Well, a quick glance around the internet shows that there’s at least one thing almost everyone seems to agree upon about the Doctor Who season finale: That Michelle Gomez is an AMAZING Master. I seem to be fairly alone with my dislike of Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), however, so we’ll have to address that in a minute. This episode was filled with wonderful moments that, regardless of the logic behind them, ring so true to Doctor Who that there was hardly a time when I stopped to question. I mean, the world got together and decided the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) would be ipso facto President of Earth in times of crisis? I can’t imagine a reality where that would actually happen, but when Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) said it, I was all “about DAMN time!” And people complaining about bringing back the Cybermen again, or the Master again, or UNIT again… just stop. The protagonist/antagonist relationship of the Doctor and the Master rivals only the Doctor and Davros in Doctor Who history. If you don’t want the Master back, you don’t the Green Goblin to battle Spider-Man, or the Joker to take on Batman, or the Red Skull to face off with Captain America. Sure, there are other villains in the cupboard, but the arch-rival is the good china. You break that shit out for the special occasions. And to have an actress who is so willing to inhabit the madness, the menace, the emotion, and the intellect of the Master is so freaking rare that Gomez needs to be on salary and around to be slotted into an episode at a moment’s notice. And that ending? Of course she’s not dead. Do you really think the Master would give the keys to an army of Cybermen to the Doctor and not have a backup plan if he turned them on her? Please. UNIT needs to be around more often, too. Or they at least need to get some more attention — maybe a web series or something. Imagine a Torchwood that was actually good more than it was awful. Yeah, I said it. RIP, Osgood (Ingrid Oliver), by the way. You will be missed. And the Cybermen. What to say about the Cybermen? Last time out, I said I was never the biggest fan of them (Team Dalek here), but bringing them back as ZOMBIE CYBERMEN? Okay, you’ve got me. The idea of the Master traveling through time, harvesting the minds of the recently dead in order to download them into dead bodies in the present day is not only horrifying, it’s genius. Seeding the graveyards of the world with consciousnesses thrust back into their own bodies if available, but into random bodies if not, and watching robots rise from graves is so in my wheelhouse that I was surprised there wasn’t a note at the end of the episode saying “There you go, Paul. Hope you enjoyed it.” And if we don’t see the Zombie Cyberman Brigadier somewhere down the line, I’ll be right pissed. Maybe teamed up with the Doctor’s daughter Jenny (Georgia Moffett) — who was mentioned this episode. So that brings us to Danny. Danny, Danny, Danny. I’ll give him this much. He went out like a man. A somewhat spineless man who can only take action when there’s absolutely no other alternative and he’s lost everything that made him happy or want to be alive. And this, after he talks a load of bollocks about the Doctor and cries like the most worthless Companion’s Significant Other ever. Is he a good soldier, at least? I suppose. Even though he still refuses to take any real responsibility for his actions, claiming to lead the Cybermen into an orbital self-destruct only to fulfill the “promise of a soldier” rather than as the one who leads them all into oblivion. Whatever you have to tell yourself, Mr. Pink. You ordered every zombie Cyberman to kill itself. You did that. The Doctor does horrible things at times, sacrifices lives when he has to, and even every now and then commits what he thinks is going to be genocide. All for the benefit of others. And all knowing that he will carry the weight of that decision. He doesn’t stand around crying, asking his bird to turn off his emotion chip and make him a robot. I could do without the “love conquers all” mumbo jumbo that Doctor Who falls back on a little too often, but at least it allowed Clara (Jenna Coleman) to step up and show that she had what it took to save the world — even at what she thought was the cost of her one true love. That’s what heroes do, Mr. Pink. It was a heartwarming touch to have him return the boy he’d killed to life — you know, to try and be reunited with his family in Iraq or wherever, years after they’d already buried what was left of him after Danny had machine-gunned him to death in an act of panicky cowardice. I’m sure his parents will just forget he was dead and welcome him back with open arms. If they’re even still alive. And if Clara — a schoolteacher in London — can track them down. God, I hate Danny Pink. All empty gestures and condescension. The Brigadier didn’t get all weepy and kill himself like a punk. He did his fucking job like an officer and took off to do whatever it is Zombie Cyberman Brigadiers do in this new world. I assume it’s generally KICK ALL SORTS OF ASS. Now that that’s out of my system, what about Missy’s plan? Did that make any sense whatsoever? Sensical or not, I liked it. It jettisoned the horrific Simm/Davies Master baloney and gave us a Master/Mistress with an emotional core and motivations beyond just being insane. When she handed over control of the Cybermen to the Doctor, it was a magical moment, playing on every bit of self-doubt that Capaldi had been incorporating into his Doctor from the moment he took on the role. This was a childhood friend who had become a nemesis, reaching out in a way that could fall either way: embracing an ally or pushing away an enemy. And while a bit cliché, it was satisfying having the Doctor reject the temptation. Although, I’d pay money to watch Peter Capaldi with a robot army scouring the spaceways of evil, with Gomez by his side. But what would a discussion of a season finale be without paying some attention to the final moments? Not a very good one, I’d say. So our episode closes, picking up two weeks after the world is saved and we get our parting of the ways for Clara and the Doctor. I’m going to go ahead and say it. This was one of the most satisfying — and heartbreaking — separations in the modern Who era. Nothing’s going to top wiping Donna Noble’s mind to save her life, I know, but I love the fact that both Clara and the Doctor choose to save the other their heartbreak and part ways thinking at least the other is happy. But they’re not parting ways just yet. There’s still a Christmas special to be watched! So we’ll save our goodbyes for next month when Nick Frost shows up playing Santa Claus in what looks like a combo of Aliens and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. And what’s the Second Doctor’s son, Michael Troughton‘s name doing on the cast list? Curiouser and curiouser… Doctor Who 8.12 "Death in Heaven"4.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.