This is the first television episode review I’ve done. Probably because I don’t watch a lot of television. Also because I feel like just reviewing one episode is a bit odd. But I have a lot of thoughts on this week’s Doctor Who, and I feel like sharing. So here goes.
I haven’t really liked season 7.2. I’ve found the three episodes so far kind of boring, and I don’t hesitate in calling them mediocre. The Bells of Saint John, I was expecting good things from, it being the first episode back after a break. It was a solid ok at best. I toned my hopes down a little for The Rings Of Akhaten, and was still disappointed. I had very high hopes for The Cold War – I really enjoy reading about that period of history – and was let down immensely. But Hide absolutely blew my expectations out of the water.
It starts off pretty typical. Some ghostly things going on, some vaguely bemused locals. A bit less bemused than usual though. If anything, quite the professionals. Not the typical locals either. In fact, disregard everything I just said. The Doctor and Clara stumble upon two people investigating the appearance of a ghost in an old haunted house. They mooch around for a bit, The Doctor sonics some things, rattles off the rather impressive history of ghost hunter number one, and all before the plot is actually revealed.
I’m not sure what made this episode so good. It just felt more like Doctor Who than the past few have. The side characters were excellent, Professor Alec Palmer, and Emma Grayling, a war hero and a psychic, trying to catch a ghost. Or figure out a ghost at least. They had their own story, and were somewhat of a parallel to The Doctor and Clara, though only in certain areas.
And now for Clara.
I don’t like her. It’s an unpopular opinion, I know. I do have an actual reason for not liking her, it’s not just that she isn’t the Ponds. She comes off as almost insultingly nonchalant about being a companion, and really disrespectful to the TARDIS. That being said, I am looking forward to the unravelling of her mystery. Who she actually is and all that.
Something I found very interesting to note in this episode was how, almost passive The Doctor is becoming. In this episode we saw how he went to the same spot geographically, but in different points in time, so he and Clara effectively saw the lifespan of Earth from that one spot. And that affected Clara. She saw her planet from start to finish, and it dawned on her that when she was standing in the far future, she was probably buried somewhere at the same time, dead. It hit her quite hard, but it’s the Doctor’s reaction that shocked me. He just sort of waved it off, rather than the heart warming speech/metaphor I was expecting. This sort of thing has happened before – the second episode of the new series springs to mind, when the Ninth Doctor takes Rose to the destruction of the Earth. I may not be spot on, having not seen that particular episode in quite a while, but I’m pretty sure The Doctor was a lot more understanding then. I’m not sure why this intrigued me so much, perhaps because it shows how much the Doctor has changed since then, and the effect his companions have had on him.
My favourite thing about this episode though, was a quote.
“Every lonely monster needs a companion”
I don’t think I need to explain why I love it, it’s not exactly a hidden meaning.
Overall I have no hesitation in giving Hide 4.5/5 stars. It was the best episode of Doctor Who I’ve seen in a long while, and I honestly think that it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Blink, and other such iconic episodes.