Title: Doctor Who S8.E12 “Death in Heaven”
Released: 2014
Series:  Doctor Who

Previously on Doctor WhoDanny’s death leads Clara and the Doctor to the Nethersphere, where we finally figure out who Missy is … and it’s not good.

The time has come for us to say goodnight to series 8.

Here We Go Again

Picking up where last week’s episode left off, Clara tries to tell the Cyberman looking to kill her that she’s not who he (it?) thinks she is. Rather, she’s the Doctor, and he definitely does not want to kill her because of that.

At St. Paul’s Cathedral, Missy is explaining a bit more about her plan when the cavalry arrive—in the form of Kate Stewart, Osgood and UNIT. The Cybermen escape into the sky, some from the opened dome of St. Paul’s, and clouds begin to cover the skies. The Doctor realizes that they’re attempting to “pollinate” the world, and spread their kind.

In the Nethersphere, the lights begin shutting down. Missy’s assistant tells Danny that everyone there is heading back to Earth, in a manner of speaking. On Earth, UNIT goons shoot tranquilizer darts into Missy and the Doctor. As he’s going under, the Doctor whispers in Osgood’s ear, telling her to “guard the graveyards.”

The cyberclouds starts raining, but only on graveyards. The water also travels to funeral homes, and one, in particular, is important—it’s where Danny’s body was being held.

UNIT takes the Doctor and Missy onto plane, where Kate explains that there’s a new world order, and that all of the world’s leaders have voted for a new President of Earth; a new president who happens to have two hearts and would have an even harder time proving he was born on our planet than President Obama had proving he was born in the U.S.

Clara continues to try to deceive the Cybermen, and just when things are looking dreary, a lone Cyberman knocks her out and shoots the Cybermen trying to kill her.

Missy wakes up on the plane and tells the Doctor that he saved her when he saved Gallifrey … and that she knows where it is. But she won’t tell him, of course. (Not yet, anyway.) Surreptitiously, Missy activates a bracelet on her wrist. The Doctor figures out that the cyberclouds will rain down on all of the Earth, enabling the Cybermen to easily make more of themselves. Missy calls Osgood over to tell her a secret, but has removed her handcuffs. Because she’s “bananas,” she kills the guards, then kills Osgood for fun. Soon after, something jostles the plane, and it’s no turbulence: the Cybermen have found the plane.

Clara, who found herself in a cemetery after being shocked by the Cyberman, wanders about looking extraordinarily lost for a bit, until she runs across the one who “saved” her. She thinks he wants to find the Doctor, and she tells him that she’ll never give him up, because they’re best friends and they don’t lie to each other (Riiiiight.) and all that jazz. Little does she know that the man inside the cybersuit happens to be Danny, and she’s just driving the stake even farther into his heart. Cyber!Danny takes off his facemask, and looks like a villain from Star Trek: Nemesis is extremely sad about his current situation.

On the plane, the TARDIS rings, and the Doctor realizes that Missy’s the one who brought Clara and him together. When he answers the phone, Clara tells him that Danny’s been turned into a Cyberman, and that he wants her to turn on his inhibitor, which will remove his emotions. The Doctor tries to get her to stop, but she hangs up on him and starts fiddling around in Cyber!Danny’s chest without any training or a manual.

Missy blows the cargo doors off the plane, and Kate goes flying out. The Doctor soon follows, and the plane explodes. But the Doctor is saved by the TARDIS, and then goes to talk to Clara and Cyber!Danny. The cyberclouds darken, and the Doctor tries to get Cyber!Danny to tell him the larger plan. He can’t do that without the inhibitor turned on, however, which Clara takes on the burden of turning on. Once he’s a little more Cyber and a little less Danny, he tells them that the worsening clouds will kill all of the humans, and all will turn into Cybermen.

Missy arrives in the cemetery, and reveals how she can control the Cyberman army. She gives the Doctor the control bracelet “as a birthday present” and to try and prove that they’re not so different. The Doctor, however, realizes that although he’s not a good man, he’s not a bad man either. So, he gives Cyber!Danny the control bracelet, and after a rousing speech about saving the world, Cyber!Danny flies into the clouds with the rest of the Cybermen on Earth and self-destructs. The clouds clear, and the trouble—for the moment—is over.

A disheartened Missy tells the Doctor the coordinates of Gallifrey. The Doctor doesn’t believe her, but something makes him want to. Clara wants to kill Missy, but the Doctor won’t let her. He’s about to kill her himself, when she disappears in a flash of blue light. )I think we’re supposed to assume that she’s dead, but I don’t quite believe it.) Another Cyberman, one who didn’t self-destruct, has shot her. He’s also saved Kate—which leads to the assumption that the Cyberman is actually Cyber!Brigadier.

Two weeks later, Clara’s awoken by Danny’s voice. A bright light has appeared in her hallway, and Clara’s excited, because the control bracelet can bring Danny back to the land of the living. Instead, he sends through the young boy he met in the Nethersphere (one we can assume he accidentally killed while in the army). Later, she meets with the Doctor in a café, and they both continue to lie to each other—Clara about Danny and the Doctor about Gallifrey. Although he did go to the coordinates Missy gave him, Gallifrey was no where to be found.

The two say goodbye, hug, and leave. The credits begin to roll, but are interrupted by a scene of the Doctor on the TARDIS looking extremely mopey. Someone’s banging on the door, berating him for leaving things in such a poor state. The voice says he’s coming inside, and lo and behold—it’s (Nick Frost as) Santa!

Don’t Blink or We’ll Exterminate

Missy continued to try to take over the world with her Cyberman army—and they continued to be creepier than their previous editions by being, basically, cybernetic zombies.

Best Doctorisms

Doctor: “Are you in the Scouts? A Man Scout? Didn’t know they had those.”

Doctor: “I don’t like being President. People keep saluting. I’m never going to salute back.”

Doctor: “I am an idiot with a box. And a screwdriver.”

Companion Annoyance Level: Martha

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

If that was Clara’s true goodbye, I feel more than a little underwhelmed. As much as I dislike her and want her to give up the Companion title, that was, well … lame. Half of the episode she spent trying to convince the Cybermen that she was the Doctor, the other half she spent being a mess over Danny. That’s really not a fitting end for the Impossible Girl. I doubt we’ve seen the end of her … but if we have, she deserved better?

Keep Moving

This series has had its ups and downs. I think Peter’s been fantastic in the role of the Doctor, but his relationship with Clara has been both strained and strange. Clara occasionally made me interested in her character growth, but then she fell back into her old ways, occasionally even making them worse. A lot of people died. Some old foes (with new faces) reappeared. We didn’t get any closer to finding Gallifrey. Was anything really resolved over the course of the 12 episodes? Where do we go from here?

But, enough about what I think. What did you think of “Death in Heaven”? What about the series as a whole? Let’s discuss in the comments.

P.S.—Who’s SUPER EXCITED about the Christmas special? THIS GIRL.


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.