Series Eight of the Time Lord’s travels comes to a dramatic conclusion in this two part finale, in which we see the return of the Cybermen, and the reveal of who Missy (Michelle Gomez) is.
Dark Water written by Steven Moffat, first aired on 1 November, 2014.
Clara (Jenna Coleman) and Danny (Samuel Anderson) open the episode with a brilliant and, of course, tragic phone call, that is of course the heart of Moffat’s style of storytelling.
But it also reveals to the P.E. teacher, and former soldier the truth of Missy’s nethersphere.
And Clara, completely stunned by the events, reaches out to the Doctor (Capaldi), and she tries to coerce him into helping her save Danny’s life, even threatening the TARDIS. It’s a powerful scene and once you understand what the Doctor did, and why he did it, and let her vent, is a beautiful moment.
There’s a lot of emotion in the front end of the episode, and when the reveals start happening, all you can do is buckle up – including Danny confronting his past as a soldier, and Missy kissing the Doctor.
There’s a scary reference to what happens to one should they be cremated which could give one pause, not to mention leaving your body to science.
The cliffhanger ending, which has a visual nod to the classic Tomb of the Cybermen story, and the Master reveal is shocking and stunning, all with Danny’s continued existence hanging in the balance. Gah!!
The eighth series concludes with Death in Heaven, penned by Moffat and aired on 8 November, 2014.
Cybermen are invading London and the rest of the world, the Doctor needs help from UNIT. Sacrifices will be made, and losses will be incurred as we race to the end of the episode.
Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) make an appearance (and the young scientist gets an offer of all of time and space – so you know that isn’t going to end well, since it’s done in front of Missy), and they may or may not be ready to take on the nefarious Time Lady.
And of course, Missy’s plan is dark, terrible, and will cause abominable things to take place on the planet. And if you just even pause to think about what she’s actually doing, it verges on the horrific – weaponizing the dead.
There’s also the fun reveal that the Doctor is in fact, the President of Earth. Hell, I’d vote for him. It’s also a delight to see Clara pretending to be the Doctor as she confronts the Cybermen in the Nethersphere in her hunt for Danny.
There are a lot of things going on in this episode, and lots of little threads being tied up, and new ones created (including the fact that Missy knows where Gallifrey is).
I love this two-parter and while I’m sorry to see Danny go, as he was a great addition, I know the series must go on.
Next time, the Ninth Series gets underway with it’s Christmas episode, and an encounter with Santa Claus. Seriously.