JReviews- Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 11: Dark Water

Sorry this wasn't up yesterday guys, I promise I'm not trying to make a habit of it. Yesterday I was out all day and I got back just before the show started but I was just too tired to even watch it. So it's going up today.

I don't know what to think of this weeks episode. It was good, don't get me wrong, it was awesome, but I'm so confused after watching it. And I'm sure if you've watched the episode, you'll know why.

Anyway, before we get into that, lets run through the episode. The pre-titles scene is incredibly confusing. You sort of don't understand where Clara is going with the conversation or why she's thinking about all of this stuff now. And then…

Yes, dot dot dot. After last weeks preview of this episode made it seem as if Clara was leaving at the end of the season, I wondered, how would they be able to do that when half of the stuff with Danny Pink wasn't resolved. It does seem a bit of a waste in the end really. He was a great character and they hardly did anything with him. I know that they expand on his character further into the episode, and it is likely (if not certain) that he will be saved next episode. But really. It just seemed very weak. How it all happened. Like Clara said, it was ordinary.

And that leads us onto our next port of call, the following scene. Boy, does Clara monstrously fail here, but understandably so. She is grieving, unable to think straight and lost, so she feels driven to the edge. And now that the justification bit is out the way, I can rag on her. The Doctor's right, she knows the rules, she knows he can't and won't do what she is asking and she then throws away the only a) bargaining chip she has and b) the only chance she has of getting what she wanted. I know she was not in her right of mind really, but come on girl you're meant to be smarter than that. You really didn't think it through. What were you planning to do after you'd thrown all the keys away? Sit on the rock above the lava and starve to death? Good thing the Doctor is the smart one.

Speaking of which, this was the scene where Peter Capaldi really comes into his own. He's had good episodes this season, "Listen", "Mummy On The Orient Express", but he's still been missing something. He's played the Doctor throughout this season, but this was the episode he became The Doctor. He's betrayed by his companion and she tries to hold his very life hostage for something she knows he would never do. And what does he do. He predicts her, he outsmarts her, he completely tears her down, and then, at the end of it all, he forgives her. That is a very Doctor thing to do. (Then he goes and quote the Green Lantern corps oath wrong. It's brightest day and blackest night not blackest day and darkest hour you idiot) 😉

Moving on. Chris Addisons bedside manner leaves something to be desired. For instance, one would desire a bedside manner in such a situation, which he is lacking. Although he does get the quips in thick and fast, as one would expect, which is nice. Although, one hopes that he doesn't run into the Doctor at any point, otherwise it could turn into an out and out swear-fest (or an episode of the Thick Of It, though it's the same thing right?).

Next up, the plot. I will admit that I was a bit disappointed that this series finale wasn't him finding Gallifrey, but this episode seems a very good substitute. It probably would have been more enjoyable than it all ready was if the Cybermen hadn't been shown in last weeks preview. Just figuring that out, rather than knowing it from the start, would have made the whole mortuary thing more mysterious. Although, having said that, the idea/ plan behind it was brilliant. The biggest weakness of the modern era Cybermen is that they have to suppress their emotions, which the Doctor always finds a way to reverse or counter, leaving them vulnerable. So if the emotions were removed completely, before conversion. If the Cybermen could kill their victims then convert them and reanimate the bodies, whilst the mind was being processed externally before being re-uploaded, it would make them almost unstoppable. Although, having said that, it does take away the thing I most like about the Cybermen. I've always said that I'd be more scared of the Cybermen than any other Who villain, purely because of the effect they have on those left behind or not yet converted. Your loved ones have been taken and all emotions removed, so they become this hollow shell. If the victims are killed and then processed, they become another creature that's just about the body count, like the Daleks. Yes it makes sense, but it's less scary in a way, because being killed quickly is less scary than being tortured isn't it.

And finally… Oh Missy. Good God you gave us the run around in this episode didn't you. First you're a robot interface with intimacy problems, then you turn into a psychopath and then… Well. There was me, hoping and praying for her to be The Rani. But no. This is why I don't know what to think about this episode.

Well, at least it does confirm that Gallifrey is back and Time Lords (Ladies in this case, she says so herself) can get out of it. We'll just have to wait until next week to see how I guess.

JR19759

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4 Responses to JReviews- Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 11: Dark Water

  1. This episode was truly amazing. I enjoyed every minute of it, although I have to admit, some parts were confusing. But I tend to agree with this review (that’s a bit unusual for me).

    Missy is perfect, just perfect. But boy, did I see some wild theories about who she could be! I get that some fans thought she would be the Master, that’s pretty logical and obvious. Some hoped it would be Rani. Yeah, I miss her too. Some even hoped for Romana or River. Don’t know about american/european communities, but in russian ones I saw some wicked guesses. Like, Missy was thought to be…the Doctor’s Tardis personified. Or Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Or K-9. Or even a Slytheen. Some said it was a future version of Clara.

    Now most of the fans are disappointed to have guessed right with their first try. Well, I’m not. This version of Master is…intriguing.

  2. Her being a future version of Clara would be a pretty awesome twist. The other ones are pretty funny.

  3. I was 100% sure that she was The Master until he asked her which Time Lady and she says she’s the one he ‘left behind.’ At no point did he leave The Master behind, so my next best guess? His Time Lady wife, that he abandoned on Gallifrey and let die. But then, why would she refer to him as her ‘boyfriend’ not her ‘husband’? So confusing. I’m torn between this theory and the Master, because after the whole is-Moriarty-dead question, I don’t doubt that Moffat being so anti female-Doctor could’ve been a smokescreen for female Master.
    Also I agree with you 100% about the Cybermen thing, it was almost too easy during the conversation about Dark Water to make the leap to Cybermen knowing it beforehand.

  4. Update on my comment – I actually missed the Missy/Master reveal. I blame my girlfriend’s little brother.