Doctor Who – Series 9 Episode 4 – Before the Flood review


Yeah, I rather enjoyed this episode. There was very little in it that annoyed me, whereas the first two parter of the season had left me utterly cold. This two parter seemed to be a good old fashioned romp, with not much in the way of confusing nonsense, and a great deal of genuine excitement. 

Firstly the central monster, The Fisher King, although briefly seen, is a pretty creepy plodding villain that is voiced by the man of a thousand voices, Peter Serafinowicz. He’s got a great design, and no flashy sciency concepts behind him and it’s great to see something kind of that grotesque on Doctor Who.

There are many other great scary sequences, especially when deaf woman Cass wonders through the tunnels alone, unable to hear the ghost scraping an axe along the floor behind her. The music is great too, because they know how to not use it, and when it comes to later more action packed scenes, Murray Gold brings back his score to great effect.

The episode also looks pretty great, the scenes set before the flood are bright, whilst being slightly murky, making them feel cinematic. The scenes under the water are creepy and effective and make this look like a proper ghost story.

The characters are the usual stock, picked off one by one and there is a pointless death in this episode, but they still feel engaging enough that you don’t mind the fact that you’ve seen them all before. The Doctor and Clara are at their best as well, not too arrogant, not too sombre.

Toby Whitehouse has written a great two parter, that I wouldn’t be averse to watching again, unlike most Doctor Who episodes from the last couple of years, it keeps me interested and not bored. It has it’s flaws, namely to do with the current state of the show, how The Doctor must always face his own demise, and those damn glasses, but I enjoyed it.

A few points:

  • A neat beginning in which The Doctor and the two crew members interact in the past
  • Bit annoyed that he is YET again facing his own death
  • It’s a shame she died, it was kind of pointless.
  • I like the Back to the Future 2 riff where he sees himself in the past
  • Her Spider sense is tingling
  • I like the damn exploding and sweeping away The Fisher King
  • Good lord, ditch the sonic glasses before I weep

Rating: B  7/10


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