A Day Late Review of “Dark Water”-Doctor Who Series 8


I don’t normally avoid spoilers when I write these reviews, and this time is no different.  However, I do want to call it out for sure this time.  If you have not watched “Dark Water” yet, please be advised that there will be spoilers in this review.  If you don’t want any of it to be spoiled, then please don’t read the review.  If you have already seen the episode, or the internet has already spoiled it for you, or you simply don’t care, then read on. As always, or at least, as of late, I will not be offering a recap of the episode, but simply, the god, the bad, and the final verdict.

The Good:

We got some questions answered.  Finally.  We know who Missy is.  Some people may not be happy about it, some people (including myself) may have been totally caught off guard, but we now know who she is.  We also got a glimpse of the promised land and how Missy ties into people dying and the afterlife.  Granted, these were only half answered questions, but it gives us hope that maybe answers are forthcoming.  I do realize that this is Moffat we are talking about, and he seems to like to answer his questions by creating more questions, but one can hope right?

Missy is the Master. Major spoiler here. At least it would have been for me, if I were reading this before I saw the episode, but that would actually be impossible to have happen, since it would create a paradox loop.  In another review of this episode, on the web site Stranger Views, the author mentions that the internet blew up with people who knew Missy was the Master.  I am with Mr. Ridley on this one, I had no idea.  I just wasn’t expecting that.  Now that it has happened, I am all for it.  I think it will bring a whole new dimension and dynamic to the Doctor/Master relationship, and I am hoping Missy will be around for a while.  This also puts to rest any lingering questions about whether the Doctor could possibly change genders through regeneration.  Moffat has definitely made that a possibility.

The Bad

All the other surprises, or at least the other big 2.  Danny Pink dies. Right out of the box.  There he goes, dead.  I was shocked.  He was by far the best thing about Clara this series, so it was sad to see him go, even though that is the event that sets this whole story in motion.  Still wish it didn’t have to be this way.  Of course, this is Moffat, so the nonchalance with which he dies should surprise no one, and he could very well be back, since Moffat’s characters rarely stay dead (see Rory, Clara, Sherlock, Moriarty, etc.).

The other big surprise was the cybermen.  Of course none of us had any idea that the skeletons were cybermen. Well, except for all of us who saw the promos.  The only person who was in the dark was the Doctor himself.  Apparently he had not seen the promos or the artwork that came out prior.  Obviously, the cybermen were the worst kept secret ever, in the history of keeping secrets.  Either this was just sloppy on the part of the producers, or this isn’t really the big surprise.  Maybe Missy was the big surprise, but I feel like there is more coming.

I say that, in spite of the fact that this episode almost didn’t end like a two parter.  The only real cliffhanger was whether Danny is going to delete himself or not.  Frankly, not enough to bring me back next week.  I mean, I will be back, but I would have been back regardless of the cliffhanger.  I am just not anticipating or wondering what is going to happen, and I feel like I should be.

The Final Verdict

This was part one of a two-part finale, but it felt like it was front loaded with all the surprises.  What is left for part two?  Will it all just be resolution to the Doctor and Clara relationship?  If so, I will poke my eyes out now.  I don’t think I can sit through an hour of that.  There are still a few questions that need to be answered, like is Missy the woman in the shop who gave Clara the Doctor’s number?  Personally, I say no.  I don’t see how that would serve her purpose.  Plus, in one of the promos, Clara is saying something about how she never really existed.  What is that all about?  Maybe it will be resolved in the finale.  Or the finale could just be one big set up for the Christmas special, which will be Clara’s last adventure.  Or, it could be that Moffat asks all these questions, and never gives us adequate answers just to mess with us.  I wouldn’t put it past him.

Jake Dietz
Jake Dietz is a humble bank employee by day, and super dad to 5 little monsters by night. He enjoys all things geeky. That's why he started this blog. He considers himself a member of many fandoms, and dreams of the day when all geeks, everywhere, can find a way to live together in harmony.