Saturday, 1 November 2014

Dr Who Series Eight: Episode 11 — Dark Water


1st November, 2014.

Oh, now wait a minute, HANG ON … !

THAT I kind of expected … !

Ahem … !!

He says, rapidly trying to get his head together … !

You see, I’ve just seen Dark Water, tonight’s episode of Dr Who.

Can I be honest … ?

I’m impressed at the audacity, I really am.

Not surprised: as the big revealed about Michelle Gomez’s character — the Mistress, the first female incarnation of The Master — had been speculated about for some time.

But impressed … and certainly wanting to see more.

I’m thinking Michelle Gomez’s version of the Master is going to be fun … !

Yes …

You heard me correctly: right at the end of Dark Water, the penultimate episode of series 8, we get the BIG reveal about Missy.

The Michelle Gomez character who’s been cropping up, in dribs and drabs across the series?   Is the most recent version — and first female incarnation — of the Doctor’s oldest friend and enemy.

The fact the episode sees some of Moffat’s best writing — at least in my opinion — is a bit of a bonus.

Hmm … 

I should maybe tell you about the episode, shouldn’t I?


Dark Water opens with Clara making a phone call to her boyfriend, Danny.

Wanting a long chat … 

But mostly to make sure he knows she loves him.

It’s only when someone else — an older woman, that Clara doesn’t doesn’t recognise — starts talking to Clara that she finds out what happens.

Danny’s been hit by a car.

The woman on the other end of the phone … ?

Has picked it up, after it went flying out of his dying hand.


The episode doesn’t stop there, of course.

Oh, no.

In what I feel is one of Steven Moffat’s better written scenes, we see see Clara confronting the Doctor.

Confronting him: and threatening to destroy every key to the TARDIS she’s found, so the Doctor will re-write time.

It’s only AFTER this confrontation the Doctor agrees to try and help Clara.

It’s only after this confrontation we find what’s left of Danny … ?

Is in the Nethersphere.

And that the Nethersphere?

The Nethersphere is a Matrix data slice: an ancient Gallifreyan hard drive, storing the personalities of dead humans, while their bodies get used for something else … 


Now … 

You’re possibly sitting there, aren’t you?

Saying ‘Nik Nak, you’re impressed again, aren’t you … ?’


I am, that.

You see, I have to admit, I enjoyed the Matt Smith years: I really did.

But have to admit that — in retrospect — it was a fairly confused patch.

The split series didn’t wasn’t something I felt was a good move, and Smith — fantastic actor though he was and is — took some time to settle into the role.

Peter Capaldi, though, as the 12th Dr … ?

Had me riveted from Deep Breath.   From where I’m sitting, his (almost done) first series in the role is coinciding with some good solid directing and writing: and, I feel, tells me that a certain Mr Moffat’s abilities as a show runner have improved.

Can a body ask for any more?

Well, a body can certainly for a superb series antagonist.

A body’s got one.

Now, it has to be said that the Master — written and acted well — can be the perfect foil for the Doctor.

His moral opposite, occasional ally … and lord nows what else.

Or possibly lady, actually.

We’ve known — ever since The Tenth Planet — that Time lords can regenerate: can change form at times of extreme age, infirmity, disease.

What have you.

We’ve known, since The Doctor’s Wife that any given Time lord can change gender, in the process: the simple fact the 11th Doctor tells us the Corsair did so, several times, tells us this.

So the fact Miss turns out to be The Master/Mistress?

Has been speculated about, and is now confirmed.

And is a stroke of genius that brings a complete change to the Relationship to the two characters: especially in casting Michelle Gomez in the role.

I think she’s going to give John Simm a run for the proverbial money.

Arguably, I think she may already have done.

And certainly, she’s going to keep Mr Capaldi on his toes.

Right at the moment, though?

Right at the moment, I have a couple of questions.

I have three questions.

What’s going to happen in next week’s finale, Death In Heaven?

What’s going to happen in the Christmas episode?

Oh … and this MAY be premature … 

But who’s going to replace Peter Capaldi … ?

Just as a thought … 

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