Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review Date: 6/9/15 3:28 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.
This story continues from Dark Waters as UNIT captures Missy, Clara pretends to be the Doctor, while the Doctor himself becomes President of Earth.
Like every other Moffat finale, this one has the hallmarks: A lot of stuff happening with many elements, a lot of them underused. This story had me looking forward to the UNIT box set from Big Finish if for no other reason than I'd like to get a sense of who these characters were and we don't really have a chance here. And killing off a beloved character from the Day of the Doctor in a typical "red shirt" way made no sense.
The question ultimately, as it is with every Moffat finale is whether the show's overall story is enough to nake the episode's weak points and logic faults fade in the power of the overall story. For me, the answer was yes.
First is the end of Danny Pink. If you didn't relate to Danny at all this season, than I think this episode is harder to like. However, throughout Series 8 Danny has been the guy who has been hurting and subject to insensitivity and judgment all series because he served in the military and this episode he gets his moment as he teaches the Doctor a profound lesson in love. "It's not an emotion, it's a promise." And then there's "The Promise of a Soldier" speech which is a tad theatrical but works in context particularly as this aired three days before Remembrance Day in 2014, 100 years after the UK entered World War I. The story in its own way stands as a tribute, not to miltarism, but to the ordinary decent soldier whose promise, "You will sleep safe tonight" was kept on hundreds of battlefields in two great Wars. And ultimately, Danny is able to find some sense of peace.
I also have to admit that I like the idea of why Missy brought the Doctor and Clara together because of Clara's tendency to be controlling and the Doctor's resistance to anyone controlling him. The Doctor isn't going to do whatever Clara asks (as shown in the previous episode when he refused to go back in time to save Danny. However, it's clear that she has actual sway over the Doctor in a way no other companion has had. This could really go wrong or go overboard, but so far it hasn't and we'll see if they could avoid taking this too far in Series 9. I also have to appreciate the irony as it almost led to Missy being ended by the Doctor, which was very ironic.
The final scenes are poignant and help to set up the Christmas special. Overall, this wasn't the best of Moffat's finales but it caps a strong season with a story that has some very good, very profound moments along with some very typical Moffat story flaws.