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Doctor Who: The Gallifrey Times Team Review Dark Water

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Dark Water.

Last night saw Missy’s identity revealed as the Cybermen invasion of Earth (well, the most recent one) began in part one of a two-part finale – but what did our team make of it? Read on to find out!

Ben (Video & Digital Media)

Dark Water was an episode of surprises. Big surprises. The slow reveal of the Cybermen was exciting – even though we knew they were going to be in the episode, I was still amazed by the X-ray water. Then there was Missy. With everyone questioning who she was, the first false reveal of her being a robot left me very disappointed with this idea, as did the revelation of the afterlife being another world. As well realised as it was, to me the afterlife is one of those things that should always be left a mystery. But then when we learnt it is Time Lord technology, that makes it interesting again. And of course the Missy reveal. Wow. Although it seemed obvious that it was [spoiler], it was still a shock when it was revealed. I can’t wait to see how the female Master (do we still call him/her that?) works out and what he/she/it has in store for us next week. 9/10

Owen (Instagram & News)

Dark Water didn’t need anything more, mysterious, thrilling but funny, it showcased how great Steven Moffat is at writing, and mainly how amazing our cast is for Series 8. Perfectly portrayed, creepy and interesting, it kept you on the edge of your seat from the moment our favourite titles came on. Dark Water explains to us how amazing Death in Heaven will be. 9/10

Andrew (News)

Dark Water had a special feel from the start as we desperately wanted to know the answers behind the Missy teasers so far in the series. Watching again today I realised how an awesome aspect came from the creepily morbid soundtrack. Jenna Coleman acted out grief fantastically as she did silent rage whilst threatening the Doctor. The tone couldn’t be more harrowing as the deceased Danny has to confront the boy he killed in battle whilst trying to fathom the Nethersphere. Throughout the episode we see the Doctor being thrown left right and centre which Capaldi handles well. To crescendo with Cybermen and AND the revelation of the Master meant this episode couldn’t be any more concentrated, the humour has all gone from the Doctor and the darkness we’ve seen glimpses of in series 8 is in full flow. Truly gripping stuff, well done Steven Moffat. 9/10

Harris (News)
Surprise after surprise this week! Danny’s death, ‘don’t cremate me’, Cybermen in the tanks and of course the secret of Missy’s identity. Jenna Coleman particularly shines, especially in the scene where she disposes of the TARDIS keys. Doctor Chang is an excellent character and his death at the hands of Missy is a great shame as I would love to have seen him return. Unfortunately, the episode feels like it’s only just getting going when the credits roll. Also, the closing scenes of Danny and Cybermen should have been pulled forward to allow the cliff-hanger to be ‘Well I can hardly call myself the Master anymore…’ 8/10
Sophie (News)

Dark Water sets the wheels in motion for a dramatic and exciting two-part finale. Steven Moffat packs an emotional punch from the outset as Clara finally decides to confess her love for Danny and face the lies told to him over this series, only to be punished by Danny’s immediate, ordinary death. Jenna Coleman truly shines in this episode with Clara’s utter grief and despair forcing her to go to any depths to save Danny. Peter Capaldi is equally on form as Dark Water creeps into dark and possibly controversial territory of exploring the afterlife; Moffat fully in his comfort zone of playing on humanity’s fear of death. It wouldn’t be Doctor Who without the monsters and the Cybermen make a chilling return as the converted deceased, led by the thrilling Michelle Gomez. The biggest revelation of this series was provided through the reveal of Missy’s true identity, but the cliffhanger itself ends with Danny’s tragic choice – faced with his fate in the Nethersphere, will he delete his emotions? The stage has certainly been set for the darkest day and blackest hour. 9/10

Jenna (News)

Dark Water is everything we could have asked for in a finale episode. Airing the day after Halloween, it’s a properly spooky episode with just a hint of the feel of series 2’s Army of Ghosts. The Cybermen return in arguably the creepiest way yet in the new series, by upgrading the dead! I have been watching the Classics, and I always love the nods to the early years (the Cybermen stomping down the steps of St. Paul’s being a nod to The Invasion, and the “water tombs” really reminded me of Tomb of the Cybermen for some reason!). From what I’ve seen from Dark Water, especially the reveal at the end of the episode, and filming pictures from Death in Heaven, I believe next week’s episode will be even better, and possibly one of the best episodes of Doctor Who ever. 9/10

Patrick (News)

Well here we are. The calm before the storm. In this case, the storm is one of metal and emptiness: the Cybermen. First and foremost, Dark Water is creepy. Very, very creepy. The horror of Series 8’s penultimate episode does not stem from the monsters, but the underlying darkness of the episode’s theme: death. Expect it to chill you regardless of your fears; Dark Water‘s horror aims for our very soul. The pacing is excellent throughout this episode, striking a balance between revelation and reveal. Whilst Dark Water‘s main issue is its lack of action, remember, this is a two parter, as such it is within inches of perfection in its role as a set up for next week’s finale. The reveal of the Cybermen is one of Who’s greatest, creepy and brilliantly implemented, however, I can not help feel their return would have carried even greater impact if previews had not revealed them earlier. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget the return of one of the universe’s greatest evils. Michelle Gomez gives one of Who’s greatest villainous performances alongside the equally fantastic Capaldi and Coleman. Next week’s end has received a superb opening. 9/10

And the average score is 8.86/10. While we won’t be having a spoiler-free review next week, we’ll have a bumper team review of the series finale, Death in Heaven, next Sunday!