This season’s Doctor Who has had some great episodes, like Time Heist, Flatline and Mummy on the Orient Express. It’s also had some absolute shockers (looking at you Kill the Moon). Sadly it has ended with a disaster.
This was Moffat at his worst, with an episode full of poor writing and plotting so bad it has actually managed to negatively affect the previous episodes in the season. What hurt the most about the episode was the lazy execution and the panicked way Moffat tried to tie up loose ends. If you’re looking for positive review I suggest popping over to the Guardian website to see whatever the idiot who reviews Doctor Who episodes there is saying. This review will cover the main reasons Death in Heaven was awful. I would have covered all the reasons, but I only have so much time to live.
A lot has been written and said about the Master regenerating as a woman. The real issue is that the Master has regenerated as an idiot who is so obsessed with the Doctor that she gives him an army of Cybermen. I cannot believe I had to write that sentence.
Apparently she does this to try and force the Doctor to admit he is like her. She even says she has been up and down his timeline ‘recruiting’ those who die to save the Doctor. Turning one of the few villains who are on a, sort of, equal footing with the Doctor into an obsessed stalker with a time machine.
The Doctor is initially shocked and then conflicted by Missy giving him an army, and not because he doesn’t understand why she is being so dumb. For a second he appears to be genuinely unsure of what to do, before he realises that he can just use the Cybermen to destroy themselves and the cloud so that everything can go back to normal.
Have a very close look at that picture. It shows in one snapshot what is wrong with this episode. Why? Because Danny Pink is crying when he is supposed to be a corpse. Corpses don’t cry. I know Samuel Anderson will never be mistaken for Robert de Niro but it doesn’t take the greatest method actor in the world to realise that you shouldn’t cry when you are playing a corpse. Did the Director not notice this? This may seem like a pernickety point but it is this lack of attention to detail that makes it harder for the audience to buy into the emotion of a scene and by extension the episode as a whole.
In the episode Danny begs Clara to turn off his emotions, which she decides is a good idea. I can’t even be bothered to justify that. The Doctor then turns up and, on realising that turning off Danny’s emotions will allow him to access the hive mind, says that he’s very sorry but he needs to turn Danny’s emotional inhibitor on. At which point Danny has a massive go at the Doctor. What the hell Danny Pink? You want your emotional inhibitor turned on, the Doctor needs your inhibitor turned on, and the survival of the human race may depend on your emotional inhibitor being turned on. Why are you being such a tosser about having your emotional inhibitor turned on? It’s meant to add depth to the scene, but all it does is make Danny sound as moany in death as he was in life.
Eventually Clara decides to turn on the inhibitor, apparently because turning off your loved ones emotions is something you should do yourself.
But don’t worry people, it turns out that love isn’t an emotion, it’s a promise. Except of course that it is an emotion and that sentence would make as much sense if it went “Love isn’t an emotion, it’s a cuddly toy crocodile.”
If Moffat ever finds himself on Stranger Views then here is a couple of definitions to help him in future:
Love – noun –“a strong feeling of affection.”
Promise – noun – “a declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen.”
We then see Danny give a rousing speech with all the charisma of a limp willy on a cold day. I imagine most of the audience reacted in the same way Missy did:
While we’re on the subject of not making sense, is Danny the only one who’s love is strong enough to ignore his cyberman programming? Well no, apparently the Brigadier isn’t affected either. So basically Missy’s plan relies on none of the dead people having a partner, child or presumably parent. This appears to be something of an oversight.
Not content with butchering this episode with all the tenderness of a Grizzly Bear with a headache, the writers take a second to kill off Osgood. This is one of the most annoying deaths in the history of television. Osgood is a great character, she’s also smart as a whip with a PhD. To have her walk right up to Missy was bad, to have her do it because she wanted to impress the Doctor was insulting. While we’re here, why did they not take off Missy’s bracelet? Surely that’s prisoner taking 101? A big shout out must also go to the guards who stood gormlessly behind Missy as she put her lipstick on prior to killing Osgood. Good job boys!
Can someone please tell me what is up with Gallifrey?
So apparently the Master can get out of Gallifrey, we’re never told how, and earlier in the series (in Listen) Clara was able to go back to it. Is this planet hidden or what? Can someone give me some sort of official verdict on this please? At the moment this revolving door policy on Gallifrey is making this whole ‘Doctor finding his home world’ sub plot ridiculous.
How Death In Heaven answered Dark Water’s mysteries
Last week’s review took the form of a list of questions for Death In Heaven to answer. So let’s see how Death in Heaven answered some of the questions we were asking.
Did Clara bring Missy back?
No. As said above, no explanation is given for Missy coming back. That would have been too much like good writing.
Will Missy be around for a while?
No. She was killed in a most anticlimactic fashion, which if nothing else was in keeping with the episode.
Why is Missy in league with the Cybermen?
Who knows? Perhaps she was hired as a contractor? Unsurprisingly for Moffat it’s never adequately explained.
What’s up with the robots?
Stranger Views asked why there so many Robots in the early episode and why they were searching for the ‘promised land’. I could give a convoluted answer to this question but I’m losing the will to live. Basically Moffat copped out. Again.
What’s the Clara – Missy Connection?
Missy wanted Clara and the Doctor to get together as Clara is the only one that would lead the Doctor to trying to find a dead loved one. I keep reading that line again to see if it would make sense, but I can’t. It is just the plot equival
Death in Heaven rating
I beg all of you reading this, repeat after me: “This episode never happened”, and “Osgood lives.”
p.s – If the Christmas episode brings back Danny Pink, and I suspect it might, I’m going to scream.