Title: Doctor Who S8.E11 “Dark Water”
Released: 2014
Series:  Doctor Who

Previously on Doctor WhoA world-covering forest saves humanity from destruction, and Clara continues deceiving Danny about her involvement with the Doctor.

Part one of the season finale hit me right in the feels.

Here We Go Again

A phone rings, and Danny answers. Clara pulls a 12 and tells him multiple times to shut up, even though he’s not really saying much. Clara’s acting a little manic, and her bookshelves are covered with Post-It notes. She tells him she has things to tell him, but first she tells him that she loves him, and it’s probably the last time she’ll ever tell anyone that. Danny stops responding … and a strange woman picks up the phone and tells Clara that Danny’s been hit by a car. And has died.

Clara tries to reach the Doctor, but her phone just keeps ringing. An old woman (her grandmother?) tries to comfort her, but something’s off with Clara. The Doctor finally answers, and when he asks what’s up, Clara lies (again).

Clara enters the TARDIS and still seems a bit off. While she talks to the Doctor about wanting to see a volcano, she’s walking around the control room, taking spare keys out of hiding places. She also asks him about sleep patches, if he has any more. As he works the controls, she slaps something on to his neck.

In the volcano, Clara backs up to the edge and tells the Doctor that Danny’s dead, and she wants him to somehow bring Danny back. He says no, that it’s impossible, so she throws a key into the lava. They argue, and she throws the rest of the keys in, then breaks down. The Doctor, however, has had her in a dream state the whole time, and merely made her think she was tossing keys to their destruction.

The situation is a bit tense, after the whole key fit, so when she asks what they do now, and the Doctor tells her “go to hell,” she thinks he’s telling her to get out. Per usual, though, he was being literal, and so they hook her into the TARDIS and set off to try and find Danny.

In an office, Danny meets with Missy’s assistant. He asks many questions, and finally figures out that he’s dead, and he’s in the Nethersphere/the Underworld/the Promised Land, which is where souls go after their first bodies die.

The TARDIS lands, and the Doctor and Clara find themselves in a mausoleum with a bunch of skeletons sitting in tanks filled with a watery substance. They discover that they’re in a tomb run by 3W—a company that takes care of people in the afterlife. Missy appears, lays a kiss on the Doctor, and announces that she’s an android with a heart that is maintained by the Doctor. She calls for Doctor Chang, who tries to explain to Clara and the Doctor where they are. He tells them about Dark Water, and that only organic material can be seen through it.

In the Nethersphere, Missy’s assistant explains the dead are still connected to their old bodies, so any feeling the dead body undergoes will be felt by the new one. Danny gets call from Clara, and they talk while the Doctor goes to check out the tanks with Chang. They exit an elevator … with doors that look an awful lot like a Cyberman’s eyes.

Missy activates the tanks, and then kills Chang. As the waters recede, they reveal the Cybermen that have been hanging out in them. The Doctor begins questioning what the Nethersphere actually is, then spots a fancy hard drive at the ceiling, a piece of Gallifreyan tech. Missy explains that she’s making better Cybermen, and that she’s a Time Lady—one whom he abandoned. The Doctor runs, and escapes outside, only to find himself exiting St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Clara tells Danny that she wants to join him. He says no, and the assistant gives Danny the option to delete himself. Clara turns around and finds a Cyberman behind her.

Outside St. Paul’s, Cybermen stream out of the church, and Missy announces that all of Earth’s graves are about to “give birth” to the latest version of the Cybermen. She also reveals that Missy is short for Mistress—and that she couldn’t very well keep calling herself the Master, now could she?

Don’t Blink or We’ll Exterminate

Welp. We finally found out who Missy was—and what the Promised Land was all about. Why she’s aligned herself with the Cybermen, I don’t know (yet), but all of the guesses that Missy was short for Mistress, which was the female version of Master, were spot on. I think it’s kind of neat to see that Time Lords (and Ladies) can regenerate into different genders, but it’s never a good sign when she/he shows up.

Best Doctorisms:

Doctor: “What’s so good about seeing a volcano? It’s just sort of a leaky mountain.”

Clara: “I love him.”
Doctor: “Yeah, you’re quite the mess of chemicals, aren’t you.”

Doctor: “What if people see us together? It looks like you’ve been melted.”

Companion Annoyance Level: Clara

Companion Annoyance Advisory System

Clara: Severe Risk of Annoying Entitlement

Martha: High Risk of Ridiculous Mooning

Donna: Significant Risk of Overbearing Bossiness

The Ponds: General Risk of Bothersome Smothering

Rose: Low Risk of Irritating Smugness

That whole key scene—regardless of whether it was in a suggestive dream state or not—was crossing the line. I understand that Clara was upset, but why was she taking it out on him? She should have learned by then that this iteration of the Doctor is kind of dick and more than a little selfish, so really, his not delving into what was wrong with her shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Also, when he asked how she was, she acted like nothing was wrong!

Keep Moving

Next week is the second part of the season finale, and some serious shizz is going to go down: Cybermen, run by the souls of the dead, are attacking Earth. Missy/The Mistress/The Master has returned. Danny’s (after)life hangs in the balance of a simple tap. I’m very curious to see how it all sorts out … and if we lose anyone by the end.

But, what did you think of “Dark Water”? Did I miss them tell us what the 3Ws were? Any predictions for the next episode? Let’s discuss in the comments.


Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.