Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Time Lord 1.11-12 - Super Happy Fun Time Special

Episode: Death In Heaven
Song: Cosmic Cowboys by the Doug Anthony All-Stars

The first proper two part in three years kicks off with Danny getting an abusive phone call from Clara.

Dave: Ooh! Weeping Angel! No? Oh. Wierd emphasis to that statue otherwise.
Andrew: You can tell a lot about a guy from his ringtone. Danny's "old telephone trill" suggests he has the vaguest desire to be cool and anti-establishment but no real idea how to do so. He's a sheep and he knows it, yet at the same time he hates himself.
Nigel: Oh god, what pack of lies is Clara banging on about this week?
Dave: She's screaming "Shut up!" over the phone at her boyfriend before he can say anything? Why hasn't she been declared criminally insane by now? She should be in a padded cell!

Andrew: Clara wants to come clean. But she can only do this over the phone screaming abuse at Danny that she has never loved or will love anyone else in the whole wild world ever. What? She didn't have any kind of romantic feelings in her whole life until now?
Nigel: Maybe she's really in the closet? I mean REALLY in the closet. We're talking her postcode is Narnia deep in the closet? The frustration is driving her crazy...

By the way, Danny just got run over.
A: That was a very quiet hit and run. I mean, she can hear the traffic noise and footsteps over the phone but she didn't hear the sickening crunch and screams?
D: What is it with English people walking across roads without looking while on the phone? I mean, even the biggest houso bogan in Boganville wouldn't be that stupid. These Brits are morons! Like when Amy couldn't possibly comprehend the idea of CPR when even Buffy could do it...

N: Maybe Danny threw himself under a boss screaming "I can't take this shit any more!"
D: This show's been so miserable and depressing, I can't blame him.
A: Is the woman on the phone David Tennant in drag. How many times can you say "I'm so, so sorry" in one breath?
D: This is a dream. Clara runs out to see the cops and the paramedics and then they vanish in the blink of an eye and she stands in the middle of moving traffic? How does that work? Is she suicidal too now?
N: Nah, she's changed her jumper. She must be back the next day or something.
D: But she's still standing in traffic. That's like Prince Charles mourning by getting his taxi driver drunk in Paris...
N: A clear reminder she has no friends. No one's even trying to look after her. See kids, this is what being a lying control freak will do to you! Leave you alone and crazy! Thatcher!!
A: Holy crap, those photos of Danny are awful. Those are not the photos you would want to show "we trusted your children this guy". He looked like an original Star Trek monster!
D: Who left the teddy bear? Was that Maeve?

Clara takes this very well. That is, she stops even pretending to be sane any more.
N: Grandma Etta is back! Cool...
D: Mind you, this really shows how bad Clara's got. She was weeping buckets that the Doctor was going to die at Christmas, now she's just a bug-eyed zombie who can't be trusted with sharp objects.
A: Grandma Etta is clearly scared of how badshit insane she's got...
N: Clara's god complex has reached its apotheosis as she now believes the universe owes her.
D: Well, she did save it a shitload of times and put up with the new Doctor.
N: Oh well, that's all right. As long as she's not being selfish.

Clara decides to call in the Doctor's debts.
A: They're really filming this like Clara's gone evil and the Doctor's in danger.
N: And it seems they're recreating the end of Revenge of the Sith. Bet you anything the Doctor shouts "You were the chosen one!" then kicks Clara into the lava pit and then Missy turns her into Darth Oswald. I mean, she's gone the same way, even down to being prepared to murder the children in her care...
D: Well, they've done so much Star Wars stuff in NuWho. Might as well finish it off.

Clara drugs the Doctor, traps him in a volcano and starts to torture him.
A: Is this where Caecillius turns up? Are they in Pompeii?
D: This is horrible! Clara's using everything she knows about the Doctor to ruin his life! She's gone evil!

Clara will destroy all the Doctor's TARDIS keys if he doesn't go back in time and save Danny.
A: Oh, and the invisible-talisman keys can be melted by lava. Very Tolkien.
N: Seven TARDIS keys. What about Clara's, and the Doctor's and the one above the door and - oh yeah - the fact you can just snap your fingers and open the doors! Clara's not thought this through.
D: That's not the point. The point is what she thinks she's doing, which is to make the Doctor suffer the worst thing she can think of.
A: The Doctor's not endearing himself with his "So Danny's dead? How does this concern me?" attitude...
N: "You're trying to take control! You're out of your depth!" Clara's real self in one scene. She's all reasonable but the moment anyone shows free will she snaps and goes psycho. Does she even care Danny's dead or just that he died without her say so? And people say Rose was nasty and deluded...

The Doctor tells Clara to get stuffed. She destroys all the keys.
A: What a rubbish negotiation! Just agree to Clara and then Venusian aikido her when she drops her guard!
N: Did Clara actually have a plan now they're both marooned inside a volcano? I mean... really?
D: JLC's quite good at this crazy acting, isn't she?
N: Even now Clara's angry that the Doctor's not reacting the way she likes! Nutter!

But that never happened. The Doctor roofied her when he saw how crazy she was.

D: So... it was all a dream? Is Danny alive then? No... wait. That's an interesting twist.
N: What an epic smackdown. Not only has Clara's psychosis been exposed, she's reminded she's not even control of her own consciousness let alone anything else. Still, only way you can deal with a control freak I suppose. Guess this is their last story.
A: The Doc's quiet, friendly "go to hell" suggests he is very, very angry. Kind of like the worst Malcolm Tucker was when he whisperboarded people.
N: Bye, Clara.

But wait, the Doctor forgives Clara. He just loves the damn Impossible Girl.
Um. Sweet. I guess. But she is just doing her Bambi eyes like she did with the Half-Face Man...
The Doctor's going "Well, this violently unstable control freak who is willing to try and destroy my life in the worst possible way and betray everything I stand for makes a good companion"? I mean, that's just asking for trouble no matter how lovely he acts.
He must be desperate to keep her round. Which, ironically, is what drove her crazy in the first place.
Yeah, the Doctor should get her some grief counselling first. The two of them are bad influences on each other. You'd separate them at rehab, wouldn't you?

The Doctor decides not to change history and save Danny but instead kidnap him from the afterlife.
D: You can't think of anything else? Like, clone him with space science or download him into a Flesh Avatar or, I dunno... something else?
N: Is the Doctor doing this to save Danny or confront Clara with the fact Danny is gone for good? What do they expect to happen - the TARDIS will land at the pearly gates?
A: Odd that the Doctor instantly thinks of "Hell" as the afterlife rather than heaven. Is he that pessimistic or did the dream of the volcanic landscape get him in a mood?
N: Ooh, Clara's fingering the console again.
D: So the whole hider thing was absolute irrelevent - the squelchy gyno-controls of the TARDIS were all that was needed for the ongoing plot?

Clara pilots the TARDIS to a mausoleum where bodies rot in tanks of water.
D: That Cyber-eye logo makes it pretty obvious who the badguys are the Cybermen. It has no other meaning, how much more obvious could it be that there are Cybermen involved?
N: 3W? As in W3, The Wheel in Space, notable Cyberman story?
A: "Xylo Jones"? Is Ianto going to turn up? Or Harriet?
D: I think they put more effort in making the skeletons scary rather than realistic. I mean, does that skeleton that turns its head look like an actual animated skeleton? It looks fake! Scary fake, but fake.
N: So when is this? Where is this? The technology's very futuristic with interface holograms. Is this Tranquil Repose 2: This Time The Regulars Fucking Do Something! or what?
D: I bet this is the dream. Feels pretty dreamy.

Missy arrives. She is a crazy sexbot which, it has to be said, explains a lot.
A: Even though she's being friendly, both the Doctor and Clara are shit-scared of her. Very wise.
D: And now Missy's molesting the Doctor. She's just going to turn out to be Sue White all along.
N: Ms. Gomez seems to be typecast. Unless she just improvs all this crazy shit.
A: So, how would we feel if it was Clara getting groped and slobbered on while the Doctor did nothing?
N: Pretty much any given episode of Season 22, obviously.
A: Oh yeah. Oh why oh why did Moff try to do it all over again?

Missy summons the perky eurasian Dr. Chang to explain everything.
A: Why are the skeletons turning their heads like that? They can't actually see through the sides of their tanks, can they? Why hasn't anyone noticed it bar Missy?
D: So this is 2014 and they have flying holograms and robots. Is this part of Stark Industries?

Turns out the tanks are full of x-ray liquid that hides the metal exoskeleton holding the corpses together.
D: Ooh, there might as well be a scrolling caption saying "THE CYBERMEN ARE BACK!"
A: So, dark water allows you to hide anything except organic matter. But why can we see the chairs the skeletons are sitting on? Why would anyone want to see the skeletons rotting away given the choice?
N: Chang wants dark water in swimming pools so he can scope some naked flesh. Even though lots of old and fat and underage people are in swimming pools, the dirty fucker.
A: I bet he's got a restraining order from all the nude beaches.
D: The Doctor's swearing on psychic paper - dumb Thick of It joke or is he really upset by the whacky sexual molestation adventure he just endured. I bet if Mark Gatiss wrote it, he would have bunched Missy out and kicked her in the ribs screaming abuse. Coz he's written things like that. A lot.

Dr. Chang explains that when people die their consciousness is trapped in their decaying corpses.
D: He says no one ever considered that. Apart from Tanith Lee, obviously.
N: So the skeleton in the room is called Dr. Skarosa? SKARO-sa?!?!
D: This Doctor assumes the stuff about the afterlife is all bollocks. So, based on past performance it means the afterlife is one hundred per cent pukka.

A: "If you've had a recent loss, this might be disturbing." Surely if you've EVER had a loss, it'd be disturbing.
N: I don't see the problem. OK, being cremated will hurt or being dissected will hurt but it's not eternal damnation. The agony won't last forever, or else everyone in the afterlife would be too busy screaming in pain from the last thing that killed them.
A: Yeah, and what happens after total decomposition? How does that work?
D: "Speak for me again and I'll detach something." Wow, Clara's guilt-ridden gratitude has gone quick.
N: The Doctor's ranting about dead is dead not only recall Miracle Day in Torchwood but also makes clear he wanted to prove Danny was beyond help. That's nasty.

In the afterlife, Danny wakes up in an office with equally perky Ollie Reeder.
D: Typical. Only the villains are nice people...
N: It's quite dark compared to the bright heaven we saw before. Is this a racism thing?
D: It's not a garden or an eternal white corridor, it's hollow Earth with Tokyo on the inside. Huh?
A: Danny's an orphan. Doesn't he want to see his parents?
D: Why in the same of fuck are there ambulance sirens in the afterlife?
A: I like Ollie's argument about embryos and the nature of existence. It's very true that we judge reality based on impirical knowledge rather than outside perspective.
N: You are speaking meaningless words. Stop.

Ollie suggests Danny chat to a little boy he killed in Afghanistan.
D: Yeah. That'll cheer him up.
A: "So... you OK?" has to be the dumbest question to someone you murdered when you see them in the afterlife.

N: Was it a surprise Danny killed a kid? Really?
D: I think it's a surprise they killed a kid in this show. Mind you, can this kid speak English? Can he speak at all?
A: At least we don't get an ISIS bloke bitching about infidels...
N: Yeah, where the hell are the 72 virgins?! You think there'd be a tad more religious dogma in this one.
D: Ollie says Steve Jobs is there. Will we get some celebrities like Elvis, Hitler or Rik Mayall?

Dr. Chang gives Clara a chance to ring Danny in the afterlife.
N: Danny looks properly frightened. Even death won't stop the cow harrassing him.
A: The TARDIS took them here because Danny was somehow connected to this place, ergo there's a good chance Danny is there. Why is the Doctor so damned determined to call it all a fake?
N: Yeah, what happened to the open-minded adventurer who loved new planets.
D: Died on Trenzalore. That's why we don't call this show Doctor Who any more.

Missy awakens all the skeletons and empties the dark water to reveal they are Cybermen.
D: My god, they could have named this The Cybermen Are Back and it couldn't have been more obvious.
N: They're really bending over backwards making our heroes so stupid/or preoccupied to notice the dead are standing or the whole place is decorated by Cyber designs. Its like Missy is desperate to be caught.
A: Didn't Chang get suspicious at the fact the suits were shaped by Cybermen? Or the tanks had an empty button that could only be operated from inside?

Missy then cranks up the batshit insanity and zaps Chang.
D: Jeez, Missy's a lot more fun company than the Doctor, isn't she? She's probably the only person in this story perhaps this season who actually gets out of bed in the morning and actually looks forward to the day ahead.
A: Yeah, and she's so proactive compared to the Doctor. He's spent the whole episode either being stupid, angry or both and she's run rings around him in five seconds flat without even trying.
N: Plus she seems determined to make herself as suspicious as possible. This is like a DWAD where they make the villains more powerful by lobotomizing the cast...
A: She even showed she wasn't a robot but the Doctor still didn't twig! Moron! Are we sure that drug thing didn't leave him stoned? He's never been so slow on the uptake before!

Clara and Danny's cosmic phone call does not go well. Clara hangs up on him, ungrateful bitch.
A: Clara bitches Danny knowing her birthday isn't proof. So why did she ask if he knew her birthday?
D: Isn't Danny insisting he doesn't want to commit suicide to join him enough proof?
N: Typical, Clara doesn't give a shit about what Danny wants.
D: It's another show that her control freakery actually makes her incredibly easily to manipulate. Since she never bluffs, its simple to get her to do something stupid like hang up. The Doctor refusing to obey was the same, as soon as it's clear you're not bluffing, there's nothing for them to lose.
N: I swear, Clara's going to either die or have a total nervous breakdown in this...

Missy cheerfully reveals the Afterlife is in fact the Matrix she stole from Gallifrey and is using it to create a brand new army of Cybermen by uploading souls into converted bodies.
N: Wow. She's not the Rani, she's having too much fun.
A: She can't be Romana or River Song... she must be Ruath.
N: Yeah, or some similar psycho girlfriend who's into necrobiotech.
D: Maybe she's the Time Lord Clara we saw?

Turns out this whole 3W thing is inside St. Paul's. Um, yeah.
N: Which is stupid in every concievable respect unless Missy is desperate to recreate some publicity photos from The Invasion.
A: And that seems to be what she's after.
D: Man, it's really quite pathetic seeing this tiny amount of Cybermen mince through a single doorway and skipping down the steps. Look, you can see members of the public going into St. Paul's in the background shots even though its supposed to be vomiting an endless Cyber-army.
A: Wierd how there seemed to be so many more Cybermen back in 1978. Maybe because they weren't conspiciously in groups of three so far apart.
N: Does this frighten newbies? I mean, it's not as awesome as the last Cyber-army we saw...

Back in the Matrix, Danny is given the ultimate temptation.
A: Ooh. That really means every converted Cyberman really did sell their souls and they are damned.
D: Surely not everyone chooses to delete their emotions! I mean, would Amy and Rory do that? The little kid hasn't! How many mentally-sound people have chosen to stay normal, or are we supposed to think the traffic jams are full of Cybermen behind the wheels honking their horns?
A: What happened to those who got uploaded to the afterlife who don't have convertable bodies like, er, everyone Missy met personally? Wait, think I answered my own question there...
N: And as for Danny, yes, he'd be upset but why doesn't he choose to visit his family instead of instantly trying to lobotomize his own brain? I mean, dude, you've got the rest of your life...

Missy cuts the crap and reveals she's actually the Master post-sex-change.
A: You know what? I totally believe that.
N: Yeah, it makes sense of everything - even this totally retarded plan that has only one goal to make the Doctor look like a total pratt. It's completely in character.
D: So, our first blatant transexual Time Lord. It's pretty much a given now Capaldi's replacement will be a woman now.
A: Hopefully a cheerful woman, a real Phryne Fisher type instead of a goth emo bint.
D: Oh man, they've recreated the Cybermen walking down the steps and it's awful! Awful! It's like a fan promo or something with cosplayers! It's as apocalyptic as a bus ticket and sadly we've long crossed the line of audience apathy. Who cares if Missy destroys the world and wipes out mankind? This series had made it feel like a blessed relief because life is pointless and miserable and only crazy people believe in true love...
N: Dave, you been taking your meds?
D: They're not enough. DAMN YOU MOFFAT!

The good news is Clara's not suicidal. Bad news is she's now insisting she's the Doctor.
A: And with a last look at reality beach, Clara paddles off into the waters of total insanity.
N: Is she trying to bluff her way with the Cyberiad? Or has she just lost it? No one believes she's actually telling the truth - otherwise why, er, absolutely everything we've seen. This is just goddamned padding.
D: Look at that Cyberman's neck. It's all cracked. Is that important now?
A: Well, now we know what the blue chest thing is for - google face-match.
N: Oh, now she's in the title sequence for one retarded padding joke? Is Moffat mixing his meds?

Outside, no one seems to notice the Cybermen. But they're actually UNIT operatives playing dumb.
D: Okay... Missy is the Master, the bodies are Cybermen, the passer-bys are UNIT and Clara is the Doctor. So who's the Doctor? Is he just a loser body-double?
N: Hope so. Kate and Osgood seem more patronizing than awe-inspired of this new one.
A: Maybe they've met him before. Or something. I'm sorry I don't give a shit any more.
N: Well, Capaldi's got his Dalek, Cybermen, Master, UNIT, Silurians and Sontarans in one dark gritty adult season. He can die happy now while we live in misery.

Kate explains who she is to the unimpressed Cybermen. Then throws an Invasion head at them.
D: Why is Kate acting like Matt Smith on speed? She knows that won't scare them.
A: Yeah, Osgood and the Doctor and the Cybermen seem a bit boggled at her coffee rush.
N: And aren't these the ultimate Cybermen who will upgrade themselves to any attack? So this info-dump posturing by Kate is - like Clara's insanity - just a waste of time.
A: And why is she facing Cybermen in red high-heels? Huh? Answer me that.

The Cybermen get bored and fly off. And then become suicide bombers. Because it's a cheerful ep.
D: Oh and now Missy is dissing humanity as well. After a whole season of the Doctor doing it, it's like this show is gripped with a kind of feral self-hatred...
N: So that whole confrontation was a waste of time! You see?
A: Missy is in charge of the Cybermen, so that explains some of the theatrics.
N: Why the complicated explanation for St. Paul's? Just say it's Missy's TARDIS!
D: Osgood has kept the tradition of Classic Who by being able to tell something's going to explode before it does and telling the audience to look at it...

Kate decides to tranquilize both Time Lords to stop their bitching.
A: Says so much Missy passes out with a funny line, the Doctor hurls abuse at all his friends for being stupid and human and stuff like that instead of trusting they know what they're doing.
D: God, I hope they beat him up while he's unconscious the stupid bastard.
N: More padding. We can't have the Doctor tell us something, he's got to whisper it to Osgood, pass out, then Kate asks Osgood to repeat it. No wonder this episode needs another ten minutes...

The exploding Cybermen turn to ominous rainclouds and the Matrix empties.
A: OK, this isn't a bit like Return of the Living Dead.
N: If it was we would have got Clara naked and dancing on a tomb.
D: The night is still young, and she's just crazy enough to do it.
N: Look, the Chaplet Funeral Home. Either Dodo married an undertaker or she carked it too. Will she come back as a Cyberman? Presumably the really stupid one with the wayward accent?
D: Why's the floor covered with Cyber-spunk if it's supposed to be being sucked into all the corpses?
A: And if Danny's turning into a Cyberman, does that mean the kid has as well? Won't be a really short Cyberman stomping through the Middle East?
N: Hey, his death certificate says "KNOWN AS DANNY PINK". So he didn't change his name after all?
D: It strikes me either Danny has to come back to life to sire Orson and inspire legends about time travel.
A: Unless time is rewritten.
D: What was the point of having Orson then? This makes Listen even more of a waste of time!

Meanwhile, UNIT load the Doctor, Missy and the TARDIS onto Airforce One.
A: I like how the Doctor convulses into life exactly at the ten minute mark.
D: I like how the Doctor insists Clara is his friend, not his assistant.
N: Mind you, that's probably because she is definitely not of any assistance.

There is a lengthy digression into Gerry Anderson programs for some reason.
N: What is this?! Why the hell do we care if Osgood and Sanjiv mix up Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds? I mean, sweet merciful fuck that really is the important matter at the moment!
D: Is Osgood getting it wrong because she's really a Zygon? What is the point of this?
A: They're talking about the Valiant like it still exists? Didn't the Daleks nuke it? Is it Valiant 2?

Mind you, it's positively heartwarming compared to the Doctor.
A: Can we drug the ungrateful asshole again?
D: OK, Doctor, you don't like soldiers. Either piss off or shut the hell up! It's a global Cyber invasion, can you stop hurling abuse at everyone and get on with it?
A: He's even insulting Kate for caring about her father. THE GODDAMNED BRIGADIER! What is wrong with him? Is it being drugged repeatedly caused him to vomit spite over people?
N: Even worse is they're just standing there, taking it like redhaired stepchildren. And the Doctor's not done a single damn thing in this entire series to earn their respect.

Thankfully Kate shuts him up by telling him they've made him President of Earth.
D: It's clear everyone who agreed to that protocol was expecting Matt Smith.

A: The Doctor puts 22 sugars into his tea and then licks the plate with the sugar? Is this one of his "eat wierd stuff to reprogram his biology"? Was the drug making him an asshole all along?
D: All the anti-American stuff seems extra bitchy considering Obama's in charge.
N: More racism.

Meanwhile, Clara's still fantasizing she is the first female Doctor.
D: Looks like they cut the scene explaining how Clara got to the empty tanks with two more Cybermen to convince of her totally deluded crazy bollocks. Obviously the Gerry Anderson stuff is vital to the plot.
N: How does Clara know all this stuff? I thought we'd established she doesn't remember her trip through the timestream? Or have the drugs affected her too?
A: It's pretty generic stuff she's saying, but it does imply Clara's met Jenny at some point.
D: It's really obvious the Cybermen are different heights. That's really distracting for some reason. Couldn't the guy in the middle stand on a box or something?

Cyber-Danny turns up, smacks the bitch down and opens a can of whup-ass.
N: Is the new Cyber-catchphrase a very deadpan "Correct"?
D: There's very good body-language from Cyber-Danny. It shows just how flexible the new suits are. The Cybus ones couldn't even move their heads...
A: So, those three Cybermen he blew up. Did they go back to the Matrix?

On AF1, the Doctor and Missy take foe yay to new levels.
A: You've got to admire the acting. You really believe it's Pertwee and Delgado in different bodies.
N: Disgusting thought, but true.
D: It's also a bit Heath Ledger's Joker, the way you realize she is so insane she can't be intimidated, reasoned with and is also frighteningly intelligent. It's a real relief for her to cut this prick of a Doctor down to size by reminding him how ignorant and powerless he is.
N: The Doctor gets the last word though, appropriately.
A: Um, why are they holding the most dangerous criminal in one room with the TARDIS and an unarmed scientist in a cargo hold? I mean, that's asking for trouble.

The Doctor starts being nice to Osgood.
A: Must've been the reaction to the drug after all. You see, give them a chance and they'll impress you, Doc!
D: The underplayed reaction to the Master's sex-change really sells the idea. I literally cannot see anything stopping the next Doctor being a woman.

N: So, is Osgood dissing Thatcher or Bryan Green from Children of Earth when she says Missy wasn't the worst British Prime Minister? Or maybe both.

A: Osgood's studying the concept art of Missy's gizmo - now THAT is thorough.

The Doctor offers Osgood a role as companion. She's up for it.
D: She's doomed. Or the Doctor'll put her off.
A: The Doctor's obviously not thinking Clara will stay a companion, is he?
N: You think maybe next season we'll have Osgood and Perkins as companions? That'd be awesome.
D: Hang on, they left Missy's control bracelet on? They didn't search her? Shouldn't she be stripped, black-bagged and in a straightjacket? I mean, the trolley's on wheels!
A: Maybe Missy's hypnotized them all to be stupid.
N: Sadly, that's the best explanation on offer.

Clara wakes up in a creepy overcast graveyard.
A: This is really very unnerving.
D: Look - 17:08, they add another filter to the footage so everything instantly gets darker in the middle of a shot. God damn it, that is the most amateur thing we've seen since that kid in Night Terrors!
A: When there's no more room in the Matrix, the dead will walk the Earth!
N: Ooh, Cybermen out of their graves - even if you haven't read Dead Ringers or listened to The Reaping, you'd still get deja vu from the 11DA Plague of the Cybermen...

There are Cybermen in the graveyard, but somehow Clara can't quite see them.
N: Why are they jumping back and forth like ninjas out of her line of sight?
A: And it's not like we're surprised that Cybermen are there. This is really coy. Was this sequence supposed to be at the start of the episode or something?
D: It's so obvious this was filmed on a sunny day with filters on. It's like Logopolis all over again...

On AF1, President Doctor realizes they are totally and utterly screwed.

N: Once again, he gives up at the first sign of trouble. No fist loser.
D: Great, so everyone who's ever lived has been turned into a Cybermen! Yay!
A: Except Ollie said that only recently-deceased minds were there, because presumably 8th Century Mongolian warlords aren't in sufficient state to be resurrected...
D: But we saw a Cyberman climb out of a 1748 gravestone... dude, is Jamie going to turn up?
N: He didn't die in 1748. I think.
A: But still, it means at least people buried from 1745 onward are capable of being converted. So Jenny from the Paternoster Gang might show up. And Amy and Rory and who knows who else?
D: Always assuming they didn't get deleted from the Matrix because they couldn't be upgraded?
N: The diagram shows that only a few from every graveyard are transforming. So Missy's lines about every grave giving birth was more incoherent trailer-friendly bullshit.

It's all getting a bit grim so Missy's here to lighten things up with a Kill-Bill-esque killing spree.
N: It's so cruel, yet so funny and remember when the Doctor was this entertaining?
D: This is right of Jekyll, isn't it? The way she moves like lightning, the countdown, the forewarnings, the dancing over the corpses... I'm not complaining, but this isn't original.
A: Here's a bit of trivia. Missy sings Hey Mickey which first came out during Time-Flight in 1982. Which was a Master story. I guess. Um.

Missy nukes Osgood.
All: Aw.
N: Well, I guess they needed something to stop Missy being more popular than the Doctor. We'd still think she was awesome if she'd just killed those two guards.
D: Missy is yet another long-drawn-out-murderer like the Teller or the Antibodies or the Foretold... It's getting tedious folks. At least Daleks cut to the freaking chase.
A: Will Osgood go to the Matrix now? Maybe we'll find out what happens to people without bodies to convert.

In the graveyard, Clara continues to give Cyber-Danny GBH of the earhole.
A: Now she's ranting that she's not the Doctor but she is the Doctor's best friend. How long before she's screaming that she met him once in a party, and they didn't make eye contact but it still counts?
D: Her big speech that she always forgives, always trusts and never lies to the Doctor is in fact a steaming pile of crap. Has she really lost grip on reality? Or is she just trying to stop the Cybermen from killing her?
N: No wonder Cyber-Danny contemplates blowing her head off to SHUT HER THE FUCK UP!
D: Very good body-language with the Cyberman literally shaking with rage.
A: Surprised Clara's mum hasn't turned up...

Clara finally twigs who Cyber-Danny is. A clue: he's not the Rani.
D: Oh that is gross! His face is screwed to the inside of the mask!
N: At least he didn't have a rotting skull with red gems for eyeballs.
A: Danny wants his emotion inhibitor on because it deletes emotions? You can see why he never taught English.
N: But the inhibitor in his suit can't turn him into a Cyberman, otherwise there would be no point getting people to wipe their emotions in the Matrix. Obviously the inhibitor wouldn't remove his personality and identity, which you'd assume is necessary...

Missy summons an army of flying Cybermen to tear AF1 apart.
D: Yes! Positive action! UNIT's just been moping how screwed they are, while Missy takes the initiative.
N: We really shouldn't be finding her more admirable than the main cast, should we?
A: Dunno. Worked for Spike most of the time.
D: I love the one Cyberman punching at that particular bit of hull. Bet he suffered OCD in life.
A: Aw, there goes Sanjiv. Is he going to the Matrix now? Are there more cut scenes?

In the hold, Missy gives an itemized list of why the Doctor and Clara suck.
N: So Missy was woman in shop. Quelle surprise.
D: She chose an unstable control freak as the Doctor's companion so manipulating Clara would manipulate the Doctor. Smackdown! I bet Missy ran over Danny - and I bet that's in a missing scene too.
A: It's an interesting story arc, very anti-RTD. Instead of enabling each other from their friendship, the Doctor and Clara are the worst possible people around each other - they are poisonous to the point they can't even stop one of the Master's most batshit ideas with plenty of warning.
D: And the Doctor's unable to do anything to Missy but tell her to shut up.
A: It's interesting to compare. Tennant became serious around the Master but that was more drammatic because he treated everything else like a joke. Capaldi is always such a misery-guts git, there's no difference from how he reacts to... well, anything.
N: I mean, even when Saxon turned him into an elf he had more presence and dignity. It's Eric Saward's dreams come true - Cybermen, bloody corpses, a powerless Doctor picked on by a pantomine villain... I bet he gets aroused if ever he watches this.

Clara rings up demanding the Doctor help her switch off Cyber-Danny's soul.
D: Missy's not lying, is she? Clara exists only to drag the Doctor into her mess and she refuses to listen to anyone else, and the Doctor's dog-like loyalty means he can't stop her.
N: Basically, Clara cut off the Doctor's balls.
A: As she threatened to do in part one.
D: This is really sadistic treatment of Danny. Moffat's definitely in one of his black moods where he wants every single character to suffer horribly for daring to exist in his imagination.

Missy gets bored of this exposition and throws Kate overboard and teleports away, leaving the Doctor in the wreck of AF1 as the Cybermen blow it up and throw it at Belgium.
D: Wow, the Doctor's managed to get every one of his followers killed in less than half an hour. Even Saward couldn't undermine the character that efficiently. How the hell's he going to turn this round?
N: I think he needs to die, regenerate into Essie Davis and start kicking arse.
D: I'm not joking, Matt Smith's Doctor could easily have surfboarded over to the TARDIS and escaped this whereas all Capaldi can do is plummet and scream.
A: I suppose knowing the Doctor's been totally emasculated by Missy's cunning plan makes him more of a tragic figure than a colossal bastard - she's screwed with his development so he won't be a threat. If Capaldi sticks round for another season I hope he becomes the Doctor proper.

The Doctor skydives into the TARDIS with a magic TARDIS key.
N: Of course he could have done that inside the plane but apparently this episode was underrunning.
D: I don't get why Ollie Reeder is so impressed. It's not Ace Rimmer surfing a crocodile, is it?
A: I guess Missy's insanity is why she just decided to try and kill the Doctor despite her huge plan otherwise.
N: It's sad Missy's casual slaughter of Ollie feel more awesome than the Doctor escaping certain death.

The Doctor then goes to the graveyard to talk sense into Clara. What a waste of time.
D: Hah! I like that Cyberman in the background that turns away once the Doctor starts speechifying. "OK, this has nothing to do with me, no thanks..."
A: For all his insight into the Doctor, Danny genuinely can't buy the idea he's a nice guy underneath being such an asshole. Notably, the Doctor can't justify it either.

D: While I agree with Danny that the Doctor's a hypocritical twat with no moral highground, he does seem to be prioritizing getting one over the Doctor rather than say the ultimate safety of all mankind.
N: Yeah. The Doctor is genuinely upset realizing he might have to sacrifice Danny for the greater good, but Clara just sees an excuse to get what she wants.
A: Or a chance to put her lover out of inhuman misery.
N: Yeah, but she gets her way and she keeps saying "Do what you're told!" to the Doctor.

Clara sonics Cyber-Danny and turns him into an unfeeling killing machine. This improves their relationship immeasurably.
A: That really is probably the only moment they've been truly honest - admitting they were totally mismatched and utterly terrible at their relationship, even though their love was genuine.
D: This is a very depressing, cynical and gut-hollowing nihilistic death-fetishist bollocks. But it is VERY well written and well-acted.
N: Huge props for the way Danny's face changes. Up there with Derek Jacobi and fob-watch.
A: So Cyber-Danny still has his personality, even without his emotions. Is that because he didn't do the delete in the Matrix or what? Is every Cyberman in the place just as friendly? What?

Missy appears to take the piss out of everything.
A: At last, the Doctor does something! He snatches Missy's death ray and saves Clara!
N: It's pretty pathetic moment really. Mind you, you don't doubt for a second Missy is willing to pull the trigger. She's really quite like Anthony Ainley, especially the eyes and the smile...
D: What does "moorish" mean?
A: Um, African muslim I think.
N: Is she mocking Danny for being black! I knew this series was racist!

Missy reveals the new unstoppable army is a birthday present for the Doctor.
N: I totally buy the Master is the one person who would remember the Doctor's birthday.
D: So now "every human who ever lived" is now a Cyberman? She can't be right, can she?
A: Missy's really delivering a no-holds-barred smackdown on the Doctor, isn't she? She's proved he's completely useless without an army - and she's right, he could have solved things a lot quicker with a Cyber army. Because his own ideas are crap.
N: And the thing is that the Doctor and the Master both think the universe is crap and needs saving. She's right, they're not that different. Even the Doctor says so.
D: So, hang on, the clouds have gone from turning dead people into Cybermen into napalm or something? N: So all the dead that can be converted have been converted? I'm sensing missing scenes again.
A: Missy's "I need my friend back!" just explains the character perfectly, especially given their truce at the end of The End of Time. Part Two.

The Doctor has a blue-screen of death when Missy makes him admit he's not a good man.
N: Excellent acting from Capaldi. Looks like he's having a heart attack.
A: So Missy was counting on the Doctor's arrogance to make him take up the challenge rather than admit defeat? Or does she genuinely think he's a good man? Coz, as we know, no one else does.
D: The flashbacks show the Doctor's been far more worried about being a good man than actually being one, which as Clara made a big deal about is not done by tryhards.

The Doctor finally twigs he's not a good man and the whole story arc was a waste of time.
A: I love how Missy is so pleased to see the Doctor happy, even though she's totally failed.
D: Assuming the Doctor actually means a single word of that, he's finally got his mojo back.

Cyber-Danny takes command of all Cybermen and has them suicide-bomb the storm clouds so Missy's threat to mankind is wiped out once and for all.
A: Wow, Sydney was going to get rained on. That means all the Anzacs are Cybermen!!!
D: Well, so now all the loved ones from the past three hundred years can finally die in peace.
A: Wilf's wife was one of those exploding Cybermen, you know.
D: And William Hartnell. And Ghandi. In fact almost anyone you can think of suffered unending torment in cyberspace, was turned into a Cyberman and then was blown up. I think Moffat really needed to lighten the hell up. How he wrote this without self-harming amazes me...
A: Did someone insult him for not killing characters off properly or something? There's a real "Up yours!" vibe to this. You want a gritty Doctor and lots of death! YOU DAMN WELL GET IT!
N: Again, did Eric Saward turn up at Cardiff or something?

Clara is not in a forgiving mood and wants Missy dead.
N: Does Clara know she's the Master? I mean, given her stalkerish obsession on the Doctor it seems odd she wouldn't know about Mr. Beardy...
D: The Doctor's not calling her bluffs any more. She's clearly insane enough to execute Missy in cold blood.
A: I love Missy's disbelieving "Seriously?" She can't quite comprehend she's twisted these two the point they will cross the line and kill her. She actually overestimates how good they are.
D: So the Doctor's going to lose his soul if he murder someone? Didn't he already do that with the Half-Face Man? And the Boneless?
N: Moff's clearly trying to top RTD from killing off the Master so believably twice. If they were ever going to kill off the character for real, how could you not have the Doctor do it to save his companion's soul.
D: "You win." Surprised they didn't use that line in the trailers, really.

But before the Doctor can kill Missy - and don't dare think he wasn't going to - another Cyberman zaps her. It is obviously the Cyber-Brigadier, but they never actually say this.
A: I don't buy for a second Missy's dead, like the way she very specifically steps between the graves and, oh yeah, has a machine for harvesting dead minds and putting them into new bodies...
D: Maybe it's like his ring on the funeral pyre and just sequel fodder?
N: And a shot from her own Cybermen was the one thing she'd be ready for. And we still haven't found her TARDIS yet...

Uh, hello? Cyber-Brig?!?
N: Well, resurrecting a beloved character as a zombie is a bit of a dark move, I guess. I suppose it lets him finally top the punch in The Five Doctors, and he did save the world and Kate and the Doctor's soul. But why couldn't Danny's control reach him. Does that mean there are other Cybermen out there?
D: And which one turns into Handles?
A: You know, Gordon and Kroton sound very similar. Could Cyber-Brig become god?
N: Come brothers, let us sing!

Cyber-Brig, Cyber-Brig, Lethbridge-Stewart has a brand new gig!
Shoots a gun any size, snatches the thieves just like mice, look out, here comes the Cyber-Brig!
Is he strong? Listen, bud, he's got cyber-active blood!
Can he fly when he's dead? Take a look overhead! Hey there, there goes the Cyber-Brig!
Cyber-Brig! Cyber-Brig! He's a real bad-ass that Cyber-Brig!
His rest in peace is ignored! Action is his reward!
To him, when Moffat has a new plan of zombies in a tin can, you get the Cyber-Brig

A: Hang on, Kate's high-heels were still on after that fall? Is that realistic?
N: Don't ask me, dude.

Some time later...
D: Um, didn't every single grave just empty itself? That's got to be traumatic to humanity!
A: And St. Paul's has a sunroof. UNIT's got a lot to deal with. Doesn't the Doctor need to resign as President of Earth or something?
N: More missing scenes, I bet. Sheesh...

The Doctor tries to find Gallifrey. It's not there. He takes this well.
A: Great, he punches the console until it breaks. That's wife-beating!
N: Hey, he's always smacked her around to get her working.
D: It's that button-to-the-chin shirt, he's so bound up and repressed it's bound to do him harm...
A: I don't get it - why did he expect Gallifrey to be there when Missy confirmed it was in another dimension?
N: The Doctor continues to be stupidly wrong about everything. Even after he twigs he's an idiot.

Case in point, Danny does not return to the Afterlife. He sends non-speaking extra kid in his place.
D: That's either hugely selfless or hugely selfish. Not sure which.
A: He couldn't have sent back Rik Mayall? Robin Williams? Heath Ledger? Or one of the Beatles?

N: If everyone who ever died is in the Matrix, that means Danny has thousands of Clara-splinters to bonk for the rest of eternity. Don't blame him for not going back to the crazy one.
A: I don't want to be a downer, but assuming Clara can reunite the boy with his family - won't they burn him as a demon returning from the grave or something?
D: Isn't that a new TV series from HBO about the kid who returns from the dead?
N: Let's just assume that UNIT sort out all these pesky details. As long as Clara doesn't adopt him.
D: Five minutes with her and he'll joins ISIS.

Clara and the Doctor meet in a cafe. Goes downhill from thereon in.
N: So the Doctor arrives two weeks late, shouts he doesn't need Clara any more and tries to get out of the cafe right away. I sense he's trying to dump her.
A: Yep. I mean, he obviously still loves the demented psychotic twitching freak but at the same time he instantly steers the conversation into why they should part ways. Which is fair, given Missy chose them because they couldn't properly function together.
D: This is probably the closest this Doctor's become to the sad clown Moffat said was the definitive way that the Doctor should always be played. It's obvious Capaldi's finally found his groove. He's not dressed like a Victorian prude terrified of showing bare skin beyond neck and wrists, either.

But what's this? The Doctor's the one lying and Clara just agrees with him.
D: Oh, the tangled webs they weave! Clara never considers once the Doctor can lie convincingly if he has to, which admittedly is not something Capaldi's demonstrated before.
N: So Clara's "I know best" approach dooms her, since she'd rather be in charge of the Doctor dumping her than relinquish control. Her own worst enemy, that girl.
A: You think the Doctor really would go back to Gallifrey and reform it? He'd be sick of it in no time...
N: Clara agrees on that point. He's gone from "No More" to "Never Again."
D: The Doctor says he could be a king or a queen. I'm telling you, the next Doctor's a woman.
A: Ooh, you can hear Clara's wristwatch ticking and the big clock in the background coz time is running out.
D: Subtlety, thy name is Moff.

And so they part ways properly this time. It's quite touching.
N: At least she didn't die like the last two.
A: It's very strange, given how often the Doctor's left Clara like this it doesn't immediately evoke a final goodbye like it would with other companions.
D: It's the closest to a normal goodbye a companion's got since, um... does Martha count?
N: Mel, I think. She stays with some random guy she's fallen in love with.
D: Old school, but immensely depressing. I mean, was Moff really unhappy at home when he wrote this?
A: Seems the Doctor's cranked up the perception filter again - no one even noticed the TARDIS vanish from the middle of the street, even the kid that needs to rollerskate through the gap.
N: He must have seen that guy faint in The Crimson Horror and gone "OK, no more comedy gags like that - from now on the only people who notice the TARDIS need to know what it is so they won't pratt fall!"

Clara wanders off and the credits roll.
D: A sober ending. It's not really tragic like what happened to Donna or Amy, it's just the final act of a self-destructive pair. How uplifting. It really makes you want to watch next year.
A: I don't see Capaldi's Doctor being into the fun of Christmas, do you?
N: Maybe he'll have the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present And Future cheer him up.

The credits stop roll and Nick Frost in a Santa costume bursts into the TARDIS.
N: Presumably they cut the bit where Capaldi started swearing his head off. What the fuck?
A: He didn't go "What? What? What?" I am so disappointed.
D: So, are we having fun now? Or will Santa slowly hunt down and kill people in dark tunnels while people shout at the Doctor for being a useless prick?
A: Well, as Christmas specials go, we've had alien invasion, romcom, disaster flick, buddy flick, fanwank, Dickens, Carroll, Harry Potter and fanwank again. I think that leaves Eastenders and a horror movie.
N: Three guesses, if you need them.
D: And the first two don't count.

4/5 overall

D: I liked Missy, the Cybermen, the massive wake-up call... but it was so damn depressing.
A: "Just this once, everybody dies!" Moff really wanted to go to a dark place with this story and this season. I mean, who would ever go "Ooh, pubs are closed, I fancy watching the one where Clara goes axe-crazy and Danny's a crying sucidal zombie?"
N: Yeah, bummer. The whole "family entertainment" thing has been completely abandoned. Doctor Who's gone from something you like to something you endure. Even Game of Thrones has more life-affirming fun in it and that's the one TV show where the zombie apocalypse have the moral highground on humanity!
D: It's very well made and very well written but fuckadoodledoo. Did Capaldi only sign up on the condition it was as crippling a downer as Children of Earth? It looked like every single person involved in this show could barely drag themselves out of bed in the morning because life's an agonizing waste of time.
A: Yeah, I can't see anyone wanting to watch another soul-crushing emo-fest as this. It's like Melancholia...
N: With less tits. And less John Hurt. But most importantly, less tits.
D: You're right. Clara getting topless wouldn't be half as offensive as Danny's zombified corpse.
A: I mean, imagine - it's not like small children have ever seen breasts before...
D: Let's watch Game of Thrones. We need to cheer the fuck up.
N: And there are tits in that. And Maisie Williams. You won't see her in a joyless deathfest like Doctor Who any time soon, you mark my words...


Matthew Blanchette said...

Just back to say that what I've read of Colin Baker's recent DWM interview makes me sad. He really thinks the vast majority of people still hate his Doctor. :-(

Wish I could find the whole thing, though...

Youth of Australia said...

What's your email address? I'll send you the mag scans.

Matthew Blanchette said... You've e-mailed me before -- not even a few weeks ago. :-P

Youth of Australia said...

Sorry. Of course. Sent them to you.