One fat geek's attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

Oh No, Tragedy, and So Close To the End!

Jul 08 2018
Oh No, Tragedy, and So Close To the End!

I have been very clear from the start that this ridiculous project isn't about weight, and that although I am tracking number as a gross indicator I do not have any specific goal other than "feel better". I keep on saying it (because it's true), but that doesn't change the fact that it made me ridiculously happy this morning when I registered the lowest weight and lowest five-day moving average weight since mid-February when I added strength training to my routine. I am vain enough to admit that, yes, I would be very pleased if I were to drop just a bit further. That doesn't change the fact that I am perfectly happy with the results I have achieved thus far, I think it just makes me human. Not a whole lot I can do about that.

As for Doctor Who today, well: Danny Pink died. Let's talk about that.

Dark Water

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

I wanted to hate this episode. I really did. I was all primed to hate watch it and snark about it, primarily because of what I remember about the overall story of this season finale. The funny thing is, it turns out that all the stuff that I hate actually doesn't happen until the second part. Dang it, this episode is actually really well done.

Because it is the penultimate episode of a Steven Moffat ere season, if you have been paying attention you know there are going to be Cybermen. The cool thing is that, although they don't show up until the very end, there are so many subtle (and a few not-so-subtle) hints along the way for what is coming. But I'll get to the Cybermen shortly.

The pre-credit sequence has Clara phoning Danny, who is actually out walking to her place at the same time. She wants to talk to him on the phone so that she can say what she needs to without him being in the room with him. She has worked herself up to going Full Disclosure, and her room is covered with post-it notes referencing her adventures with the Doctor. But the first thing she wants Danny to know is that she loves him. And not just "I love you", but her stressing, "...I'll never say those words again. Not to anybody else, ever. Those words, from me, are yours now."

And then Danny doesn't reply. There is a long and awkward silence, in which Clara becomes increasingly agitated, before she finds out the horrible truth: Right at that moment, Danny was struck by a car while crossing the street. Just like that, with no fanfare, Danny Pink dies in the most mundane of ways. Not alien invaders, not some intergalactic plot, not some historical scourge, just an inattentive driver plowing into him in the middle of the road.

That, and Clara's immediate reaction, are heroically well done. Clara isn't just bereaved. She is quietly and desperately furious. Furious to the point where she manipulates and betrays the Doctor, stealing and destroying all of his TARDIS keys and threatening that he will never enter the TARDIS again unless he does whatever it takes to change history and bring Danny back. Except, of course, the Doctor knew what she was up to all along and only allowed her unfold her scheme in order to see just how far she would go.

And then he agrees to help. Clara is mystified why he would help her after what she just tried to do. "You betrayed me," the Doctor says. "Betrayed my trust, you betrayed our friendship, you betrayed everything that I've ever stood for. You let me down!"

"Then why are you helping me?"

"Why?" asks the Doctor. "Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?"

And so the rest of the story is the Doctor and Clara finding Danny's resting place, meanwhile Danny finds himself in an afterlife called the Nethersphere. There is a bunch of metaphysical bluffery, and a high-tech mausoleum, and then comes the huge reveal that Missy, who has been appearing throughout the season welcoming the newly deceased, is actually a female incarnation of the Master. The notion that a Time Lord could change sexes upon regeneration had been hinted at, and even mentioned once in passing in The Doctor's Wife, but this episode marks the first time that such a change affirmatively and explicitly has happened. Also, after spending most of the season in tiny little vignettes, the brilliance of Michelle Gomez' Missy is finally allowed to shine. 

She is amazing.

Oh, and then the Cybermen are unleashed. It turns out the Nethersphere is actually a bit of Time Lord technology, and that Missy has been using it to capture the consciousness of the recently deceased and has also been commandeering their bodies, in order to create a new army of Cybermen. "Upload the mind, upgrade the body, " she says. "Cybermen from cyberspace. Now, why has no-one ever thought of that before?"

We get a birth sequence clearly inspired by the classic Tomb of the Cybermen, followed by a squad of Cybermen exiting St. Paul's Cathedral in a sequence lovingly paying homage to The Invasion

It's just so, so good.

And they are going to piss it all away with tomorrow's resolution, and desecrate the memory of Nicholas Courtney in the process. I'll probably be a bit cranky when I write about it. Sorry in advance.

p>STATS:

 

Doctor(s): Twelfth
Companion(s): Clara Oswald, Danny Pink
Episode(s): Dark Water
Steps Walked: 7,659 today, 3,410,618 total
Distance Walked: 4.12 miles today, 1,782.41 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 6,579 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 929 total
Weight: 247.30 lbs (five day moving average), net change -60.00 lbs


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