TV Review: Doctor Who Series Nine Episode Three “Under The Lake”

“They’re Ghosts! Yeah, Ghosts!”

I can’t help but think that the amount of influence that Peter Capaldi has had since his arrival as the formidable, highly sarcastic, yet inherently heartwarming Twelfth Doctor is one of the few reasons why in the latest series of Doctor Who, we are being treated to a wider range of two-part stories, an obvious hark back to the classic era of Doctor Who where stories were not just told over the course of a brief 45 minute stint, but in fact, over the course of weeks leading into months. Take one of my favourite Doctor Who stories for example in the form of Jon Pertwee’s Inferno, a story so laced with atmosphere and tension, that to squeeze it all into a shorter amount of time would have no-doubt have prevented it from the classic Who story it has become, and ironically enough, this weeks’ adventure into an underwater base features a heavy breeze of old school Who, something of which those who love the classic era were bound to enjoy regardless of its’ rather over-lapping familiarity.

Although ghosts, yeah, actual ghosts, may not have been privy to the Doctor and his travels thus far in his many years of exploration, other parts of “Under The Lake” surely must have felt extremely familiar to the self-proclaimed madman in a box, with the setting of a scarce, cut-off base being something that has been presented before (“The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit”whilst the cliffhanger in which we see our beloved Doctor take the form of a other-worldly style doppelganger being an almost complete mirror image of the cliffhanger to the Matt Smith two-parter, “The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People”. Aside from the overly familiar tropes of “Under the Lake”, the episode was actually quite creepy on occasions, with the scene in which our beloved heroes attempt to trap the ghostly entities overly nail-biting whilst the ways in which the crew were being slowly picked off was indeed quite alarming, adhering to the “darker side” of NuWho which the show has attempted to swing towards.

Within all the hammer-horror moments of the episode was Capaldi at his sharpest, with the Doctor’s intense amount of knowledge and experience being truly put to the test in the face of an unknown danger, whilst the scene in which Clara helps the Doctor act out his more human side with the aid of different cue-cards, wholly entertaining and suiting Capaldi’s take on the Doctor to a capital T. Of course, acting as a first of a two-part episode, “Under The Lake” essentially involved a heck of a lot of buildup for the conclusion of the story next week which sometimes made the episode drag ever so slightly, but if the teaser for next week is anything to go by, the second two-part story of this current season of NuWho is set to be something rather magical.

Overall Score: 8/10 

Posted on 05/10/2015, in Film & TV, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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