Dark Water: Preview
Den of Geek:
Er, we can’t say much about the first half of Doctor Who’s series 8 finale, save that Dark Water is setting up a hell of a final episode…
Crikey, it’s hard to know where to start.
It’s probably best to declare up front that the BBC has removed two brief but obviously hugely spoiler-y scenes from the preview version of “Dark Water” that we were allowed to see. It marked where the scenes were, and it’s blatantly clear why they’d been taken out. They’re right near the end, and they lead into what’s a very definite cliffhanger for the series finale, “Death In Heaven.” That said, the overwhelming majority of the episode was intact.
And crikey. It’s setting up, by the looks of it, one hell of a final episode. We’ll do our best to tell you why.
Doctor Who has had a patchy record of late with rounding off its series. The general feeling seems to be that series finales haven’t been a strength of the show for a while, and after the strength of series 8 so far, there’s some pressure to top it all off.
“Dark Water,” then, is part one of series 8’s farewell, and it’s an extremely tricky episode to write about without giving anything away. It’s 45 minutes that, for starters, begins its reveals very early on, and it’s one that certainly ups the ante on the relationship between the Doctor, Clara, and Danny.
Even before the title sequence has popped up, there’s something of extreme consequence thrown into the proverbial mix as well. If you’re scanning this review for plot hints of any kind, this is why you won’t find them: within minutes, there are big things to spoil, and we’ve no intention of spoiling any of them.
In contrast to recent penultimate episodes of Doctor Who, this is a surprisingly quiet one. There’s very little zipping around, and you’re not having threads woven around you until you lose track. Instead, that underlying confidence that’s run through Doctor Who series 8 builds to something. “Dark Water” keeps its storytelling clear, with Moffat’s taut script genuinely beginning to serve up big answers. Interesting answers, too.
Directed with the bare minimum of fuss by Rachel Talalay, the latest director to make her Who debut this series, she keeps things clean and focused, particularly when it matters the most. Her decisions prove wise, and she establishes and builds a tone that might just have you yelling at the telly as things escalate.
Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman are both brilliant. We think we can safely say that too.
Without knowing exactly what’s contained in the two brief missing scenes (although we can hazard a good guess), we can’t call for certain just how well “Dark Water” works or not. But we can say this: what we saw started well, and then turned the screw, leaving us utterly gripped by the end. It doesn’t get distracted. It doesn’t do any shark jumping. Instead, it ripples with skill and confidence, leaving us genuinely excited for “Death in Heaven.”
It’s best we don’t say another word, though. Everyone deserves to enjoy this one spoiler-free…
Posted on October 29, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged BBC, companion, Cybermen, Dark Water, Doctor, Doctor Who, doctorwho, fandom, History, Jenna Coleman, Missy, Peter Capaldi, regeneration, Season Finale, St. Paul's Cathederal, Steven Moffat, TARDIS, The Doctor, Time Lord. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.