Doctor Who “Under The Lake,”/”Before The Flood” Quick Reaction/Review 8.5/10

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Well we have had our second two-part story of Series 9 of Doctor Who and it was an interesting one!

*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

The Doctor and Clara find themselves in an underwater base in the year 2119 and meet a team of scientists (this group is very similar to the crew from the 1979 horror film Alien). The Doctor, Clara and the crew are being stalked by ghosts, one of which is the former Captain of the underwater base. Apparently years and years ago, there was an army base, but it was drowned by a huge flood.

After some investigating, The Doctor discovers the ghosts are like transmitters, transmitting a signal to an alien ship to come to Earth. The ghosts (when they were alive) all saw numbers carved into a ship (that somehow ended up on the base) on the base that has been burned into their minds. There is also a stasis pod on the base, and nobody knows who is in it. The Doctor decides to travel in his TARDIS to the time before the flood happened that drowned the city. The Doctor leaves Clara behind, and promises to come back for her. The episode ends with Clara seeing another ghost approaching the base from outside and it is none other than The Doctor!

The second part opens with The Doctor addressing the audience, posing an interesting question. It concerns a term called “the bootstrap paradox,” which according to a quick web search means:

“The paradox of time travel in which objects or pieces of information are never literally created, because their existence begins by arriving from the future and ends by going to the past to become themselves.”

We then find the Doctor, and two crew members, Bennett and O’Donnell in 1980 at the army base before it was flooded. The Doctor is able to communicate with Clara and finds out about his ghost being there on the base. He tries to communicate with his ghost, but he just keeps repeating the same list of names over and over again.

The Doctor, O’Donnell and Bennett are separated and The Fisher King (who is revealed to be alive, having awoken from his stasis pod and killed Prentiss, one of the ghosts from the first episode) kills O’Donnell.

The Doctor tries to travel in his TARDIS and go back to the base in 2119, but the TARDIS sends him back 30 minutes in his own timeline. The Doctor confronts The Fisher King, who admits that he has been killing people and is using their ghosts to communicate with his people to send an invasion force to conquer the Earth. The Doctor tells The Fisher King that he erased the writing on his ship and that his plan has failed. The Fisher King runs outside and realizes he has been tricked! The Doctor took a power cell and used it to blow up the dam, which drowns and kills The Fisher King and floods the army base!

The stasis pod opens in 2119, revealing The Doctor had kept himself in their for over 100 years to survive!

The Doctor lures the ghosts using his ghost and traps the ghosts in The Faraday Cage using the roar of The Fisher King. The Doctor’s ghost is revealed to be a hologram and Clara asks how the Doctor knew enough to create the hologram and to record him saying those list of names. The Doctor explains to Clara that he only knew to do that because she told him about his ghost earlier, creating a bootstrap paradox!

What I liked:

That Rock version of the Doctor Who theme, it was awesome! It really suits The Twelfth Doctor!

Clara having flash cards giving the Doctor suggested responses on how to deal with humans lol. 

“I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ll do all I can to solve the death of your friend/family member/pet.”

The Doctor asking the crew (referring to Pritchard) “Why is he still talking to me?”

The ghosts, they were very interesting and creepy monsters,especially how they were learning and adapting, it made them more dangerous and terrifying.

The Doctor: Who’s in charge here? I need to know who to ignore.

The Doctor: It’s OK. I understand. You’re an idiot.

The Doctor: Look. There’s a whole dimension in here. But there’s only room for one… me.

The Doctor: Clara, why don’t I have a radio in the Tardis.
Clara: You took it apart and used the pieces to make a clockwork squirrel.
The Doctor: AND… because whatever song I heard first thing the morning, I was stuck. Two weeks of Mysterious Girl by Peter Andre. I was begging for the brush of death’s merciful hand. Don’t you see, these words are an earworm. A song you can’t stop humming even after you die.

The Doctor: Waiting for his/her/its mates to pick the message up. My god, every time I think it couldn’t be more extraordinary it surprises me. It’s impossible. I hate it. It’s evil. It’s astonishing. I want to kiss it to death.

Prentis: Oh yes. This is the Fisher King. He and his armies invaded and enslaved us for 10 glorious years. Until we were liberated by the Arcetenians. But thank the god, soon we irritated them and they enslaved us too. HAAA!
Bennett: First proper alien, and he’s an idiot.

Cass (Sophie Stone), it was great to have a deaf character, who turned out to be very pivotal in the plot and wasn’t just a throw away character.

The idea that Clara is becoming The Doctor, it’s very interesting and hope it continues to develop.

What I disliked:

The resolution to the story. It felt like an easy out.

The few scenes with The Fisher King, he didn’t get nearly enough screen time or development.

I enjoyed “Under The Lake,” and “Before The Flood,” and am very much looking forward to the next episode!

MY FINAL RATING IS AN 8.5./10!

What say you did you enjoy this two-parter? Are you enjoying the season so far? Whatever your thoughts let me know!

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4 thoughts on “Doctor Who “Under The Lake,”/”Before The Flood” Quick Reaction/Review 8.5/10

  1. Hi Screen Sage–

    I appreciate your run-downs. It’s always helpful to solidify my impressions. Thanks! I felt very satisfied with the end, although I admit I saw it coming. It’s kind of rare on this show to deal with sneaking-around-while-your-past-self-is-oblivious-to-you time travel. I was glad to have seen the story.

    Ilana

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks I appreciate that! It’s a format I have become accustomed to and enjoy in my reviews. It’s a way of reminding me of what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy in the episode. I agree, I don’t want Doctor Who to be predictable like that, I want a twist, something that makes me go “WHAT?!!”

    I still enjoyed this story and fresh ideas are always welcome!

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Like

  3. I liked this story. 9/10 easy. This series overall has been a VAST improvement on series 8. So glad I decided to watch it.

    This episode was creepy in places and the time wimey aspect was quite well done. However I didn’t like O’Donnell getting killed. I mean it was good drama, but damn I fancied her so I am really annoyed she died LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

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