Ten Thoughts Before Doctor Who's Finale, Death In Heaven

Tomorrow. It all ends. Until Christmas Day.

1. A Good Man Tries Not To Go To War

Steven Moffat talks about the very very first series of Doctor Who from 1963, how it began with The Doctor as a scary bad guy and sees him change into someone the audience trusts, the good guy. It seems that this has been a similar arc for the Twelfth Doctor, with the question about his "goodness" being asked, challenged and hopefully resolved. Well, this finale may give him that chance to prove himself.

2. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Doctor


We saw the return of UNIT in the trailers. This is the first the UNIT have come up against The Master since the Jon Pertwee days, isn't it? And the first time since the Doctor turned very anti-soldier….

3. Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

The Doctor is an agent of change, this was most explicitly stated by the guardsman in Mummy On The Orient Express. Being the Doctor, being with the Doctor, changes a man. It was dismissed with a joke but it's true for Clara. A person who has been changed, becoming the Doctor, but still having ties to the person she was.

So being with the Doctor has changed Clara into a version of the Doctor. But just as he has shaped her into the person she now is, she has shaped him, both as the impossible girl saving his loves, choosing his TARDIS, but also as a young boy, giving him the nightmare under his bed.

Remember that line from the trailer two weeks ago, talking to the Cyberman? "I'm not Clara Oswald. Clara Oswald has never existed."


4. The Master Sex

The Derek Jacobi Master snarled about how undignified it was to be killed by a "girl". The John Simm Master physically and mentally abused his wife, who then shot him. Missy seems much more comfortable with the female form – and not just that she is female. She has diversified her wardrobe,  changed her name to reflect it, and snogged the Doctor. None of the trauma about being female.

5. The Anti-Doctor

The Twelfth Doctor has a thing about control and intimacy. He controls the TARDIS with one lever now. Just as The Master responds to The Doctor in his various forms, with Simm being a "young and strong" Master" to reflect the Tenth Doctor, so Missy has a Scottish accent, but subverts the Doctor's intimacy issues with that kiss and control issues by cutting his attempt to get people to flee the Cyberman.

6. Dem Bones

Didn't we know for a while that there were bone skeletons inside Cybermen? Since that skull popped out before? Also… does the Dark Water they are suspended in mean that the chairs were organic? and the exit/entrance mechanism we also saw them press?

Still, the Dark Water is a bit of a Chekov's Gun. Used to hide the Cybermen, sure, but what else? The Doctor has used the devices of the Master's conquest against him before, could Dark Water have a weaponised effect? And what about those dream patches, could they have a way of trapping Missy inside her own fantasy, Mongul-style?

7. What We Don't Know

We don't actually know whether Missy was the woman in the shop who gave her the Doctor's number and set the whole Doctor/Clara interdependence relationship off. It seems obvious but…wouldn't it be great if that was someone else, giving us yet another mystery? Also what is Seb? Is he as much a creation of cyber space (or CyberSpace) as the Nethersphere? The remains of Rassilon? Whatever happened to the Time War from The Master/Missy's perspective? And whatever happened to that hunt for Gallifrey? You know that "the cloud" isn't actually a cloud, right? But what if it was…


8. Dimensions In Space

If the Nethersphere is a cyberspace, plaster on the inside of a sphere, it;s a bit like a two dimensional form, have in effects into a three dimensional space. Like the Boneless, like the Doctor's blackboard

9. Look, Don't Listen

Both the way Danny Pink killed a child, and how he died himself, were as a result of  not looking at his surroundings. Now what was it that the Doctor made the young Rupert Pink promise?

The Doctor: Prove to it you're never going to look. Make a promise – promise never to look at it.

Rupert: I promise … Never to look …


10. The Countdown To Christmas Will Begin In Hours…

Tick tock…


About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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