Doctor Who Review: Before the Flood

Hundreds of years apart, the Doctor and Clara must work to solve the mystery of the ghosts and the spaceship.

Cast and Crew

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor
Jenna Coleman as Clara
Colin McFarlane as Moran
Sophie Stone as Cass
Zaqi Ismail as Lunn
Morven Christie as O’Donnell
Arsher Ali as Bennett
Steven Robertson as Pritchard
Paul Kaye as Prentis
Neil Fingleton as the Fisher King
Peter Serafinowicz as the Voice of the Fisher King
Corey Taylor as the Roar of the Fisher King

Written by Toby Whithouse
Produced by Derek Ritchie
Directed by Daniel O’Hara


After last week’s episode, the Doctor and Clara are in the same place but at different times, one trying to solve the mystery of the ship and its occupant and one trying to survive.

High Points

One of last week’s low points does actually matter after all.

Time loops! Paradoxes! Proper ones, too!

O’Donnell, generally.


Low Points

The most invaded planet in the universe? Really? Slightly atmosphere-destroying.

Sadly, while writing the cast list I had to face the fact that the Fisher King wasn’t actually as bizarre as a character requiring different actors for body, voice and roar might have implied.

The Doctor’s opening introduction was a little teensy bit overdone and somewhat unnecessary I thought.


The Scores

Originality so this is a mixture of fairly standard sci-fi musings on time travel and Doctor Who’s particular take on the subject, which tends to wobble around from story to story a bit like a robot in a drunken game of Robo Rally. It doesn’t really feel tired, but I can’t say there was a very fresh spin on it either. 4/6

The effects are much like last week’s for the most part, but there’s one particular big effect which was no doubt very hard to do and is generally impressive, but basically simulating fluid flows is hard and they just don’t have the budget for it. 4/6

I enjoyed the story. It fits together neatly with last week’s episode, picking up and dealing with a couple of loose ends and giving everything a fairly satisfying explanation, even if it does involve standardised time paradox logic. Enjoyable, certainly, but it does wrap up a bit too quickly. 4/6

The acting given that it featured almost entirely the same cast playing the same characters is really much like the previous episode. This is pleasing because the first part was very well acted indeed. 5/6

Emotional response is comparatively lacking this time. It’s not as scary. Quite scary, but as is often the way of these things the fear goes as you understand more about what’s going on. 4/6

Production see previous episode’s review for comments on the underwater base set design. The village looked to me more like a collection of random buildings than an abandoned village. 4/6

Overall I did really enjoy this. It’s not great storytelling or amazing production or jaw-dropping effects, it’s just a group of good actors working with a decent script and delivering something that is very pleasant to watch. 5/6

In total, Before The Flood receives 30/42

6 replies on “Doctor Who Review: Before the Flood”

  1. I saw the conclusion coming a mile away, which took a bit away from its impact.

    And his whole chicken-and-egg problem can’t be that big of a deal since practically the same thing played out in Blink with the video recording and transcript.

    So sure it was an alright conclusion but overall, I was a bit underwhelmed.

  2. Time paradoxes, sure, but if Prentis was a ghost all along (because he died in the past), why wasn’t Ghost O’Donnell also there all along?

    Prentis, so scary as a ghost, is pretty funny as a living ferretoid from a planet with a remarkably EuroTerran sartorial sense.

  3. Have they been doing the different opening theme thing every episode this season, or just this?

    Man, my super-Who-fan friend is going to be pissed. She hated the guitar thing in the first ep, and she REALLY hates the sunglasses…

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