I’m going to be honest–the more I see of Peter Capaldi, the more I absolutely love his Doctor. His opening monologue about the Beethoven paradox was delivered spot-on…and I have to admit that having the Doctor playing the beginning of Beethoven’s 5th on his trusty guitar was oddly amusing. Oh, and I loved how they included Capaldi’s guitar riffs in the theme song. That man is living the dream, I tell you.
There was more potential fodder for a Doctor/Clara relationship in this episode (“If you love me at all, you’ll come back to me.”), but I really hope they listen to Capaldi’s advice and don’t go down that road. It’s a nice break for a change. Yes, they hinted at it in season 8 with the Doctor’s heartbroken look when Clara said she loved Danny (and Clara did admit that she loved the Doctor), but I think we could all do without another “Doomsday” or “Journey’s End” scenario. Also, Clara seemed vaguely whiny in this episode for some reason.
The timey-wimey aspect of the episode was extremely satisfying, and on the whole this episode felt as though it nicely wrapped up the story line that was introduced last week. I was sad to see O’Donnell get killed, but on the other hand, she did kind of seem like an Osgood copy. It would have been nice to have kept her around a little longer and see her become her own character.
In summary, I’d say that “Under the Lake/Before the Flood” was an excellent two part story and will undoubtedly remain one of my favorite stories from season 9. It’s definitely one of my favorite Twelfth Doctor episodes.