Sunday 2 November 2014

Dark Water - Review

Dark Water - or The One Where The Master Snogged The Doctor...
Yes, Missy turned out to be the latest incarnation of the Master - rather than that Classic Series Time Lady who was often called "Mistress" by her servants. If Moffat was going to bring back an existing Time Lady, why not the ready made Rani? Whilst I have loved Michelle Gomez's performances throughout the series so far, when it comes to her being a female Master I am yet to be persuaded.
Last year I firmly nailed my colours to the mast when I argued against a female Doctor - so I feel compelled to take the same stance when it comes to a female Master. For me, Lords are Lords, and Ladies are Ladies...
I shan't dwell too much on this episode, as it is, of course, just the first half of a bigger story.
Suffice to say that shock was piled upon shock. Danny Pink dies before the opening credits have ended. We then see Clara apparently betray and blackmail the Doctor - tossing TARDIS keys into a volcano.
This latter sequence proves to be a dream state - Clara acting out what she would have done in order to get the Doctor to save the man she loves.
We finally get to see the dreadful secret that Danny has been harbouring (taking us back to that earlier episode where he cast a tear when asked by a pupil if he had ever killed someone). The scene where he was confronted by the boy whom he had killed made for uncomfortable viewing. Rather than dwell on the big reveal of Missy's true identity, and the image of Cybermen once more thronging around St Paul's Cathedral, the episode actually ended with Danny poised to delete his emotions - one assumes condemning him to also become a Cyberman.
The Cybermen, I suspect, will turn out to be merely window dressing. This was the story of Danny & Clara, and I expect next week's final episode to concentrate in this area.
Jenna Coleman was brilliant. Samuel Anderson also. I think we are also finally getting to see the real Twelfth Doctor. Capaldi had some of his wonderful put-down lines, and was wonderful throughout.
A couple of things still to be explained - such as what the Nethersphere has to do with non-human lifeforms like the Half-Face Man and the Sherwood Knights.
The Dark Water of the title seemed to serve no purpose other than to provide some gruesome imagery, and provide the big Cyberman reveal. Have to admit, despite knowing Cybermen were to feature, I didn't spot the single Cyber-eye motifs - only the double ones on the doors when their signature theme kicked in.
Did you spot that one of the spare TARDIS keys was hidden in a copy of "The Time-Traveller's Wife".
And, whilst Danny got run over outside the National Museum of Wales, the TARDIS materialised inside it - the usual give-away statue of Perseus on the stairs being cunningly hidden behind a plinth.
Looking forward to next week, let us hope that the second half of the story builds on the success of the first. That's something which is never guaranteed when it comes to recent two-parters...

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