The first episode of this two part story (Under the Lake) suffered from familiarity. ‘Before the Flood’ started with the Doctor breaking the forth wall to explain the Bootstrap Paradox before playing ‘Beethoven’s Fifth’ on electric guitar, using an amp made by ‘Magpie Electronics’ which will interest anyone whose seen the episode ‘The Idiot Lantern’, he then continues playing along with the titles. Familiar? Not anymore.
So after last weeks less pacey episode we’re back to a gallop. ‘Before the Flood’ speeds along at such a pace I was surprised the end had come around so quickly. Again Peter Capaldi displayed what a great Doctor he has become. He fills every scene with his presence. His delivery of lines seems so free and natural it almost feels improvised. Capaldi’s Doctor seems less weighed down by his characters history. In previous series a rundown of past companions would have caused melancholy; now it’s almost brushed aside.
As with last weeks episode the supporting cast were again excellent. Giving each of their roles the right mix of drama and humour. It’s just a shame that Paul Kaye’s Prentis was so under used. Jenna Coleman was once again entertaining with her Clara freed from the doubts and love interests that bogged down the character in the previous series.
The whole episode was less scary and more action based than ‘Under the Lake’. Although the slow revel of the new monster, The Fisher King, was genuinely creepy and when revealed did not disappoint. Like a cross between the Alien and Predator it was a wonderful use of practical effects; really harking back to the classic days of Who. Not only did he look the part but, thanks to Peter Serafinowicz voice work and the roars of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, he also sounded as evil.
First used in the episode ‘Blink’ there was the return of ‘Security Protocol 712’. Again this gave Whovians another geek out moment; something that seems to be a theme so far in series nine.
So two stories and four episodes in and series nine is still yet to give us a duff episode. There have been thrills, scares and true nerdgasm moments. Isn’t that what every Whovian wants from Doctor Who? I can’t wait to see ‘The Girl Who Died’; please don’t disappoint.
Rating out of 10: 9