Two scary stories in a row from Doctor Who. They must really be trying to harken back to those days when children would watch from between their fingers or from hiding behind the sofa. And “Hide” manages to be scary in all those ways we love stories to be scary. Set in an old, eerie looking manor where wailing and knocking can be heard and every once in a while there’s an apparition of a screaming woman. Staying at the house hoping to discover the ghost – or ghaaast – is Professor Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott), a former WWII spy now living with guilt and working as a paranormal investigator, and Emma Grayling (Jessica Raines), an empathic psychic and associate, or rather companion, to the professor. The whole premise is like something out of a 70s horror film – think The Legend of Hell House – and The Doctor and Clara simply stumble in, looking to do some ghostbusting.
If “The Rings of Akhaten” and “Cold War”, while good, were on the weaker end of the Who spectrum, “Hide” is definitely a swing back to the strong end. The setup relies heavily on the ghost hunters premise and it allows us to dive right into the investigation. Which is quite creepy. Much of the photographic evidence gathered by the Professor and Emma look like scenes out of The Ring video, with a ghostly white figure and its stretched, screaming face. Doctor Who has really excelled at creating unique atmosphere’s for each of its episodes this season. Whether it’s the thrilling, fast-paced city of London in “The Bells of Saint John”, or the beautiful, vibrant “Akhaten”, to the claustrophobic, damp, and bleak “Cold War.” Out of all, “Hide” is probably the best. That manor house is ideal with its creaky hallways and shrouded rooms, and the “surrounding” woods of the pocket universe are equally as spooky.