Doctor Who – Dark Water

by Alan Rapp on November 3, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Doctor Who – Dark Water
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Doctor Who - Dark Water

The first-half of Doctor Who‘s two-part season finale begins with the death of a major character and ends with the return of a familiar foe (although not the one I was hoping for). Despite the mysterious set-up of 3W, a company providing afterlife for the recently deceased, “Dark Water” doesn’t work as well for me as it should since it relies so heavily on a relationship the season has never quite sold me on especially given the amount of foreshadowing about how important Danny Pink would be to Clara’s travels with The Doctor coming to an end.

Despite a glimpse into her future and expressing lines of dialogue that indicates she loves Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), the show hasn’t convinced me Clara‘s (Jenna Coleman) depth of affection is so strong she would be willing to blackmail The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and perhaps permanently disrupt the laws of space and time to bring her boyfriend back from the dead (only to likely collapse all existence on itself, destroying reality). Do I believe Rory would have taken such drastic action to save Amy? Yes. Do I believe Amy would have done the same? Maybe. Do I buy Clara’s level of betrayal (after living through all of The Doctor’s lives?)? Not really, no, but I do buy The Doctor’s reaction to the betrayal (more as an attempt to placate Clara than actually find heaven) that gets the episode back on the rails.

After Clara’s dramatic blackmail scene, which actually only took place in her own imaginings, The Doctor chooses to disregard the laws of space and time and go in search of wherever the recently departed Mr. Pink has found himself. Don’t get me started on the search for heaven or hell in a starship, because you only need to watch Star Trek V: The Final Frontier to see how that turned out. The trip leads the Time Lord and Clara to a very odd business, the return of the Cybermen (in a nicely-teased reveal), and the revelation of just who Missy (Michelle Gomez) truly is. Sadly, she’s not The Rani (whose work with the Cybermen would actually make far more sense given her bizarre experiments of the past) but… well, you know, spoilers!

With Cybermen marching through London, Danny Pink’s consciousness still trapped in the Nethersphere, and The Doctor leaning just who he’s dealing with, “Dark Water” ends on a strong cliffhanger with the fate of the world at stake. Missy’s reveal doesn’t justify the number of cameos we’ve gotten throughout the season teasing her appearance and “heaven” (pre-knowledge of neither adds anything of substance to the episode), and given the fact the character has already been used multiple times in New Who I was hoping for something a little more original. Still, the tease of the Cybermen doors and the reveal of the draining water tanks were both pretty damn cool.

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