Season 8, Episode 3
Airdate: October 3, 2015
The Doctor and Clara land in an underwater base that seems to be teeming with murderous ghosts and the Doctor couldn’t be more thrilled to investigate something he’s never investigated before, but what do these sinister spooks want and what does that alien spaceship pulled out of the lake have to do with it?
I’m so happy that Doctor Who is doing these two-part episodes again. They just feel bigger and the show has more time to dwell on the story, leading to stronger character moments and a less-rushed episode that doesn’t feel the need to wrap everything up in the last five minutes. It gives us all time to stop and reflect and, at the end of the episode when that dreaded “To Be Continued” pops up, allows us to shriek profanity at the television.
And “Under the Lake” does it brilliantly. This is an episode that is so enjoyably old-school and new at the same time. It’s the Doctor vs. The Unknown and it exploits that trope wonderfully.
Peter Capaldi’s Doctor has been undergoing a transformation this season… no longer just grumpy and angry all the time with the scary eyebrows, now we’re seeing a Doctor that is enigmatic and mysterious. At the top of the episode when he first arrives and lovingly asked the Tardis what was wrong… that short scene was just so good! We’re also seeing a Doctor that doesn’t want to be a dick and is fighting his dickery with forced attempts to care for others and index cards that help him comfort scared and grieving people. It’s just all so good!
“Under the Lake” is a good old-fashioned siege episode with super scary monsters and a mystery to boot and the hour that it was on just flew by as enjoyable things often do. This season of Doctor Who is off to an incredible start.
Only thing is… are the sonic glasses really here to stay? I thought that was a one-off joke.
Ugh… I hate them. I hate change!