#975 – Doctor Who-esday: Death in Heaven
After solving some downloading issues with iTunes, I was finally able to watch “Death in Heaven.” I enjoyed the Series 8 finale, but was left wanting much more.
As far as what I enjoyed, the Cybermen felt like a real threat in this episode, mostly due to their sheer number. I also thought I was watching the “Thriller” video when the Cybermen were coming out of the graves. I also enjoyed the relationship between the Doctor and Missy as well as the Doctor’s development.
The ending, however, left me wanting more. Clara and the Doctor are obviously very important to each other. I can’t handle their relationship ending the way it did, propped up by two very big lies. Hopefully the Christmas special will rectify this ending and give us a more satisfying one. I was already excited for the new Christmas special but, after the ending of “Death in Heaven,” I’m even more excited.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching “Death in Heaven.”
Last week we learned that Missy’s “Promised Land” was just a Gallifreyan hard drive. This week we learned that Missy potentially invented the entire idea of the afterlife so that she could store human consciousness. I was raised in a Christian home so I have no conception of a worldview without an afterlife. Ever since I was little I have heard about heaven and hell. We will spend our eternal lives either with God or separated from God. Other religions have always had some understanding of life after death. This small piece of the truth can push people to live differently or better, hoping to have a more preferable afterlife. I’m happy that my afterlife isn’t built on anything that I can do but on what Jesus has already done.
One of the most moving scenes in “Death in Heaven” involved Clara and Danny, who had been transformed into a Cyberman. Apparently Danny hadn’t deleted his emotions in the Nethersphere, which made his life as a Cyberman difficult. Danny begged for Clara to turn on his emotional inhibitor so he would no longer feel pain. We don’t have a switch to inhibit our emotions, but we do have a lot of ways to numb and ignore them. Addictions can numb our emotions and a lot of us have gotten really good at suppressing our emotions, pushing them down way below the surface. Neither of those options truly inhibits our emotions, though. The pain is always there and will always find some way to express itself. The only way to ease our pain is to actually address it. We need to bring it to God and trusted friends; they can help us walk through it, experience it deeply and then let it go. It may not be as effective as a switch, but we’re humans not Cybermen.
This series has had a lot to do with friendship and relationships. We saw Clara and Danny’s relationship grow and develop. We saw the Doctor and Clara’s relationship grow and develop. In “Death in Heaven” we even saw the Doctor and Missy’s relationship grow and develop. When asked by the Doctor why she had given him an army of Cybermen, Missy said that she needed her friend back. Even after centuries of fighting and scheming, all Missy wanted was her friend. Our friendships and relationships are powerful; we cannot survive without them. We saw the relationships among Doctor Who’s characters change. We need to accept that our friendships and relationships are going to change as well. We may want to cling to some idealized version of a relationship but, by letting go, God may bring us something even better.
I liked “Death in Heaven” and I really liked Series Eight. I thought Capaldi’s maiden voyage as the Doctor was great and I can’t wait to see where he takes the character from here. I’m also sad to see Clara go; she was a great companion, one handpicked by Missy herself. Hopefully Clara has one more yuletide T.A.R.D.I.S. trip in her because I can’t have that heartbreaking hug with the Doctor be her last.
What did you think of “Death in Heaven?”