from the pages of the 1970 TV Comic Annual…
Next – Season 6B: Exiled To Earth!
After last week’s revelation that Missy was The Master, there were still plenty of questions that we were looking forward to getting the answers to in this ep. But the answers we get in part two often fall short of the questions set up in part one so I was prepared for the conclusion not to be as good as the set up. It wasn’t a letdown but we still didn’t get answers to a lot of our questions about MissyMaster. So that was a wee bit frustrating but then again, maybe Moff doesn’t know the answers himself yet.
Michelle Gomez’s Missy is wonderfully bonkers and I cannot believe for one moment that, with a performance like that, she won’t be back. She will be. Maybe not in Series Nine but she will be. Her killing poor old Osgood was really rotten of her but at least Osgood stayed dead, unlike Kate Stewart. To my mind, if you’re going to do it, then do it, don’t pull a rabbit out of the hat like that, it feels like a cheat. Yes, I suppose CyberBrig makes sense in context but I’m sure there will be those who think it rather distasteful that the old boy ended up Cyber’d. And where was he when CyberDanny sent the Cybs on their suicide mission? He flew up into the sky when it was all over but we didn’t see him go boom so where is CyberBrig? And of course, all the graves of Planet Earth are empty now, the implications of which will keep fanbrains occupied for ages. And yes, I loved the “Squee” gag.
Clara pretending to be the Doctor was pretty obv but the whole CyberDanny thing was a bit overplayed I thought. Given the scene with Clara and her Gran in the previous ep I had the impression that Clara trying to save him was some time after that but now it looks like it was the same day. I’m no expert but surely Danny would have been locked in the freezer instead of being – conveniently – on a slab? The Power of Lurve saving the day was a bit sugary but Moff has form for this kind of thing, writing what was essentially a variation on Auton Rory. I would have thought Clara’s Mum would have been a better candidate and I’m surprised she never featured in the show. Clearly her Mum’s death isn’t that important to Clara as she never for a second thinks about one of those Cybermen being her Mum – I would have though the love of a parent for their child would outstrip a BF in the Lurve stakes anyday but seems The Moff didn’t think so.
Danny not coming back also made sense, so it seems the Doctor was right and the Power of Pain [fuelled by guilt] trumps the Power of Lurve. Only I can’t help but wonder how Clara explained the child to Social Services or the Home Office. It seems Twelvy is unaware of the boy so he can’t have pulled a few strings with Kate to get him back to Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever he came from, so what did Clara do with him???
And then we’re at the cafe and the “Eastenders” scene of two people both lying to each other, or two people both failing to tell the other how they really feel. I can understand why some people might think it works but I didn’t believe it for a second. And once again it’s all Clara’s fault. Jenna Coleman has given some great turns as Clara this series but I can’t help but feel glad that she’s gone. If she is gone. I have a horrible feeling that this might be one of those Moffat misdirection things and they’ve filmed a scene for the end of the Special where Twelvy turns up at Clara’s for Xmas dinner. Is it wrong of me to hope that maybe that doesn’t happen?
Overall Series Eight has been the one I’ve enjoyed most since Series Four [Ten & Donna] and on this form I’m already looking forward to Series Nine, and the next anniversary – Ten Years of New Who.
SATISFACTION LEVEL FOR SERIES EIGHT? – 8/10
FRUSTRATION LEVEL FOR SERIES EIGHT? – 4/10
ANTICIPATION LEVEL FOR XMAS SPECIAL – 5/10
SERIES EIGHT – Best To Worst
The most anticipated regular episode of New Who for ages didn’t disappoint, even if the revelation that Missy is The Master didn’t have the impact that it might have, given that was what we were all expecting. The double bluff didn’t quite work, unless of course, she’s really the Rani and just messing with the Doctor’s head. That would be a twist on a twist that probably would work, but we’ll have to wait for that until next week.
I didn’t expect Danny to snuff it before the credits but there’s something rather appropriate about him having an “ordinary” death instead of the usual spectacular self-sacrifice that a lesser writer might have been tempted to go with. Again, no great surprises there as we all knew that Danny would die and that would be the reason Clara would “betray” him. That said, the “volcano” scene was brilliantly handled and good twist on the usual cop-out of “it was all a dream”. Yes, it was but a dream with a purpose. Nice one Moff.
Quite how Clara knows where the Doctor keeps all his spare keys I don’t know and anyway, this is a man who can open the doors with a click of his fingers – Clara closed them herself like that in Day of the Doctor – but you can put that one down to her not thinking straight because of her grief. And speaking of grief, I don’t know that we need be that concerned about kids being traumatised by the idea that the dead stay conscious. It was kyboshed pretty soon afterwards by Missy saying that everyone in the Data Slice only thinks they are in Heaven. That said, “don’t cremate me” was pretty chilling.
So, all in all, an episode that pretty much did what we expected of it, but not exactly in the way we expected it to do it. The X-ray water reveal was a nice idea, even if we could see it coming but the danger is that whatever comes next – UNIT v Flying Cybs – will seem a bit of an anti-climax, because we can see where all this is going.
SATISFACTION LEVEL FOR THIS EPISODE? – 9/10
FRUSTRATION LEVEL FOR THIS EPISODE? – 1/10
ANTICIPATION LEVEL FOR NEXT EPISODE – 10/10
Next Time – Death In Heaven: So, what happens next? Well, the Doctor either will or won’t find a way to download Danny back into his body, which in turn will decided whether or not Clara stays with him.
SERIES EIGHT SO FAR?