The TARDIS brings the Doctor and Clara to Caliban House, a reportedly haunted mansion where a paranormal investigator and a potent psychic are trying to solve the mystery of a series of ghost sightings on the property. Claiming to be a government inspector, the Doctor elbows his way into the investigation, learning that the sightings stretch back to the first photographs ever taken at Caliban House. The Doctor is willing to bet that they go back even further than that, traveling backward and forward in time while always remaining in the same spot to prove his point. He discovers that the “ghost” is a time-distorted image of a young woman who may be the first human time travel test pilot. But something else is hot on her heels, and the Doctor risks his own life and his new psychic friend’s sanity to rescue the errant time traveler before she becomes its victim.
written by Neil Cross
directed by Jamie Payne
music by Murray Gold
Notes: In theory, the Doctor’s visit to the (long since destroyed) geographical location of Caliban House on planet Earth’s last day may mean that his ninth incarnation and Rose are orbiting overhead in Station One, partying down with Cassandra, the Face of Boe, and Jabe (The End Of The World, 2005) at exactly the same time. The Doctor uses a blue crystal from Metebelis 3 (The Green Death, Planet Of The Spiders) to amplify Emma’s psychic powers. The story begins on November 25th, 1974 – eleven years and two days after the premiere of Doctor Who. Jessica Raine would go on to appear as Doctor Who creator Verity Lambert in the docudrama An Adventure In Space And Time.
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: An intriguing ghost story, Hide seems to have difficulty deciding if it’s a paranormal mystery, a romance, or a horror movie. There’s no problem with it being all three, except that the changes in gear cause the whole effort to shudder unexpectedly; whether this was in the original script or whether it occurred in rewrites after the script left its original writer’s hands, somebody popped the clutch.
The episode’s surprisingly small cast is very effective, and their characters are so intriguing one wonders if they’re not being set up as spinoff/recurring material (a la Vastra, Jenny and Strax). I’d be up for seeing them again. With Alec Palmer’s government ties (he’s said to be a former member of the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, a very real WWII-era espionage agency set up by Prime Minister Winston Churchill), a group springing from this episode would have access to resources, but not unlimited resources or unlimited help, a la UNIT. It could be fun to bring them back, even though a second engagement might result in some viewers pointing at their screens and saying “Hey, awesome! Verity Lambert is helping Doctor Who!”
The jarring gear shifts come with the episode’s changes in emphasis: it’s a ghost story, then it’s a travelogue through time, then it’s a low-budget horror flick, and then it’s Clara not getting along with the TARDIS, and then it’s a love story between monsters…the emphasis changes so often that one wonders if Hide isn’t trying to hide too many ideas in the running time of a single episode.