly reference was underplayed well. Thank the Lord, Sutekh.

The time travel montage was done well. This episode looked as if they spent quite a large amount of money on it, lots of Tardis flight action, a creature, the time trip, and a host of other things that you could tell wasn't produced on the cheap.

We encounter another time traveller, wearing a suit reminiscent of the one's from Silence n the Library.Then it turns out that she is the future ancestor of the love birds the Doctor was playing Cupid with, This was handled well, not in your face or sickly sweet. Exactly how Who should be, when doing a love/family story, which this was, as the Doctor himself pointed out. Nice little twist from Cross at the end there I honestly never expected. Cross understands the working of subtle twists, he doesn't have to hammer home the point with a sledgehammer, please take note Steven Moffat.

METABOLIS 3 crystals!!!!! Awesome, I am a happy Whovian indeed. And not just a throwaway reference either, we actually got to see the actual physical object, put to use!

No overuse of the plot point resolver, the sonic. It was hardly used at all, more of this please.

Holo-Clara was a nice touch touch, I love Grumpy Sexy.

Matt Smith's Doctor displaying fear of the unknown, at least until he had the upper hand. Brilliant. It's not often we see the Doctor out of his depth, these days. The reason we watch Who is to see the Doctor in peril, and see how he resolves it and over the last few years of Moff, the Doctor as risen even higher than the God like prowess established by RTD. That was not a good thing, no peril for the Doctor to solve, immortal companions, no point watching because you know their is no element of suspense. Seeing the Doctor afraid makes you hit the edge of your seat. This is Who. I also liked how the clever old Doctor tried to manipulate the psychic girl into dishing the dirt on who Clara is, but to no avail. Very McCoy. The Clara mystery deepens. Why doesn't the Tardis trust Clara? Is she the Rani? (The Den'ers beat me to it) Omega? A female Master???? A Silent created Ganger???? Possibilities, possibilities. I never thought I would find myself drawn into the mystery of Clara, nevertheless I am, I just hope Moff doesn't mess it all up at the end when we finally find out who or what she is.

And, just because it's me, and every one will think I have been possessed or something if I don't find something to level criticism at, did anybody else notice how conveniently Clara was able to pilot the Tardis? I know, small gripe, but it was the only one I could find. Which, in closing, proves that this was a well produced episode of Who.

And that's it I'm afraid. You see, us Whovians only get irate when we are served up cold spaghetti and told it's caviare We don't ask for much. Just a decent, well produced episode of Who, like this one, and the one last week, that's all we want. Give us that, and we have no reason to rant.

Stay safe Whovians.

I though it was much scarier when the monster was just a monster. There was real sinister vibe throughout the whole forest chase scene. The re-watch will feel stale since we know the creature is actually friendly.

Yes! BTW, you can still find "Watcher", as it's a Disney film, but the YA book it's based on (same title) is INFINITELY better than the movie. Skip the film, read the book instead.

Gotta give props to the creature's design. I loved how freakshow it looked. And the CG ghost shuddering effect when it moves worked great here. Well done!

I liked it, but for me, its behind episodes 1 and 3 of 7b.
It was good to see the Doctor and the professor relating to each other's guilt.
It'll be interesting to see how the Doctor and Clara's relationship evolves as Clara reflects on what the empath said about the Doctor, and as the Doctor learns the mystery behind Clara.

Awesome

So do i

Ice Warriors Rule!

She's the Rani:)

You said it.

I agree with your canon strategy! Did the same thing with certain episodes of The X-Files. Sometimes ignoring awful story additives is the only way to continue enjoying the show as a whole.
As for Who... I've had to do that far too often since the beginning of S6, and I'm not at all happy about it.

Can't believe I haven;y garnered any "Vote Up's", if I had trashed this episode I'd at least get some enraged fanboys voting me down. Guess everyone is still in shock I liked three episodes in a row:)

I get the feeling John Simms found himself in the traditional problem of all actors who have played the Master: being fantastic at it but being made to ham it up when not really necessary. I for one would be very interested to see him in an episode penned by a writer other than RTD, such as Moffat, Gassis or even Gainman.

It seems to be getting better.

I'm sure you said this below:)

Hey, that was fun. (Mostly.)

I especially loved him in his take on Tony Blair.

I'd agree with that, I understand the Moff's intentions and they're good...but there's something to be said about allowing a story to unfold a little longer, give it a dramatic weight and so on.

I really really want to see Suranne and Jenna-Louise in the same frame in some kind of battle of wills for the Doctor's affections -- which of course would be entirely non-sexual.

Excellent episode, the last two minutes were fine, and worth it for the comedy moment when the dr turns to look the monster in the face that only a mother could love.
The person stuck in time was pretty obvious, but it was wrapped up in a terrifically atmospheric episode that in the first half at least was effectivly creepy. Thoroughly enjoyable episode and the best since the show came back by a long way.

Feeling very similar - at points I've wondered if the production team have forgotten how to write for the 11th Doctor. Very frustrating.

yeah! Just seen pics of the model ice warrior they were going to use before they decided on the cgi version. Looked great fair play. Hope they come back!

Very enjoyable episode, and I particularly enjoyed Clara referencing the Doctor's big chin, in what I believe is a callback to Asylum of the Daleks. Next she'll be seeing a Roman with a big nose in her dreams...

"New teeth"

Agree that too many nerds are too hung up about the ending. They need to get out more - it was cool and the episode as a whole was one of the strongest in ages - and certainly the best of 7b.

Notice the Satan's pit suit?

I really liked this episode. Clara seems to be mellowing Matt Smith's Doctor a bit as well, he isn't quite as over the top mad as usual. I much prefer it, the last two episodes the show has grown on me, following being really disappointed by eps 1 & 2.
I really liked Clara's bit about her being both not-yet-born and at the same time already long-dead to him. JLC has settled into the role with absolute ease.

I didn't even really mind the love story between the monsters. Also on that point, as underused as they were I thought that was to their advantage. You never find out who or what they are and they felt genuinely quite threatening, especially when the Dr is left alone in the forest with one.

One small niggle. Can anyone else explain to me how the Doctor was able to travel in time whilst hanging onto the outside of the TARDIS? Only Cpn. Jack Harkness has ever done this, only surviving because he's immortal. Yet the Dr just casually did it, and it's never explained how he manages it, it just kind of gets accepted. Might just be me.

i thought it was a good episode but theres still something missing form this current run of who i prefer the story arc style of last series to these stand alone episodes

I cannot wait for next week's episode! I have so much hope for it, so I'll be gutted if it let's me down :/ Also, loved how the TARDIS rescused the Doctor and was a bit more 'human' in this episode than she has been of late, especially since it remind me of the episodes including and around The Doctor's Wife when their interaction was a lot more obvious. Good ol' episode this one, lots of references to Rose (different universe lovers, ghostbusters, 'not love, notalways') which made me excited for the 50th one for the first time I admit, as opposed to apprehensive. :)

In fairness, the Doctor has form with pronounicing planets differently- Spirodon in Remembrance of Daleks/Planet of the Daleks.Maybe the 3rd Doctor just pronounced them wrong :)

Wow - Simon Brew really needs to do his homework and DofG should really think hard about asking him to review again. His ignorance of the history of this programme is astounding. He made a number of claims about this episode being 'nerd gold' which was correct, but showed his ignorance of the series in a quite singular fashion. The eye of harmony and the cloister bell. Well done! Er, lets begin with Metebelis 3 and the blue crystal, and the similar use of it in Planet of the Spiders...the significance of a gothic setting in 1974 (oh, what was his name, Philip something...oh yes, Hinchcliffe, that was it), the opening and the opening of the Daemons, the disturbing trip to the end of the world as in Pyramids of Mars, the Image of the Fendhal machinery...I could go on

Agreed about the brilliance not being that brilliant!
He tries way to hard to come up with a really clever twist, but just crosses too many wires and it all ends up being a bit of a mess.
Thought the majority of S6 was forgettable.

John Simm was an awesome Master, with poor storylines.
Who'd have thought we'd agree on so many things?

I love the Cloister Bell. It's almost worth the Doctor being in mortal peril just to hear it. Just has a really distinctively haunting sound, would recognise it anywhere.

Review doesn't do this episode justice.
By DoG's embarrassing slobbering-over of Rings of Akhaten, they seem to have a totally opposite opinion to me most of the time.

Astonishing, isn't it? :)

Indeed - and all many, many other references that the review misses

Not sure it was Pertwee esque at all. The tenor was more Hinchcliffe (bits of Image of the Fendhal) and Pertwee would never be scared like that.

We would be lucky to get Ghostlight!

I have similar thoughts - maybe Moffat is trying really hard to break up with a long tradition of the show (it's not easy, running something that isn't your own idea), maybe it's the fact that 11th poses as a sc-fi superhero. In this particular episode I really missed that silly, non-geeky humor we had before Moff's era (is it just me or is DW getting more and more american?).
Monster of the week was a little bit creepy in design but after last weeks preview I waited for something scary - all I got was a story that is well-written but I'll forget it in a week or so. Nothing stands out, to be honest.
I miss RTD.

Oh do shut up, you condescending virgin.

I'm so excited for next week's episode based around the TARDIS. Let's not forget, it still hasn't been explained why the TARDIS exploded, could this tie-in with Clara/the Silence/Great Intelligence/Trenzalore somehow? :)

Cold War was good, but this is the first episode of the season that excited me! I love the fact that for the first half of the show, it actually moved fairly slowly, and took time do such things as build character, atmosphere, and truly advance the plot instead of having people spout exposition in between running.

Yes, those last couple of minutes threw the episode off balance for me. The creature was looking for it's lover? Where was the lover? The Doctor told the creature to "jump". Where? Onto the TARDIS so it could get out of the bubble Universe too? Where did it go then? Did the creature go back with the Doctor to the house and meet the Professor and Emma? Or did they go straight to the creature's home planet? Was the creature stuck in the bubble Universe also as the result of time travel gone wrong? I was completely satisfied with the episode ending in those cloisters, too bad it went that bit further.
Am I the only one who was imagining Idris (from "The Doctor's Wife") standing there within the image of Clara snapping at Clara? Strange that I now really do associate the Doctor's - uh - first "wife" (wait, should that be "second" wife - River's the third- ?) with the TARDIS now. (The "first" wife would be Susan's Grand-Mother.)
I really enjoyed the episode immensely. A whole lot of fun. I'm guessing that the Doctor stole back to Metebelis III to swipe another blue crystal. I wonder if he did his quick-travel to a moment prior to the events of "Planet of the Spiders" or after? Maybe he got it from the exact spot the 3rd Doctor found it and then returned it to that same spot (so it's the same crystal) and the 3rd Doctor will still eventually get to it and take it. Fun to ponder. Or confusing. One of the two.

The only think I didn't like was that the Doctor has forgotten how to pronounce 'Metebelis'. Mind you, this being set in 1974 did he get the crystal by paying a visit to UNIT HQ? (if you ignore the whole UNIT dating controversy)

Single worst story ever? No thanks. I hated the McCoy era, but even within that Ghost Light was gibberish

I thought they went through the doorway Emma made. Seems like they needed the TARDIS and Emma both doing their thing for it to work. So then it wasn't your standard time travel. **hand wave**

This was one of the best episodes since the show came back IMO!

"While the Internet bubbles with a generous dose of negativity towards the current run of Doctor Who..." God, the Internet really is bloody useless, isn't it? It's been wonderful. No wonder Moffat dumped Twitter.

The words Metebelis 3 made my geek heart throb, despite the mispronunciation. Best ep of this run I think, even over Bells of St. John's.

Actually, Jon Pertwee was still the Doctor in 1974. Baler started in 1975 and stayed on till 1981...

Baker even... Tom Baler is yet to be the Doctor. His day will come, dammit!

Surely the 'bogeyman', as the Doctor called it, is just in the imagination? It also explains why the monster did not kill and eat the Doctor when he caught him and allowed the Doctor to escape easily. I think the Doctor is scared of or curious about parts of himself he doesn't know and understand. I wonder if the mystery of Clara is also just in his imagination which is why Emma could feel nothing about her? She is a projection of the Doctor's fantasies, maybe his past lives, a part of him that has split off from him?

Dear Neil.
All is forgiven.
Love
Kenny

Yep - we always had a box of candles and a lighter close at hand when I was a small kid, just in case the power went off.

Nothing like well-placed criticism - and that was nothing like it. Leave the insults aside

So many questions about Clara, who gave her the number to contact the Doctor in episode one? (we assume River but why?) why didnt the TARDIS like her? How is she alive again? Why was her book missing the ages 16 and 23? Then we have the ongoing mystery of the Doctors name, I just hope the answers arent dissapointing because they could overshadow a series that is getting stronger and stronger as it goes on.

Yes, I vaguely remember it too whenever I came visiting my grandparents here, and was only recently reminded by the horror movie, When the Lights Went Out, set in the same era

I thought the ending was fine. I don't know why people didnt like it

A good potential two parter (again). The episode suffered by trying to do everything. The Dr and Clara dissipated any tension immediately with there unfunny and irritating little Entrance. In fact I found myself wishing Dougray Scott was the Dr as his brand of knowledge and quiet inner strength was what I thought Matt Smith should have been doing. By the time they decided it would be scary it wasn't. Skipping about time was interesting but again trying to condense too much plot and emotion didn't work. There is a reason movies aren't done in 45 minutes. You need longer for characters and plot to breathe. It all got a bit Sarah Jane Adventures at the end. The 11th Doctor appearing to be challenging Rose (series 3) for being the Smuggest person in the universe at the end. It was ok, but like most of this series I think it could have been a lot better. Is at also me but Clara in her first two incarnations was a lot more autonomous. She's pretty much the stock companion character, which means in modern who, doing that cloying Matchmaker thing. The ending with the silly. I can understand why the Tardis has had enough. A bit of a mixed bag this series. High hopes for next week.

It was one of the better endings since the hiatus.

Is it only me who had problems with Clara flying the Tardis all on her own in only her third adventure?

I'm expecting an over all explanation for her that covers that detail.

The thing is, the story didn't even need Clara to fly the Tardis in to save him, they could have just used the existing portal rather than introduce a novice flying it. It felt very needless unless it's part of the larger story for her. The larger story which is being handled so badly that it feels like it's mashing up every episode it steps on.

The Tardis communication system hologram seemed to piss all over Gaimen's wonderful Doctor's Wife episode making it look illogical and stupid if the Tardis can talk like that at any time. It was also needless in the storyline.

Otherwise I thought this was one of the better episodes, although admittedly the dialogue wasn't the smoothest in some places. The Carlise line was great but the one about Whisky was clunky and it felt like the writer felt obliged to drop in kooky sentences for both of them to say.

I liked the main concept about the time traveller being stranded. Is this somehow related to Clara as we've seen her at various points in history?

Oh who knows anymore, I really just want some straight forward adventures after the terrible conclusions to the previous two story arcs.

Ending is what lifted it another notch for me too. Bravo. A very fine episode, beautifully shot, nice classic show references, well paced and excellent performances. Thoroughly satisfying. For my money, each episode this season as been more engaging on the one that preceded it.

I really liked this episode. The best out of the 4 episodes so far this year, in my opinion. It felt a bit like a Doctor Who-take on Poltergeist.

Best episode of the season by a mile. I was scared. I watched through my fingers. Doctor Who at its best.

What was this!? An episode of the Steven Moffat era that comfortably fits into 45 minutes!? An episode that is effective and enjoyable with plenty of room for character, action, scares, mythos, suspense and humour!? A WELL-PACED episode!?

I am so, so overjoyed with how 'Hide' turned out! The straight-up horror advertised got me excited enough (though my hopes were quashed by Neil Cross' earlier 'Rings' episode being so flat), but for it to be so well-rounded, rich and full.... I completely didn't expect this.

It takes the wonderful character moments of RTD's era, the wibbly-wobblyness and the mystery of Moffat's era and most of the best elements of the classic series and it pools them into one, magnificent episode. Every character was fleshed-out, fully motivated and easy to relate to/care for. The monster was scary, but also three-dimensionally written (bit of a divisive RTD method, I'll admit) and every beat, every setpiece was executed brilliantly. I'm struggling to coherently exemplify my praise because everything about this episode was so unexpectedly brilliant from the cast, the writing, the direction and even the music, which is less heavy-handed here (though it could probably still do with dialling back in places).

I loved it thoroughly. And now my hopes are high for next week's episode. With such a ridiculous concept, I hope they can pull it off with the same rich, well-roundedness as this one. A gem! An absolute gem!

I think it was more the Tardis flying itself after putting aside its differences with Clara in order to save the Doctor. Or I could be wrong and there could be something to it. Or I could be wrong and it could just be the writers being lazy. Either way, I loved the episode!

Great episode, and a much needed one after the sour taste of Rings of Rubbish that has left me scarred forever.

Simple question. Where did the knocking come from? The dr said he wondered who made that noise. I missed the answer

Creature knocking on the door. Chased the Doctor into the building, tried to knock the door down, and the Doctor realised it was that moment that had echoed across the universes. When he says he wondered, it's more of an, 'Ah! I was wondering, there we go,' type thing.

Ah, thank you so much. Got it

Maybe Clara is Jenny's daughter and the Dr. is once more traveling with his granddaughter. It would make sense with the blood calls to blood motif.

Just me who thought this was the most disappointing of the current run. Well, perhaps Akhatem, but not by the margin most people would suggest.

It didn't amount to anything and wasn't half as fun as last week.

Agree with you about the musical scoring. Some times it is excellent but all too often it's used to cover up undramatic, running around filler. It reminds me of those tedious Star Trek strings over ever emotional moment.

Someone needs to remind Murray Gold that Less is More

I'm looking forward to next weeks episode of Doctor What

Quite so! The "monster" seeking love at the end was a bit too perfunctory. But the haunted house and the paranormal investigators' romance were very well depicted. The arc about Tardis and Clara is being set up intriguingly. Next ep looks promising.

Actually, it wasn't terrific stuff.

You're wrong, anyway. It was 1974 - only by 3 days, but still 197.

Actually, you are an anono troll.

SO I BASICALLY FIGURED IT OUT.
- the whole series is based on memories...starting from the first time we meet oswin (dalek) - the daleks memories get wiped (hint)

- SO - prior to the BELLS...SOMETHING HAPPENS to the doctor after the holiday special...SOME ENEMY WIPES HIS MEMORY and send him to the Alt universe.

- we know this because in the BELLS Clara got the phone number from "the girl in the shop" (rose) obviously...and rose is in the wrong universe. so in that universe...no other rose exists, but rose references do.

- So the doctor is in the wrong universe. HOW HE GOT THERE? thats question 1. question 2 is who is clara?

- Clara in the ALT UNIVERSE is NORMAL. AVG. nothing special...why? because in the real universe shes the complete opposite SUPER SPECIAL. (think of mickey and ricky was it?)

- So clara 1 who dies n dies...is special...clara 2 is avg...

- SOMETHING HAPPENED - The Doctor lost his memory of this, and of certain other things (like the coat rack)...and SPECIAL CLARA urges him to REMEMBER what happened.

- the Tardis hates NORMAL CLARA because shes a distraction...a distraction from getting the doctor to remember. he keeps visiting places hes been and referencing past episodes and conflicts...but its not helping...this clara will keep him out of the real universe.

- HE WILL MEET ROSE N THE DOCTOR double to get him back there...to the fields of trenzlore (at some point)

- where he loses all his memory..so clara will say something like "BUT YOUR THE DOCTOR SAVE US!"- to his reply "DOCTOR WHO?".....

Silence must fall when the quesition is asked...he wont remember who he is anymore. therefore he cant help us or anyone. so how the the anniversary help? BECAUSE HE'LL NEED TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE TO SAVE THE DAY- thereby celebrating his whole history.

I DARE YOU TO TELL ME THIS ISNT THE BEST EXPLANATION

Actually, I genuinely didn't like the episodes with John Simm's Master, despite being a great admirer of John Simms. In that respect I agreed with the original poster, but then you posted "Actually, that was terrific stuff, very memorable" as if correcting him, like it's objective rather than subjective. But hey, Bill, enough of that. Have you heard of a film called Jaws 2?

I stand corrected... More accurately I lie half comatose with a bottle in my hand, corrected! Either way, you're right. Not sure that was why it was 11.04 but maybe...

Too complicated for me, chief.

I couldn't care less about your frakking "opinion," stalker creep.

Absolutely agree with you about Dougray Scott! Spot on. A 'proper' Doctor!

I've up-arrowed you because you are great. Didn't seem able to say why your comments should be taken as fact whilst others are only "opinon". You are an onion. Do you remember a film called Superman 3?

More of your cretinous tapping.

Are you still going round Belwyn's on Tuesday? I may be a bit late I'm afraid. John Simm's Master wasn't very good, not his fault. That's a fact, it's objective not subjective. Have you ever heard of the end credits to a film called Batman Returns?

More unread tappings.

I'm really sorry, I mistook you for Brad Williams. He remembers Jaws 2. Do you, though? My opinions on Doctor Who are not just opinions, but fact, whereas your opinions are just plain wrong. I've up-arrowed you.

Who directed this episode? They deserve serious plaudits.

The tapping stalker.

So hope the Neil Gainman episode features the return of the TARDIS in human form. Just to see her argue with Clara.

Neil Gaiman said the TARDIS in human form will never happen again.

Actually, I'm starting to wonder if it will break... anyone else notice that it's been acting up? And there have been a couple of (what seem to be) really close calls for the screwdriver, like when he was opening the door in Rings of Whatever. More than usual. Maybe they are going to break it... a girl can dream.

you not a fan? cause thats exactly what moffat would do.

Image of the Fendahl's not Hinchcliffe. It's Graham Williams. Sorry. I'll go away now.

Actually I don't tap, it's silent as I'm using the new Thinkbox. I am Lionel Thinkbag. And you are Muriel Bagthorp. Have you seen E.T.? I don't stalk either, but I have a stalk which my front legs grow out of. Have you seen Titanic? You know that bit right at the end with all the names etc in a list? I didn't understand that bit.

Well damn, Matt Smith nearly had his greatest performance here.

True - badly phrased on my part!

Blither.

le tardis had such problems with captain jack lets us not forget.....

Now THAT was a terrific episode of Doctor Who.

The guy who was (almost) Wolverine is Quatermass! With the gal who will be Verity Lambert.

A terrific SCIENCE fiction story, that is also a love story. The continuing throughline of Clara's mystery. The Doctor as, well, an alien, which we tend to forget he is. (Wonderful sequence with him popping through the beginning and end of the Earth, to Clara's discerning horror.)

Wonderful dialogue, madcap moments, emotional moments, all beautifully played by Matt Smith.

Three good episodes out of four this year (series/season).

Have we thought that Clara is the TARDIS?

Yup. Also, getting very tired of how recent Companions are the specialest of snowflakes for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with WHO they are, and everything to do with WHAT they are. I think it started with the DoctroDonna (and I *loved* Donna as a Companion, btw), then with Amy, the girl with the universe in her wall, and now with Cara, "the only mystery worth solving."

I miss the days when Rose was special because she was Rose, and Martha walked the Earth to save it because that's the kind of woman she was, and Donna, the fastest temp in Chiswick or anywhere else, before she got to be extra-special because of the metacrisis or universe in the wall or the Silence falling or whatever.

Very nicely done review of a an extremely fine episode.

Interesting also that you mentioned the rather distressing recent notion of the Doctor as the universe's greatest celebrity superhero, or something.

At least in the RTD era, the Doctor didn't ascend to nascent godhood without the amplified and highly focused mental energies of most of the people of Terra. Which they promptly forgot all about after he reset the timeline.

It's this godhood business that is responsible for the too frequent resolution of stories by speechifying.

It's as if the only Star Trek episodes Moff really took in were the few in which Kirk talked a computer into destroying itself.

I would agree if the seasons were still 13 episodes long, but they're not.

I like the sound of the Cloister Bell nearly as much as I like Big Ben!

They are, they're just divided into two. They even still have writers penning two episodes a series - just that they're two unrelated episodes a series now. Chris Chibnall, Mark Gatiss and Neil Cross are all contributing two episodes for Series 7... in any other series those writers would likely have been the contenders for a two-part offering.

Man, you buy that propaganda, hook, line, and sinker!

PR types LOVE folks like you.

Was that Jarvis Cocker running through the woods?

Why is everyone going on about Meatballs III?

I couldn't get my blithering tights on this morning. Have you heard of a little-known Doctor Who film called Bigfoot and the Hendersons?

Perhaps the TARDIS doesn't like Clara because she's jealous that the Doctor is so infatuated with her

Blather.

I spotted that too. Coincidence? Probably not.

It's not Murray Gold's fault - he doesn't decide where the music gets used, the producer does.

Indeed, that's my point. No dissing of Mr Gold, he's an expert craftsman. The producers would do well to trust the atmosphere created by a minimum of music (e.g. Midnight, the dream sequence in Kinda).

That was actually a pretty big flub. I have no idea how someone didn't catch that. Given how many times Metabelis 3 was mentioned over the Pertwee era, and the significance Metabelis 3 had in Pertwee's regeneration, it's almost as bad as mispronouncing Sontaran. Great ep though, really enjoyable, so I suppose I'll overlook it.

Actually, no they aren't. If you do the math over the last 2 years, we're getting far fewer episodes than 13 per year. WE should be in the middle of Season 8 right now. William is right, PR love people like you.

Actually, although Pertwee was the Doctor in 1974, you're both "technically" right. Tom Baker's very first episode was broadcast on Dec 28th, 1974.

Agreed. The Doctor and Clara dissipated all tension right away by undermining the scene with unecessary humour. This happens altogether too often these days...It did build back up again, but I really wish their entrance was more subdued.

Of course it's his fault. He's the one that composes the music. He has no musical input from anyone else. The ultimate responsibility is his. If he used instruments more sparingly and intimately, instead of using 20 instruments at once, then the score wouldn't interfere, no matter what the volume was or where the music was used. Thank goodness, the music was more tolerable in this episode.

I totally agree with you, billabongditty. I'm a musician as well. Sadly, this falls squarely on Murray's shoulders. Murray Gold is the wrong composer for this job. He clutters up his musical palette way too much. He has no idea how to be subtle, like Michael Giacchino or the brilliant Bear McCreary. He needs to tone down the number of instruments he uses and introduce some dynamics into his compositions...this way no matter what volume it is mixed at, it wouldn't interfere. He's all about writing songs that would sound great cranked up on your stereo, as opposed to actually enhancing the emotion of a scene. Sometimes he gets it right, but mostly, it's not to my taste at all. I'm not saying that Mr.Gold isn't a talented musician (just listen to Doctor Who at the proms); I'm just saying he's wrong for the job. This is painfully obvious when you watch shows like BSG or Lost. He should be playing in a band or something....

He doesn't care that less is more. People have been complaining about this guy for years. It'll never change. It has been a little better since Moffat took over, but I'd still like to see someone new take over.

Overall, this was an enjoyable episode. Really clever story idea, and well-realised. I like the intimacy that a small cast can provide. Excellent performances all-round. I look forward to seeing Jessica Raine playing Verity Lambert in An Adventure in Time and Space.

I'm loving this current run and last years 5 eps and the Snowmen. I do not understand this negativity, considering this series is vastly improved upon series 6, which I felt was disappointing on many levels. But then again, that's just my view! Others feel differently i guess.

I've up-arrowed you to improve your standing in the community, which is objective rather than subjective. One in eight people thought the episodes with John Simms as Master were great, but I'm one in six people who thought they weren't (not his fault). Have you heard of a film called Ghostbusters?

I love the geek gland! Explains a lot!

not enjoying the Dr and The Magic Screwdriver at all

Feeble.

Do you remember when we were hiking and you left your phone at the top of one of the taller peaks and had to go all the way back up? What are you doing for Christmas? It falls a bit earlier this year, the 23rd Dec I think. Have you seen a film called Back to the Future?

I guess it's a question of whether you think there's too much music (like me), or that the music itself is too much. Personally, I like Murray Gold's scores. I suppose he could pair things down a bit sometimes, but by and large I think it's fine. I don't think we've ever had, nor will ever have again, a Doctor's theme better than the 11th Doctor's.

Comparing Murray Gold - or almost any composer in television - to Bear McCreary just feels a bit unfair. That guy is a genius and the score for BSG constantly had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Having said that, so did the most climactic versions of the Doctor's theme in The Pandorica Opens.

My favorite episode of this half season right now !

n i t w i t

The pacing was perfect - something that has so often been problematic in recent years.

Hey man, that's really spaced out. Are you still going knitting later? The first rule of knitting club is that you knit there. I'm knitting some rubbish episodes of Doctor Who featuring John Simms as the Master (not his fault). Do you remember a film called The Muppets Take Manhattan?

HR love people like you, not sure what that means. I agree with William but not you, even though you made the same point.

PR, not HR. What it means is that the PR people can give you a phoney story about splitting up the seasons and you will accept it, no questions asked, because PR people couldn't possibly lie, could they? No offence was intended, but the fact remains that we have been running on a seriously reduced episode count, and the PR lies don't fool me or William.

You failed arithmetic.

I was just joshing, HR is Human Resources, that most beloved of corporate entities.

I passed arthritis, asthma and metric though. You failed passing. Have you seen an objective film called Return of the Jedi, or heard of a subjective film called Apollo 13?

Couldn't agree more. This season is fantastic. My only gripe is the slightly rushed feel to the endings, but this has been a feature of Who since its return.

Sometimes yeah but not always I feel. I'm loving the new run, my favourite since Tennant left.

"If you like"!

Brilliant lines.

I liked the "twist" as well, but it *was* a bit of a let-down in terms of tension. "Never judge a bogeyman by it's distorted extremities", they say (or some such).

Are you sure you're from Carlisle? If that *is* ignorance, then you shouldn't know!

The sycophancy RTD surrounded 9, and especially 10, with, was sickening: the "I love this man, I love this man (etc)" outburst in "Planet of the Dead" made me want to fly to London just to punch RTD.

Thank whatever forces you believe in that The Moff got rid of that nonsense, for the most part.

It was nice touch bringing that back, tho it might have been a budgetary call; easier just to use an old prop, with the added bonus that ppl will spot it and be happy.

But in reality, Moff is the one who made the Doctor the ultimate celebrity in the universe, a being capable of solving crises with speechifying rather than cleverness.

Nice try, though ... SIX DAYS LATER!!

lol

... Not incidentally, it seems as though you need more perspective in your life.

>made me want to fly to London just to punch RTD.

Simm's Master was not the Master. All TLs have defining characteristics that they exhibit, *regardless of regeneration*; the Master's is *SNAKE-LIKE SELF-CONTROL and, especially, PATIENCE* ("Patience has always been a particular virtue of mine"). He is a *psychopath*, not a sociopath; the difference is *key*.

RTD wanted a more "Doctory" Master (as per an interview), because RTD is a squealing fanboy who couldn't get enough of a young and virile Doctor, but perhaps wanted a more bad boy variant.

The Master has always specifically NOT been like that (out of control and bouncing off the walls), because he is NOT THE DOCTOR; he is *counterpoint*. The Dr. is all improvisation, with the (usually strange) clothes on his back, his screwdriver (and that, not even always), his friends, RUNNING LIKE MAD, yelling, and a good dose of faith, while the Master is, very intentionally, NONE OF THESE THINGS.

Not understanding this is not understanding the character's purpose. Writing him incorrectly, as RTD did, is an utter waste, no matter how charismatic some may feel he was. Simms did a terrific job of playing the part he was issued, a part that was 100% wrong on the page.

Emma felt plenty abt Clara (as she said), just nothing the Dr. expected (no dark secrets).

Bear McCreary. . Excellent work from him on BSG, tho I loved "The Storm and The Dead" (by Richard Gibbs) far more from that series; that song is haunting as all Hades.

I was comparing the "doctors", too. Mr. Scott's nervous habits, his quiet integrity. . all spot-on, given his character.

All the acting in this one was excellent, that, and the excellent dialogue even left me wondering how Alex and Emma will fare afterwards; given their specific, rather neurotic tendencies, they could change each other considerably for the better, and yet face many false-start stumbling blocks.

I suspect this was the TARDIS doing the piloting. 11 has brought many changes to the Dr's abilities, and some to the TARDIS's. Note that the door did not open until the wormhole was re-established; possibly, that negated the main of the risk the TARDIS faced, since a door was open for it to escape.

10 was far more a superhero than 11; towing the Earth? Please.

11 gets knocked abt more than being a superhero. What NEEDS to go is the damn screwdriver (at least in the present, "psychic interface" version); it has become a Harry Potter wand.

This!

Also, the opened wormhole may have at least partly negated the risk to the TARDIS. It was closed when the argument started, and the TARDIS clearly used it to come back through (materializing right in front of it).

The USA may see these sorts of things soon, as we seem to be devaluing our currency like the UK did right before those 3 Day Weeks.

A good, *relatively* quiet and non-manic episode with a decent plot, STRONG characterization, excellent witty dialogue, clear focus, and excellent acting.

I liked the ending, actually, tho it perhaps did reduce tension.

The TARDIS did not fly into the fray until the wormhole re-opened, so Clara might not have won that argument after all.

Where is the hatstand? Is this memory going bad or an unravelling of events?

The Dr. is hardly strong: how did he hold on to the TARDIS in spinning flight?

He did indeed mispronounce Metebelis 3. Sigh. Memory issues, again?

As others have noted, the sonic solves far less of the problems, and this is welcome. The present sonic needs to be gone soon. While I dislike the idea of no sonic, the "Harry Potter psychic wand" needs to start causing psychic feedback, so the Dr. has to abandon it. This would both force writers to actually write solutions not involving the sonic, and give us an excuse (finally) to see the modified 9/10 sonic River said was the Dr's, from "Silence in the Library". Now is an excellent time to dump the too-powerful, plot-killing magic wand. 11 can go back to licking things to determine stuff abt them (was a nice touch having him able to use alternate sense data, and they need to go back to it). We could even get a scene w/River going "so how it it better than the one you had before the green one?" And the Dr. could tell her exactly what she told him in "Library": "It has a red setting" (We have possibly already seen "the red setting" on the present model in "Cold War", tho.)

Have plenty, thanks. How's the view from under the bridge, troll?

Hostile, obsessed blather, for which I have no time.

Speechifying *and sonic use*, actually. FAR TOO MUCH SONIC USE.

Quite a few of the classic eps were solved by speechifying, actually, tho rarely as well-written. Go back and see!

10 was fairly rampant at speeches, as well; they just usually weren't as well written. 10 also had a glut of non-clever "clever" solutions.

Some of 11's speeches are quite good and deserve to solve things, in that they deliver cleverness. Some of them do not. The best speech he gave (at Stonehenge) amusingly did nothing, as he was being set up.

11 has exhibited quite a bit of cleverness in his solutions, incidentally, tho many solutions are triggered/conveyed via dialogue:

"11th Hr": tricking Prisoner Zero into copying itself.

"Flesh and Stone": (admittedly using a speech) but delaying "Bob" and his mates til the artificial gravity failed.

"The Lodger": realizing the alt-'TARDIS" can be affected by someone who wants to stay.

"Day of the Moon": piggybacking the subliminal message to kill the Silents over the broadcast.

"The Doctor's Wife": again, speech-delivered, but tricking House into sending them to the control room, where the TARDIS could re-establish control over herself after a delaying tactic.

"The Wedding of River Song" 's use of the Tesselecta was clever, tho a near-literal Dues Ex Machina.

"Bells of St. John": hoisting his enemy with her own petard.

And some clever solutions aren't even his ("The Beast Below", "The Girl Who Waited").

RTD was the one who started off everyone trying to have physical relations with the Dr, and worshiping at his feet. I hope Moff finally drops that entirely, as he has managed to taper it off, despite many fans wanting the soap opera angle. Moff has gone so far as to have ppl FORGET abt the Dr, not revere him. This is a good thing, imo. Are there too many speeches? Yes, imo. There needs to be more actual science, like in the classic series. We need to ditch the sonic for that to happen tho, or at least the ultra-powerful one he has now.

EDIT:

Deus* Ex Machina on that Tesselecta use. Want an actual edit option on the posts. .

Here, I fixed the accuracy of your response for you:

>>William_Bradley -> Amra
Hostile, obsessed blather, for which I have **no actual logical, informed reply.**<<

Obviously, given your track record on this forum, you are a troll, and to be ignored henceforth (looks for a "report" button but, sadly, sees none).

Pertwee would have given our malformed (from our perspective) friend a Venusian chop whilst grappling him!

To be fair, the trip to the end of the world was to an alternate timeline in PoM (and it was only 1980 that he showed her, tho admittedly some consider the 80s a barren waste, anyway), but point taken, all the same.

"The Doctor's Wife" destroyed itself by immediately revealing the fate of the TARDIS matrix, thus cancelling its own arc before it could get off the ground. Despite some solid dialogue 'twixt Idris and the Doctor, it went downhill from there.

Expecto Patronum!

Then we can go back to a more limited screwdriver. The (limited) manual-setting, modified 9/10 screwdriver variant River ends up with in "Library": more advanced than the old blue tipped one, but not the green-tipped magic wand of do-anything.

Since she kissed him hard on the mouth in "Snowmen", that had best not be it.

The main characters are hiding from each other. Alex from Emma, and
The Doctor from Clara (tho he thinks it is the other way around). The bogeyman part is a red herring of sorts.

What Russian phrase are you referring to? Was it something in "Hide"? I missed it, if so.

If you meant Akhahten, that was almost certainly a reference to Akhanaten, the heretic
pharoh who espoused monotheism of the sun (and the planet Akhaten was a
gas giant that went active, effectively becoming a sun). That would
make it an Egyptian phrase, not Russian.

Chance of all that being read = ZERO.

NO ONE CARES.

You're nuts.

Don't know about that, I'm no time traveller :-)

Indeed, but I've only ever heard it pronounced Akhen-AHten (Like Tutenkh-AHmun), so the planet shouldn't have been pronounced AKHaten,

The Russian reference was from Cold War when the precredits guy with the blowlamp mangled "milaya moya" ("my darling")

My favorite of Series 7 so far -- a very clever story told with humor and heart.

I Love Ghostlight:

Wonderfully Gothic, Beautiful Production, Impressive Cast, Obscure Intellectual Plot (Change vs Stasis), Light (I'm sure that's where NG got his inspiration for the Angel Islington), Control vs Survey, Neatly ties in with Ace's character development, Almost makes up for JNT denying us Lungbarrow (I say almost because reality can never live up to my imagination).

I know I'm in a minority but I consider it one of the classics, as significant & impressive as The Deadly Assassin. Wonderfully Peake; Pullman eat your heart out.

I been buggered by the feeling that Clara is the Dr Who daughter

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