More double crosses tonight than you’d find in the complete works of David Mamet: you wThe Doctor needs time to suss out his new companion. As apparently, does the Tardis. And so do we, the viewers. Tonight’s scary, charming ride is a major step forward in that process. Set in a creepy old country house and guest starring Dougray Scott and ‘Call the Midwife’s’ Jessica Raine, this is ostensibly a ghost story.
But things are rarely that simple in the Doctor’s world. Inevitably, the house is haunted. It’s occupied by Scott’s Major Alec Palmer, a former special forces soldier and his psychic assistant Emma Grayling (Raine). They’re attempting to reckon with the house’s supernatural tenant, The Witch of the Well – but could the answers they seek be simultaneously simpler and more complex than they imagine?
Via the entire birth-to-death life cycle of earth, a trip to a ‘pocket universe’ and a few moments of doubt and mistrust between the Doc and Clara, we’re left with a sweet, plain, rather profound treatise on trust, love and loneliness. Excellent.