Dark Water was prefaced with the irony of one of the BBC’s continuity announcers, from Red Bee Media, stating that everyone should shut up(!)
It also filled me with dread when the director was revealed as Rachel Talalay, director of the worst of the Freddy Krueger films, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
Anyhoo, then the episode it went into a scene with Clara talking to Danny on the phone, declaring her love for him, only to find that he’s been run over and killed. Oh, no more from the most tedious man in the world? Shame!
A bit of to-ing and fro-ing followed with Clara and The Doctor chatting in the TARDIS with a seemingly later scene, as they’re both inside a volcano and Clara wants to destroy all seven of his TARDIS keys.
And, she wants The Doctor to bring Danny back from the dead, or she’ll melt down every last of his keys, and he’ll have to take a trip to Timpsons to get another one cut. Then again, if David Tennant’s Doctor could do it with the click of a finger, why can’t he?
Anyway, this Doctor still thinks it’s an issue with the keys, and also if he goes back in time to change the events of saving Danny, he’ll cause a paradox which will never have brought Clara to him in the first place… something like that anyway. I didn’t quite buy it. Oh, but never mind that because he had actually put her into a dream-like state to see how she would play out the scenario in full, so it was rather like Star Trek’s holodeck. Hence, the whole ‘evil Clara’-ness in last week’s “Next Time” piece was just a ruse. And that’s another example of what’s rather disappointing with this series.
Clara asked, “What do we do?” and The Doctor replied, “Go to hell”. She thinks he’s telling her to go, but he’s actually suggesting they *GO* to hell, in an attempt to revive the tedious prat.
The Doctor: “And?”
And this brings us back to the afterlife, aka the Nethersphere, aka the Promised Land, and a full episode appearance for Seb (Chris Addison, comedian and Capaldi’s The Thick Of It co-star), helping Danny get acclimatised to bringing dead, having arrived at 3W where they do this sort of thing, and where they promise: “Death is not an end. But we can help with that.”
And in this place, there are water tanks for the dead, skeletons that move inside them and Missy snogging the Doctor is effectively the full greetings package to the 3W institute, ‘3W’ referring to three words, which were heard through the white noise in a TV by a Dr Skarosa – “Don’t cremate me”. It turns out that the dead remain fully conscious, so despite being in their new body in their new world, they’re still connected to their old one, so if they’re going to be cremated, they’ll certainly feel it!
At first, we learn that Missy stands for “Mobile Intelligent Systems Interface”, a droid to help people get used to being dead… well, that’s *her* ruse as Michelle Gomez hams up her role nicely.
So where does the “Dark Water” fit into all this? Well, it’s the name they give to their new type of water which is capable of performing x-rays, and that it only highlights organic matter, so there’s something else inside those tanks, which is initially being hidden. Yes, the evil plan is to bring people to this futuristic looking place, upload dying minds to a hard drive, edit them, get rid of the emotions, and reinstall them into… Cybermen bodies.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on this episode.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.