|The Doctor and Missy witness the latter's plan unfold...|
(More on her next time, I promise.)
From The BBC
Clara is in the middle of trying to tell Danny how she feels about him over the phone when he's rather rudely hit by a car and literally sent to the land of the dead, waking up in a bureaucratic afterlife handled by Seb (Chris Addison). Emotionally hollowed, Clara reaches out to The Doctor and tries to blackmail him into changing history, going so far as to try to destroy all of the TARDIS keys should he say no. After The Doctor discovers how far Clara is willing to go, he uses the TARDIS' memory-guidance thing from Listen to try and find an afterlife. This takes the two to 3W industries, a company who claim to have contacted the afterlife that Danny is now in. As Clara contacts Danny on the other side, The Doctor discovers that the operation is in fact a cover-up for the building of a new race of Cybermen, using the captured minds and bodies of the dead. Running the operation? A flirty Time-Lady previously introduced as Missy, who now reveals what she was once called - The Master.
Okay, so I've mentioned before that I'm not big on the Clara/Danny relationship. It's forced, it's unnecessary and at every step it contains unhealthy elements which in reality would be a cause for concern. This episode seems to satiate people who like the relationship and those who don't, giving Clara a grand act of love but also highlighting the level of mistrust between them in life, and in death. Because of the lack of chemistry, I don't sense love from these two, but rather a friendship between two people who think that the relationship deal is what you have to do to be close to someone - it's a trap I've fallen into myself, and makes a lot more sense than the romance the episode is trying to portray. That in mind, this episode was fab for characterisations - Clara's reliance on deceit and stable elements to simply function, Danny's internal conflict which makes him demand the truth from others and yet hole up the truth behind his actions in Afghanistan, and The Doctor, who recognises both of these things and is powerless to do anything about them except try to help them be together.
|Clara tries to talk to Danny across the realms.|
From the BBC
Dark Water's main flaw was that it comes packaged with a finale that only provincially has anything to do with it, and which is far more bombastic in its aims. Comparatively, it's a much slower and tense story with a great deal to say and a decent way of saying it. The character beats are flawed, true, but they're really errors carried forward and in that context they're better than anything else in Moffat's main plotlines. I may not be very highly invested in Clara and Danny's relationship, but for once in this era I recognise them doing things that people actually do - and that is glorious progress right there. Right on.
NEXT TIME: Dodgy gender politics, a plothole the size of Birmingham and an attempted tribute to Nicholas Courtney that doesn't go anywhere. What else, but Death In Heaven?