Doctor Who

Season 7 Episode 9


Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 20, 2013 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
156 votes

By Users Episode Review


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    A frightened Doctor, a companion who's catching on to the darker side of time travel faster than most, a ghost, imaginative storytelling, and a couple of love stories all combined in this overall satisfying, creepy, and emotionally juicy episode.

  • Episode Summary

    The Doctor and Clara investigate a haunted house and join a psychic and a professor who are seeking the mysterious ghost of the Witch of the Well.

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • Awesome but Not the Ghost Story I Was Expecting

      Okay, for coolness, acting, and directing, this episode gets a nine, but for actual writing, i'd give it a six. I finally decided to give it a nine because that's how much I liked it, but the writers of Doctor Who just have to face the fact that Neil Cross is just not that great a writer. I'm sure the story sounded like a great idea, which it was acting wise and directing wise, but similar to The Rings of Akhaten, there are so many unanswered questions. For example, why exactly did the hole appear to be a wormhole? Actually, everything that is related to that circle appearing all over the place doesn't make any sense, and I still don't understand why the ghost is called the witch of the well. Neil Cross always has enough room to explain these, but he doesn't because he's constantly creating pointless subplots that are unneeded in the story. For The Rings of Akhaten, it was the Vigil, but for this episode it was the Crooked Man. The only reason Neil Cross created the Crooked Man was because he wanted something to chase the Doctor and Hila through the woods. Also, all of us were expecting a scary ghost story, but it wasn't. It turns out there was no ghost and Hila was just trapped in a parallel universe. That could have been an episode for another time, but I was really looking forward to a ghost story that never happened. As for everything else, it was fantastic. All the actors were great, along with Matt and Jenna, and the directing was great, but the writing could have been much better.moreless
    • Toggle

      That was genuinely terrifying for a few blinks, and then it fell a bit apart. Leaves us with a lot of things to think about, though. Why was Clara channeling the monster? How will the shard of ice in the Doctor's heart manifest next? How did Clara persuade the TARDIS to let her in when she did absolutely nothing but rattle the doors? This was a decent episode, and in that fright vein we don't get to see too often. It was fun and connected to the plot in that the Doctor was looking for answers regarding his companion, but it was very disconnected.moreless
    • Spooky

      Love Dougray Scott. Love ghost stories and parallel realities. Excellent story!

      So glad to see a return to form after the disappointing start to the season.
    • Ghost Hunters

      After a couple of episodes I personally didn't think were up to speed, this episode actually has some millage. Not a lot I can really say about this one, I'll admit I was afraid this was going to be another typical cleche haunted house romp. But what I like was that they put a bit of a sci-fi spin on it, which was something I was expecting at all. Usually ghosts would orginate from being either souls wronged in some way or demons from disturbed ancient artifacts. Here we see these so called spirits aren't spirts at all but that the two creatures and one human are from some sort of pocket dimention. I wouldn't say that's anything that really blows me away but I just thought it was something different.

      There was a good amount of suspense and at times creepy. The moment when Clara asked if the Doctor was holding her hand and wasn't that creeped me out. I really like the use of atmosphere from the use of shadows in the house as well as the grey color in the pocket dimention giving you the sense of forboding and disorientation. The two creatures don't disappoint they look like creatures from the "Silent Hill" video games, I like the fact we don't see them too much just a flash or glimpse of their features, it made them more creepy.

      The two supporting characters were good. Alec is a determined ghost hunter whom is sympathetic from his checkered past with Millitary Intelegence. Emma as his psychic assistant is a person with strong emotions even if it doesn't seems like it shows and cute. Both have soild chemistry I bought it, it was funny how the Doctor was helping in getting them both on the right track. There is also a little twist at the end for both which I found both sweet and funny, I won't say what it is you have to see for yourself.

      I even like how the episode provided two clues on what's to come. Emma says something to Clara that she shouldn't fully trust the Doctor he has a sliver of ice in his heart. I'll admit hearing this, it made me concerned about the Doctor's psyche, I feel it means two things one he hasn't fully recovered from the loss of both Amy and Rory it really did hurt him bad as well as myself. And second the possibility that the Doctor's dark side is starting to surface, I have a bad feeling something really bad will happen that will trigger it to come out. I don't know I could be wrong but we'll have to wait and see.

      Another thing was seeing the Tartis allowing Clara in and somehow Clara was able to fly it to the right place. That I find strange because only Time Lords can opporate it, I've never seen any of Doctor Who's companions do it (well except for Donna Noble when she was a time lord temporarily). Though Clara has became a techno genius overnight in an episode so it makes a bit of sense she'd be able to, but still how could she do it let alone why would the Tartis willingly let her in.

      The only bad thing about the episode is Clara I didn't feel had much to do, that so far has been the problem with her character in general which is why she hasn't entirely found her footing with me yet. Hopefully the episode in the future she will.

      Overall soild episode if not a hard hitter.moreless
    • That's better...

      This episode is definitely a marked improvement over the previous three. It had a good monster and some great moments, particularly the wonderfully tetchy exchange between Clara and our favorite blue box. But something has been missing so far in this season. I cannot really fault the new companion Clara at all, as the actress who plays her has brought zest and freshness to the role. And Smith remains as good as ever with some great wit on display in this episode. So characterization and dialogue are not the problem. Instead I feel that the flatness I am experiencing (and my wife feels the same) is down to the relentless 'done in one' approach that Steven Moffat has adopted this season. It gives everything a rushed feel and I am finding that the 'resolution in 45 minutes' has become somewhat repetitious and not conducive to dramatic tension. We need two-part stories to mix up the pace, stave off the air of predictability, and also give us some exciting cliffhangers which have been a staple and hallmark of Doctor Who since 1963. Season 8 needs to get back to basics.moreless

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