Before the Flood review

Before the Flood Russian BaseSo, Before the Flood has been and gone; was I disappointed as the spoiler-free review suggested I might be? Simple answer, yes. Not that it was all bad, just it had several bits I didn’t get on with.

Most people seem to have like it on various forums / twitter; I’m not trying to seek controversy (easy way to get clicks though it might be), I just have some grips.

The Fourth Wall

[pullquote]we know Capaldi can play guitar[/pullquote]

First up the talk to camera, what is called in acting circles as breaking the fourth wall. Now, the Twelfth Doctor has done this before, and the First Doctor did it for Christmas when on the run from the Daleks. It jolts a bit but isn’t fatal in its own right. What I don’t like is the long explanation of the bootstrap paradox (aka causal loop). What has happened to show don’t tell? Then the segue into the rock and roll theme tune. Really? There’s breaking the wall and deconstructing the boundaries. I think we know Capaldi can play guitar by now.

The Fisher King

Watching the Fisher King all I could see was a man in a costume. He moved slowly, actually did very little and was soon swept away in the flood. Dull.

The clever bits

Was the plot too twisty? Doctor in the coffin just to surprise (remember the Pandorica reveal, anyone?) I’m still upset my o’Donnell theory get trashed, I felt the suspense was good, and the setting was intriguing though underused. The part of Cass was much bigger than a simple excuse to use a deaf actor (Sophie Stone) and it was a shame there had to be two love stories going on just to round out the ending. The ghost Doctor was never a credible reality, but a nice try.

What else?

I like the way Clara is evolving, with hard edges and perspectives those around her couldn’t have. I loved o’Donnell back in time, and the Sonic Sunglasses need smashing soon. They may be a good way to wipe people’s minds, but the scene where they are stuck in the computer console was begging for a screwdriver. Glasses aren’t a tool, whatever the effort the writers make.

So for me more negatives than positives. A good effort though, in many ways.

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