Doctor Who – Series 9 Episode 3 – Under the Lake review


Well, this is an improvement from the first two episodes, and I do particularly like the fact that they’re devoting time to doing lots of two parters. It’s a much more old school and focused episode that plays like The Impossible Planet meets The Waters of Mars and builds a nice mystery whilst having great individual elements.

It doesn’t have any of the old school charm, and, at this stage in the show, it has been done a hundred times before, and far better. Yet what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in its presentation. The ghosts are nicely designed and a little creepy, whilst the atmosphere of the underwater base is a great setting, that you’re surprised hasn’t been done before. The performances are a little bit less hyperactive than usual, so when they slow down you can actually read the emotions of the main characters.

There is a nice scene between The Doctor and Clara in the TARDIS which is played really nicely by the both of them, and sets up what could possibly be her final story. The plot is standard fare. They arrive at a place, it’s being invaded by monsters, they need to figure it out, and there’s a bunch o’ people who get picked off one by one. Simple, but effective. Toby Whitehouse is a master of this, though maybe in Who, his episodes haven’t been the best, his work on Being Human is excellent

It still has the problems now evident with current Who. Particularly the ending is about as obvious as they come, and ended the episode with a whimper, it was a big “Oh really?” moment. Also, I cannot believe they’re sticking with the sonic glasses thing. I mean, come on. What the hell?

In the end, it’s a run of the mill episode that does what it does well, but the niggles that come with current Who, whilst largely forgotten, cannot be completely removed.

Rating: B-  6/10

Best line: The Doctor: Calm Doctor, calm. You were like this when you met Shirley Bassey


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