Doctor Who S7 Ep10 – Hide

It’s so easy to write a review when there is something wrong with an episode, but when an episode is just so good and you love it you find you have little to espouse about it.

Such is my dilemma now.

When I last spoke about writer Neil Cross it was with the episode ‘The Rings of Akahten.” I pointed out that his first Doctor Who episode was really his second and his second his first. Meaning that the producers loved his first script so much they asked for a second one. The first being “Hide” and the second being “Rings…”  I pleaded with the viewer to give Cross a second chance, because as much as I had mixed feelings about “Rings …” I was sure “Hide” would prove itself a far superior episode.

Had I bet on that I would have been a richer man. Maybe. I’m terrible with money so I probably would be back to basics an hour later after my winnings.

Doctor Who S7 Ep10 Hide

Anyways. I loved this episode. The dialog felt snappier, the plot twists smelled fresher, there were funny moments and scary moments — all in all it was the best episode since, well, since a long time. Wait. Well. I mean it was great. Save for one thing. The ending. But I’ll get to that in a second.

We start with “a dark and stormy night,” as Edward Bulwer-Lytton would say, in 1974. Professor Alec Palmer and medium Emma Grayling are attempting to contact an apparition haunting Caliburn House. Instead, they get The Doctor and Clara.

The plot is rather straight forward from here. The Doctor poses as a Ministry Health and Safety officer checking up on what Alec is doing. Alec explains the history of the haunting and shows them photos of the ghost. The Doctor and Clara go off to find the apparition, and after a few Scooby Doo moments the show skips from being horror to sci-fi with some time-y wime-y photography of their own.

The Doctor explains to Clara, Emma, and Alec that the ghost isn’t a ghost. No, it’s a time traveler from the future stuck in a pocket universe whose own timeline is a distorted echo stretching throughout the ages here, even though it is rapidly decaying there.  The Doctor then leads everyone into a chrono-séance with Emma the empathic psychic on point. The séance opens a wormhole to the pocket universe, into which The Doctor Geronimos to rescue Hila the time traveler.

Doctor Who S7 Ep10 Hide, Clara Tardis

Once in the pocket universe, The Doctor runs into Hila as she is running from some strange Silence-esque creature called “The Crooked Man.” Unable to find the exit, Emma more or less brings Caliburn House to the pocket universe. Hila is able to make it through, but cannot maintain the energy for The Doctor. Here Clara runs to a snide and sassy TARDIS for help. After making frenemies the TARDIS more or less agrees to help rescue The Doctor from the pocket universe.

As the TARDIS appears in the pocket universe, The Doctor pulls a Jack Harkness and ghost rides the whip back into the normie universe moments before The Crooked Man can get to him or before Emma has an aneurysm. All is well and good now.

Now remember how I said everything was fun save for the end? Okay, so it turns out that Hila is a future great grandchild of Emma and Alec. That’s nice. But it’s here that The Doctor realizes that The Crooked Man didn’t want to kill Hila or The Doctor. No, he just wanted a friend because his mate was trapped on this side of the pocket universe haunting the halls of the Caliburn House. So The Doctor goes back to the pocket universe to save the monster to bring him to our universe. Where I assume the reunited monsters mate and spawn an unnerving brood of beasts that will forever haunt the world. That’s what got me. It was a love story through and through. A horror story turned sci-fi, that’s fine, I can handle that. But turn it again so it’s a love story and everyone, including the monster, gets a happily ever after? As Balki would say, “Don’t be ridiculous.”

Doctor Who S7 Ep10 Hide, Wall

Other than the ending there I loved it.

I am a bit pleased they brought more of the Clara Mystery back in this episode. I will point out that this is the third time thus far she’s made mention of ghosts. Take from that what you will, fellow conspirators. There is also the aforementioned frenemy status between Clara and the TARDIS popping back up, which looks like it comes to a head next episode. And then you’ve got the real reason The Doctor chose to take Clara on this adventure: to find out what Emma thought of her.

This is pretty interesting, because Emma tells The Doctor that Clara is a perfectly normal girl (the phrase “perfectly normal” should always raise an eyebrow ), but tells Clara not to trust The Doctor because he “has a sliver of ice in his heart.” Yes, yes, we all know that The Doctor has two hearts, so it’s understood that she’s speaking metaphorically.

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