The eleventh episode of Doctor Who Series 8, Dark Water, has aired, but what did you
think? Please leave your comments in the section below and, obviously,
if you haven’t seen it best not to read. Check out the What Did You Think? for In The Forest Of The Night HERE.
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Cameron K McEwan was the first owner and site editor of Blogtor Who since its creation in May 2008 until Dec 2015. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, Cameron has also written two books, The Who’s Who of Doctor Who and Doctor Who: The Big Book of Lists, and directed a film all about Doctor Who fans throughout the years, Who’s Changing - An Adventure In Time With Fans. Cameron also contributes TV and film news and reviews to BBC Radio London, Metro, Digital Spy, New York Observer and Den of Geek. He lives in London with his one trousers.

61 COMMENTS

  1. NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO WWWWWHHHHHAAAAATTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!! A female master, how can he, sorry, she kiss the doctor? What is going on? Moffet you have excelled yourself! AND YOU KILLED DANNY! AAGGGGHHHH My heart was reaching out to Clara.

  2. Also if they wanted a female villain why not use Romana rather than turning the Master from Timelord to Timelady? Not that i think the gender change is an issue just that it feels slightly off to change the character gender particularly when there's already Romana just waiting to be used.

  3. How can everybody be pleased that Steven Moffet has turned the Master into a female? He has changed Doctor Who history. Who does he think he is??? I am truly upset. I can't explain it. Everything I loved about Doctor Who is gone. I'm selling all my merchandise and I'm NEVER watching Doctor Who again.

    • Agree that there were more interesting choices, but it was Moffat's choice to make and it *is* interesting. Just not as interesting as making her the Valeyard or some other aspect or incarnation of the Doctor, or some of the other characters who have been the subject of much speculation. The line about her being an abandoned Time Lady gives me a glimmer of hope that she is constantly lying about who she is to keep the Doctor off-balance (to what end I have no idea).

    • Everything that you loved about Doctor Who was that The Master was a man?… Fairly sure there's other things to love about the show; gender swapping, for instance, is rather good 🙂
      And who does Steven Moffat think he is? – he's Executive Producer of Doctor Who. I think that gives him the authority to do what he likes!

    • Twists are what Doctor Who is all about!!! If the Master's gender is what your fandom is based on…..wow. I'll buy your stuff!

    • I hate to be pedantic, but this is a show about time.

      Moffat hasn't changed anything of your precious 'history' it's all intact for you (lost episodes aside). But this is the current direction with The Master. She's just less camp than John Simm and happens to have breasts. Get a grip.

    • I've actually calmed down now. I was just a bit annoyed. It is interesting to see a different spin on The Master. The Moff is clearly testing the water to see how we would react to a female Doctor 'when' it happens, because it will happen. Mark my words, especially if The Moff has anything to do with it. That would be daft though.

  4. Thought it was genuinely disturbing. Really gripping. Loved the big reveal at the end – the one I was hoping for – not a 'mobile intelligent systems interface' after all. The star of the show, Michelle Gomez, was brilliant, channelling all that old Master teasing nastiness and making for a believable droid, too.

  5. Very good, but I only gave it 7/10 as it showed up the biggest of all Moffat script flaws – they're all based on a puzzle and a surprise reveal.

    And if the two big surprises are …

    a) Missy is the Master, which I think we all guessed on week one (I've been told off for Spoilers for referring to her as The Mistress for weeks now)

    and b), the dead are becoming Cybermen, which has been in the promo photos since week dot

    … then what are you left with? Danny shot someone, and we've had that revealed with as little emotional impact as could be mustered; and Clara wants to do Orpheus in the Underworld, and the Doctor's forgotten to tell her how that ended.

    And Moffat really doesn't like two-parters does he? Which is why we had half an episode's content spun out to a full 45 minutes.

    I enjoyed it, but it's no Robot Of Sherwood. (Watched that this afternoon, it's cracking fun).

  6. So The Master is the Doc's girlfriend and snogged him with tongues? Moffat spoils some reasonable stories with indulgent little distracting jokes which detract from the continuity.

  7. I am sad from this outcome after hearing time lord i got excited i felt the Master was used well in new who, but not this way, my first reaction at time lord was the Rani as she would play with dead and not care about the outcome as we saw (like the scientist she is) Missy also said she was abandond by the Doctor… The Rani was, the Master wasnt he should be on Galifrey(After End of time Part 2)! So not only does it ruin a great character (the kiss) but makes no sence… Well Done Moff!!!! You lost my faith…

  8. Yes… I think 95% of us knew the whole Missy thing, and yes… We knew the Cybermen were going to be there. But I was engrossed by it all anyway. Performances have been very good this series, Capaldi excellent. And 'Kill The Moon' was this programme at its finest. I was also taken aback at how philosophical this episode was (about the ultimate question of death). Handled very well. More positives than negatives with series 8 thus far.

  9. Hope they explain the gender swap. I'm totally fine with it but I think it needs at least a throwaway line to explain why it never happened before in 15+ regenerations.

    Episode was great though, top floor stuff. Nice to see after last week's bomb.

  10. I thought it was great. I'm glad it wasn't Romana (the Missy-Mistress thing at first I thought was headed that way). And no one remembers the Rani. All this complaining "Ooh Moffat has changed Doctor Who history" is blather. There are no rules for this sort of thing. Get real.

  11. Apparently I'm not as observant as all of you! As a loyally obsessed Whovian, I never even came close to guessing Missy was the Master, although apparently EVERYBODY knew! As for the Cybermen, I think I'd heard something of them being in the finale a long time ago, but forgot, and still wouldn't have seen that coming! I truly felt for bothe Clara and Danny, and I was so enthralled by the entire storyline!!! I have been watching the show for a relatively short amount of time (2-3 years), but having seen some Old Who and all New Who, I can honestly say I've not been this edge-of-my-seat excited in a very, VERY long time!

  12. As this episode progressed, my son and I were talking about how David Tennant's Doctor uploaded River Song into the library computer world. it was making sense to us that the Cybermen would somehow one day
    be controlled by probably the smartest person in cyberspace – River Song! Sure it's"timey wimey" but hey- it was just a thought. We love Peter Capaldi and this season has been fantastic! Really looking forward to next week to see how they end it! — Dan and Luke

  13. It's Moffat, so I actually half-expect The Mistress having formerly been The Master to be a fakeout. Yes, The Master was semi/sorta abandoned in the grip of Rassilon, but he jumped in himself after a long worked for character reveal and kind of a change of hearts. Plus it'd be like Moff to do a double fakeout. And if The Master is "gone from the universe", someone like The Rani or Romana might certainly steal his name and his rivalry with The Doctor.

    However! I'm all for a timelord gender flip, which they've been teasing us with since "Night of the Doctor". If The Mistress truly is The Master, there are ramifications. Did she take a similar elixir on Karn? Does that mean Karn's in the works? What about Rassilon himself since we now know that Gallifrey survived? Has he escaped the pocket universe, and if so, have other Timelords?

    Missy ACTUALLY being The Master raises far, far more complicated questions than a previous lady in The Doctor's life assuming the role as his nemesis.

    There's also the use of Cybermen to be taken into account – who has more Cyber-experience, historically, The Master or The Rani or Romana? It's not too dissimilar from the Toclyfanes but it's still specifically Cybermen.

    And what about all the other A.I. malfunctioning Droids that have been heading toward Earth trying to what, crack the Nethersphere?

    I definitely appreciate a good mystery for the week.

  14. Enjoyed it, and the big Missy reveal once again showed Moffat to be Whodom's preeminent troll.

    I'm sorry to hear there won't be more commentaries. Why, if I may ask?

  15. really enjoyed last nights episode and if the Moffs last 2-parter finale is anything to go by then next weeks will go in a completely different direction. can't wait.

  16. The whole idea of time lords being able to change gender is ridiculous. How messed up is that? Moffat has done this to test the waters on having a female Doctor. Don't get me wrong I'm not sexist not in the slightest, but the master has been a male character since the 70's and should always be a male character. Time lords and ladies can change their appearance, NOT their gender. That's just going off on a tangent. I thought I'd have calmed down by this morning, but I'm still fuming. I always defended Moffat but now I just feel insulted.

  17. Still hoping she's lying and is actually someone less obvious and more interesting (the Valeyard, the Doctor him/herself). She sort of lied earlier in the episode by saying she was a Time Lady who had been abandoned by the Doctor (heavily implying she might be Romana, maybe Susan). How do we know she is telling the truth now? And why no Next Time trailer if there aren't more big surprises to come? Hoping for something less obvious and more interesting next week. All that said, I really enjoyed it and, if she is the Master, that's fine, however pedestrian.

  18. I was really let down by the whole thing. Moffatt has excelled by ruining a whole chunk of D.W lore. Should have been so much better. And the cyborgs( I refuse to demean the original Cybermen) were so camp walking down the steps, too. Will stick to Big Finish for new DW from now, I think. After 38 yrs, I'm beginning not to care much about tv DW, sad to say. Thanks, Moff.

  19. So if Missy really is the Master a bigger question needs to be asked…why the heck did he/she choose to dress up like Mary Poppins?!?!

  20. Ugh. It would have made more sense for her to be the Rani. This would have went along perfectly as one of her experimentations. Hell evem Romana. Why is Moffat so obsessed with gender bending? Reminds me of the Curse of Fatal Death. Where the Master and the Doctor hook up, lol. I'm hoping at the very least that Missy is some sort of Chameleon and the Master is controlling her from the pocket universe, in an effort to try and cross over. I've always been a Moffat supporter but if the Master had a sex change then I'm afraid I can't defend hos writing anymore. I shudder to think the Doctor would change into a female one day. If that happens maybe Moffatt is purposely trying to turn everyone off so the show gets canceled.

  21. Watched since 1973, have seen all the different styles and Doctors, and watched every episode that currently exists. There's been some low points over the years, but this season has been a mess when it comes to plot structuring. This has been the first time/season that I've never watched episodes past their original transmissions- a bad sign. Episodes have had promising ideas then been ruined in the final ten minutes. Capaldi is wasted and, with his talents as a writer/director, I was hoping he'd put his foot down in that area; Clara is now as aggravating as Amy Pond, Danny Pink is a deserved companion not being used, and last night's episode was a pure padding lead-in to Part Two. The 45 minute format is here to stay but it doesn't often work. Modern fans in this post-Buffy/Joss Whedon codswallop world love all this but barely know the classic series which genuinely was so much better, which had suspense, drama, thrills, atmosphere, was never afraid to show death and its consequences, and showcased effective storytelling, never over the top or showy in the characterisation front as it is now soapily is, but strong nonetheless, despite low budgets. To this modern era post Moffat, full of ideas but no genuine substance, which is likely to continue until Capaldi eventually departs, I say "meh"…

  22. I have no problem with Missy being The Master (if she is indeed he) but the Clara/Danny stuff is just killing me…it's Amy/Rory all over again, and that made me switch off for series 6 & 7.
    Capaldi's Doctor is excellent but to have him as almost a straight man in their tedious lovelife every second week is just torturous

  23. I am concerned that wherever I turn there are people throwing their prayer leafs out of the gallifreyan cot!

    This was exactly what we want surely? Something that takes the show to new areas, develops new ideas and creates history but whilst maintaining a consistency at its heart.

    The master/missy is not a constant character on the show, and for that reason us open to experimentation with regard to character development.
    This would not be possible for the doctor as he is the constant, and this is why the TARDIS us still a blue police box.

    I believe that last night was excellent and worked so well because it had a story that was driven by a deep moral issue and therefore had you forced to make decisions and form opinions.
    Maybe this is why so many diverse opinions have emerged?

    I will now be stepping into my TARDIS, next stop Earth 7:45pm Saturday 8th November 2014 (I will need 15 mins to mentally prepare myself!)

  24. Absolutely brilliant. Engrossing drama which was character driven. Dark water was a nice metaphor for Clara's state of mind and for the reveal of the Master/Mistress. I avoid spoilers and so didn't see Missy as the Master. The return of the cybermen acted as a smokescreen for this and although the physical dark water and the reason for its use requires further explanation I think it served a good dramatic purpose in the story. Yes, there are loose threads but these were not major flaws and Mr Moffat is to be congratulated on a season which has escalated into brilliance. Peter Capaldi's portrayal of the Doctor has grown beautifully throughout and I am thoroughly won over. The naysayers are wrong on this one. It was superb.

  25. Omitting names to address the opinion, not the person…

    "Time lords and ladies can change their appearance, NOT their gender."

    a. How many times has it been stated or demonstrated that Time Lords cannot change their gender?
    b. How many times (including last night) has it been stated or demonstrated that Time Lords can change their gender?

    I think you'll find B outnumbers A.

    "Also if they wanted a female villain why not use Romana rather than turning the Master from Timelord to Timelady?"
    So… changing the Master's gender is a bigger corruption to her identity than changing Romana from a hero to a villain?

    Anyone who is offended by this plot twist point blank deserves to be offended! The Doctor's Wife was three years ago, you've had ample time to prepare, I have no sympathy whatsoever.

    "What did YOU think?"

    A corker! Ohhhh, I have so missed two-parters. Complex is what Steven Moffat, he says, does when he's in a hurry. This bristled with Moffat ideas, but it was also the return of the slow burn: never hectic, a confident and assured finale, his first since The Pandorica. The ball is his to drop, really hoping for Death in Heaven to knock it out of the part.

  26. Maybe the Master somehow ended up on Karn, and drank one of the Sisterhood's potions that made him into a woman…???? What do you think?

  27. I thought this was a terrific episode- a very strong contender for best of the series. But what I loved most was the grim joke about the organ donor and that heaven has patchy wi-fi 😛

  28. Aside from the Master issues, which I'm not sure yet how to assess, Peter Capaldi's Doctor has shown surprisingly little range. Yes, he does Ranting Scotsman and cool, intense strategist well. But other emotions, so far, have been foreign to him. Maybe this is just a long-term multi-series character development plan, but if so I find it way too slow. His character is stagnating.

  29. I think the point is that if moffat made missy the rani then No one would be mad. It makes sense she is already evil it's easier to explain etc.
    making her the master pisses some fans off, some are ok with it, some are confused etc.
    it would've been easier to make her the rani.

    Anyway it's not 100% for sure yet. Things can change in the next episode. She can say "what you really believed I was the master how dumb are you" and that would undo all this.

  30. My issue isn't with what the reveal was so much, but more how it was done.
    There was no tension or build up and it just fell flat to me.
    As for The master as female good or bad? I think I will wait until next week to judge so I can see what sort of chemistry the doctor and the master have ( I refuse to call him/her missy or the mistress if your going to do that you may as-well just be a new character) but so far I cant see it, its to much like generic female villain #3. If the character is actually written and in turn performed as the Master then it might work, but so far I haven't seen that in the writing or the performance (plus then making it female but then all you do with that is just flirting and snoging doesn't seem very progressive to me…)

  31. The reveal worked well, but the ending of the episode seemed a little bit abrupt.

    Really disappointing that there aren't going to be any more commentaries as these have been great fun, and have added extra enjoyment to the series.

  32. Have to say I thought it could be another Moffat plot twist – 'Hello, I'm the Master – well actually not, I'm the Rani but the Master shocked both you and the fans more and it means I have more twists next week'

  33. I think I'd have preferred them to use the Rani (she has a lot of potential) but I guess the Master will have to do. Lets hope that Missy can do the character justice.

  34. While I have been very disappointed by the season as a whole- ridiculous tory lines and nonsensical rubbish, I DID like part one of the finale and find the new Master to be plausible, exciting, and quite brilliantly acted.

    While fans of the original series would have liked to see the Rani, I can understand why they went with the Master instead, and it's very intriguing.

    I must add that making Romana into a villain makes no sense whatsoever… horrid, actually. Romana has a long following not only through the original TV series but through many stories since then… fans who have not heard the Gallifrey series on Big Finish have missed out on a sci-fi classic. Romana is brilliant, heroic, genius.

  35. I like the idea of a female master but it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't really him but the Rani in disguise or maybe a timeloord who likes fiddling with robots we don't know if its the master really yet we haven't seen a regen

  36. After further review I must say I'm not happy at all with The Master becoming a female. And since when was he in love with The Doctor? There is no reason to change The Master into a female when you have The Rani! Plus this is more of The Rani's calling card than The Master's. She's the type to do unethical experimentations etc. I used to think the people who criticized Moffatt were wrong. Now I'm starting to agree with the naysayers. Oh please let there be some kind of twist to this! And may there never be a female Doctor! I feel this is testing those waters. The Master was my favorite villian, it's bad enough John Simm probably won't be reprising his role, but now this just screws everything up!

  37. I think I might be done with the show. I'm a life long fan, but the last 5 mins of this weeks episode ruined it all. I may never come back…

  38. I'm turning over in my grave right now! The Master should not be a female, this is just ridiculous! I know the majority of Whovians will agree with me here. Why didn't they just bring back the Rani for Pete's sake? The only ones who like the Master being a female are the same "progressive" imbeciles that get high off sniffing their own farts! Just clamoring for a female Doctor in the name of political correctness. It's a sad sad day my friends.

  39. This is addressed to the Anonymous poster who said: "I think I might be done with the show. I'm a life long fan, but the last 5 mins of this weeks episode ruined it all. I may never come back…" My response is grow up and stop being a baby. If that is enough to make you not like Doctor Who anymore than in my opinion you are a liar because you clearly were not a "lifelong fan." On your bike.

  40. They should have made the female villain the Rani. The whole 'experimenting on humankind' is much more consistent with that character than the Master.

    In my opinion, the character of the Master has been gradually deteriorating since the Delgado/Ainley days (still think "Survival" was by far the best Master story). If they are going to use him, they need to develop the character into a genuine adversary.

    If the Doctor makes Daleks quake in their proverbial boots, the prospect of an amoral Time Lord out in the Universe could be much better used in terms of stories, especially pitted against the character of the 12th Doctor. Give you an example: What happens if the Master is willing to act to save people – *for his own ends* – when the Doctor isn't? What if saving the day means the Master wins, and the Master manipulates the Doctor into this kind of situation, to compromise his own values? Anyone else think that this kind of story would be much more interesting than throwing out a genderbent Master and rolling out the Cybermen just in time to push toys for Christmas?

    As it is, the Master lacks MENACE and INTELLIGENCE; two of the characters defining traits, and in recent years, he only possessed them during the brief moments that Derek Jacobi played him on screen before regeneration.

    John Simm was unstable, not menacing; "Missy" seems obsessive rather than menacing. The Big Finish productions have provided better modern interpretations of the character; other than that, check out "First Frontier" by David A McIntee.

    Toby Jones' Dream Lord was by far, the closest to what I want to see from the writers when they bring the Master into play. And at this point, I really don't see the Doctor wanting to spare the Master's life just because he's a Time Lord…look at what the Fifth Doctor did to the Master on Sarn. At what point does it become morally unjustifiable for the Doctor to continue to let the threat of the Master exist unchecked? (another good free story idea, BBC writers)

    While Moffat's writing has some shining moments – yes I'm looking at you, "Blink" – its starting to become really samey. Think they need to break the pattern of the showrunner writing the finales and mix it up a bit. Have a good STORY, instead of just relying on "OMG MASSIVE ALIEN INVASION OF EARTH". I don't know why the Doctor bothers with Earth so much, let alone the Master; to the latter, its an insignificant little planet in a boundless universe that is waiting to be ruled, with many more resources out there than the human race to use as tools to achieve that goal. There are much better stories to be told here, and the BBC writers aren't doing it.

  41. "I'm turning over in my grave right now! The Master should not be a female, this is just ridiculous! I know the majority of Whovians will agree with me here."

    I rather think the majority of Whovians will think you're a bit of a helmet, but really we should be impressed that you can type anything at all from BEYOND THE GRAVE!

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