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Part one of two, "Under the Lake" scares up a good, old-fashioned ghost story, which may remind viewers of the original series -- for better or worse.
This rollicking, hair-raising romp demonstrated that the sci-fi franchise still has the power to thrill and chill in equal measure.
The fact that it rarely feels clichéd or repetitive is a testament to clever writing, and even better acting. In particular Capaldi, who seems to get even more riveting with each passing episode, elevating the material in ways that continue to astonish.
[Screenwriter Toby Whithouse] has that special knack for taking tried and true sci-fi plots and adding that special something to make them sing.
At any rate, it was a fun hour, an engaging mystery, a cast with presence and chemistry, and a cliffhanger for the ages. Loved it. More, please.
It's filled with a sense of foreboding-not just because of the scary ghosts, mysterious spaceship, and claustrophobic base at the bottom of a lake in Scotland, but because of the way the Doctor is acting.
Chills, action, adventure - this is old-school Doctor Who given a modern sheen and, most of all, it's enormous fun.
"Under The Lake" was a competent episode but somewhat heavy going, and it'll be good to see things opened up in concluding part "Before The Flood". Deep breaths, all.
Writer Toby Whithouse successfully expands the mystery at the episode's core in such a way a continuation feels more like something the story earned, rather than an obligation to perfunctorily expand the scope of a tale that doesn't necessarily need it.
It's not that "Under the Lake" is bad Doctor Who, just terribly average.
This episode is refreshingly reminiscent of earlier eras of the series.
I always welcome the creature-feature Doctor Who episodes, and "Under the Lake" does that tradition proud.
Toby Whithouse culture-jams haunted-house intrigue with classic base-under-siege tension. We've seen both formats on Who before, but never quite like this. As always with Whithouse, there's fizzing, funny dialogue and a cracking ensemble.