An archive of reviews of the 2013 series of British science-fiction programme Doctor Who
In the UK: Saturday, 6.15pm, 20th April 2013, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday, 8pm/7c, 20th April 2013, BBC America
Nigel Kneale is something of a god on this blog. A revolutionary writer of some of the best scripts in British TV history, his effect can still be felt today. One of his most powerful and influential works was The Stone Tape, a genuinely scary scientific ghost story that has leant its name to a parapsychology concept: the idea that ghosts may be ‘memories’ of events somehow imprinted on buildings or the landscape. When you have a mo, watch it below…
The latest piece of British TV to owe a debt to The Stone Tape was Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who – Hide, which not only had a scientist investigating a haunted house with the help of scientific apparatus and a woman with psychic abilities, it was even set in the 70s.
Now, I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect of this. On the one hand, it was written by Neil Cross, who also wrote the rather dreadful Rings of Akhaten. On the other, Cross only got the job of writing Rings, because he’d apparently impressed Steven Moffat and co with the quality of this script. Cross also has ghost-story form, having written the recent BBC2 adaptation of MR James’s Whistle and I’ll Come To You.
So which Cross were we going to get, I was wondering: super-scary ghost-writing Cross or sucky singing child Cross?
Thankfully, it turned out to be the former. Here’s a trailer.