Doctor Who Dark Water: Wild Speculation Abounds
So, blogosphere, I’ve decided to forgo a review this week- basically, I thought In The Forest of The Night was an eye-rolling disappointment and thoroughly enjoyed listening to my dad shred it into comedically tiny pieces- and everything that I’ve been saying over the last eight weeks pretty much applies to this episode. Bad pacing, cluttered plot, a crammed-in enviromental message (I’m really, really, really not sure how to feel about the Doctor encouraging a girl on medication to stop taking it because the voices in her head were saving the world, because it seems wildly irresponsible. And seems to back up that widely-held theory that those with mental health problems who choose to take medication to control it- like me- are cutting off some brilliant part of themselves as opposed to taking control of an illness), not enough Danny Pink, oddly cold Doctor, and a cool idea thrown to the four winds of blah. So, this week, I’m going to share my theories about the season finale, a two-parter that kicks off next week with Dark Water. Take a drink for every time I get proved right. Expect to stay sober.
1. Danny Pink
I’ve been theorising for weeks that Missy and the Nethersphere are actually a big Maguffin, and the really twist will involve Danny Pink. Here’s my thinking: we met him in Into The Dalek, in the same week we spent some time with a soldier named Journey Blue who had lost her brother in a war at the start of the episode. There’s a link with the colours in their names, and Zawe Ashton and Samuel Anderson don’t look entirely different (big brown eyes). I think Danny was the brother who died, was sent to the Nethersphere, and offered a chance to live again if he brought Clara and the Doctor back with him. His past is mysterious- all we know is that he was a soldier who had “one bad day”, and that he very probably killed someone he feels an immense amount of guilt about-and, when we meet his grandson, it’s revealed that one of that man’s grandparents was a time-traveller. I initially assumed that this was Clara, but could it be Danny instead? Anyway, I think his plotline will involve him being turned into a cyberman upon his return to Heaven, and that may or may not be the last we see of Mr Pink. If it is the last we see of him, the series is going to have to do something spectacular to win me back.
We know there are hundreds of echoes of Clara all through time, so where did these echoes go? Did they die and….wind up in the Nethersphere? The trailer showed a lot of abrupt costume changes and seemingly personality changes too, and I think that a bunch of vengeful Claras have ended up in Heaven wanting to wreak revenge on the Doctor. In this theory, Missy is definitely one of these Claras, having orchestrated the whole thing to make sure she gets revenge. The Clara in this series has been an echo of the real Clara who remained trapped in the timeline (River said she would die, but maybe she got it wrong?), aged into Missy, and eventually ended up in heaven (see Missy’s “You know who I am” in the trailer). At this point, anything they can do to really stretch Jenna Coleman’s considerable talent and charm to make her a real match for Capaldi’s colder Doctor will be warmly welcomed. If it’s not this theory, then I think that all the cybermen will be Claras from various timestreams.
I wrote an article about my theories on Missy at the start of the series, and I still think it’s up in the air. However, I’m leaning towards The Rani, because it makes sense, and it would be really cool. She’s presumably evil, very likely experimenting on her charges, and has a beef with the Doc. I’m even going to go waaaay out there and tentatively suggest that Chris Addison is also a timelord, and both of them, after a timelocked Gallifrey was basically brought back, are still in defensive mode and believe that they need to defend themselves against another attack with cybermen. The fact that most of the victims have come from the episodes we’ve seen is to do with the fact that they’re able to manipulate the Tardis into a matter transporter to get them there, and has nothing to do with the Doctor’s guilt as I initially thought.
But then again, the episode is called Dark Water so it WILL be River.