Season 8 of Doctor Who wrapped up with the episode Death in Heaven. Producer/writer Steven Moffat is known for creating season finales that raise just as many questions as they answer, and Death in Heaven was no exception. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode it brought the central conflicts of this season to a dramatic conclusion and even gave us some hefty clues to what the Christmas special will hold.
In true Doctor Who fashion, we saw a few old faces make a return at the end of this season. The cyberman wielding villian of this season Missy, who was revealed to be an incarnation of The Master, finally revealed her master plan. Throughout this season we were given flashes of characters who were killed at various points in time being transported to the “afterlife” and greeted by the eccentric Missy. Missy/The Master is only other remaining time lord, the doctor’s longtime friend/nemesis, and batshit crazy. She was harnessing the dead in order to bring them back to life as a cyberman army of the dead.
UNIT shows up and arrests Missy who is arrested with almost no struggle at all. The Doctor himself is also taken into custody but in a turn of events UNIT unveils an alliance that they have drawn up with world leaders which places the Doctor in the role of president of the human race in the event of a catastrophe such as this one. Missy escapes her bonds and we learn that she is also the mysterious woman who brought Clara and the Doctor together. Also that she formed the cyberman army to prove that the Doctor was just as dark of a person as she. Missy didn’t make the army to take over the world, she made it for the Doctor. All in hopes that they could fly across the universe together once more.
Danny, Clara’s love interest who was killed in a car accident a few episodes earlier, is recruited into Missy’s army but ends up turning the tables on her and leading the rest of the cybermen to rebel, spoiling Missy’s plan. He used his love for Clara to cling onto his humanity and resist the full upgrade into a cyberman; from past seasons we know that once they complete full conversion they are unable to feel any emotion.
Danny blows himself up as do the rest of the cybermen, erasing all traces of the impending invasion. Which I felt was a worthy end for Danny’s character. He sacrificed himself for the woman that he loved and as if that weren’t heart wrenching enough, there was enough energy for one person to return to Earth and he gave it to the child that he accidentally killed years ago while he was at war.
Missy ends up escaping but not before telling the Doctor that Galifrey, the doctor’s home planet, has returned to its original location. We see a clip of him yelling and repeatedly pounding the Tardis insinuating that Missy was lying. Weeks later Clara and the Doctor meet again. He tells her that he has found Galafray and will be returning and that she will live happily with Danny. She goes along with it telling him that Danny is safe, not wanting to hold the Doctor back and they part ways.
The Doctor’s role as president of Earth leads him to the conclusion that he is not a good a man, but not a bad one either. He has struggled with this ever since his regeneration and come to accept that he is somewhere in the middle. Just an idiot who wants help.
In the final moments of this episode, Santa Claus himself makes an appearance stating that neither the Doctor nor Clara are at peace and that the Doctor must know that it can’t end like this. We can all breath easy now that we have the prospect of a reunion for the Doctor and Clara, we can also look forward to a Christmas special starring Saint Nick!