In Review: Doctor Who – Dark Water

The Doctor finally comes face to face with Missy.

Synopsis: The Doctor finally comes face to face with Missy.

Review: This episode by and large is set up for the next weeks finale and it has to be said the prediction with regard to Missy that all Doctor Who fans have been making has come to pass, which tells this writer that Steven Moffat is running out of ideas. The revelation that Missy is the Master was something I was hoping would not pan out. There were plenty of less obvious roads that Moffat could travel.

That is not to say that I have it in for female Time lords or Time Ladies. In fact its quite the opposite. What I have an issue with is changing a characters gender. I mean we could have had the Rhani come back, but much better than she was in the 80s. But enough on that.

The opening of the episode sees Clara lose Danny Pink in a tragic RTA and we get a great scene between Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi in which Clara holds the Doctor to ransom by chucking the Tardis keys into an active volcano. The acting performances in that scene are absolutely powerhouse. Jenna Coleman is doing all the emoting where Capaldi with that wonderful expressive face of his is hardly having to say a word. Its an absolute master class.

As you can imagine the Doctor saw Clara’s betrayal coming and had planned ahead. What she thought were sleep patches were in fact a neat little device that renders the user into a highly suggestive state. Meaning that by using them Clara had hypnotized herself before she even slapped the thing on the Doctors neck.

This episode sees the return of the Cybermen and I really liked how it was done.

The episode poses some interesting questions about the afterlife and the scary repercussions of what could happen if we were able to transfer human consciousness elsewhere after death.

There are a few more suggestions at the impossible girl arc in this episode in the form of post it notes on her wall when she is speaking to Danny at the start of the episode. But again little has been revealed this week, which makes me think that it will all unfold or partially unfold next week and may give us the explanation of how the Master has returned in the form of Missy.

Although I am not a fan of the Master suddenly being female I am not going to begrudge praise where praise is due. Michelle Gomez has been wonderful throughout the series and has provided just the right levels of mystery and sexapeal, but am kind of dissapointed that we have not been given a fresh take on the Rhani or even Romana going rogue. Both of which were very strong women in their time on the classic series.

Doctor Who - Dark Water
  • Great acting
  • Predictable reveal that Missy is the Master a major let down
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
One Comment
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    1 November 2014 at 10:56 pm -

    Sorry. My first instinct was correct. As for the Impossible Girl arc, I’m now expecting a Sixth Sense twist relative to the afterlife theme. If nothing else, Missy has got parts of the Echo Claras in the Matrix. It’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out considering Clara will appear in the Christmas special.

    We did get one intercut reveal flashback as exposition when Twelve explained the dream patches. Hopefully, we’ll get a bare minimum of those next week.

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