‘DARK WATER’/’DEATH IN HEAVEN’
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The Twelfth Doctor with the Cybermen and Missy
‘DARK WATER’ (Part 1)
‘Dark Water’/’Death In Heaven’ is the two-part finale of Series 8 of ‘Doctor Who’ by Steven Moffat. I was looking forward to seeing this two-part finale since this featured the return of the Cybermen in it.
However, I’m afraid I have mixed feelings regarding this two-part story. I enjoyed the Cybermen in it, but I feel that they were overshadowed by Missy as she happened to be the major villain of this finale.
In this story, Danny Pink dies. Whoa, that was a shock. And so unexpected at the beginning of this story. I liked Samuel Anderson’s performance as Danny in Series 8 and was saddened he got killed off.
Jenna Coleman as Clara wants to save Danny. I did find Clara rather an emotional mess in this story. She threatens the Doctor to save and bring back Danny that she actually betrays the trust between them.
I wish that Clara’s handling of the situation regarding Danny’s death had been better handled. This stage of Clara’s inconsistent character development is way different to how she started from Series 7.
But the surprising thing is, the Doctor actually forgives Clara for betraying him. Yeah, for the seemingly anti-heroism Peter Capaldi’s Doctor seems to portray in Series 8, he’s willing to help Clara save Danny.
So, Clara and the Doctor go in the TARDIS to find where Danny Pink has gone to. Meanwhile, it seems that Danny has ended up in ‘heaven’. But it’s actually a different kind of heaven called the Nethersphere.
I like how we get to see memory flashbacks of Danny fighting as a soldier in war-torn Afghanistan. It gets revealed that Danny actually killed someone when he was soldier and this turned out to be a boy.
Whilst the Doctor and Clara explore the Nethersphere, they meet Michelle Gomez as Missy. She has been a reoccurring character in Series 8, popping up in certain episodes watching the Doctor and Clara.
I wondered who Missy was and what her connection to the Doctor was. She starts off seeming to be an android, which perhaps some fans would prefer. But it turns out there’s more to her than it seems.
The guest cast also includes Chris Addison as Seb, who’s this cocky, insensitive person that Danny meets in the Nethersphere. There’s Andrew Leung as Dr. Chang, who also works at this Nethersphere.
It was also nice to see Sheila Reid return as Clara’s gran in the episode. She made her first appearance in ‘The Time of the Doctor’. Clara’s gran tries to comfort her granddaughter after Danny gets killed off.
I found it gut-wrenching when Clara switched Danny off when she talking to him in ‘the land of the dead’. I think Clara was being unfair to Danny when he kept saying that he loved her and she told him to stop.
Clara wanted proof that Danny was the real person and not an imposter, but he couldn’t prove it to her. He keeps saying “I love you!” to Clara to prevent her trying to reach him where is in the ‘afterlife’.
But of course the highlight of this story is the return of the Cybermen. These are the ones from ‘Nightmare In Silver’. The way the Cybermen are recreated as skeletons in ‘dark water’ is very effective.
I especially liked the recreation of the famous Cybermen scene of ‘The Invasion’ when they walked down the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s such a shame this gets hampered by the big reveal of Missy.
The first episode ends on a cliff-hanger where the Doctor asks Missy who she is. It turns that she’s a female version of the Master! What?! I can tell you how shocked I was when I saw that episode ending.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 8’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s the ‘Dark Water’ – Doctor Who Extra’ featurette.
‘DEATH IN HEAVEN’ (Part 2)
I recall arriving home late to see this second episode, since I went to the cinema to see ‘Interstellar’ that day and it overran in its 169 minute length. I later watched ‘Death In Heaven’ again via BBCiPlayer.
I’m not entirely happy with the Master being a woman in this ‘Doctor Who’ story. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Time Lords changing their sexes since that could happen to the Doctor after all.
But I do feel that Michelle Gomez’ performance as Missy is rather pantomime and not menacing enough in this TV story. Also, I miss John Simm as the Master, as I hoped he would return to the series.
What would have worked for me is that Michelle Gomez didn’t wear the Mary Poppins outfit and wore something more leather-like and streamlined. It would have been so menacing and convincing for me.
This second episode features the return of Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, the Brigadier’s daughter of U.N.I.T. and Ingrid Oliver as Osgood. It was nice to see these two again since ‘The Day of the Doctor’.
Not long after I saw this two-parter, I met Jemma Redgrave at the ‘Collectormania 22’ convention in Milton Keynes, November 2014. It was very nice to meet her and Jemma was very friendly to chat to.
I was shocked whilst watching the episode that Osgood got killed off by Missy. I’ll give Missy this, she does have her moments of being purely evil like the original Master did. But is this the end of Osgood?
This story also features the sad departure of Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink. I was so sad to see him depart from the TV show. I later met Samuel at the ‘Bournemouth Film and Comic Con’ in August 2015.
Danny Pink becomes a Cyberman in this episode. I like how this episode unveils Danny as a Cyberman before Clara. She becomes shocked and apologetic that she drove Danny to become this state he’s in.
In this episode, the Doctor becomes the President of Earth whilst on board a plane. This was unusual to see in this episode as the humans give the Doctor charge of the human without question or protest.
This episode gives us the reveal that Missy was ‘the woman in the shop’ who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number back in ‘The Bells of Saint of John’. I like how this continuity point gets resolved in this.
I found it disturbing how the Cybermen were being created out of the graves of dead souls in a cemetery with the use of Cyber-Pollen. It’s pretty advanced technology even for the Cybermen in this.
It seems Missy has created this Cybermen army just for the Doctor. It sounds ridiculous, but it gets unveiled Missy wants the Doctor to know what it’s like to have power and know they are not different.
I like how this episode follows up the journey the Twelfth Doctor’s been having in Series 8 with asking the question of “Am I a good man?” He comes up with the answer, declaring that he isn’t a good man.
Eventually, Danny Pink, who is not under Missy or the Doctor’s control, gets to command the Cybermen army in the cemetery. He and the Cybermen fly off into the sky and burn the deadly clouds.
It also turns out that Kate Stewart has been saved from falling out of a plane by…the Brigadier as a Cyberman?! What?! Okay, this does sound wrong. It also seems disrespectful in the Brig’s resurrection.
The episode ends with Clara losing Danny and lying to the Doctor that she and Danny are back together. The Doctor also lies to Clara saying that he has found Gallifrey whereas in reality he did not.
‘Dark Water’/’Death In Heaven’ is not a great season finale to Series 8 of ‘Doctor Who’. I have mixed feelings regarding Missy as the female version of the Master and the Cybermen being overshadowed.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 8’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s the ‘Death In Heaven’ – Doctor Who Extra’ featurette.
On Disc 4 of ‘The Complete Series 8’, the highlight for me was the ‘Doctor Who: The Ultimate Companion’ documentary with Peter Davison. This features behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews, including the companions – Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, Nicola Bryant, Noel Clarke, John Barrowman, Jenna Coleman, etc.
There is also a short featurette called the ‘Inside the New TARDIS’. This is a behind-the-scenes tour with production designer Michael Pickwoad, talking on redesigning the TARDIS interior for Series 8.
There are also four ‘Doctor Who Exclusive’ featurettes including ‘Casting Peter Capaldi’, ‘Writing the New Series’, ‘What is Doctor Who?’ and ‘Why Watch Series 8’. These four featurettes include behind-the-scenes interviews with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and showrunner Steven Moffat.
On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 8’, all twelve episodes of ‘Doctor Who Extra’ for Series 8 are there. There is also the insightful and entertaining ‘Earth Conquest: The World Tour’ documentary focusing on Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat promoting Series 8 of ‘Doctor Who’ worldwide.
There are also four trailers of Series 8, including ‘Eyes’; ‘Two Hearts’; a 30 second trailer and a 60 second trailer.
I enjoyed watching Series 8 of ‘Doctor Who’ with the Twelfth Doctor and Clara. It’s a fairly good start for Peter Capaldi who’s good as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman is wonderful as Clara. I wondered where this series would go next as there were more adventures with the Doctor and Clara to look forward to.
‘Dark Water’/’Death In Heaven’ rating – 6/10
DOCTOR WHO: THE ULTIMATE COMPANION
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This was the highlight of Disc 4 of ‘The Complete Series 8’ DVD. I loved watching ‘The Ultimate Companion’ documentary with Peter Davison. The reason being was that Sarah Sutton featured in it. I’m a huge fan of Sarah Sutton and Nyssa and this was a dream come true for me on a new series DVD.
In this documentary, Peter Davison is on a quest to find out what makes the ultimate companion in ‘Doctor Who’. This is presented in the same style of ‘The Ultimate Time Lord’ documentary featured on Disc 3 of the Series 8 DVD. I really do like how the two documentaries are connected to each other.
Peter Davison examines all aspects of the issue regarding what makes a really good companion in ‘Doctor Who’. This includes interviews with companions from both the classic and new series of ‘Doctor Who’ as well as interviews with two new series Doctors and behind-the-scenes crew members.
I loved it when Peter had Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding come round to his house and they talk about what makes a good ‘Doctor Who’ companion. I liked some of the comments made by Sarah and Janet on the issue. Sarah and Janet seem to be well-fed with food there and also watch a ‘Doctor Who’ clip.
It was nice to see Nicola Bryant being interviewed by Peter Davison and I like the comparison made of the transition of the Fifth to Sixth Doctor for Peri to the transition of the Eleventh to Twelfth Doctor for Clara. It was great to see Peter Davison interview David Tennant in his private cinema on the issue.
As well as classic series companions, Peter Davison gets to meet up with Noel Clarke and talk about his views on playing a companion. Peter gets to meet up with casting director Andy Pryor and music composer Murray Gold as well as seeing John Barrowman in America at a sci-fi con which was amusing.
The documentary concludes with Peter Davison meeting up with showrunner Steven Moffat as well as Jenna Coleman to talk about being a companion before seeing Peter Capaldi on the issue. I liked how these ‘Doctor Who’ documentaries are made with Peter Davison’s presenting and he’s very good.
‘Doctor Who: The Ultimate Companion’ documentary rating – 10/10
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