Doctor Who Death In Heaven Preview: Series Eight Ends With A Bang
Last Saturday's Doctor Who ended on a quadruple cliffhanger. Danny was about to delete his emotions and become a Cyberman, Clara was trapped with the enemy in the W3 Institute, Cybermen were marching down the steps of St Paul's Cathedral and Missy revealed herself as the Doctor's old nemesis The Master. It was a brilliant ending and set the finale up in grand style. So now for the big question, does Death In Heaven deliver on the potential of Dark Water?
I can confidently say yes. It doesn't have the big ballsy revelations of its predecessor but it doesn't need to. The pieces were set on the board and now it's up for those to play out to their satisfactorily conclusion. Those cliffhangers certainly aren't wasted. Danny goes through a stunning emotional journey, the Doctor and Missy play off each other with some truly delicious banter and the cybermen plot grows in unexpected ways. If anything, it is probably Clara that gets the short straw after some momentous few weeks but what she does get is spectacular as always, with Jenna Coleman delivering another mesmerising performance for all her worth.
Fans of Doctor Who who have voiced concern that it has become too much of the Clara Oswald show in recent weeks, will have their fears put to rest as the Doctor takes center stage. Pete Capaldi is magnificent for many, many reasons, none of which I'll go into for fear of spoiling anything. The Doctor really does have the fate of the world in his hands and the way he deals with the threat is brilliant. Michelle Gomez is spectacular too; with the reigns off she gets to be truly psychotic, upping herself in the villain stakes without every going into ham. I always found John Simm a little too manic for my liking; Gomez is a much darker mirror image of Capaldi's Doctor (just watch as her Scottish accent fully emerges) and there is a real connection between the hero and villain.
Death In Heaven is a stunning conclusion to series eight - has there been anywhere close to a dud this year? - delivering action, fear, comedy and emotion in equal measure. Moffat's script is a delight from beginning to end and Rachel Talalay's direction is taught throughout. There is a definite conclusion to every character's journey - Moffat doesn't tease us with a hundred new plot threads - and it really makes the most if its extended running time.
Come the end of the episode you'll be very satisfied with this great piece of Doctor Who pie and you'll probably mourn that the series is over. Fortunately the Christmas special won't be too far away...