SPOILER ALERT :Over seas viewers be aware there are spoiler contents in this article if you have not yet seen the episode!
What a fantastic episode and a great debut for Michelle Gomez as the Master/Missy! A beautifully written episode which ,so far, answers many questions of this season. We saw characters being pushed to there limits such as Clara and Danny and the frightening meaning of 3W and the Doctor visiting old foes like he’s never seen them before!
Moffat really brought out the stock for this first part from the very beginning with Danny’s death. Throughout the series I haven’t felt an enormous amount of emotional attachment to Clara’s and Danny’s relationship which was made up with awkward conversations and dates. Although with the phone call between each other in this episode made you feel like you could really sympathise for Danny’s struggle to prove who he really is and his confusion of being dead. There were many flashbacks to Danny’s past as a soldier and the truth about his trauma that he killed a young boy. This was a very upsetting scene which was portrayed fantastically by Samuel Anderson. Without a doubt this was the best story this season about Danny and Clara’s relationship. It was an imaginative plot to put a sic-fi twist on the afterlife which won’t really effect the religious fans of the show revealing that it was in fact a Time Lord Matrix which referred back to the “Trial of a Timelord” which turned out to be a big clue before the reveal of Missy!
Subtle hints were placed throughout the story such as the Doctor’s bemusement when he felt Missy’s two beating hearts. With these hints it really narrowed down the options two the Rani or The Master. Whilst watching I personally thought Rani was the real identity and It would have been a great tribute to Kate O’Mara. On the other hand it was such a mysterious episode it kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole time. Even though it would have been nice to have a farewell to John Simm who in my opinion is one of the greatest Master’s of all time, it was nice to have a female villain and a Time Lady. There haven’t been many Time Ladies since the Rani and Romana in the classic Doctor Who and it is a great idea to have the Master as the woman. Since the speculation began of the 12th Doctor being a woman the doors were open to an array of new ideas for the Time Lords especially after their revival in the 50th Anniversary. of course many fans had figured out the connection between Mistress and the Master whereas others thought it was a wild goose chase or a red herring. Since Steven Moffat became show runner his arcs has had many loose end whereas in this story he has answered most of them very well without much confusion or dilemmas. It was a small arc like Russell T Davies’ were which expanded by the Doctor who community raising the question on social media and forums etc.
Keeping a simple is sometimes the key to a successful series and I’m sure it has payed off well for this series! Series 8 has had its ups and downs on terms of episodes and viewers and has caused many mixed reviews between Whovians. Personally I don’t believe that it has been a great series but has had very good and different episodes. It seemed to suit the oder viewers slightly more than the younger fans of the mad man,Matt Smith. I believe that Peter Capaldi has great potential if written in the write way. His Doctor has been slightly more stern than I had expected. I would have preferred if his darkness was similar to those such as David Tennant or Sylvester McCoy. Capaldi can certainly deliver a message brilliantly bringing a touch of gravitas to the programme and a very different relationship with Clara.
Rating: 9.5/10= It has certainly been the best episode of the series but missing the slight edge of past episodes but I can’t wait fore next weeks epic finale!
Doctor Who Extra- Dark Water