Hey Internet, I hope you don’t mind, but as the semester winds down and I teeter on the brink of doing miserably in all of my classes, I am not blessed with an overabundance of time. Thus, you’re getting a seriously abridged Doctor Who review today. I know you’ll all weep.
The Doctor and Clara go back to the 70s to find a retro Scully and Mulder (wait, are real Scully and Mulder considered retro now? The 90s were apparently a long time ago) hunting ghosts in an old mansion on the British moor, because where else would you establish a haunted mansion? Scully and Mulder in this scenario are actually Emma, a young, idealistic lass with psychic capabilities, and Alex, a war hero weighed down by the guilt he feels from the crimes he committed during war. They are not-so-secretly in love with each other, but Alex is too heavy with baggage to do anything about it. Clara, meanwhile, worries that the TARDIS doesn’t like her too much. The Doctor reassures her that the TARDIS is like a cat (thanks, Internet!) and just takes some warming up.
Of course, this is Doctor Who, so it turns out that they are not actually hunting down a ghost, but instead a woman trapped in a “pocket universe” (not to be confused with a parallel universe) that is rapidly collapsing. To determine this, Clara and The Doctor travel throughout the history of the Earth, stopping every couple million years to snap a photo of the victim of the first time-travelling mishap. As the photos progress, we see her running from an unspeakable horror, a single moment stretched out across aeons because of time dilation or something. Clara experiences an existential crisis as she rapidly watches the birth and death of the Earth, but the Doctor reminds her that humans are endlessly fascinating and the only mystery worth solving.
Emma opens up a wormhole to this pocket universe and the Doctor bungees in to save the trapped time traveller. After a bit of a run about, he pushes her through the portal, but Emma isn’t strong enough to hold it open and it collapses, him still trapped inside the pocket universe. Clara commands Emma to reopen it, while she runs off to the TARDIS to bargain with it to go after the Doctor, despite the chaotic impact the pocket universe’s entropy could have on the TARDIS’s circuits. Of course, Clara and the TARDIS resolve their issues, and fly into the wormhole to save the Doctor.
Once back at the mansion, we learn the reason Emma could contact the time traveller was because she’s her ancestor- obviously, Emma and Alex are set to hook up. The Doctor- nature’s greatest matchmaker. We also learn that the Doctor really came to them not because he was interested in their ghost hunt, but because he had to ask Emma something with her clairvoyance. He wants to know what Clara is, but all Emma has to offer is that she’s a normal, pretty young girl. He doesn’t like this response, and he doesn’t even know that earlier Emma told Clara not to trust the Doctor, because his heart is full of lies. (Both hearts or just one, though?!)
In the end, the Doctor realises that the creature in the pocket universe isn’t a character in a horror story, he’s a character in a love story- his love is trapped in the mansion the same way he was trapped in the universe. Because the Doctor is a romantic, he takes the TARDIS back into the pocket universe and tells the “unspeakable horror” to grab hold, because he’s taking him and his lover to their happily ever after.
Well, there’s the short form on what happened, Another pretty solid “typical” episode, not overburdened with conspiracy or overarching plot or anything, though we make a slight step in the direction of figuring out what kind of anomaly Clara is- though for right now, she really isn’t one. I’m sure we’ll learn more about that in the future, which we will have to wait for at the normal rate of one minute per minute.