Doctor Who‘s finale opener answered plenty of questions, but it raised just as many. So, what’s in store for “Death In Heaven”?
Doctor Who series 8 has seen it all: Daleks, Clockwork droids, dinosaurs, dimension-traversing monsters, mind-reading aliens, a murderous mummy, and even what’s lurking under your bed at night. But in last week’s “Dark Water,” The Doctor and Clara faced their greatest threat yet: a regenerated Master leading an army of Cybermen. There were twists and turns aplenty in the episode, but as usual with Doctor Who, it feels like more questions were raised than answered. Which means the series-capper “Death In Heaven” has a lot to achieve. Ahead of our last dose of Who before Christmas, we’ve come up with eight theories on what the finale holds.
In many ways, the answer to this year’s series arc turned out to be so shocking because it was dismissed as too obvious. As soon as we found out that series 8’s big bad was called Missy, plenty of fans were predicting her name would be short for Mistress. But despite plenty of speculation, for once the big secret didn’t actually leak, so many thought her name would be a red herring. Well, it wasn’t. So, the Master has broken free from Gallifrey’s pocket universe, and is now harvesting dead people to power Cybermen.
But how did she escape Rassilon? The last time we saw her, she was a he, and he had sacrificed himself to stop the Lord President’s schemes. Since then, it’s been revealed that Gallifrey is safe thanks to the combined efforts of the Doctor’s incarnations. Of course, it’s possible that Gomez’s incarnation pre-dates John Simm and Derek Jacobi’s version of the character. This would make sense, since some of Missy’s claims of the Doctor leaving her “behind” don’t really fit with the way Simm’s Master bowed out of the show.
Soon after Peter Capaldi was announced as the Twelfth Doctor, Steven Moffat promised fans that his striking similarity to past characters (Frobisher in Torchwood and Caecilius in “Fire of Pompeii”) would be addressed in series 8.
Other than a throwaway line in “Deep Breath,” the issue hasn’t really been focused on yet. Which means we can expect some answers in the finale. Before the series premiered, we came up with a few outlandish theories on Capaldi’s recurring appearances. But in light of the story nuggets we’ve received thus far, we think Missy could have something to do with it. With all of her talk on “keeping” accents and generally possessive nature, it’s very possible that Missy is somehow able to manipulate the Doctor. But more on that later…
The opening scene of “Dark Water” featured one of the most jaw-dropping twists in Doctor Who history as Samuel Anderson’s Danny Pink was struck down by a car and killed off. Soon after, he woke up in the Promised Land as Seb explained to him that he was in an afterlife of sorts. Despite his death, we learnt more about Danny in this episode than we have all series (notably, he accidentally killed a child while serving as a soldier). But when we left him, his finger was hovering over the ‘Delete’ button – ready to erase all of his memories and clear the way for Cyber-conversion.
But will he be miraculously be brought back from the Nethersphere, or will there be a very permanent death in heaven during the finale? Steven Moffat has promised us darker, grittier events and final deaths – and to be honest we can’t see Danny making a surprise resurrection. And even if there was any opportunity to bring someone back from the afterlife, Danny would make sure the boy he killed got a second chance at life before he did.
Clara. Clara, Clara, Clara. Back in August, rumors were rife that Jenna Coleman would be leaving the show by the end of the series. Last week was all about Danny’s death rather than Clara’s looming fate. But we did see the cracks start to show in the companion/Doctor relationship as she threatened to destroy all seven of the TARDIS’ keys.
The Doctor may have quickly brushed aside her betrayal in order to pursue Danny, but we can’t be entirely sure that it won’t come back to haunt her. She was willing to leave herself and her best friend stranded on a volcano with no way of escaping. If the finale doesn’t see her depart (which realistically it won’t, there’s already too much to fit into 60 minutes), we’re confident it will at least set the characters down that path.
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