TVTV Recaps

DOCTOR WHO Series 9 Episode 3 Recap – “Under the Lake”

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“The Dark. The Sword. The Forsaken. The Temple.”

What does that mean? Well, they are coordinates. For what you ask? Well, you’ll have to continue reading to find out…



This week’s Doctor Who episode involved ghosts, underwater, in an underwater mining facility. Yes, that’s right…GHOSTS!! A group of underwater miners bring aboard a suspicious craft and examine it. It has weird writing in it and when one of the crew members looks at it, a few minutes later he’s a ghost. We then find out another ghost is aboard the facility as well. But why? And what the hell? And how? Many questions arise. So let’s get into the main points of the episode below:

Clara wanting an adventure like old times — Something that becomes a huge part of this episode is Clara wanting more excitement and adventure like before. It seems like anything that has happened up until now, hasn’t bummed her out and she’s sort of become happier. Even when they land into this underwater mining facility, she just asks for an adventure until they find out that something is going on in there. The Doctor even tries to tell her calm down a little, she’s appreciative of it, but still wants an adventure. It was a little weird to see her a bit happier than usual. Of course, she is always happy, but this seemed a little off.

The crew — They managed to stay in the mining facility even though a ghost haunts it (well, two ghosts). Why? Because these ghosts come out at night. So when the facility goes into morning mode, the ghost disappears, night mode makes them reappear. So after The Doctor and Clara arrive a few days later and are chased by the two ghosts, they run into the chamber where the crew members stay when it’s night mode. The Doctor introduces himself and Clara with the psychic paper and it says they’re U.N.I.T. members. The crew thinks those things are for sure ghosts, but once The Doctor doesn’t buy it. Once he does actually figure it out, he gets amazed that they’re actually ghosts: “I’ve never actually met a proper ghost!” When he starts saying that, the crew gives him dirty and miserable looks, because The Doctor seems to have forgotten their friend is one of the ghosts and at this moment, Clara takes out flash cards with different writings on them for The Doctor to say when in a situation like that or anything else. When morning mode is on, they all get out and devise a plan to trap the ghosts in the compartment where they couldn’t get into. They use two members of the crew and a hologram likeness of Clara and succeed. The Doctor then transmits the picture of them, with his sonic glasses, in their to the control room where the crews incredibly awesome deaf captain, Cass, tries to read their lips. When she does, she makes out “The Dark. The Sword. The Forsaken. The Temple.”

Stubborn crew member — While investigating the craft the crew members brought into the facility, one crew member who was very stubborn and just wanted to get the work done walked away from them. Later on in the episode, that crew member emerges from having gone outside into the water and is greeted by the crew member ghost, who pushes a button that floods where the stubborn crew member was, killing him and turning him into a ghost as well. Then when everyone is searching for him, he emerges again as a ghost.

Meaning of the phrase — “The Dark” means space, “The Sword” means constellation which leads to Earth or something like that, “The Forsaken” means an empty town where the military is, and “The Temple” is a church. Then The Doctor realizes a pod is missing from the craft they had in the facility. Eventually, The Doctor realizes that whoever is going to die sees whatever is written on the craft, then they die. Unless they’re killed by one of the ghosts, of course. Then the phrase stays with them and it broadcasts to other ghosts and aliens out in the world. “It’s impossible. It’s evil. It’s astonishing. I want to kiss it to death.” This entire situation seems to make The Doctor incredibly excited instead of scared. Well, he’s The Doctor…he’s literally made to solve these situations. Now, after figuring all this out, The Doctor decides to travel back in time to solve what’s going on and save Clara, Cass and her interpreter, who are stranded on the opposite side of the facility which is now flooding with water.

The episode ends with Clara and The Doctor putting their hands on the doors, almost like they’re high-fiving or just holding hands and he assures her, he’ll save them. A few minutes later Clara notices a ghost outside the facility getting closer and closer…who is it? THE DOCTOR! Then the episode ends.



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Of course, he won’t actually be completely dead, so it’ll be interesting to see how that happened.

What did you think of this Doctor Who episode?

Are you enjoying these two-parter story episodes?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!



Find Karin Abcarians directly on Twitter @Danger_Karin, and be sure to follow @ScreenInvasion for the latest in entertainment news and reviews!

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Karin Abcarians

Karin Abcarians

Karin Abcarians is an advocate for geek girls everywhere. She runs the REAL GEEK GIRLS and REAL GEEK MOMS features. She's a writer, movie buff, and loves about 45 million shows. She's Captain America's biggest fan. Her alter-ego is BatKarin. Also, she loves Leonardo DiCaprio more than you do.