back to article Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

Please note: THIS IS A POST-UK-BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Brid-Aine says: The thrill is definitely gone. This finale couldn’t lift itself up from the messy morass of the rest of the season, or redeem either Peter Capaldi’s Doctor or Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald. All of it, down to the completely annoying and …

  1. WibbleMe

    Impressed with the speed of the post

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Can you actually review something while watching it? Or rather half watching it. All rather shoddy and get the feeling the reviewer wanted to hate it.

      1. Steven Raith

        Or maybe they get the pre-broadcast versions for review purposes, such as Den of Geek got on the 4th of November on the 'no spoilers' caveat.

        Little thing called an embargo. Fairly common in review land.

        1. illiad

          review land generates click bait, lies...

          1. TRT Silver badge

            I think the typing was done whilst watching the TV screen, not the computer screen. A few mistakes in this piece!

      2. Psyx

        "All rather shoddy and get the feeling the reviewer wanted to hate it."

        What, huh?

        Did you not notice the bit where there's three reviews by three different people, verging from the 'it sucked' to the medicated optimism?

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    Clara as The Doctor...

    I was like "OH HELL YES!", but - oh - what a let-down. Oh well.

    As for the episode, bizarre. The best character (Osgood) is cruelly slaughtered, the plot is about as insane as Missy, and there are some Big Speeches and Special Moments shoehorned in, as if this is supposed to be some sort of emotional rollercoaster, but... I'm wondering if the payoff was really there. I mean, the ending. As said, Clara is broken, the Doctor is broken, Danny is dead, and Earthlings have to recover from the dead rising in cyberman form. It's no surprise that the Tardis can vanish from a city centre and nobody notices. All of humanity is broken. Great going, Moffat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clara as The Doctor...

      Or to summarise your somewhat lengthy but accurate post: "A load of old shit"

      1. ColonelDare

        Re: Clara as The Doctor...

        If you don't like it, don't watch it then.

        I did and I did :-)

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Clara as The Doctor...

          "If you don't like it, don't watch it then." - I watch in the hope that it will surprise me and come up with some stories akin to the Dr Who of my childhood instead of this touchy-feely-timey-wimey rubbish. There are some good moments, enough to keep me from entirely walking away, but ... for goodness sake, just pick an angle for the Doctor and go with it, don't keep yoyoing around. Here's a hint. Watch him-with-the-boggle-eyes-and-the-scarf or him-with-the-poncey-cricket-outfit. The stories were kinda cheesy, the effects hammy, and a certain charming innocence (Romana in Paris, anyone?) but above all the stories were (usually) watchable. They made sense. They could exist with a zany half-sci-fi and half comedy blend but didn't depend upon big friendly reset buttons or retconning entire swathes of backstory for this week's plot development...

      2. illiad

        Re: Clara as The Doctor...

        it stopped the cybermen didnt it???? :)

    2. 4ecks

      Re: Clara as The Doctor...

      ditto, and as for the Christmas teaser - AvP meets a Pudsey special?

  3. graeme leggett

    It pains me to say this (naaah)

    "So now Danny is a Cyberman, but somehow, he’s held on to his emotions. This is never properly explained"

    Bollocks it was. Pay attention. He was last seen hesitating over the delete button. And his inhibitor isn't switched on. Don't know why they needed both but it's there before you

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @graeme

      Agreed.

      In fact, it's not a completely unknown plot twist either since it has been done before. Season 2: Army of Ghosts / Doomsday. The head of operations of Torchwood gets converted, but is later seen killing other cybermen while ranting "I did my duty for queen and country".

      Not just that, we even see something like a tear coming from her eyes. Talk about a situation which doesn't add up!

      Which is basically my only gripe with this new season: the heavy re-use of plots which have already been done.

      btw; the only reason I remember this is because of the interesting clash between the Daleks and Cybermen in that episode arch. Both species tried to invade earth yet unknown of the others presence. And it was as funny as it was dark:

      Cyberman (talking to a Dalek): "You will identify first!".

      Dalek: "Daleks do not take orders!"

      Cyberman: "You have identified yourself Dalek..."

      That was as brilliant as it was simple. But in comparison to all that I have to agree that this season is lacking.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: @graeme

        "Cyberman (talking to a Dalek): "You will identify first!".

        Dalek: "Daleks do not take orders!"

        Cyberman: "You have identified yourself Dalek..."

        "Don't tell him, Pike."

    2. David L Webb

      Re: It pains me to say this (naaah)

      Bollocks it was. Pay attention. He was last seen hesitating over the delete button. And his inhibitor isn't switched on. Don't know why they needed both but it's there before you

      Whether he hit the delete button or not should be irrelevant since the Cybermen have never required their converts to agree to conversion and have always turned the inhibitor on.

      In the past the inhibitor though was built into the Cyberman head directly attached to the human brain - this is the first time that I've ever seen controls for turning it on or off being attached to the front of the Cyberman. Why would the Cybermen want to make such controls accessible since an enemy could conceivably use those controls to turn the Cyberman's emotions on again ?

      As others have mentioned other people converted have been able to rebel against the Cybermen but in those cases they did it despite the inhibitor operating.

      So no I don't think it was really explained why his inhibitor was turned off.

      1. illiad

        Re: It pains me to say this (naaah)

        "Whether he hit the delete button or not should be irrelevant since the Cybermen have never required their converts to agree to conversion and have always turned the inhibitor on."

        That was missy, NOT cybermen..

    3. illiad

      Re: It pains me to say this (naaah)

      Its that L word, saved the day plus...:)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It pains me to say this (naaah)

      @graeme "Bollocks it was. Pay attention...." Well its not though is it. Lets use some logic:

      Danny sits pondering if he should delete his emotions (maybe a problem all wooden actors have had)

      The cyber suit has a built in inhibitor anyway so as you say why was it even necessary to consider deleting his emotions before. BUT the question unanswered is WHY out of all the cyber suits was Danny the only one to have a suit that malfunctioned and not suppress his emotions regardless of pressing the button or not. Then when Clara activates the inhibitor why is Danny still in the only cyber suit that allows him to retain his emotions.

      I think that this seasons scripts seemed very poor and that there are more holes than in a swiss cheese.

      1. Psyx

        Re: It pains me to say this (naaah)

        "BUT the question unanswered is WHY out of all the cyber suits was Danny the only one to have a suit that malfunctioned and not suppress his emotions regardless of pressing the button or not. Then when Clara activates the inhibitor why is Danny still in the only cyber suit that allows him to retain his emotions."

        We are supposed to believe that Danny is 'special' because he loves Clara and that the love between them steels him against his programming.

        Which is clearly crap. Their 'love' is so badly portrayed in the script that it's scarcely believable. They spend more time lying to each other than showing affection. Quite why this is the tower of love that leaves all others behind and allows Danny to be himself still is not really clear.

  4. Phoenix50

    What a wonderful finale...

    ... No, not the last Doctor Who of this series, Brid-Aine's reviews of the episodes.

    Kill them, kill them with fire.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a wonderful finale...

      So what you're saying is, more junk Dr. Who needed so Ms. Parnell can churn out more world class invective?

      Suits me.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To me the main problem with the series is that they've trivialised the role of the doctor, which is where the original series also went wrong and never managed to recover.

    Oh, and Missy was teleported not killed - the colour coding was a fairly strong hint.

    1. stucs201

      Yes and no

      I thought the colour coding was to indicate she was shot by the Brigadier rather than the Dr.

      I think you're right about the teleport though, killed just by getting shot doesn't really seem to fit with the whole regenerating timelord thing.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      You sure about that? The colour coding was for a cyber gun which were blue in this episode, rather than master death ray red.

      1. Steven Raith

        Since when have cyberman caused their victims to disintegrate? Pretty sure they leave bodies so they can be reprocessed into, er, more cybermen....

        She was magicked away. Better have been, that's been the most fun enemy I've seen in the new series since, well, John Simm. And as I reckoned, made Simm look subtle and subdued.

        More Michelle Gomez, please.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          That's the best thing about The Master coming back as a woman... no more John Simm.

          The Master's character has definitely developed though. He used to just be a scheming megalomaniac with a desire to rule, now he/she's a screaming, babbling psychopath with schemes grander than reality could possibly allow.

          1. Platelet

            now he/she's a screaming, bunny boiler

  6. Andrew Jones 2

    Well, this isn't the first time we have a Cyberman go against it's programming because of emotion -

    In Doomsday a cyberman/woman (Yvonne) goes against her programming - and disobeys orders - and a tear of oil leaks out of her eye. Potentially in both Danny and Yvonnes case - they were so determined NOT to be "upgraded" that they were able to interfere with the process.

    However it still has not been explained - how exactly - the digital dead minds can "feel" what happens to their physical bodies - providing of course that wasn't just a lie.

    Nor has it been explained what "missy" has to do with Clara being the impossible girl. It is explained why the Doctor and the current Clara were destined to meet - but not what that has to do with the previous 2 Clara's......

    1. lorisarvendu

      "Nor has it been explained what "missy" has to do with Clara being the impossible girl. It is explained why the Doctor and the current Clara were destined to meet - but not what that has to do with the previous 2 Clara's......"

      Ah now, Missy had nothing to do with Clara's later jaunt into the Doctor's time stream. That was something that Clara herself decided to do on the spur of the moment in "Name of the Doctor". Whoever was the companion when they arrived on Trenzalore probably would have done the same and ended up split into the time stream. That was the reason for her appearing in the previous season, on the Dalek Asylum and Victorian London - they were two of her "rescue missions". It's a standard case of "timey-wimeyness" where cause and effect happen in the wrong order. Somebody does something in the future ("Name of the Doctor") and it affects the past ("Asylum" and "Snowmen"). Missy had nothing to do with that, and had no idea it would happen...and it didn't affect her plans anyway.

    2. Jess

      > how exactly - the digital dead minds can "feel" what happens to their physical bodies

      > - providing of course that wasn't just a lie.

      It was a lie. Presumably also used within the nethersphere to encourage people to press delete.

  7. Red Bren
    FAIL

    I'm with Brid-Aine on this

    Her review sums up almost all my frustrations with this anti-climatic end to the series. But I'd like to add another.

    Unless the whole of humanity have been burying their dead in metal coffins, how did the corpses all reanimate with full cyberman armour? I'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt over the whole cyber-pollen thing, even though it's a blatant rip off of borg nanites, but I'm not having this conjuring up armour from thin air.

    1. Chozo
      Terminator

      Re: reanimate with full cyberman armour

      If metal started mysteriously disappearing from around the graveyards with a little cgi wizardy I would of gone along with it on faith, had they showed cyberman being created like this ... http://youtu.be/YEHbl1gwuZ8 I'd be hiding behind the sofa with the kids.

    2. David L Webb

      Re: I'm with Brid-Aine on this

      I'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt over the whole cyber-pollen thing, even though it's a blatant rip off of borg nanites, but I'm not having this conjuring up armour from thin air.

      And why unlike Borg nanites would it only affect the dead ? Surely a much better plan would have been to have converted the living as well - hell if the nanites colonised the brain you could even get the living to search for pieces of metal to aid in their conversion.

    3. Teebow

      Re: I'm with Brid-Aine on this

      danny lying on a slab gets what 100lds of steel. cybertec power to run it all and fuel to fly. when ever the cybermen have upgraded people in the past they have had a a upgrade unit to put them in so now its done by magic not!!

      1. stucs201

        Re: in the past they have had a a upgrade unit

        Not always. I've just finished watching Tomb of the Cybermen (Dr 2). The end shot is of a partially converted (one arm) person, who 2 minutes earlier was apparently flesh and blood (but had been briefly under cyber control and had his fear disabled). That to me looks more like an infection or nanotech conversion than it does a putting in a conversion unit and physically adding armour upgrade.

  8. Roger B

    WOW

    Who pissed in your cornflakes this morning?

    1. Psyx

      Re: WOW

      Steven Moffat.

  9. trance gemini
    Flame

    I missed the end!

    ... so the Doctor knocks up this hyperspace projector in the old ladys living room, sets it up in the stone circle whilst K9 is chasing a glowing monolith, zaps himself into hyperspace, ends up onboard a huge (hyper)spacestation, rescues Romana, then these fizzy orb things arrive proclaiming to be transdimensional judges and the sexy lady with the big stick who's also the 4000-year-old crow-goddess reappears all painted silver and tells the Doctor and Romana it's game over ...

    ... and then someone came round with a knackered laptop and i missed the last five minutes so i'm assuming that's when the master and the cybermen turn up?

    1. Gio Ciampa

      Re: I missed the end!

      Spoilers! I've not watched that yet (it's on my sky box though...) ;^D

      1. illiad

        Re: I missed the end!

        WHAT are you doing here if you dont want spoilers????

        repeated on 13 nov - set your recorder manually so you dont miss it...

  10. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

    I mean why would they kill off the Master anyway??

    The get out is the Timelord tech. "Heaven", where the newly dead go. So obviously Osgood and Missy are in there (for now).

    Someone watched and reviewed in a hurry - so missed/forgot a few clues.

    1. a cynic writes...

      Re: Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

      I thought the get out was that the missy being killed special effect was suspiciously similar to the missy teleporting special effect.

      In other news UNIT now has a competent CO and he's bullet proof...

    2. Psyx

      Re: Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

      "The get out is the Timelord tech. "Heaven", where the newly dead go. So obviously Osgood and Missy are in there (for now)."

      Errr... no, because 'heaven' was a scam: a timelord hard drive which selectively uploaded dead people. All the views out of the window were part of the hoax. Missy hadn't got a city of dead people: She'd got 91.

      Missy's get-out clause was the ray hitting her was blue, like the teleport ones. Although it came from a cyberman, so maybe I'm reading too much into that.

      Osgood was killed in a fit of spitefully bad writing.

      "Someone watched and reviewed in a hurry - so missed/forgot a few clues."

      Not really. There is not really such a thing as a 'clue' in Who these days, because everything is so handwaved and badly written, then linked together so poorly that it's a chaotic mess. Plans and plots make entirely no sense.

      1. FlatSpot
        IT Angle

        Re: Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

        I don't think she was there in the first place, but a hard-light hologram, hence she could slip out of the handcuffs. It would be bonkers to kill off her character so quickly after establishing it.

        1. Psyx

          Re: Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

          "It would be bonkers to kill off her character so quickly after establishing it."

          The death can always be fixed in a hamfitted manner, as per usual.

          However, the entire point of the character was not the character itself, but to instead create canon in order to pave the way for the potential of a female Doctor in the future.

          1. Badvok

            Re: Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

            "The death can always be fixed in a hamfitted [sic] manner, as per usual."

            Or you know, they could use something totally off-the-wall for Dr. Who, like, I dunno, perhaps time-travel?

            1. Psyx

              Re: Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

              "Or you know, they could use something totally off-the-wall for Dr. Who, like, I dunno, perhaps time-travel?"

              Thus making any emotional investment pointless and tugging the audience around pointlessly, rather spoiling immersion.

              Ultimately, any writer can save any character with a little adroitness and cunning. However, Moffat lacks that delicate touch and his 'twists' are pulled out of nowhere. That's not clever writing: It's like running a shell game without showing people which shell the pea is placed under in the first place or shuffling about. He lifts a random cup, goes 'ta-da' and expects us to be impressed.

              Chekov's gun is not clever if it is hidden in a desk draw where nobody could see it.

    3. Platelet

      Re: Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

      Osgood is dead - Moffat said so. he wanted to show Missy boiling the bunny.

      Missing was left open in the same way that they always kill off the master, it simply doesn't matter

  11. Fibbles

    The Doctor, poised to kill the Master.

    I was on the edge of my seat. Finally, some decent character development for the Doctor instead of everything resetting back to normal at the end of the episode as per usual. Before you go scrambling for the reply button; no, losing feisty female sidekick 4792 doesn't count as character development since feisty female sidekick 4793 will be along presently resulting in no meaningful change.

    I could have forgiven the episode for being rather rambling and cheesy at times if the writers had let him do it and then cut to the punching console scene. It would have been a bit of a downer but probably the punch to the gut this series desperately needs. Instead we got the inevitable deus ex machina to keep the Doctor clean and kiddie friendly.

    I think I'm done with this series.

    NO MORE.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: The Doctor, poised to kill the Master.

      But!- at least The Doctor now is free of the mawkish Doctor Cult that was starting to weigh him down about 'Am I good or not?'; thanks David Tennant for keeping that one one going...

      Also- bloody Rose Tyler didn't stick her nose in at the last minute.

  12. DasBub

    The silver lining.

    Danny's dead! No more drivel about liars and lying. If only they had killed him earlier in the series.

    1. Psyx

      Re: The silver lining.

      Thank goodness. What a sh!t soldier anyway: Always blaming 'officers' for having blood on their hands, despite personally blowing away a child through sheer ineptitude.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ship has crashed. The crew are dead. A title is required.

    Tune in for an epic confrontation! Watch the great Peter Capaldi do battle with the worst script of the season! He struggles valiantly and appears defeated but at the last minute it turns out the show is financially successful in the US and so more of this stuff is guaranteed. Victory for the former star of "The Thick of It" is bittersweet as he has to continue his lonely task of singlehandedly carrying this rubbish.

  14. Christian Berger Silver badge

    One scene doesn't work in Germany...

    As we've grown up with this little clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx9HEn8aq1c

    Which is a reference to a song from this guy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLQk3YrJ5e8

  15. Carneades

    I wanted to like this series - I really did. But I suppose I only enjoy Science Fiction.

  16. Gray
    Windows

    Further confirmation

    of the simple Hollywood proof that despite mind-blowing special effects and explosive action, mindless scripts and senseless plots can defeat any screen production.

    1. Psyx

      Re: Further confirmation

      I'm starting to think that a Michael Bay episode would be an improvement.

  17. Suricou Raven

    Such potential.

    This could have been really good, if the writers hadn't taken the old 'power of love' cliche, and had thrown in a couple of one-line explanations for trivial things like the new cyberman abilities. Claim Missy boosted them with Time Lord technology, maybe.

    The Power of Love is seriously overused though, and pretty stupid. There's nothing wrong with just the basic idea of cybermen resisting control, with some proper explanation and rules, but you can't just throw it in unexplained like that.

  18. tkioz

    Will someone please for the love of all that is holy give Moffat the sack already? I agree with everything in the review, at this point he's gone beyond 'cute' injokes and into full on wank.

    It's not funny anymore, the stories don't even make sense half the time, and don't even get me started on the logic bending crap like a the moon is an egg.

    He needs to go.

    1. stucs201

      Re: I agree with everything in the review

      *The* review? Which one? There were three, which varied rather a lot in their opinion. I'm guessing from the rest of your post you didn't get beyond the first of the three, since that was the most negative.

    2. lorisarvendu

      Never mind the stories making no sense and bending logic. Why on earth would the BBC sack a man who has just produced a series that consistently appears in the Top 20 Most Watched programmes on Television? A series that regularly gets between 6 and 7 million viewers a show, around 20% of the TV audience of that night, and an Audience Appreciation of between Good and Excellent? A series that generates massive amounts of overseas sales and merchandise income?

      Moffat (like RTD before him) is the goose that continues to lay the golden egg. The BBC would be mad to let him (and the show) go.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS

    It's a kids' show. If you want it to be any better than it is, get JK Rowling to write it. But there won't be any money left over for any other programmes, as she like to sit on top of a pile of wealth to rival Smaug's, then give heaps of it to charity.

    Pro tip, JKR - that's actually *our* money... or you could try charging less than £25 for a bit of plastic in a box marked "wand".**

    **way to hijack a thread :(

    1. Lallabalalla

      Re: FFS

      Haters gonna hate. That's right kids.

  20. Tom 7 Silver badge

    My 12 year old daughter

    thought it was really good.

    I'll train her to over analyse it for the next series so she can be miserable too.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: My 12 year old daughter

      "I'll train her to over analyse it for the next series so she can be miserable too."

      Brid-Aine's complaint seems to be the arbitrariness of the plot twists and inconsistencies of the characters' behaviour. She's asking for a coherent plot and plausible character development. If you teach your daughter about those, she won't be able to watch this season of Dr Who again, but as compensation she'll be able to appreciate most decent literature and scriptwriting. That would be a good trade-off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My 12 year old daughter

        "Brid-Aine's complaint seems to be the arbitrariness of the plot twists and inconsistencies of the characters' behaviour"

        I suggest she listens to a couple of the podcasts, Verity! (which happens to be an all-woman group) and Blue Box Podcast (Starburst's columnist J R Southall), which are quite good at deconstructing the narrative. And pick up some alternative readings of whether the characters' are inconsistent or not. Certainly it was interesting on the former as they tried to figure out if Danny was a good sort or not.

  21. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  22. Spotthelemon

    Too Simples

    Dr Who has always been prone to quick & flippant solutions but the current format of 45 minute episodes with a story line normally fitted into one episode, two for the seaon finale exacerbates the problem, there isn't time for a serious solution. This storyline needed three episodes, the first, as was, to create a mystery & give a hint of its solution as a cliff -hanger. The second to develop that hint of a threat into a realistic major threat with a cliff-hanger of doom. Followed by a finale in which the major threat is defeated in a logically consistant manner. Trying to make the second episode bigger on the inside makes the threat nonsensical, , turning UNIT into a bigger joke than usual, giving the cyber men unrealistic & unheard of attributes to develop it, and the solution is throwaway, apart from the credualty overstretching only two cybermen to keep emotions being The Doctors mates, the Mistress-Master simply, having spent all of human history collecting the dead, decides she didn't really mean it after all & hands the threat of doom over to the Doctor to with as he wishes.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Too Simples

      "the Mistress-Master simply, ..., decides she didn't really mean it after all & hands the threat of doom over to the Doctor to [do] with as he wishes"

      The ultimate way to get to the Doctor, give him the power over all. A power that would corrupt anyone. No matter where (or when) you took your army there would be one more injustice to stamp out. And in doing so everyone would be denied free will and it would make a tyrant of the Doctor. It's an upscaled version of the do-you-kill-the-young-Hitler scenario. (previously referenced in Genesis of the Daleks - "Do I have that right?")

      1. steeple

        Re: Too Simples

        Didn't get that to be honest. This is a Time Lord, right? With a time machine, right? And, you're going to tempt him by offering him an... ARMY OF CYBERMEN!

        With a time machine I can beat any army (q.v.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too Simples

      The whole capture the deads minds made sense until the end... after Danny Pink was dead again... HOW did he send that kid back? IF it was back into the galifrayian HDD, then its a HDD, not another dimension... IF it was onto the next plane/universe/whatever then that teleporter wrist gizmo would have remained with his dead body....

  23. David L Webb

    Saving the child

    For no apparent reason the device which could save Danny only had enough power to save one person and Danny is then faced with the choice of saving himself or the child he had killed. OK I can just about live with that but where does the child get its body from ? If Danny had chosen to save himself where would his body have come from - hadn't it been reanimated as a cyberman and then burnt up ?

    1. stucs201

      Re: Saving the child

      How much power did it have? Yes enough for one person, but does that have to mean a small amount? With bigger on the inside tech it could be a huge amount - enough to apply E=mc2.

  24. sege122

    Watching Doctor Who I found it all a bit disturbing. Not frightening in the 'horror' sense but disturbing.

    Was this my natural reaction to death being a subject we dont talk about in the round? Was it this idea of almost resurrection being brought into the script?

    Perhaps the most disturbing thing was it felt like the Who spin-off Torchwood. The was dark, morbid, and somewhat depressing. The scheduling was quite inappropriate too. Directly after this use of the dead walking was the festival of remembrance honouring the dead of wars past. I am not even sure if the story worked either as I didn't understand why the Master would assume the Doctor would take on the role as messianic leader of the cybermen.

    Can we some science fiction led by plot and story rather than shock value please?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "The scheduling was quite inappropriate too. Directly after this use of the dead walking was the festival of remembrance honouring the dead of wars past."

      Agreed. The BBC have rescheduled shows a number of times in recent years for far less tenuous links than that in fear of offending one or two viewers. Maybe they thought that raising the dead to save the living would be appropriate as prelude to the festival of remembrance.

  25. RC Robjohn

    If people are going to comment that Dr Who is nonsensical and implausible perhaps they need to get a good nights sleep. Wake up - this is fiction! It has always been fiction and is not meant to be realistic. If Danny became a Cyberman and slaughtered everybody including Clara then the episode would end abruptly and Dr Who as a series would end. I have watched it for many years (too many) and could pick an unrealistic moment from every single episode. I will pick one nonsensical occurence at random; whenever the Daleks come across the Doctor they always pause and he is allowed to speak - is this realistic? No. I know this will happen every time but it does not take away my enjoyment. The reviewer slates the series (for reasons best known to themself) which I think has been pretty good and when the Doctor propelled his Tardis along using his fingers in the last episode well that was a touch of genius. Take any Sci fi series and it would not be hard to pull it apart. Star Trek for example. How did Kirk always survive whilst the poor security men in the red tops always died? Maybe because it is not real??? I was not a fan of Matt Smith as I never really felt he got to grips with the Doctor but Capaldi is very good.

    1. David L Webb

      Good SciFi stretches reality by introducing ideas which go beyond our current scientific understanding but which aren't totally implausible. Good Fantasy stretches this even further incorporating things such as magic and spells which are implausible in our world. Even in fantasy though there have to be limitations to what magic the protagonists can deploy and hence rules governing the use of magic.

      In both SciFI and Fantasy and indeed any other type of fiction the actions of the characters and plot development have to fit into the logic of the situation and follow the rules of the world as described in that piece of fiction.

      The trouble with Dr Who is that the writers no longer seem to be capable of this and seem to have pretty much given up trying to maintain any consistency with respect to characterisation, motivation or logical plot development. Maybe, as some others have said, a return to the older format of stories taking three or four episodes would help by allowing some of the plotholes to be filled in and the motivation of the characters to be more fully explained.

      I will pick one nonsensical occurence at random; whenever the Daleks come across the Doctor they always pause and he is allowed to speak - is this realistic? No. I know this will happen every time but it does not take away my enjoyment.

      Yes we know DR Who is going to survive, just as we know James Bond isn't going to be shot the moment the bad guys catch him - we know that in the real world that is very unlikely but it isn't totally implausible so we live with it. Good fiction seeks to minimise such unlikely scenarios but in a long running series you can't really kill off the main character everytime he gets captured by the bad guys. Though in the Doctor's case his regenerative abilities do allow that to occur on occasion.

      1. lorisarvendu
        Happy

        Yes we know DR Who is going to survive, just as we know James Bond isn't going to be shot the moment the bad guys catch him - we know that in the real world that is very unlikely but it isn't totally implausible so we live with it. Good fiction seeks to minimise such unlikely scenarios but in a long running series you can't really kill off the main character everytime he gets captured by the bad guys. Though in the Doctor's case his regenerative abilities do allow that to occur on occasion."

        Yes but I think this is the point RC Robjohn is making. We can't complain about Doctor Who ignoring the rules of "proper" writing and character development, when it is so obviously skewed towards bending those rules for the sake of the programme. You want proper dramatic writing? How about picking a popular character who everyone likes, and then giving them a horrible unexpected death? Then look across the internet at the number of people complaining that Moffat was wrong to kill Osgood.

        Normal dramatic rules don't apply to Doctor Who, so you have to have big Reset Buttons at the end of each episode, you have to have crazy coincidences every week, and you have to have convoluted plot twists to protect the main characters from irretrievable death. You can't destroy the TARDIS, the Daleks, the Cybermen, UNIT, without a complicated twist to bring them back.

        Ironically you can kill companions (due to their ephemeral nature), and you can easily kill the lead character (due to the concept of regeneration), making Doctor Who a programme quite unlike any other on TV. Trying to apply usual TV rules to a thoroughly unusual TV show does therefore seem a pretty pointless exercise, though one that fandom (which erroniously prides itself on its open-mindedness and receptiveness to new ideas) embarks on with monotonous regularity.

        1. David L Webb

          Yes but I think this is the point RC Robjohn is making. We can't complain about Doctor Who ignoring the rules of "proper" writing and character development, when it is so obviously skewed towards bending those rules for the sake of the programme.

          .

          .

          .

          Normal dramatic rules don't apply to Doctor Who, so you have to have big Reset Buttons at the end of each episode, you have to have crazy coincidences every week, and you have to have convoluted plot twists to protect the main characters from irretrievable death.

          Any long running series which places them in mortal danger will have the lead character(s) leading charmed lives - that is the nature of long running series. However although we know they will survive they should act as though there was a real possibilty they might die.

          And that certainly doesn't mean that "Normal dramatic rules" don't apply to the rest of the story.

          Perpetual use of crazy co-incidences and deus ex machina escapes are just a sign of bad writing where the author has either painted him/herself into a corner and cannot work out a logical way forward or hasn't even bothered to work out a logical way forward but just opted for an easy lazy way out.

  26. Mralexander25

    Make IT STOP

    So what do you people think now?

    1. She threatened to destroy all of the tardis keys

    2. She tried to blackmail the Doctor into changing history

    3. The Doctor was on a crashing plane and she tried to force him to do "only what she wanted" , "come take the chip out of Danny or I wont talk to you".

    4. She was going to make the Doctor murder Missy. I found myself wanting to see the Master, more than I wanted to see Clara.

    Combine all of this with the fact that she's not interesting, she's not endearing, she's shallow, she's not Amy, Rose, Donna, River, Martha or even Sarah Jane for crying out loud.

    Capaldi is great ... but Clara is all over the place. She has yet to do something to make me say "Wow she's brilliant" ... if they had kept her as a computer genius then maybe, but the Doctor acts as if she is his heart and soul. We have yet to see her do something worthy of that admiration.

    Just whine, whine, whine, cry, try to be bossy like Donna, think I love him like Rose and Martha and not look anywhere near as hot as Amy!

    And I'm all for strong women... My mother is strong woman. But Clara is not strong, she is arrogant. She has not been helpful in a while, and it makes her character pointless. Maybe if they left her as a computer genius, then that would have been interesting... But really is she the one to judge if the Doctor is a "Good Man"? She's not even a "Good Woman", so how would she know?

    And the whole Clara and Mr Pink thing is annoying. Is their purpose to be the opposite of everything we loved about Amy and Rory? And speaking for myself and all of my fellows in Armed Services across the globe, STOP BEING SUCH A WHINNY !#$@!#. Cry, Cry, Cry..... The Doctor is a General and I'm just a little cog in the machine. We go to war, we bring things back, but we didn't become magically wiser than a 1000 year old Time Lord in the process.

    I hate the whole thing... Danny, the little girl who is destined to become a dropout, the elementary school rejects, the attack of the killer trees, the space orient express (a little too Titanic in space for me, wink) There is no originality, no character development and it makes Clara tiresome.

    Make it STOP!!!!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Make IT STOP

      "Make it STOP!!!!"

      They just did. Atlantis is back next week in the Dr Who slot. We can all sit back and enjoy something with a bit more plausibility and plot lines.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Make IT STOP

        Atlantis

        Well if you suddenly found yourself there wouldn't you use your modern knowleage to make things better for your self?

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Make IT STOP

      Sarah Jane was never an "even".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Make IT STOP

      Agreed Mralexander25. Let me add that Clara/Danny never appeared for an instant as a couple in love. Exactly, the Clara character is in no sense a strong woman; apparently she is supposed to be smart but the character has been written so in comparison Rose was an intellectual giant. Why the doctor would take any interest in a whiny intellectually challenged bossy school teacher stereotype has not even been hinted at in dialogue or story. I hope we have seen the last of the self-obsessed woman and the not quite boyfriend. Capaldi to stay but lets have writers capable of depicting a strong female character (hint - not based on another 2000 year post-op). My wife commented after the finale if it wasn't for me and my son, she was ready to give up on the series.

    4. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Make IT STOP

      @ Mralexander25

      You forgot the bit about Danny having some mysterious timeline whereby he, or his descendent, turns up at the end of the world or the universe or whatever it was *which was then never mentioned again*

      My own 2p: Moffat's no idiot so I can only assume someone at the BBC has told him: we want X million viewers and Y million 'social messaging' comments for each episode. Do whatever you like as long as people talk about it. So here we are.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For all the praise for the Missy character, she seemed to me to be just a complete rehash of Gomez's almost identical character in Green Wing.

    1. Steven Raith

      There's definitely a fair dollop of that, but the question is, do you think that's a good thing?

      I do.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      On seeing her in the first episode, I was expecting a Delgardo like performance. Sadly, we got John Simms on speed.

      1. Steven Raith

        John Simm with better sexual chemistry, I thought, but each to their own.

        I'll freely admit I do like a bit of Michelle Gomez, though - if you aren't into that kind of performance, I suppose it might grate a bit.

        Steven R

  28. Ali on the Reg

    Glad it isn't just me

    Read Brid-Aine's review agree with it 100%. Doctor Who isn't a science fiction series anymore nd hasn't been for a while, it's a fantasy series that isn't particularly fantastic. Yet mysteriously most viewers seem to lap it up even though none of it makes sense in the slightest. I realised after The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall did well that things no longer have to make sense to suceed, but what a mess.

  29. netean

    I'm just glad it's over

    Worst series EVER and I'm glad it's over at last. 12 utterly disappointing, instantly forgettable episodes.

    Looking back at Jenna Coleman's character, she started really well (I thought), a really interesting, strong character and to see how she's has been reduced to being just so boring, just so empty, it's a real shame. Not so much character development as character reduction.

    1. Chris 3

      Re: I'm just glad it's over

      Not really. She started as magic-pixie-impossible-girl and ended up as a character with a bit of emotional depth and complexity.

  30. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Meh

    Puzzled by it.

    And they killed Osgood. Not good.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Puzzled by it.

      But... it could have been Zygon Osgood. I hope so, anyway.

      1. Paul Kinsler

        Re: could have been Zygon Osgood.

        Do zygons smell bad? there some references to body odour... perhaps it was of earth & iron, not just being a bit unwashed...

  31. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    Plan Ten from Outer Space

    Seriously Moffat, when you're reduced to stealing plot ideas from Ed Wood it's time to go.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Plan Ten from Outer Space

      Plan 9 didn't work out so well... on to the next one.

      1. saabpilot
        Thumb Up

        Re: Plan Ten from Outer Space

        How many episodes in this series? :)

  32. Chris 3

    An enjoyable episode that finished an enjoyable series

    Some fine acting from the The Doctor and Clara, a series in which the Doctor's morality is put under the lens, siome nice character driven episodes, a few properly scary ones. Some laughter, a few damp eyes and the return of the master (and no she's not dead).

    Overall a cracking return to form for what is - let's face it - a kids show that adults can enjoy watching too.

  33. ukgnome Silver badge

    Dear Brid

    did you actually bother watching the show? Had you been drinking? Even a six year old could understand why CyberDanny had emotions. Ugh, I could go on but maybe it's best that I simply ignore your drivel.

    1. David L Webb

      Re: Dear Brid

      Even a six year old could understand why CyberDanny had emotions. Ugh, I could go on but maybe it's best that I simply ignore your drivel.

      Please explain - since I obviously have less understanding than a 6 year old.

      I really don't understand why his emotional inhibitor was off - or for that matter why these Cybermen would have a control panel to turn it on or off on their fronts.

      In the past the Cybnermen haven't required their converts to agree to conversion so Danny's pressing or not of the delete button is irrelevant - they would just have converted his body, downloaded him and turned on the inhibitor. Their not turning the inhibitor on doesn't make sense to me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Brid

        I'll give an explanation a go.

        Past conversions were of the living who have emotions (as the Doctor put it in Dark Water - "mass of chemicals")

        These were conversions of the dead. The body is cold and lifeless (and probably dried out), but their essence has been mapped by the Matrix Slice. Seb - through manipulation - gets them to voluntarily edit out their emotions before they are downloaded to the Cybersuits wrapped around what remains of their bodies.

        As the emotions aren't present, there's no need to have the inhibitor circuit operational as default. (Tennant first finds the inhibitor circuit behind the front circle plate in Age of Steel? Classic series had brain surgery, drugs, and other voodoo etc).

        I've probably overlooked something but it seems to hang together.

  34. Simone

    Oh, not again...!

    Once again The Register gives 3 reviews in one article - a confused mess to rival each writers opinion of the Dr Who story line. Lets hope that The Reg does not ask them to watch (or write) again.

    The writers need to get an education. Before attacking the science in a SCIENCE FICTION show, learn some science (or at least the Who extensions of it). The stumbling Cybermen are 'like children', nothing to do with emotion inhibitors, yet clearly there would be others that had been 'born' a while before who could attack the plane. Perhaps they attacked it because Missy was on board? The Master surviving? He/she is a Time Lord, like the Doctor, and can regenerate (why not into a woman?). Cyberman DNA does not reanimate, it kills. The Time Lord technology captures the conscience of the dead and reloads it into a Cyberman suited body. An extension on previous Cybermen in the rebooted series. St Pauls is a Tardis sized structure on the inside, easily big enough for a Cyberman factory and Cybermen metal store.

    Then there's the psychology. The Master has always been manic, power crazy AND wanting to play mind games with the Doctor, his childhood friend. The Doctor has frequently grieved for being the last Time Lord, and the rescuing of Gallifrey last series would give him hope. No wonder he cracks up when he finds that once again the Master has tricked him into thinking it would be there.

    The Doctor has always had an issue with his actions, using his 'power' to resolve a conflict and wondering if he was doing the right thing. So is he good or bad? He does not know. He has always been against those who take up arms; hence his dislike of Danny Pink. Danny went away to fight, did as he was told and killed a child. He has a dislike of authority figures, and sees the Doctor as one. Cue conflicting attitudes.

    UNIT, and the rest of the leaders of the Earth, need a powerful leader for unearthly events. They decide that the Doctor should be World President, a role he does not want. Their relationship has always been uneasy. This added another dimension (sic) to the relationship with Danny Pink and with the Master.

    Clara was brought together with the Doctor to KEEP them together, part of the Masters plan (not every time they met). She was clearly close to Matt Smith, but was confused by Capaldi's Doctor. He was clearly confused by his regeneration; the good/bad dilemma adding to him not knowing who he is. The relationship destroyed, her controlling nature leads to her trying to be like the Doctor. Rather than be killed by the Cybermen, she continues to pretend, to save her life; a role she had succeeded with in the 2D/3D invaders story. To avoid inflicting heartbreak on each other, they both lie as they go their own ways.

    Like (apparently) the authors, I have not researched the facts here, but I do accept that the majority of the episodes do make sense, in a Dr Who way, given that the episodes are only 45 minutes long. That is not long enough to knit together all the threads of the plot in a way that is simple enough for the authors to follow without using their brain.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Oh, not again...!

      "Once again The Register gives 3 reviews in one article - a confused mess to rival each writers opinion of the Dr Who story line. Lets hope that The Reg does not ask them to watch (or write) again."

      I can't see the objection to this; on the contrary I rather like the concept of "Rashomon reviewing".

    2. Psyx

      Re: Oh, not again...!

      "The writers need to get an education. Before attacking the science in a SCIENCE FICTION show, learn some science"

      I hate to break this to you, but in literary terms, Dr. Who is not science fiction.

  35. Niall Mac Caughey

    Drivel too far

    I have two children, a boy of 14 and a special needs girl of 16; originally both dedicated Whovians.

    He has become increasingly discontented with the Moffat series. I have been absolutely non-committal on the basis that, as a thoroughly cranky critic who watched the very first episode of Dr. Who, it would really be best if I kept my mouth shut and let them form their own opinions.

    My daughter is devoted to Dr. Who and has been immune to the dreadful plot holes and idiotic scripts, but the finale was too much, even for her. She was bitterly disappointed and furious at the nonsensical nature of so many plot details, not least of which being "come closer and I'll whisper in your ear" I mean, WTF?

    Seriously, if a devoted special needs teenager is disgusted with the show, it has definitely lost it's way. We can simply accept it as normal teenage behaviour that her younger brother has vowed to find and kill Steve Moffat.

  36. WatAWorld

    Anyone else think this season is targeted at the "under 8" age bracket?

    Anyone else think this season is targeted at the "under 8" age bracket?

    So much of the dialogue seems targeted at affirming faith in teachers and telling us "not to worry she's safe now". I'm fine with watching a show targeted at 12 to 18 year-olds, but this year has been silly.

    I say this, I'm in Canada and I haven't seen this specific episode being reviewed. I'm speaking based on this season's earlier episodes.

    I've deleted Dr. Who from auto-recording on my PVR.

    Should I put the auto-record back?

    1. lorisarvendu

      Re: Anyone else think this season is targeted at the "under 8" age bracket?

      I don't think it, I know it. And so does Steven Moffat. 20% of the viewing public are between the ages of 4 and 15, while less than half of that figure (9%) are aged 16-25.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Anyone else think this season is targeted at the "under 8" age bracket?

      I thought it was suitable for 8 to 80. IQ that is.

  37. Chris Priest

    Actually, in a previous episode, Rise of the Cybermen, when the doctor and Mrs Moore were in the underground chamber and Mrs Moore lobs the EMP at the cyberman, the doctor reveals the emotional inhibitor under the cyberman's chest plate.

    Personally I liked the episode, granted it was a bit daft, but the best bit for me was when the Doctor saluted Leftbridge-Stuart and he hung his head.

  38. RyokuMas Silver badge
    WTF?

    Watched last night on catch-up...

    ... there's a chunk of my life I'm not getting back.

    The last episode since the reboot that measured up to my childhood memories was "Blink". Okay, I know I've got a good few years under my belt, and I'm allowing for a degree of adulthood cynicism, but this last series... really???

    I feel sorry for Peter Capaldi - in fact I wouldn't be surprised if he went all Malcolm Tucker on the scriptwriters...

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Watched last night on catch-up...

      Blink was superb, as were the two episodes before.

      Pity this last series has lost the magic of Blink, The Girl in the Fireplace, Doctor Dances/Empty Child.

      Good moments but not a good series.

      The Pond Williams period was to me much better

    2. MrXavia

      Re: Watched last night on catch-up...

      Completely agree, he was great as the Dr, in fact the whole cast was amazing this season, one of the best ever, but the writing was terrible! Like they wasted the budget on actors and forgot to hire scriptwriters so they hired a bunch of 6 year olds to write it...

  39. Landanlad
    IT Angle

    Clara, The Impossible Girl.

    For me I loved Clara, Jenna Coleman makes a brilliant actor. She was independant, useful and witty giving The Doctor the kick up the backside he needed. The ending was poor and disappointing, Is that really it for Clara? She's given the name The Impossible girl but yet is left with nothing but a shoddy ending? If she is back at Christmas which I should hope so I don't want any Danny storylines, that should be done and dusted. I bet Moffat WILL bring Clara back on the Christmas Special but she'll die or get trapped and The Doctor will never see her again, It's so predictable. Leave Clara alone and give her a decent ending!

  40. johnfourone

    The Eyes

    Anyone notice that, in the opening title sequence, after Clara has declared herself to be The Docter, Peter Capaldi's eyes have been replaced by those of a woman? What are we to make of that?

  41. johnfourone

    The Eyes

    This the third time I've tried to make this post. Let's hope it works this time. Anyone else notice that the opening titles, which normally feature Peter Capaldi's eyes, had, on this occasion, a woman's eyes, possibly Clara's? What are we to make of that?

    1. FlatSpot
      Trollface

      Re: The Eyes

      Keep the noise down, I heard you the first time.

  42. lorisarvendu

    Osgood's Death - Needless? Pointless?

    If you're going to kill a character to hammer home the point that Missy is thoroughly evil, then you pick a character that everyone likes, who no-one believes is actually going to die.

    This is why Bambi's mother is killed, not just Bambi's friend. Because it hurts the most. Compare this with the Master in the classic series killing Tegan's Aunt Vanessa. Who cared?

    This is called drama.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Osgood's Death - Needless? Pointless?

      I cared about Tegan's aunt. Well, I cared that Tegan cared. She was pretty shook up about it.

      1. lorisarvendu

        Re: Osgood's Death - Needless? Pointless?

        "I cared about Tegan's aunt. Well, I cared that Tegan cared. She was pretty shook up about it.!

        I'm sorry. I didn't realise. If it's any consolation, Aunt Vanessa went to a better place (probably somebody's toy cupboard from the size of her).

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Osgood's Death - Needless? Pointless?

          She lost all that weight for a start.

  43. Cloudmess

    Easy tigers. For those of you who were disappointed by the plot-holes and the lack of realism (which is bit like being disappointed by the discovery that snow is cold or the sea is wet), all you needed to know was this: Cybermen are somehow able to fly now, rather than just lurch along Cardiff streets like piles sufferers wearing tin-foil; if UNIT wasn't so useless they wouldn't always need the Doctor would they? The Brigadier is now a (friendly) Cyberman; Cyberman DNA can revive the remains of 200-year-old corpses; the point of the Doctor's presidency is that he is offered almost limitless power by both the good and bad guys in the episode and ultimately rejects both; Missy now has possible romantic designs on her fellow timelord, and rather than drag him down to Ceroc on a Wednesday evening wants to share her evil lust for power with him instead. Unless you are a child of 10, just forget all of this nonsensical plot. Instead enjoy the Edwardian spectacle of humanity being threatened by alien annihilation yet again, and the sight of Cybermen climbing out of graves under darkening skies, and Missy's banter with Capaldi, and the Doctor's Goldeneye stunt with the Tardis and the poignant, ever-developing (and very British) relationship between the Doctor and Clara.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      The Brig is now a kind of Iron Man. Maybe, now Earth has a defender, we'll see some proper space based adventures.

  44. MJI Silver badge

    Holes

    Didn't we see in a previous episode a descendant of Danny Pink?

    1. lorisarvendu

      Re: Holes

      Check out the opening sequence of last week. One of the post-it notes says "Three months".

      Pregnant??

      1. Jess

        Re: Pregnant??

        I'm glad someone else thought of that.

        Given the obvious Danny Pink descendant, I am pretty sure that in the opening conversation of Dark Waters, Clara was trying to tell Danny she is pregnant. (And I'd not even noticed the "three months" post it.

        I really enjoyed these two episodes.

  45. AndyMulhearn

    Reality Dysfunction

    Unfortunately the whole story screamed at me ripoff of Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy. Nothing more to be said really, other than that the first 15 minutes of the penultimate episode was pretty good but then it all disappeared down the crapper. Capaldi has the look and the skills to carry it off and be one of the better Drs. but not if he's going to be continually fed this kind of drivel.

  46. saabpilot

    Moffet MUS GO

    Agreed both plot hole the size or planets and timeline errors.

    Underdeveloped storylines (im being polite here) characterisation that would befit a failed script writer.

    then the usual moffet trick of a random rabbit out of the hat to get him out of the deadend he's written himself into.

    I (avid fan- except for the McCoy yrs) ) normally would make an effort to see DrWho but this series has just left me cold I really couldnt care if I watch it or not.

    Next plot line for the Dr -- KILL MOFFET painfully as possible.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Moffet MUS GO, but are there alternatives ??

      To be honest show running he has been up to this series been a better show runner than RTD. But show running has dropped his script quality. Pre Clara the story arcs were better.

      Before you knock him remember the little elf doctor. The episode we have all forgotten with Peter Kay. The farting aliens, all the average episodes were forget.

      Also remember the excellent episodes from the early reboot such as "Are you my mummy?", The Girl in the Fireplace, and of course his best ever work, Blink.

      To be honest a rest is best so we can have really good stories again, and a joint show runner to point him in the correct direction.

      That said the special with John Hurt was rather good, and some proper out of sequence time stuff!

  47. TRT Silver badge

    On the other hand... it could have been Zygon Osgood that got zapped.

  48. Joefish
    Trollface

    So once again, all you need to defeat the Cybermen

    is a crying baby...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could have had Cyber-Clara

    The dead were rising again as Cyberpersons. There was an earlier version of a Clara from Victorian times. It would have been fun to have had her climb out of her grave and help out somehow :)

    1. ShadowDragon8685

      Re: Could have had Cyber-Clara

      I was expecting that, actually, but it didn't happen.

      Then again, Vastra and Strax (and probably Jenny, between Vastra's Silurian tech and Strax's medical training) should, theoretically, still be around, with two of them probably inhuman enough to be immune to cyberconversion. You'd think that they'd take action, too, what with London being their home as well.

      Of course, one could also ask where Martha Jones and Micky Smith are, what with Jones ostensibly still being a member of, or at least affiliated with, UNIT, etc, etc.

      In the end, well... Any overt lack of control on Missy's part, or any oddity of these cybermen, can be adequately explained by the fact that they are not normal cybermen. There's no cybercontroller; there's no Cyberman plot. This is all Missy's doing, and it's entirely understandable that Missy wouldn't be as expert a cyber-controller as an actual cybercontroller. That's why a lot of them danced around, dazed and confused; only the ones she'd personally preprogrammed (in the cathedrals) would be ready to go with her plan. Remember, there were only four attacking the plane, it's entirely possible she called those four from a reserve she didn't mention to the Doctor (maybe the ones in the Republic of Ireland,) when she mentioned the number of cybermen in the cathedral in London.

      It would also easily explain why certain, especially strong-willed individuals, like the Brigadier, or Danny Pink, with personal, close emotional connections to the situation at hand, and probably some awareness of what was going on, were able to defy her. (The Brig probably followed her safety-briefing instructions voluntarily, to maintain the ruse that he was under her control.)

      As regards the mutual, devastating lies...

      They were entirely understandable, and entirely boneheaded. The Doctor lied to Clara because he didn't want to admit how hurt he was that Missy had lied to him, how hurt he was that his homeworld wasn't there. He wanted to spare Clara from any guilt she might have felt at realizing that she'd insisted that he either execute, or let her execute, the one person whom they knew WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, knew the location of Gallifrey, without taking the time to interrogate her or fact-check it.

      Clara, in turn, perceived the Doctor as being something she hadn't seen him really be since he wore a bowtie: happy. Joyful. Elevated by mirth and cheer. As far as she knew (though she really should have remembered Rule One: The Doctor Lies,) everything was going aces for him, he was going to be able to go home, see his granddaughter, maybe his parents, for the first time in far longer than anyone should have to go without seeing them. She did, after all, demonstrate knowledge about him - I daresay that not even the Master knows the Doctor as well as Clara Oswald does, perhaps not even the Doctor knows the Doctor as well as the Impossible Girl knows the Doctor. She did, after all, impersonate him /so successfully/ as to prevent herself from being cyberconverted, and only someone who had firsthand knowledge that she was NOT the doctor - IE, Danny Pink - was able to say for sure that she wasn't the Doctor.

      In tabletop RPG terms, she rolled a natural 20 to tell an absurdly unbelievable lie, and pulled it off. She told a whopper and got away with it, largely thanks to the massive circumstance bonus of practically being the Doctor's own biographer. So she, of all people, would know just how important going home was to the Doctor; and she'd also know that if she told him that Danny Pink had chosen to send the youth back instead of himself, it would crush him, because she would be crushed, too. It might even delay him from going home, sending him off on another attempt to bring him back from wherever he had gone. So she lied, so that he could believe everything was peaches and roses with her, and he could go home; unfortunately, he'd also lied to her, and he didn't have a peachy, rosy home to go back to.

      Entirely understandable, entirely boneheaded, and the kind of thing that could only happen because both of them cared more about the other than about themselves. Am I happy about it? Not in the slightest, I loved the Impossible Girl. Perhaps the Doctor will actually regenerate /into/ her at some point in the future, because Jenna Coleman has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she has the chops to be The Doctor. Perhaps she'll come back. Hell, perhaps another time-echo of her will show up; she is still the Impossible Girl, the girl who tore herself into a million, billion pieces and scattered herself throughout all of time and space. Or perhaps she'll figure out how to repair the Time Lord bracelet and use it to locate the Master's TARDIS and go off on her own adventures throughout time and space, perhaps picking up the Doctor's Daughter along the way or something. Or maybe she'll pop back to the late 1890s and chill with Vastra, Strax and Jenny.

      Either way, I refuse to believe that a mundane goodbye and the life of a schoolteacher forevermore is what awaits Clara Oswald.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "But what to make of the Doctor’s meltdown in the TARDIS? This was a unexpected moment, his console trashing made more powerful for its silence over swelling music. Why now, looking at harmless blank space, having survived death on may occasions?"

    Gavin, he wasn't looking out at harmless blank space when he visited the Gallifrey coordinates the Master gave him. Go watch the scene again - there's a very good reason for his flip-out.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

      Do tell. Spiral galaxy on the scanner and star-dotted space when he opened the doors. No planet.

      1. MrXavia

        That is WHY he flipped out... the planet was not there...

        1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

          Huh. So it WAS that obvious. I thought I had to watch carefully.

  51. John G Imrie Silver badge

    Two questions

    What was that stuff about PE and Clara being a maths teacher and what did The Doctor see that made him flip out in the Tardis?

  52. The Jase

    Buttons

    "So now Danny is a Cyberman, but somehow, he’s held on to his emotions. This is never properly explained."

    Did you pop out for tea.

    "Press this button to remove the pain" Thats why he held on, he didn't press it... duh!

  53. Yugguy

    I miss the arcs

    I miss the four or five episode arcs we had back in the day, where a story and characters could be developed and not have to expounded and wrapped up in 45 minutes.

  54. MalPearce

    Missy! Er, I mean MOM! Shut up Ted! etc

    Well, I for one woz totally convinced by how Missy was going to destory all humankind in the future *again* - in a carbon copy of the Toclafane plot - because she wanted her old school chum back. This is a bit like getting an old boyfriend to like you by shooting all his pet bunnies and presenting him with a bunnie pie. Even a bunny boiler's not that bonkers. Hasn't Missy heard of Moonpig?

  55. MrXavia

    The acting Acting is brilliant, the effects are great...

    The Story? Terrible!

    The writers for this entire season should be banned from ever going near Dr Who again...

  56. chris lively
    Thumb Down

    Meh.

    That's how I rate this current season: Meh.

    The "story arc", if you want to call it that, wasn't exactly thrilling. During every single episode I was hoping they'd just go ahead and "regenerate" him. Capaldi and Coleman are good actors however I think the writing this season has been positively atrocious and I have very little expectations for the Christmas episode.

    This season has simply meandered all over the place. Pulling book characters like Robin Hood and tying that to concepts of Heaven had the possibility of saying that this Dr has moved into some weird alternate universe timeline based on fairy tales... Kind of like the reveal around the crack in the universe and Amy. Yet, this hasn't materialized.

    The draw to the Dr. Who reboot is that it is smart and funny along with presenting solid ethical dilemmas intelligently with the Dr leading the way. This entire season felt as if he was just a little raft on a big ocean being thrown about with little ability to direct things no matter how much running around he's done or pretty speeches he might give.

    The Oswald character had a tremendous amount going for her. Although I really believe that she should have exited as soon as she stepped into the Dr.'s time stream. Everything that's happened since then just doesn't make any real sense. What could she have possibly wanted to tell Danny that was so important that she didn't want to tell him to his face? And, no, I don't buy that a woman would NOT want to see a man's face when she told him she was pregnant so it wasn't that.

    All in all, this season of Who feels like the authors are trying to be smarter than they really are and are utterly failing in the process.

  57. Marshalltown

    I am not entirely a fan of the current (later Doctor) series, but still, that has to be a summary by a viewer expecting and finding the worst - confirmation bias in short. First off, and most glaringly, Gavin Clark seems to have missed points, both in this and other episodes involving cybermen that show they aren't precisely perfect. It is clear for instance that the very LAST cyberman in the episode was the revenant of Lethbridge-Stewart, who saved his daughter or grand daughter - I forget and don't really care which. So it wasn't just Danny who was not fully taken over by the hive mind of the cybermen. L-S finally gets a salute from the Doctor too.

    Second, and far more potentially important to the storyline (or tangle) is the fact that we DO NOT KNOW what the doctor saw at the coordinates provided by Missy. The audience sees straight out the door into empty space, the Doc is looking down and to the right at something not shown to the audience. We get to look out the door and see nothing, but never get a glimpse of what the Doctor sees. So, was his rage in that scene because he still doesn't know where Gallifrey is, or because Missy, the reincarnation, more or less of his "childhood friend," actually DID tell the truth. That friend, who clearly expressed the need for HER friend, is now gone and the Doctor failed her again.

    Third, it is also clear that we still really have no proper clue as to just who (or what) Clara Oswald really is. She was a Dalek once - more faulty technoology, a Victorian governess come Torchwood associate, and once more a school teacher in 21st C London. She has already been dead twice and yet seems to have the endurance of the Energizer rabbit - or a Time Lord. I vote she's really the Rani.

    1. David L Webb

      Third, it is also clear that we still really have no proper clue as to just who (or what) Clara Oswald really is. She was a Dalek once - more faulty technoology, a Victorian governess come Torchwood associate, and once more a school teacher in 21st C London. She has already been dead twice and yet seems to have the endurance of the Energizer rabbit - or a Time Lord. I vote she's really the Rani.

      You obviously missed the "Name of the Doctor"

      where the Great Intelligence jumps into the wound in time at the heart of the Doctor's Tomb - his abandoned Tardis from after his death - in order to rewrite the Doctor's History turning every victory into defeat. Clara then also jumps into the wound and is split into multiple versions scattered throughout the Doctor's timeline each dedicated to helping the Doctor and countering the effects of the Great Intelligence.

  58. ShadowDragon8685
    Thumb Up

    As for other things about this episode...

    Re: Osgood's death.

    Pointless. I liked her. I can only hope that was Zygon Osgood; maybe they've been trading off days and this was Zygood's day (and day to die.) Though if that were the case, you'd think that Zygood would have undisguised itself and surprised the hell out of Missy... Also, those soldiers were apparently UTTERLY useless, to the point I suspect that they may have been holograms under Missy's control all along. Seriously, they were BEHIND her, and didn't notice her picking the lock on her handcuffs? (And for that matter, why did they restrain her with handcuffs, and not zip-ties? And why didn't they SEARCH HER when they had her restrained? USELESS!)

    Why didn't the DOCTOR order someone to search and make absolutely sure that Missy was very, very thoroughly restrained? He of all people should know how crafty and canny she is. He was the President of the World at the time, he could've ordered them to fling her out of the plane and they would have!

    Re: Missy's plan.

    As Missy was so fond of pointing out, she's bananas. Or at least, likes to put that on. You'd think that Time Lord medicine would have cured sociopathy, but I guess not. I reckon she was trying to break the Doctor, as usual, and turn him into a willing participant. Well, that was always going to end badly for her.

    Re: Missy's death.

    Could go either way, honestly. The Brig did blast her with a cyber-weapon, and he'd be familiar enough with Time Lords to probably have set the thing as high as it would go. Cybermen do prefer to kill humans so they can convert them, but they have to be able to ramp up the pew-pew power, if enough cyber-blasts are capable of overloading a Dalek's shields and blasting it to bits even through its armor. One-on-one, a cyberman's not a match for a Dalek, but we've seen them acquit themselves admirably in the middle of pitched firefights where they can focus fire on individual Daleks. So, it could go either way; a full-power shot from a cyberweapon to a Time Lord might be enough to kill them dead even if they had regenerations remaining, or it might not. Even if not, however, we don't really know how many regenerations the Master had left; he'd undoubtedly spent at least five, and probably more. Missy might have been his last, or not. Or, it's entirely possible that the blue of the cyber-blast covered up Missy's blue teleporter, and she's not dead. Or she was killed and teleported out as she was in the process of dying, and Regenerated somewhere else; the Doctor did say she had to have a TARDIS somewhere else. We may or may not have seen the last of the Master/Mistress.

    Also, do note that the Brigadier only fired /after/ he was certain that the Doctor was going to. It's a very minor thing to think of, but it clearly was a measure of his respect for the Doctor. He would have had every reason, every justification, and even every authority, to execute Missy unilaterally on behalf of the United Kingdom and the Planet Earth, but he respected the Doctor so much - and respected the Doctor's jurisdiction over another Time Lord so much - that he stayed his cyber-gun until he was sure that the Doctor had made the decision to fire. Then he, like the Doctor sparing Clara from having to do it, spared the Doctor from having to do it. Clearly, Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart isn't the kind of officer afraid to get his hands dirty the way Danny thinks of most officers.

    Re: The Master returning as Missy.

    Obviously, something happened. The last time we saw the Master, he was marching on the Time Lord Council with vengeance in his eyes, and was spending Regeneration energy to counter Rassilon's technology-granted power. Even if he prevailed and slaughtered the council without taking a mortal wound in the process or needing to regenerate, of course, Gallifrey was being pulled back into the Time War, and he was trapped on a planet besieged by Daleks. Lots of opportunity there for him to beef it and Regenerate as a guano insane Scotswoman. Or, hell, he might have triggered the Regeneration voluntarily, just to change his face. Or, for another switch altogether, he might have used simple transhuman technologies (trans-Time Lord technologies?) to give himself a full body/accent revision /without/ a Regeneration; we know that Time Lord tech is certainly advanced enough for that. Suffice to say, the Master returning as The Mistress is not something that makes me go "that can't be!"

    Re: Nick Frost as Father Christmas.

    I'm glad I sat there digesting the end on my couch, rather than ending the on-demand playback I just watched, or I'd have missed the stinger. Clearly, they're setting up the Christmas Special. And we all know what the Doctor's Christmases are like, so undoubtedly there's going to be much with the running and the shouting and the screaming and probably the dying. But Nick Frost as Father Christmas? Heh. I wonder if Simon Pegg is going to be joining them... I hope so. That should be a good one.

    1. David L Webb

      Re: As for other things about this episode...

      Even if not, however, we don't really know how many regenerations the Master had left; he'd undoubtedly spent at least five, and probably more.

      As I recall The Master used up all his regenerations in the classic series but he found ways around that such as stealing Tremas' body in "The Keeper of Traken"

      He obviously regained the ability to regenerate at some point after that but how many regenerations he has used up since then is an open question.

    2. Psyx

      Re: As for other things about this episode...

      "Why didn't the DOCTOR order someone to..."

      ...shoot her in the face ten seconds after capture.

      It was certainly what I was screaming at the TV.

  59. Buffalo4

    Writers

    Seems like the writers are younger and probably female.

    Most of the attention seems to have gone away from the Dr and towards the women in the program.

    Women's lib seems to be affecting the writing and storyline as it seems to mostly about them and the Dr gets treated like an imbecile. Most of the previous female companions were great and really added to the stories.

    Clara's addition does not. Perhaps it should be renamed Dr Clara. :(.

    The story lines seems to be written by writers who are clueless about the Dr Who series. Young writers with little imagination and no experience, just trying to get attention.

    This new series sucks, and that is probably why it got so damn much press before it started. (Trying to put lipstick on a pig)

    You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

    1. lorisarvendu
      WTF?

      Re: Writers

      "Seems like the writers are younger and probably female."

      Hmmmm....Check facts much? It would have taken you less than a minute to look on Wikipedia and find out that all the writers on Series 8 of Doctor Who are male - Phil Ford, Stephen Thompson, Gareth Roberts, Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat. Peter Harness, Jamie Matheson, and Frank Cottrell Boyce.

      "Women's lib seems to be affecting the writing and storyline as it seems to mostly about them and the Dr gets treated like an imbecile. Most of the previous female companions were great and really added to the stories."

      Wow! I haven't heard the phrase "Women's Lib" since the 1970s! I guess I must have missed the episode where Clara burned her bra. Sadly it doesn't appear to be affecting the writing much as apart from Helen Raynor ("Evolution of the Daleks") I don't think any women have written for the new series of Doctor Who. Never mind a female Doctor, how about some female writers?

      "The story lines seems to be written by writers who are clueless about the Dr Who series. Young writers with little imagination and no experience, just trying to get attention."

      Young writers like Steven Moffat (52), Peter Harness (38), Mark Gatiss (48), Gareth Roberts (46), who are all obviously clueless about Doctor Who...despite all publicly acknowledging themselves as long-time fans and having been involved in the series in one way or another since at least 2005. Oh and they're so inexperienced. After all, Gatiss has only been writing for TV since 1995, and Moffat has only seven TV series, four Hugos, five BAFTAS and an Emmy under his belt.

      I agree with you, with such talentless female hacks, no wonder this new series is so deplorable.

  60. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    WTF?

    A million flies can't be wrong

    As far as I can see, the commutards on El Reg are the only ones to consistently express disappointment in this series and explain why with well-reasoned arguments.

    Everyone else seems to lurve it! See title...

    1. lorisarvendu
      Happy

      Re: A million flies can't be wrong

      This inherent contradiction has been going on since at least 2005. I think it's down to people with negative opinions being more likely to post than those with positive ones. This is why comments threads are full of fans deploring the new series, and yet it gets high scores on the Gallifrey Base Ratings Poll. Fandom as a whole loves the new series, but sees no need to share that love. Conversely the fans who don't like it (and I accept that opinions differ) do share their dislike, and so threads fill up with a disproportionately high number of negative comments.

      These comments in turn are seized upon by other commentators as evidence that "no-one likes the new series", simply because so many people seem to be commenting that they don't like it. People who do like it rarely seem to post unsolicited praise (well, rarely compared those who don't like it), and are often confined to defensive posts.

      Ladies and Gentlemen. May I introduce you to Online Fandom.

  61. admiraljkb

    Am I the only one surprised/disappointed that...

    The female Time Lord wasn't the Rani? Seems like most of the dialogue and character manner was more befitting the Rani than the Master, so I have to wonder if that wasn't a last minute change?

  62. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Thank you for clarifying my confused, general "I hate this" without requiring I spend any time to work out the details of why. Spot on for me.

    Perhaps the worst thing I can say about this episode was that I got bored with it halfway through and started multi-tasking (ie doing something more interesting while using DW as background).

    This series has suffered from appalling writing, with cgi and wire-fu standing in for character-driven stories at every turn. This episode simply turned up the volume, stealing shamelessly from other people's ideas.

    Please, for the love of Hartnell, please, BBC, hire some proper UK science fiction writers to come up with character-driven stories with tech oomph for scenery before this show goes tits-up AGAIN.

    If nothing else please get rid of the Orphan Black Plot Generator that informs everything made by Auntie these days. Don't let writers put in "cool" weird stuff unless they understand NOW how it all fits in. No more Prisoner Plot Endings (aka "I haven't a f*cking clue how to wind this up but I'm under contract to do so"). No more Clara Oswald Walkaways.

    Inexplicable stuff unresolved is not clever or compelling., It is annoying and boring. Just ask anyone who read book five of the Game of Thrones saga.

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