Doctor Who: Dark Water
November 1, 2014 2:17 PM - Season 8, Episode 11 - Subscribe

After a phone call is abruptly terminated, Clara and the Doctor go in search of Danny Pink.

The popular theory about the identity of Missy turned out to be true. And we have official on-screen confirmation of gender-switching regeneration.

Personally, I enjoy this series the madder it gets, so this was a top episode for me. The slow reveal of the Cybermen (which we obviously already knew about, but never mind) - the 3W logo becoming the teardrop-eyes, the call-outs to Tomb of the Cybermen and Invasion - I especially enjoyed. I suspect I'm an outlier, though.

Also, the "no cremation" bit is likely to freak a lot of people out.
posted by Grangousier (140 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wonder what Steven Moffat thinks happens to non-cremated dead bodies.
posted by dng at 2:20 PM on November 1, 2014


Worst. Episode. EVAH.
posted by Faintdreams at 2:21 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


It was suggested that it's unpleasant whatever disposal method you use (hence the founder of 3W looking for something new that is kinder to the deceased), but that cremation was especially painful.

The whole thing is an ornate distraction from whatever it is that Clara had worked out on the post-its at the beginning of the episode.

The whole thing is an ornate distraction, come to that.

I laughed a lot, only once at rather than with the programme.
posted by Grangousier at 2:29 PM on November 1, 2014


I wonder what Steven Moffat thinks happens to non-cremated dead bodies.

Well he doesn't. It's a fake out to persuade newly dead humans scanned by the nethersphere to delete their emotions and become cyberman. Still interested to see what the Mistress' plan actually is apart from just conquer earth with cyberman: maybe just that of course.

I thought this was a rather clever episode, in that it actually presented quite a plausible and creepy idea (we survive beyond death but are linked to our bodies) but immediately undercut it: after all we followed Missy this season, and several deaths have been somewhat more severe! I did think the fake out with the opener (where you think Clara is going to say something more serious) rather undercut what then happened, but oh well. And hey, this time the guy is killed to motivate the woman into action. Progress, amirite?
posted by Cannon Fodder at 3:29 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


If the whatever fluid only lets you see organic matter, why can we see the chairs?
posted by Aznable at 4:00 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe the chairs are made of wood.

The opening was pretty compelling but it went downhill rather quickly from there. More of the same of Moffat trying to be clever but failing quite badly. I mean, the Missy nickname makes the reveal a tad too obvious, but of course the Moff thinks it's a clever way of saying that the Master isn't coming back and hiding the fact that he is. Great stuff Moff! Shame you couldn't have just not used the Missy nickname and just kept her nameless until the reveal.

Also, the throwing away TARDIS keys as a threat thing is somewhat ineffective if you know that the Doctor can just snap his fingers to open the doors. And I seem to remember that this functionality was introduced in another Moffat episode. Cue hand waving!
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 4:14 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


The whole thing is an ornate distraction from whatever it is that Clara had worked out on the post-its at the beginning of the episode.

Yes!

But I enjoyed the episode. Capaldi was fantastic ("Can you just hurry up please or I'll hit you with my shoe"), and Michelle Gomez is always good value, but particularly as a loopy Mary Poppins kissing the Doctor's nose. Wasn't sure about Chris Addison until the malevolence of "Would you like to breath into a bag?" Quite liked that the obviousness of Missy/Mistress/Master was almost a double bluff, although it's a shame not to see John Simm again. Liked the subtle Thick of It swearing reference (and having Ollie there I suppose!).

Missy's plan actually took me right back to when Wilf asked the Doctor something like "did he change them in their graves?" when the Master transformed everyone on Earth way back in The End of Time. Dark business for family-friendly BBC1 primetime, but anything that traumatises children is A-OK with me. Character building, what.
posted by sobarel at 4:45 PM on November 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


What sobarel said (though I was well done with John Simm). Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.
posted by wintersweet at 4:50 PM on November 1, 2014


Oh, I didn't mean it as a criticism, at all! Misdirection is at the heart of magic. I looked at that first scene on iPlayer, and I can make out a few of the post-its - "Clockwork Man" stuck to an alarm clock; "Kill the Moon" stuck to a photo in a frame. I'm going to try and get hold of a 720 version tomorrow after all the torrents have gone up (and I have something I can advance frame by frame) and see what else I can spot. I think she's set out to get her story straight and while doing that discovered something "not all good".

Also, second time around I tried imagining that Seb was Susan as this week's My Bonkers Theory (n.b. so bonkers there's not point in disproving or even pooh poohing it, but it's an entertaining thought.)
posted by Grangousier at 4:55 PM on November 1, 2014


Also, no one can seriously complain about the Missy-Master thing and still be watching THIS SHOW. Because that's what the Master/this show does: Colonel Masters, Reverend Magister, Professor Thascalos, etc. (plus various similarly silly names in the novels & BF). It's the Master's thing, a mark of vanity.
posted by wintersweet at 4:56 PM on November 1, 2014 [13 favorites]


And, apropos of nothing, probably, the name of the cyberman by himself in the office all Jeremy Bentham - the founder of 3W - is Dr Skarosa.
posted by Grangousier at 5:07 PM on November 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


I looked at that first scene on iPlayer, and I can make out a few of the post-its - "Clockwork Man" stuck to an alarm clock; "Kill the Moon" stuck to a photo in a frame.

There was pretty much every character she's met this series up there, plus I saw at least two "Impossible Girl"s and two "Lying"s. Mr Moffat may be about to attempt to wrap up everything about Clara in a slightly implausible bow.

Also, no one can seriously complain about the Missy-Master thing and still be watching THIS SHOW.

Indeed. The Third Doctor managed to look surprised time after time despite the fact that the mysterious villain was always the Master.
posted by sobarel at 5:17 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thankfully I had forgotten about the Cybermen shots in last week's preview. It was overshadowed by the Missy / Clara dialogue and the fact that we've had a couple Moffatt finales with all the bad guys so I didn't give it much thought. The BBC had been so good about avoiding spoilers in the previews this season but they can't be trusted.

I quite liked the episode. It reminded me of the Eccleston penultimate episode which was a big distraction about killer gameshows until the very end. I knew the afterlife had to be a ruse because it would ruin all future episodes if they could go there. But they had fun with it, and I am glad it didn't turn out to be a dream after they set up that up earlier with the volcano. I imagine the dream patches and the dark water will serve some purpose next episode.
posted by Gary at 5:24 PM on November 1, 2014


bow

I see what you did there.
posted by biffa at 5:27 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can assure you that any cleverness in my comments is entirely coincidental.
posted by sobarel at 5:38 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


The slow buildup to revealing the Cybermen and the sudden twist of stumbling out of St Paul's were good fun, but somewhat spoiled by having six Cybermen standing outside St Paul's as the promo shot on iPlayer. Ho hum.

I found the fakeouts entertaining, which is unusual for me. I was having difficulty swallowing several aspects of the afterlife story and Danny's reaction to it then, just as that was getting distracting, it's revealed that it's a lie that's supposed to be full of holes. Similar thing with the dream sequence, and with Danny causally stepping into the busy road. It's kind of a cheap trick, but I guess the writing or timing worked well for me because it felt like the programme was anticipating my objections and playing with them a bit.

Slightly disappointing that Clara's badassery turned out to be a dream, but she thought it was real so she still gets points for it. Hopefully they'll let her kick arse properly next week!

Am I right that we never found out what the three Ws stand for, or did I just miss it?

(What's the "bow" joke? Unless Clara lives in Bow, I've got nothing)
posted by metaBugs at 5:58 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Clara Bow, the silent film actress.

Actually, she may have been quite noisy, we won't know because it was the films themselves that were silent.
posted by Grangousier at 6:00 PM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Am I right that we never found out what the three Ws stand for, or did I just miss it?

3Ws = Three Words = Don't Cremate Me (I think?).
posted by sobarel at 6:09 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Although possibly a reference to the internet (www) and three of the traditional five Ws (Who, What, Where, When and Why).
posted by Grangousier at 6:14 PM on November 1, 2014


Sooooo much flouncing on the Twitters. (And Gallifrey Base, ever a home of reasoned debate.)

Delicious.
posted by wintersweet at 6:25 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I will say one thing that I'm not seeing elsewhere. This 'nethersphere' place had better be a TARDIS. The Master's, of course.
posted by Catblack at 6:35 PM on November 1, 2014


Sooooo much flouncing on the Twitters. (And Gallifrey Base, ever a home of reasoned debate.)

What are they so upset about? Other than not having Ace as a girlfriend or whatever.
posted by sobarel at 6:37 PM on November 1, 2014


This 'nethersphere' place had better be a TARDIS.

The Doctor says it's "a matrix data slice, a Gallifreyan hard drive" so not a TARDIS, but related Time Lord bigger-on-the-inside tech.
posted by sobarel at 6:40 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


So why was the Doctor holding a classic Cyberhead in the promo image then? or is that something I have to wait till next week to find out? Or just one of those prop department/photshoppery blunders that doesn't actually mean anything.

Missy/Mistress better last a while, so much better than John Simm. And Eric Roberts. And Anthony Ainley...
posted by davros42 at 6:41 PM on November 1, 2014


3Ws = Three Words = Don't Cremate Me (I think?).
Ah, that seems right. I was expecting three words which each start with w, and interpreted "Don't cremate me" as a distraction to keep the question unanswered. You're probably right, though.

About the gender-switch: hadn't there been a reference to that before? I'm sure the Neil Gaimen episode had some reference to the Corsair always having the same tattoo, even when switching between male and female.

I don't know whether we've seen a character change gender before (I'm pretty sure we haven't in nuWho, but I don't know about the originals), but it's definitely part of nuWho canon, insofar as anything ever is.
posted by metaBugs at 6:42 PM on November 1, 2014


I assume the red phone box we've been seeing EVERYWHERE was a TARDIS.

All of Clara's post-its. (Blinovitch Limitation Effect, or someone Courtney meets? Or both?)

The flouncing is because the show has been ~ruined~ by having a woman play the Master, and they're ~never. watching. again.~
posted by wintersweet at 6:42 PM on November 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


Let 'em flounce then.
posted by davros42 at 6:45 PM on November 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


The flouncing is because the show has been ~ruined~ by having a woman play the Master, and they're ~never. watching. again.~

"Actually, it's about ethics in Time Lord regeneration."
posted by sobarel at 6:46 PM on November 1, 2014 [66 favorites]


"Hyperscape Body-Swap Ticket"? Is that something I've forgotten from one of the previous episodes?

(I searched for that and answered my own question: yes, sort of, basically.)
posted by Grangousier at 6:54 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Shades of Torchwood: Miracle Day.
posted by homunculus at 6:54 PM on November 1, 2014


Which makes the Dr Who Prom canon. And they're worried about a bit of gender divergence?
posted by Grangousier at 6:55 PM on November 1, 2014


I thought that the post it notes were just so Clara could remember the facts as she finally lays out the truth to Danny. I'm surprised that Courtney doesn't seem to be important. I had thought that they had laid the foreshadowing on thick about her.
posted by rdr at 6:57 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Indeed, they may flounce all they like.

Though typically, they'll be back to moan* next week.

*cf. "actual criticism"
posted by wintersweet at 7:00 PM on November 1, 2014


I assume the red phone box we've been seeing EVERYWHERE was a TARDIS.

Have we seen them anywhere outside London, though? They're not exactly rare around the city, and it's a quick way to dress a street to remind an audience where they are.

It seems a bit redundant to plant one outside St Paul's, but I don't know; is St Paul's a recognisable building for non-British audiences? It's a big tourist attraction if you're already in London, but I'd guess not.

(At least, I think they planted that one. I don't remember it being there, but they do tend to slide out of your notice, a bit TARDIS-like. Hmmm...)
posted by metaBugs at 7:00 PM on November 1, 2014


I think if you don't recognize St. Paul's (from the classic series, if nothing else!), then a phone box is not going to help you! I assume they planted it there for a reason.

Could be wrong--I've never been to London, maybe phone boxes are as thick on the ground as they've been this season. It's just that they seem to be significantly lurking in so many shots...
posted by wintersweet at 7:04 PM on November 1, 2014


They've left/put some in touristy places, because tourists like to take photos next to them. I also don't remember one being there. Most of them have been sold off (you can find them in restaurants and night clubs, for example, and I saw at least one in Mendoza in Argentina.)
posted by Grangousier at 7:08 PM on November 1, 2014


Well, I like the gender swap on the Master, especially after all the hubbub pre-Capaldi announcement. On the other hand, based on the previews, I was really hoping for a Clara-gone-insane episode. I guess I got a Clara-gone-insane opening 5 minutes anyway.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:10 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the screenshots of the post-its, by the way. I thought that while laying out the story she'd begun to attach them to significant items on her shelves, but no. The only mystery is why she has a book about menopause. Which is probably a set-dresser issue, rather than anything significant.
posted by Grangousier at 7:11 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I liked this, more-or-less. Terrible that Danny is dead, though. And I'm amused that I predicted the Cybermen a few weeks ago. They're only slightly less over-used than the Daleks, I suppose.

I applaud having The Master become a woman. The Doctor, though, REALLY needs to stop being so shocked at these events. You're both immortal Time Beings, apparently.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:11 PM on November 1, 2014


Doctor Who is mostly shot in and around Cardiff, so my guess has been that the set dressers have been over-compensating by dropping red phone boxes into "London" street scenes. I don't know how well-known they actually are, but if you look in tacky souvenir shops around London (including the London airports' duty free shops), they're a really common motif. So apparently lots of people believe that they're a well-known London sight.

Have to wait for some Americans to weigh in, I guess.
posted by metaBugs at 7:15 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think red phone boxes are required at British/fake British pubs in the US. Also, THANK YOU for also wondering about that menopause book, Grangousier! I'm years older than she is and I wouldn't have one. The rest seems like they were chosen on purpose (maybe not individually, but as a lot--historical/biographies and travel books, mostly).

I know some people thought Danny was a nogoodnik, for reasons I don't really understand, but I'll be a bit sad if he's really gone.

metaBugs, but the St. Paul's bit is actually IN London, isn't it? So why wheel one in there? Oh well, I guess we'll find out next week. :)
posted by wintersweet at 7:17 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


The red phone box is Inspector Spacetime's BOOTH, obvs.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 7:22 PM on November 1, 2014 [10 favorites]


The post-it/book combo that I wondered about was the "Dinosaur in London" on the Holroyd biography of Augustus John, but I've not read it so I've no idea whether it's significant - though the same message is also attached to the same book as "West Country Care Home".

I'm very familiar with that particular stretch - it leads down to the footbridge across to Tate Modern. When the Cybermen walked down the same bit in 1968 it just went down to the river, and I don't even think the riverside path was there at that time, so I suppose they'd have to have shrugged and walked back up again.
posted by Grangousier at 7:24 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Heh, that's what I said after "In the Forest of the Night."
posted by wintersweet at 7:25 PM on November 1, 2014


Yes, my guess is that they think more people will recognise the red phone box than will recognise St Paul's and know it's in London.

Looking at your profile, I see now that you're American, or at least in the US now; so maybe St Paul's is better known than I'd guessed?

As you say though, we'll just have to wait and see!

(I've been watching Community for the first time over the past few weeks. It's unexpectedly brilliant, and yes, I think of it every time I see a red phone box in Doctor Who)
posted by metaBugs at 7:25 PM on November 1, 2014


As an American, I only know St. Paul's as that place the Cybermen are always marching around.
posted by davros42 at 7:28 PM on November 1, 2014 [11 favorites]


Well, I mean, I have known for a long time that it was a significant landmark, but I'm fairly sure I only know what it actually looks like because of "The Invasion".
posted by wintersweet at 7:29 PM on November 1, 2014


About the gender-switch: hadn't there been a reference to that before? I'm sure the Neil Gaimen episode had some reference to the Corsair always having the same tattoo, even when switching between male and female.

Indeed.
posted by homunculus at 8:05 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


When Missy said "the one you Abandoned" I briefly thought it might be Romana, angry about something that happened during the Time War, which would tie into the theme of betrayal and forgiveness from the opening. I really like that they gender swapped the Master, but it would have been more interesting to have her be any entirely different Time Lady with a different motivation rather than the Master/Mistress with yet another evil scheme.
posted by homunculus at 8:09 PM on November 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


homunculus, its funny you should mention that, because when Missy said that I was absolutely positive she was going to turn out to be Susan, pissed off for being left behind on post-apocalyptic earth, despite how creepy it would have made that kiss.
posted by hobgadling at 8:15 PM on November 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I had been hoping for the Rani since one particularly evil chortle by Missy, but I didn't think it would happen. I think they've been selective about what they bring back from the classic series, and the Rani didn't feel like she would fit. (Even though I think that could have been great.)

But recently I've been writing and it's really too rare to have good female villains. I hope it's a well-written role and that Gomez is able to stick around in it for a bit.

Really, I could do without the flirting, though, if only because it's become like a tic on Moffatt's part. On the other hand, I do think it's kind of funny how the flirting is upsetting many of the homophobic fans (how are they still here) AND many of the very anti-heteronormativity fans, which is a neat trick.
posted by wintersweet at 8:15 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I thought a nethersphere was one of those balls people sit on for their backs. But anyway. I'll lay pretty good odds there'll be a Cyberdanny* next week.

*Which The Doctor will refer to at some point as "a cyber-P.E. teacher"
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:50 PM on November 1, 2014


I think the Missy/Master twist v reveal is Moffat's tenure in microcosm - he likes trying out big ideas but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. I mean, I love that the Master has been gender switched but then it leads to the line "Missy, short for Mistress. Well, I can't very well call myself The Master, can I?" Well, yes, actually, you could. The Master is a title. And just like The Doctor, you can call yourself anything you like.

On the other hand, he needed an ongoing thread/threat - and a way to reveal the information. And without dropping in a John Simm cameo, I guess Missy/Mistress/Master is an efficient way to introduce herself to the Doctor.

So we've finally got on screen proof that Time Lords (and Ladies) can gender swap during regeneration. Which is brilliant. And if that paves the way for a female Doctor, so much the better. But she's also being written just like all of Moffat's strong female characters - sexy and sassy.

And yet, that means the Master has pashed the Doctor on screen and... *mind blown*.

See what I mean? Good ideas, bumpy execution. Can't wait for next week.
posted by crossoverman at 10:00 PM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


one particularly evil chortle by Missy

I got the impression on second watch that Missy was re-enacting the verbal tics of some of her previous incarnations, deliberately rolling an R, then haughtily intoning "I am in charge", and then doing a weird head-turn and screech as she called for Dr. Chang. Just as a way to wiggle the deception under the Doctor's nose as much as possible. But I don't have the classic episodes available right now, so I couldn't tell you which previous versions she got it from.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 10:08 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also Dr Chang was an idiot for saying something nice to Missy, when she basically said I'll only kill you after you're adorable, my pet monkey.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:39 PM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I missed this last week, and then I forgot it was on this week. I think I'm taking a break.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:50 PM on November 1, 2014


So, one of the Tardis keys is in s copy of The Time Traveller's Wife.
posted by biffa at 12:49 AM on November 2, 2014 [9 favorites]


There was so much I liked about the episode that I don't want to think about how the Master/Doctor subtext suddenly became text when one is a woman.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:42 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


After this episode, I feel better about those awkward tags with Missy they were putting at the end of episodes. For one, Missy turning out to be The Master gives her enough credibility to show up whenever she wants (certainly more than eyepatch lady a few years ago who turned out not to do much). Also, as the TeeVee podcast discussed the premise for this episode was really bizarre. So feeding the premise to the viewer bit by bit made it not such a shock about what was going on.
posted by Gary at 1:01 AM on November 2, 2014


3Ws
Don't cremate me.
I love you.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:20 AM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Gender-swapped Master was the most obvious solution so I had kinda dismissed it and was hoping for Evil Romana, once it was revealed it was a time lord (but in retrospect that's too old school / obscure). Even thought 'Mistress' might have been a double bluff ('Hello K9')

Still looking forward to next week.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:03 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was assuming St Paul's was the Master's Tardis, which was why there was room for the nethersphere in there, and when the cybermen where ready they could pop out the front door.

I am not sure this idea stands up to a lot of inspection.*

* But Moffat.
posted by biffa at 2:11 AM on November 2, 2014


I don't know why I like making mad predictions so much, but how about they save Danny from the Cybermen, but he can't just go back to the school, so he returns as his own twin brother Rupert. The P.E. teacher.
posted by Grangousier at 2:51 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was just thinking about how wonderfully horrible the "gurgling scream / 'someone left their body to science'" bit was!

Gender-swapped Master was the most obvious solution so I had kinda dismissed it and was hoping for Evil Romana

Honestly, Romana has more reason to feel "abandoned" (and may well have been driven mad with only K-9 for company...) and experimenting with the dead is exactly the sort of thing the Rani would get up to - but I think there's a conscious decision to not use characters who were last on screen before most of the Doctor Who audience was born.
posted by sobarel at 4:00 AM on November 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


This episode was wonderfully bizarre, and it made me consistently gleeful. I almost wish they made this the way that the afterlife works in the Who universe. It would be an actually surprising bit of world-building. For a show that promises a hero who can go anywhere and see anything, the rules for permissible expansions of the universe have become a little bit by-the-numbers and predictable. I don't really want to see the Doctor enter works of fiction again, but I admire the audacity of making him visit the afterlife. I wish they went through with it.

That sloppy nose-kiss was great. It's especially fun to imagine it delivered by John Simm.
posted by painquale at 4:59 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


So how did the Doctor "abandon" the Master last time they met? The Master sacrificed himself to send Gallifrey back into the Time War. It was a noble act of redemption. But now the Master is back, escaped from the time lock and still as evil as ever. I'd hoped once the sound of drums had been revealed to him, he'd back off the psycho crazy a little (character development!). I did like John Simm in the role though, but if he's not coming back, then I'm glad they had the Master regenerate into a woman because that mixes up the character dynamics between her and the Doctor.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:02 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, remember this is a universe in which the Tardis can grant immortality to Jack Harkness and Timelords can regenerate, so death has always worked strangely in the show. Especially if you don't ignore Torchwood:Miracle Day.
posted by painquale at 5:03 AM on November 2, 2014


Especially if you don't ignore Torchwood: Miracle Day.

That wasn't part of our deal, painquale! That wasn't part!
posted by Servo5678 at 5:06 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Skarosa is an interesting choice of name for the founder of 3W.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:34 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just watched the Extra - there's a shot where set-hands are wheeling the red phone boxes into place. So at least that's settled.
posted by Grangousier at 5:48 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


when Missy said that I was absolutely positive she was going to turn out to be Susan, pissed off for being left behind on post-apocalyptic earth, despite how creepy it would have made that kiss.

Nah, Susan has already been back. Middle-aged Susan (played by the original actress no less) appeared in "The Five Doctors" and was still his loving granddaughter.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:54 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


And she's been in the Big Finish audio dramas!
posted by painquale at 5:59 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Seems the Master's new weapon is a tissue compression eliminator. It makes flesh explode by eliminating tissue compression. It's rather less tidy than the old tissue compression eliminator which eliminated by compression of tissue. Perhaps it was an acknowledgment of this playful embrace of terminological inexactitude which made Missy pretend initially to be a doll.
posted by hawthorne at 6:03 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Skarosa is an interesting choice of name for the founder of 3W.

Yeah, some of the vibe of this episode really made me think of this story.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:53 AM on November 2, 2014


Gender swapping during regeneration? Somehow, I'm suprised nobody has pointed out that Moffat tried out this idea back in 1999. Yes, it's parody, and yes of course it's not canon, but on the other hand it's quite a lot more watchable than some recent episodes. You can spot quite a few of Moffat's favourite themes in that 20 minute story too.

On rewatch: clearly the boy Danny killed is going to jump in and stop that delete button being pressed. I missed his reflection on the iPad screen first time round (and boy, that part of the cliffhanger really felt clunky to me).

Also surprised no-one has pointed this out: isn't this essentially the same plot as The Bells of St. John? Minds uploaded, bodies off somewhere else (though that was never explained). No wait, we've seen this before in Silence in the Library. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Danny and Clara get to live happily ever after over with River in the datacore next week.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:05 AM on November 2, 2014


And she's been in the Big Finish audio dramas!

In case people don't know, there are a few Doctor Who radio episodes on iPlayer at the moment. I'm pretty sure that the BBC doesn't region-lock its radio programmes, so those outside the UK shouldn't have a problem. It's good fun so far!
posted by metaBugs at 7:29 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Juso No Thankyou: I've thought for awhile now that the Doctor could rescue River if he wanted to, because of the The Almost People (create a body) + The Bells of St. John (download a consciousness), so after Missy mentioned being abandoned I was actually expecting her to be River, driven mad by her time in the library computer. I was rather annoyed at that since I thought that over her time on the show her character had degenerated from a dynamic, interesting, somewhat enigmatic character to a tiresome Mary Sue (she's clever! she's sexy! she's a badass! everyone loves her and needs her), and hadn't yet decided whether her insanity/evil nature would maker her interesting enough to justify bringing her back. It was around that time that I remembered that Moffat isn't much interested in whether female characters are interesting, or maybe that he considers sexy+sassy a personality, and enough of one to interest him.

I'm not sure if the return of the Master is any better, but at least she's not shooting electricity this time.

As for St. Paul's: this American didn't recognize it, though the reveal made it clear it was a landmark of some sort so I knew it was obviously meaningful to others.
posted by johnofjack at 7:56 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was assuming St Paul's was the Master's Tardis, which was why there was room for the nethersphere in there

There's no reason for the nethersphere to be physically large, even on the inside. It's a virtual reality environment full of uploaded dead people.

But there won't be room in St Paul's for the ranks of tanked cybermen army, so yes, either The Master has got a TARDIS which he materialized around the real St Paul's, or in another one of those "the aliens have always been here" moves, the Master showed up ages ago and St Paul's has always been his TARDIS (with a fake St Paul's interior just inside the front door, perhaps) and he's been gathering the dead for a long time. It would certainly explain why the Luftwaffe didn't succeed in destroying it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:10 AM on November 2, 2014


Also, I'm really hoping this two-parter isn't a riff on Orpheus and Eurydice.
posted by johnofjack at 8:20 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's a virtual reality environment full of uploaded dead people.

Sure, I can see that the size thing wouldn't matter if it was all just 'souls'* but the cybermen seem to be physical and walk right out of there, so what is going on there? Its a physical place as the Doctor and Clara are able to get there and interact. As someone notes upthread, the body vs soul thing isn't explained, and the cybermen walking out seems to suggest some confusion. Or at least, there is confusion for me.

*At first I thought they were going to do something along the lines of Iain Banks' Surface Detail, with the tortured virtual souls.
posted by biffa at 9:00 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's sad that Danny will have to stay dead but no sacrifice can be too great against even the slight possibility that Adric could be brought back.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:00 AM on November 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


biffa, note that Clara was not able to see or interact physically with Danny, but only electronically. The Doctor, Clara, Missy and the Cybermen are all physically solid and in the space inside St Paul's. Danny and what he sees around him as the nethersphere are apparently virtual.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:10 AM on November 2, 2014


The physical place could be inside the Mistress's TARDIS.
posted by plastic_animals at 9:13 AM on November 2, 2014


I like the acknowledgement (Either by Moffat or a set dresser) that Stephen Moffats plots are all basiclly re writes of the time travellers wife.

Also, I was fairly convinced that Michelle Gomez must be the Master, because basically since I first saw her on Green Wing I decided that if I ever got the chance I'd cast her as the Master. I'm delighted that someone did I so I didn't have to.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:49 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


the Master showed up ages ago and St Paul's has always been his TARDIS (with a fake St Paul's interior just inside the front door, perhaps) and he's been gathering the dead for a long time

The uploading the dead has to have been going on for centuries, right? The half-faced robot from Victorian London got uploaded in the first episode.
posted by bassooner at 10:58 AM on November 2, 2014


I think there's a conscious decision to not use characters who were last on screen before most of the Doctor Who audience was born.

There was a time when that was true of the Master, too. But as a classic fan who isn't really keen on making the Doctor a woman (and honestly because of how badly I think the modern show would handle it--the classic series would actually have handled it better), I am delighted to see the Master back in this guise, and the crossing of gender and Doctor/Master made canon.

There's a lot to unpack here, with Clara and Danny as well as the Cybermen (for whom I was spoiled, but my husband wasn't and watching him unpack it on the fly was great) and Missy. I'm going to have to see the second half before I come to any conclusions, but if the second half holds up, I'm way on the love side of the love-hate divide.
posted by immlass at 11:05 AM on November 2, 2014


Does anyone else think Clara is pregnant? 'Three months' is written on two of the post-its, Clara feels compelled to come clean with Danny, after her dream state the Doctor says Clara is "quite the mess of chemicals" and if Danny truly is dead there is only one way Orson Pink can have an ancestor who traveled in time.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:07 AM on November 2, 2014 [20 favorites]


Does anyone else think Clara is pregnant?

That was my thought when Danny was killed off so quickly.
posted by betweenthebars at 11:21 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Clara being pregnant would recontextualize that odd conversation at the start of the episode, and it's not hard to see how Moffat might like that idea for her exit: Danny's dead, Clara's pregnant and decides to settle down, the Doctor gets a new companion.

Getting a chance to raise her child is the ending Amy should have had, really. It makes a lot more sense than the Ponds just shrugging off having their daughter kidnapped.
posted by johnofjack at 12:02 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


The really frustrating thing about this season is, they come up with some great story ideas, and then Moffatt just... Moffatts all over them. (I am actually disappointed that Missy is The Master. It was way too obvious. And Missy is exactly why I don't want a female Doctor while Moffatt is still showrunner -- he would absolutely make her be that weird hyper-feminine, corset-wearing, oozing flirtation all over character he loves so very much.)
posted by sarcasticah at 12:11 PM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am actually disappointed that Missy is The Master. It was way too obvious.

I would rather Moffatt tell the obvious story well than do what he's done previous seasons and desperately try to stay one step ahead of the Internet. This season has been quite good, while the Matt Smith seasons had some good episodes but the story arcs never really made any sense.
posted by Gary at 12:19 PM on November 2, 2014


Well there's still time for the Moff to pull out everything from Auton to Zygon next week... hour long special too
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:26 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Okay, last post here and then I'm done because I don't want to threadsit.

Isn't there still a dangling plot thread about unconscionable orders? If so, I'd predict one of two outcomes for the next episode; one of them echoes an episode from last season (NflyhzbsgurQnyrxf), setting up a nice bit of parallelism, while the other echoes an episode from Torchwood which caused me to quite watching the show (Plorejbzna).

I hope I'm wrong; I prefer screenwriters to be cleverer and more creative than I am.
posted by johnofjack at 1:59 PM on November 2, 2014


johnofjack, is that rot13?
posted by Mogur at 2:12 PM on November 2, 2014


Yeah, I thought we weren't going to encode spoilers, it's lame.
posted by Catblack at 2:19 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


No rot13 on past episodes, but does this count? I'm predicting what happens next week, talking about another show , and also figuring not everyone would want to think about it.

Which, now that I think about it, is probably a compelling argument not to make the comment in the first place. Sorry.
posted by johnofjack at 2:43 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person on the Internet who was surprised at the Missy/Master reveal?
posted by Troupe of trained rats at 2:51 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rot13 ain't go no home here for speculation. SPECULATE AWAY.

I actually enjoyed the episode and didn't pick up on the Missy/Master reveal, either. Then again, my Master experience dates only to the NuWho, not the Classic Who (I'm slowly catching up on that!). I don't know why, but I really liked how Clara was trying to tell Danny that she loved him, "I will never say these words again to anyone else except to you..." something like that.

I dug the slow water reveal of the Cybermen. That was a fun way to introduce them activating and preparing to emerge, as well the glass windows forming their eyes.

As for the red phone booth. I have a photo, like a good American tourist, of one right outside St. Paul, FYI, and that was about four years ago.

I was surprised they chose to kill off Danny, for as much as one can kill off Danny, but if Clara is pregnant, I wouldn't be surprised if he's permanently gone, at least after this next episode. I did think the way Clara handled herself in what turned out to be a dream was really out of character, if only for how she spoke to the Doctor. It seemed off. The threat of the keys was kind of loopy, didn't Clara know how to snap her fingers, too? Or was that just Amy?
posted by Atreides at 4:39 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's no way that Danny is staying dead. His mind is intact inside the sphere thing, and his body is (presumably) inside a Cyberman suit.

I'm sure he'll have some sort of heroic act that vindicates him in the eyes of the doctor (and possibly soften the Doctor's attitude toward soldiers a bit?), but I'm betting that he survives it.

I do hope we get into the soldier business a bit, actually. He's never liked them much afaik, but his hostility this season has been a bit crazy. And Danny had a point, talking about the Doctor as an officer: the Doctor may be fastidious about never using guns, but an awful lot of the people he meets end up holding them and shooting whoever he tells them to.
posted by metaBugs at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


the Doctor may be fastidious about never using guns, but an awful lot of the people he meets end up holding them and shooting whoever he tells them to.

Isn't that pretty much the entire episode, "A Good Man Goes to War," ? (to support your point)
posted by Atreides at 5:44 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Doctor has not historically been fastidious about never using guns.
posted by Small Dollar at 5:46 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I’m surprised I haven’t seen more discussion about how transphobically the Master/Mistress plot is being played. At least that’s how it reads to me; doesn’t bode all that well for a Lady Doctor regeneration, at least as long as Moffat is in charge.
posted by gerryblog at 6:42 PM on November 2, 2014


Not that probability dictates story but revivifying Danny seems less likely to me than killing Clara.
posted by rdr at 9:22 PM on November 2, 2014


I’m surprised I haven’t seen more discussion about how transphobically the Master/Mistress plot is being played. At least that’s how it reads to me; doesn’t bode all that well for a Lady Doctor regeneration, at least as long as Moffat is in charge.


I don't think so. I actually think (so far) it has been handled excellently. Moffat's audience is not just tumblr, its the whole viewing public, many of whom are pretty transphobic. A lot of people were annoyed that Moffat went with another white male for the doctor: I was a bit too. This is actually the next best thing. It clearly sets up, on screen, that time lord regeneration can change gender. Yes there have been hints, but this is the most explicit the show has ever been. The whole Master/Mistress thing is to introduce the whole audience to the concept and get them used to it.

In hindsight, I love the whole sequence of Missy meeting the doctor, because she spends the entire time messing with him, which is exactly what the Master loves to do. Yes, part of that is with sexuality, but that doesn't seem so massively implausible to me (worth noting that Moffat has never written the master before, so its entirely possible that a male master might do the same thing (admittedly unlikely, but still!)). But the point is its not really even that sexual, its designed to mess with the Doctor, throw him off balance for long enough to seperate himself and Clara (which I presume is important) and then lead to the grand reveal with enough time to throw the Doctor off. The whole institute is so obviously fictional, and its built, at least partially, to mess with the Doctor!
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:28 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just hope they don't stick with "time lady". Did they use that in the original series? It's so silly.
posted by meese at 4:20 AM on November 3, 2014


Yes they did. But it fits into the culture of Gallifrey which was always shown as being a bit pompous and silly (and badly costumed), and which is why the Doctor nicked a TARDIS and legged it. And why it was a good idea to strip a lot of that stuff out when the series was revived.

Yes, part of that is with sexuality, but that doesn't seem so massively implausible to me (worth noting that Moffat has never written the master before, so its entirely possible that a male master might do the same thing (admittedly unlikely, but still!))

The John Simm version of the Master was certainly obsessed with the Doctor in a much more personal way, almost to the point of infatuation...
posted by sobarel at 4:34 AM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


I’m surprised I haven’t seen more discussion about how transphobically the Master/Mistress plot is being played.

Wow. I didn't get that at all. I mean, if you're specifically referring to the Doctor's reaction to the new Mistress, I think it was all pretty much in character for him. I didn't read it as phobic-anything, rather it was shock that A. The Master/Mistress is back, and B. His mind starting to put-together all the disparate pieces of the situation.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:46 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Interesting points being raised over in the Gallifrey subreddit: Steven Moffat is probably the most progressive producer Doctor Who ever had
posted by jbickers at 5:58 AM on November 3, 2014


I loved it. Although I'd seen the trailer I had forgotten the Cybermen shot, so as the Doctor was saying "I'm missing something!" I was only slowly puzzling it out myself. The two circles/teardop logo was SO fun. And the slow reveal of the Cybermen tanks being drained was great, even though, at that point, I knew what was coming.

When Missy said she was the Time Lord (err, Lady) he left behind, my first thought was actually Jenny, then when she said "short for Mistress" I thought it was a K9/Romana reference. I was very slow on the uptake for this episode, apparently.

The first 5 or 7 minutes, Danny's death and the volcano scene, were just perfect Doctor Who. The Doctor lying in front of his TARDIS with Clara emerging from the flames with glowing keys in her hand - amazing.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:29 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Count me as another who didn't see the Missy/Master twist coming. But then, I guess don't speculate as much as I used to!
posted by Kitteh at 6:32 AM on November 3, 2014


Moffat has never written the master before

He wrote Curse of the Fatal Death, a Red Nose comedy special, in 1999. It features a bunch of regenerations, including Joanna Lumley as the Doctor, and Jonathan Pryce as the Master. Admittedly it's a parody, but it's a piece of Who history and it does feature cross-sex regeneration long before the new series. (And honestly if you want to talk about transphobic regenerations, the broad humor there is much worse. Missy seems perfectly comfortable as a woman where Fatal Death!Thirteen takes some adjusting.)

Also, I live in the section of Classic fandom that has pretty much shipped Delgado!Master with Three forever (romantically if not sexually--come on, the Master is obsessed with him!) and can see it with Ainley!Master and Five, so Missy having a thing for Twelve (or Simm!Master having one for Ten) is no shock for me. And yeah, I think there are issues there--but they are Master issues and not issues having to do with how the Master regenerated this time. The Master has always been a control freak and a creeper and it has nothing to do with the body they're wearing.
posted by immlass at 7:39 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't be the only one who loathed Russell Davies' scenery-chewing Master. John Simm managed to imbue it with sense of fun, because he's John Simm, but I still got heartily sick of it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:20 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't be the only one who loathed Russell Davies' scenery-chewing Master.

You're not. On my totem pole of Masters, he ranks below Crispy!Master along with Eric Roberts.
posted by immlass at 8:49 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I managed to know absolutely nothing spoilery about this episode prior to sitting down to watch, so both the cybermen reveal and the Master one caught me. My husband is an encyclopedia of old-Who as well as Nu-Who (I've only ever seen nu) and as we were getting the "I'm the one you abandoned" speech I was rapid-fire interrogating him: "Abandoned? Does that ring a bell? Who is it? Romana? Oh, she said Mistress. Was there a Mistress? Was one of his companions a prostitute? Was - OH MY GOD ITS THE MASTER WHY DIDN'T I FIGURE THAT OUT".

Also I remain completely confused about the body/soul thing - the entire success of the plot seems to be predicated on "people stay aware and connected to their bodies after death" being true, irrespective of that fact being used to amass a cyberman army, but a) that's a pretty massive thing to be a thing in this universe with no warning, considering how many people we've watched die, and b) I still don't understand how, if it's true, the Master has plucked all these souls out of the TV static and put them in his little hard drive.

As far as the Cybermen, I feel like they - and Daleks - are played out. Even as a nu-only viewer, I know that Doctor Who has far more baddies than this in its historical arsenal; why do the writers insist on using the same two over and over and over and over for every series finale (and in between)? It's not that I can't stand to see cyber-daleks ever again, but my god, try something else once or twice before snapping back to them.

On a brighter note, I'm pleased to see cross-gender regenerations canonized, though, and have high hopes this means we might get a female Doctor for real someday (Donna? Please? Can it be Doctor Donna?).
posted by Hold your seahorses at 8:54 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


why do the writers insist on using the same two over and over and over and over

Because they've already bought the costumes. Really. Why do you think the Ood turned up so often?
posted by Grangousier at 9:18 AM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


(Yes, I know that they have new Cyberman costumes - I think it's necessary to have instantly recognisable monsters that can easily be sent along to public appearances, and they can get a few series out of a CyberCostume. But it's likely to be as boring a reason as that.)
posted by Grangousier at 9:42 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


How sure is everyone that Missy actually is the Master?
posted by plastic_animals at 9:45 AM on November 3, 2014


100% sure. She said as much.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:57 AM on November 3, 2014


Well I mean she could be lying. But the psychotic giggly obsession with the Doctor is pretty Master-accurate; if she was lying she'd have to be a damn good in-universe actress, and I can't think of a reason offhand why anyone would want to pretend to be the Master.
posted by Hold your seahorses at 10:00 AM on November 3, 2014


Den of Geek has an interesting interview with Rachel Talalay, who directed the finale episodes. She talks about the lengths they went through to keep the big reveal secret while filming in public (among other things Capaldi and Gomez only mouthed their lines).
posted by plastic_animals at 10:19 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


why do the writers insist on using the same two over and over and over and over for every series finale (and in between)?

Merchandising and popular appeal.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:48 AM on November 3, 2014


Also I remain completely confused about the body/soul thing - the entire success of the plot seems to be predicated on "people stay aware and connected to their bodies after death" being true, irrespective of that fact being used to amass a cyberman army, but a) that's a pretty massive thing to be a thing in this universe with no warning, considering how many people we've watched die, and b) I still don't understand how, if it's true, the Master has plucked all these souls out of the TV static and put them in his little hard drive.

It doesn't really make sense, but as I understand it Missy has been scanning people just before death so that she has a copy of their mind, and used their bodies as the basis of new cybermen. While in the nethersphere, the minds have been tricked into wiping their own emotions (it apparently needs to be voluntary?) so that they are perfect for running cybermen. Its also possible that Missy set up this fake foundation to attract volunteers.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:32 AM on November 3, 2014


On the sexy master doctor front, this kiss is really not that out of character:

on
"Doctor"
"Master"
"I like it when you use my name"

also as a tiny bonus time crash:
"The master turned up again"
"Oh did he still have that rubbish beard"
"No, no beard this time, Weeeeellll a wife"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:56 PM on November 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


Watching through the Missy scenes, finishing up with another partial rewatch of Dark Water: I've been chortling to myself over the way she says "Doctor Chang!" since Saturday night. I love the Welcome Pack scene even more knowing who she is - not just messing with the Doctor, but genuinely excited to be seeing him again. I wonder whether she's also enjoying the experience of being a woman for a change. Chatting to someone about the episode today, who said that the Master is essentially someone who enjoys dressing up and being Missy certainly gives her that opportunity.

Hopefully, it's a proper Master story: ten minutes into the next episode, the Cybermen turn on her and she needs to forge an uneasy alliance with The Doctor, everything explodes and she disappears laughing in her Tardis.

The pronouns are going to be fun.

Michelle Gomez is magnificent, anyway. I might even track down some Green Wing, which I saw a few episodes of and absolutely hated.
posted by Grangousier at 3:26 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Hopefully, it's a proper Master story: ten minutes into the next episode, the Cybermen turn on her and she needs to forge an uneasy alliance with The Doctor, everything explodes and she disappears laughing in her Tardis.

I really hope she gets away, too.
posted by crossoverman at 3:52 PM on November 3, 2014


I hope they make a time baby.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:16 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought it was a well-constructed episode. Moffatt seems to need at least 2 episodes to tell a decent story, so I'm looking forward to the next one. Really dark conceptually though for Dr Who, and the random stupid jokes thrown in just seemed to make it worse. I wouldn't want my eight year old to watch it. (I don't have an eight year old, purely figurative.)
posted by miyabo at 4:55 PM on November 3, 2014


The more I think about it the less I understand how the soul-collector-negasphere is connected to the presence of the Cybermen.

Also, what's with the cryptic clues they dropped all season long? Why were all those other aliens trying to get to the Promised Land throughout history?

The more I think about it, the less I like this episode.
posted by GuyZero at 5:18 PM on November 3, 2014


FWIW, there is definitely a red telephone box in St Paul's Cathedral gardens.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:25 PM on November 3, 2014




Catch it while it lasts - Gallifrey Base have left a comment asking for it to be taken down.

I think Missy has the capacity to offend across the board: That she is a woman now is irrefutable, but up until now she has equally been a man. It would be absurd to refer to DelgadoMaster or AinsleyMaster as she. That's sort of what I meant about pronouns getting interesting.

As a trial run for a female Doctor, I think it's very interesting, because a lot of arguments will come out now.

(Incidentally, for anyone who managed to get the leaked scripts - try casting Joanna Lumley as the Doctor in your head while reading it. She could read the line "He's the top layer if you want to say a few words" deliciously, but I'd be interested to see the reaction to that.)
posted by Grangousier at 12:45 PM on November 4, 2014


Considering the uproar when they tried giving the Daleks a coat of paint, the Internet is taking this pretty well.
posted by Gary at 12:47 PM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


I like how the Cybermen are like a force of nature that will always spontaneously appear somehow - having been created by various different bad guys at different points in time, as opposed to the Daleks who were created once and have continued to exist since then.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:30 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Regardless of actual phone boxes on location, they ALSO went to the trouble of wheeling one IN. That's suspicious, is all. (No, I'm not obsessed, just curious. Heh.)

Is it Saturday yet??
posted by wintersweet at 8:37 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]




Late to the convo, but enthused for tomorrow's finale. Thought the Cyberman eye-motif was masterfully done. The draining of the tanks worked great all the more so for the episode giving you enough clues to guess what was about to be revealed. The intercut end sequence(s) came off a bit muddled rather than climactic, but I was still bouncing in my seat shouting "It's Evil Romana, it's Evil Romana!" at the telly. I'd give that sequence about 0.8 Utopias (max).

Really hoping-beyond-hope for Missy to have her own TARDIS to make a getaway in, just to satisfy my geeky cravings. With a couple of brief exceptions NuWho has depicted a one TARDIS universe, so it would be a cool twist for anyone unfamiliar with Old Who too.

EndsOfInvention: I like how the Cybermen are like a force of nature that will always spontaneously appear somehow

Very this. THE FAILURE MODE OF CIVILISATION IS CYBERMAN
posted by comealongpole at 8:00 AM on November 7, 2014


Something that just crossed my mind: What if the Cybermen just keep walking and they go across the footbridge and end up in the Tate Modern and people assume they're art?
posted by Grangousier at 12:59 PM on November 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


As an American, I know St. Paul's as the place where the Bird Woman sits in Mary Poppins.

(OK, that's not the only thing I know it from. But it is the first association that comes to my mind.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:10 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Michelle Gomez is magnificent, anyway. I might even track down some Green Wing, which I saw a few episodes of and absolutely hated.

You might look up The Book Group instead, Gomez is excellent there and it also features Anne Dudek of House and Mad Men and Rory McCann, the Hound in GoT. All on good form.
posted by biffa at 7:07 AM on November 12, 2014


Wasn't sure about Chris Addison until the malevolence of "Would you like to breath into a bag?"

I wasn't sure about him because he felt here like a cheaper version of Mark Gatiss.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:09 PM on January 23, 2015


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