Doctor Who: Before the Flood

Doctor Who

HI OKAY FORGET THE SMALL TALK THE DOCTOR IS A GHOST AND WE NEED TO FIND OUT HOW THAT HAPPENED AND HOW HE GETS FIXED! HERE WE GO! (If you have no idea WTF I’m talking about, please read my previous Doctor Who recap.)

Doctor Who‘s “Before the Flood” open with the Doctor breaking the fourth wall and telling us a story about Beethoven: Imagine a time traveller was a huge fan of Beethoven, and had gone back to visit the musician. But when he goes back, he realizes that Beethoven has never been born. So the time traveller publishes all of Beethoven’s music himself. So who really created the music? Hmm … and then we go right into a rocking-awesome opening credits!

… I have no idea what that has to do with the Doctor being a ghost, but it was pretty damn awesome!

The Doctor, O’Donnell and Bennett have landed in 1980. As O’Donnell summarizes, pre-Harold Saxon, pre-Minister of War … Minister of War? The Doctor begins to ask, but thinks better of it. He’ll find out soon enough. And I hope we do, too!

The trio comes across the alien craft. It’s wide open, and the alien is still inside. The Doctor tells the others that the craft is actually a hearse. The suspension chamber is still on the craft, as is the power cell. And there’s no writing on the wall.

Up runs black-eyed dude, but he’s alive, with no black eyes. Now he’s like a little moleman! And he’s a funeral director. He’s come to earth to bury the alien on the craft, who he calls the Fisher King.

Back to the future (Ha! See what I did there?!), Clara, Cass and Lunn watch the ghost-Doctor through the glass. Cass realizes that the ghost-Doctor is saying something different from the other ghosts. He’s repeating all of their names, over and over. Moran, Pritchard, Prentiss, O’Donnell, Clara … (NOT Lunn! Interesting!) … But who’s Prentiss? That’s not a name we know yet!

Clara’s phone rings, and it’s the Doctor, calling from the future. Clara tells him that he’s a ghost outside the base. The Doctor realizes that he has to die. Fixed point, I guess? I’m not 100% sure why, really. But okay. He has to die.

Clara argues. He’s given her “something else to be” and he can’t die and take that away. He says there are rules and he can’t change them. (Since when?!) He tells Clara he’ll do what he can.

In the past, Moleman enters the ship. The Fisher King is gone, and the writing is on the wall! A shadow appears, and we cut to the Doctor, Bennett and O’Donnell on the TARDIS.

The Doctor is still talking to Clara. She notices that the ghost-Doctor’s coat is torn on the shoulder, and she also tells him that what the ghost-Doctor is saying is different. The Doctor explains that Prentiss is Moleman. Then ghost-Doctor walks through the wall and into the base!

Ghost-Doctor goes to the panel and opens the safe room, letting out the other ghosts. The Doctor wants to talk to ghost-him. He tries, and the ghost-Doctor’s message changes. He now says, “The chamber will open tonight.”

The Doctor tells Clara to get into the safe room, to not let the phone out of her sight. It won’t work in the Faraday cage, so she’s to leave it outside and go out to answer it if it rings. The Doctor needs to know exactly what his ghost is doing at all times.

The Doctor, Bennett and O’Donnell leave the TARDIS, only to find Moleman dead in the alien craft, and the writing on the wall. The Fisher King did it himself. He took the suspension chamber into the church.

Suddenly, there’s a loud roar! The trio runs back for the TARDIS, but they’re cut off! They get split up and hide. The Fisher King is HUGE! I mean, MASSIVE! It finds O’Donnell, and she dies in Bennett’s arms.

Bennett questions the Doctor about the list. Who’s next? Ghost-Doctor has been repeating the names in order of their deaths … and CLARA is next! AHHHH!

Clara watches out the window at the phone. O’Donnell’s ghost pops up in front of her, just outside the Faraday cage. O’Donnell takes Clara’s phone and walks off.

The Doctor and Bennett are back on the TARDIS, and the Doctor plans to break the rules. He’s going back to the base to save Clara, and to not die. But the TARDIS has other ideas. The cloister bell sounds, and they land right back in 1980 — only now they’re 30 minutes backwards! He’s locked in his own time stream! The TARDIS won’t let him leave, and now they have to wait until time catches up with them. Seeing both Doctors in the same timeline reminds me of “Father’s Day.” God, that was a heartbreaking episode. Uh, sorry. I wandered a bit there …

Bennett wants to save Prentiss and O’Donnell, but the Doctor won’t allow it.

On the base, Clara is doing her own deducing. She realizes that the ghosts won’t hurt Lunn because he’s never seen the words on the craft. He should be safe to go get the phone. Cass argues against it, but Lunn agrees to go.

On Earth, Bennett tries to run out to save O’Donnell, but the Doctor stops him. They wrestle briefly, and the Doctor’s coat is ripped. He sends Bennett back to the TARDIS, and he goes by himself to face the Fisher King.

The Doctor goes into the church, and, of course, into the creepy church basement. The suspension chamber is open. The Doctor speaks to someone in the dark. He tells the Fisher King (I guess?) what he’s seen in the future. Death, ghosts. The Fisher King wants the ghosts. He wants many ghosts; enough to make an armada and wake him from his sleep.

On the base, the suspension chamber lights up, and begins to beep.

Lunn is in a corridor, and the ghosts find him. They surround him, but don’t attack. Clara was right. They aren’t interested in him.

On Earth, the Doctor questions the Fisher King; what will happen when his people arrive?

The Fisher King will drain the oceans and put the human in chains.

The Doctor tells the Fisher King that the earth is protected. By him!

The reply? “Yes. One man, lost in time.” Well when you put it that way … gulp.

On the base, Lunn grabs the phone, but the ghosts lock him in, away from the others.

The Fisher King finally shows himself, and he’s huge, but also UGLY! BLECH.

On Earth, Cass and Clara decide to go find Lunn. They get separated when Cass decides to go off on her own.

Moran stalks Cass, dragging an axe behind him. It’s creepy as hell, because she can’t hear the sound of it dragging along the floor!

The Doctor and the Fisher King bicker a bit, until the Doctor gives one of his speeches and tells the Fisher King how horrible he is and that, “This is where your story ends.”

And on the base, the suspension chamber does more beeping and lighting.

THIS IS INTENSE, YOU GUYS! The damn axe dragging, and then silence when Cass is shown, and then noise again with the axe and Moran … I CAN’T HANDLE THIS.

BUT OH MY GOD SHE KNEELS AND FEELS THE VIBRATION IN THE FLOOR WITH HER HAND. AND SHE DUCKS OUT OF THE WAY JUST IN TIME! YOU GO, CASS!

Cass runs, and finds Clara!

Um, and then confusion? The Doctor can’t be killed and used as a beacon because he “got rid of the words”? No one will die; no one is coming to save the Fisher King. Wut?

Clara and Cass get to Lunn, but it’s a trap. The ghosts come through the walls. The trio runs back to the Faraday cage.

On Earth, OH MY GOD THE DOCTOR LIES YOU GUYS! I FORGOT! I NEED TO NOT FORGET THAT! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

The Doctor LIED to the Fisher King! Of course the words are still there! Of course he still has them in his mind! And the Doctor has also taken the power cell! HE EXPLODES THE DAMN DAM! THE DOCTOR DID IT ALL ALONG! OH MY GOD!

The TARDIS starts to leave with Bennett inside! The dam is bursting! Water is flooding the base!

In the future, Clara, Lunn and Cass run into the room where the suspension chamber is! The ghosts are upon them! The chamber opens! OUT POPS THE DOCTOR! HE WAS IN THE SUSPENSION CHAMBER!

They all run into the computer room! The Doctor inserts his sonic glasses into the computer! The Fisher King is roaring! The ghosts leave and walk away, answering the Fisher King’s call! They go into the Faraday cage, and it’s the ghost-Doctor roaring! He called the ghosts away! The Doctor locks the ghosts in the Faraday cage!

… omg, I can’t breathe. This is insane.

With everyone now safe, and Clara wearing the sonic sunglasses, the Doctor explains that his ghost was a hologram beamed through the sonic glasses. He uses the glasses to erase the words from Clara and Cass.

Bennett watches the ghosts in the cage and asks what will happen to them. The Doctor explains that UNIT will take them away in the cage and destroy the alien craft.

Bennett makes Lunn tell Cass how he feels about her. It’s too late for him and O’Donnell, and he doesn’t want Lunn to suffer the same fate. D’aww.

Lunn does it, and Cass kisses him. D’AWW!

Back on the TARDIS, the Doctor explains how he told himself to do all the things he did; get into the chamber, protect Clara … but it’s so complicated and confusing.

AND WE’RE BACK TO BEETHOVEN OH MY GAWD WHITHOUSE, YOU BLOODY GENIUS! WHO CREATED BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH? WHEN DID THE DOCTOR FIRST HAVE THE IDEAS TO PLANT THE WORDS HIS GHOSTS SAID?!

… and then that little knowing smirk and shrug to the camera! HA!

Okay, you guys, I LOVED the second part of this two-parter! The first part was good, but this was a really good episode! Great writing, great story, not too many huge plot holes! We may almost be back on track here!

Um, so I forgot to do my favourite lines. SORRY, I WAS A LITTLE BUSY WITH THE WHOLE GHOST-DOCTOR THING!

I’ll remember next time. See you soon!

Photo Courtesy of BBC America

About Christina

Christina came into her geekiness late in life. Well, later than normal people do anyway. She has her brother to thank for that, although he's probably the biggest not-geek she knows. "Watch The Eleventh Hour," he told her. She did, and she hasn't looked back since.