[Doctor Who] S08E12: Death in Heaven

Watch Date: 2019-12-01

Watched on: Amazon Prime Video India

IMDb link.


Wow. So many thoughts.

  • Usually Doctor Who makes mundane stuff terrifying by turning it into some kind of monster. Statues. Whispers in the night. Grafitti. That way, picking up the resurrected dead for a series finale is kind of a disappointing refuge in cliches. But very well done, I thought.
  • The series never made the theme of the solider that explicit or blatant, but boy, did it pay off. It wasn’t as jawdropping as Series 5 or Series 6; but just as well threaded through, I think. The scene between Danny and the Doctor in the graveyard, with “You’d never give up a tactical advantage.” and “Never get their hands dirty.” hit hard.
  • And of course, when Clara turns Danny to a Cyberman, it is euthanasia, in a way, rather than selfishly getting the information.
  • Before it turned out that his emotion inhibitor hadn’t been activated yet, I thought that Doctor Who was going all in on the Paul Bloom / Adam Smith conception of empathy evolving from pure reason. Oh well, it was a nice hope while it lasted.
  • There were also shades of Blackadder Goes Forth running through the whole season arc with its “Officers are heartless, the privates are doing what they can.” theme.
  • Danny Pink ended up being like a Rory with compressed character development. Extremely badass, holding everything together through sheer force of will, saving the world. The last legionary if not centurion.
  • If there was one thing I didn’t like, it was how Missy’s master (heh heh) plan was to turn the Doctor into herself. Once The Dark Knight dialed that up to eleven, anybody else doing it feels so derivative. I think the one thing this episode added over and above The Dark Knight was to point out the dangers of righteousness.
  • And I wonder if what the Doctor’s speech about not being either a good man or a bad man is a pointer to the correct path to take so that you don’t fall into the trap of righteousness.
  • Another connection here – Discworld’s Captain Carrot and Commander Vimes, and the whole “Pray you’re confronted with an evil man, because a good man will kill you without waiting to gloat.”
  • So Clara was definitely lying to the Doctor in the epilogue – but was the Doctor lying to her too?
  • What’s with this new contralto in the Cyberman voices?
  • Well, that’s one big advantage of cremation then. No zombies or the dead being resurrected! But isn’t the whole point of the book of Revelation that you have to be buried to be raised to heaven? Man, the horror tropes that have come out as a response to that.



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