Doctor Who – “Dark Water” Review

Doctor Who (series 8) ep 11Oh Danny. The episode started solemn, if not a bit frenetic as Clara prepared to tell Danny everything. Clara was on the phone as Danny died. She was telling him how he was the last person that she was every going to say I love you to. And then he died. It was grim and it left Clara in a place of desperation. Much like Amy loved Rory and they would do anything for each other. The difference is Clara hasn’t had the opportunity to fully explore that relationship. it was yanked away early. This has broken Clara and it’s devastating to see her hurt so much. It was a great way to kick off the episode and let us know that this wasn’t going to be one of the lighter romps of an episode.

And in Clara’s desperation and willingness to betray the Doctor for even the chance to be with Danny again, The Doctor didn’t back off. Instead, the Doctor refused to leave her side and offered to help Clara try to find Danny wherever the dead go. Not long after they find the water tomb displays, does the Doctor have his first encounter with Missy. Throughout the episode, the Doctor actually was there more for as support and encouragement for Clara. He was there to keep her in line and it was a nice way to further display their relationship. The Doctor cares tremendously for Clara and there is little that she could do that would make him turn away.

Doctor Who - "Dark Water"Anyone paying attention to the season and Missy’s appearances and proclamations of heaven, would have realized that Danny was likely off with Missy. Still dead, but not truly gone yet. Danny’s experience with one of the agents comes as both startling and frustrating as he isn’t given many answers. There are all sorts of new terms and concepts for Danny to grasp. Life is very different now than it was before, but it is most certainly a life of sorts. However, with death, he’s forced to face the deaths in which he caused and that is a small child who died while he was a soldier.

The episode delivered on ideas that were fascinating as they dealt with the concept and idea of death and what comes after. It boiled down to the simple idea that when one dies, their spirit goes elsewhere, but they remain connected to their body. A connection in which they can still feel the conditions of their body, whether that is being cold or wet. Most terrifying is the idea that one feels the pain of cremation. This concept had my mind going off in tangents about it all and what various situations and possibilities could pose problems to this. Why would anyone ever want to be cremated if that was what actually happened. You fail the pain of your body burning because there’s no way to sever the tie. Then add on all the personal pain that comes with being dead. remembering and being unable to cope. It’s no wonder that 3W had a solution. You could be delete your memories. Delete yourself. That’s exactly what the Cybermen want.

Doctor Who - "Dark Water"Missy started out an absolute delight. The energy she brought to the screen was very different than her cameos in previous episodes. She tried to play the Doctor as a sweet if overly intimate android. However, she was just toying with the Doctor, like she toyed with Doctor Chang. After the prior introduction of the black water that only displayed organic material, it seemed almost inevitable that those strange water tombs were Cybermen. It was a nice play that they made to trick us, though I can’t help but wonder why we couldn’t have had this opportunity introduce a new threat rather than bring back an old one.

Now, this whole episode is a minefield for spoilers. As you would have already read by this point, the dead in the black water were actually Cybermen. Missy was hoarding and building her army of Cybermen with dead souls. Using their bodies and spirits to create her new force. And then she unleashed her force on London as though it was nothing. Shockingly, everyone on the street acted a though Cybermen weren’t dangerous. Like they shouldn’t be scared of the sudden robotic men on the street. No, on other shows, even other episodes this reveal would have been the big reveal. But on the penultimate episode, it wasn’t enough.

Doctor Who - "Dark Water"We’ve been musing over Missy all season. She would pop up when characters would die. Her presence became tied with death, but wasn’t over used or teased in every episode. Instead it was parsed out, so now that we are finally meeting Missy it is all the better. Even in this one episode we see the deception and playfulness the character can display while still being dangerous. That should have been the clue if the name wasn’t enough. At this point, I’ve given you more than enough of a buffer to not be spoiled. Learning that Missy was in fact the Master regenerated in a female body was a perfect way to end the episode. However, it makes you wonder if this is indeed the Master, taking on the Mistress, shortened to Missy, then why has he supposedly recruited Clara. More importantly how does Clara play into his plans?

What did you think of the episode?

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