First Aired BBC1 18:45 20 April 2013
There are spoilers in this review but I do not spoil the secret of the story.
1974, Caliburn House. Professor Alec Palmer and psychic Emma Graylin are investigating a a ghost that haunts the house, known as the Witch of the Well.
The Doctor and Clara arrive just after the Professor and Miss Grayling have witnessed the apparition. The Doctor is here particularly as he knew of the tale. It seems the Professor is somewhat of a hero to the Doctor. He is certain there is more to the haunting than meets the eye, he just doesn’t know what it is.
We see the ghost in the pre-credit introduction, so we already know it isn’t anything to do with Cybermen coming over from Pete’s World (Army of Ghosts first aired BBC1 1 July 2006 & Doomsday first aired BBC1 8 July 2006), frankly I hadn’t considered that until a few moments in to the episode.
The Doctor lets out quite a few spoilers to the Professor & Miss Grayling as we progress through this episode. Revealing not only the Professor’s past to Miss Grayling but also their future. Quite why he breaks so much of his own rules isn’t clear.
Miss Grayling warns Clara that the Doctor has ice in his heart. The Doctor then proceeds to show Clara the birth, life and death of the Earth without thinking how it might affect her. To me a clumsy reminder that the Doctor doesn’t always think about the feelings of other people.
We also receive a reminder that the TARDIS doesn’t seem to like Clara, it wouldn’t let her in without the Doctor no matter how important it was. We’ve seen companions given their own keys but we have also seen that they can frequently get in to the TARDIS without one. We may never get an explanation about this, but lets wait and see.
The Doctor cobbles together a machine to enhance Miss Grayling’s abilities using a blue stone from Metebelis III, clearly he has more than one of these as the last one we saw was returned to Metebelis III in Planet of the Spiders (first aired BBC1 4 May to 8 June 1974).
I did guess what the ghost was… but not who. I thought the mysterious beast, referred to in the ghost story as the Devil, was something similar to the beast Professor Lazarus (The Lazarus Experiment, first aired 5 May 2007) inadvertently evolved in to, due to what seemed to be a similar silhouette.
A small cast in a large building, aiming at a classic haunted house feel. Quite enjoyable story, better than the previous episode from the pen of Neil Cross, The Rings Of Akhaten. The pacing was good and the cast was fine. I don’t think it lived up to its potential but I can’t quite say what it lacked.
We will see Jessica Raine later this year as Doctor Who’s original producer,Verity Lambert, in the anniversary special An Adventure in Space and Time
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