The first half of the season finale of Doctor Who aired Saturday and it was a doozy. There was so much that happened this episode and it has potential Who ramifications. Many people have done discussions or reviews, and so instead I just want to take a moment to discuss a few of my favorite moments from the episode. The episode itself was great, but there were definitely some moments that stood out from the rest. They either really activated the characters or did such a great job of the reveal moments. The tension that these moments created kept us at the edge of our seats!
Spoilers for sure for Doctor Who, Series 8: “Dark Water!”
So this is not just the moment of the betrayal, but watching the lead-up to it. Clara in absolute grief over Danny’s death and she knows the Doctor so well, she knows that he will tell her it is not possible. At the same time she is so stricken with grief she doesn’t even care. We sit and watch as the wheels are turning in her head. Then we see the final plan and it is worse than I think we could have imagined.
Some of the issues that are addressed with this is that the Doctor comes across as a know it all and smarter than everyone else (not that it isn’t true, but it can get annoying). Clara knows what the Doctor is going to say and I think even imagines how he is going to say it and cannot stand to listen to his know-it-all attitude in the face of Danny’s death. At the same time she is so grief stricken she is not thinking straight and her plan would have condemned her as well, if the Doctor had not been smarter than her.
The Doctor’s Acknowledgment
Immediately following Clara’s betrayal we see that the Doctor was not affected by the sleeping patch she tried to use and instead he used it against her. At this point I was not sure how the Doctor would react. He watched the scenario play out and saw how far Clara was willing to go, which basically would have completely betrayed the Doctor. Clara asks what is going to happen now, and the Doctor says “Go to hell.” We, like Clara, think the Doctor is telling her to leave. When she actually turns to leave the Doctor states that is literally what they are going to do – go to Hell.
Clara looks at him surprised, not understanding why after seeing her do what she would have done he would still try to help her. Then he makes the comment that just really struck me. Twelve can come across as cold and calculated, it might make you mistake his attitude for a lack of feelings. Then after she lies and completely betrays him the Doctor says, “Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?” With a Doctor who doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve there is something beautiful when you find out how much he really cares. In some ways we have known it because he is still the Doctor, but it is such a great moment to have, especially with everything else that has already happened in the episode.
Now they did already show that Cybermen were going to be the villains of this episode. So it was not too difficult to predict that the skeletons that could move in the tanks of water were actually Cybermen in disguise. I mean hello, any non-organic material is hidden in the water and all you can see is a skeleton that can somehow move.
It is great watching the Doctor not get what is happening. The best moment is when he is talking to the scientist of the building and even states that he is missing something obvious when the doors close and the windows in the doors form the eyes of a Cyberman! It is this beautiful moment confirming that the Doctor is missing something obvious.
The use of the dark water to reveal the Cybermen really was a brilliant move. The best though is Clara talking to who might be Danny in the beyond, and the tank behind her starts to drain. Slowly the Cyberman, who is actually in the tank, starts to be revealed. The eyes of the audience widens and we begin to tense because we can tell that things are about to get really bad. It is just great to see as the Doctor sees what is about to rise from the tank!
Now this is the moment that obviously everyone has been waiting for. David even predicted that Missy would end up being the Master. At the same time it was great to watch as Missy messed with the Doctor the entire episode. Then as she is truly disappointed that he has not understood yet what is happening. It was a great flashback where she had even let him feel that she had two hearts and at the same time the Doctor was too distracted to notice that a “robot” should not have two hearts. Then she finally says that Missy is short for Mistress and the fandom does a collective gasp and cheer because the Master truly is one of the great Who villains.
I am definitely looking forward to next episode and I hope that they keep the Master around for a while longer!