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The Doctor Who Club v.4

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somewhat backwards.
Aaaaa I am a week late because of not having internet last weekend due to moving shenanigans. D: I did watch The Caretaker live but then I just didn't have enough of a chance to gather my thoughts and post about it.

(still in spoiler tags because it feels weird not using them)

Well, that was amusing seeing this Doctor in a normal human environment. It's an interesting contrast from his previous self, really. When the Eleventh Doctor had to blend in with humans, he actually tried to be human and just failed hilariously because he had all the wrong ideas. Here, the Twelfth didn't even really bother trying. His alien-ness is showing in different ways to how it used to. Then it was also fun to see Clara face the fact that her control-freak nature and desire to keep everything exactly the way she wants has its limit and can get her into even more trouble than not.

Apparently the Doctor feels it is his business to approve or disapprove of Clara's boyfriend. In some ways Danny was right to call him her space dad. On the one hand it was kind of sweet to see the Doctor be so immensely happy for Clara upon seeing her supposed boyfriend - but at the same time it's completely messed-up because he'd totally misread who her boyfriend actually was. Obviously the only reason the Doctor approved of the guy with the bowtie was that he reminded the Doctor of his own previous incarnation. Meanwhile he unsurprisingly completely disapproved of Danny. As we saw with the Architect last time, the Doctor tends to dislike if not outright hate anyone who reminds him, even subconsciously, of himself. So I really think it has to be the case that the Doctor was so dismissive and rude towards Danny the moment he heard "soldier" because of this.

So the Doctor approves of Clara having a boyfriend reminiscent of the face he used to put on to get people to like him, but he disapproves of Clara having a boyfriend more reminiscent of the Doctor's actual true self. Well. That's very telling, Doctor. I'm glad Danny pointed out that all that matters about him being Clara's boyfriend from the Doctor's point of view is that he's good enough for her. Hopefully this is something Doctor can apply to his own relationship with Clara as well: it doesn't matter whether the Doctor likes or hates himself so long as he's good enough for Clara.

I'm liking Danny more and more after seeing his reaction to the Doctor and to discovering Clara's lies. He took things pretty well, all things considered. He also brought up a good point in noting that the Doctor is less like a regular soldier and more like an officer, and in a way that's even worse; soldiers only do what they do because they're following orders, while the ones who give the orders are far more accountable for what goes wrong. It's interesting how Danny is viewing Clara's relationship with the Doctor as something like a soldier's relationship with their commanding officer. I look forward to seeing where that promise Clara made him goes in the next few episodes. I also wonder if Danny is going to someday realise that that's not the only reason Clara travels with the Doctor and it's also because the Doctor's actually really lost and messed-up and needs her.

I was liking the theory that the people who end up in Heaven are those who died as a direct or indirect result of the Doctor's actions, but the death of that one guy this time had nothing to do with him. Unless it's that Missy only oversees those who died due to the Doctor and everyone else gets the middle management guy we saw here.

...I feel bad saying this, but sadly I didn't enjoy this episode as much as I wanted to after hearing that it would involve terrible choices and the Doctor being all morally dark and interesting.

I usually don't mind so much if Doctor Who has handwavey science because it's Doctor Who, but some of this bugged the biology geek in me. I get that the spiders being "giant germs" was actually just meant to be foreshadowing that the moon is an egg, and I'm not going to complain about that part because as hard to swallow as it is it was the whole premise for the conflict so one just has to go with it - but as a biologist I am pretty damn sure single-celled prokaryotes cannot get that large and complex and that any parasites the moon creature had would be eukaryotic. Besides, given these are alien creatures they shouldn't even necessarily abide by Earth-biology-based categories such as prokaryote and eukaryote anyway. (Therefore I'm going to pretend that the reason the germ spray worked was that something in it happened to mess with the spiders' alien biology in a way completely unrelated to why it kills Earth prokaryotes.) </biology geek rant>

I couldn't get behind the moral dilemma as much as I wanted to because I just found myself thoroughly agreeing with Captain Lundvik's stance from the start. The moon creature wasn't born yet, so it's not like they'd have been murdering a conscious sentient being that actively wanted to live, and sure it sucks that this unique species won't get to exist, but there were millions of already existing unique species on Earth that could have been wiped out and surely that has to take objective precedence. No-one had any way of knowing that the creature was going to be harmless, immediately leave another egg behind and that its birth was going to inspire humanity to keep going out into space. So in the end I can't help but come away with the message that Clara and Courtney made the right choice by pure luck. I guess Clara's actual reason for her last-second decision was that she didn't want humanity's future to be built on a choice to kill out of fear and selfishness and therefore was willing to take the risk of the other option, but still. Thinking about it, this is kind of a similar dilemma to the one with the star whale in The Beast Below, but this one didn't resonate with me nearly as much because this creature wasn't already alive and suffering and there wasn't any evidence that saving it wouldn't actually harm the humans.

(The voting-by-light thing was kind of flawed, yeah, but I guess Clara didn't really have any alternatives. I do wonder what the Earth's population is going to think about the fact that the people on the moon ignored their choice, though. Unless communications were so bad down there that no-one was really aware of what the full vote was, so that every neighbourhood who turned their lights off but then saw the moon hatch anyway assumed the rest of Earth must've left their lights on and they alone were the only cowardly jerks wanting to kill the thing. That'd be an interesting situation.)

I can understand the Doctor's point of view of not wanting to get involved because he's not a human and this is their choice to make, even if it's perhaps unusual for him to be so completely impartial in situations like this. (Hmm, though I wonder if it might also have something to do with what Danny pointed out last week about the Doctor being the one who gives the orders; perhaps he was trying to emphatically not be that way this time?) That said, I can also see where Clara's coming from in that the Doctor has spent so long on Earth and around humans that he damn well should consider himself invested in their future and qualified to at least help them choose how things turn out. I get the feeling that it's only the Twelfth Doctor who would ever have just left them to decide for themselves like this. I sympathised with his confusion at why Clara is so angry about this because he just doesn't get human nature sometimes, and I'm sure that if he realised it would upset her so much he would have done things differently. I'm interested to see where this goes, especially with Danny's view of things added to the mix.

It was also kind of neat to see Courtney back again, even though I presume she won't become a regular fixture. I'd assumed last week that her throwing up in the TARDIS was due to her not being able to handle the vastness of space and a sign that she wasn't companion material after all, but if it was literally just because she gets motion sickness then that has no bearing on her strength of character and should not be used as a reason to refuse her a trip in the TARDIS. (...I may be saying this as someone who gets motion sickness herself. Ahem.) It's interesting that last episode the Doctor apparently casually told Courtney she wasn't special, thus giving someone who was probably a disruptive influence because she already secretly felt unimportant even more reason to feel that way. That's not the kind of thing the Doctor usually does, but I guess because this incarnation is pretty openly self-loathing he probably didn't think what he said would have much of an effect on her. He doesn't realise that to a fifteen year old girl he still looks mostly like a magical amazing time-traveller, so of course she's going to take his words to heart.

It was an Egyptian goddess that the Doctor was called in for previously, Will-Powered Spriter, so I assume he dealt with that with Amy and Rory back then. Given there is, according to the trailer, only one Orient Express in space, though, I assume it's the same train and am hoping there might be a little nod to that in this episode.

VampirateMace, I assumed the deal with Orson Pink in Listen was that he wasn't necessarily related to Clara's timeline at all. It was Danny's timeline they'd accidentally ended up exploring, not Clara's, due to Clara getting distracted and thinking about Danny during the psychic thing. There were obvious implications that she might have been his grandmother or something what with her and Danny's developing relationship, but those were incidental because they weren't actually exploring Clara's timeline.



Just another guy
Kill the moon....there's a lot to say.

First off, my complaints. I'm not sure how the moon gained weight. The bacteria can't have eaten anything, as even then it wouldn't have added any more weight than before they ate it and they couldn't reproduce without first having energy and material from something. The egg couldn't get heavier, because ,once again, material cannot just be created from nothing. Also, the instantly laying egg thing was a bit daft. Even if it could lay eggs without them being fertilised, it still couldn't lay one 1 minute after hatching. It laid an egg the same size as the one it emerged from moments ago...arghhh science doesn't seem to exist in Dr Who for this episode.

Anyway, ranting and science aside I loved this episode. I like the Docotr's choice to take a step back and let the humans decide their own fate. He usually does it all and for once he left them to their own devices. It also showed that Clara could do something, unlike what the rest of this series would have us believe. She's been pretty useless so far, but this provided something for her to do. Also, a moral dilema in Dr Who is a nice aspect to have. It showed that not all the problems in the universe the Doctor runs into can be reasoned with or sonic screwdrivered.

Courtney was also a nice addition. I was worried she'd be as bland as the children from Nightmare in Silver, but thankfully not. She wasn't completely useless and showed how Clara feels about her students. The Captain provided a great counter argument: what's more important than your own species? Exactly how I'd have thought. Although, was it just me or did this episode seem to be saying 'give women more choice'? Not that that's bad. It just seemed like they were emphasising it.

Overall, a great episode. It showed how the Doctor isn't always willing to make the tough choices and that the threats in the episodes don't always have to be openly hostile. They can be merely a threat due to circumstances.

Next week's episode....it looks interesting, but didn't the 11th Doctor get a call about a mummy on the orient express? Oh well, the Doctor can deal with a problem centuries after hearing about it. The benefits of time travel I suppose.


somewhat backwards.
Whoo, forum downtime over. I maaaay have typed this ramble up on Sunday morning then kept it in a Notepad document until the forums came back up.

I really liked this episode! I'm happy that my relative ambivalence towards last week's was just a blip. The situation of being trapped and having to research a monster as it kills people was - well, actually, I guess it's not that different to the situation in most Doctor Who episodes, now that I think about it, but the fact that Gus was forcing them to do it and being so cheerfully uncaring and ruthless about the people who died lent it an extra something, I feel. I enjoyed how the Foretold itself turned out to not want to be killing people and just couldn't stop itself; I guess I always like sympathetic monsters like that. And hey, we never did find out exactly who Gus was, how it knew so much about the Doctor and why it wanted to reverse-engineer the Foretold's abilities, so maybe that's a plot thread deliberately left open perhaps for the finale or some other time in the future.

Because of this situation we also got to see a lot of the Doctor coming across as ruthless as well - not because he actually is as bad as Gus, but because in order to be effective in this kind of situation you pretty much have to detach yourself, and the Doctor, the Twelfth especially, is very good at doing that. I liked that one professor guy who upon hearing that the Doctor couldn't save him started begging for his life instead of being helpful because he was terrified and didn't want to just accept his death. Cowardly, yes, but an entirely understandable reaction to the situation, and it draws attention to how chilling the Doctor's detachment appears like from the point of view of the people who are dying.

Then there was Maisie and the Doctor making Clara lie to her, which must have been awful for her to do. As we learn at the end, the Doctor did actually already have his plan to save Maisie even if he admittedly wasn't sure it would work. If he'd told Clara that at the time then she wouldn't have had to lie, and Maisie probably still would have gone with possibly being saved over definitely dying. What we can take from this is that the Doctor would rather say "I'm sorry, I lied to you, I knew I couldn't save you" than "I'm sorry, I was wrong, I thought I could save you but I can't". Both give the victim false hope that is then crushed, but the former has the Doctor come across as a jerk rather than a failure. Apparently he'd prefer that, so I guess maybe he really is actively trying to look like more of a jerk than is the truth. That said, he made this even worse by making Clara be the one to lie for him. Considering how brutally honest this Doctor can be, I wonder if he would have actually been able to tell Maisie that reassuring lie himself had the situation been different? Reassuring lies do not appear to be his forte, given how quickly he retracted his lie at the end that he knew all along he could definitely save Maisie and only didn't tell Clara in case Gus found out.

That aside, because of the deal with Clara planning to leave, this episode also had a lot of focus on her and the Doctor's friendship and how much they care about each other, which I am all about. The Doctor talking to himself and filling in Clara's parts of the conversation was kind of adorable and just goes to show how much he needs her and would have been lost without her if she'd left him. Also adorable was Clara telling him how she feels about him and the Doctor awkwardly trying to talk about planets instead, which Clara was having none of. Obviously it must really hurt the Doctor to hear how much Clara temporarily hated him, but he has no idea how to express that and really didn't want to be having that conversation at all. And even if she had stopped travelling with him, Clara would still have wanted to have the Doctor around for dinner sometimes because he's still her friend and she must know how lonely he'd get without seeing her and d'aww. (I do wonder how truthful the Doctor was being by saying that he'd actually go, because normal human activities like having dinner with a friend seems especially like the kind of thing this Doctor would not even try and pretend to be interested in.)

I've always thought regarding the Doctor that it's not his fault that he sometimes has to do bad things because the other choice is usually even worse. However, Clara does have a point that he continually chooses to put himself in situations with impossible choices and is pretty much addicted to it, which is still slightly messed-up of him. I know it's the TARDIS who takes him where he needs to go, but I'm sure that if he really truly didn't want to keep doing those kinds of things then the TARDIS would understand and stop taking him to those kinds of places. But apparently Clara is also addicted to this too! This episode's synopsis that I read a while back had indicated that Clara really was going to choose to stop travelling with the Doctor here, so the fact that she didn't in the end was a happy surprise for me. Yay for the Doctor not having to be alone again!

(Though seeing as the Doctor had reason to hope this would be dangerous and didn't tell Clara until the end, it seems like he was deliberately doing this in the hope it'd make Clara realise she's addicted to it and not want to leave, which is just a little underhanded of him. Mind you, Clara is also being underhanded by lying to Danny about her choice, so I wonder if that'll have any fallout later.)

Huh. So, this episode's title is "Flatline". Now I understand what that means - obviously I'd previously assumed it meant the medical type of flatline, but nope. Creatures that operate in a different number of dimensions to humans and can apparently turn humans two-dimensional definitely sounds like a concept with a lot of potential to be really neat. Plus I believe it's by the same writer as this week's episode, and since I enjoyed this one a lot, that's promising.



Meh ಠ_ಠ
So I realize I'm late in responses so instead of reviewing every episode like everyone seems to already have (if you really want my input I can totally give it, but the opinions aren't gonna be all that different from the reviews now lol). So I'll just say the season has been surprisingly enjoyable. I never thought it was gonna be bad but I didn't think the shift from Smith to Capaldi would work so quickly. Capaldi is turning out to be a pretty good, might I say great, Doctor and Clara still has her flare like always : )

I finally realized I'm part of the club is the real thing, so that is why I'm just now responding... Sorry about that, I'm happy to be a member


somewhat backwards.
Well, that was one of the most genuinely scary Who monsters I've seen in a while. The idea of 2D creatures is a neat concept to begin with, but then this just took that and ran with it and made them so incredibly alien and other, and I think that's what I found so excellently creepy about them. Being turned from a 3D existence into a 2D existence while still conscious has to be the most horrifying way to die - and then the way they displayed that policewoman's nervous system on the wall like they were going "ooh, isn't this interesting?"... brr. I liked the glimpse of how the Boneless viewed 3D creatures, as imprints of feet and hands and tyre tracks on their 2D world, and that even when they took on 3D form themselves they clearly had only the most rudimentary knowledge of how three dimensions worked, putting their reconstructed human forms slap bang in the middle of the uncanny valley. I also don't believe they were ever all "mwahaha, we are evil and we hurt people because that's what evil things do"; I think they just didn't give a ****, and really that's more terrifying than the former. Seeing as they were so incomprehensibly alien - and that humans were incomprehensibly alien to them - the gap between "they don't understand that they're hurting us" to "they don't care that they're hurting us" is pretty small and doesn't necessarily have to involve actively malicious intent.

Clara being the Doctor was fun! It totally makes sense how gleefully she took up the role and how well she took to it. Earlier episodes indicated that she's something of an, ah, "egomaniac needy game-player", kind of like the Doctor himself, so of course she'd relish getting to take control like he does and have him be reduced to a voice that gives helpful advice and tech support but can't override her decisions. On the other hand, this may not be such a good thing and is along the lines of that "addiction" they talked about last episode. The Doctor, while seemingly proud of Clara for managing so well, clearly also isn't happy that she's turning out like this. It's like the phrase "a good Doctor" has almost the same kind of meaning to him as the phrase "a good Dalek". Travelling with the Doctor is turning Clara into him more and more, but given how much the Doctor hates himself, he doesn't see that as a good thing. I hope this'll continue to be explored more further down the line, because the Doctor hating himself for screwing up his companions is a thing that I enjoy.

(Also, speaking of the Doctor and Clara and stuff further down the line: in Missy's scene this episode, it came across to me like she viewed Clara in the same way the Doctor does. Which leads me to crazily theorise that perhaps Missy somehow is the Doctor - or possibly the Valeyard, because though I know little about the classic series isn't he supposed to be a villain who arose as an offshoot of the Doctor from a regeneration that, depending on how you count it, might have been his most recent one?)

It's amusing how the Doctor was completely oblivious to Clara's lies about Danny being fine with things, even as she was practically going, "Hey, by the way, I'm lying to you, can you tell?". Which I find somewhat interesting because in previous incarnations - well, the Eleventh at least - he may have pretended to be oblivious about things but he was actually pretty perceptive and had often noticed stuff long before we became aware he had. I'm not entirely sure what this then says about the Twelfth, although it's probably just that he doesn't even pretend to care about human domestic stuff, because it's not as if he's also stopped being perceptive about more important things that pertain to saving the universe.

Meanwhile Clara lying to Danny continues to be a thing, even with her justifications of, "Is it really lying when it's for their own good, technically?" In my opinion it absolutely is - but then Clara wasn't with the Doctor back when he used to do that all the time, so I guess she never learnt how much reassuring lies can screw things up. That and she keeps getting put into situations where she has to tell reassuring lies to the people whose lives are at risk this time, which doesn't help. But is it really for Danny's own good, anyway? I imagine Danny would probably still be okay with Clara travelling with the Doctor if she just went and told him the truth of how she feels about it. I think it's actually that Clara just doesn't want to admit to him that she's kind of addicted to all the difficult, dangerous situations the Doctor puts her in, because Danny sees her as a better person than that. But this is a matter I'm sure we'll see more of soon, given that Danny probably noticed she's still with the Doctor after her incredibly unconvincing phone call.

...That and Danny's in the next episode as an active player rather than just a voice on the end of a phone. It'll be nice to see him take a more active role in an adventure now that he's familiar with the Doctor and how he works; I can see his military side coming into play and possibly causing interesting conflicts.



Johto's Hero
Wow it's been a while since I posted here, i'll just go from the most recent episode rather than trying to summaries all of the episodes I've missed

I thought this episode was really very good and properly my favorite of the new series so far

Capaldi even in his limited role was fantastic. He showed in this episodes the two sides of the Doctor which are the most important; 1. The cooky and funny side e.g. anyone who didn't giggle at that little dance has a stone cold heart and 2. The serious side e.g. that bit where he sent the boneless back gave me goosebumps.

Clara while I still dislike her (especially after Kill the Moon but i won;t go there) did alright, I hate the dynamic of her and Danny, it's been done so much in the newer series of who it's just boring now. The side characters were good, the old guy with no imagination was a great side character, I always love when there is one of the COTD in the group who go against the Doctor and his companions

All in all I thought the episode was very well rounded, good performance from the main two, side characters were good and memorable and the enemy was possibly one of the scariest of the modern Doctor who series imo

Will-powered Spriter

Pokédex Complete!
It's been a busy week so I only just watched this.

Those 3D "people" were creepy. I think I accidentally created one when 3D modelling once.

The idea of creatures with more of less dimensions is fascinating. The episode really didn't touch on many of the ideas behind it, but in 45 minutes it didn't really have time to. From what little I know of the science, mapping to the walls like a projector isn't 2D at all, but I guess it could be a phase between true 2D and their shambling zombie 3D. (I highly recommend looking at some videos of 4D tesseracts: We know sort of what a 4D shape would act like, but just as a cube can only be shown on paper as its shadow, we can only visualise a tesseract as a 3D shadow)

The tiny tardis was fun. The slightly smaller prop wasn't brilliantly made and a few of the visual effects were badly done, but the concept was enjoyable enough that I'll let it slide.

One last thing I remember noticing from the episode: The first train's number was A113. I've never seen the number in DW before, but its a long standing arc number in animation, particualrly but not exclusively pixar stuff. I wonder if it was a nod or a co-incidence? its also my room number this year

also I definitely heard the classic digivolve sound effect when the Doctor banished the thingies


Internet Overlord
Don't you love how every episode of this series is like, "science, what is that?"

I think this episode made for rather good TV, though flawed in premise. On top of that, find a truly 2D surface, go ahead try... here in the US most walls are textured because it's cheaper than making them flat, and even then they aren't that flat, so there's not much lasting scare factor...

I'm slightly disappointed that the conclusion was that the 'Boneless' (I don't like that name for them either... sigh) was that they just didn't care. Sure that was a scary enough excuse, but it and the pumping energy into a door handle that just refused to become 3D, just suggests a completely inferior intellect that shouldn't necessarily just be inherent to being 2D... not to mention it contradicts their ability to learn about the 3D world so quickly. I guess in short, I think they should have been smarter to reflect their amazing learning curve.

I do appreciated that the way the missing people actually being dead up the serious factor.

This was interesting. I think I may still be trying to process if I think it was good episode or a poor one though.

I don't know if I missed stuff or what... but the zoo animal thing seemed a little forced. And the fact that no one realized the forest would protect them until the end seemed like everyone was slow, even the Doctor told us the trees were a reaction to the impending flare... Like when I'm reading Sherlock Holmes, and wondering why Watson still hasn't figured it out.

Kids. I always like seeing kids on DW for some reason, and we got a good mix of personalities this time. Some better than others... but I felt like Mr. Pink kind of treated them like props. Though the apparent dedication to getting them home does speak to his good-guy rating.

Annabelle appearing as the bush disappeared... that could have been done so much better...

Missy seemed disappointed.


Well-Known Member
I figured I should post now before the arrival of the madness that will be Dark Water/Death in Heaven. I've been thoroughly enjoying this series, so I'm just going to mention a few of the facets that are at the fore of my mind.

I adored Jamie Mathieson's pair of episodes. He gave us a glorious fortnight of classic Who. I sincerely hope he'll be back. Both Mummy and Flatline contend for my favourite episode of Series 8. Not only did they feature memorable enemies in the Foretold and the Boneless, but I found his characterisation of Clara and the Doctor to be exact.

Unfortunately, I don't feel the same way about Kill the Moon and last Saturday's In the Forest of the Night. I commend the former for its bold concept, yet I felt it was executed poorly. Little attention was paid to maintaining any sense of scientific validity and, as such, it failed to suspend my disbelief. That distracted me from the core of the story, which is a great shame considering how much I appreciated the atypical climax. Courtney was underused at that point. So much for "womankind" making the choice (abortion parallels? Yes? No?); she had little influence. Well, I suppose Clara was the only one with any. I'm not sure I liked that. She listened to humanity, but put her foot down at the last moment and went against their wishes. It's a powerful moment for the character, though I'm not sure it does her any favours in terms of likeability. In hindsight, she made the right decision, of course.

As for this one, I can't say I see much merit in it. It was utterly unconventional, but it had a very thin plot. Far, far too much attention was devoted to the kids. I was entertained at first. Then the flashbacks to the classroom came. Yeah, I get it—they're so hilarious and kooky. I expected more from Maebh's backstory. It could have been very affecting, but it came across as mawkish and cheesy. None of which was helped by the ending. I rolled my eyes. Why was she hiding in the bush?! I can't believe they actually filmed that. I also had a problem with Clara's reaction to the solar flare and the impending doom. Why would she ever allow the children to burn just because they'd be sad? It's incomprehensible, especially coming from a teacher of young kids. She's a completely different character to the Clara of Series 7 (perhaps we'll see that it literally is the case ;) ), and I don't think that's due to measured development. Given the year mentioned, I guess she could be considerably older and more mature now, but it's not as if that's been made apparent in the series. I fear it's inconsistency amongst the writers.

I'm sure that sounds awfully negative. One episode out of ten thus far isn't disappointing by any means. Hopefully the finale ends Capaldi's first run as the Doctor on a high. The trailers are certainly generating excitement, but we'll have to wait and see if Moffat can pull it off satisfyingly. I'm dying to see the Doctor face Missy.

-The Eleventh/Rory Williams


somewhat backwards.
Yeah, The Eleventh, I pretty much agree with you in that sadly Kill the Moon and last week's episode didn't do much for me. Those are the only two, though! I feel like I'm being all overly negative because of this, but every other episode this series I've decidedly enjoyed for one reason or another, and I'm also very much looking forward to the finale. The Next Time trailer was very interesting.

My feeling after reflecting on it for a bit was that the way this was executed felt kind of like a Sarah Jane Adventures episode. This isn't inherently a bad thing, mind you - I love SJA - but it made it feel kind of odd as a Doctor Who episode, where things are usually a bit more serious and complex in tone, and we get a sense of the effect that such world-changing events have on the whole world, not just on a group of kids. So... I don't really know how I feel about this episode. It wasn't precisely that bad for what it was trying to be, but what it was trying to be was something that it maybe shouldn't have tried to be. I dunno.

I figured out the fireproof trees + impending solar flare = trees are here to protect us a while before the Doctor did. I'm not sure what his reasoning was behind being so certain that the world was inevitably going to end after talking to the trees, which sadly made the ensuing scenes not as poignant as they could have been. Assuming that the world really had been about to end, though, I guess it was pretty sweet of Clara to want the Doctor to save himself because at least he could continue saving other planets and people even if humanity was gone. That said, I think what Clara said about how the kids would have always missed their parents if they'd been saved applies to the Doctor too, about Clara; if he'd saved only himself and not her then he'd have always missed her and blamed himself for letting her die.

Annabel suddenly reappearing at the end probably happened because a combination of the global emergency and hearing her sister ask her to come home made her realise that she missed her family after all - but yeah, the way it was framed did make it seem like it was some inexplicable tree-induced magic.

(Me being me, I also enjoyed that one moment with the tiger where the Doctor felt the need to point out that there were several rational reasons to be frightened of it. Apparently he still hasn't learned his lesson from Listen that there's nothing wrong with being afraid even if it's irrational.)

(Also, for the record, I still think Missy might somehow be the Doctor, in some sense.)


>Dark and disturbing - how Doctor Who should really be
>Simple plot (Dead people end up in the nanosphere and they know what happens to their bodies... that man begging to not be cremated kinda got to me somehow)
>Brilliant way to involve the Cybermen
>The Master returns, in a very surprising way

I suppose this also means that regeneration into the opposite gender is possible, unless the Master is body-snatching again. Nonetheless it'd be pretty damn sweet if John Simm came back to play the role, but if it's an actual regeneration then I'm astounded seeing how many fans were curious whether there'd be a female Doctor, or even if regeneration into something radically different was possible at all.

Even so though, I haven't seen much of Classic Who but, I think the Rani would be way more fitting than the Master, but then again I wouldn't know.

I can't wait for the second half - all the other episodes were just meh until now. It seems the finales are the better ones - I never liked the whole concept of all the episodes having barely any connection to each other. I wish they'd just keep working on one underlying plot (The whole Missy thing) for the whole series rather than putting that aside and giving us Monster of the Week.
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Johto's Hero
While i don't want to comment on the episode too much due to it being a two parter I wanted to say something about Missy

I have thought for a while she would be the Master for two reasons; 1 The name Missy goes to Mistress which is too agonasaling close to the Master for it to be a coincidence although the way she's acting is much more Rani like too me but hey whatever and 2 for me i think they're using it to gauge public reaction for possibly the Doctor changing sex in the future possibly, see how the public react to the change of the Master and go from there. Can I also say Michelle Gomez is absolutely fantastic so far. My only other question would be, you have to be dead to be in the nethersphere from what I understand but Missy appears there at times, does this imply she is really dead then?


somewhat backwards.
Yay, finale!

I'm very intrigued by what was going on with Clara's phone call at the beginning. Putting aside the part where Danny died in the middle of it, Clara was acting very strangely anyway. What was with all the post-it notes with names of people she's met in her recent adventures? Why was Clara saying that this conversation was so important and yet refusing to have it with Danny face-to-face? What did she mean by "all of the stuff that I did wrong?" One theory I did come up with is that at least the first half of the phone call was a future version of Clara who'd someone mentally time-travelled into her past self's body at the moment of her final conversation with Danny, just so that her last words to him could be "I love you" - except that theory doesn't explain the post-it notes and has several other holes in it too. Either way I am sure this will make sense next episode and will probably be either timey-wimey and plotty or possibly just down to Clara's issues, either of which I would find fun.

Because speaking of Clara's issues, my favourite part of this episode was definitely the volcano scene. Clara is enough of a raging control freak that she will coldly threaten her best friend to do as she says rather than have to deal with losing a loved one. That's quite something! And as the Doctor pointed out, Clara must have already known that he couldn't rewrite time to save Danny, because if he could then she would have only needed to ask. So this wasn't really about her actually trying to save Danny so much as her desperately trying to feel in control of the situation and like she could save Danny, by exerting control over the most uncontrollable person she knows. The Doctor was right to try and defuse things by asking her to throw away the keys, taking the control away from her and forcing her to face how powerless she was. I also enjoy Clara's breakdown after she threw away the last key, showing that she's horrified by this side of herself even as she knows she'd do it again in a heartbeat, and she feels like she doesn't deserve a friend who'll forgive her and continue to help her after she did something like that to him. It was actually really sweet when the Doctor said that he cares about her enough that her betraying him doesn't make a difference. That and given there are some pretty awful aspects of himself, too, he knows it'd be hypocritical if he judged and disowned her because of this. I love that he said "I'm terribly sorry, but" when saying he's exactly what she deserves. He hates himself enough that he doesn't think her deserving him is a remotely good thing, so he's technically not reassuring Clara here while still continuing to support her and aww look at these two similarly screwed-up people who make for the best of friends.

(I really hope people don't go using the volcano scene as a reason to hate Clara, because then they've got it all backwards. This is proof that she's flawed and interesting and not perfect, which should be a good thing for a fictional character! I like Clara even more now than I did before. I'd previously mentioned noticing that the writers seem to be drawing attention here and there to how much of a control freak Clara is and wondering if they were going anywhere with it, but this is more than I'd ever hoped for.)

Meanwhile Danny also has issues in that the person he killed while in service was a kid. Ouch. I really think it makes sense now why he became a teacher and why he's been so protective of the kids he teaches in recent episodes. This also lends more meaning to his opinions about commanding officers who force soldiers to do awful things, given it was presumably his own commanding officer who made him go into that building all guns blazing, so the kid's blood is really on that guy's hands too. I wonder whether the boy that Danny met in the Nethersphere really was actually the uploaded consciousness of the very child he killed, or whether it was just a programmed construct put there to toy with Danny's emotions and make him more likely to decide to delete them.

I'm not sure what's going on with the whole cremation thing now we know what the Nethersphere actually is and that people therefore aren't actually (or at least don't have to be, since it's all down to how the thing is programmed) feeling everything their physical body feels after death. I guess the point of it was to scare people into giving their bodies to the 3W foundation so that Missy had lots of people to Cyberise, but tricking people in the real world didn't have to require actual uploaded consciousnesses in the "afterlife" being terrified that they're going to burn. Maybe this'll make a little more sense next week as we find out more about what 3W has been doing?

I can't help but think that the skeletons turning out to be Cybermen might actually have been a neat surprise if it hadn't been spoiled by everything ever. The Next Time trailer last week had Cybermen in it; the thumbnail for this episode on BBC iPlayer has Cybermen even though they don't appear until the last five minutes of the episode; heck, anyone familiar with the incidental music of Doctor Who could clearly hear the Cybermen leitmotif play several minutes before they actually appeared. It's odd that out-universely that fact isn't even trying to be hidden when in-universely it's actually a big surprise for the Doctor and Clara when it turns out to be Cybermen. I probably wouldn't have guessed what was encasing those skeletons either if I didn't already know. It's a bit of a shame. (One neat thing I did only notice on my second viewing was that the 3W logo looks like a Cyberman eye, with the little teardrop in the corner.)

By this point I think we can be pretty sure that Missy was "the woman in the shop" and the "my Clara... I have chosen well" is because she chose her to become the Doctor's next companion. Was Clara chosen because of how much of a huge control freak she is, perhaps? Otherwise I can't see anything specific to Clara that would be the reason Missy would have chosen her instead of anyone else. So I wonder if this is somehow part of Missy's plan. And regarding Missy's other brief appearances, how does she actually manage to talk to dead people when they're just consciousnesses uploaded to cyberspace? Unless there's a copy of Missy's personality in cyberspace too. More to the point, why do the people Missy speaks to go to "Heaven" instead of being dealt with in the usual bureaucratic way? The people she talks to being specifically the people killed by/because of the Doctor does seem like a feasible idea, given who Missy is.

Missy is the Master! Well, huh. That feels remarkably obvious in hindsight - there's been all this talk of if there'll ever be a female Doctor, so. But this is neat! I sort of assumed once it'd been established that she had two hearts (and that my theory of her somehow being the Doctor was clearly not true) that she'd probably be the Rani, which I'd have been a little eh about because I don't know much about her and wasn't she basically just like a female version of the Master anyway? - so for her to turn out to be actually a female Master is far more fun. This is someone the Doctor has way more history with, and whom people like me who mostly only know the new series are still familiar with, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing her and the Doctor clash some more.


Will-powered Spriter

Pokédex Complete!
OK, just caught up again. It's surprising how rarely in the student life time you feel you have 45 minutes to spare.

Is this a pun on over night? There's no night or night affiliation in this episode.

A passable, I guess, but like Kill the Moon it suffers from being fairly implausible. I'll let insta-forest overnight slide because its a cool concept, but even with the fireproof handwave I don't see a british tree height canopy saving the world from a giant solar flare like that. Isn't it mostly electromagnetic radiation?

Weirdly I was told that if I'd seen Chronicles of Narnia then I'd basically seen this episode but I haven't a clue how this ties into CoN... I guess I've only seen/read the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, but still.

Yeah this would have been better with the cybermen unspoiled.

This is looking to be an interesting finalé though. The scale of it is a lot smaller then previous ones, for once the entire universe isn't at stake (and tbh I feared they were going to blow up the afterlife or something). Clara's freak out at the beginning was a good way of painting her as utterly distraught, somewhat ruthless and mostly not entirely sane. It's whiffs a little of cheap drama with the dream excuse, but usually stuff like that also retcons the character actions.
I hope Danny gets back to life somehow. He suffered a cheap, rubbish death to further the plot and it kinda makes a mockery of his entire character.

As for Missy being the master, I did not see that coming. I briefly though they were going with Susan's grandmother (which would have been a dumb twist), and then with Valeyard (I took the "and both hearts yours" somewhat literally), and then just settled with it being the Rani. I may have laughed at the reveal.


Internet Overlord
WPS - Yeah, it was the 'it happened overnight' thing.

Okay, I didn't even watch the next time and the trailers... and I still saw the Cybermen coming. I mean, the doors had Cybermen eyes on them, the water only show the biological part of these corpses in exoskeletons? But at least there wasn't another full episode of bad science. . . the dark water itself was little suspicious, but at least it wasn't explained to the point of being obviously bad science.

Mr. Pink's death. I see how it can be called cheap, but it was totally normal and legit way of dying, you only have to step off the curb to early or forget to look once. Really, it should be a terrifying reminder of just how easy it is to die. Doesn't matter your age, or what you've done or survived, life is just that frail.

Missy. What! No? Yes? Okay, this was thrilling and terrifying at the same time, and to make-out with the doctor. Well, the Master did say a few things previously that made it sound like he had a slight man-crush. But I did not think to that extent. And to work with the Cybermen, virtually enslaving human minds. Are they human anymore?

I think the cremation thing was just another way of convincing people to delete their emotions. Without emotions after all, you won't care if you're in pain or your flesh has been charred off. You'll know it, but it won't trigger any emotional response.


Well-Known Member
That was thrilling. It felt like quintessential Doctor Who and the start of a fitting finale to this series. I relished how wonderfully grim it was. The soundtrack complemented the episode perfectly, particularly in the dreamscape confrontation and the beginning of the Cyberman invasion. The editing of the cliffhanger was a bit odd, though. There was no classic screech and I don't know why it didn't end as the camera entered the Cyberman's eye. It fell flat as a result.

I'm so pleased with the unmasking of Missy as the Master. Sure, the reveal wasn't as electrifying as it was in Utopia, but Michelle Gomez is simultaneously terrifying and hilarious in the role. I can't help but fear there may be another twist to come. I'm hoping she is indeed the Master. She's brilliant. "Doctor CHAAAAAAAANG!!!"

Death in Heaven has much to do; its 60-minute runtime had better be put to good use. How are all the dead going to rise as Cybermen? It makes sense for the skeletons kept in dark water at 3W, but what about corpses that have been lying below for decades or even centuries? Have I missed something? I get the feeling next week might also mark the end of Clara's time in the TARDIS. Her story could quite easily be wrapped up given the acceleration her arc has undergone. Her relationship with the Doctor was pushed to the limit and Danny's dead (for the moment, at least). I'd be sad to see her go, but I think her time may be up.

On an unrelated note, I wonder how Moffat approached naming the episode. Did he just pick a title that lacks any spoilers, or was it deliberate word play and misdirection? I'm sure he consciously referenced the darker tone of the finale, but I saw some speculate about Missy's possible connections to Clara and River through "Black Pool" and "Evil River" before it aired. I find it amusing to think about.

This radio trailer for Death in Heaven is very exciting. It's going to be a long week.

"Say something nice."

Chilling. Don't kill Missy!

-The Eleventh/Rory Williams


Well-Known Member
It's been quite a long time since I've posted. My apologies.

There's been a couple of times this series that I've thought, while watching the episode, "This is proper Doctor Who. This is how it should be done." Perhaps barring Listen, I don't think it's been more appropriate than when I was watching this episode. Which is quite odd in a way, because this is easily, I think, the bleakest and most morbid episode of the revived run.

I've got a feeling that Clara is pregnant, firstly. One of the sticky notes says "Three months", firstly, which is about when the pregnancy first starts to show. Given that Clara's journey this series seems to be a spiral downwards with her lies to the Doctor and Danny (something I'm finding absolutely compelling, especially juxtaposed with Capaldi's more pragmatic and detached Doctor), she can't hide this pregnancy for long. A pregnancy provides a catalyst for revealing the truth to Danny. Secondly, this allows Danny to be dead but to have a descendant in the form of Orson from Listen. Thirdly, the Doctor scanned her and declared her "Quite the mess of chemicals", which is slightly tenuous piece of evidence but I seem to recall a similar off-hand comment meaning pregnancy in Sherlock. Fourthly, and I admit this is a tenuous out-of-universe explanation, it provides more drama, especially with what I think is coming next episode, but I'll talk more about that later. We'll see what happens.

That volcano scene was absolutely superb. I thought it was really, really stunning. It effortlessly showcased both Clara's control freakery and her deep love for Danny. I also liked her immediate breakdown after she threw the last key, showing her impulsiveness and horror at herself; hardly the much-maligned perfect girl we heard of last year. I did think the notion that the Doctor could just click his fingers and open the door slightly undermined the peril of the scene, but that's just a minor quibble. Really, my favourite part of the scene (and possibly this series) was just after the volcano, when the Doctor asked "Do you think that I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?" I love that line. It's my favourite line from the Twelfth Doctor. I think it perfectly sums up the Doctor and what Doctor Who is all about, and this series has made it even more poignant in a couple of ways. We've seen this series a more capricious, pragmatic Doctor, a Doctor who (ha) relies on Clara to be his moral compass. Seeing Capaldi respond to her betrayal (remember that he had just shouted "You let me down!") in this way is utterly heartwarming. Secondly, this scene contrasts perfectly with one of the few good scenes in Kill The Moon, where Clara rages at the Doctor for betraying her. While his moral compass shouts and screams at him for betrayal (and temporarily leaves him), this colder Doctor's reaction to her betrayal is immediate acceptance and continuing friendship. It doesn't even dent his love for her remotely, and it's absolutely fantastic to see this come from a 'darker' Doctor. It's a moment that wouldn't work nearly as well in any series but Series 8 and Capaldi and Coleman are just superb.

(As a brief side note, I'm not a big fan of the Doctor's theme this series. It's a bit too generic and Hans Zimmer for me. Having said that, the brass arrangement that plays as the TARDIS takes off using Clara's psychic energy is superb.)

The bleakness of the episode started with Danny being killed (in a very ordinary way - the observation Clara made about it being boring and ordinary really captured the way a death can mean the world to one person and nothing to passers-by. I thought that was a great piece of writing, and it's especially meaningful in a series with aliens and all sorts of deadly threats to the protagonists. I hope Clara's gran is back next episode; she was dramatically under-used in this episode.) and continued in a downward spiral from there. Outright killing a child - only Torchwood has gone further than that by killing a child on-screen. That's really dark viewing, and I was surprised further that we saw not only the murder but the skirmish in which Danny was fighting. Skipping the obvious horror of "Don't cremate me," something that struck me as particularly chilling was the fact that Seb in the Nethersphere (magnificently well-acted; I hope the Doctor meets him next episode for an inevitable reference to The Thick of It) actively convinced people to give up their own emotions. While it's not confirmed I think it's fairly clear that they deliberately trigger negative memories to convince people to renounce their own humanity (on that note, I'm erring on the side of the child he killed being a mere imitation to make him 'delete' himself). I think that in particular is absolutely genius writing in relation to the origin of the Cybermen. Originally, the Mondasians voluntarily upgraded their bodies to protect against their harsh climate (if you haven't listened to the Big Finish audio Spare Parts then I highly recommend it; it deals with the birth of the Cybermen and it's one of the most chilling and best-written audios out there) and thus became Cybermen. Their upgrades were physical. Now, the humans are voluntarily wiping their emotions to free them from the harsh emotional 'climate' (to poorly extend a metaphor) of the Nethersphere, and their upgrades are emotional. How Master-like to trick the humans in to their own demise.

The exploration of St Paul's was excellent and atmospheric and really had a Tomb of the Cybermen feel. It's a shame the Cybermen twist was spoiled but at least the episode played with it well, with the closing doors becoming a Cyberman's face being an excellent 'reveal' if the viewer hadn't worked it out from the mention of the exo-skeleton. At least it's not at the level of the Next Time trailer for Bad Wolf, in which the twist of the Daleks returning was spoiled despite no outdoor filming.

We've seen very little of Missy, but from what I've seen I think I already prefer her to John Simm. Michelle Gomez is superb as a sadistic and unhinged villain, messing with the Doctor in several ways just because it's fun. I really hope that she kissed him just to horrify him, because I think that's hilariously twisted. Did anyone catch her messing with Dr Chang just before she killed him? She said "Say something nice," implying that she won't kill him if he begged. He begged her a bit and then she said "Dr Chang, I've got all day! I'm not going to kill you until you say something nice!" I suppose Chang in his terror heard it as he would expect to and so said something nice, making her kill him. I think it's hilarious that she caused his death through word-play (although the Master "always has been a bit hypnotic," so I suppose it's possible she forced his death either way) It's a great, if subtle, way of showing how sadistic she is. Capaldi's horror as she revealed her identity was excellent.

Next episode is going to be interesting. I would think the most simple way of ending the Cyberman threat is to destroy the Nethersphere to shut them all down, but that poses a huge ethical question. The stakes will be personal, too, as Clara (I expect, anyway) will discover that it really is Danny in there, and will have to help make the choice to destroy it or not. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, carrying his baby would make that choice even harder and more dramatic, so I think it's a distinct possibility.

"Sounds like somebody gave their body to science."
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New Member
Hello, I would very much like to apply for this club. I will try to contribute as much as I can to discussions!

Why do you like Doctor Who?
Man oh man, where do I start? I love how the stories all intertwine with one another, and there are always references to the older series. There is rarely a dull moment, and it easily throws me from laughing to crying back to laughing again. The episodes range from dark to light hearted to heartfelt. The characters each have their own perfections and flaws, and there is rarely a reason to truly dislike any of the characters. The monsters are memorable, and there is an eerie twist to them that makes them feel rather lifelike. My favorite monsters have to be the Weeping angels, the Daleks, the Vashta Nerada, and the Cybermen. Its the only TV show that could give somebody a fear of statues. ;) I also love the Master, although he isn't a "monster" as much as he is a villain. He is so manipulative and fun. Another thing I love about Doctor who is it explores subjects that offers an alternate explanation for the "known". For example, why we talk to ourselves when we are alone, what happens after death, or what really lurks in the dark. As for the Doctor himself, I love how he is completely brilliant yet rather slow at realizing what's going on, and he always gets it in the end. I also love that each Doctor has their own quirks and styles, yet all share the same basic underlying personality. My favorite episode has to be Midnight. One day my mom and I were flipping through channels on TV, and I saw that Doctor who was on. At that point, I only heard of the show, never seen it, so I asked her to turn it on. We started the episode a little bit late (ok, a lot late), but it kept me completely enchanted. Whenever I refer somebody to Doctor Who, I recommend either Midnight or Blink for them to start off on, because they are episodes that easily keep you intrigued even if you have never seen the show before. The show is so diverse, that it can literally go on forever. "All of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will... where do you want to start?" Its one of the few reasons I look forward to the weekend.

Who's your favorite Doctor?
I haven't been able to watch much of the older Doctors, but I have seen the fourth. My favorite, though, has to be 10. I just love all the emotion of the character- he isn't too goofy (sorry, 11!) or too serious. Right behind that is 4, then 12, then 11. I can't really speak too much for 9, I really wish he had more screen time. I feel like 9 would of been a great Doctor if he stuck around longer. I am really looking forward to the rest of the 12th Doctor. He is delightfully dark, and is a welcome change to how silly and flirty 11 was. As much as I liked 11, he was just a bit too much for me to handle at times, which seems strange because I'm somebody who loves a corny joke and to laugh, but hey, it is what it is. :)

Desired character title?
Vashta Nerada, please! It's one of my favorite monsters and justifies my fear of the dark lol!

Will-powered Spriter

Pokédex Complete!
So the one actual death in heaven itself is was pretty much token but whatever. Dude was an AI, is that even a death?

I felt, like sadly too often happens, the got themselves into a really exciting predicament and couldn't find a satisfying way out of it. Missy's end goal for her plan was amazing, but surely the Master would have thought of the possibility of him giving control to someone else, or even ordering the cybermen to self destruct and burn the clouds himself. Also where did the whole setting up Clara thing go? What was meant to be the end result of that?

Missy herself was very enjoyable. She definitely was enjoying herself hamming up the place and putting on silly voices. On one hand, her genuinely careless murder did make her a serious threat, compared to the hoards of xenocidal daleks who seem so reluctant to just shoot the people they want dead. But on the other hand, bringing back old characters to die to prove she's serious is awful, though I was mourning Osgood's death from the moment the Doctor offhandedly offered her a trip in the tardis. And Osgood is a sci-fi nerd, surely it would have occurred to her that when the psychopath isn't even being subtle, IT'S A TRAP. She didn't need to even be in the episode.

I saw immediately through Clara's claim to be the doctor, I think that was just in to put the line "Clara never existed" into the trailers. I also realised who the last cyberman was once Kate reappeared, but that was an ok twist so I'll let it slide, though the did give the Doctor another way out, and really Clara should have just shot Missy without pause.

Both the Doctor (unless the next episode shows he didn't) and Clara lying to each other as they parted ways was a good bookend to their travels, if a little sad, since Clara knows the way to Gallifrey, or could at least mention they went.

All in all I'm not sure what to think. There's a lot of quite good and a lot of quite bad, so I guess it averages out?

Anyway, the Master is most definitely dead forever with absolutely no way of coming back. Business as usual, really.

Edit: I didn't notice it myself, but the title face zoom showed Clara instead of the Doctor. They were dedicated to their silly lie, I guess.

I thought that was Steven Merchant's voice throughout that, and with that in mind the entire speech gave me portal 2 vibes. Of course that would be silly though, so we got Santa instead.
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Johto's Hero
Well that was slightly underwhelming, after the great set up of the first part I was hyped so much for this part, but come away really thinking they missed a great chance

Don't get me wrong I liked the episode, Michelle Gomez was once again fantastic as the Master/Mistress and to coldly slay Osgood like that was a sign that the Timelady is still as bad as ever. Capaldi was great again as usual, his dialogue was funny and his acting was superb.

Clara and Danny. Why do we have to go through another love story which basically just took screen time away from The Master and Doctor. Yeah great his love kept him from turning so he could stop the cyber cloud, but this show is Doctor Who, it should be about the Doctor not the companion who has a bit on the side. Why was this finally not about the Master and Doctor going toe to toe? Why was the fact that the Master is back in action deemed a sub plot in this episode? I dunno as good as Michelle was I felt she wasn't given enough time to be even more evil like John Simms got for example. They had such a great opportunity to make this finale one of the best ever and for me they missed it

Also did this episode have no flow or was this just me? I felt like it was just a bunch of random things happening one after another. I dunno I just didn't like the writing again which again this season has been poor imo.

Also there is no way Missy is gone. Moffet said that he wants Missy to be like Anthony Ainley's Doctor who would be all but killed on screen at the end of the series and then pop next series he'd be back simply saying when question about his ultimate demise that he had "Escaped". So at least there's something to look forward too.

To look back on the series, Capaldi has been great fantastic in fact. There were worries he'd be less mobile than the previous due to his age but I think he's done excellently in that aspect and his dialouge has been delivered almost perfectly. The writing has let him down and I think if it had been better there would be no doubt by anyone that Capaldi was the right choice to be the Doctor.
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