At the end of last week’s episode, the Master/Mistress fulfilled the ultimate dream of defeating the Doctor and taking over Earth with the help of the Walking Cyber-Dead.
Not so fast, Missy. UNIT is on the scene, but will it be enough? The episode features sacrifices, sadness, and lots of surprises, especially in the last minute. It also answers the question of whether the Doctor is a good man.
First off, it’s clear Missy is not only evil, but insane, almost like the John Simm version, or Moriarty on Sherlock. There was an article in Blastr that questioned whether the Master should be a woman if she’s portrayed as evil and bizarre. This is how Michelle Gomez decided to portray her. It’s just different than how Simm, Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley portrayed the Master. Despite this, she is still a very good manipulator,. She indeed was the “woman in the shop” that put Clara with the Doctor, and managed to come up with a long con to set up the Cyber invasion.
The episode starts with Clara spotting the Cyberman, and warning him not to harm her. It claims she is unimportant, but she says she is…because she’s the Doctor. It doesn’t believe her, but the opening titles claim she’s the Doctor, with her eyes instead of Peter Capaldi’s.
Meanwhile, Missy is still doing her victory dance. The living don’t notice as some of them are selfies of the Cybermen. A girl with glasses and a bow tie is also taking a picture…before she orders UNIT soldiers to surround Missy and the Doctor, Yes, Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) is back, as is Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave).
However, the Cybermen launch themselves airborne from St. Paul’s. One of them blows up above London, and every significant city in the world, to create clouds, which releases cyber pollen that turns the dead into Cybermen. Soon they will emerge from the graves and take over.
Back in the Nethersphere, SEB (Chris Addison) tells Danny (Samuel Anderson) it looks like they’ll be returning to Earth, as Danny will in a new body. It looks like he pushed the “delete” button from last week.
So what will UNIT do? Knock out Missy and the Doctor, and take them to UNIT’s flying fortress. Not only that, he’s told the President will take charge, which upsets him because he doesn’t want praying Americans interfering. Actually, they mean the Doctor is the president of Earth, and he’s in charge of the battle. This is interesting, since he refused to be president of his own planet more than once. The plane even includes a painting of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Kate’s dad.
Clara is still trying to convince the Cybermen she’s the Doctor by recounting the whole series, including the “daughter” that was cloned from the Doctor’s DNA. One Cyberman comes in, and insists Clara is Clara, and is also a liar. It also knocks her out, and blasts the other Cybermen. Could that be Danny under that armor?
When Missy wakes up, she tells the Doctor she has found Gallifrey, which was sent to another dimension. She also doesn’t waste much time causing major damage. She kills Osgood, orders flying Cybermen to destroy UNIT’s plane, and tosses Kate out at 40,000 feet. She even tells the Cybermen to crash the plane in Belgium because they’re not even French. It’s funny, but it’s also cruel. The Doctor seems to be doomed, too, until he finds his falling TARDIS and manages to get inside while in free fall. SEB squees while seeing it, and Missy blows him up.
Clara wakes up at a cemetery, just as Cyber-Dead are emerging. She sees the Cyberman, and finds out it’s really Danny. He says he’s suffering, and wants her to turn on an inhibitor that will delete his emotions. It also means she’ll get killed, She calls the Doctor for help, but he can’t. He does stop her, but she still wants to take the pain away from Danny. The Doctor argues that pain is a gift because it makes up realize the pain we inflict. That’s a nice speech, until Danny tells him that if he wants to know why there’s still clouds, the inhibitor has to be activated. This is what’s known as a regrettable but necessary decision, but the Doctor has Clara do this. She tells Danny, “I wasn’t very good at it, but I loved you.”. Cyber-Danny says there will be more rain, which means more Cybermen.
Missy arrives as an evil Mary Poppins, giving a gift to the Doctor: the Cybermen that she made. Why? She is trying to prove that he is not much different than she is. With millions of Cybermen, he can deal with any evil entity from Daleks to Autons. He has to conquer the universe in order to save Earth, and he can do it, just like she did. After all, wasn’t he called a good Dalek?
This impossible situation leads back to the question that the Doctor asked Clara in “Into the Dalek”: “am I a good man?” Being given a Cyber Army to defeat evil, a power he says no one, including himself, should have, how can he answer that question?
Suddenly, it comes to him: he is not a good man, or a bad man, or a president or a soldier. “I..am..an idiot,” he says, “with a box and a screwdriver, passing through, helping and learning.” He doesn’t need an army because he has friends, and love, which is a promise.
He’s also able to give control of the Cyber-Army to Cyber-Danny, and they get rid of the clouds. So close, Missy.
She has one more trick up her sleeve: giving the co-ordinates of where Gallifrey is located, and she invites him to find it with her. Clara has other ideas: she has Missy’s weapon, determined to kill her. She says she has to do this, or everything that has happened will be on him. The Doctor says Clara will not kill Missy..but he will. Missy is amused a bit, because he’s doing it to save Clara’s soul. But, she asks, who will save his?
It’s too bad that’s the end of Missy, but maybe it had to happen. She caused too much damage to stay.
Then again, who’s to say she’s dead? There’s already a lot of tweets and posts online that suspect Missy will be back somehow.
The Doctor and Clara spot a Cyberman, who directs them to Kate…still alive. It turns out the Cyberman caught her and brought her down. It’s what a father should do. Yes, it was the Cyber-Brigadier, and the Doctor had to salute that.
Two weeks later, Clara hears Danny from the Nethersphere. He says the bracelet that Missy used can get one person back to Earth, and Clara hopes it’s him. Instead, it’s the Iraqi child that was killed while Danny was on duty. He tells her to reunite the child with his parents. It’s quite a sacrifice, and we’ll miss Danny.
Then, she and the Doctor meet at a diner, They tell each other lies to ease the pain they have suffered. She tells him she and Danny are together and happy, while he says he found Gallifrey at the spot where Missy said. She was really lying, and seeing him slam his fist was a painful sight. They both prefer to lie rather than give each other more pain.
So, they say their final goodbyes, but she tells him that traveling with him made her feel special.
So, that’s the end of season eight, where fans met a cranky Doctor who was unsure if he was really a hero. Instead, he realizes he’s just a traveler helping people out when he can, and learning from the experience…which is what he has been all along. He is also very lonely, with a home he can’t find. Hopefully he’ll be more understanding towards his next companion.
Clara Oswald is still an Impossible Girl, only because she’s done more things than the typical companion, even pretend to be the Doctor. She did great things, but also suffered a big loss with the death of Danny Pink. Let’s hope it makes her a stronger person and a better teacher.
Then, there’s a knock on the TARDIS door. Someone doesn’t like the ending, and thinks it should all be sorted out. It’s someone who wants to know what the Doctor wants for Christmas.
And who better to ask that question than…
The press release also says Jenna Coleman will be back as well.