1] EXPLODING TARDIS : We still haven’t seen any of that exploding Tardis footage that featured so heavily in all those Season Trailers. Or Twelvy getting electrocuted by the console telephone. So will any of that show up in DiH or was it all just for the publicising series eight? Impossible to tell but my gut instinct is that it was for publicity only.
2] WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? : Well, if we look back to the trailer we had at the end of In The Forest of The Night, there are quite a few images that we haven’t seen yet…
When we last saw Missy and Twelvy, they were outside St Paul’s. So the Cybs march out of the cathedral and down the steps, peeps think they’re some sort of performance art installation, the Cathedral’s dome opens and the buggers start flying around, thanks to the latest upgrade – Rocketeer Cybermen!
Clara, meanwhile, confronts the Dr Skarosa Cyberman, which is where she says “Clara Oswald has never existed”, whatever that means…
Presumably she escapes as the next shot of her seems to show her coming out of one of the cubicles and approaching three Cybs. Maybe this is the point where she realises that if she gets killed she gets reunited with Danny…
Meanwhile, the Doctor – and the Tardis – are taken aboard UNIT’s equivalent of Air Force One.
On board are Kate Stewart & Osgood. But the Cybs attack and Missy, who is also onboard, uses her Dr Chang-killing-gizmo to blow out the side of the plane, sending Twelvy plunging to his death…
…only I reckon he gets rescued by one of the Rocketeer Cybermen!
3] WHAT ABOUT DANNY? Danny is dead, or at least his body is, his mind has been uploaded to the Nethersphere, the Matrix Data Slice, the Gallifreyan Hard Drive where MissyMaster is storing all the deceased peeps. So it’s safe to assume that the Doctor will work out that it’s – theoretically – possible to download him again into his body. Question is, will he succeed? The answer to that one will, I reckon, decide whether or not Clara sticks around or calls it a day.
4] IS MISSY REALLY THE MASTER??? Well, it could very well be that Missy is really the Rani and she’s just messing with the Doctor’s head. If that’s what happens next ep then that would be a double twist but for the moment, there’s no reason to suspect that MissyMaster isn’t telling the truth. But what about this one remaining unaccounted for shot from that ITFOTN trailer –
Her sudden intake of breath suggests that maybe she’s been clobbered and is waking up on the UNIT plane – how else does she get onboard?
Or maybe someone else gets downloaded into her head? The Doctor perhaps? Clara? Danny? Given the sheer number of minds inside the Data Slice it’s not outwith the realms of possibility that one of them could get downloaded into the wrong body. Which begs the question –
5] IS THIS JUST ANOTHER MIND-SWAP STORY? The old “Freaky Friday” mind-swap is a cliche that’s been around for years, playing as it does on ideas of identity, possession, madness and perception. The Avengers did it with “Who’s Who?” and The Prisoner did it with “Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling”. RTD even had a bash at it with the Psycho-Graft in New Earth so it’s just possible that the idea will play some sort of role in Death In Heaven.
I mean, if you have a space football full of the minds of the dead – which is all very Shada if you ask me – then it stands to reason that the story will make use of it, otherwise why include it? It’s also a nice nod to The Deadly Assassin, assuming that Data Slices are what Engin was referring to and there are lots of storytelling possibilities here for a mind to get downloaded into the wrong body. Maybe Clara gets herself killed, either accidentally or on purpose, to be reunited with Danny in the Data Slice. The Doctor uses the comms thingy on Chang’s desk to communicate with them and asks them if they want to risk being downloaded or if they want to stay where they are – given the sheer number of minds in there he can’t guarantee that the right mind will end up in the right body!
6] HOW LONG HAS MISSY BEEN COLLECTING DEAD PEOPLE? This is a really good question. We know that she started her collection at least as far back as Deep Breath, if not before. So that takes us back to somewhere 1894-ish, after the events of The Crimson Horror. But she isn’t just collecting people from Earth, she got trooper Gretchen Carlisle from Into The Dalek as well, so it’s not clear whether she’s only collecting people the Doctor failed to save or killed or whether, like the Policeman from The Caretaker, she collects everyone who dies.
7] HOW WILL THE DOCTOR WIN? Good question. Depends on what MissyMaster wants. With the Rocketeer Cybs roaming about it’ll be like The Battle of Canary Wharf all over again. I assume it’ll be something to do with some sort of Mind Swap Download thingy that will make the dead peeps who have been turned into Cybs aware of what has happened to them, making their heads explode as per The Age of Steel. Or maybe not.
8] DOES CLARA SAY GOODBYE? I suppose it all depends on whether Danny Pink stays dead or not. It’s clear from the final lot of Cardiff filming, footage we haven’t seen yet, that Clara survives…
… and it looks as if Twelvy leaves without her, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s leaving her behind. Throughout Series Eight we’ve seen Twelvy come and go, a bit like Three used to do with UNIT back in the day. So maybe he’s off for a Xmas ep on his own, giving her time to grieve for dear departed Danny before he comes back for her, or maybe this is her saying enough’s enough. Impossible to tell but if I had to make a prediction then I reckon she’s off – hope I’m wrong about that one!