Before the Flood/TITLE>
Doctor Who Logo 'Before the Flood'
(Story Code 9.04)

by Toby Whithouse
The Twelfth Doctor and the Fisher King

“I have to die.” – The Doctor

(In the TARDIS, the Doctor contemplates the paradox of a time traveller visiting Beethoven, only to discover the composer doesn’t exist. Having Beethoven’s entire works with them for autographing, the traveller decides to transcribe the music, take the credit for them, and then become Beethoven himself. The big question: who composed Beethoven’s Fifth?)

The TARDIS takes the Doctor, Bennett and O’Donnell to Caithness, Scotland in 1980, a time when the place has been transformed into a replica Russian town for Cold War military manoeuvres. Locating the alien spaceship by the church, the trio look inside and find the missing suspended animation chamber and power cell, no alien words on the wall, and a huge corpse swathed in bandages and lying in state. The Tivoli undertaker arrives on the scene, the alien very much alive at this point in time; after introducing himself as Albar Prentis, the cowardly creature explains that he has brought the body of the Fisher King - a recently-deposed former-invader of his homeworld - to Earth in his hearse so that he can give him the customary burial on a ‘savage’ world. When the Doctor demands that Prentis hand over the soul-stealing device that he used to make the ghosts in the future, the Tivoli undertaker insists that he has no such thing.

In ‘The Drum’ in the future, Cass tells Clara via Lunn that the ghost of the Doctor is saying something different: everyone’s names, plus that of “Prentis”. Receiving a phone call from the real Doctor, now back inside the TARDIS with Bennett and O’Donnell, Clara informs him of the appearance of his ghost; when her friend calmly accepts that his time has come, Clara becomes furious and insists he find a way to save everyone.

In Caithness, Prentis returns to his hearse and discovers that the corpse he is in charge of has vanished. However, after seeing the alien words scratched into the wall, Prentis becomes the first victim of the Fisher King…

Clara tells the Doctor of the different message his ghost is saying, and how his coat now has a tear on the shoulder. The Time Lord’s spectre phases through the window and into the sea base, operating the Faraday Cage controls and freeing the captive ghosts inside. Following the Doctor’s instructions Clara uses her phone to enable him to talk to his ghost; but then the Time Lord’s spectre begins a new chant: “the cage will open’.

After ordering Clara, Cass and Lunn to the safety of the Faraday Cage, leaving the phone outside so that he can still contact them, the Doctor returns outside with Bennett and O’Donnell. Here they discover Prentis’ corpse inside the hearse, and the familiar words scratched onto the wall. They also see tracks in the grass: the Fisher King has dragged the suspended animation chamber into the church. Hearing a terrifying roar, the trio race for the TARDIS – but the Fisher King cuts them off, forcing them to split up. The Doctor and Bennet manage to evade the creature, but O’Donnell is not so lucky, and she becomes his latest victim. Bennett is distraught, and also angry that the Doctor knew she would be next from the order of the names his ghost was recounting. With Clara’s name next, the Doctor finally decides to change history to save his friend. Together with Bennett he returns to the TARDIS, but when the Doctor tries to take the ship back to the seabase his vessel refuses, and instead rematerialises in Caithness, thirty minutes before they first arrived…

Inside the Faraday Cage, Clara, Cass and Lunn are shocked to see O’Donnell’s ghost appear outside and take Clara’s phone. Recalling that Cass stopped Lunn from seeing the alien message, Clara realises he can get her phone back…

Unable to save Prentis or even warn him of his fate, the Doctor and Bennett watch from hiding as the alien meets their earlier selves and O’Donnell. Bennett tries to go after the woman he loves, but the Doctor stops him, and in the scuffle his coat is torn. Knowing that his time is running out, the Time Lord sets off to the church to face the Fisher King. Down in the crypt, the Doctor sees the stasis pod and then speaks with the alien warlord, inadvertently giving him the idea of killing people and creating their electromagnetic projections as ghosts to use as beacons to call for help. The Fisher King gloats how once he has been rescued his people will drain the Earth’s oceans and then enslave everyone on the planet…

In the Drum, the stasis chamber begins to unlock… Warily making his way through the base, Lunn comes across the ghosts; they surround him… and then walk away, allowing the terrified crewman to reach the mess hall, where he quickly recovers Clara’s phone. However, as Lunn makes to leave the mess doors slam shut, sealing him inside. Concerned for Lunn, Cass forces Clara to go after him; they soon get split up, and the ghost of Moran goes after Cass with an axe…

In the church, the monstrous Fisher King comes face-to-face with the Doctor. Fully aware that his quarry is a Time Lord, the creature reflects how he will make a strong beacon. The warlord trains his gun on the Doctor, but the Time Lords is unfazed, and resolves to change the future to put things right.

In the Drum, the stasis chamber continues to unlock... Unable to hear her surroundings, Cass uses vibrations to detect the axe-dragging monster behind her; running for her life she is reunited with Clara, and together they reach the mess hall where they find Lunn. The ghosts close in on them, so the trio race for the Faraday Cage...

When the Doctor tells the Fisher King that he has removed his message from the interior of the hearse, the huge creature lumbers outside to investigate; but when he reaches the ship the Fisher King sees its words still there, although one of the power cores has gone – the Doctor lied! In the TARDIS, Bennett watches as the time-space vessel’s security protocol activates: a hologram of the Doctor appears, and the ship dematerialises… Meanwhile, the missing power core overloads, its detonation shattering the dam overlooking the town – unleashing a massive tidal wave that smashes into the Fisher King and floods the entire vicinity…

In the Drum, Clara, Cass and Lunn reach the hanger just as the suspended animation chamber opens – to reveal the Doctor! Racing to the bridge, the Time Lord connects his sonic sunglasses to the base’s systems, playing a recording of the Fisher King’s call throughout the base. The ghosts follow the noise to the Faraday Cage, where the Doctor’s ghost is waiting for them. But it isn’t really the Doctor’s ghost, it is his hologram, an image generated by the Time Lord’s sunglasses over the base’s Wi-Fi, pre-programmed with the phrases it said to Clara and the others. With the ghosts safely locked up, the Doctor uses his sonic shades to erase the memory of the Fisher King’s message from everyone’s minds; he then reassures them that UNIT will take care of things by destroying the space hearse and cutting free the Faraday Cage with the ghosts trapped inside. Saddened by the loss of O’Donnell, Bennett advises Lunn to tell Cass that he loves her – and to the nervous Lunn’s delight, Cass responds by kissing him. Departing in the TARDIS, Clara asks the Doctor what UNIT will do with the ghosts; the Time Lord tells her that the electromagnetic creatures will be taken into space, where they will eventually fade away. When Clara reflects on her friend’s ingenious plan, the Doctor ponders on the paradoxical nature of the messages from his ghost: who composed Beethoven’s Fifth…?

Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Colin McFarlane (Captain Moran), Sophie Stone (Cass), Zaqi Ismail (Lunn), Morven Christie (O'Donnell), Arsher Ali (Bennett), Steven Robertson (Pritchard), Paul Kaye (Albar Prentis), Neil Fingleton (Fisher King), Peter Serafinowicz (Voice of Fisher King), Corey Taylor (Roar of Fisher King)

Directed by Daniel O'Hara
Produced by Derek Ritchie
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
10th October 2015 @ 8.25 pm

*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara

*The title sequence for this episode features a rock and roll version of the theme tune (as played by the Doctor?)

*Part two of a two-part story

*Working title: 'Ghost in the Machine - Part 2'