Doctor Who: Initial Reactions to Before the Flood

October 14, 2015 in Dr Who, Guest Blogs by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Hevy782

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So then, Under the Lake was magnificent and I was looking forward to more fantastic stuff in this weeks episode, Before the Flood. Like the premiere, I was left sadly disappointed by the second part. Was it a bad episode? Definitely not. Did it live up to the previous episode though? Sadly not, that’s where this one let me down. Now to be honest, I was worried ever since the cliff-hanger as it was obvious that the Doctor wasn’t going to die and that we were going to get a copout solution but I was hoping for something at least a little bit more than the copout simply being a hologram. However, I did enjoy the scene between the Doctor and Clara that we got out of this when he was telling her that he had to die. It felt like Clara turned into Rose a bit towards the end there when she was acting all entitled but other than that I loved the scene. I also quite enjoyed the pre-credits sequence and how it linked into the episode at the end there. I also really enjoyed the rock theme we had over the titles and I’d actually quite for that to stick around for a bit.

Anyway, I absolutely praised the quality of the supporting characters last week so what about this week? Well let’s start with O’Donnell who was shot down by the Fisher King fairly early in the episode. It was a well done sequence but I find it odd that her ghost only shows up at that point in the story rather than being there the whole time since she had died at the same time as Prentis. Given that the whole draw of mixing time travel and ghosts was that you could meet your own ghost it is a bit disappointing that this didn’t happen and having O’Donnell’s ghost there all along through Under the Lake would have made things very interesting indeed. There’s also hints of a possible future story when she mentions a Minister of War, could even be the finale. Now we come to Bennett who didn’t get a whole lot to do last episode. This episode he really gets the chance to step up and even challenge the Doctor at times which made for some great scenes. It’s a shame that his love for O’Donnell never really had any build up to it and was suddenly chucked in there at the end. The love between Cass and Lunn did thankfully have some build up to it but the main thing I like about these two characters is that they (mainly Cass) stand up to Clara and ask her a very important question. Last and also least in terms of supporting characters is Prentis who’s comedy routine seems a bit out of place this far into the story. It was also a bit too in the audiences face causing me to prefer Gibbis from The God Complex.

Now for the Fisher King who thankfully brought an end to Prentis’ comedy routine fairly early in the episode. Other than that though he doesn’t have much going for him. I mean he sounded magnificent and the costume was incredible although shooting him in broad daylight probably wasn’t the best idea as it made the monster look a bit rubbery to me. When in the shadow’s though, he was great. In the end though he just turned out to be a generic Doctor Who monster which didn’t really do a whole lot. Also, the reveal of how he made the ghosts was very poorly done by simply having it be an off handed line. It’s the same problem I have with the reveal of who blew up the TARDIS back in The Time of the Doctor, there was too much mystery and build up there for it to have been simply glossed over as if it were trivial. Speaking of the ghosts though, how didn’t find that scene with Cass and Moran to be simply magnificent? The tension was there and it really made use of the fact that Cass was deaf. Shame there weren’t more moments like that to be honest. And other than that the ghosts didn’t really do anything besides roam the corridors of the base. They felt far too much like a left over spare part from Under the Lake that Toby Whithouse (spelt his name wrong last week so sorry about that) just didn’t know what to do with. Now we come to the whole timey-wimey aspect of the story which I’ve heard many saying that a second watch is required to understand it as it’s apparently quite confusing but to be honest I picked up on everything first time and understood it without requiring a second watch. Oh and before I go any further I’d just like to clarify that I don’t dislike Doctor Who being timey-wimey. I think it’s great when it works but the truth is that it doesn’t work that often. So then the big question is was it done right in this episode? Besides the whole thing about O’Donnell’s ghost I mentioned earlier, yes it was done right in this episode.

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Overall, Under the Lake and Before the Flood were a better two-part story than Capaldi’s other two. Before the Flood on it’s own gets a seven-out-of-ten from me which isn’t a bad rating but it’s substantially less than what I gave last week sadly. So my favourite Capaldi story still remains to be Mummy on the Orient Express and the writer of that, Jamie Mathieson, is returning next week to co-write The Girl Who Died which Maisie Williams will also be guest-starring in. So I’m very much looking forward to that one but until we see it next week be sure to sound off your thoughts on the episode in the comments below.