If you think about this from a linear perspective, we’re a little late. But since time is a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ball of stuff rather than a straight line, can one really be late?
Jaden C. Kilmer (JC) and J.A. Prentice (J.A.) deliver another post-episode Doctor Who Discussion, this time for Under the Lake. As always, there are spoilers ahead.
JC: Well it’s a great setup… But again it’s all gonna depend on part 2
JA: I get the feeling we’re going to be saying that every other week.
JC: But I’ll try to find some other things to say
JA: Like last week, I liked the small cast and the cramped setting. It had a very Classic Series feel to it- scientific crew trapped in a small base with strange things going on.
JC: I was going to say it felt like a lot of Tennant’s episodes which was nice.
JA: My biggest issue is with the woman recognizing the Doctor’s name. And him saying that the military people might be familiar with him.
JC: Wasn’t really bothered by that
JA: I think that people knowing the Doctor outside of a select few makes him less of the mysterious outsider archetype he needs to be. I was really glad when Moffat had the Doctor saying he was going back into the shadows back at the end of Series Six. I find the Doctor much more intriguing when no one knows who he is.
JC: Yea I do agree with that though. I like him being just a madman with a box rather than superhero
I actually just watched the waters of Mars earlier today and felt they were really similar episodes
JA: They do have a similar feel. I really liked Waters of Mars. It’s definitely one of my favorite Tennant stories. I think it might be my favorite story that RTD has a writing credit on.
JC: That’s Midnight for me. Though I’m convinced that someone had to have ghost written that for him. No pun intended.
JA: The cliffhanger on this episode was excellent. Thus far, this series/season has a great track record on cliffhangers.
JC: Though mildly infuriating that I can’t just tell Netflix to play the next one. But yes. I have no idea how they’re gonna get out of this and I love that. Also love that there’s probably going to be parallel story lines in different time periods
JA: That should be interesting.
Do you think the sea serpent artwork on the wall will connect to the Norse/Viking episodes?
JC: Uhhhhh…. No idea.
JA: Darn. I also have no idea. It seems too specific to be coincidence, but I can’t see how they could connect.
One thing I liked was how they had a deaf character communicating with sign language and didn’t make a huge deal out of it. They just treated her as another character. I think there’s a lesson there in how diversity should be used in stories.
JC: My guess is that the ghost thing is actually some sort of life support system. And yes I was going to say the same thing. She was just another character.
When everyone draws attention to the minority character it kinda negates the point
JA: Exactly. See also how diverse the crew was. I didn’t feel like that needed to be pointed out because Doctor Who is almost always really good with that. (New Series, anyway. Classic Series… Let’s not go there.)
JC: Eh, NuWho has Castro’s and Jenny who evolved from interesting and quirky characters to “oh my god look at how lesbian we are” people.
Vastra. Autocorrect victimizes me again
JA: This is cancelled out by the novel Silhouette not mentioning their relationship once.
Which I think is actually worse.
JC: Maybe. But anyway back to this episode, the supporting cast was well done in both diversity and characterization. Cliff hanger was good… Lots of good ol Classic who running
JA: Alien ghosts give the worst directions, though.
JC: I understood the message through “sword” (I knew it was Orion before the doctor said so) but I’m lost on “the forbidden”
JA:That’s the village.
Which is apparently the only forsaken thing on Earth.
JC: Well a forsaken temple narrows it down… To like 5000 places
JA: He didn’t even give a country.
Honestly, the message thing makes no sense right now. Hopefully part two gives a really good explanation.
JC: Maybe. Yeah at the moment it’s just too vague to work. Unless the message is intended for the ghosts to travel to just a general area on earth? I don’t know
JA: But then they’d still need to know the country. If they don’t need the exactly location, then just the planet would be fine.
The message doesn’t even say the planet.
There are eight (plus dwarf planets and big asteroids).
This ghost alien is worse at giving directions than I am.
JC: Kind of a weak explanation but the doctor said that apparently from the planet these things are from earth appears to be the fourth “star” in Orion’s belt
JA: How would Earth appear to be a star? I assumed he meant the sun.
JC: Well he did say one of the Stars in Orion’s belt isn’t a star. But that may be because it’s something brighter…
JA: It’s a nebula.
JC: but anyway is that the main beef we have? The message?
JA: Yeah, I think so.
I find the idea of the symbols embedding themselves in people’s minds really great, though. And the idea that they can’t stop thinking them even after they’re dead.
JC: This means I won’t be able to get Taylor Swift out of my head for all eternity doesn’t it?
JA: I’m afraid so. You’ll be mouthing it creepily with no eyeballs so that aliens can hear it.
It would probably make a more helpful set of directions.
JC: Ha I’m already horrible with those… Hard to imagine being worse
To quote the movie Se7en: what’s in the box?
JA: I have a theory. But my theories tend to be right (uncannily so), so I’m not sure I want to tell everyone and potentially spoil it.
JC: Do it so there’s proof next week if you’re right
JA: Fine. You and the blog readers have been warned.
It’s the Doctor.
That’s why the TARDIS was freaking out. And why the Doctor had a feeling that it wasn’t the pilot.
JC: That’s what I’m seeing other people say on the internets
And by internets I mean reddit
JA: Darn. I thought I was a lone genius, like when I worked out that Heaven was the Matrix.
JC: I’m hoping you’re wrong for unpredictability’s sake
JC: By the way: Cass is short for Cassandra isn’t it?
That could be your mythology connection
JA: In what sense?
JC: Cass told her interpreter to not go into the ship. He never saw the symbols and that’s why he wasn’t killed. She knows but can’t tell anyone because, well, deaf
JA: I’m really slow so I just picked up that that was why he wasn’t killed, even though they probably explicitly said it and I just missed it.
JC: I don’t think they did say it outright. Probably next week.
JA: It makes a lot of sense, though.
I strongly suspect that next week we’ll get a predestination paradox type thing with the Doctor somehow setting events in motion in the past.
JC: I love predestination paradox type things.
JA: I basically wrote a blog post entirely about how much I like those types of stories. (This one.)
JC: Honestly it really does seem like there’s a potential here for a killer second half. Paradoxes, wibbly wobbly time, predestination, I’m excited
JA: Yes. This was a solid, very Doctor Who episode of Doctor Who, but part two has the potential to be a lot more.
Do you have anything to add or are we done?
JC: I’ll do a quick summary I guess
So once again, we have a two parter. And judging by the episode titles, we’ve got two parters every week. Soooo that’s a little annoying since I’ll be saying this every week, but it depends on how next week ties everything together. There’s a GREAT set up here. We could be in for a wild second half… Or we could be in for a clunker. But judging by the quality of this episode and the premiere story I feel pretty confident that this is gonna be a great story. This season already feels better than last
JA: I more or less agree with that, although I felt Series 8 also had a strong start. It’s only later when we had, y’know, moon eggs and magical trees.
JC: Those God damn moon eggs…
JA: I genuinely don’t know how those episodes got made.
JC: WE wrote better episodes… And I still want to pitch my doctor meets Alice idea to BBC.
JA: I’m fairly confident that every Doctor Who story idea I’ve ever had has been better than In the Forest of the Night. And all yours definitely are.
Feel free to hire us, Moffat.
JC: GIVE US MONEY AND FAME AND STUFF
JA: AND BY STUFF WE MEAN TARDISES AND DALEKS
JC: I mean I’d be ok with Karen Gillan personally…
And on that somewhat creeper note, think I’m going to go to bed before I fall asleep on my couch.
We’ll be back next week with our discussion of Before the Flood.
Moffat, you know where to contact us if you want to take us up on that writing offer.