Doctor Who: Death in Heaven
November 8, 2014 1:06 PM - Season 8, Episode 12 - Subscribe

In the last in the current series, Missy's plan comes to fruition, the Doctor gets a temporary promotion, the dead come home and they've got shiny new suits.

I'm beginning to think that Steven Moffat just likes poking his audience with a sharp stick in order to hear the squealing noises they make. Actually I've thought that for a while, but I'm just starting to say it out loud. I don't really mind and am prepared to squeal obligingly. Shame about Osgood. I reckon Missy teleported. But then I've been staggeringly wrong this season, so ignore me.
posted by Grangousier (88 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
That felt like a microcosm of this series. Some good bits*, some cringe-inducing bits**, attempts to do something with Clara falling short, a general feeling that it could have done with a few more drafts of the script, and an overall arc that barely qualifies as half-baked.

* - Capaldi & Gomez, Osgood biting the dust, destruction of Belgium
** - Love conquers the hivemind, Mr President, Ollie going "Squee" as the Doctor skydives
posted by sobarel at 2:39 PM on November 8, 2014


Nice tip of the cap to the Lethbridge-Stewarts.

I thought it was OK. Would have liked to fallen in love with it, but never got invested enough with Danny/Clara to really get the feels when he died and went to cyberpurgatory. Had this been a pair like Rose/Mickey or Amy/Rory - two characters with more depth to their relationship and their characters - I might have been more emotional.

I wonder if this series is one where the ending was conceived of first, then the entire series fleshed out backwards to hit the mark.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:26 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was sad to see Osgood die, but as soon as the Doctor invited her to join the TARDIS crew, I knew she was doomed. That's how this show works. If the Doctor invites you and you don't take him up on it immediately, you'll never get the chance.
posted by Servo5678 at 4:09 PM on November 8, 2014 [3 favorites]




I wonder what classic Who monster the next companion's boyfriend is going to turn into? Go the Vervoids.

I actually quite liked this. It didn't hang together as much as I'd have wanted, but these things never really do. For example, the scene where Danny savagely undercuts the Doctor's speech about the importance of the tin man having a heart with the Doctor's desire for information was nicely done. I'd have like it more if he'd have actually got some decent information out of the sacrifice. (And also the fact that, bearing in mind the point is the Doctor's been given an army that will do whatever he says, he could have just flown them into the cloud himself but, you know, good scene still).

It's probably only because I'm of the time and space that my Doctor was McCoy and, even more specifically, the McCoy of the New Adventures, but a lot of the superstructure of this series has felt very much like those early New Adventures, and the ending of this specifically feels like Love and War by Paul Cornell.

As fromage-tastic as the scene with the Brigadier was, it still managed an effective twang on my heart/nostalgia strings. I did wonder how they were going to play off the "OH BUT HE WANTED JUST THE ONE SALUTE YOU BARSTARD" bit. One thing I like with nuWho is how it's kept its sense of the past without giving in *too* much to fanwank. (No matter how many letters I write in about getting the Paternoster Crew to team up with Jago and Litefoot)

Oh. And Michelle Gomez was amazing I thought. The death of Osgood (sob) was really well done. Genuinely menacing, and she totally made the role her own. I was always annoyed that we had Derek Jacobi as the Master for 30 seconds before being lumbered with John Simm (and I generally like John Simm) but this more than made up for it. Often this sort of role is just wacky 'unpredictable' tone shifting, but this felt controlled and pin-sharp. Cool, if somewhat gratuitous, Mary Poppins reference as well.

(Still not really sure what was going on with the magic bracelet dead kid stuff at the end, but OK. Closure for Danny).
posted by Hartster at 5:03 PM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


FINE, I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE PHONE BOXES. I HOPE YOU'RE ALL HAPPY. (Or, you see, they're all actually horcruxes, and when the Mistress was zapped, s--fine, fine, I'll stop.)

Hartster, this household has been on the Paternoster + Jago & Litefoot bandwagon for a while! Sniffle.

They've succeeded in making me wonder whether Gomez will be back or not--well done. (I also thought Jacobi was SUCH a missed opportunity.)

I think some people are going to think the Brig scene was disrespectful, but I liked it.

In the final scene, we both yelled "NICK FROST!" This looks like it's going to be a super weird Christmas. Fortunately, that Harlequin Romance Does Narnia In Space one has set my bar for DW Christmas eps incredibly low.
posted by wintersweet at 5:24 PM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


On another note: I'm so tired of the "most of the time, we cast white people as main characters, but like, we're not racist, so we totally cast interesting minor parts more diversely! and then we make those characters super awesome and memorable by having them get killed and/or sacrifice themselves! so yeah!" thing.

Ye-ess, I might still be a little bitter over the Jabe of the Forest of Cheem thing.

I mean, maybe it's just confirmation bias at this point, so if anyone crunches the numbers, let me know. Or don't, I guess, really. I'm still in "my fave is problematic but ALL YOUR FAVES ARE PROBLEMATIC" land. I'm comfortable here.
posted by wintersweet at 5:50 PM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh FFS, Moffat. I actually miss RTD now.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:30 PM on November 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think that was Moffat's attempt at a Russell Davies script.

Great fake-out with the eyes during the opening credits. For all of 5 minutes one actually believed they'd have done it. But then, of course, they just can't.

And this female version of The Master is popping in and out of this Gallifreyian hard drive thing, you can bet there's a version of her still stored in there. Or perhaps they've decided to shelve the character and move on. A pity if so. I doubt you can just vaporize a time lord like that though.

And that Mary Poppins scene was the cringiest thing I think Moffat's done. (But please, please don't prove me wrong on that.)
posted by Catblack at 7:03 PM on November 8, 2014


I was sad to see Osgood die, but as soon as the Doctor invited her to join the TARDIS crew, I knew she was doomed.

Unless that was Zygon Osgood.
posted by homunculus at 7:09 PM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh man the speechifying is killing me. "Fear is your super power, wait, no, it's forgetting, no, it's pain!" I mean I love Gomez, she was fantastic and I doubt this is the last of her, but oy with the speeches and obnoxious platitudes. I did enjoy the scene in the cafe, but I'm definitely ready for Moffat to leave. Like immediately as I honestly did not enjoy much of this season.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:25 PM on November 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Missy isn't dead. When she vaporized people with her magic remote control, the vapory aura was red/orange. When she teleported off the plane, the aura was blue. When the Doctor zapped her, the aura was blue, not red/orange.

She'll be back.
posted by cooker girl at 7:26 PM on November 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


The greatest love of all is the love that defeats the Cybermen.

Overall, I enjoyed it and I don't want to think about it too much because there was so much that was just... I'm a little tired of people not telling each other important things because plot. And some of the ending reminded me of His Last Vow in a bad way.

Okay, back to not thinking.
posted by betweenthebars at 7:27 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


We were supposed to think that CyberBrig zapped her, not the Doctor, which could be why it was blue.

But there's also the Matrix stuff going on and blah blah blah. SO WHO KNOWS.

Apparently there is some debate as to what the Doctor saw out of the doors at the coordinates: 1) that one bright speck there, that's Gallifrey. 2) Nuttin', honey! 3) Alderaan Gallifrey bits everywhere! 4) The Crack.
posted by wintersweet at 7:29 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed it. And that is all i have to say, because I have no opinions.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 7:30 PM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Uncomfortable thought: octogenarian Amy and Rory must have been Cybermen, too.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:30 PM on November 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


"The Doctor teams up with an newly unmasked Time Lord in an attempt to change the events of the previous episode, all while struggling with a dark question...is the Doctor Naughty, or Nice?

"The List of the Santa" coming Dec 25th."
posted by mrjohnmuller at 7:30 PM on November 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


Wait, what?
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 7:34 PM on November 8, 2014


I wish this had been the second episode of the year and not the last. I found much of this series to be a chore, and still haven't seen the one where trees take over the earth or something because everyone said it was awful and that lets me off the hook, I feel. But I'm glad I watched this. Much like an RTD script, a lot of stuff here doesn't make very much sense -- nanobot Cybermen seeds turning dead bodies into zombies somehow, whatever was happening with the kid at the end, whatever basic nonsense explains...oh, anyway -- but it all felt right, in no small part due to a great cast that, frankly, elevated the material. Most of the episodes this year felt like tired time-fillers to me, but I think this one finally delivered on the potential that's been there all along. I hope that's a sign of things to come.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:42 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Kittens, the Forest episode does feature the Doctor vs a tiger, but then it slinks away and they clap their backs while the tiger hovers just offscreen the rest of the episode wondering which of the slow moving, very annoying children it's going to eat. Well, I guess a Doctor Who episode really does suffer when you crave some good tiger-mauling fanfic.
posted by Catblack at 7:56 PM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I liked the episode well enough, but I really want this Doctor to be more like Tom Baker's - flitting from planet to planet, a little off center, always in control, and just having a lark of an adventure. The whole "I'm a idiot, with a box and a screwdriver, popping in and helping" really really calls to that. Get off Earth, get out into Time and Space, and just go Adventuring.
posted by jazon at 7:57 PM on November 8, 2014 [16 favorites]


Get off Earth, get out into Time and Space, and just go Adventuring.

Hear, hear.
posted by homunculus at 8:10 PM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Doctor said that the Mistress must have had a TARDIS, so if she really is dead or incapacitated, that means there's another TARDIS out there waiting for someone to find it.
posted by homunculus at 8:19 PM on November 8, 2014


That was enjoyably daft. I liked it. Poor Mistress always trying to conquer the world and destroy the universe, just to get her childhood friend to pay attention to her.

I will miss Osgood and I will miss Danny Pink. I will not miss Clara though I'm sure she'll be back for Christmas. They can never let companions go any more.

I doubt you can just vaporize a time lord like that though.

The Master/Mistress was vaporized before, by the Daleks no less. He/She will be back.

The greatest love of all is the love that defeats the Cybermen.

First fatherly love and now undying romantic love, still slightly less cheesy than gold coins delivered via sling shot.

Apparently there is some debate as to what the Doctor saw out of the doors

There was pretty clearly nothing there, hence the rage and tears and beatdown of the console. But fans will see what they like, I suppose.

Uncomfortable thought: octogenarian Amy and Rory must have been Cybermen, too.

And every other of the Doctor's companions who died on Earth by whatever year the story was set in. Which is possibly quite a few of them. But only the Brig and Danny Pink were good enough to resist. I'd like to think CyberBrig is still out there somewhere (maybe with Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart) kicking ass and taking names in way that a 1970's budget would not have allowed.
posted by davros42 at 9:16 PM on November 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Fridge logic just caught up with me--if Clara didn't tell the Doctor that Danny sent the little boy back in his stead, then she didn't have his help to bring the kid back home to his family and time (whether that would have been a good idea is another question, but what's the alternative? drop him off at children's services?). Unless she has a way to do it herself--but it seems more likely it's a happy-ending handwave, much like Maebh's sister.

grumble.
posted by wintersweet at 9:31 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was trying not to think too hard about what children's services would do to an illegal immigrant child. Don't poke the plot too hard, it'll collapse like a souffle.
posted by davros42 at 9:40 PM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


You wouldn't want to ruin the soufflé. (NSFW image)
posted by miss-lapin at 9:47 PM on November 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


Now that I think about it, I want Gallifrey back, but I don't want Moffat writing Romana. So many confused feels.
posted by betweenthebars at 10:04 PM on November 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


I think that i like this end of season because it is silly but serious, not bombastic. As much as i love David Tennant in the Last of the Time Lords, there was too much messiah saving the day in fully saturated colours.

In some other parallel TV universe the Doctor accepts the gift of the army from the Master, they fly away on the Tardis giving Clara and the other humans a "So long losers" wave.
And when you think he is gone full dark side he turns it around and makes it all good, but with now a perfect awareness of who he is and what he can do.
To misquote Sherlock: On the side of the Angels, but not saviour.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 10:16 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I expect UNIT could fake up some paperwork to cover the kid.

We still have to wonder if Clara is pregnant, given the descendant we met.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:25 PM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


It wouldn't be Moffat without a baby, I guess. Because you know, ladies and the babies. Would the BBC be cool with the implication of premarital sex on an all-ages show? I'm not sure what the cultural temperature is on that over there.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:41 PM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Gasp, Missy Y is the Master... er Missy!" "Oh yes! Bwa Ha Ha Ha!" "But you were totally dead!" "Oh, you didn't think you could get rid of me that easily, could you? Bwa Ha Ha Ha!" "But how?!" "Well... er... moving swiftly on, this is my new, over-complicated, plan to take over the Earth and / or universe....Bwa Ha Ha Ha!"
Every. Single. Time.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:16 AM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Just thinking about the overarching season plot then. The relevance of Missy popping up during Deep Breath, say, is to show she's been doing this a long time (and I guess is quizzing certain people about the new Doctor). What about The Foretold? Was that just an attempt to use them before she settled on the Cybermen as the vector for the plan? Any other stuff I'm missing that was seeded?
posted by Hartster at 1:46 AM on November 9, 2014


We still have to wonder if Clara is pregnant, given the descendant we met.

I assume so. That's twice now she's had big news to tell but no one will listen.
posted by Gary at 1:59 AM on November 9, 2014


It's getting worse. The doctor doesn't even need to be there now, events just happen around him. The plot is non existent, and doesn't call on the doctor for problem solving or leadership - or y'know, be the doctor. He's only there to act as some emotionally fraught old guy with caregiver stress.
posted by mattoxic at 2:14 AM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


The doctor doesn't even need to be there now, events just happen around him.

I've been thinking this all day. I can't remember what the Doctor was actually doing in most episodes, probably because it was so peripheral to the action that you could blink, miss it, and it wouldn't have made the slightest bit of difference to one's enjoyment (or displeasure). We have a Doctor Lite episode each year, but this year, it feels like it's been a Doctor Lite series. It's been the Clara and Danny show, almost as if the producers really do want you to have been saying Doctor Who?

I have a hunch that this episode was edited in a hurry. I seem to remember the director mentioning somewhere that the effects had been coming in over the final few days before transmission. Especially with the opening, it looks like there have been some clunky cuts. We never saw how Danny came to not press the delete button on his iPad. In the 3W room at the very start, tables and equipment are all over the floor, but we haven't seen how it all got there.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 3:31 AM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really hated this episode, and not just because I saw two probable plot developments and hated them both but wasn't sure which one they'd go with, and somehow they managed to work them both in (callback to Asylum of the Daleks: Danny refuses to be a loyal Cyberman; callback to Torchwood: Clara has to kill Danny).

The episode didn't hang together for me at all; I didn't get the sense that there was a lot of careful consideration put into it--instead it just felt like I was given a bowl of Idea Salad and told it was a script. I guess in that regard it's a great bookend to Deep Breath.

Also, I'd love it if they retired the "$villain is infectious" idea. That's two callbacks to Asylum of the Daleks. Go home, Moffat, you're lazy.
posted by johnofjack at 5:27 AM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


So much fun. Other than the terrible Forest episode and the overly-silly Robin Hood episode (which I can at least recognize that some people liked), I loved every moment of this top-notch season.
posted by painquale at 6:21 AM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Missy isn't dead. When she vaporized people with her magic remote control, the vapory aura was red/orange. When she teleported off the plane, the aura was blue. When the Doctor zapped her, the aura was blue, not red/orange.

The Doctor didn't zap Missy. Danny zapped her from across the graveyard, saving both Clara and Doctor from responsibility.

I'm really not sure how I feel about this finale. I really hate to see Clara go, and I was really, really excited for a minute there at the beginning, when she declared "I'm the Doctor" and the credits had Jenna Coleman's credit ahead of Capaldi's, and then her eyes instead of Capaldi's. I really hoped there had been some mix-up when Clara was inside the Docotor's timeline and, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. But, alas.

Still, I was hoping for some more...magical?...fitting?...end for the character, considering the whole "Impossible Girl" mythos they had built up over multiple series. And Missy having been responsible for Clara and the Doctor coming together? To what end, exactly? Yes, he was a bit attached to her, but I really didn't grok what nefarious plot was behind Clara's existence in the Doctor's life. In the end, I really don't think her character was sufficiently explained and brought to a worthwhile conclusion.

I'm still not clear how the Doctor doesn't have some idea of where Gallifrey is, since he was the one that made it disappear. His breakdown at discovering Missy gave him bogus coordinates was pretty damned strong, though. Has any previous Doctor expressed anger like that before? It really felt like a line was being crossed, somehow.

Looking forward, I guess, to the Christmas episode (though Santa coming in the Tardis' front door was...stretching things. I suppose it's beyond hope that we'll have one last appearance of Clara in the Christmas show. Maybe to hand over the companion reins to someone new?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:59 AM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


As fromage-tastic as the scene with the Brigadier was, it still managed an effective twang on my heart/nostalgia strings.

It managed to be cheesy and queasy: that's the Brig's mouldering corpse imprisoned in that suit, reunited with a soul that's been tormented/irritated by Chris Addison in a weirdo cyber purgatory for who knows how long. Probably best not to dwell on it really.
posted by sobarel at 8:01 AM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


The Doctor didn't zap Missy. Danny zapped her from across the graveyard, saving both Clara and Doctor from responsibility.

I've seen some people saying they thought the Brig did it, too. (I thought it was the Doctor.) Although I guess there could be some intentional ambiguity, it seems like a really crucial storytelling moment was edited together awkwardly.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:09 AM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Doctor didn't zap Missy. Danny zapped her from across the graveyard, saving both Clara and Doctor from responsibility.

It was the CyberBrigadier - he zaps her and then points to where he's left Kate. The special effect for the zapping was the same as the teleport though, so it's all left ambiguous.

though Santa coming in the Tardis' front door was...stretching things.

The Doctor appears to be asleep at the beginning of the tease, so they can always play the "it's all a dream" card. I must admit I did laugh at the full Christmas ep trailer - Alien meets Santa Claus.
posted by sobarel at 8:11 AM on November 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


If you watch the Doctor Who Extra, Moffat makes the point that the Master has been killed several times before and always comes back. Also, considering the Doctor never found the Master's tardis, and there were no scenes of the Doctor doing anything with that Nethersphere dohicky. Well I'd bet Osgood makes a comeback.
posted by Catblack at 9:35 AM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, it just occurred to me: Does this mean the general populace knows about the existence of aliens again? It seems like Moffat went to a lot of trouble to retcon that out from the RTD era. It'll probably never come up again.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:44 AM on November 9, 2014


The good people of Britain certainly seemed unimpressed by a police box dematerialising in plain view in the middle of a busy street...
posted by sobarel at 10:18 AM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


sobarel, I mentioned the very same thing to my wife last night. That wasn't the first time they've had it out there on that street, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:28 AM on November 9, 2014


This was pretty much what I wanted out of a finale and probably for me was the best finale of the new series so far (which isn't saying a lot, to be fair, given that the finales have included such low points as Tinkerbell Jesus). It hit the right notes in general and even gave us some payoff for all the Danny-Clara-Doctor Not Romantic triangle we've suffered through this season. I'm glad we got Kate back and I admit to tearing up at seeing Cyber-Brig. And I don't think we've seen the last of the Master: hopefully even as Missy, as the extras suggested--but I watched Fivey when he was the hot new freshness and I remember the Master surviving a lot of "no one could possibly have survived that" endings.

Also, while as usual the male companion-type got a great arc (see: Rory, Mickey), Clara really got some meat out of her arc as well--and it's not being retconned out by a memory wipe for her own good, either.

The doctor doesn't even need to be there now, events just happen around him.

This is not exactly how it works for me. It's more like a callback to a classic series trend in which the Doctor helps people make their decisions about how to save the universe but doesn't have to be the hero and save it himself every time. I prefer this "helping wanderer" phase to the heavily Doctor-centric action we had in earlier Nu Who.
posted by immlass at 10:45 AM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


It was the CyberBrigadier - he zaps her and then points to where he's left Kate. The special effect for the zapping was the same as the teleport though, so it's all left ambiguous.

No, it was different. It was a disintegrating particle effect. The teleportation effect was a kind of vertical smearing. And yeah, it was definitely the CyberBrigadier who shot her: you could see the beam come in from offscreen.

Well I'd bet Osgood makes a comeback.

I certainly hope so. That was an unnecessarily dark end for a charming character with lots of promise.
posted by painquale at 11:09 AM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


The cynical side of me, which I generally try to stuff under the sofa cushions when we're watching Doctor Who, has had some unpleasant thoughts about Osgood and her fate as a stand-in for the superfans.

(Of course, I liked Osgood a lot.)
posted by wintersweet at 11:22 AM on November 9, 2014


The cynical side of me, which I generally try to stuff under the sofa cushions when we're watching Doctor Who, has had some unpleasant thoughts about Osgood and her fate as a stand-in for the superfans.

Moffat specifically addressed Osgood's death in the extras. He said he'd decided to kill someone the audience liked to establish how evil the Master was. Also, separately, the Doctor made noises about her as a companion and it didn't happen immediately, which was an in-text clue to me of bad things ahead, and that her death was likely to stick.

When I think about Moffat's relationship with the "super-fans", I remember that he was an enthusiastic fan writer himself long before he was tapped to write for the show. If he's killing the super-fan, on some level he's killing himself.
posted by immlass at 11:51 AM on November 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, someone on the AV Club commented that killing Osgood while she was wearing a bow tie and Converse was Moffat's metaphorical way of saying Ten and Eleven are history, Twelve is the Doctor now. Not sure if I buy that at all.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:52 AM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Moffat specifically addressed Osgood's death in the extras. He said he'd decided to kill someone the audience liked to establish how evil the Master was. Also, separately, the Doctor made noises about her as a companion and it didn't happen immediately, which was an in-text clue to me of bad things ahead, and that her death was likely to stick.


Yes, I agree, I figured her fate was sealed at that point. Anyway, I should go watch the extras after I get today's NaNo'ing in.

It'll be interesting to hear what Ingrid Oliver has to say at Gallifrey One this February. :)
posted by wintersweet at 11:56 AM on November 9, 2014


And also the fact that, bearing in mind the point is the Doctor's been given an army that will do whatever he says, he could have just flown them into the cloud himself but, you know, good scene still

Quite a big difference between the two morally. I was also assuming that the soldierly sacrifice of the ordinary people turned Cybermen was a reference to this being shown the weekend of Rememberance Sunday.
posted by biffa at 12:06 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, when the Cybermen died, their souls went back to the afterlife, which is quite literally an alien hard drive secreted in a hidden dimension inside St Paul's Cathedral.

I realise everyone already knows that, but wanted to say it sort of out loud and savour the bonkersness of it.
posted by Grangousier at 12:06 PM on November 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


We finally watched this just now. I'm vastly amused that Missy/Master's plot was basically Plan 9 from Outer Space.
posted by gamera at 1:22 PM on November 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


Moffat's big idea for next series' arc: Schadenfreude.
posted by Catblack at 2:01 PM on November 9, 2014


So, when the Cybermen died, their souls went back to the afterlife, which is quite literally an alien hard drive secreted in a hidden dimension inside St Paul's Cathedral.

Is that spelled out? I got the impression that they were deleted (because they weren't actually souls, but just data) and they are all really gone now.

I've been a vocal Moffat defender for his whole tenure, but I think I'm now in the camp that says it's time to give someone else a turn. This story could have been great with almost any creature other than the Cybermen. I mean, what about that alien fleshy white goo from 11, the stuff that they made clones from? Anything but Cybermen. We were all yelling at the screen, when they were coming out of the tombs, "WHERE THE HELL DID THE METAL COME FROM AND HOW DID IT GET UNDERGROUND?!?!" Magical Particles are starting to get a little old, and they feel lazy.

Everyone in my viewing group agreed, in looking back on this season, that it was fine, great in a few places, but we just never got invested in it. 12 hasn't clicked yet. And there was tons of setup for the whole soldier thing, which kinda got brought around, but it feels like there's a bunch of stuff missing. The last few episodes felt amateurishly edited from a story standpoint, and I wonder how much more story there is that got cut.

And Clara, oh Clara, we hardly knew ye. And Danny Pink deserved much, much better than what he got.
posted by jbickers at 2:18 PM on November 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


I got the impression that they were deleted (because they weren't actually souls, but just data) and they are all really gone now.

When Danny is talking to Clara through the portal thingy he says "This place is dying now" so ... I suppose they went back to the Nethersphere (somehow) and it then shut down (for some reason)? Working out how the bracelet was blown up with CyberDanny and got into the digital realm, and then was able to transport out a real body is a bit of a head-scratcher too. Clara is also going to have an interesting time travelling to the Middle East and explaining to some bewildered parents why their dead child is suddenly back.

Seem like the sort of loose ends that the Doctor should really have tied up, but then he was happy enough to let the reanimated corpse of his old friend disappear off to who knows where in Iron Man 3 stylee...
posted by sobarel at 2:51 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I doubt Clara would bring the kid back to his home by herself. She's more likely to ask Kate to help somehow.
posted by plastic_animals at 3:26 PM on November 9, 2014


> "WHERE THE HELL DID THE METAL COME FROM AND HOW DID IT GET UNDERGROUND?!?!"

Yeah. Or, indeed, how did metal magically form itself around bodies lying in the morgue? I'll confess that annoyed me.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 3:27 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the Night of the Living Dead vibe in the cemetery, though. They're coming to get you, Claaara.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 3:28 PM on November 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Clara is totally preggers. Notice at the end, when she's talking to the Doctor, and she looks outside wistfully... It's not the TARDIS she's looking at, but the carousel next to it. Immediately after that she tells the Doctor "Danny and I are going to do just fine." Because she's thinking of the child. (Danny Jr.?)
posted by litlnemo at 4:04 PM on November 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Aaarrrrggghhh ugggghhh dammit litlnemo.

DO NOT WANT
posted by wintersweet at 4:09 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I know everyone would like the next Doctor to be a woman, but I think what this show really needs is for the next showrunner to be a woman.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:11 PM on November 9, 2014 [46 favorites]


Yes! Hear, hear kittens for breakfast. (And may it be as soon as possible. I'm not a Moffat hater, but I'm really ready for him to be done.)
posted by rikschell at 4:41 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I know everyone would like the next Doctor to be a woman, but I think what this show really needs is for the next showrunner to be a woman.

The complaining about a man being chosen while Moffatt is still the show runner is weird. With him being a long-time superfan, he may have been the best person to write Day of the Doctor and did a great job. But with the anniversary over, at this point I'd rather have him step down and still contribute one or two episodes a year than completely burn out and not be back at all. His individual episodes are better than his season long arcs anyway.

The real problem is that the new series has only had one woman writer and not since 2008.
posted by Gary at 6:00 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Cool, if somewhat gratuitous, Mary Poppins reference as well.

Considering her murderous tendencies, we've been calling her "Carrie Poppins"...

Also, Re Osgood: When the Master killed Tremas in The Keeper of Traken, Anthony Ainley ended up with a pretty long-running gig. Ingrid Oliver might do the same... (not my actual theory).
posted by Mad_Carew at 7:57 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was pretty satisfied with this, inasmuch as it felt like it was as good as it could be given the season that preceded it.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:03 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I keep laughing at this.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:30 PM on November 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


I'm now fixed with the terrible surety that Moff is a huge fan of Supernanny.
posted by sobarel at 5:21 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Quite a big difference between the two morally. I was also assuming that the soldierly sacrifice of the ordinary people turned Cybermen was a reference to this being shown the weekend of Rememberance Sunday.

Yeah, that's a fair point. I took Danny being handed the bracelet as the means of him controlling the Cybermen. Instead did he persuade the Cybermen to remember The Power of Love with the bracelet only of any import for that weird coda? I like the idea of it tying in with the Remembrance celebrations.

(Am curious to see if anything happens with CyberBrig incidentally. What happens when the world's greatest soldier becomes the world's most powerful cyborg? Would actually be quite fun if he came back and took over UNIT again.)
posted by Hartster at 6:00 AM on November 10, 2014


What I don't get is why Missy had all the Cybermen in the first place. She didn't seem to want to destroy the Doctor or even take over the world and her offer to give them all over to him seemed... last minute. I mean, there's an elaborate set-up and a foiling of it by the Doctor, but what exactly was she even trying to accomplish? It's thin even by Who standards.
posted by GuyZero at 3:59 PM on November 10, 2014


I think we are meant to take Missy at her word: She is "bananas" and came up with this elaborate, and not particularly sensible, plan to make the Doctor appreciate and respect her. That's been the unstated subtext to many of the Master's plans over the years.

It's a nice contrast between the two. The Doctor bumbles along, solving problems when he can, while The Master/Missy always has a plan and that plan always creates problems.
posted by plastic_animals at 8:13 PM on November 10, 2014


Most of what I'd say has been said, so I'll just complain here again about the sound mix, which made it impossible to understand key moments of dialog.
posted by dhartung at 1:17 AM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not so much the sound for me, but some of the musical choices seemed off, especially the bit where Missy kills Osgood.
posted by biffa at 1:44 AM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's not clear whether Missy's end goal was to actually give the Doctor an army and make him turn bad that way, or to force him to kill her and turn bad that way. There's some indication that she hooked Clara up with the Doctor because Clara would be headstrong enough to threaten Missy's life, which would cause the Doctor to take over. (Hence the "You win." ... "I know.") I think, probably, the first plan was the main one and the second one was a backup plan.
posted by painquale at 2:24 AM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think what this show really needs is for the next showrunner to be a woman or a badger or a small electrical kitchen appliance or literally anyone or anything other than Moffat.

So tired of Moffat's "Ooh, look how profound I'm being!" incoherent style of storytelling.

"That's nice, Steven, but that last scene didn't really make much narrative sense--"

"PROFOUND!"

I am also sick nigh unto death of companions who are the Most Super Special Secret Awesome Person in the Universe around whom everything and everyone revolves. Bring back the ones who are just traveling companions and not the Key to the Universe or whatever.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:11 AM on November 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


Hurrah! I'm DONE.

\o/

For a while now, I've been watching Doctor who and not really enjoying it because I'm a Docotor Who fan and I've always been a doctor who fan and it's a big part of my life and my social circle.

But this season, and this two part finale in particular were so weighted to the I'm hating this less than I'm enjoying it scale, that I can finally truly say I'M DONE.

I'll come back if/when Moffat leaves.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:19 AM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not so much the sound for me, but some of the musical choices seemed off, especially the bit where Missy kills Osgood.

Yeah, it suddenly went all Danny Elfman whimsy which was jarring. The only times I've noticed the music this year have been when it's seemed tonally incongruous, and therefore distracting.

Oh, an exception worthy of note: the sombre score during the looking for Gallifrey bit. That was really effective I thought.
posted by sobarel at 9:34 AM on November 11, 2014


The sooner they get rid of the Companion Who's More Competent Than the Doctor dynamic, the better. Anyone else remember when the Doctor was the competent one?
posted by grubi at 11:14 AM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Still annoyed by this episode. I loved Dark Water, and had such high hopes for this one!

Off to look for Lacuna, Inc....
posted by johnofjack at 12:43 PM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just struck me that it would be nice if they brought Seb back with the Mistress - because he's just an AI (so he can't really be vaporised) he's the one character that can refuse to take the Mistress seriously, but she kind of needs him to do stuff (or needs someone so it might as well be him). Permission to squee, indeed.
posted by Grangousier at 2:04 PM on November 11, 2014


OH MISSY, YOU'RE SO FINE! YOU'RE SO FINE, YOU BLOW MY MIND! HEY MISSY! HEY MISSY!

OK, I'm better now. Just needed to let that out.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:24 PM on November 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


I am also sick nigh unto death of companions who are the Most Super Special Secret Awesome Person in the Universe around whom everything and everyone revolves. Bring back the ones who are just traveling companions and not the Key to the Universe or whatever.

What I want is companions with story arcs and agency. I like companions who, through their interactions with the Doctor, become more awesome. When we first saw Mickey, it was obvious that Rose should fly off with the Doctor. We run through the "I'm the tin dog" epiphany in School Reunion, and we end up with Mickey the rebel leader.

Same is true for classic Who companions. Turlough in Mawdryn Undead was an insufferable prick. Turlough in Enlightenment made a choice about who he wanted to be. Turlough in Planet of Shorts Fire was a Big Damn Hero. Lots of people hate Turlough, because he was unlikeable in the early part of his arc. I think he epitomizes what the Doctor can do and why the guy who goes around doing this calls himself The Doctor.

tl;dr: I agree, companions should become more awesome and then be replaced.
posted by Mad_Carew at 11:44 PM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


Hurrah! I'm DONE.

I'm done, too, except I'm not excited about it. I'm sad, like I'm breaking up with an old friend.

Man, I miss how enthusiastic I used to be for this show. I mean, I stuck with it through the shitty Colin Baker period. The show is objectively not as bad as it was back then, but I just have no patience for this crap now.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:21 AM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


I finally just dragged myself through watching the DVD's. I did not enjoy most of this season. I think Clara (mostly) got excellent writing, but most of the time it was off the damn rails and I was not enjoying it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:03 AM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most of what I'd say has been said, so I'll just complain here again about the sound mix, which made it impossible to understand key moments of dialog.

Hm. I've been assuming it was our old TV (it was state of the art in 1998!) that's been responsible for the at times muddy level of the dialogue.
posted by aught at 7:45 AM on August 19, 2015


I'm time traveling from the future where I've gotten around to watching this season.

We never saw how Danny came to not press the delete button on his iPad.

It's probably easily missed, but just before he goes to press it, you see the reflection of the boy that Danny killed, coming up from behind.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:50 PM on December 31, 2017


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