9 questions we have after Doctor Who’s Under The Lake

Where have we seen that ghost before? What was written on the Doctor's prompt cards? And wasn't this just The Impossible Planet all over again?


What’s in the box? 

On a basic level, it’s a suspended animation chamber from the mysterious spaceship. Beyond that – no idea.


“It should be the pilot,” the Doctor says, “so why do I think it isn’t?” So, it’s definitely not the pilot. Who else could it be? Prentis? The big bad Fisher King from next week’s episode? Or is this some sort of timey-wimey shenanigan, where it’s going to end up being the Doctor or Clara?

As the Doctor says, “More questions…”

What was on the Doctor’s prompt cards?

Blink and you’ll miss the Doctor’s weird, Sherlock-esque prompt cards, which are full of nifty little nods to previous episodes. The one above, for example, is a reference to the Fourth Doctor dropping off Sarah Jane Smith in Aberdeen, rather than Croydon. Have a look at the other cards here

Is the sonic screwdriver gone forever?

The Doctor is still using his sonic shades this week, with the screwdriver nowhere to be seen. Could he have gone hands-free permanently? We evaluate the evidence more here

Is the Doctor really dead? 

No. Have you seen the show before? No.

So the question is: what’s with the ghost. The Doctor’s favourite way of escaping a trap is walking right into the middle of it, so presumably his ‘death’ was something he anticipated, and is probably central to his ultimate plan to defeat whatever is actually going on here.

The sonic sunglasses previously created a hologram of Clara to lure the ghosts into the faraday cage, so it’s possible they are repeating the performance with the ghoulish Doc. The only problem: didn’t the Doctor take his sonic sunglasses with him? Alternatively, the Doctor may have actually died, and is working on a way to escape back into the land of the living, a trick both Danny Pink and River song have managed in various ways.

Is Prentis from the same world as David Walliams’ Gibbis? 

It would seem so. Early on in the episode the crew make a reference to “that moley guy,” who the Doctor confirms is from the Tivoli. This, of course, is the same, constantly invaded world of The God Complex’s Gibbis – suggesting that when we meet Prentis in the past, he won’t be the terrifying spectacle he is now, but a snivelling coward. 

Why did the Doctor claim he had never seen ghosts before? Haven’t there been loads of ghosts?

No, apparently not. They’ve always been time displaced reflections, or psychic residue, or a hologram, or Cybermen, or different Cybermen, or gas monsters, or a running woman, or a time travelling gorilla from the future. They’ve never been real ghosts like these ones. Apparently.

 Why wasn’t Lunn attacked by the ghosts?

Out of all the crew, Lunn is the only one to not be attacked by the ghosts. Why? The only reason we can think of is that he hasn’t seen the writing inside of the spaceship. Pretty obvious when you think back to the beginning of the episode – when the ghosts only became hostile to the Doctor and Clara after they had seen the writing. As for why the marks are so dangerous, that’s something we’ll just have to find out next week.

What’s a faraday cage?

The Doctor ain’t afraid of no ghosts, but it never hurts to hide from them. In Under the Lake, the Doctor and friends avoid the ghosts by taking shelter in a sealed room that, apparently, acts as a ‘faraday cage’. But what is a faraday cage, and why would it protect you from sci-fi spirits? To get the full explanation, click here

Isn’t Under The Lake basically The Impossible Planet? 


There’s untranslatable languages and supernatural monsters on a futuristic base, so yes, but it also reminds us of The Waters of Mars, 42 and Silence in the Library/ Forest of the Dead. We laid out the similarities in more detail here