One fat geek's SUCCESSFUL attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

I'm very sorry for your loss. I'll do all I can to solve the death of your friend slash family member slash pet.

Jul 13 2018
I'm very sorry for your loss. I'll do all I can to solve the death of your friend slash family member slash pet.

On the third episode into Peter Capaldi's second season (and Jenna Coleman's third), Clara gets her new identity for the season. Her first year she was the Impossible Girl. Her second year she became Romance Girl. On her third and final go-around she has become DeathWishClara. None of these changes of character are in any way organic, it's simply that for whatever reason Steven Moffat seems completely unable to have a companion be an actual person, they must be a plot point. He might as well have had a new companion each year for all the inconsistency in behavior between them.

So let's talk about that.

Under the Lake

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

The setting of this story is a Scottish underwater base in the 22nd century. The base is located at the bottom of a lake that was created a hundred years previously when a dam was destroyed, burying a military training facility under  hundreds of feet of water. The base, however, is no longer military and is now instead a mining facility, and the occupants have just discovered an alien spacecraft in the deep water. Of course, mayhem happens and several crew members die, and they apparently become ghosts.

Enter the Doctor and Clara.

For her part, Clara has turned into a Party Girl with a lust for danger. She is initially bored by the location the TARDIS has taken them, until the ghosts appear. Then she is all about it. As for the Doctor, he has drifted slightly back into "weird and distant alien" mode, but not terribly so. When they meet the crew and discover the threat, Clara has to prompt him with cue cards in order to properly relate to the humans, which is kind of fun and not so completely off-putting as his previous season's persona.

If I have one complaint about this story, it is that the crew conveniently includes a deaf and dumb person. Let me be clear: I am all for randomly including differently-abled characters, all day long. I wish there were more of it. The problem I have is that one of the keys to the story is the ghosts speaking silently, and therefore the story needs a character who can read lips. So, as great a character as Cass is, she is only there so that at the crucial moment she can translate that the ghosts are repeatedly saying "the dark, the sword, the forsaken, the temple." It just bothers me the way that particular plot point was executed.

Anyway, overall it is your basic creepy siege story, and generally well executed. The big cliffhanger comes when the Doctor decides to hop back a hundred years in the TARDIS to find out what was there before the flood, to figure out what is animating the ghosts. Except, as soon as he is gone the ghost of the Doctor appears, thus implying that he had died in the past. Oops!

Getting back to Clara's personality, I guess it could be argued that following the death of Danny Pink she has decided to embrace life to its fullest and seek out adventure. Except that that motivation is never in any way given or implied. She's just a completely different personality than before. When this season first played out, I entertained the notion that perhaps the Doctor had already witnessed Clara's death, and that he was stopping back at earlier points in her timeline in order to spend a little extra time with her. Sadly, what Steven Moffat had in mind was not anywhere near that clever. Clara is just... DeathWishClara. For no apparent reason. Ah, well.

So tomorrow follows the Doctor back to the day of the flood, and poses a bootstrap paradox. So that will be fun.

STATS:

Doctor(s): Twelfth
Companion(s): Clara Oswald
Episode(s): Under the Lake
Steps Walked: 6,387 today, 3,449,462 total
Distance Walked: 3.41 miles today, 1,803.18 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 6,579 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 929 total
Weight: 247.68 lbs (five day moving average), net change -59.62 lbs


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