I review the latest episode of Series 7 of Doctor Who, entitled Hide, written by Neil Cross, which sees a return to form for the series.
This review contains spoilers and presumes the reader is already familiar with this episode.
DOCTOR WHO S7X09 – “Hide“
I think Hide might just be one of my favourite episodes of Series 7 so far, not just Series 7 Part 2. At what turns out to be a traditional ghost story in a haunted house at a first glance turns out to be something more, and we’re soon cast into an awesome mystery that with a cast of only four characters manages to make its mark in a very awesome story. Whilst it’s not a classic, lacking the scare-factor of Blink or The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances of Moffat’s pre-showrunner episodes, there is a lot to be positive about with this episode, which manages to prove that you should always give writers of a TV Drama a second chance to deliver.
I missed the pre-credits title sequence, so I can’t comment on the events that conspired there, but the rest of the episode was very strong indeed. Whilst it’s fairly dark, it’s not without its lighter moments as well, with Clara poking fun at the man responsible for buying a creepy old house with all signs leading to a haunting providing an entertaining watch. This could have so easily have been a standard horror episode, and I was preparing myself for another Blink as the teaser trailer suggested. But rather than be disappointed, I was impressed. Cross avoided the horror cliches and gave a great Doctor Who spin to it, with a neat ending that wrapped everything all up rather nicely.
We also get further clues to the identity of Clara in this episode, and although nothing groundbreaking is revealed here, it certainly reminds us that the Doctor will do his best to solve Clara’s mystery by the end of Episode 13, which has been confirmed to be called The Name of the Doctor, a title that I hope isn’t as straightforward as its name suggests.
The episode itself also had some great tension-increasing moments. The cloister bell, the strong supporting cast helped by the fact that there wasn’t much of them and the fact that there were seemingly no plot holes allowed for an entertaining episode. I wonder if the fact that the TARDIS and Clara don’t get along at first will become more important later on.
Hide itself also provides a let up from the bombastic, blockbuster-a-week format that Series 7 has been delivering us since Asylum of the Daleks first hit our screens. It’s nice and refreshing, and once again reminds us that I’d much prefer to have the old format of Doctor Who back.
The episode itself also bridges the gap between Cold War and Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, which I’ll admit, looks very exciting indeed. It’ll be very interesting to see where the show takes us from here, however – next week’s episode certainly has a lot of pressure on its shoulders (especially as the last TARDIS-centric episode was the incredible The Doctor’s Wife), and I’ve just found out that it’s written by Stephen Thompson, who whilst was behind the lackluster The Curse of the Black Spot episode from last season, wrote the spectacular The Reichenbach Fall for the Second Season of Sherlock, but we can only wait in order to find out.
DOCTOR WHO SERIES 7 EPISODE GUIDE – Part 1: S7x01: Asylum of the Daleks, S7x02: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, S7x03: A Town Called Mercy, S7x04: The Power of Three, S7x05: The Angels Take Manhattan CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: The Snowmen PART 2: S7x06: The Bells of Saint John, S7x07: The Rings of Akhaten, S7x08: Cold War, S7x09: Hide, S7x10: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, S7x11: The Crimson Horror, S7x12: Nightmare In Silver, S7x13: The Name of The Doctor