November 03, 2014

Doctor Who: Dark Water

Title: Dark Water
Episode: 8.11
Earth - Present

Companion: Clara

Guests: Samuel Anderson{6}
Michelle Gomez {7}
Chris Addison {2}
Andrew Leung {2}

Writer: Steven Moffat {w9}
Director: Rachel Talalay{d20}

Rating: *****
The opening is strong but tragic. Clara has things that she needs to say to Danny over the phone, and after some hesitation starts with the strongest one. She loves him.

Its stuns Danny as he's walking to her place, and causes him to step out in front of a car. The reveal of what has happened is flawless, as is a transition shot from Clara standing at the scene and police tape, to standing in the road looking at the makeshift memorial.

On a side note, someone needs to make an app
for Android that gives a phone displays that they should have while taking or using a phone. Too many times on this series and others, I've seen an image of "Danny Calling" while the character is in full conversation on the phone. Technically it should be a dark screen while on the call, but that's a boring visual. At least make it the right visual. 

Clara gets on the TARDIS and asks the Doctor to take her to a volcano, because she's never seen one. She uses a sleep-patch on the Doctor to knock him out and collects all 7 keys to the TARDIS, including one kept in a copy of The Time Travelers Wife, She throws them into the volcano as he keeps refusing to got go back in time to save him. The result would be a paradox. If he saves Danny, she will never have been there to ask for his help to have saved him. Then it's revealed that its Clara the sleep-patch was used on. She was on the TARDIS the whole time as the Doctor tried to figure out what she was up to. He agrees to help her, but not in the way you'd think.

He offers to take her to Hell. Or whatever passes for the afterlife. By patching Clara into the psychic interface circuits of the TARDIS and removing the safeguards they find themselves in what looks like a museum, or massive mausoleum, with lots of water tanks containing skeletons. And finally the Doctor encounters Missy, or Misi (Mobile Intelligence Systems Interface) she plants one hell of a kiss on him, even out does 1890s Clara's kiss from the Christmas episode, as part of the "greetings package".

Seb, the assistant in the Nethersphere (seen in The Caretaker), triggers memories for Danny of a young boy that he killed during combat, while he was a soldier. During a short visit the boy runs off, but returns right at the end of the episode as Danny is about to delete himself, or his pain, that isn't clear.

Meanwhile the Doctor has separated from Clara and finds Missy, who kills her assistant and reveals herself to be a Timelady, but the Doctor doesn't know which one. Until outside St Paul's Cathedral, she says, "I'm Missy...short for Mistress. Well, couldn't keep calling myself the Master now could I?"

The pacing, the reveals and the effects are all perfect in this episode. Next week has a lot to accomplish; rescue Danny Pink, stop the Cybermen, stop Missy, and maybe even figure out who was behind Gus (Mummy on the Orient Express) and the "woman in the shop" that gave Clara the phone number to the TARDIS. Luckily next weeks episode is 15 minutes longer.

Interesting picture that showed up on Imgur. The handle of Missy's parasol looks a lot like the Master's Tissue Compression Eliminator. Was this Moffat trying to drop a hint?

Opening: 10
Setting: 10
Conflict: 9
Plot: 9
Dialogue: 10
Aliens: 8
Costumes: 10


Clara: So what now? What do we do now? You and me, what happens now? Doctor?
Doctor: Go to Hell!
Clara: Fair enough. Absolutely, fair enough.
Doctor: Clara? You asked me what we're going to do, I told you. We're going to go to Hell. Or wherever it is people go when they die.

Next time on Doctor Who: Death In Heaven