Sunday, October 4, 2015
Review: Doctor Who S9E3 "Under the Lake"
Spoilers below the fold.
We find ourselves in an underwater base, an abandoned military outpost about to be used as an oil rig, which itself is in the middle of a town that was flooded when a dam burst (and that must've been some flood, because they're so far under the surface light can't reach them). It's the year 2115, and there's a handful of military types (one of whom knows what UNIT is, and knows who the Doctor is, which is... odd) and one smarmy company man. Sort of the same set up as we saw in Aliens.
Spooky stuff, and very effectively done. The Doctor is being written now as if he's got Asberger's Syndrome, to the point where Clara has even made up cards for him with soothing "normal" things to say to people. It's a bit weird, and not only doesn't match with what we've seen of this Doctor in season eight, but with the Doctor at all. I know they're deliberately trying to go more humorous, but he's more than just gruff and acerbic; he's downright unlikable. Let's hope they manage to soften those edges soon; that approach didn't work for Colin Baker, and it's not going to work for the first old Doctor after Smith and Tennant.
On the whole, this was a very good episode. The ghosts definitely work as a villain, the puzzle was neatly laid out, and the situation is a great call-back to Classic Who. Looking forward to the finish.