9.3. Under The Lake / Before The Flood

Series 9 - 2015 - 2016

Writer: Toby Whithouse
Produced by: Derek Ritchie
Director: Daniel O'Hara
Music: Murray Gold


November 2119: Caithness, Scotland. In the Drum, and underwater mining facility  operated by Vector Petroleum, the crew find an unknown craft on the sea bed and bring it on board for investigation. Moran asks Lunn to fetch a torch, and whilst he is fetching it he sees a ghostly figure reflected in glass. Moran wants the torch so he and the crew can properly check out some strange markings. Only Lunn does not go into the ship. After the crew leave the ship Pritchard remains inside to study a control panel. He is startled when he sees the same ghostly figure in the craft, and the ship's engines fire. Outside the craft Moran acts quickly to push Cass out of the way, but is caught in the blast. The remaining crew evacuate the hangar, and outside the hangar they see the ghost of Moran.

The TARDIS materialises in the base three days later. The Doctor can tell the TARDIS is not happy about being there, and Clara wants to leave and go somewhere for another adventure. The Doctor is more curious about why the TARDIS has brought them to a seemingly abandoned underwater base. In a corridor the Doctor thinks they have found crew - but instead it is what looks like a couple of ghosts. Following the ghosts the Doctor and Clara find the hangar and they see the markings inside the ship. It looks like a message but the TARDIS isn't translating.

When the ghosts reappear they pick and axe and a harpoon gun, and the Doctor and Clara run back into the base, and make their way to a room where the other crew members beckon them inside. The room is a Faraday cage, and the ghosts cannot get through the walls so anyone inside is safe. The crew are protecting themselves whilst the base is in night mode. When the base enters day mode they are safe as the ghosts only come out when it's dark.

The Doctor goes back to examine the ship now there is more light. The ship is a long-haul ship and is missing a suspended animation chamber and a power cell. Up until that point the Doctor refused to believe in ghosts, but when he properly thought about what the figures were he reasoned that they were the ghosts of the dead. Whilst the Doctor is happy about actually seeing ghosts he is oblivious to the fact that the crew are still mourning the loss of a friend.

When the base switches back to night mode early the TARDIS cloister bell starts to toll. The ghosts are trying to infiltrate the system. The TARDIS knows the ghosts are aberrations and wants to get away from them. Instead of leaving the Doctor puts on the TARDIS' handbrake. Clara is very keen to go back into the base where the action is and the Doctor is concerned she is starting to act too much like himself.

The crew are having to quickly grab provisions in order to go back into the Faraday cage. Pritchard had been outside trying to locate the missing power cell and did not know about the switch back into night mode. In the airlock the Moran ghost opens the airlock outer doors flushing Pritchard back into the sea. he later reappears in the mess hall as a ghost. Pritchard is about to attack when O'Donnell switches the base back into day mode and Pritchard disappears.

The ghosts are learning how to control the base. Cass is all for abandoning the base and tells O'Donnell to call Topside for evacuation. Topside tells them that a medical team has already been called for. Realising the ghosts have requested the team, so they must need them for some reason, the Doctor cancels them. The Doctor wants to capture a ghost and asks O'Donnell to turn the base back into night mode. Crew members, and Clara, take turns to lure the ghosts down different corridors.

During a switch between Lunn and Clara the ghosts separate. Lunn is caught by Pritchard's ghost but it does not attack and simply leaves to rejoin the others. Bennett takes the final leg and leads the ghosts to the Faraday cage where a holographic Clara lures them inside. Wearing the sonic glasses the Doctor goes into the Faraday cage to talk to them. The glasses transmit what the Doctor is seeing to the control room. Cass, who is deaf, is able to see what the ghosts are saying and lip-read.

The ghosts are repeating the same phrase repeatedly: The Dark, sword, forsaken, and temple. The Doctor works out that they are coordinates to lead someone to the planet Earth, and a location on Earth: the flooded village in which the base is located. The ghosts are acting as a transmitter, and every new ghosts strengthens the signal. That is why they wanted the rescue submarine crew. Inside the flooded village is a church, and that is where the coordinates lead to.

The crew sends out a small submarine to investigate the church and they find the missing suspended animation chamber and bring it back to the base. The chamber is deadlock sealed and can't be opened. The Doctor wants to go back in time to before the village flooded. Re-examining the markings in the spaceship the Doctor realises the words are the coordinates, and they act as an ear-worm that repeats even after the person dies.

The changes to the day and night settings cause problems with the base's nuclear reactor. The base starts to flood to cool the reactor. The crew rush to the TARDIS but Clara, Cass and Lunn are trapped behind a bulkhead door leaving the Doctor, O'Donnell and Bennett to go back in time.

Shortly after they leave in the mess hall a new ghost appears outside the base: it is the Doctor.

The TARDIS materialises in the village in 1980, when the spaceship first touched down. In the middle of the Cold War it's been set up to look like a Soviet village. In the middle of the village is the spaceship, complete with the mummified body of the pilot. They are greeted by an Albar Prentis, a funeral director from Tivoli, who becomes the first ghost met on the base. Prentis, according to custom, is going to bury the body of the Fisher King on a barren outpost: Earth. The Doctor asks Prentis what the message that is going to be sent means, but Prentis does not know what the Doctor is talking about.

In the base Clara receives a call from the Doctor in the past. Clara tells the Doctor about his ghost. Upset Clara tells the Doctor she can't handle the Doctor dying. The Doctor tells her there are rules, and Clara demands he breaks them.

The Doctor asks about his ghost. Clara tells him that things are different with his ghost. Firstly his coat is torn, and he is repeating the names of the crew, including Prentis and Clara. As she talks the ghosts moves into the mess hall. The ghost Doctor uses controls to open the Faraday cage and let the other ghosts out. With the Faraday cage open the Doctor tells Clara, Cass, and Lunn, to get inside. The phone signals will not penetrate the room so Clara has to leave the phone outside where she can see it.

Back at the spaceship in the village they find Prentis dead. There are markings inside the ship and the body is missing. The Fisher King has awoken and taken the suspended animation chamber into the church. The Doctor, O'Donnell, and Bennett, can hear the Fisher King and run into a building. O'Donnell is separated and shot. Bennett gets to her as she dies. Bennett realises that the names the Doctor's ghost speaks are said in the order they died. The next name is Clara.

The Doctor plans to go back to the base to save Clara. The TARDIS has other ideas, and instead goes back in time thirty minutes, crossing the Doctor's own time stream. The Doctor and Bennett can see themselves arriving. When he sees O'Donnell the Doctor has to dive on top of Bennett, tearing his coat in the process. The Doctor tells Bennett to go back to the TARDIS whilst he goes to face the Fisher King.

In the base the O'Donnell ghost appears outside the Faraday cage and takes Clara's phone. Clara realises that the ghosts only attacked people who had read the message in the spaceship. As Lunn had never read the message he could go outside and get the phone back. Lunn is Cass's sign interpreter, and naturally she does not like the idea of losing Lunn. Lunn finds the phone in mess hall, but when he tries to leave the doors are locked.

Cass is determined to go after Lunn, and Clara reluctantly agrees. Clara forgets Cass can't hear her, and they are soon separated. Cass doesn't hear the ghost of Moran coming up behind her dragging an axe. But she can feel vibrations, and when the vibrations stop she ducks out of the way of the swinging axe. She finds Clara and they make their way to the mess where they find Lunn.

Inside the village church the Doctor finds the Fisher King and the suspended animation chamber. The Fisher King tells the Doctor his message will bring an armada to Earth after which the planet will be destroyed and the people enslaved. The Doctor lies the creature and tells it that he has stopped the message and changed the future. The creatures goes to craft to check but still sees the message. Moments later a power cell from the craft explodes near the damn, flooding the village and killing the Fisher King.

Safely inside the TARDIS Bennett can only watch as a hologram activates and the TARDIS dematerialises.

Inside the base hangar the suspended animation chamber opens and the Doctor emerges. He goes to a control panel and uses his ghost to lure the other ghosts into the Faraday cage. The Doctor then reveals his ghost is not a ghost - only a hologram. Using his sonic glasses the Doctor is able to deactivate the transmitters inside the crew. He tells them that UNIT will be along to take care of the ghosts.

Regular Cast

  • Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman

Guest Cast

  • Moran: Colin McFarlane
  • Cass: Sophie Stone
  • Lunn: Zaqi Ismail
  • O'Donnell: Morven Christie
  • Bennett: Arsher Ali
  • Pritchard: Steven Roberston
  • Prentis: Paul Kaye
  • Fisher King: Neil Fingleton (4)
  • Voice of Fisher King: Peter Serafinowicz (4)
  • Roar of Fisher King: Corey Taylor (4)

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 3. Under The Lake Saturday, October 3, 2015 8:25 PM - 9:10 PM 5.63M 84
BBC 1 (HD) 4. Before The Flood Saturday, October 10, 2015 8:25 PM - 9:10 PM 6.05M 83

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