Series 8 DVD Launch

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Death In Heaven Review

I can’t believe we’re at the finale already!  I’ve been away, and am just getting to watch the episode now.  Again, a write-while-viewing…

We left off with “Missy” turning out to be our old friend the Master, and we appear to be at the start of a Cyber-invasion.  My personal opinion is that although I love the Cybermen and the Master, I feel both villains need a rest.  However, I do understand that with the potential return of Gallifrey it does make sense to bring back some old foes.

This week we jump right in with Clara talking her way out of being killed by a Cyberman by saying she’s the Doctor.

Back to the Doctor and Missy.  Missy is playing on the fact that us poor stupid humans will assume the invasion is some sort of publicity stunt… sadly, I really believe this is what would happen in real life, especially if they were to look like something out of TV (like the Cybermen!).  Although… don’t people already know what Cybermen look like?  In the midst of trying to take a selfie, Missy is interrupted by Osgood!  YES!  I knew it was coming, but I didn’t expect her to jump in and offer to take a photo for them.  Of course we know right away that she’s up to something… after all…:

“Bow ties are cool” – Osgood

Our tourists all pull out guns and now we know where we stand.  Seconds later Kate is on the scene taking charge.  Some banter, then she puts the Cybermen in their place, although it appears the Doctor has forgotten that he’s on the payroll.  It doesn’t last long, since they then “blast off”.  Now, I was wondering how they’d find a new way to upgrade the machines, but I feel like we’re starting to border on ridiculous.  How far can we go with this?  The problem is that they’re appearing so often that it’s becoming impossible to make them more and more dangerous.

Only it’s not just a blast off.  The Cybermen are spreading out to every major city, “blowing up” and “pollinating” using the pieces.  This doesn’t even make sense to me!  There’s no plant or animal life left in them, right?  If that’s the case then it’s just not possible… *sigh* Fine, I’ll go with it.

We flash to Danny long enough to find out that the minds are being downloaded into the “upgraded” bodies. AKA the new Cybermen.

For some as yet unknown reason UNIT knocks out both Missy and the Doctor.  Just before passing out the Doctor tells Osgood to guard the graveyards.  This would make sense, since the dead definitely outnumber the living.  We flash to a giant cloud over just such a graveyard, where it begins to rain over the graves.  The scene with the lighting reminds me of something I’d see in The Walking Dead, but before the zombies actually start jumping out from behind things.  I take that back, because the water spreads to anywhere there are bodies and it even defies the laws of gravity to “upgrade” the dead.  Perhaps this is the only way they could show us the Cyber-Danny seeing himself and realizing what he’s become.

Still no sign of Clara, so I’m sure we’ll flash back to her later.

The Doctor wakes up chained with the TARDIS having been moved as well.  I’m not entirely sure why they bothered to chain him to release him as soon as he awoke, but at least they addressed the missing companion issue.  The plan seems to be to put the Doctor on a plane and make sure he’s hard to find while they carry out a plan.  They seem to have put him in charge of a bunch of soldiers, which is right up there with his worst nightmares.

“That’s your answer for everything, isn’t it?  Vote for an idiot.” – The Doctor

Yup, they’ve elected him president of the WORLD.  Well that’s interesting.  He’s got an awesome shocked face going on.  Plus it kind of looks like he’s drinking out of the saucer and not the teacup.  Anyone care to clarify?

Finally back to Clara, who’s actually doing a good job rattling off facts for the three Cybermen who now decide her fate.  A fourth Cyberman joins the party and when he says she really is Clara I’m assuming he’s Danny.  Then he starts rattling off facts about her and my resolve strengthens.  He knocks her out and now I’m certain, but just for confirmation he blows up the other three.  Yup, definitely Danny!  Poor guy.  So how did he manage to not turn out like the rest of him?  Why isn’t he controlled?  I’d like to think it’s just because he has wicked resolve, but I suspect that later it’s going to come down to his love for Clara.

Side note: I really should quit making predictions while I watch the episode, because when I’m proven wrong (and it does happen) I look kind of stupid.  Especially since I’m sure all of you who have read this far have already watched it.

Missy claims to know where Gallifrey is but won’t tell the Doctor, so he rubs it in that he’s ruling the world now.  So is she telling the truth?  Maybe, maybe not.  I’d definitely believe she would be lying, but as a plot point it makes more sense that she would know.  Right now though, Osgood shows she’s a smarty pants again and then points out the Cyber-clouds are expanding.  The news shows that Cybermen are rising from graves and the public is advised to stay away from cemeteries.

Of course that’s where Clara wakes up.  We have a bit of a suspense building scene with metal hands popping out from graves, although she doesn’t see them.  At least not right away.  We get a little cut scene where the Doctor explains that Missy is weaponizing the dead, but if you weren’t asleep so far you’ve already figured that out.  What you may not have figured out already is that Missy has been collecting minds basically forever, since she can use her TARDIS to jump through time to grab them all.

“Well look at me, I’m bananas.” – Missy

That’s for sure.  Missy uses that little gem to slip her handcuffs into Osgood’s pocket.  Now here’s what I don’t get.  Missy takes her handcuffs off, drops them in Osgood’s pocket and then puts on lipstick and the two armed guards behind her don’t notice?  And they don’t do anything when she makes a move for Oswin?  Come on now!  She then seems to turn Osgood into dust (Really?  That can’t be the end of her already) and set the plane all askew… or maybe that was the Cybermen outside?  It doesn’t take the Doctor long to figure out Missy is loose and what she’s done to Osgood.

We’re back to Clara.  She finds the one Cyberman that brought her there and gives him a piece of her mind.  She goes on about being the Doctor’s best friend and how he’s the closest person to her but all she’s doing is pushing Danny away.  He can’t shoot her, so he pulls off his mask.  Coleman plays this beautifully, with this mix of relief and shock and horror and shame.  It’s just well done.  He has no blue light in the middle of his chest like the other Cybermen.  At the moment he asks her to turn on his inhibitor I realize something I should have realized earlier.  He still has emotions because he didn’t take the option to switch them off in the Nethersphere.  I really want this to work out and to find a way to bring him back, but at the same time I think it would make a better episode for them to fail him and to not be able to help…  Imagine the heartbreak, what it would do to Clara, what it would do to the Doctor to see what it would do to her.  How would that affect their relationship?  There are so many ways that could go.

Back on the plane Missy confirms my suspicions that she was the girl with his phone number all along.  She was the one keeping them together (which we already knew, but this is confirmation) with the computer help line, the ad in the newspaper… We even get a wonderful flash from a Matt Smith episode in there.  The whole time the phone is ringing, and who else would be calling?  Clara, to ask for the advise of her best friend.  Only she doesn’t want advise… she wants permission.  She wants him to say it’s okay to destroy Danny’s emotions and turn him into one of them to make the pain stop, even knowing he’ll kill her as soon as she does it.  Really though, she wants saving.  She wants to destroy Danny’s emotions and then have the Doctor swoop in and save her.

But he has his own problems, like Missy throwing Kate out of a plane.  I don’t see why he can’t jump in the TARDIS, grab Clara, grab Kate (and whoever else) then save the day.  Maybe I’ve gotten used to expecting too much timey-wimey.  While I ponder that, Missy zaps herself out of there.  The plane blows up and the Doctor starts falling.  He has a very Bond like scene where he chases his TARDIS in midair and jumps inside.  Maybe I’ll get the ending I was expecting after all.

When the Doctor arrives, Clara and Danny both seem to be in denial about what he’ll do to her.  Capaldi is wonderful here.  As he looks over Danny he plays out beautifully human emotions.  A nice little speech to convince him to keep his emotions but then we learn that Danny can’t see into the Cybermen hive mind without inhibiting his emotions.  So what do you do now?  You need to know what will happen but you don’t want to destroy the human being.  Clara steps up and again tells the Doctor to do as he’s told.  This wouldn’t be believable at all if we hadn’t been building up to it all season.

The Doctor needs to walk away, because this is actually killing him.  It’s killing all of them, really.  Clara says her goodbyes as she takes the screwdriver and does what she needs to do.  Danny also gets his goodbyes in as he “dies” and the Cyberman is born.  This scene was very well done.  As he’s activating he tells the Doctor that the rain will fall again and kill the rest of humanity.

Missy gets a Mary-Poppins style entrance then demonstrates she has full control over the Cybermen.  In the arrival scuffle Clara gets her device.  I kept waiting for Missy to make the Cybermen do the Hokey Pokey but no such luck.  As Missy was yakking, I noticed that none of the Cybermen in the cemetery had their inhibitors on.  Maybe this is just an oversight, but I don’t find that likely seeing as how they made a major plot point out of Danny’s.

Missy wishes the Doctor “Happy Birthday” and appears to give him control of the Cyber-army.  She tells him the only way to save the people of Earth is to conquer the universe.  She wants him to know they’re not that different.  She’s right in a way, they’re not.  Missy has always wanted to rule over everything, and the Doctor has always wanted to be in charge even if he didn’t want to admit it.  They’ll both go to unbelievably great lengths to get what they want, making huge sacrifices.  We get great flashbacks showing that the Doctor may not be the good man he’s always wanted to be and that there is hate in his heart… but that’s true of most humans, even the good ones.  But it’s what happens when faced with the tough decisions that really determine what kind of a person you are.  In this case the Doctor is reminded that he isn’t a good man.  He’s reminded that he’s “an idiot with a box and a screwdriver.”

We’re back to the love that Danny has for Clara.  The Doctor gives control of the army to Danny, who he knows will never hurt Clara.  To keep her safe, he orders his army to rise into the clouds and burn them.  It’s the end of Danny Pink.  However, we’ve seen the future.  We know that he has decedents.  So is time being rewritten here, is Clara pregnant, or will Danny return somehow?

Missy gives up the coordinates for Gallifrey.  It seems she just wants her old friend back and doesn’t care if that means she’ll go back as a prisoner.  I don’t buy that.  Clara wants to kill her but the Doctor says he’ll do it to save her soul.  Missy wants to know who will save his soul.  He raises to fire and someone beats him to it.  It looked like Danny, but this Cyberman was wearing a mask…  The Cyberman points and they find Kate, alive, in the grass.

We quickly find out that this one is Kate’s father.  His inhibitor isn’t active either, and it seems he saved Kate.  He finally gets his salute from the Doctor before blasting off, but they never show what happens to him.

A couple of weeks later Danny visits Clara using the bracelet.  We learn it has enough power to bring one person back, but instead of saving himself he sends through the boy he killed.  To appease his conscious?  I think that although I understand what he was trying to do, this is in many ways the wrong way to go.  Assuming his parents are still alive, they’ve long ago accepted the death of their son, and by not saving himself he’s causing Clara pain for the rest of her life.  To me that sounds as though it’s not the best option.  But alas, it’s about dramatic impact.  Danny tasks Clara with finding the boy’s parents.

The Doctor arrives, and assumes that Danny is back.  He also assumes Clara is leaving the TARDIS to be with him.  She has to tell him the heartbreaking truth, that Danny chose the boy over her.  But first he tells her that he found Gallifrey… Only he’s actually lying so she won’t feel bad about leaving him behind.  After all, he does love her and wants to spare her some pain.  She loves him too, so she also lies.  She lets him believe that she and Danny are together and everything is fine.

She even gets a hug goodbye.

“Never trust a hug.  It’s just a way to hide your face.” – The Doctor

How true.   They say their goodbyes and it made me a little weepy.  He dematerializes, and Clara is alone.  Really, truly, properly alone.  I thought at first she was headed to the carousal to pick up the boy but no.

Then Santa barges into to TARDIS?  I’m so confused!

So do I think that’s the end of it?  No, I think he’ll be alone for the Christmas special (companionless, as usual) and then I think we’ll see her returning soon.  I also think that maybe the Nethersphere (or some version of it) still exists, since Danny and the boy were still in there and one was able to return.  But how did his body just materialize?

Overall I enjoyed the episode despite the crazy Cyberman powers.  What do you think?

Death In Heaven Trailer

Coming up on Saturday!

Dark Water Review

For the record, after last week’s episode I made a fan video tracking what we know about Missy so far.  I uploaded it to YouTube, and within seconds it was down for copyright infringement.  There were a couple small clips of episodes but by no means was it whole shows.  In fact, it had less than most other fan videos I’ve seen, and the entire thing was only around 2 minutes in lengeth.  I’m quite disappointed as the entire reason I was signing up for an account was to share fan videos, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to do that now.  So if anyone has an alternate site that you think I’ll have better luck with, please let me know.

Now that my rant is out of the way, here we go.  Another type-as-I-watch review.  I’ve realized that sometimes sections of these don’t make much sense, but bear with me…

We start out with a very cryptic phone call from Clara to Danny.  She tells him she loves him and is greeted with silence.  Someone picks up the phone and it seems Danny has been hit by a car.  Has he met his demise?  They didn’t actually show his face, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s a “kids show” or because it’s not actually him.  But then Clara runs to the scene and I think we’ll see him but they still don’t show him.  They do show a memorial, so it seems it’s true.  My suspicions are that Danny will be in the Nethersphere, and that’s how Missy is going to get her claws into Clara.  After all, Clara must be facing considerable guilt because she didn’t get to come clean to Danny, and we now know that she’s completely in love with him.

While her grandmother tries to make her feel better, Clara seems to have a bit of a mental break.  Not something obvious, but she says she’s “owed” better.  I feel that this is a clue, and it almost feels as if this anger is directed at the Doctor, although I can’t be entirely sure.  When he calls, she acts like everything is fine and doesn’t mention Danny.  Is that because she feels as though he’ll be cold and callous and his normal seemingly uncaring self?

Wow, I write a lot more when nobody else it watching the episode with me and I can pause to type… Sorry guys, this may be a long one…  Seeing as how we’re only to the opening credits.  I’ll try to par it down a bit, but no promises. 🙂

We’re getting flashes to somewhere fiery with Clara and the Doctor, and I suspect we’ll either later this episode or even early next (depending on the timeline), so I won’t harp on it.  Now, though, Clara bounds into the TARDIS and wants to run away from her problems, even though she’s not telling the Doctor that.  She wants to see a volcano, and runs around taking all the TARDIS keys.  Hmmmmm….  She then takes a sleep patch and slaps it on the Doctor’s neck.  I feel like we’ve missed something!  And here’s our flash-forward scene.  The Doctor wakes up at the volcano from the sleeping patch.

Clara tells the Doctor he has to change history.  That he has to go back and save Danny or she’s destroying his TARDIS keys.  He explains that he can’t do it without causing a paradox.  She throws away all his keys but one.  He says no again, and she tosses the last key.  Is it really the last?  Or does she have another one hidden away in her pocket?  It certainly doesn’t seem like it.  But then we find out that the patches aren’t dream patches.  They induce a dream state, and the Doctor slid the patch onto Clara when she thought she was putting it on his neck.  Ahhh, tricky!

In a surprising turn of events, the Doctor says they’re going to hell (or the afterlife, or whatever – I suppose that means the Nethersphere) and they’re going to try to bring Danny back.  He even musters a smile for Clara.  It’s a nice bonding moment.  His personality thus far has been very alien, and he’s showing just a bit of humanity.  He’s showing that he cares enough for Clara to go get her love so she can put her heart back together, no matter what he actually thinks of Danny Pink.  He’s acting like a father, in my opinion.  He does a wonderful job talking her through taking the TARDIS where it needs to be, and off we go!

Flash to Danny, and he’s definitely in the Nethersphere.  Forms?  Really?  Anyway, we finally get a glimpse out the window.  It’s the inside of an actual sphere, which looks like a giant city.  Poor Danny is realizing what’s happening to him, and it’s not pretty.

Back to the TARDIS, we’re apparently hitting a place where Danny and Clara’s timelines intersect.  They’re in a mausoleum, where we see fish tanks full of skeletons.  Moving skeletons, apparently.  We find a little information video, which starts out with a very familiar voice… but then we get to see her.  Well, at least a version of her.  The “official 3W welcome package” is a kiss, which made for an interesting viewing.  Capaldi couldn’t have looked more uncomfortable, and it was fantastic.  We find out that Missy is actually MISI.  It stands for Mobile Intelligent Systems Interface.  She’s self maintaining…

“My heart is maintained by the Doctor” – MISI

“Doctor Who?” – The Doctor

Heehee!  Doctor Chang, which is not the answer I was hoping for.  I guess we’re going to go talk to dead people next.

“Are you okay?” – The Doctor

“No” – Clara

“Good.  There would be something very wrong if you were” – The Doctor

The dialogue through here is fantastic.  And can I just say that this whole thing is very creepy?  I mean, skeletons that move to stare at you, a creepy “MISI” and a disco ball looking thing in the ceiling…  It’s weird, right?  It feels like MISI is actually Missy after all, and she was just looking for an excuse to kiss the Doctor.

Back to it.  Danny is getting more questions from the… well… whatever he is.  We find out a bit more about Mr. Pink, and it appears he may have killed a child.  If that’s the case, it may be that he is a teacher to appease his guilt.

Meanwhile the Doctor and Clara are learning that each skeleton in the tanks are held together by an exoskeleton which can’t be seen in the water.  At this point I’m certain that means they’re cybermen.  I had my suspicions before, but now I’d be shocked if they weren’t.  So the water (the dark water) is actually x-ray water where only organic material can be seen through it.

We bounce back and forth between Danny and the Doctor/Clara to find out what is going on.  Basically your consciousness is in the Nethersphere in a “fake body” while you’re still connected to your old body in the real world.  So you’re cold, and if you get cremated or donate your body to science or something you’ll feel what happens to it.  This is an absolutely brilliant and absolutely terrifying possibility.  Can you imagine if it was true?  Maybe I should rethink my death plans…

Danny is getting a call from Clara before our annoying commercial break.  Wait, if Clara and the Doctor find themselves in this mausoleum and can call Danny, does it mean that he is a cyberman now?  Possibilities…

Okay, back on track.  The Doctor goes to check out the tanks because he doesn’t feel right about them.  When he goes to leave we see the doors close and oh yes, they do look like cyberman eyes.  Ha!  Clara stays behind to talk to Danny so she can be sure it’s him.

The dead are standing and the tanks are “activating”.  Turns out that yup, we were right and MISI is actually Missy after all and she kills off Doctor Chang as the tanks drain.  Sure enough, there’s our cybermen.  Sometimes I hate being right, but love it all at the same time.  Missy has been uploading dying minds into the “Nethersphere”, which is actually a Gallifreyan hard drive, stripping the emotions, and downloading them into “upgraded” Cyberman bodies.  Sounds like the work of an evil genius to me.  Oh look, we’re back on Earth… More of the UK again…

Clara tells Danny that he needs to say something that only she would know, and if he keeps saying that he loves her she’ll hang up on him.  He realizes that she may just kill herself to be with him, so that’s exactly what he says.  He does it for her own good, and this is the first time I’ve felt a really strong connection between the characters.  He’s willing to let her believe it’s not him to keep her safe, even though it’s destroying him.  It doesn’t last for long, because he’s given the chance to choose to delete his emotions.  He’s choosing to be a cyberman, but doesn’t even know it.

Back with Clara… they’ve arrived… and we learn more about Missy.  Mistress for short.  And the big reveal (for those who don’t want to get spoiled but for some reason are still reading):  She’s our old he.  The MASTER is back.  This is something I’ve suspected for a long time, but didn’t really expect to see.  After all, time lords don’t normally change gender without reason.  Maybe they’re laying the groundwork for a female Doctor in the future.

I found this episode went by rather quickly and actually enjoyed the episode more than the last few..  I suspect the second part of this to be more action packed than this one was.  After all, there’s a lot to cover.  I feel like the beginning of the episode didn’t give Clara enough to work with to make us feel devastated by Danny’s death, but their relationship hasn’t really been handled that well so I can certainly let that slide.  This episode was very dark and I found that (minus a few little things) was fantastic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts?  What do you think is coming next week?

Note that I’ll be away, so my review will definitely be late.

Dark Water Trailer

In The Forest Of The Night Review

Another write-as-I-watch review.

Right away, this feels like a little red riding hood story… then we see the TARDIS.  The Doctor compares the size of the TARDIS to the amount of sugar in a Coke, which I found interesting… He seems to be good with the random child that shows up at his door, but things are very confused.

Apparently we’re in the middle of London, but we’re in a forest.  For once, could we please have an alien planet?  We’re spending entirely too much time in the UK, too much time on Earth entirely.  *sigh*  Anyway, on we go.  A bunch of kids sleeping over in what looks like a museum with our good friends Mr. Pink and Miss Oswald.  When they leave, they discover the forest has grown up overnight… and it appears to have covered the whole world.  The child?  Well, they lost her and now the Doctor has her.

There’s some… tension… between Danny and Clara over the fact that Clara is still in contact with the Doctor, but in this case it seems to be a good thing she is.

“If you start to fall behind, don’t” – Danny Pink

Seriously?  Is this boot camp?

The kids start to notice weird thing about the trees, like no growth rings and ones with both nuts and blossoms.  Something’s definitely not right with the forest.

It appears Danny has realized what’s really going on with the Doctor and Clara, or at least he suspects it.  There’s no time to worry about that with a lost little girl running through the woods, dropping clues as she goes.  As Clara and the Doctor follow they find men trying (but unable) to light the trees on fire.  We also realize there are animals loose in the woods.

So far there doesn’t seem to be much of a story here, just a lot of filler.

Wolves.  Wolves and a girl in a hooded red jacket.  Total red riding hood.  They find Mave (our little girl – and I’m sure that’s not her name but that’s what it sounds like so that’s what I’ll call her for now) and then we find a tiger.  Danny gets to save the day and be cool for a second.  Mave tells the Doctor that she created the forest because of the thoughts she catches.  The thoughts look like lightening bugs, but more aliens?

The Doctor believes the world is going to end.  He wants to take the kids and Clara, or even just Clara.  She doesn’t want to go, but she wants him to go and save himself.  She talks him into leaving, but I don’t think he’s done yet.  Within seconds, he’s chasing the group and bringing them back to the TARDIS.  What does he do but tell them all the Earth is on a path of destruction… for a second, anyway.  Then he explains that the trees are going to save them all.

The kids want to go home, but Clara wants to see the solar event.  Danny doesn’t want to go… so Clara acts like she’s going to skip it but goes back and sees it anyway.  I feel like her exit is coming soon or the end of her relationship is.

We’re treated to another brief glimpse of Missy, where she seems shocked by the choice as well.

Everything resolves itself within a minute.  The trees go away, a missing child is returned and everyone will apparently forget everything.

This felt a little preachy.  A little soda has a ton of sugar in it, save the trees, look at what’s in front of you instead of out at the world (Danny’s speech to Clara).  I don’t know, but I really didn’t enjoy it very much.  The interaction between characters was good, and there was some camera work that I enjoyed immensely, but I wasn’t at all enthralled with the story itself.

By the way, I just looked it up – it’s not Mave, it’s Maebh.

Next week looks much better.  We see Missy as well as Clara not being, well, Clara.  We also get a glimpse of some Cybermen.  It’s part one of the season finale (I’m not counting the Christmas Special as the finale) so I’m very excited to see where things are going.  Over the next several episodes I expect some resolution to Clara’s character (whether she leaves the TARDIS or Danny), and I also expect some resolution to Missy.

What did you think of this episode, and what are your predictions for the next several?  If you’ve seen any leaked footage or anything please don’t share that though – just opinions and theories.

In The Forest Of The Night Trailer