Doctor Who: The 8 Best Missy Theories

Categories: Doctor Who

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Series 8 (Season 34) of Doctor Who is drawing to a close and with it we are presumably edging closer to the revelation regarding the identity of Missy, presumably the season's final boss battle. She's appeared here and there mysteriously, always related to welcoming deceased characters into a new area, or as part of something called The Promised Land.

While I cringe at how badly Doctor Who handles the concept of Big Badding usually, I'll admit to being as intrigued as anyone. So today I've gathered the best theories regarding Missy from around the internet.

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Doctor Who: Picture Perfect

Categories: Doctor Who

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There are writer's names that echo down through the ages of Doctor Who. There's Terry Nation, of course, and Ian Stuart Black. There was Robert Holmes and the one and only Douglas Adams. In the modern era Steven Moffat hit pay dirt so deep at times only Neil Gaiman could top him, Now I think we've added another to the roster. Jamie Mathieson is the best thing to happen to Doctor Who scripts in years.

"Flatline" was a brilliant outing. Utterly gripping, horrifying, and philosophically devastating. Almost totally without fault, it was the highlight of Series 8 and weirdly, Peter Capaldi's finest moment despite being largely out of the action for the most part.

The Doctor and Clara land back in present day Earth, but not quite where they meant to. Upon landing, they discovery that the Tardis is having its dimensions shunted off by an unseen force. What's left is a battle between the denizens of the three-dimensional universe (That's us) and The Boneless (That's the terrifying monsters who embody the worst of ghosts and zombies all at once).

There is nothing cuter than a Tiny Tardis with full-sized Doctor trapped inside. The Adipose, maybe, but watching Capaldi stick his hand through the doors and try to drag the old girl along like Thing from The Addams Family is corny and silly and exciting and wonderful all at the same time. Capaldi has a real gift for making the ridiculous look suave, a far cry from Matt Smith who often brooded on his lack of cool. Calpaldi, by contrast, never says anything is cool because it never for a second occurs to him to wonder what is and is not.

The Boneless are a truly terrifying monster, and the saddest thing is how far both Clara and The Doctor go to give them the benefit of the doubt. I don't think I've ever seen any Doctor or companion go to these lengths to try and hope for the best even as everything dies around them and people are yanked into nothingness like that freakin' hand monster from The Legend of Zelda.

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Doctor Who: Mummy Issues

Categories: Doctor Who

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(Author's note: I'm REALLY sorry about that pun.)

I think it's safe to say that "Mummy on the Orient Express" was my favorite episode of Series 8. This is Jamie Mathieson's first foray into writing for Doctor Who and he nailed so much about the character that it almost feels like the Twelfth Doctor was made for this script.

This is supposed to be the last hurrah for Clara Oswald. Still reeling from The Doctor's cold, patronizing attitudes of "Kill the Moon," she's agreed to at least one more trip in the Tardis to say good-bye. It's clear she's fed up with who he has become, a more distant, alien man with little of the easy warmth and boyish openness of Matt Smith's Doctor. That she loves him is inarguable, but it's hard to ignore that they are rapidly becoming slightly toxic to each other. Like Charley Pollard in the Big Finish Audios, she can no longer bear to look at the manipulations that The Doctor employs, no matter how benign his intentions.

Hey, also, no jokes about Clara's appearance!

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Doctor Who, Buffy and the Art of the Big Bad

Categories: Doctor Who

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I've made no secret of the fact that I don't think very highly of the current season of Doctor Who right now. The writing is very weak and full of plot holes. More than that, it's trying very hard to bring the Big Bad concept to Doctor Who and not really making it.

First a definition. The Big Bad comes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though of course the concept predates the show. Still, just as Eli Whitney perfected the cotton gin so did Buffy nail Big Badding for future shows.

Essentially what the Big Bad means is a season long antagonist that drives an overall story arc. It's been a staple of comics for ages, but in TV it can be much harder to pull off. Which brings us to the revived Doctor Who.

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Doctor Who: A Writer Completely Disses Moffat on His Own Show

Categories: Doctor Who

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There really isn't any point in discussing my opinion of "Kill the Moon" without spoilers, so here's your warning. Nothing but spoilers follows because I honestly believe the granddaddy of "taking the piss out of your boss" must be discussed with all the tools on the table. First-time Doctor Who writer Peter Harness didn't write an episode, he wrote a backhand.

Before I get to the spoilers, here's a few things I keep forgetting to mention I love about Series 8. The Tardis interior? Love it! For the first time in the revived series, it actually feels like a place you'd want to hang out. The new opening? Perfect, and I'm so glad the BBC took my advice. Peter Capaldi himself? Wonderful man, though I think he should apologize to the wardrobe department for whatever he said that made them put him in my mom's blouse this week.

Overall, I liked "Kill the Moon." I'm a fan of countdown stories, with "42" being one of my favorite episodes. The same shtick is used here, and it keeps the action tight. The monsters were completely terrifying, sort of like the second act of Cloverfield in space. Capaldi himself has some great Doctor moments; near the end he stands and narrates as he feels the course of time alter in front of him...it's the sort of ancient, godlike unknowableness that I haven't witnessed since Eight was first lost in the divergent universe in "Scherzo." It was chilling and terrifying to behold, and a grand reminder that The Doctor is far more than he ever appears to be.

Now, on to the spoilers.

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Doctor Who: "The Caretaker" and Class Warfare

Categories: Doctor Who

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Shades of Ian Chesterton? By the way, would it kill you guys to give William Russell a cameo?
One of the things that's been hard about Peter Capaldi's run on Doctor Who so far is that he feels very hard to know, let alone like. "The Caretaker" was honestly the first episode where I felt like I really understood where he was coming from, which led me to why I sort of dislike the Twelfth Doctor, and weirdly that led to me starting to really enjoy him.

Gareth Roberts teams with Steven Moffat on this week's script... making it eight of the last nine episodes Moff's had a hand in. It works well this go 'round. Gareth Roberts is probably the most technically skilled writer to contribute to the revived show outside of Neil Gaiman, and that strength comes through in the solidity of the plot. For the first time this season there seemed to be no lazy holes of unexplained actions, and I didn't get to the credits screaming, "But how did they X when they never did Y?"

Granted, the monster was an utterly forgettable robot made frightening only by a particularly gruesome death in the opening. It could have been a Cyberman and no one would have noticed, though there was some real care put into the creating the robot's language and logic. Its defeat was fairly anticlimactic, but admittedly well in keeping with The Doctor as a character.

The real standout, though, was Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink. We've finally gotten him into the Tardis, and it was worth the wait.

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Doctor Who: A Predictable But Fun "Time Heist"

Categories: Doctor Who

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I'm hard-pressed to think of a time when The Doctor aimed directly for the bank-heist genre of entertainment. I mean, he's definitely tackled breaking into all sorts of places before, and there are a few audios like "The Selachian Gambit" and "Grand Theft Cosmos" that sort of have that vibe, but "Time Heist" is pure The Italian Job mixed with just a hint of the Saw films.

For the most part, it's a genre that fits Peter Capaldi's Doctor very well. He's part spymaster, part rogue, and really embodies the outsider element we've been promised. Tennant could pull that off sometimes, but Capaldi sells it naturally. As he himself states, being instantly and automatically put in charge is his superpower.

This go-round he's leading a team into the most well-guarded bank in the universe. Problem is, neither he nor the rest of his companions remembers why they're doing it in the first place. All they know is that they were sent by a mysterious mastermind who has helpfully left items and clues along the way into the vaults.

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Doctor Who: You've Really Got to Listen to "Listen"

Categories: Doctor Who

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I can honestly say that "Listen" is probably the most difficult episode of Doctor Who I've ever had to review. Even aside from the fact that it's probably the most atypical episode since "Blink', it's nearly impossible to discuss it without revealing major plot points. To that end, I'm going to try to keep to generalities on page one, but page two is definitely only for those who aren't worried about having the episode's revelations discussed at length.

Capaldi gives us a very interesting look at his Doctor on his own. It's actually pretty rare to see The Doctor without a mirror in the form of a companion. Ten did so with terrible loneliness in "Partners in Crime" and Eight showed off his hyperactive jabbering really happens whether there's anyone around to listen or not in "Storm Warning", but Twelve is something very sinister when he broods in his solitude.

"Listen" is about nightmares. At its heart it is an exploration on the very nature of fear, and while I still think Steven Moffat's ability to execute his ambitious idea has fallen below par writing-wise you can't take anything from the fact that "Listen" has a pretty brilliant premise.

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Doctor Who: Prince of Stories

Categories: Doctor Who

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I make no bones about the fact that the first couple of episodes of Series 8 did not exactly move me, even declaring "Into the Dalek" the worst outing in the revived series of the show. Most of that centers around what I still feel was incredibly weak writing on behalf of Steven Moffat and Phil Ford determined to establish Peter Capaldi as the dark Doctor, the edgy, never-going-to-be-snogging-companions Doctor that they forgot to write an actual plot that made sense.

Mark Gatiss' "Robot of Sherwood" threw all that away and for the first time really let us sit back and look at Capaldi just being The Doctor without force-feeding an opinion on him. And you know what? It was absolutely fantastic.

The Doctor takes Clara to meet the legendary Robin Hood after offering her any choice of trip. He's reluctant because he says Robin Hood is just a story, but grudgingly obliges. Once they land, they fall straight into a fight between Robin and his Merry Men against the Sheriff of Nottingham and his robotic allies.

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Doctor Who: "Into the Dalek" Is Just Terrible

Categories: Doctor Who

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I don't think a single episode of Doctor Who has ever been quite as terrible as "Into the Dalek" was. Maybe "Love and Monsters," but not in the same way.

I'll leave aside the most obvious complaints. Peter Capaldi's Doctor is for some unknown reason needlessly cruel to Clara, constantly harping on her appearance, which was funny when he was newly regenerated and confused her with Handles but has since become a boorish attempt to solidly divide him from romantic connections. The special effects looked as if they were borrowed from Paul McGann's movie, and this is the third Dalek episode in the last four of the show.

All that aside, and it is a lot to lay aside, the problem with "Into the Dalek" is that it makes absolutely no sense in the slightest.


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