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Doctor Who Hide ghost
Doctor Who
Season 7, Episode 10: Hide
– Posted by Sage

To be perfectly honest, the convoluted plotting of Series 6 left me exhausted and more than a little frustrated with Doctor Who. I was missing the standalone episodes that pluck the Doctor and friends out of their own serial dramas and get them busy having a good old fashioned adventure. Happily, the good lord Moffat has heard my cries, and Series 7 has been rich in “Monster of the Week” fun. I was SO looking forward to watching and recapping “Hide,” which seemed to have all the hallmarks of a spooky Doctor Who classic. A huge, fuck-off Victorian manor? Check. Attractive ghost hunters in tasteful 70s fashions? Check. A scary thunderstorm? You got it. It’s ghost time.

Ghostbusters Doctor Who

The Doctor and Clara show up on the door step of Downton Shabby to meet aforementioned good-looking explorers Emma Grayling (Jessica Raine, who is also starring as Verity Lambert in the dramatization of Who‘s origin story) and Major Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott – Drew Barrymore’s prince – you’re welcome). And then the Doctor does that thing where he meets someone he admires and shamelessly fangirls him. Alec is a seeker of knowledge – a man who bought a huge, fuck-off Victorian manor just so he could investigate its haunting – just the Doctor’s type.

But it’s not all man-crushes and toggle switches. Alec is haunted, not by the Caliban Ghast, but by the ghosts of his past. He has killed and “has caused to have killed” and he really doesn’t know how else to live his life but to keep on reaching out for the next mystery. Sound like anyone we know?

Like the Doctor, Alec is not alone. The lovely Emma serves his project as an empathic psychic – he catalogs the appearances of the ghast, while Emma interprets her emotions. But she also gives him a reason to hold on. The Major is not exactly forthcoming with his feelings about her though, until the moment of crisis arrives. (SOUND LIKE ANYONE WE KNOW?) “You brought me back from the dead,” he tells her.

And here is where I launch into my frantic analysis of the Rose Tyler parallels and allusions in this episode. I know that I am biased, and maybe I’m seeing things that I want to see, but writer Neil Cross (Luther showrunner, “The Rings of Akhaten”) has packed so many references into this episode that I can’t be making them ALL up:

  • The “ghost”, really time traveler Hilla Tacorien, is stuck in a pocket universe, not a parallel one. But the term is bandied about quite a bit, with Clara trying to understand the difference between the two. Don’t tell me there isn’t a pang in his hearts when someone says those words.
  • The original ghostbusters.
  • The Doctor takes Clara to the end of the earth to prove his theory about Hilla’s whereabouts (whenabouts?). At the VERY SAME MOMENT, Nine and Rose are holding hands and watching the planet’s death from Platform One. Stop taking your dates to watch the world end, Doctor. It makes us feel very insignificant.
  • When they say goodbye, Alec asks the Doctor what he and Emma should do now. The Doctor tells them to “hold hands.” “Keep doing that, and don’t let go.” I juuuuust…

  • In fact, the entire relationship between Alec and Emma is very Rose and Doctor-esque. I wrote in one of my playlist posts about Rose’s deep empathy for the Doctor. More than any other modern companion, she seemed to feel what he was feeling. (“Girl in the Fireplace” is the ultimate proof of that.) And Emma is an empath – very literally able to do that. That skill serves Alec personally more than professionally. He needed someone to bring him back, someone who would only consider his past mistakes in terms of how they still affect him. This is so Rose and Nine that it hurts.
  • The moment where everyone in the Doctor/Rose fandom fell apart: “It’s the oldest story in the universe, this one or any other. Boy and girl fall in love, get separated by events, war, politics, accidents in time. Since they’ve been yearning for each other, across time and space across dimensions! It’s not a ghost story, it’s a love story!”
Doomsday wall Doctor Who

No.

Now that I have that out of my system, let’s get back to the companion at hand. Just because this was a MoTW ep, it doesn’t mean that the Clara mystery was ignored. Quite the contrary. The whole reason that the Doctor came to meet Alec and Emma in 1974 was to learn more about the impossible girl. Emma is sure that Clara is completely normal. But Emma is an empath, not a Time Lord. She doesn’t have the depth of knowledge to explain entities from other worlds or times. She could only feel what Hilla felt, not identify her origin. So: the only way she could explain Clara would be if Clara HERSELF knew what she was. Am I rambling? I feel like I’m rambling.

Clara Tardis

Besides Emma’s analysis, the other Clara clues in “Hide” were the pops of bright red that are always near her (this time, the umbrella and her signature bag) and the fact that the TARDIS still rejects her. The TARDIS was giving me serious Tinkerbell vibes this episode, especially when she used Clara’s own image for the visual interface. Is she jealous, or does her dislike have to do with the anomaly of Clara? As others have pointed out, the TARDIS also doesn’t like Jack – another impossibility. The Doctor brushes the friction off when she mentions it, but I think he’s weighing it along with the rest of the clues to Clara.

Timey-Wimey Observations:

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Posted by Sage

Listen: The holidays are awesome. All the best movies of the year come out within the same two-week span; you can start drinking at pretty much any time of the day that you feel like it; and people you like GIVE you stuff. They just give it to you!

For those of us who wear our hearts and feels on our sleeves, we can assume that at least some of that stuff will be fandom-related. And fandom presents are the BEST presents. How could socks and underwear possibly compare to the ThinkGeek catalog or the creme de la Redbubble?

We put out the call to our Twitter followers and, as always, they came through like gangbusters. Check out the plethora of geek gifts the Head Over Feels family got this year!

Cat Grabby Hands

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Posted by Kim and Sage

It is one of our personal goals to turn all of our friends into Whovians.   We just want everyone to understand WHY we are so overwhelmed with feelings all the time.  We have a couple of friends on the VERGE of dipping their toes into Doctor Who Universe.  Our friend Samantha already KNOWS that the Ultimate OTP of the show (despite our undying devotion to Rose x Ten) is actually The Doctor and the TARDIS.  She got there on her OWN, you guys!  We were so proud!  Recently our friend Anna asked us what episodes we would recommend for someone considering jumping into the lifetime commitment of being a Doctor Who Fan.

She also said she was asking “for a friend”.

A likely story.  We know you are on the verge, Anna.  Don’t deny it.

That got us thinking…where WOULD we start?  Personally, when I (Kim) started Doctor Who around this time last year, I started with the first episode of Series One,  “Rose”.  Then again, I HAVE been accused of being a “Completist” on a well-known pop culture website.  I don’t deny it.  WHY WOULD YOU START ANYWHERE BUT THE BEGINNING?!

We put a call out to our Twitter followers and Facebook fans (PS: are YOU following us yet?) about which episodes they would suggest to newbies, which spurred a great debate.  Eventually 6 episodes (well, technically 8, as there are two Two Parters on this list) rose to the top of the heap.  Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

Also to Anna and Sam: You WILL become Whovians in 2013.  You should accept your fate now.

Tenth Doctor Soon

“Rose” (Series One, Episode One) – Sage

@ottofernandez: “My first episode was “Rose.” I don’t think it best represents the series, but why not start at the beginning?”

As a famous singing nun once said, the beginning is, in fact, “a very good place to start.” For your completist friends who refuse to watch anything out of order, you have no choice but to begin here. My own first experience with the Doctor was in this pilot episode of the modern series. “Rose” introduces us to Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, his new companion Rose Tyler (my future wife Billie Piper), Rose’s mum Jackie Tyler and boyfriend Mickey Smith, and the TARDIS, the Doctor’s transport across galaxies. Did I mention it also travels in time?

This episode is a romp. “Rose” only hints at the emotional depth of the series with the “turn of the earth” monologue and Eccleston’s portrayal of Nine’s worldweariness. The effects are charmingly low-budget and silly. But it also brings us up to speed on 40-some years of history in about 45 minutes and establishes a crackling chemistry with the Doctor and Rose. Showrunner Russell T. Davies wrote this one and cleverly peppers in snappy dialogue that also lets us know what to expect in the world of this show. This exchange is one of my favorites.

Rose: “If you’re an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the north?”
Doctor: “Lots of planets have a north!”

In six words, Davies establishes that, despite being able to access any point in space and time, the Doctor will spend a lot of time kicking it in present-day London. And despite knowing every single language there has been or will be, his default is modern English with a Brit accent. If you need a better explanation than that, then this isn’t the show for you. Move along.

“Rose” packs a bigger wallop on rewatch. When I first returned to it after catching up to series 7, it meant so much more to me to see the meeting of two of my all-time favorite characters and the inside of the TARDIS for the first time. Any Whovian who doesn’t get chills when Nine grabs Rose’s hand in that dark basement and whispers, “run,” isn’t a Whovian at all and is probably dead inside.

Doctor Who Rose Run

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