“Do you really think that I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?”
Doctor Who finales have a lot to live up to. While some recent ones have been a little disappointing, they’re usually some of the best parts of the series; series’ 2’s and series’ 3’s are particular highlights. This series’ finale has, so far, lived up to these high standards and had some cool twists and turns along the way.
Firstly, what about that whole reveal at the end, eh? While I think the idea that Missy was The Master was a possibility lurking in a lot of fans heads, the actual reveal at the end was awesome. The Doctors reaction was spot on and both Capaldi’s acting and the acting of Michelle Gomez (Missy) really helped cement the shocking reveal. The fact that they had kissed earlier in the episode was irking me slightly, if only for the fact that the Tumblr lot will go wild with the Doctor x Master fan art and other distressing things. But all in all I enjoyed the twist and look forward to seeing it play out in the next episode. There were other plot points that I don’t think were explained as well, such as the Netherspere. Do the people in there know where they are? How long have people’s minds been going there after they die? Why do the Cybermen even need the minds, won’t the bodies suffice? But these things didn’t detract from the episode, at least not until I see if they’re explained next week.
Following in the tradition set by the previous episodes, Dark Water was directed very well. Nothing too fancy but some cool shots and interesting lighting along with some awesome set design, which elevate Doctor Who above anything else in the same time slot. I also think it’s this great direction and often equally good script that proves Doctor Who’s is better than your average sci-fi crap. And how many other so called ‘family shows’ would run with the themes that tonight’s episode went with? The afterlife, human beings fear of death, ; all heavy themes that hopefully help show kids some interesting and different TV as opposed to scaring the shit out of them. But the three words shown by Doctor Chang (‘don’t cremate me,’) to show human consciousness lives on after death might be a little too scary for some kids. But me personally, I loved it. Yeah it was haunting and scary but that was the point. It might have been too scary for kids but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t cool.
The decision to kill off Danny at the beginning of the episode was a ballsy one, even if he isn’t technically dead. And to do it in such a mundane way as well, it really showed us that these characters are just humans and sometimes people just die. Danny’s flashback to Iraq was a great moment as well, and so was the masterful editing showing us that he killed a kid without actually showing us the kid being hit. Danny’s such a complex character and I feel he’s got more to tell, so I really hope he does find a way to come back from the dead but I doubt it. Talking of complex characters, Clara had quite a few interesting moments in this episode. She showed she was willing to destroy all of the TARDIS keys just to get Danny back. A moment, I figured, that wouldn’t make her any more popular with the vocal minority that hate her. But it was a great moment of drama between her and the Doctor and it was acted brilliantly by the both of them. The Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, was excellent as always. I feel there’s not much else to say about his performance now; it’s brilliant, it’s funny and dark, sometimes at the same time, and he doesn’t cry about everything like some of the previous Doctor’s tended to do. He might truly be the best Doctor of them all.
Deep Water was filled with lots of great moments, moments I hope help cement it as one of the all time best Doctor Who finales. But that rests on the shoulders of next weeks episode which also has the job of answering quite a few unanswered questions. I doubt we’ll get an answer to them all but only time will tell. Deep Breath was an outstanding episode in what is going to be (hopefully) an outstanding series finale.