Well, now we have an idea of the type of Doctor Who yarns Neil Cross is interested in spinning, since he’s delivered two scripts in a row with thematic similarities. Though “Hide” played two episodes after “The Rings of Akhaten” in the season, Cross wrote it prior to “Rings.” Apparently Steven Moffat and Co. were so happy with the first script, they offered him another. Once again, with “Hide,” we’re seeing the dissolving of a belief system, only here it’s on a smaller scale. Hopefully the Doctor won’t leave too much rampant chaos in his wake. (How did the Ahkatenians cope after the Doctor exited, just after shattering everything their culture ever believed in?) Further, both stories have contained these heavy, seemingly fate-fueled romances. Perhaps Moffat felt Cross did such a fine job of playing with those dynamics in this script, that he’d be an ideal man to breathe life into the doomed romance of Clara’s parents (which he was).
Last week the Doctor and Clara visited 1983, and now they’ve gone back yet another decade, to 1974. These journeys to recent times add a different texture to the series, by bringing a much more familiar feel than trips to the distant past. Arriving at the allegedly haunted Caliburn house, the duo encounters a pair not entirely dissimilar from themselves: Professor Alec Palmer, an ex-spy played by Dougray Scott, the man who missed out on being both James Bond and Wolverine, and his assistant, Emma Grayling (both such wonderful character names!), an empathic psychic brought to life by Jessica Raine, the star of PBS’s Call the Midwife.
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