Twelfth: Under the Lake/Before the Flood(dual review)

under the lakeWriter: Toby Whithouse

Director: Daniel O’Hara

Producer: Derek Ritchie

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Series: (9, ep. 3&4)

Summary: The Doctor and Clara arrive on an underwater base, haunted by ghosts. The ghosts appear to be silent, but only because they can’t be heard.  They meet a crewmember named Cass, who is deaf. The Doctor takes two people to discover why the base was flooded. They meet an alien named the Fisher King, who is invading the base in different times.

Review: Toby Whithouse is in my opinion, one of Doctor Who‘s most underrated writers. I didn’t realize until I rewatched this episode and “Vampires in Venice” just how good he is. He can take a standard formula such as the “base under siege” model and put a nice twist on it. In fact, this story could be considered a “double BUS” story, as the base is being attacked in different times. I thought Cass being the key to the mystery because she can read lips was a great idea, and kudos to the casting of an actual deaf actress (Sophie Stone) to play her! I hope that when Chris Chibnall takes over, he keeps Toby Whithouse on, because he’ll need someone who can apply the standard formula in unique ways.

Overall Review: 8/10

Continuity: The Doctor uses his sonic sunglasses, which was introduced in “The Witch’s Familiar”. The Cloister Bell rings again to alert the Doctor to destruction to time. The Doctor’s amplifier has the logo for Magpie Electricals. Clara tells the Doctor that she isn’t ready to lose another person she cares about.

Note: This is my last dual review. The rest of series 9’s episodes are reviewed better separately than as one complete story for both parts of each episode.




2 comments on “Twelfth: Under the Lake/Before the Flood(dual review)

  1. I enjoyed this one too. It’s yet another one of those DW episodes that seems to find scientific explanations for metaphysical phenomena. Like Batman, the Doctor’s first reaction to any seemingly supernatural phenomena is ‘what’s really going on here’. I enjoy seeing each of them be wrong every so often–I wish it happened to the Doctor more often in cases like this. All that’s just a side note though; I enjoyed the episode a lot. Claustrophobic, well-textured, and creepy.

  2. Yeah, base under siege is Doctor Who’s bread and butter. I heard someone say that Troughton’s Doctor Who should’ve been renamed “BASE UNDER SIEGE! Starring Patrick Troughton!” because they used the formula so many times during that era.

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