Doctor Who: Hide Review

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By Will Barber – Taylor

Clara and the Doctor arrive at Caliburn House, a haunted mansion which sits alone on a desolate moor. Within its walls, a ghost-hunting professor and a gifted psychic are searching for the Witch of the Well. Her apparition appears throughout the history of the building, but is she really a ghost? And what is chasing her?

A dark brooding night, an ex-army soldier turned ghost hunter and a gifted psychic are trying to summon a ghost. The psychic summons the ghost who appears to attack her. Reeling from the near account, they hear heavy knocking on the door. They open it to find strangers, one calling himself The Doctor and the other Clara, they are ghost busters.

That is how to open an episode of Doctor Who. Fast paced, spooky and pretty intriguing. Why are they here? What was the ghost? Why is The Doctor here? All these questions keep the audience excited and wanting more. It draws them in and stops them from switching over to the other side.

The Doctor and Clara are at Caliburn House, haunted by a mysterious ghost known as The Witch from the Well. Professor Alec Palmer explains that he had heard about the hauntings and decided to buy the house. The Doctor and Clara then go off to investigate the house and discover that the ghost is in fact not a ghost but someone trapped in a pocket dimension. Using the TARDIS and Palmer’s camera, the Timelord creates a slideshow of the “ghost” revealing it is a time traveller from the future who is trapped in an unstable pocket universe. The Doctor enters the pocket universe with the help of Professor Palmer’s psychic assistant, Emma Grayling. After a bit of a chase around, The Doctor and Clara rescue the time traveller and the creature that was chasing her. It turns out that there are in fact two strange creatures in the area that are soul mates. The Doctor reunites them before going off into the TARDIS.

Dougray Scott portrays the troubled Professor Alec Palmer. Throughout the episode, Scott bounces well off love interest Jessica Raine as Emma Grayling.  Scott’s Palmer also works well with Smith’s Doctor adding more levity to what Smith says than Smith’s Doctor can. Indeed, Scott is reminiscent of Jon Pertwee as The Doctor, a scientist first and foremost looking for the logical explanation in everything. The best scene features Palmer explaining to The Doctor that he became a ghost hunter because of his service during The Second World War and wondering if there is something beyond what is known. The scene is down played by the actor which gives it a nice subtlety evident in the rest of the episode.

Hide is a quick paced story which is one of its weaknesses. The pacing means that the resolution occurs before the end of the episode so the last five minutes or so are a filler.

The subplot with the two alien soul mates is unnecessary and is just padding. However, the entire episode overall is an enjoyable one and an improvement on previous stories.

NEXT TIME:

JOURNEY INTO THE CENTRE OF THE TARDIS

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