Doctor Who Review: Series 8 - Episode 11 - Dark Water

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR DARK WATER, PART 1 OF THE SERIES 8 FINALE


Poster Copyright RadioTimes and Stuart Manning 

The Episode

As this first part of the series finale, this episode HAD to begin with a bang. And it did. Before the titles had even rolled Danny Pink had been hit by a car and it was announced at a School Assembly that he'd passed away. This led Clara into madness, as she'd been on the phone with him as he'd died, yet it was left to a passer by to tell her what had happened. She got in contact with the Doctor as soon as she could. Clara then tried to threaten the Doctor into helping her, but he was in control and soon they were in the Nethersphere, looking for Danny. 

However, it soon became clear that all was not as it seemed when Cybermen started marching out of their Tombs (a nod to classic Who) and it turned out that The Doctor and Clara were in fact in St Pauls in London. It was then we found out that Missy was in fact (as I predicted in an earlier review) short of Mistress. Female of Master. 

The Review

If you saw our Twitter feed after the episode had finished, you will know that I loved it. The whole time I was gripped, anxious to see what was going to happen next, but ultimately wondering the answer to the big question: Who is Missy? We found out, and it was just as I predicted in an early episode review, that it was indeed short for Mistress, and that she is the Master. Although I said I hoped that wouldn't happen, I actually think it was worked with really well and in a way that was build up to, and obviously helped by Michelle Gomez's superb performance throughout this series. 

It wasn't just Missy who was acted well, I think the whole cast of actors involved last night did amazingly. Especially Jenna Coleman who put in such a realistic performance of loosing somebody that I was actually a little intimidated when she was with the old lady in the kitchen (still don't really understand that bit and I wonder if something was cut out last minute) which really isn't something we usually get from her, and really mixed stuff up a bit. I really enjoyed watching Chris Addison as well, and I had no idea he was such a good actor! Obviously Peter Capaldi was tremendous as the Doctor, as he always proves to be. 

I felt perhaps the story had to do with the such high quality of performance from last night's episode, as the dialogue the actors were working with was phenomenal. Possibly the best written episode of this series and for a long time, full credit goes to Steven Moffat for that, who seems to be back at his best. 

Something in the story could have been delt with much worse than it was as well. Danny dying in the way he did could have been done so badly, but the Doctor gave Clara sympathy, despite the fact that she had just tried to destroy his getting in to the TARDIS. 

However, I think a weak part of the story from the episode was the long time it took for the Cybermen to arrive, despite the fact we knew they were coming from the next time trailer (as a lot of people were saying on Twitter yesterday). Perhaps this was done because it is a two part episode, and this mainly focused on the emotional side of things resulting from Danny's death, and answering questions. I should imagine there will be a lot more action next week. 

The best episode of the series, that would have scored a 10 if it weren't for the slow Cyber-reveal. 

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