Christopher Morley takes a dip in the Dark Water...
It's the ( beginning of the) end, & the moment has been prepared for, to paraphrase a great man! We must prepare to tread Dark Water- think Father's Day with added darkness, & a love of a more romantic nature at its heart. Philosophy/religious studies specialists will find plenty to chew over- we're going to Hell to find a dead man & bring him back- crossing the River Styx into Hades, as the Greeks would have it. Only our destination is nothing like any of that. What you think you know of heaven, nirvana, paradise or its counterpart-hell, naraka etc is for these purposes creatively rendered bunk!
The deceased is certainly important, to Clara at least . A spot of mind games on the Doctor's part convinces him that such a trip into the underworld is worth it, & so 'Sexy' descends ' into darkness'. If he was curious about how far she would go for Danny Pink , he knows now without question- & in the process of finding out reveals himself, or at least this incarnation of himself, to be an entirely more human man than his previous outings in his newest body have shown us before. Is he a good one, though? We'll find out in time. After all as is pointed out ' every culture has some concept of an afterlife'. But isn't there something a little dangerous in supposing oneself to have almost God-like power over life & death, let alone the normal laws of time & space?
Two selves on from that moment in The Waters Of Mars, it would seem the ' Time Lord victorious' learnt nothing from going over the edge, even if he did display a degree of remorse. Clearly then he didn't want to go. But go he had to, as must we all when our time comes. 'The darkest day, the blackest hour' as its succinctly put. Already more questions than answers, you're probably thinking. And you'd be right- as without that Doctor Who would most likely fall flat on its face! Only this happens to be a very big question- in this universe what does happen to those who pass on, & could it be possible to bring them back?
We can at least find an answer to where Mr Pink actually is. He's in the Nethersphere, aka the Underworld or the Promised Land, & quite understandably finds the idea of being dead hard to believe. He does have Seb on hand attempting to ease the transition for him. He does look smart & wear a tie, too. But can this really be just like heaven? That's certainly what Missy & the 3W organisation want us & prospective clients to think-she's keen to greet the Doctor once he & Clara make perhaps the ultimate TARDIS trip, by the means first demonstrated in Listen- the mad Mary Poppins lookalike certainly keen to greet her unwilling Bert!
Certainly not a jolly 'olliday with Missy then. Not once we find out what those bodies in the tanks really are- they're Cybermen! Or should that be Cyber-dead- those 3W has offered its package to have been converted! And so the scene is set for a rather nifty dose of harking back. If you remember them converging on St Paul's in The Invasion...
you most likely loved watching their successors do so once more...
...and as for that reveal of Missy's true identity, the Second Doctor put it best when he said ' oh, my word!' Weeks of speculation laid to rest in an instant. Missy is the new female Master!
Yes, a female incarnation of the Master! The possibility of which was something I speculated on earlier this year. We've seen a female Master appear in print form before, but this is a new one for television and something we will get into in more detail in another article. After all, there's a LOT to discuss about there!
But, as episode 11 draws to a close, so comes the realistaion that it'll soon all be over... at least until the now traditional Christmas
special comes our way. At this rate you'll want to have had your festive
dinner well beforehand to avoid choking at the latest revelations from
the pen of Steven Moffatt!
Until then, you might be needing something to help you fill the post-finale gap- Holly Black's Lights Out (set between Deep Breath & Into The Dalek), part of the new Twelve Doctors, Twelve Stories anthology also featuring the eleven previous Doctors in Eoin Colfer's A Big Hand For The Doctor, Michael Scott's The Nameless City, Marcus Sedgwick's The Spear Of Destiny, Philip Reeve's The Roots Of Evil, Patrick Ness's Tip Of The Tongue, Richelle Mead's Something Borrowed, Malorie Blackman's The Ripple Effect, Alex Scarrow's Spore, Charlie Higson's The Beast Of Babylon, Derek Landy's The Mystery Of The Haunted Cottage & finally Neil Gaiman's Nothing O'Clock.
It would of course never do not to mention the Twelfth Doctor's New Series Adventures outings, either! While you wait for Series Nine ( with baited breath going by Peter Capaldi's first series in the role), if you're good you may well find James Goss's The Blood Cell, Silhouette by Justin Richards & Mike Tucker's The Crawling Terror in your stocking come Christmas morning- a mere hint of the future.
Of course we've still to face Death In Heaven- so come back next week, & do your best to look smart/wear a ( bow) tie won't you? They are after all the height of cool.........