Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Doctor Who 9:3 "Under the Lake"

The temptation is to leave any comment about this episode off until next week. That may be the case all season long with these two part stories. There is usually just not enough to go on until the whole story has been told. This week in particular is problematic, as the whole episode is a long set-up for the final shot of the show, the cliff-hanger.

That said, it is a very entertaining episode. What it lacks in concepts and message, it makes up for in action and suspense. So, let’s just concern ourselves with the questions raised, that may or may not be answered next week:

Ghosts? The problem isn’t so much that this work of fiction introduces the concept, but it handles it strangely. First, the Doctor is adamant that they can’t exist. But last season’s finale showed conclusively that the soul of a person lives on after the body. The Doctor saw what we saw then, so why is he so certain that a ghost can’t be? However, before we even have time to really consider this contradiction, the Doctor does a 180 and trades in his incredulity for excitement. He is chomping at the bit to find out about the after-life. (This after he saw an aspect of it last season, see above.)

The mechanics of this episode are presented so matter-of-factly that it seems reasonable. But if you think about them it is silly and so unlikely to succeed, one wonders why anyone would develop such a communication. Basically, the stranded ship imprints its SOS in the mind of people and then seeks to kill them, using their soul memory to add to the message being sent out. (To where, and how?) The system relies on a large population stumbling upon the ship and dying.

All that said, here’s hoping we get a better story next week leading up to the revelation we saw at the end of this episode.


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