Doctor Who, Series 8: Death in Heaven review

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Image from: BBCamerica.com

WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. READ WITH CAUTION!!!!!!!!!

It feels strange and tragic that tonight, I shall not be sat relaxed on my brown cushioned chair with a cup of warm tea, ready to get engulfed in the world of the Doctor. No, I shall have to wait till Christmas until that can next happen. But in the mean time, why don’t I review the last episode of series 8, Death in Heaven. So what did I think of Part two of the finale, and what is my overall rating for the two parter? That shall be explored in this review. To recap, the last episode ended with three cliffhangers. Clara trapped with a Cybermen, Danny ready to delete his emotions, and the Doctor witnessing the Cybermen leaving “Heaven,” and coming into public with Missy, who it turns out is the Master. How was the payoff? Well to start off with Clara tricks the Cybermen into thinking she is in fact The Doctor. This scene was well acted and for the most part well written, with a few issues. The main problem is that wouldn’t the Cybermen have noticed Clara’s non-timelord biology when they scanned her? Another issue has nothing to do with the scene, but more so with the editing. The opening. They switched Capaldi and Jenna’s name on the opening to make people think that Clara faking this out actually meant something. To make matters worse they even put Clara’s eyes in the opening! WHAT THE HECK!!!!!!!!!!! I know this had nothing to do with the episode in the end, but it was quite dumb and Moffat didn’t need to do this. AT. ALL. Practical joke time with Moffat!!! But in the end the scene was good. Something some people have been annoyed with is that this is all the payoff for Flatline. Truthfully, I would have to agree, however if the writers are smart this could not be the last time the Clara as the Doctor thing is visited. The scene with the Cybermen outside St. Paul’s with The Doctor and Missy was good, and the highlight was defiantly when the crowd turned out to all be UNIT troops. Then Kate Stewart came in and tossed the classic Cybermen head down.(from the invasion) I loved this little bit, and it would’ve been awesome if this was not seen by fans during filming and kept a surprise. However there was no point in this scene other than UNIT capturing Missy and the Doctor. Also, what was the point of pollinating? Yes I know to make more Cybermen men,but if the way to make more Cybermen was just to explode the 91 you have, why not just use the 91 you have? I have more to say about the Cybermen later. Onto Danny. The resolution of Danny and his emotions? None. Really, It was not shown weather or not he deledted his emotions. This came across as sloppy, and all we saw was a shot of Danny and the kid gawking at the Cybermen. Then Danny came back…with emotions. I was left hanging until he came back as a Cybermen, and this came off as sloppy, not suspenseful. However it did make for one of the best moments of the episode, The Cyber-Danny. First, I think I’ll touch upon the Cybermen as a whole in this episode. They were the WORST. The Worst thing about the episode, and the worst the Cybermen have ever been portrayed. I say portrayed Ha! That would imply they did something. This is up there with the cybermen getting DESTROYED by two shots of a Dalek gun in Doomsday. Except here, they did nothing. They could have just been robots. They should’ve brought back the Robots from Robot of Sherwood. I LOVED those Robots, and they were headed for the promised land. Now that would’ve been AWESOME!!!! I think those robots needed more time. But back to the Cybermen, they sucked here. Why? Well, they did nothing, and did not come across as a threat, just as toy soldiers. Granted, they did have some cool moments, like when they came up from the grave, but other than that, the Cybermen were horrible mistreated here. I think they were more menacing in Nightmare in Silver. Not everyone was a fan of it, but I really quite like it, and the Cybermen were portrayed really well in it. But that’s another review. Back to death in heaven, one good thing about the Cybermen here though, was the Cyber-Danny. I think it was genius to see inside the Cyberman, and I felt so sorry for Danny. The acting by Samuel Anderson, and the Makeup effects were fantastic together, and I found it hard to look at for awhile. It was great to show what’s inside Cybermen, and to show they are converted humans, something which has been missing from the revived series. Other than that, they literally just stood around for most of the episode. Another highlight was the plane scene. Defiantly the best use of the Cybermen was when they crashed the plane. It was done well, and the way The Doctor got back into his TARDIS was cool. I’m still sort of unclear on how Kate survived. I was mixed about The Brig as a Cybermen. It seemed like an okay enough concept,but REALLY fan-fictiony, and a bit insulting to the late Nicholas Courtney. Such a shame he never lived to feature in an episode with 12. I think the way they handled his death in Wedding of River Song was good,and the painting on the plane in this one was beautiful. The Cybermen seemed like a bit much, and I’m still mixed about it. Missy was okay. I’m sorry to say this, and this has nothing to do with Michelle Gomez’s performance, but until we get more next series, She’s my sixth favorite Master.

1. Peter Pratt

2. Roger Delgado 

3. Antony Ainley

4. Derek Jacobi 

5. John Simm

6. Michelle Gomez 

7. Eric Roberts

I feel bad saying that, but when it comes down to it, look at her screen time. In the first ten episodes, put all of her cameos together, you have about one minute thirty seconds. Then for most of Dark Water she pretended to be a robot. By the time Death in Heaven came along, she didn’t have that much time to prove herself as a Master. Good, but not great. Next up is deaths. The name couldn’t be anymore perfect. We had a lot of deaths, or quite a few. Seb, was the first to go. His death was quick and funny, the rest…. Well to start off I’ll speak of Danny’s death. I think he had the best of the episode, and it was heartbreaking. I think more could have been done with him,but at the same time I think that his end scene was so awesome, when he lead the Cybermen up to explode. Osgood however, I wasn’t as happy with. I loved her in Day of the Doctor, and was happy to see her back here, as sort of a member of the new UNIT family, but no, she had to be killed off in standard Moffat fashion. I didn’t even like her death, and it felt rushed. Although, I did love Missy crushing her glasses. That was a nice touch. Reminds me of the movie, Take the Money and Run, with Woody Allen, always gets his glasses smashed in that one. But back on topic, I think that Osgood really shouldn’t have died, at least not now. That’s the main problem I had with it, was that I wanted to see more of her.  While not the most complex character,she was an amazing tribute to Whovians, and I was sad to see her go. The ending with the Doctor not finding Gailfrey was a bit of a kick in the nuts, but I liked Capaldi getting pissed and smashing the TARDIS. He’s come a long way since Peter Davison and Paul McGann…

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I liked how they both lied to each other. In the end, What did I think of Dark Water/Death in Heaven. Well, It was good. There was room for A LOT of improvement, but in the end, I found it to be a fun, watchable episode, just not the best.

6/10

So, that’s about it for series 8. I’ll be doing an episode ranking some time soon, and a Thoughts before broadcast and review for the Christmas special. So what’s to come other than the aforementioned? Well, I’m on part four of the classic episode The Space Museum, with William Hartnell, so expect a review of that in the foreseeable future, as well as the episodes after that as I’m trying to review most of the Hartnell episodes. But that’a about for me. I hope you enjoyed my series 8 reviews. I can’t to see you at Christmas, and for Series 9. In the meantime, stay tuned for the Space Museum!

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