Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review: "HIde"

Neil Cross's second "Doctor Who" episode, "Hide" aired today.

So, spoilers.

Still there?

Invisotext on. Highlight to read (sorry handheld readers): It's 1974 and in Caliban House, a scientist is hunting for ghosts with his psychic assistant.

The catch is that, thanks to the psychic assistant, the ghost is real.

In come the Doctor and Clara. The Doctor does his usual schtick. Turns out the scientist was a black-ops sort at some point in his past. Oh, and he's in love with his psychic assistant. And she's in love with him.

You know the story.

Turns out there's timey-whimey stuff going on. The Doctor, through judicious use of the TARDIS, figures out that the "ghost" is actually a trapped time traveler being menaced by something in a rapidly-collapsing bubble universe.

To rescue the time traveler, the psychic needs to use gear the Doctor sets up (including a blue crystal from Metabilis 3 - raise your hand if you get the reference).

Why not just fly the TARDIS into the pocket universe and save the time traveler? Well, apparently the TARDIS would lose all its power and be drained dry in a few minutes.

The Doctor jumps into the pocket universe to free the time traveler and does so, but gets trapped himself.

Clara, who has had issues getting along with the TARDIS, convinces it to fly into the pocket universe and save the Doctor.

Turns out the monster menacing everyone in the pocket universe is just trying to jump to "our" universe to be together with another monster living in Caliban house.

Don't ask.

So, "Hide" was a TREMENDOUS improvement over the abomination that was "The Rings of Akhaten". The chemistry between the scientist and his psychic assistant was solid (if a tad over-acted).

The mood and the pacing was strong. The story, while trite and cliche, didn't entirely suck.

There were still some horrible flaws:
  • The Doctor remains very un-Doctor-like in how he's acting.
  • The TARDIS doesn't like Clara and now talks to her? Huh?
  • Since when can Clara fly the TARDIS?
  • I thought going into the pocket universe would drain the TARDIS's power. So... how does Clara fly it there twice?
  • The current version of Clara still lacks something to make her interesting. Everything feels forced with her.
Overall, an improvement but not fantastic. A C+.

No comments: