For the first nine months of this ridiculous project, my weight dropped slowly and steadily (with the normal expected daily fluctuations). Then around last Christmas it pretty much leveled out and I assumed I was done losing weight and that my body had found its new normal. I was perfectly fine with this. I started strength training and actually bulked up a bit, building muscle mass and gaining back the right kind of weight. I was also perfectly fine with this. In the past month or so, though, I have begun trending back downward again. In fact, I am currently beck to within 1 lb of my lowest weight since starting this project, which is... disorienting. I keep saying I don't care about any specific number, that this has never been about weight per-se, and my rational brain absolutely believes that. But my crazed target-oriented brain is totally locked in on maybe pulling off a late rally and finishing this project on a serious high note (or, I guess, low note as the case may be). With only a month left to go, where will I end up? Time will tell.
Anyway, I also watched the season finale today for the Twelfth Doctor's first season this morning. So let's talk about that.
Death in Heaven
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
So... Cybermen as zombies. That's an interesting concept. They have always been all about body horror, and now here we have the ultimate body horror of our corpses being desecrated to the point of being resurrected as an unstoppable emotionless army. It's a good concept, and actually done well. As with yesterday's episode, I enjoyed this much more than I expected, with one massive caveat that I will get to in a bit.
It opens with a lovely dodge in which Clara Oswald claims to actually be the Doctor in order to spoof the Cybermen and keep herself alive. This tease is followed up by the opening credits, which feature the one and only time in the series five-decade-plus history that first name listed in the credits is not the person playing the Doctor. Not only does Jenna Coleman get top billing, but her eyes replace Peter Capaldi's in that part of the opening sequence. She is, of course, bluffing. But kudos to the BBC for going to such great lengths to support the dodge.
As for the Doctor, he is captured by UNIT at the hands of Kate Stewart and Osgood, thrown onto the UNIT equivalent of Air Force One is, and then the Doctor is summarily appointed President of Earth. So... that happened.
Meanwhile, Missy is captured as well, and then gleefully and maliciously kills Osgood. Like, for reals, totally dead. The only thing that isn't clear is whether it was HumanOsgood or ZygonOsgood, and that will be addressed (but not actually answered) next season, but she is definitely and definitively dead. That was a truly shocking moment, in a scene where Michelle Gomez cements her brilliance in the role of Missy.
So the gist of the story is that the MissyCybermen create planet-wide clouds of CyberWhateverPollen that rains down onto graveyards and turns the corpses of every dead human into new Cybermen. Danny Pink is among them, but maintains enough of his individuality to save Clara and to subsequently ask her to put him out of his misery. There is some drama between the Doctor and CyberDanny, there is other drama between the Doctor and Missy, and the whole thing boils down to Missy giving the entire army of Cybermen to the Doctor as a birthday present in order to show him that she and he are really the same.
Except, of course, they aren't.
The Doctor gives control of the Cyber Army to CyberDanny, who is a good soldier and sacrifices them all to destroy the CyberPollen clouds.
Oh yeah, and then Steven Moffat rapes the corpse of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart by bringing him back as a Cyberman who kills Missy so that neither the Doctor nor Clara have to get their hands dirty. And then the Doctor salutes the CyberBrig. I have no doubt that Moffat meant it as a sincere tribute to Nicholas Courtney, who had recently passed away. Personally, having just experienced nearly the entirety of Doctor Who in rapid form and seeing the towering figure of the Brigadier stretch all the way from 1968's Web of Fear all the way through to 1989's Battlefield (plus several loving mentions since and an appearance in The Sarah Jane Chronicles that I haven't gotten to yet), it came off as... crass. Because, well... Actually, I think this pretty much sums it up:
(And thank you to Michael Montoure for sharing this with me)
The episode ends with a coda set three months later, in which Danny has the opportunity to return from the dead but instead uses that one chance to send back the innocent young boy that he had killed as a soldier. Shortly thereafter the Doctor and Clara meet for what they both believe is the last time, in which the Doctor lies and says he found Gallifrey and Clara lies and lets the Doctor believe that Danny came back and that the two of them are living happily ever after. It actually was supposed to be their last scene together, until Jenna Coleman changed her mind and agreed to come back for the Christmas episode.
So, more Clara. yay
As I say, this story is actually better than I remembered overall. I actually rather enjoyed it aside from the ending leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
Tomorrow: It's Christmas. It seems like it hasn't even been two weeks since it was Christmas, but here we are again. Ho, ho, ho.
Companion(s): Clara Oswald, Danny Pink, Petronella Osgood, Kate Stewart
Episode(s): Death in Heaven
Steps Walked: 8,499 today, 3,419,117 total
Distance Walked: 4.52 miles today, 1,786.93 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 6,579 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 929 total
Weight: 246.62 lbs (five day moving average), net change -60.68 lbs