Sunday, November 9, 2014

Doctor Who - Death In Heaven - Review with Spoilers

By Ken Parker (who is writing this past his bed time)

In order to properly review this episode let me first give you a quick background of my viewings this season. I have enjoyed most of the episodes this season and have felt they have been more focused and even from the start. Peter Capaldi's Doctor has given the show a slower stability that appeals to my love of the classic series. I have watched most episodes more than once before reviewing and have been surprised that I have liked most of them more after the second viewing. This review is after one viewing and after watching it again tomorrow if I change my mind I may revisit the review again. I have one word for this episode – Awkward!!

Okay, where to begin. This story in almost every scene was uncomfortable for me on every level. There was so much that happened that did not seem to work or gel. Let's go -

Spoilers and Sarcasm

Ah, must mean Phillip Morris found the rest of Invasion - Excellent!
We start with the need to have UNIT enter the story with a cool reveal. What better way to do that then to feign complete ignorance and pretend to be taking pictures of the Cybermen. Okay, it was UNIT and not tourists – suprise!! I have to admit the posturing by Kate Stewart, throwing an old Cyber head at the foot of one of the Cybermen was cool but I have to wonder what UNIT was going to think the Cybermen were going to do marching down the streets. I would have thought that a full out battle as we saw in “The Invasion” would be expected and standing there with guns pointing to the metal monsters who are impervious to many weapons would not be something smart to do. Nevertheless the Cybermen out surprise UNIT by showing us they are all fans of Johnny Sokko and fly off into the sky.
This public location shooting it great for publicity!

The Master is drugged and captured and just as the Doctor is about to give Kate the entire Cybermen plan info, he too is drugged. UNIT then gives the Doctor the presidency of the world which, while ridiculous, does seem to make some kind of sense.

Is Russell T. Davies writing for the show again?
Meanwhile Clara Oswald has lost her mind and she pretends to be the Doctor. It actually works and she seems to convince the Cybermen and the creators of this episode's titles that she is the Doctor, until a Cyberized Danny Pink blows her cover.

Taking off in a plane with flying Cybermen around might have not been the brightest plan, but it does give us time to be reminded of Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart and time for the Master to escape in a very time consuming fashion, killing off a fan favorite character in the process. The demise of Osgood was a surprise but did give some credence to this Master. Michelle Gomez continued to shine as the Master and cements the role with this killing. Gomez, knowing this, goes one step further and kills off Kate Stewart – WOW, Moffat, you are either getting brave or we are in store for the biggest reset button in the show's history, at least since the McGann movie. Gomez now has the leeway to act like a total lunatic and act way over the top for the rest of her time because she was so good early on that it will all even out.

Clara?  Its him, isn't it?  Are you ignoring me still??
CyberPink brings Clara to the only place he shouldn't have brought her, a grave yard. He will never kill her but there are plenty of other Cybermen around that will do it instead. Anyhow, he wants her to delete his emotions and she really does not want to do this. The Doctor, who has fallen to his death, hasn't and he comes down to potentially save the First off, the fall for the Doctor was one of the best scenes in the story as he attempts to catch up with the TARDIS – very cool. Too bad a fan boy next to me was talking during this scene, distracting me. Oh, wait, that was that idiot and the Master watching the episode along with us. Did they have a camera drone flying alongside the Doctor for that?

Best   Death   In   Doctor  Who  EVER!
Anyway the Master decides that her plan is almost nearing its fruition and elects to Mary Poppins down to see if she could mess it up somehow. She convinces the Doctor to turn evil and gives him control of the Cybermen army. This turn of events is trying to convince the Doctor that he is just like the Master. Give the Doctor control of an army and he could use the force for good in the Universe. The Doctor, predictably does not do this and actually gives command to Danny who orders all Cybermen to fly up in the air and blow up, thus destroying the cloud that was raining down into the graves and creating complete Cybermen around the skeletons. If this magic rain, carrying the mind of the dead, or at least its soul can create a complete Cyberman out of thin air around a skeleton, why couldn't it do it around, I don't know, something like a statue or, I don't know, thin air? The idea that the dead are turning into Cybermen may be horrific but on this grand scale, it seems a bit awkward.
NO!!  You can't bring back John Simm!!!!!!

Danny saves the day and destroys himself. Clara seems more interested in the weather than that her boyfriend just died again. Clara does come to her senses and plans on killing the Master once and for all but gives that task to the Doctor. The Doctor seems like he might just do it but a stray Cyberman, who did not blow himself up, does it for them. But who is this Cybermen? Oh, wait, Kate Stewart is lying just a few feet away and is alive. One of the Iron Cyber Men saved her, the same one that destroyed the Master and the same one that the Doctor salutes. It is, of course, Brigadier Lethbridge Cyberman!!! He flies off into the sunset to fight evil in his new body. Wonderful chap, what's left of him.

Clara is home, getting some sleep when suddenly a portal from heaven opens in her hallway and Danny speaks to her. He states that the magic wrist thing that can control Cybermen, unlock handcuffs, control planes, avoid detection by UNIT soldiers and anti gravity people with umbrellas down to the ground, can also communicate from heaven AND transport one person in between heaven and Earth. Will Danny go back to Earth, or perhaps Clara will go to heaven. No, the little boy who Danny accidentally killed a while back is sent back to Earth. Well done Danny!
Right before the Master died she gave the Doctor coordinates to where she says Gallifrey was. He goes there and there doesn't seem to be anything there. Oh, well. The Doctor lies to Clara that he is returning home to Gallifrey and Clara lies to the Doctor that Danny came back from heaven and they say good-bye, hug in an ironic (and awkward) moment and they go their separate ways.

The Doctor is devastated by this script until someone knocks at the door stating that this episode cannot possibly end this way – it must be Moffat with rewrites – thank God, just in time... well not in time but that is okay, we as fans will let the story rewrites happen after the episode airs and will be fine with it. Oh, no, it wasn't Moffat. Just Santa Claus asking the Doctor what he wants for Christmas. Sure, that is all this episode needed was one more kick in the sack to remind us what we just watched and keep us foaming at the mouth at what is going to happen for the X-mas special – I can't wait.
Santa, I would like a decent Doctor Who episode, PLEASE!!!!

With all this said, it actually wasn't a bad episode..... hehe – just kidding.

I do not know what went wrong. The concept of the Master using the Cybermen, made out of the dead, to make an army, to convince the Doctor to control them is almost buyable. It is how it gets there with so many ideas and imagery that is so wrong. Perhaps I will see the good in the story after the second viewing. I did like some elements. The love with Clara and Danny was just done with Rory and Amy and really was less effective. The writing let down both the Doctor and Clara. Clara haters will point to this episode and say “See!!” but it was the writing that did her no favors in this story and it gave Capaldi only a few moments. Even though the cafe scene was awkward, it was still well performed and tragic that the two personalities that had good chemistry but they were perhaps too alike. Clara did become the Doctor and to a degree, visa versa.
I do like the Cybermen attacking the plane, the Cybermen slowly moving around the grave yard and coming out of the graves - that imagery is good.  The flying... well.

I never found myself being really upset at this episode like I have in previous stories like “A Good Man Goes to War” and “The Last of the Time Lords” but I rolled my eyes and had some face palms as well. The season was not spectacular but it was fairly even only to be let down by its finale.

Hopefully Santa Claus becomes a full time companion – that would be cool!

I did find some deleted footage of Brigadier Cyberman saving Kate

1 comment:

  1. Here is another not so sarcastic review that really states many of the problems from this finale in a more straight way -