Following an episode where we had probably the biggest threat ever presented to The Doctor, this week he takes Clara on an adventure to an Underwater Base in Scotland. Ghosts are the monsters of this week…yep, ghosts. Well, something related to alien technology to create the ghosts. A signal broadcasting out, but to who? This episode does make a huge shift in tone, settling once again for a more intimate setting. We find out that the mystery behind this spaceship and its contents go back some hundreds of years, so what exactly happened? We first see a ghost of a Tivolian (the creature that David Walliams played in Toby Whithouse’s ‘The God Complex’) as it follows the crew of the base after it finds the alien spaceship. Once a crew member dies, they too then become a ghost. They are all saying the same words, as a transmitter. The signal gets stronger with every additional ghost.
The humour does stay true in this episode, the cue cards was indeed a great scene to help The Doctor when talking to people. Also, Clara still has great comedic timing when it comes to running some of her lines against the Time Lord. Also, the TARDIS hand-break? Yep! Anyway, we do get such a great mystery to solve, the supporting cast do get their own chance to shine, but it is a bit much when a couple of one-note characters really do just dissolve (not a ghost joke, though one of them doe’s become a ghost and another unfortunately doesn’t get much time to really breathe). Also, we have a mysterious pod which is deadlocked and cannot be opened. I already have a theory behind it, but will put that right at the end if you want to see it. So to discover what happened, The Doctor with O’Donnell and Bennet (Morven Christie who plays O’Donnell is a delight, and I can’t explain why, she is just great. Also, Arsher Ali does a good job as Bennet) head to the TARDIS to travel back in time to solve the ghost mystery and stop more from dying, while Clara is stuck at the flooding base with the deaf Cass (a good move I think, it’s nice to see a deaf actress actually given a role on Doctor Who. Top marks for the casting and writing in that area) and her interpreter Lunn. While they question what The Doctor will do, we discover a new ghost outside…OH NO!
The start of another two-parter, and immediately we have more questions than answers at this point. This pod is going to provide a lot of theories, but I am sure my one will be correct. Also, well done to the supporting cast this week, I really did like some of the characters that came up. Unfortunately, Colin McFarlane doesn’t get much to do as a human, and as a ghost his presence never changes and Steven Robertson just couldn’t convince me to like him alive or dead as Pritchard. Paul Kaye works the creep look as a ghost superbly, but can he do when we actually see his physical self next week? Peter Capaldi once again sails through superbly as The Doctor; he keeps up a great level of humour and dramatic tension in the 45 minutes on screen. Jenna Coleman still gets some great lines and I am sure will see her become a more involved presence in ‘Before The Flood’ as she keeps the future base under control. Still a good episode, but character development was a mix bag and the story looks set to really evolve in part two as we do have a few too many gaps. Next Saturday, please hurry, I want to see what comes next!
Final Rating: 8/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove
P.S. The Doctor is a ghost, but I bet he is in the pod!