Friday, 16 October 2015

Doctor Who: Under the Lake

Okay guys, we’re going to try something different from here on out. If you’ve followed the other shows I’ve recapped, you may be familiar with my saying that they’re more of a reaction, less a recap. I usually like to write as I watch, which often leads to the use of ALL CAPS as I scream at the show I’m writing about, a few light (or not so light) cursing, and tons of ???’s and !!!’s.

With Doctor Who, I do things differently. I watch the show once with no interruptions, and take it all in. Then I watch it again, and I write my recap during that second watch. I do things this way with Doctor Who because it’s such a meaty and often confusing show, I don’t want to miss anything. I want to make sure I catch every word so you all don’t miss anything either.

Sadly, because there’s so much great TV to watch these days, and so little time for me to watch it, I’m gonna switch things up. My Doctor Who recaps are now going to be reactions. I promise to TRY not to miss anything, but if I do, please forgive me. And keep an eye on this post throughout the week, as edits may occur as I think of more theories and post them, or realize something important I missed.

Okay, here we go with Under The Lake!

We open about a hundred years in the future, on an underwater base. I love the diversity of the cast this week, and having the show’s first deaf guest star is a really fantastic addition. Well done, Mr. Whithouse! (he’s the writer of this episode, and a fan favourite. Yay)

So, on the underwater base, they discover a craft of some sort. How it was missed before is mystifying to them all. Oh! Creepy black-eyes dude is seen reflected in some glass! Okay, this is getting interesting…

On the strange craft they discover strange writing. One of them mentions that the material used has never before been seen on earth. So…aliens?

Suddenly the weird ghost-guy appears and attacks one of the crew. There’s an explosion, and another of the crew members dies in the blast. The rest are able to get away from the fire. Once they’re all safe behind a closed door, they turn to see the ghost of their former crew member…and the creepy guy with the black eyes! We cut to the opening credits as the ghosts loom over the surviving crew members.

Three days later, the TARDIS appears on the abandoned underwater base. The Doctor is speaking to her—the TARDIS, I mean. Apparently she’s not happy, and he’s trying to figure out why.  Clara wants to go back to the fun exploring, but the TARDIS isn’t having it. She’s brought them here for a reason…

As they explore, the Doctor and Clara discover  signs of a recent struggle in the mess hall, but no bodies. They explore further, and come across the ghosts of the black-eyed guy and the crew member, Moran.

The ghosts come very close and examine Clara and the Doctor, but they don’t seem to mean any harm. The Doctor smirks gleefully, as the game is afoot!

The ghosts wander down the corridor, and the Doctor and Clara follow. They enter the room that holds the strange alien craft, and the ghosts have disappeared. They explore the small craft. The Doctor sees the alien writing, but he can’t read it because the TARDIS hasn’t translated it. Curiouser and curiouser…

The ghosts reappear and seem to be speaking, but no words can be heard. This is some creepy sh!t right here!

The ghosts suddenly go on the attack, walking through walls and floors to get to Clara and the Doctor! Their lips continue to move, but still no sound is heard.

As they run, they find the rest of the crew held up in a secure room. The Doctor and Clara gladly join them and introduce themselves. The Doctor uses his psychic paper, and the crew realizes he’s from UNIT (hahaha!), and apparently so are they!

The Doctor tries to listen to Cass as she signs, but he can’t. The TARDIS still isn’t translating!

The crew explains about the weird alien ship, about Moran dying. The Doctor explains that the black-eyed guy is from the planet Tivoli(?), but they’re not usually a violent people.

The crew explains that the ghosts can’t get into the safe room where they’re held up. They go on to tell the Doctor and Clara that the base used to be a military training base, but years and years ago a nearby dam burst and flooded the whole thing. There’s also apparently a massive oil reservoir underneath it.

The lights change and the base automatically switches from night to day mode. Being so far underwater, the daylight is simulated. Oddly enough, the ghosts only come out at night.

The crew gives the Doctor and Clara the low-down on the base and situation, and the Doctor eloquently sums things up, “So we’re fighting an unknown homicidal force that has taken the form of your commanding officer and a cowardly alien, underwater, in a nuclear reactor.” Yup, sounds about right!

The Doctor realizes that the alien ship must have the answers, and he examines it. He notices that some things have been removed…namely a suspension chamber and a power cell.
Lunn tries to join the others on the craft, but Cass won’t allow it, saying it “isn’t safe”. This is the second time she’s said this to him. Hmm…

The Doctor sums up what he knows about Moran and the black-eyed guy and realizes they’re ghosts! And he’s pretty stinkin’ excited about that!

And then Clara whispers something about “cards” to the Doctor. She rifles through some cue cards from his pocket and chooses the appropriate one. The Doctor reads the card and gives a grave speech about being sorry for their loss and doing and he can to help solve the mystery. It’s pretty damn hilarious. I love that Clara has put cue cards in his pocket so he can actually pretend he has a heart! Hahaha! Also, y’all should make sure to pause and read all of the cards. They’re damn funny.

The Doctor gives a speech about how cool it is that people are now able to come back from the grave, and he has a ton of questions he’d like to ask them. This all seems a bit heartless, considering that Clara only lost Danny a few months ago…I mean, I’m assuming months because she’s not much older…I suppose it could be years. But still…

Oh! Suddenly, the base goes into night mode too early, and the TARDIS sounds her cloister bell! The Doctor and Clara enter the TARDIS, and she’s all moody and full of steam. She apparently wants to leave…so the Doctor put her handbrake on. That makes everything okay again.

Clara wants to go back out to the adventure, and the Doctor stops her to give a speech about not going native, and there can only be one him, blah blah. He then says that he felt he had to say something because he has duty of care, and he’d like to stop now. I mean, at least he’s trying to have a heart, right?

And then poor Pritchard is caught and drowned by the ghosts.

Everyone on the base is separated as some try to grab supplies, and others try to figure out how to get back into day mode. Why haven’t they just been trying to figure that out every day? Just keep the base on day mode all the time? Err, suspension of belief. Right. Sorry.

Clara and Lunn see Pritchard, who had been missing up until that point. He’s standing with his back to them…and then they see his body float by outside. Uhoh, ghost! Pritchard-Ghost grabs a metal chair—the Doctor has noticed that they can only move metal objects—and goes in for the attack.
Luckily, O’Donnell gets the day mode turned back on and the ghost disappears. See my rant about day mode above. 

The crew gathers, and Cass wants to abandon the base. The ghosts are learning to use it against them—turning day mode off and opening hatches. The Doctor, of course, wants to stay.

O’Donnell calls for help, but topside has already sent a rescue sub. Someone else has already called them! It had to have been the ghosts!

The Doctor makes them call back the sub and puts the base under quarantine. No one is going anywhere!

The Doctor makes O’Donnell put the base back into night mode Clara and Lunn try to lead the ghosts to the point the Doctor has given them, but the ghosts unexpectedly separate when Clara and Lunn do! Clara gets safe, but Lunn is cornered! BUT HE HAS NEVER SEEN THE WRITING ON THE ALIEN CRAFT! CASS KEPT HIM SAFE! WHOA!

The Doctor leads the ghosts into the safe room using a hologram of Clara as bait. The ghosts are trapped in the safe room.

The Doctor enters the room so Cass can get a better look at the ghosts through his sonic sunglasses camera-thing. He wants her to read their lips. She does, and the ghosts are saying, “The dark, the sword, forsaken, temple.” The Doctor is confused, and then he calls for a map. He works out that they’re giving him coordinates. The ghosts are trying to beam out coordinates and more ghosts means more beaming.

The Doctor also figures out that the coordinates go to the former base’s church, but he doesn’t know why the ghosts are beaming them out. He convinces everyone to stay and help him solve the mystery.
They use a sub controlled by virtual reality to find the church, and figure out why the coordinates lead there. They find the suspended animation chamber from the alien craft… And this was my face:


Okay, and then I got a little lost. I’ma try to explain this as best I can…

The chamber is locked, and the Doctor goes back to the writing in the craft. He realizes the writing is the coordinates, and that none of them were surprised when they heard the coordinates because they’d already seen them when they looked at the writing. Got that? Okay, good.  Me neither. ;)

Okay, so the words get stuck in your brain after you see them, and they stay there, even after death. The ghosts beam out the coordinates while the pilot/weird alien/whatever? Sleeps in the animation chamber and waits for its friends to come rescue it.

Suddenly, the ghosts tamper with the computer and start to flood the base! Everyone needs to get to the TARDIS, and they have 30 seconds to do so! A flood door comes down, and Clara and the Doctor are separated! Clara, Lunn and Cass are safe where they are, and the Doctor tells them through the com that he’s going to bring the TARDIS back to when the alien craft landed, so that he can understand what happened and why it’s happening.

The Doctor and two crew members leave in the TARDIS, as Clara, Lunn and Cass look at something out the window of the base….It’s a new ghost. IT’S THE EFFING DOCTOR HE’S A GHOST OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDD WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?


Guys, GUYS! STAY CALM! I’ma get on watching Before the Flood ASAP because now I’m DYING.

Oh, right. My favourite lines. Here they are!

The Doctor: “So who’s in charge now? I need to know who to ignore.”
The Doctor: “Anything else I should know? Anyone got a peanut allergy or something?”
The Doctor: “Yes, well, there was no such thing as socks, or smart phones, and badgers until there suddenly were.”
The Doctor: “Well I don’t know, but I’m pretty certain it’s not so they can all form a boy band.”
The Doctor: “Clara, why don’t I have a radio in the TARDIS?”
Clara: “You took it apart and used the pieces to make a clockwork squirrel.”

Okay, be back as soon as I can with my next reaction post!


  1. Love this review. You have pointed out a few things I missed even with a rewatch.
    The Doctor has changed this season, thank goodness, I hated last seasons Doctor, if he would have said Shut Up one more time....
    This season he actually talks to the Tardis with compassion which I loved. Also treats Clara with respect not as an enemy.
    Keep the recaps coming . They truly are unique.

  2. Love this review. You have pointed out a few things I missed even with a rewatch.
    The Doctor has changed this season, thank goodness, I hated last seasons Doctor, if he would have said Shut Up one more time....
    This season he actually talks to the Tardis with compassion which I loved. Also treats Clara with respect not as an enemy.
    Keep the recaps coming . They truly are unique.