Review: Doctor Who: Series 7b Episode 4: Hide (Spoiler-free)

DOCTOR WHO SERIES 7B SERIES PREVIEW IMAGES1974: the Doctor and Clara are going ghostbusting…

According to Steven Moffat, it was on the strength of this script that Neil Cross was quickly invited to pen a second story, which turned into The Rings of Akhaten (a tale that, as I suspected, has split opinion). This one will probably get some fans spitting blood for a mispronunciation, but everyone else will hopefully enjoy Cross’ ghost story, which starts off very much in the mould of Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape, and then takes a left turn into territory that is rather more familiar to its director, Primeval regular Jamie Payne.

In among the particular problems created by the story, there’s time for movement on the overarching plotlines for the season, notably Clara’s relationship with the TARDIS and the Doctor’s desire to know more about her. We also get a chance to see more of Clara trying to come to terms with what’s happening to her during her adventures with the Time Lord, with Jenna-Louise Coleman giving a very assured performance in what was, in fact, her first “modern-day Clara” episode.

Verdict: With some scary moments which will certainly unsettle younger members of the audience, Hide really would benefit from an autumn transmission, but Payne, together with the regulars and guest stars Dougray Scott and Jessica Raine, creates an unsettling story. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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