Doctor Who Review "Under the Lake"

So we have reached episode 3 of season 9, and I have to say, there was definitely less lake than anticipated. This week’s episode was certainly a slow burn, but certainly more in keeping with tradition Who. Although, I can’t help it…. Sigh. I miss Missy.
This episode begins in the year 2119, in The Drum, an underwater mining facility, in Scotland. The base crew have salvaged a gleaming black ship, and all but one of the crew are investigating the mysterious vessel. Suddenly, a hollow eyed, creepy Victorian, ghostly figure skulks across the screen, and by what appears to be a freak accident, to the crew anyway, their leader Moran is flame grilled by one of the vessel’s engines. Danger Will Robinson Danger! Oh and would you look at that, Moran is now also, a hollow eyed, creepy ghostly figure.
The Doctor tenderly caresses the Tardis, which is upset, as Clara bounces out, demanding an adventure, seemingly uninterested, it seems we have an adventure junkie, looking for her next hit. They explore the base, discovering that the crew had left in a hurry. Greeted by the ghosts, they follow the apparitions to the vessel, only for them to silently chant, and of course try to murder them. Surprise!
Luckily the  Timelord and his companion are rescued by the crew, O’Donnell, who to my delight, completely fangirls over the Doctor, Cass, a deaf crewmember who is first in command, after Moran got barbecued, Lunn, Cass’ sign interpretor, Bennett, a scientist and Alien nut, and last but not least, the smarmy Pritchard, who is the smarmy representative for Vector Petroleum, who owns the facility. Oh and the Doctor completely denounces the concept of ghosts/life after death.

The ghostly things only come out at night, so naturally they turn the facility onto night mode in order to murder the smarmy Pritchard, who totally deserves it, the capitalist pig! We know he’s dead because we have the joy of seeing his ghostly form inside, and his lifeless body floating outside the Drum, Definitely dead, yes definitely dead. Lunn, surprisingly is left alive, yet he is the only member, not to step inside the mysterious vessel and read its markings.

After lot’s of running, and a little bit of lip reading, we discover that the spectres are sending out a signal, Dark, Sword, Forsaken Temple. Which leads to a church within the “freaky flooded village” under the lake, in which they discover a stasis pod. A deadlocked stasis pod, that wants to be found. 
The Doctor does a U-Turn, and very excitedly spouts on about the sudden reality of ghosts, the afterlife, oblivious to the pain of losing a colleague could be affecting the group. Luckily nudged by Clara to use his empathy cards, he, well, he tries to be consoling.

The spectres cause the facility to flood, with the attempt to kill more people for their spirit distress call. Everyone runs back to the Tardis but unsurprisingly they are separated.  Clara in the Drum, the Doctor in the Tardis, travelling back to before the flood to uncover the mystery and save them all. As Clara waits for his return, she nonchalantly states that the Doctor will be back to save them, because that’s just what he does. However she spots something in the water, she realises that something has changed in the past, a spirit appears in the water, the spirit of the Doctor!
Fan Theory
Well, for starters, I think that Vector Petroleum will show up again somewhere in the series. The Tardis wouldn’t translate the message, but also removed sign language, hmm, something’s afoot. If the Doctor has died, then there is life after death, which means, we might be able to find Danny again! The Doctor told Clara, not to “go native”, methinks that Clara, has replaced her grief for Danny with a roller coaster of excitement on death-defying feats. That being said, Clara was always a bit of an adventure junkie, a fact noticed by her former love. I think this is going to be a sticking point for the Doctor, and either the adventure is going to kill her, or the Doctor is going to let her go.

Answer Me These Questions Three
  1. Is there something fishy going on with the TARDIS language library?
  2. What the frack is in that pod?
  3. What cards are missing from the Doctor’s selection?
Final Thoughts
This was a very so-so episode, the claustrophobic theme combine with the ominous score, set the atmosphere perfectly. however some of the supporting characters felt like cardboard cut outs and clichés. The supporting cast’s talents just feel wasted here. When any episode is a two parter, you really have to ensure that the first part doesn’t drag. With this season consisting of two episode long stories, I hope that the others realise that setting the scene for the finale, should not be a detriment to the previous episode. That being said, I am looking forward to next week’s show. 

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