Doctor Who Review "Before the Flood"

So we’re at episode 4 of the series… Was that anti-climatic for everyone, or was it just me…?
We are greeted with a very different type of opening this week, with the doctor, seemingly alone in the Tardis, looking directly into the camera and telling us, the viewers, of a quaint tale of Beethoven, a time traveller, and the Bootstrap paradox. Which he bluntly tells us to google. This in itself, gives us the gist of what’s going to happen next…
The Doctor, O’Donnell and Bennett arrive in the Military Town, in 1980, and we discover that the town had a rather Soviet feel before it became the aquarium decoration at the bottom of a lake. The sexy black spaceship from the previous episode, well, turns out that was a hearse, carrying the ‘corpse’ of the Fisher King, a creepy bony mantis-type alien who deserved far more screen time if you ask me. It was also piloted by Prentis, the most irritating of aliens ever to grace the screen, and I am including Jar Jar in this. Granted this Tivolian’s purpose is to be so unbelievably grating that we are applauding when he finally meets his end.
So Clara, along with Lunn and Cass, await the Doctor’s rescue, while dealing with the elephant outside the room, which is of course the ghost Doctor. The scenes in the Drum gave Clara some breathing room as a character, showing her in a take charge role, instead of jumping through the Timelord’s hoops constantly. Miss Oswald solves the very simple mystery of why Lunn is the only one not being attacked by the beacon ghosts, which she decides is a perfectly good reason to test her theory (mirroring the Doctor, in more ways than one) by throwing him into harm’s way. When Cass calls her on her actions, it reminded me of the moment Donna met Martha and Mickey, when she asks/accuses the Doctor, does he turn all of his companions into soldiers?
Back in 1980 there’s a time loop, and then a time loop within that time loop, but you know, never mind because of wibbly wobbly timey wimey supercalifradgilisticexpiallidocious… Anyway, O’Donnell, a character who I very much would have loved to see more of, because I love the fangirls. I loved Osgood, I loved O’Donnell, and they were both stolen from me. Yes, me personally, I feel betrayed. That being said, it gives Bennett, the opportunity to be the human aspect of the situation and call the Doctor out on his actions. 
Bennett gets sent back to the future to give romantic advice because, of course any man and woman who are in close proximity must end up in a relationship in Steven I don’t know the meaning of the word platonic Moffat’s world.  Naturally, the Doctor monologues the Fisher King to death, almost, causing the destruction of the dam and sealing himself in the stasis pod only to pop out at the opportune moment. A point that was glaringly obvious from about ten minutes in.
Unsurprisingly, the Doctor saves the day, somebody proclaims their love as everyone else looks at their shoes and tries to avoid the PDA in front of them. Oh and Clara, well, Clara just sort of continues. 
Fan Theory
The overt theme of war has been woven into the very fabric of the series so far. The Doctor meets little baby Davros during the war, the Daleks are warmongering cyborgs, the military are based in the Drum, and finally, a Scottish town dressed up like a soviet ghost town, during the Cold War. Me thinks there is a battle coming, a big one. We know Jenna Coleman is leaving, so Clara is on her way out, but with the way she’s going at the moment I can see that way out in a box. That’s right, death, actual death, not a fake death, not another, oh look paradox, she’s fine now death, a straight laced, gut wrenching, no coming back from it death. Or you know, she becomes the minister for war and the Doctor has to *cough* remove her….
Answer Me These Questions Three

  1. Who is this Minister for War, and is he/she/they important or just another off the cuff remark, created to make the internet whisper?
  2. What did you think of the guitar fuelled theme?
  3. O’Donnell could have easily known his companions, but how did she get them in the right order?

Final Thoughts
As much as I loved the attempt at making an episode (or two) in the same vein as classic Who, it just didn’t quite hit the mark. As much as I love smacking my head against a wall can we please stop using paradoxes as a get out of jail free card whenever we feel like it. The best scene was hands down, between Cass and the axe wielding ghost, ooft, talk about tension and setting the scene! The sonic glasses are okay I suppose, but please, bring back the screwdriver.
 Katie Charlwood

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