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Doctor Who ‘Under the Lake’ – Why Toby Whithouse Should Be the Next Showrunner

The Doctor and Clara on their latest adventure in "Under the Lake."
The Doctor and Clara on their latest adventure in “Under the Lake.”

Call it Being Human bias (amazing show that it was), but after watching the latest Doctor Who episode, I am convinced once more that Toby Whithouse should be the next Showrunner.

“Under the Lake” began like many episodes of the past (as in it was very reminiscent of series 1-4), particularly like a Ten/Rose adventure. And, adventure is really the key word I want to focus on here. I loved seeing Clara wanting to go off on an adventure, an adventure where they come across some sort of unique monster.

This time, it’s ghosts! “Under the Lake,” had elements of “The Water of Mars,” “The Satan Pit,” and “Tooth and Claw” (three of my favorite episodes). The 12th Doctor even spoke like the 10th Doctor in a good way with arrogance, curiosity, and excitement. It was so refreshing to just sit and watch the Doctor attempt to figure out a mystery in the universe, tempting others to take risks with him. These kinds of stories are part of the reason I loved Doctor Who in the first place. I’m glad to see it back in fine form (as in this type of story that is written extremely well).

The Doctor and Clara working out the mystery.
The Doctor and Clara working out the mystery.

Everything about the episode worked (aside from those hideous sonic sunglasses): The dynamic between companion and Doctor (Clara’s notecards were a nice touch), the new characters of the week (they actually felt real), the Doctor in all his rude and fabulous glory, and the mystery behind the new monsters. Overall, “Under the Lake” was funny, frightening, and just a whole lot of fun. Plus, it was nice not to have to think about all the Moffat tropes.

Under the Lake's 'ghosts.'
Under the Lake’s ‘ghosts.’

By the end of the episode, we are left on a bit of a cliffhanger. The Doctor gets separated from Clara and decides to travel back in time to figure out the mystery of the alien in stasis. Unfortunately, his time travel doesn’t appear to be successful as Clara sees a ghost Doctor in the water. It should prove interesting to see how this plays out. Whithouse really knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat…

I must again say that I am convinced Toby Whithouse is the man for the job. He’d bring a refreshing voice, witty dialogue (once again Being Human comes to mind), terrifying monsters, excellent characterization (he excels at this), and a whole lot of experience. He’s already run his own show successfully, creating and writing one of the best supernatural shows ever written (series 3 of Being Human is even Shakespearean). I would love to see this writer take over Doctor Who and see what he does with it on his own. Perhaps we would get more episodes like his brilliant “School Reunion.” Here’s to crossing fingers…

Do you agree that Toby Whithouse should be the next Showrunner? Did you love Under the Lake? Sound off in the comments…

Photos: BBC Worldwide

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By on October 4th, 2015

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely site and works as a YA Librarian.

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2 thoughts on “Doctor Who ‘Under the Lake’ – Why Toby Whithouse Should Be the Next Showrunner”

  1. Oh yes, I agree! I loved this episode, loved that it wasn’t about the ‘old’ tropes for a change, but ‘just’ a well written adventure. Ithink the double episodes work really well with these kind of stories, as you also get more time to develop the ‘characters of the week’

  2. Nah. Last week Clara was tied up, hand-cuffed to a wall and trapped in a Dalek, and STILL got more to do. Moffat > Whithouse


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