Sunday, November 2, 2014

Doctor Who – Dark Water - Spoilers

Review By Ken Parker

So here we have the reveal story – the one that sets in motion the finale for the season and answers some questions. What did Danny Pink do as a soldier? Why does it matter he was a soldier? Will Clara come clean to him? Will Clara leave the Doctor? Who is Missy? Is there an afterlife? Will this season end on a high note? Will the pay-off be worth it? Will Moffat come through with a great story or will he blow it?


First off, before anyone says anything, I thought the first 10 minutes or so were absolutely riveting. We have Clara talking with Danny and then silence. The eerie silence and reveal that there has been an accident was incredible. Clara then calmly plans to force the Doctor to take her to save Danny – perfect and I don't want to hear anyone say that they wouldn't have done the same thing. This is one of Clara's shining moments in the series and this is countered with one of Doctor 12's shining moments as he agrees to search for him. This great scene cements these two as a excellent Doctor- companion pairing. It also cements Clara leaving the Doctor for Danny as stated at the start with Clara coming clean with all the information. Hats off to the production team for creating a trailer that made Clara look like a bad guy. To see someone go off on the Doctor and threaten him like that was pretty powerful even though it was really in her mind.

Love how they blurred this photo pre-episode
The story then moves to a very long process of telling the Doctor, and the viewer what the actual story is all about. It is an elaborate plan to turn dead people into Cybermen which would then take over the Earth. Only Missy really knows the plan as the rest of the workers seem oblivious. It is uncertain if the people are really here or just their consciousness. The kid that Danny killed is there – why? Not really getting how this all fits in. The idea that in death, bodies still are aware is one thing but why is that part of the story. People from all over time are being taken in death to Missy and this 'Heaven' to be converted to Cybermen? Really? So why are there skeletons in glass cases? The idea of the reveal is cool but why? Why is there a button on the inside of the tank? For the Cybermen... yes but why did no one point this out. Why are they on display and why the dark water to keep them hidden? Are people coming in to see their loved ones? Would seeing skeletons not be the best option? Is this happening all over the world and why had we not heard of this? If St. Pauls is the Master's TARDIS then what happens to people who walk into the doors?

The plans to release the Cybermen happens with a great nod to both “Tomb of the Cybermen” and “Invasion” and the Cybermen come out into the public. Okay, now what? We will have to see.

Okay, so why is Missy doing this? Why did she pretend to be a robot and kiss the Doctor? What is her plan with Clara and getting her involved? Obviously some of these will be answered but I fear many will not.

The reveal of who Missy is was a surprise to me. While I did not scour the internet looking for guesses I did not see any suggestions that she was the Master but it appears that everyone but me knew it was the Master. The reason this was a surprise was for several reasons.

  1. I would hope the producers would come up with an original character that not only was someone that the Doctor did not know nor was someone that was sexually attracted to the Doctor but would not be one of the few enemies that the Doctor has met since 2005.
  2. Ideas that Missy was Clara, the Rani, Romana, an original character, River Song, the Rani, an original character or an original character were all really neat theories (sorry, River Song was not a good theory.).

The Master now seems logical for several reasons.

  1. The Master would return and not as John Simm. What better way to surprise the audience than to contrive an identity that people would come to the obvious conclusion that the main baddie was Clara, the Rani, Romana, an original character, River Song, the Rani, an original character or an original character.
  2. If the Master can be female so can the Doctor.
  3. All the shippers of the Master and the Doctor (seems obvious now) will feel vindicated as they kiss.
  4. The universe of Doctor Who is smaller than it once was and every character is related to or a descendant of another we have met or one we have already met. This fact is why so many people guessed Missy was short for Mistress and therefore the Master.

So the reveal of Missy was a surprise to me so however they did it, they at least surprised me – hats off again.

I don't want to get too nitpicky on this episode because I enjoyed many parts of it. Up until the met Missy the story was incredible. The entire tension building and the 'what is going on??' mentality is perfect Moffat. His characters in the know tip toe around the information, keeping Danny, the Doctor and Clara in the dark just to coincide with several rising cliffhangers and this pacing was superb. The reveal of the Rani, I mean the Master was good and was much more powerful that it was the Master and not someone we never met because we need these cheap reveals and surprises. It is what audiences what to see.

The Clara and Danny moments were touching and tragic. His letting her go to save her life and she doing anything to get to him were very romantic to say the least. So there a lot of great imagery and moments of emotion and tension. How they get to that point is full of 'eh?' moments. It is possible that part 2 will fix some of these. Moffat does have a knack of logically ending plots in a satisfying way so I have faith that it will mostly make sense.

1 comment:

  1. I just watched it again - small detail - why when the 'skeletons' turned their head, there was an audible bone creaking sound? If any sound, it should have been metal. Does Dark Water filter only organic sound as well?