Doctor Who: Hide – episode discussion

Okay, I heard all your feedback on the other Doctor Who thread. But it seems ridiculous to have comments about a current episode on such an old thread, so I decided to create a thread here for Hide.

I’ve got to be upfront with you all though – I’m hating the current season of Doctor Who. I think the series has become nonsensical and it has strayed away from the heart and heroism of the Ecclestone/Tennant days.

Hide, like most of the new episodes, teases a ghost story but delivers something else. The episode makes a pretence of being a haunted house story with creaky floorboards and things like that, but none of the actors are invested in this. At one point, Clara and the psychic sit down for a chat about love. There’s no tension, no fear of the spectre haunting the place. As I said to someone on Twitter during the episode, if the characters aren’t showing concern for their situation, then why should the audience?

And as you might expect given that Doctor Who can never do a proper ghost story, the explanation for the spook is that’s it’s really a person trapped in a pocket universe. Ho-hum. It wasn’t the worst turnout, but there’s a fundamental failure of storytelling in Doctor Who this year that’s causing a big disconnect for me. Nothing feels real or authentic. There’s no real sense of danger or anything being ‘at stake’. Hide was a perfect example of this, as were The Rings Of Akhaten and Cold War. And maybe twee Doctor-isms might keep some viewers interested, but not this viewer.

The fact is, there are better dramas out there and Doctor Who isn’t the essential Saturday night flagship it used to be.

What’s your take?

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10 Comments

  1. sgreco1970

    I’m forced to agree; I really don’t like this season. I think its entirely the writing and partially clara. It has no soul or heart, no strong storylines, nothing memorable and no sense of adventure. The storylines are vague and often confusing. They play out like the stream of conscious games of pretend children play. I just don’t know what on Earth has happened to Moffat and quite what he’s doing. He wrote some of my favorite Tennant episodes and now we get this? I have higher hopes for the Neil Gaiman episode but then I feel Clara may be a problem because she is so paper thin and 2 dimensional. She feels like such a non entity and this supposed romance, which is nonexistent, feels forced and fake. I really, really feel its time for someone else to take over. if I had my druthers, it would be Gaiman. Ah well, one can wish. Anyway, there were Doctors and years during Doctor Who that I didn’t like. I absolutely couldn’t stand Pertwee and Colin Baker bored me -but then new people would take over at the BBC or in the role and things would be good again. So it will be this time too, just quite when is unknown. I think Smith looks better now as the Doctor than he ever did, and I quite like the more technological TARDIS interior -but Clara and the writing just puts it to waste.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I know exactly what you’re saying. Then again, I’ve been worried about exactly this state of affairs ever since Moffat took over. The stories have become scattier and their resolutions increasingly nonsensical – Singing! Love! Memories! Sonic Screwdriver!

      There may have been criticisms of the Russell T Davies era, but back then the series had heart. Sure, it had its weak moments, but we were invested in the characters. Smith’s Doctor is just too ‘silly’, like a big gangly cross between a clown and a mad scientist. So, when he’s called upon to do something serious, like deliver a speech or – heaven forbid – an explanation, it never quite rings true. He’s dealing with the poor writing of course.

      As for replacing Moffat – the sooner the better in my opinion. Gaiman would be great, but I doubt that he’s in a position to take it on. Apparently there’s a series being made based on his American Gods novel. He’d be an amazing win for Doctor Who though.

  2. Emperor Gregor

    The problem with writing stories for a 50 minute or so episode is you either get lots of character and some story or you get lots of plot at the expense of character. Getting both into one is trying to put a quart into a pint pot. The story arc is a bit like the old fashioned Christie-type mysteries – books not too long with so much spent on solving the riddle of whodunnit you didn’t get much character development. 

    But I do love Dr Who and I’m going with the flow. So we have a mystery to solve and play with. So be it. Even if it means you can’t reveal much about Clara because of ‘spoilers’. Didn’t like Akhaten – too much like Pharoah Akenaten meets Star Wars. I liked Cold War; quite a good story, set on a Russian sub not American – even if they did stick a Clara Clue in the middle and have her diving head first into six inches of water, then saving them all by singing a song she couldn;t know the words to. I liked Hide this week quite a lot, mainly because the small cast meant you got some character development and the actors playing the ghost hunters were very good. And we got another couple of Clara Clues – she’s an empath (had worked that out earlier) and the Doctor says they are the good guys. And she is not just an ordinary girl, because the psychic told the Doctor she is, but the pyschic doesn’t like or trust the Doctor and wouldn’t tell him anything; so – we we believe the opposite of what she says. Pity about the ending. Luuuv. Between the researchers, OK. But the monsters. Oh please.

  3. Emperor Gregor

    In The Shakespeare Code (not by Moffatt) the old idea that names have power is taken up and that the Carrionites were cast out into darkness by Eternals knowing the right word to use. The Carrionites can commit murder by the use of the right name, but fail with Martha as she is out of her time, and can’t identify the Doctor’s as it’s hidden deep inside him behind a wall of despair. Moffatt might be developing this theme. The secret does seem to be something about his name. But in that case – how did the Silence find out about it? I expect they’ll be back and I’ll find out.

    And it’s time to own up – I love River Song. One reason I didn’t like Amy was that she just didn’t compare to River as an action heroine. To River, mind you. The solution that River was Amy’s daughter didn’t make the most of the possibilities. I wish Clara could be River, out of the library. But not, somehow, played by Clara. Clara is not an action adventure heroine – Amy and Clara, and Rose too, were just modernised versions of the old fashioned little goodie companion; they do some stuff and don’t scream, but that’s about it. They are not natural adventurers; Amy usually ended up telling the Doctor off for not being a good boy. River would have been a great companion and a real updating of the companion role. 

  4. jefft

    Well, I have to agree with a heavy heart.

    the visuals this season..sumptuous . But more than ever before, too much potential to stick in a 45 minute slot. And too many stories end with solutions involving wishful thinking.

    last season or so we were all here second guessing the clues we had about the impossible astronaut and a little girl. Assuming it was deliberate, clue after clue thrown in, and clue after clue leads to a dead end. We’re constantly left asking ‘but why…’?

    ive said as much elsewhere, it’s worth repeating here.. In dr who and in Sherlock, both protagonists got too public and had to fake their own death . 

    Immediately followed we have to presume by a period of everyone thinking the revived character is someone else, or ‘its ok really’

     

    but to Clara..

    river ended up in the library. Nothing that can be remembered is ever lost. Rivers grave stone in the finale. River in the finale. 

     

    Hmm..

    this season, every episode has the feel of a premise to support a plot point.

    rings of akhaten? Someone gets the docs memories.

     

    cold war.. Reintroduces the hads system, so we have a reason for the tardis to take the doc somewhere odd in the face of danger.

    pocket universes… Is this how come more cybermen?

     

    Hide has been the best of this weak series although the end was a bit poor. Maybe melty features will reappear in the finale and help out?

     

    Butbthe last word is for Clara herself. Phworr. Keep your Amy ponds, thanks!

     

     

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I’m baffled myself. To be honest, I don’t see anything to indicate there’s been a running theme through these episodes, any kind of story arc. There’s barely been any standalone story logic, so I’m doubtful there’s an intricate tapestry being woven here.

      I think Clara – looks aside – has failed to be as exciting a companion as we first thought back in Asylum Of The Daleks. Aha, we thought! A companion who can keep The Doctor on his toes! Someone who can match him intellectually. And so far she’s been a little…meh.

      I think what’s sad are the Doctor Who apologists out there who believe we have to universally praise the show, be grateful for the show or else we might lose it. Frankly, with the sheer amount of quality drama out there – Game Of Thrones, Walking Dead, Revenge, Spartacus, Being Human, etc, etc, etc, (not to mention incredible movie franchises like Avengers and Star Trek) maybe Doctor Who should be considering how to compete with these shows instead of delivering sub-par television.

      Sorry for the rant. Very frustrated to watch this show go downhill.

      1. sgreco1970

        you’re just voicing what we all feel. Its such a shame. This was a reliably excellent show I couldn’t wait to tune into. Now, I’m just hoping for the day Moffat is replaced. I knwo there’s no hope of Gaiman taking over, but I’m just not sure who could do it justice. Too bad Doug Adams is gone ๐Ÿ™

        Clara’s looks comprise the entirety of her character. She’s pretty. That’s it. She has zero personality and no kind of character. She’s such a non-entity.

        Sigh. I want it to be good ๐Ÿ™

  5. Gerard McGarry

    So question for the Whovians who are still on the mailing list – what do you want to do about future episodes? Shall I post a quick discussion post each Saturday? And are there any other shows we have a common interest in that we can chat about?

  6. jefft

    Well, theres always Sherlock. But the problem there is theres so few of them. And the cliffhanger from the last series was solvable using the rewind button at the time, newspapers this year notwithstanding.

     

    But back to Who..  heres a couple of thoughts..

    A/ Moffats aim for this series was ‘make them like a movie’.  SO he gets great posters, but kneecaps the job by sticking to 45 minute episodes. Maybe he had no choice there, but a movie follows plotting guidelines, which I cant help feeling current Who is ignoring. Every episode feels rushed now. 

    B/ The Doctor has mentioned again recently that hes a Grandfather. So surely this must imply the presence of a Son or Daughter (Jenny probably doesnt count, but who knows…)  Maybe thats another explanation of John Hurt’s character ? (Ive been hearing some odd spolier/theories recently.. If they all come about, the rushed aspect we have seen so far is NOTHING compared to what might be crammed into a mere 1 hour in November.

     

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