Credit to BBC One

Credit to BBC One

By Joe Cirilo, Co-Editor

After marring what could have been an impeccable season with “In The Forest In The Night,” Doctor Who finally aired part one of its two-part finale, which concludes Series 8 this Saturday, Nov. 8.

The title “In The Forest In The Night” should have been a dead giveaway for any fan familiar with the series. Most of the titles are short and choppy. This one was long and wordy, and draws out too far with too many syllables, much like the episode itself. Not much really even happens. If The Doctor had done nothing, no one would be any worse for wear, and this isn’t even one we can blame on Stephen Moffat.

Sheree Folkson actually directed this one, with Frank Cottrell-Boyce in the writer’s chair. Do those names not sound familiar? They shouldn’t. As far as this critic can tell, neither Folkson nor Cottrell-Boyce has worked on the show in previous seasons. Making this their debut– not a great way to impress upon the fans you know what you’re doing.

The dialogue was fairly awkward, almost soap-opera styled, and though there is one line from Danny Pink about the intrigue of humanity versus the rest of the universe at large that will actually make you smile, it’s eclipsed by the rest of the atrociously bad happenings. Complete with terrible CGI animals, a little girl running around waving her hands (for…some reason), and no threats to the team whatsoever, “In The Forest In The Night” is just sort of flat. It’s very anticlimactic to pair with the first part of Doctor Who’s finale.

Which brings us to part one: “Dark Water.” Any good writer should preface this by saying: Although the episode as a whole was incredibly well executed and written, there were some problems that arose from friends in the UK, who saw the show hours before Americans were introduced proper.

“Don’t cremate me,” is probably one of the most horrifying lines that’s ever been aired on the show to date. If you’re afraid of dying, just skip it and read the synopsis on Wikipedia. “Dark Water” drove this writer into a frenzy between anxious panic and intrigue. While I love the show, it was very difficult to swallow, and most certainly not the same program that children of all ages became accustomed to viewing when Matt Smith was around. Moffat took a majorly different road between seasons, and this is one you’ll want to put the kids to bed from.

That said, “Dark Water” was probably only second best to either “Flatline” this season. If it hadn’t been for the awful way BBC One tweeted the big reveal about Missy hours before the show aired in the U.S., it would have taken its place as this writer’s No. 1 Episode. Unfortunately, the reveal was made, which completely destroys the entertainment of watching a season unravel. If you already know what’s going to happen, the other parts are just filler. This one will take its place, therefore, as No. 3, behind “Into The Dalek,” and “Flatline.”

What’s more terrible is the way the internet tends to “leak” and “reveal things.” These little spoilers are supposed to help fans get excited for this week’s show. It’s a practice that frustrates this critic, because photos depicting the cybermen were revealed early on in the week leading up to Saturday’s premiere. Again, once you know what’s going to happen, you’re just sitting there trying to figure out how it will, and not necessarily what will happen.

“Dark Water” wasn’t terrible though, save for the terrible way it makes people cringe in some parts. The reveal was well developed and thought out, and let’s face it, the little innuendo to the cybermen eyes as the Doctor crosses into the elevator and the door shuts just as he’s contemplating how he’s “missing something obvious” was more than a little cool.

We’ll just have to wait for “Death In Heaven” to see what happens next. Of course, if the BBC was more on the level of JJ Abrams style of secrecy, we wouldn’t know that Danny Pink is a companion, that Peter Capaldi isn’t going anywhere, and that Clara is, in fact, departing at the Christmas Special, not the finale. What this leaves us is with a very clear picture that Missy/The Mistress/The Master will probably be finally killed off by Capaldi’s Doctor; a much more dark and sinister type as we know him. This is all up for speculation, of course, but really, we all know what’s going to happen. Let’s just enjoy the ride till we get there.