Death in Heaven: a Doctor Who episode (and series) review

Spoilers, Sweetie! Be WARNED Whovians! Lots of Spoilers.

I will be reviewing the episode first, and then the series.

doctor with missy

“Oh go on, crack a smile. I want to see if your eyebrows fall off.”

“Never trust a hug, it’s just a way to hide your face.”

Right up front, I have to say that my favourite moment was when Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart saves his daughter from a terrible death AND manages to finally to say a proper goodbye to the Doctor. I’ve always felt that the Brigadier deserved to have his moment, and I will admit to crying at this point. It was a lovely way to link the old series and the new series. Of course, having the Brigadier in a cyberman suit was a clever way to get around the fact the actor who played him was dead n real life. And it was a great way to link the soldier Danny Pink to the soldier Lethbridge-Stewart.

The Brigadier

Oh Danny! Still dead! How in the world is his descendant Orson Pink supposed to come into existence without Danny? Is Clara pregnant? And to the every end, Danny Pink remains true to himself, giving back life to the child he killed by accident rather than saving himself. I would have rathered that Danny was saved, but then he wouldn’t be Danny Pink. So, no happily ever after for Clara and Danny. Poot!

It looks like Clara and the Doctor are parting ways. I think this is a pity, because I have always liked Clara, and I think she was a good foil for the Doctor. I was enjoying the Doctor/Danny/Clara triangle. Clara reminded me of Sarah Jane, without the collywobbles that the young Sarah Jane suffered from. She always looked outstanding in period clothing. Still, you get a feeling that she will be okay on her own, even without her best friend and her love of her life.

Missy dies AGAIN! It looks like a permanent death, but you can never tell with the Master/Mistress. If she hadn’t just killed off one of my favourite secondary characters, Osgood, I might have actually felt sorry for Missy, as she “just wants her friend back”. I suspect the Missy we were seeing was just a cyberman shell for her consciousness, and that the real Mistress is still lurking around. The fact that she knows where Gallifrey is, it is unlikely she is gone for good. As well, the fun the writers can have with the Doctor and the Mistress interactions, who would want to give that up? Missy has all the funniest lines. Oh, except for that classic moment when the Doctor reminded her about all the times she wanted to rule the world(s), and the Doctor was now world president…

I was most disappointed in the death of Osgood. Why? Why? Her death didn’t really achieve anything except to prove how wicked the Mistress can be, and we already know that. I can’t see how we can get poor Osgood back, but I am certainly keen to see if I can achieve it. Can we start an “Osgood Lives!” campaign? Look how well it worked for Agent Colson.

Osgood LIVES!

Osgood LIVES!

Overall, this was the best episode of the season. It drew together many of the clues salted through several previous seasons in a most satisfactory fashion. There was a definite sense of a conclusion. There was all the comedy and tragedy and unexpected twists you expect from Doctor Who. The glimpse of the Christmas Episode was delightful! It certainly looks like fun.

This series was just as brilliant as the previous seasons. We’ve met some memorable characters, Missy in particular is a stand out, but more importantly we really got to explore the psyche of the Doctor. It managed to remain fresh and interesting, while at the same time delivering the familiar product to the target audience of long-term fans. Peter Capaldi is responsible for a lot of my enthusiasm, with his superb depiction of the Doctor with attack eyebrows and with his angst. I am so looking forward to the Christmas episode … less than two months to wait!



Filed under Doctor Who, Pop Culture, Review

10 responses to “Death in Heaven: a Doctor Who episode (and series) review

  1. Rob

    We, too, were sniffling uncontrollably at The Brigadier’s appearance. 😦
    Missy isn’t dead, the same way The Master wasn’t before. It’s almost a shame, really. I would like to see the big three (Daleks, Cybermen and The Master) disappear for a while – even a regeneration or two. Appearing too often, beaten too quickly.
    Osgood is brilliant. Bring her back. Now, please.
    Love Capaldi’s Doctor! And I’ve loved Clara’s improved role with him around (rather than Matt Smith’s manic pixie dream girl). Having said that, if she finishes there, it’s a good end.

    • We managed a whole regeneration without the Master/Missy … Matt Smith never crossed paths with him/her. And I quite liked Handles. But yes, no more Daleks & Cybermen please. I personally would like to see a little more of Missy.

      And OSGOOD LIVES! This worked for Agent Coulson, so why not Osgood?

      • Rob

        I’ve long been a fan of Michelle Gomez (Green Wing is one of our favourite shows), and she makes a fine Missy. After tonight’s episode, if her version reappeared (wrapped in a ‘return to Gallifrey’-style plot) I think it would be fitting. So, yes. Agreed. 🙂
        At the time, The Bride and I didn’t share your love of last episode’s revelation. “Really? The Cybermen *and* The Master?” It smacked a bit of desperation to us. Instead of a new villain, the episode ended with two old ones. Tonight’s episode rectified that a LOT. The first 3/4 of the episode felt like Tom Baker or Jon Pertwee. The shots of Clara and The Cybermen in the cemetery were wonderful. For me, the jury’s out on the purely ‘I made the army for you’ / ‘love conquers all’ ending (as much as I sniffled 😉 ) – very RTD and more than a little pat, but these are small potatoes.
        But, as I always say, even a disappointing episode of Doctor Who is better than most shows on television these days, and this one was far from disappointing. 😀

      • Far from disappointing, indeed. I do think that this episode was a corker. I have to re-watch in the next few days. I’m sure I missed some in-jokes.

  2. Izzy

    Best Season ending in new who. It was a good season, good episodes and blah episodes. But damn was Missy fantastic. I LOVED osgood … but I kind of liked Missy killing her, she is a jealous friend, wants the doctor to herself. I want her in her current form back a bit. I think new who is a bit too quick to kill characters instead of letting them escape. I would have had her escape on a tardis of some sort. But ah well.

    Loved the Brigadier. Oh and my understanding is Clara is in the xmas episode … but not 100% sure just heard she was.

  3. Rob

    I’m expecting the BIG plot item brought up earlier in the season, but not referred to in the finale (a certain astronaut found at the end of the universe), will need to be addressed. I’m hoping this will happen in the Christmas episode. And that it will be a happy resolution, not a ‘time can be rewritten’ ending, which would make me sad. 🙂

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