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More thoughts about "Dark Water"

Rather than putting all these as comments under the reaction post, I thought I would stick them in a separate post.

THAT BIG REVELATION - Of course we all saw that coming, but when I stop and think about it, that shouldn't be a problem. The fact that Missy is the Master wasn't the headline of this episode, that's why the episode didn't end on the revelation. And, just like the non-revelation about River's parentage in season 6, the revelation about Missy brings up the idea that we were asking the wrong question all along. It's not about "who is Missy?" It's actually about "what has Missy got to do with Clara?"

FEMALE MASTERS AND SUCH - As a feminist, I am over the friggin moon that we have a woman playing the Master now. It means that a female Doctor is now inevitable and for me, that can only be a good thing. Of course I would have liked it if the Master and the Doctor had kissed when they were both male, but you can't blame that on this episode. It should have happened in 2007 or 2009 and it didn't. Ignoring the historical subtext between those characters now would mean denying the fact that the Doctor and the Master were the nearest thing this show ever had to a significant male/male relationship. And I seriously don't understand the complaints behind the fact that she's called "the Mistress" now. "Mistress" is the female form of "Master." Whilst women CAN call themselves "the master" of something, they generally don't. And if she'd called herself "the Master," there would have been no mystery at all.

DEAD PEOPLE  - The idea that dead people remain linked to their bodies and are begging their relatives "don't cremate me" is legitimately terrifying and as an adult, I think it's a brilliant hook. However, as someone who works with children, including children who have been bereaved, I'm a little bit torn over whether this is suitable fodder for Doctor Who. I know if my grandmother had just died, I wouldn't want to be thinking about whether dead people feel it when they get cremated. But then, don't children wonder about that kind of thing anyway?

DANNY - First of all, killing Danny was a good idea. I didn't see it coming and the nature of the death was particularly shocking. There was no drawn out drama, just a horrible accident. Moreover, the revelation that Danny killed a child was a brave thing to do. Whilst I have mixed feelings about the "don't cremate me" thing being in a children's show, I'm pretty impressed that the BBC had the gumption to allow the admission that soldiers on both sides of any war are responsible for the deaths of children. It felt more "real" than Doctor Who is normally allowed to be and it reminds us that there's actually a very good reason why the Doctor is uncomfortable around soldiers.

CYBERMEN - My favourite cyberman is still the one that tried to bite Amy's face off, so these will have to go a long way to beat that. I liked the little nods to cybermen of the past though - cybermen on the streets of London and the containers that reminded me a lot of "Tomb of the Cybermen."

STEVEN MOFFAT'S SCRIPTS - You can tell Moffat is writing differently for a different Doctor this season. The pacing is different, to reflect the fact that we now have a more still and quiet Doctor, rather than the hyperactive madman we had previously. This was pretty clear in "Deep Breath" (which for me was brilliant except that it was 15 minutes too long) and "Listen" (which had a lot of ideas but for me not enough going on to fill the full episode). I don't know how I feel about this change in Moffat's scripts yet. I don't think either approach is superior or inferior, they're both legitimate choices. Not sure which is my favourite though.

CLARA - I've loved Clara this season. The scene with the keys didn't really do anything for me though. There was nothing wrong with it, I just didn't think it was particularly revealing or significant for Clara given that she was grieving anyway. And the Doctor's recognition of that was completely appropriate. I'm intrigued by what her connection to Missy is, and what's going to make her declare that "Clara Oswald never existed" (or whatever it was). My favourite Clara moment in this episode was her refusal to be swayed by Danny's "I love you" stuff and her insistence on remaining appropriately skeptical. Clara rules.


Moffat Era Doctor Who

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