Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Doctor Who 8.12: "Death in Heaven"

“I had a friend once, we ran together when we were little. I thought we were the same. But when we grew up, we weren’t and now she’s trying to tear the world apart and I can’t run fast enough to hold it together. The difference is this. Pain is a gift.”
- The Doctor

Well folks, we’ve reached the end (save the Christmas Special) of the Twelfth Doctor’s first run. While I know a lot of people were surprised by the twist as to Missy’s identity, I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I’d seen a few other theories about who she was (other Time Ladies basically) which I think would have been far more interesting stories to tell. The Master and the Doctor have been done to death (quite literally in the Master’s case). Besides, I much preferred John Simm in the role. But that bit of annoyance aside, let’s find out how this whole scenario pans out. When last we left our gang, Cybermen were stalking the streets of London, Clara cut off communication with Danny because he kept saying “I love you” and Danny is contemplating ‘deleting’ his emotions and becoming a Cyberman himself.

Clara gets caught by one of the Cyberman but with some quick thinking she convinces it that she’s the Doctor and that she shouldn’t be upgraded or killed. Yeah I doubt that’s going to last long. Down on the streets of London, people aren’t running in fear from the Cybermen. They’re taking selfies and such. Don’t they remember when Cybermen came through from the alternate universe and tried to kill everyone? A familiar face pops up and offers to take the Doctor and Missy’s photo when we realize that all the people are UNIT agents and Kate Stewart walks up. Through a bit of exposition and some explosions, we learn that there were 91 Cybermen in St. Paul’s (one for every county in the UK) and one explodes and becomes a giant raincloud. Everywhere in the world this is happening. Back in the Nethersphere, Danny is told that he’s going home back to his body (with a bit of an upgrade). UNIT knocks out both Missy and the Doctor as part of their plan (we have no idea what that is at the moment) and before the Doctor passes out, he warns them to guard the graveyards. We see the storm clouds starting to rain just over a cemetery and then the water trickles everywhere. They’re going to raise the dead.

The Doctor wakes up and he’s handcuffed to the wheel of a big plane. Turns out there are certain protocols in place for big-scale incursions like this and the world leaders have made the Doctor the President of the World. Yeah, he’s not particularly happy about that. We do get a nice little bit of banter with him and Kate about her father though which is a nice call-back. It seems Moffat is more willing to do that than call back to RTD. But, I must admit that there are a few callbacks to prior issues with both the Master and Cybermen. It seems that they didn’t fly the last time they were here (when Torchwood London fell). And in a morgue, a body comes back and it turns out to be Danny. He’s got his memories thankfully and he ends up rescuing Clara from a few other Cybermen still inside St. Paul’s. She’s rattling on about being from Galifrey and the type of TARDIS the Doctor pilots. We get a mention of four dead wives (one of those is presumably River) and Jenny as well.

Back on whatever the Whovian equivalent of Air Force One is, the Doctor and Missy have a little chat about their home planet. Thankfully we get a reference to “End of Time” (I was worried we wouldn’t). Missy knows where Galifrey is but she’s not telling anyone. As the Doctor heads off to give orders, Missy activates some kind of bracelet. Clara comes to in a graveyard which is concerning since the rain clouds that make the Cybermen are moving towards it. Not that she’ll obviously be turned into one but yeah, not a smart place to be. It’s kind of sad as a bunch of the Cybermen just sort of walk around in circles, unsure what to do. But she spots the one who rescued her and after she goes on about how the Doctor is her best friend and the one person in the universe she’d always forgive and never lie to, Danny pulls off the front piece of the Cyberman helmet. He’s really not looking so good all dead and such. He begs Clara to activate the emotional inhibitor but I’m thinking she can’t. Also way to make your boyfriend feel bad about himself going on about all those things you see in another man.

Speaking of the Doctor, he’s got his own problems onboard the plane. Sally and the guards get vaporized by Missy and she signals a whole mess of Cybermen to come attack the plane. The Doctor is furious (as he should be) and goes to confront her and she rambles on about how she kept him and Clara together (she was the woman in the shop…which leads to a very brief Eleventh Doctor flashback) but we don’t quite know why. Other than Missy thinks Clara is perfect. The TARDIS phone is ringing and I’m thinking the Doctor really needs to answer it. Clara needs help activating the inhibitor but the Doctor refuses and so Clara gets miffed and tosses her phone away. She’s just going to start pressing buttons until one works.

Back on the plane, Missy is still wreaking havoc and Kate gets booted out of the plane (so she’s presumably dead which saddens me. I like her). Missy gets a lift off and the plane explodes. She pops back to the Nethersphere with Seb who she ultimately incinerates because he’s cheering on the Doctor for summoning the TARDIS. The Doctor arrives at the graveyard and tries to talk Clara out of what she’s doing. He gives Danny this whole big speech about having to feel emotions to be different but Danny has a point, the Doctor needs the tactical advantage of knowing the Cybermen’s plans and so he has to activate the inhibitor. So Clara does it and we learn that the clouds will just keep coming and there’s no way of stopping it. This of course is missy’s time to come give the big Evil Speech of Evil, complete with Cybermen safety briefing. She’s created all of these Cybermen as an army for the Doctor for his birthday (she’s nuts). She wants to show him that they aren’t so different after all. So all of this because she wanted her best friend back. I think Moffat is slipping a bit.

The Doctor flashes back throughout the season to all the times he questioned whether he was a good man or a hero or anything like that. He admits he is an idiot and gives Danny the control over the Cybermen. He commands them all to burn up the clouds and saves the day. Missy gives the Doctor the supposed coordinates of Galifrey (according to her it moved back to its original position) but she won’t get to see it with him. Clara wants to kill Missy but the Doctor does it instead because he doesn’t want to blacken Clara’s soul. The Doctor is genuinely sad about having to do it, too. I mean they were buddies a long time ago and you can’t just forget that. Oh and it would appear that Kate is alive. Her father (as a Cyberman) saved her and so the Doctor gives the Brigadier General a salute.

Two weeks later, Danny makes contact from the afterlife but instead of coming through, he sends the little boy he killed in action overseas. Clara isn’t exactly pleased by this but she’s got no choice really. She meets the Doctor in a shop a while later and they end up both lying to each other. She says that Danny is back and they are happy. He says he understands why she isn’t going to travel with him anymore and that he found Galifrey (he actually didn’t and kind of lost it in the TARDIS for a bit). So they sadly walk away from each other but apparently Santa Claus isn’t going to let them end things that way without one more adventure at Christmastime. We will see you in December Whovians!

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