Doctor Who: Death in Heaven review

Posted on Nov 8, 2014


Doctor Who - Death in Heaven - BBC promo picture

Doctor Who – Death in Heaven – BBC promo picture

The Storyline

So, here it is, the final episode of this series until the Christmas Day special and one I have been in two minds about watching after last weeks obvious and unnecessary reveal and sat down to watch this with trepidation in my heart.

Following on from last weeks episode, Clara confronts a Cyberman who is about to kill her only for her to tell it she is the Doctor in disguise whilst the Doctor is dealing with the Missy/Master hybrid and the Cybermen when suddenly Kate Lethbridge-Stewart comes to the rescue but is she too late?

The Cybermen escape, flying off into the sky as St Pauls Cathedral opens up and the sky darkens, ‘rain’ falls where the dead lay only for them to awaken as Cybermen.

Meanwhile the Doctor is knocked out and cuffed by Kate but brought back with an assurance of his trust with the added news he is the President of earth and in control of all its defences.

Clara manages to deceive the Cybermen into telling them she is the Doctor when one of them kills the other three and knocks her out. She awakes to find herself in a huge graveyard where the dead are rising.

The Mistress/Master is still imprisoned on the plane next to the Tardis and tells Osgood that she is going to kill her in minutes.

Suddenly she is free and keeps her promise where the Doctor finds her.

Clara finds out her Cyberman rescuer is Danny Pink, who wants freedom from his emotions.

Missy tells the Doctor she has been controlling him and Clara’s relationship since his last incarnation and brought them together. The plane is attacked and Kate falls to her death along with the Doctor and his Tardis.

Clara is about to turn the emotions off in Danny when the Doctor comes to their rescue with a few home truths.

Even in death Danny still resents the Doctor when asked to make a difficult choice; one he does not want to make. Instead it falls to Clara.

Missy appears then in all her Mary Poppins regalia, even flying down with an umbrella to tell them how powerful she is and her plan of action. She gives him the power to control the Cybermen.

Then the Doctor realises he is in control after all and always has been. The Doctor is about to kill Missy when suddenly a Cyberman does it for him. The same Cyberman has saved Kate and the Doctor recognises him as her father; Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart

Meanwhile the Doctor tells Clara he has found Gallifrey, the coordinates given him by Missy. Clara tells him she is with Danny at last and both say their goodbyes but both are lying.

The Tardis disappears and the Doctor is alone when there is a knock on his door and a voice calling him and suddenly Father Christmas enters much to the incredibility of the Doctor.

The Review

Well, what can be said for this episode that will have many people both praising it and spitting at the screen.

Firstly, let me start by saying I actually quite liked it, even the Missy/Master hybrid which is wrong on so many levels for me as a fan of the show since childhood. Once again, this is an unnecessary change and has only been introduced because of political correctness or just because the writers and producers are running out of ideas when in fact there are many ways to introduce a strong female character of which there have been many anyway (I will write up on more of this in a separate post later).

The episode was fast paced, funny, shocking, poignant and sad and yet still managed to go wrong with the Missy/Master character with the kissing and suchlike. Why change something that is not broken? Better to introduce a female Timelord or recurring character/nemesis than to change an already long established one that works as it is.

I loved the flying Cybermen but they did remind me of the Rocketeer, a character itself a facsimile of the Cybermen most probably anyway as it came out in 1982; or even Ironman who came out the same year as the Doctor stole his Tardis and flew off into time and space.

Clara stepped up a couple of notches for me and has proved to be the best companion yet so it was sad to see her say goodbye. It looks as if she will be in the Christmas episode and I am hoping she will turn up again after the Doctor acquires a new companion. It was a shame Osgood was killed off because she would have been a brilliant and pretty much perfect companion for him.

The whole episode tied up a few loose ends that really did not need doing but it still was good to see. Much was tied up from Clara’s introduction in the Eleventh incarnation’s regeneration; or twelfth to us fans who include the War Doctor as the true ninth incarnation.

I did not understand how the Master/Missy came to be or got to earth as you never saw his/her Tardis. You only knew that somehow he/she escaped Gallifrey somehow much to the shock of the Doctor. I am sure the next series will focus more on that for this series was about tying up lose ends and taking gambles with characters. It was an experiment to test us fans to see what we would think of an older Doctor and a female version of the Master and a possibility of a female Doctor.

If anyone is reading this from the production crew or Steven Moffat himself, please leave it alone and return things to normal. The Doctor and Master should always be male. Michelle Gomez is a very fine actress indeed and I would like to see her again but not as the Master. The possibility is still there of course for her not to be him/her at all and just a trick. In fact I am hoping for that to be done and swept under the carpet in the next series. If they are that stuck for ideas then I am available to help out for I have enough for three series worth as well as two spin-off’s so far.

I would though like to see more of UNIT and Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. All have strong elements to them especially the brilliant Jemma Redgrave playing Kate.

All in all though it was a good episode and I will be watching the Christmas special on the 25th gobbling down turkey sandwiches no doubt.

Death in Heaven by Stuart Manning

Death in Heaven by Stuart Manning
Twitter: @stuart_manning


Peter Capaldi – The Doctor
Jenna Coleman – Clara Oswald

Samuel Anderson – Danny Pink
Michelle Gomez – The Mistress
Chris Addison – Seb
Ingrid Oliver – Osgood
Jemma Redgrave – Kate Stewart
Sanjeev Bhaskar – Colonel Ahmed
James Pearse – Graham
Antonio Bourouphael – Boy
Shane Keogh-Grenade – Teenage boy
Katie Bignell – Teenage girl
Jeremiah Krage – Cyberman
Nicholas Briggs – Voice of the Cybermen


Writer – Steven Moffat
Director – Rachel Talalay