‘‘Hide” is a cute name for a scary episode, but it’s a bit of a misnomer because everyone really seems to be seeking. The Doctor is still seeking answers about the mystery that is Clara, Emma and Alec are seeking to find out the truth behind the mystery of the Witch of the Well and Clara is still seeking approval from the TARDIS. We open with lightning at a stately home. A woman is talking with a man who has surveillance equipment set up all over a central room. They discuss whether to continue and the woman insists they should because “…she’s so lonely”. She is not referring to herself. The man seems a bit apologetic around this woman, as though maybe he fancies her. He then starts his recording equipment and states that it is November 25, 1974. The woman walks down a dark hallway, calling to speak to the spirit in the house and the man’s equipment goes haywire. The scream-faced spirit shows up out of the darkness, causing the woman to stumble around, only to be caught by the man, as she declares that the spirit is “so…dead”. Okay. There is persistent knocking at the front doors It’s the Doctor and Clara who declare they are Ghostbusters and cue opening titles. Oh, this episode is also written by Neil Cross, he of The Rings of Akhaten. Yay!
Back to the doorway and the Doctor declares that he is the Doctor and the man queries, “Doctor What?”. The Doctor simply replies, “if you like.” Hee. The Doctor barges in and as he does he geeks out over the equipment and over his introduction of the man who is Major Alec Palmer, specialist in espionage and reconnaissance, and also ghost hunting amongst other things. Then we get a cute Who inside joke about Emma Grayling, the psychic woman, being his companion, oops, no it’s 1974, she’s the assistant. See what they did there? The Doctor makes out like he is from the Ministry, and there is more geeking out over the equipment and then The Doctor asks to see the ghost. Then we find out that this creeptastic house is Palmer’s which Clara tells him is really brave of him, but in fact you can tell she thinks him rather stupid. We then find out that Emma is an Empathic Psychic who can sense feelings, not thoughts. The Doctor says that Empaths are the most compassionate people you will ever meet and the loneliest. Tell me about it, Doctor.
Then Alec shows off his spooky photo collection pertaining to the ghost and talks about how she’s been around longer than the 400 year old house, and is known mostly as the Witch of the Well. Evidently she screams a lot, and her image never changes. Emma says the spirit calls out to her, saying “help me”. Then we see a dark figure run by the camera which is focused on the backs of everyone who is standing in front of the chalkboard of creepiness that is the photo display. This episode is really freaking me out. The Scream-like faces, the creepy figure, the music, and the screechy noises. The Doctor and Clara go exploring by themselves with candelabra in tow, and talk about how “ignorance is Carlisle.” What? What! What…this show has made me go all Ten now. Turns out it is the only city in Cumbria (the opposite of bliss apparently, as in ignorance is…)which harkens back to the season opener. Really? That was so unnecessary and not even that funny. Clara and the Doctor keep walking and something moves and shifts around in the dark. Oh man.
Back to Alec and Emma (close to a movie title, Neil Cross) and they are discussing whether the Doctor is who he says he is. Alec says he has the right demeanor, and susses him a liar. Then he gets all defensive because he lied to Emma about being a POW, and says that when you have seen a thing or two, experience will make a liar out of you, and that we all lie about what we’ve done. Emma adds that we lie about how we feel, which is her just trying to bait Alec into saying whether he returns her affection. It appears he does, but she isn’t convinced. How empathic is she again? She tries to touch him, but he pulls away. Oh I see.
Back to the Doctor and Clara and she asks him if he feels like they are being watched. And he asks if it is the funny feeling on the back of your neck and she says yes and he says yes, and we see another shadow run by the wall, but Clara and the Doctor don’t see it. Then the air gets cold in one spot, so the Doctor draws a circle around the spot. Then smoke starts rising from the circle. Cut back to the Doctor and Clara making their way back to the surveillance room and they hear banging and their candles blow out. They look at each other completely Scooby-spooked.
Cut back to Emma and Alec, who ask if it seems colder, and we see the thermometer temperature dropping. The Doctor and Clara notice ice forming rapidly at the windows. Clara asks what the noise is because there is a loud banging and the Doctor says it is a an angry noise and asks if Clara is making it. Then Clara points out that although she is scared she is an adult and doesn’t need the Doctor to hold her hand. Then he tells her he isn’t, they scream at each others’ faces like Shaggy and Scoob and run back to the central room where a large black circle has formed in the air, looking suspiciously like the circle drawn in the hallway. The ghost (which now looks more like a woman in peril) appears in the archway and calls to Emma. Emma swoons again (only to be caught by Alec) as the woman shrieks “help me” in a way that is super spooky, and everyone turns around to notice that the words are also written in white on the wall. The circular portal closes.
Clara and Emma try to drink whiskey, but realize they just want a cup of tea as it is the Eleventh Most Disgusting Thing Ever Invented (Especially the smoky, single malt that Ethan drinks which is like drinking a cigar.) Clara would make a good blog headline writer, by the way. The Doctor and Alec are in a photography dark room and they chat about Alec’s past career as a spy. The Doctor bonds with Alec has he relates how murdering people even for a good cause haunts the person who does it, not least of which because they survive. Alec is dealing with this ghost to appease that guilt. Back to Clara who asks why Alec and Emma have not gotten together in any way if Emma can sense how people feel. Emma says that empaths have a blind spot when it comes to those they like. They can’t tell if they feel what the other person is truly feeling or what they want them to feel. Clara tells her it is obvious that Alec has feelings for her like a “big chin” (oh, chin boy reference!). Emma warns Clara not to fancy the Doctor because there is a sliver of ice in his heart, so he is not to be trusted. The Doctor calls for Clara, as he borrows Alec’s camera and they make their way back to the TARDIS. Clara feels it is watching her, and again says it doesn’t like her. The Doctor explains that it is like a cat and she has to gain its trust. Really? We have never seen any previous companions have to do that. Fun though having the ole TARDIS be more of a character since she was Idris. Thanks Gaiman! Then Clara needs a hat rack and the Doctor acts slightly barmy as he rambles on about where his went Then Clara starts shaking the rain off her umbrella and gets chastised by the Doctor for making the TARDIS wet and how that is no way to endear her. True, but you hit her with a hammer, Chucklehead.
Clara cleverly works out when the Doctor says they are going no where, that they are going to go through Time, but not Space. There is banter about “going always” which is cute and then they argue over the Doctor’s orange spacesuit (previously seen in The Satan Pit and Waters of Mars–I guess he only brings it out for the super creepy episodes), which he thinks sets off his eyes, and Clara says hurts hers. Hee. Back in the house Alec hears the TARDIS engines go and he asks Emma if she saw where he went. Then a flash of lightning reveals a woman in a screaming, outreached pose trying to grab at them from behind. Oh man, this episode is too spooky for me. Ugh. Back to the TARDIS that ends up on what looks like a volcanic mass. The Doctor steps out and takes photos, then they are in a prehistoric landscape, next the Victorian Era outside the house as folks stroll through the gardens (not wondering about the blue box or the sudden strangers, I guess), finally he steps out onto a destroyed landscape and we find out from Clara that this is the Earth’s death. She is disturbed by how they just watched the life cycle of the Earth and how for him things are alive and dead at the same time because of the way he travels through time. She feels that his human companions must not matter. I find it interesting how her sorrow over this fact harkens back to The End of the World episode where Rose mentions that her mum is dead back home since they are so far into the future. A comment that might be going on at this very minute on a ship orbiting this dying Earth. I love that. The Doctor tells Clara she is the only mystery worth solving and sheepishly walks away. Clara is left with a slightly startled look on her face.
Back in the house where something creepy climbs through a window and the Doctor crosses over to Alec and Emma. Emma asks Clara what she has seen and Clara says the end of everything and Emma tells her that love doesn’t end. Then the Doctor shows his photos of the ghost from different times to Emma and Alec and tells them that the ghost is a woman named Hilla Tukurian who will be a time traveler who is (tenses in time travel!) stuck in a pocket universe where time runs faster. He demonstrates with balloons and everything. They look at slides of the photos and see some kind of creepy bent creature that is after her. The Doctor informs Emma that she will be the one to save her.
Alec begs Emma to not do it, that he doesn’t care about saving this woman if it means risking Emma’s life, and we finally get to see how much they are in love with each other. Back to Clara and the Doctor who is telling her that the pocket universe is collapsing. He says he can’t fly the TARDIS there because the whole universe (I assume ours) would turn to foam. Okay then. The TARDIS gets cords hooked up to it and back into the house where the Doctor has set up a “subset of the Eye of Harmony” (Yay! they just resolved a problem from the 1996 telefilm. Fans of the film who are tired of it being maligned for having the Eye on board the TARDIS, are High Fiving!! No? just me then? Okay). The Doctor places a sort of Art Deco-type crown on Emma’s head to amplify things. The Doctor is not real clear on whether it will hurt or not. Emma starts talking to Hilla and the wormhole is opened again. A dramatic neck click, a dubious, grimace and the Doctor yells Geronimo! and jumps through.
The Doctor finds himself in a forest that is sort of hanging in mid air (Yikes!), and he runs to find Hilla. She runs out of the mist and tells him something is after them, so he tells her what he always tells everyone, “run”. We then hear Emma yelling for the Doctor as he and Hilla struggle to locate the exit. They back up into each other and spook each other and then listen for Emma who seems to be struggling quite a bit to maintain her link with them. They run into the “echo house” and the creature is still after them, trying to get in. Emma’s strength starts to give out as The Doctor tells Hilla to tug on the rope he was attached to. Alec and Clara pull Hilla through the wormhole to our universe’s version of the house. The Doctor tries to stave off the creature by tying his bow tie to the door handles as he finds out the loud banging was the creature all through the episodes. He laughs, we laugh, you get the picture. And as Alec takes the crown off the collapsed Emma’s head, the portal closes and the Doctor in the house one second, steps out to forest floor the next.
Back in our world, the Cloister bell chimes in the garden and Clara runs to Emma telling her to wake up and open the wormhole. Frustrated, Clara runs to the TARDIS which still won’t let her in and she calls it an “old cow”. From cat pose to cow pose so quickly. Alec tells Emma she can continue because she saved Hilla and because she brought him back from the dead. They get up and she tries again. The TARDIS interface, in the form of Clara tells Clara it can’t go into the bubble universe because she will be drained. Clara persists and the TARDIS doors finally open as Emma puts the crown on and holds hands with Alec and Hilla, and then calls to the Doctor. Clara smiles as she is allowed in and then she gets bounced around in the TARDIS as it takes off. The house reappears to the Doctor as he tries to face down the creature that is after him. Emma yells for the Doctor through the wormhole. The Doctor realizes that the creature hasn’t eaten him because it needs him to piggyback across the wormhole. The TARDIS appears and the Doctor evidently grabs on and rides it back through the wormhole into the room where Alec, Emma, and Hilla are waiting. The Doctor and Clara, looking like they have been through a fright, high five as Clara steps out of the TARDIS .
Next morning, The Doctor questions Emma about Clara, turns out that is the whole reason he sought her out in the first place. She tells him she is a normal girl. Outside, everyone hugs Hilla and it is revealed that she is a descendent of Alec and Emma, which is why the psychic link was so strong, blood and love. Then the Doctor pieces together that there is another creature that the one in the pocket universe was trying to get to. It must be the scuttly thing that has been climbing around the house in the shadows. He then says a rather poignant thing about “every monster needing a companion”. Talking about yourself there, Doctor?
We then see him ask Emma for another favor, and he is back in the harness in the pocket universe. He tells the creature he will take him to his love and someplace safe as Clara arrives in the TARDIS, allegedly with the other creature from the house. The episode ends. Episode Rating: A-. Next week: we get to see the deeper, inner workings of the TARDIS! Woot!