It’s the season finale with Doctor Who 8×12: Death in Heaven. It feels like a short season, gone too fast. As the last episode of the season, it has a bit of a double ending. The story felt like it had to tie up one finale for the build up made with Missy and one separate ending for the Doctor and Clara. I had a bit of mixed feelings about the whole episode.
Missy was already revealed as the Master in the previous episode. Michelle Gomez does a great role in playing her as the dangerously unhinged, deliciously wicked, charismatic but unbalanced Mistress. Her masterplan becomes soon apparent. The cybermen no longer require a facility to build their armies. Every little bit of a cyberman has the plans to build another. So, when several cybermen take flight from St. Paul’s Cathedral and self-destruct, the skies are filled with dark clouds. The rain that results concentrates exclusively on graveyards.
UNIT makes a reappearance, led by Kate Stewart and featuring a bow-tie wearing Osgood. They are powerless to stop the flying cybermen, but they take both the Doctor and the Mistress into custody. They, as well as the TARDIS, are loaded into a plane because… Actually, that makes little sense. Why not into a fortified bunker. It’s a little too Airforce One here. Oh, and protocols have been put in place, the Doctor is now the President of Earth. Really? There’s a nostalgic note here with a painting of Kate’s father, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. She casually mentions that all her father wanted from the Doctor was for him to salute him, at least once.
Clara is talking herself into a frenzy as she tries to convince some very clueless cybermen that she is nobody but the Doctor herself. I have to hand it to her, it almost worked. Eventually she comes face to face with another reborn cyberman who’s actually Danny Pink resurrected. Somehow his inhibitor has failed to activate and his feelings are still in place. He stuns her (because… reasons?) and takes her to a graveyard where all the cyber-rain (I made it up, you come up with a better name) have turned all corpses into cybermen.
Meanwhile on Doctor-Force One (wow I’m feeling creative today), Missy frees herself and starts a killing spree. She kills Osgood, because… We have to prove how evil she is and we don’t want the audience liking her but come on, Osgood? That hurt. She eventually will face the Doctor, laugh in his face, break open a door and send Kate Stewart to her doom. As Clara rings the TARDIS, we we learn that it was Missy who gave Clara the number in the first place. Missy was the woman in the store. The plane will eventually explode as the Mistress teleports away.
But of course the Doctor has one recourse, the TARDIS. He skydives for it, key in hand. He then reappears at Clara’s location, where she is having her last moments with Cyberman Danny Pink. She then asks the Doctor for the sonic so she can turn Danny’s inhibitor on. The Doctor refuses, but Danny tells him it’s the only way he’ll know the plans of the Cybermen.
Cue Missy appearing in Mary Poppins fashion, umbrella and all. The big finale will involve Danny leading the Cybermen to destroy the cloud and the Doctor deciding on killing Missy just so that Clara doesn’t get her hands dirty. However, I’ll let you discover who actually takes her out. It’s a homage to the past… although a bit of an afterthought. In a related note, Kate Stewart survives the fall as well. Missy also reveals the coordinates to Gallifrey, something that we know that the Doctor doesn’t.
The second ending is Clara and the Doctor lying to each other. Clara will receive a message from the other side from Danny, and a task to perform on his behalf. The Doctor instead, will find out a void in space and nothing else. However, they will both lie to each other. Clara will claim Danny lives once more and the Doctor will finally found Gallifrey again. With each other thinking they’ve left the other in a happier place, they will part ways.
Great moments, not-so-great moments but overall… I would’ve rather seen it than not. There’s some things that I found really hard to take. I can’t get past the feeling that somewhere around the corner was a decent finale that kept eluding us.
- UNIT reappears with Kate Stewart and Osgood.
- Missy was all in all an engaging character and charmingly insane, and I believe she was the Mistress.
- Clara trying to impersonate the Doctor to fool the Cybermen was a short lived moment, but a moment nonetheless.
- A little homage to the Brigadier.
- The Doctor as President of Earth. Really. Come on. There’s silly and then there’s this.
- UNIT’s appearance doesn’t really do much to help. Actually, it delays the ending.
- Osgood gets killed? Really?
- The old killing-machine-with-a-heart flaw is the downfall of all Cybermen.
- Wouldn’t all the Cybermen exploding cause more little bits and pieces to fall again…?
- The lineage of Clara and Danny, if there was one, was left unexplained.
That will do for now.