I think it’s safe to say that season 8 of Doctor Who has so far had a strong start. “Under the Lake”, is the first half of a two-part adventure which so far has been a pretty telling episode especially for Clara.
As Rivers Song would say….SPOILERS (ahead):
In this episode we get a sense of foreboding – not because of the spooky ghosts, mysterious spaceship or erie base at the bottom of a lake, but because the way the Doctor is acting. The doctor keeps putting the crew of the base in more and more danger just to satisfy his own curiosity. The main problem and most alarming thing that i’ve noticed is that Clara does nothing to settle or stop the doctors need to put others in harms way.
When the Doctor finds out that there might be actually ghosts in the underwater base, he becomes mystified at the fact that he’s discovered something new, something unbelievable! The crew eventually achieves safety from the ghosts by putting the ship into “day mode”, which causes the ghosts to be inactive. The Doctor pressures the crew to put the base back into “night mode”, so that they can trap the ghosts.The doctor is so obsessed with finding out truth that he’s even willing to put everyone in danger. (this is a throwback to the second Doctor Who episode ever, when he sabotaged the TARDIS, to force his companions to explore the Dalek city.) The crew has an opportunity to leave, but the Doctor pressures the crew and uses some reverse psychology about their duties as soldiers and scientists to study and stop the ghosts.
Perhaps the most troubling fact is that….Clara does nothing to stop him. She’s more excited for an adventure than the doctor probably is! The Doctor notices that she’s getting a bit out of hand and even tries leaving Clara in the TARDIS for her own good. He tells her that there is only room for “one me” inside the TARDIS, and that she shouldn’t “go native.” He tries to shut down her Doctor-like tendencies and tries to convince her to find a new boyfriend, another interest, or perhaps find a hobby? This all falls on deaf ears though – good try Doctor.
In the recent history of Doctor Who, the human companions keep the doctor anchored and connect him to humanity. The companions keep him and his conscience in check. So when the Doctor gets a big head or gets out of hand, they bring him back down to earth. We’ve seen what happens when the doctor travels alone for too long in “The Waters of Mars” with the whole Time Lord Victorious situation – he goes too far. So now that he has a companion in Clara, she is too busy trying to be the Doctor, rather than appealing to his humanity. This whole thing just spells trouble to me.
Let’s talk about the villains of the episode. The ghosts are a mystery indeed. They appear right after the crew of the underwater base finds an alien spaceship. Inside of the space ship they discover some mysterious markings on its wall. The ghost of an alien appears and causes the death of their captain, who also becomes a ghost. Later on another crew member becomes a ghost as well. The ghosts constantly repeat the same four words: “The Dark. The Sword. The Foresaken. The Temple.” The Doctor figures it out that it’s a set of coordinates, for someone to find this place on Earth. There was some major foreshadowing that Clara was possibly going to end up dead, but it ends up being the Doctor! While trying to evacuate the flooding base, the Doctor is separated from Clara. He promises to change history and that he will be back. The Doctor travels back in time – before the town was flooded and became a lake. As soon as he goes back in time, a new ghost appears – which turns out to be the Doctor’s ghost! It appears as though something terrible happened in the past and the Doctor was killed somehow
We will of course get to the bottom of what happens in the next episode. What did you think of this episode? Sound off below.