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TDP 428: Dark Water

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reprinted from wiki

 

Dark Water" is the eleventh episode of the eighth series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. The episode was written byshowrunner and head writer Steven Moffat and is the first of a two-part story; the concluding episode is "Death in Heaven", the finale of the eighth series. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 1 November 2014.

In the episode, Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) is killed, and finds himself in the Nethersphere. As the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) try to find Danny, they find themselves in a facility that accommodates Cybermen, run by recurring character Missy (Michelle Gomez). In the episode's climax, Missy reveals her true identity as the Master.

 

 

Plot[edit]

Clara is talking over her phone to Danny, fully ready to admit she has been travelling with the Doctor and that she loves Danny, when the other end goes silent. A stranger picks up and sadly informs Clara that Danny got hit by a passing car and has died. She struggles with his death for days, refusing to let her emotions go and decides to call on the Doctor to make him change the past. Without telling him her plans, she suggests they go to an active volcano, and then secretly collects all seven of the TARDIS keys and after the TARDIS is in motion, strikes him with a sleep-inducing patch. When they land and the Doctor wakes up, she throws the keys one by one into the lava - the only way to destroy them - unless the Doctor takes her back to save Danny, despite knowing it would create a time paradox. The Doctor soon reveals this was just a dream state - the patch not working on him and instead had used it on Clara - to learn why she was upset, and to see how far she was willing to go. He offers, as a friend, to see if they can find Danny in the afterlife, and has Clara use the telepathic interface of the TARDIS to centre on Danny.

They land in a strange mausoleum which holds several tanks of human skeletons under water. They are greeted by Missy, who introduces herself as an android receptionist, and are taken to Dr Chang, one of the scientists in the facility. The Doctor asks about the oddness of the skeletons not drifting apart, and Dr Chang reveals that they are submerged in a substance called dark water, which only allows organic material to be seen, and that the bodies are encased in a support exoskeleton. The Doctor remains curious about the facility, and Dr Chang explains how it was based on the discovery of the voices of the recently deceased in the white noise in broadcast signals; the Doctor remains doubtful of this.

At the same time, Danny has regained consciousness in a spartan office and greeted by Seb, who reveals he is in the Nethersphere - a giant city enclosed within a sphere. Seb explains Danny has died, and helps him to get used to the new space, noting that he is still tied to the state of his body - likely being kept in a refrigerated morgue as he constantly feels cold. As part of this, Seb has arranged a meeting between Danny and a young boy that he had accidentally killed while he was a soldier, and while Danny tearfully tries to offer his apologies, the boy refuses and runs off. As Seb and Danny are talking, Seb then receives a notice that Clara is trying to contact Danny, who does not know that Clara has travelled to the Nethersphere. The Doctor leaves with Dr. Chang to investigate the facility further while Clara takes the call, asking a number of questions to try to assure that she is really speaking to Danny. Clara says she will do anything to be with him, and, wanting her to live out her life while believing that he is dead, Danny presses Clara to end the call. Seb then offers him the option to delete all his emotions.

Meanwhile, as the Doctor and Dr Chang return to the tanks, Missy has instructed the skeletons inside to rise and starts the process to drain the tanks. She is caught as the Doctor and Dr Chang enter, and Dr Chang reveals that Missy is the supervisor of the place, rather than a receptionist. Disappointed with Chang, Missy then kills him with a handheld device. As the tanks start to drain, the skeletons are revealed to be those of Cybermen. Missy points to a spherical device situated in the middle of the area and names that as the Nethersphere, revealed to be a Gallifreyan memory storage system knownMatrix. Missy explains that the consciousness of the deceased are stored and held to be inserted into new Cybermen soldiers after having their emotions deleted. The Doctor frantically questions Missy's identity, coming to realise she is aTime Lady possessing two hearts, which he had first recognized when they had come into contact earlier. As the tanks finally drain and open, the Doctor races out of the facility, only to discover that it is situated in the middle of contemporary London, inside St Paul's Cathedral. The Doctor tries to warn away civilians but Missy calls out the Doctor's actions as the ravings of a lunatic. The Doctor begs her to tell him who she is; she reveals that "Missy" is short for "the Mistress", as, in her current form, she could not call herself the Master. The episode ends as the Cybermen begin to march on London, Clara trapped in Dr Chang's lab with another Cyberman, and Danny about to activate the deletion of his emotions when he sees the young boy he killed in the reflection.

Continuity[edit]

The episode identifies the series-long theme involving Missy, typically who has only been shown at the ends of past episodes and interacting with characters that have just died and arriving in the Nethersphere, such as the Half-Face Man from "Deep Breath"; this is the first episode where the Doctor, Clara, and Missy interact directly.

Production[edit]

The read through for "Dark Water" took place on 12 June 2014. Filming began soon afterwards, on 16 June 2014. Locations for the episode included CardiffPontypool and St. Paul's Cathedral.[1] When filming the episode's climax, Capaldi and Gomez mouthed their lines—recorded later using automated dialogue replacement—to hide the reveal from all spectators of the filming.[2]

Broadcast and reception[edit]

Preview release[edit]

"Dark Water" has scenes removed from the DVD previews that were sent to reviewers, and a media blackout has been imposed on any plot details that were not released by the BBC or Steven Moffat. One notable scene removed by the BBC is the revelation of Missy's identity.[3]

Reception[edit]

Overnight viewing figures were estimated at 5.27 million.[4]

The episode received highly positive reviews from critics. Michael Hogan of The Telegraph gave it five stars out of five and called it a "bone-rattling and suitably spooky fare". He praised the source of everyday fears such as death for the horror and was praised the performances of Capaldi, Coleman, Anderson and Gomez.[5] Neela Debnath of The Independent said that the episode was "sad, funny, scary, romantic" and "is everything you could ask for from a Doctor Who finale the day after Halloween."[6] Richard Edwards of SFX gave the episode four and a half stars out of five, claiming "...in a series of great Capaldi performances, this is one of the best". He praised the opening premise and the big reveal at the end and also commented on its allusions to Second Doctor stories, The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Invasion.[7]

Matt Risley on IGN praised the episode for its "tense and traumatic dose of Who", but was critical of the lack of action, which usually went hand-in-hand with the Cybermen. Overall, he rated the first part of the finale an 8.4.[8] Alaisdair Wilkins on the AV Club gave the episode a B rating, claiming that "Dark Water could be a good episode, or it could be a terrible one", indicating that it was only the first half of the story.[9]

 

 

 

Direct download: TDP_428_DARKWATER_1.mp3
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