There might not be as many spoilers in this review mainly because I don’t want to ruin too much for you–the episode was that good. It possessed a freshness and quality that I feel hasn’t been present in Doctor Who for a long time. And the cliffhanger of an ending–we haven’t had a cliffhanger that good in years.
“Under the Lake” sees the Doctor and Clara arrive at an underwater base in the 22nd century, and it’s got people from UNIT on board. And a mysterious alien craft. And, apparently, ghosts. One came with the ship, and the leader of the crew became one himself after his unexpected demise (there’s a third ghost later, too). The ghosts only appear in the night mode of the base, are trying to communicate something with the living, and only seem to be interested in killing you after you’ve had a chance to inspect the mysterious letters scratched on the wall of the spaceship. Are they real ghosts? If not, what are they? Who is using them, and for what purpose? Will the Doctor be able to find the answers by going back in time to the day the ship crashed?
During the course of the episode, I thought Clara seemed a little…off to me. She seemed far too eager to go rushing off into danger–almost manic, I’d say. I wasn’t the only one who noticed; the Doctor actually took her aside and expressed his concern, even suggesting that she get into another relationship (implying that she hasn’t yet gotten over Danny Pink’s death). Clara assured the Doctor that she was fine, but I still say something is off with her. That something may even factor in to her departure later in the season.
All in all, I’d rank “Under the Lake” very highly indeed, and I can’t wait to see what “Before the Flood” holds in store for us next week.