TV SHOW: Doctor Who
SERIES/EPISODE: 8.11 – Dark Water
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Steven Moffat/Rachel Talalay
Danny Pink dies in a Car accident, so Clara tries to enlist the Doctor’s help in bringing him back. This takes them in to meeting the mysterious ‘Missy’ and discovering the Nether-sphere, not knowing the true terror that awaits them and the World.
Wow, this was a brilliant part one of the Eighth series two-part finale. It was not what you would call an action packed episode, but what it lacked in in that department, it sure made up with drama and surprises.
That being said, it would have been nice not to have the previews and TV-spots spoiling the Cybermen’s appearance as I feel that surprise would have been just as big as the ones we received in this instalment of Doctor Who.
Now on to those surprises and first up, Danny Pink is killed in a car accident. What started as a cute little scene where Clara says that she loves him quickly goes south as gut-wrenching punch to the gut (well it was for me, since Danny has been a good character all series), and the episode never slows down from that point.
Now all the performances in this episode have been of the highest degree, but Jenna Coleman steals the limelight as Clara. From how she deals with the morbid normality of how Danny died, which comes as a complete shock to her due to her experiences with the Doctor (I guess she thought that if she or he had died, it might have been by the Daleks etc). To how she tries to ransom the Doctor into helping bring her boyfriend back, by threatening to throw all his TARDIS keys into an active volcano, Ms Coleman is simply amazing through out this episode.
But like I said earlier, everyone else gets their moments too. Samuel Anderson perfectly conveys Danny’s guilt and regret for killing a boy during his days as a soldier (as it was subtly hinted in his first appearance), as well as dealing with the fact that he is now dead. Another stand out moment was when he chose to sacrifice his love for Clara, so that she would not try to follow him to the Nether-sphere (which would have required dying of course).
Peter Capaldi once more is perfect as the Twelfth Doctor, from dealing with Clara’s betrayal (which he managed to stage in a rather clichéd but well written moment), to showing how much he cares for his friend despite not really showing it (which is a hallmark of this regeneration of the Time-Lord). The moment where Missy kissed the Doctor was also a strong highlight, showcasing once more that this Doctor was in no way anything like his previous incarnations (the Tenth Doctor springs to mind).
Also Michelle Gomez was excellent as the mysterious Missy, who we then find out is a regenerated ‘Master‘. Now I have to admit, I was expecting her to be the Rani so I was quite surprised to see that the Doctor’s long-time rival had returned. And she conveyed the Time-Lady’s unhinged insanity with a graceful charm and devilishness that you could easily spot in the previous versions of her character.
And we now come onto the Cybermen and as I said earlier, I really do wish the BBC had kept quiet about their appearance. Because this looks to be their most promising story yet, with how they are using Humanity’s dead to repopulate their ranks using Time-Lord technology. This brings up many questions that I hope will be explained in part two of this story ‘Death in Heaven’, and I am really (like I have been with the majority of this series) looking forward to seeing the conclusion to this well written and executed story.