The reason I’ve waited so long to write this review is I didn’t really know what to think of the episode. I was half in the ‘meh’ frame of mind, and half in the ‘yeah I liked it’.
The start of the episode was interesting to say the least. The Doctor talked to the view directly to explain the bootstrap paradox (Google it) which would be used to resolve the threat later on in the episode. It was good to explain the paradox early on for the viewers who weren’t aware, but I wasn’t a fan of the whole ‘breaking the fourth wall’ element. After the titles we go back to the storyline and meet Prentis, the undertaker due to turn into a ghost, and it was a shame to see so little of him. Paul Kaye played the erratic character brilliantly until his demise to the newly awakened Fisher King.
The Fisher King was another very scary, well costumed and designed monster with a terrifying presence. However he felt very underused and his death was very underwhelming. The other villains, the ghosts on the ship, continued to be very eery, but were second fiddle this time round and didn’t feel particularly threatening.
The main bulk of the story focuses on the Doctor going back in time, not once, but twice in order to save Clara and the rest of the gang. Although the second going back felt find of unnecessary, it allowed the Doctor to stop whining about dying and face the Fisher King finally. Now this is where it gets really confusing… Because the Doctor goes back in time, he is able to send out his ghost (a hologram), destroy the dam with the missing power cell, get into the suspended animation chamber (which was missing in episode 3), and defeat the ghosts. All of this by seeing his ghost through Clara’s phone, which was put there by him… the bootstrap paradox in action…
In other news, Clara gets a mixed reception from me, the sonic sunglasses absolutely need to go now, the relationships felt a little forced and the hologram was a bit silly. But apart from that I liked it! Cass was brilliant again, the axe scene in the corridor was chilling, Capaldi impressed again and the trailer for next week has put a big smile on my face, Bring on (hopefully) Susan Foreman! 7/10