The two part finale for season 8 of Doctor Who has arrived in a flurry of disbelief and groans. It should come as no surprise that there shall be spoilers.Even if that statement elicits a disinterested shrug, there is a thin membrane period of decorum before launching into sputtering nonsense of nerd-tantrum. Not high enough for nerd-rage but pretty darn annoyed.
Dark Waters begins with a shocker that barely even disrupts normal heart beat rhythms. Every drama viewer could easily have seen this shocker miles away. When there is a split conversation where one person is frantically on the phone trying to confess as the recipient is about to cross the street, 9 times out of 10 there is a fatal car accident. So Danny Pink dies as Clara is trying to confess her love. No fear for tears, nothing extraordinary happened. Everyone who has been following the series updates already know that Jenna Coleman will be exiting as the companion while Samuel Anderson shall be step in. Unless those reports were a marketing ploy. That will be shocking. Here are also two reasons why this “shocker” of a beginning not only blows but is dumb:
1. The viewer is constantly reminded that Danny Pink was in the military. Apparently he can fight a war but not cross sidewalks safely.
2. WHY have this conversation when he was only a couple of minutes away. She should be called Cowardly Clara, not the Impossible Girl.
In another season that loses all the good feelings toward her character, Clara once again shows that she is nothing but a selfish and spastic companion. Through an eye-rolling tactic, she blackmails the Doctor to take her to Danny by throwing the TARDIS keys into the lava. The Doctor plays along until she breaks down in defeat. He does do what she asks however and has the TARDIS locates Danny via telepathic link or something. However it works, it’s just a bogus way to lead to heaven or what it actually is: 3W.
Here at 3W we finally get to revel in the full force of Missy played by Michelle Gomez. Pretending to be an android, she introduces the Doctor and Clara to 3W. 3W is an after care city/world for the leaving. It was founded by a Dr. Skarosa. SKAROSA. First clue right there. RIGHT THERE. The main hallway the Doctor and Clara enter are lined with skeletons sitting upon thrones underwater. Very spooky. Second clue right there. If this is the afterlife, why are there skeletons?
While Clara converses with the newly deceased Danny, the lightbulbs begin to flicker on in the Doctor’s mind. It is too late, for the water is draining around the skeletons to reveal Cybermen. Yay. As they march down the steps of St. Paul’s cathedral (who else decided to rewatch the 50th anniversary light show afterwards?), Missy drops the bomb: She is the Master.It was a mental ripple of dismay when the bomb dropped on who she is. If that was true. She’s lied so many times before though.
I am so TIRED of this! Has the show hit a wall? Is there no way that this show can beyond the Master, Cybermen, Weeping angels, and Daleks? These are great antagonists but the trepidation power decreases with each new appearance. The show has been on for decades. There have to be other creatures that could be used. WE HAVE GALLIFREY BACK NOW FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
This whole season is akin to a magic show where the strings have been seen. Most Whovians predicted the role of Missy and the general consensus about that reveal has been divided between neutral or condescending. Missy was a definite hoot in the episode and is believable as the Master. It’s just really exhausting that this is revisited. This was a missed opportunity to introduce a new or upgraded villainess. Instead it’s just a re-purposing of a villain that has long lost the appeal.
Clara’s arc this season has been a steady degradation of her character. The few times she has redeemed herself were marred by more tantrums and jealous fits. The season has been twisting these outbursts as a case of being torn between the new Doctor and her new love, and this is just not needed. They had a great premise. She was the Impossible Girl. The girl who stepped into the time stream and fragmented her existence into multiple time lines. That alone is enough to screw up anyone. It would have been much more preferable to see her break down due to this than because she’s torn between a friend and a beau. Billie Piper saw the heart of the TARDIS and it almost killed her. Fragmenting your existence should grant many dimensions of instability.
Michelle Gomez acting skill as Missy is pretty much holding the whole episode together. If it weren’t for the comedy, the smirks, the faces, the “Dr. CHANG!” yell, or her Mary-Poppins like outfit, this episode would have fallen flat. The funniest part was when Missy lays a huge one on the Doctor. The shock and embarrassed look Clara had was priceless. I wouldn’t be surprised to find memes or jokes about that one.
What really irks me is how the Doctor missed the major clue of all: How…HOW…did you miss that Missy had TWO hearts?!?!?!
Favorite dialogue from the Doctor (which incidentally may also be directed at myself) to Clara: “CUT OUT THE WHINING, WHILE YOU’RE AT IT.”
I am really hoping that the second part will blow away all my nerd-tantrums. Really,really,really,really hoping.