The finale of series 8 of Doctor Who begins this Saturday with the first of a two-part series, and after last Saturday’s frankly boring and sentimental episode involving a confused child, some trees, and, um, solar flares, I’m hoping for a couple action packed episodes to end an otherwise disappointing series with a bang.
Between Clara and Mr. Pink’s tumultuous relationship that is basically a poor copy cat of Amy and Rory’s ups and downs and plot lines that start big but by the end deflate like a leaky balloon, the only thing keeping me watching is, aside from serious loyalty to the show, Peter Capaldi’s genius turn as the twelfth doctor. His dry wit balances out Clara’s often saccharine do-gooder attitude, and infuses what can sometimes be a cheesy show trying to communicate lessons on high morality against of a backdrop of cheap looking robots or, in the case of last week’s episode, a random forest, with a necessary darkness, and a biting sense of humor that is sharp and harsh in a fictional world where everyone is always engaged in the rather boring struggle to do the right thing. Capaldi erases Matt Smith’s charming goofiness with a more sophisticated, mature doctor, a doctor who isn’t fooled by the show’s constant reliance on a happy ending.
In any case, the finale trailer teases that we finally get to find out the identity of the mysterious Missy, who claims to be ushering people that have died in the wake of the Doctor’s appearances on Earth to heaven, though the audience gets the distinct impression she’s really a villain in disguise. It also looks like the Cybermen are coming back — yawn — and maybe Clara and Pink will finally figure out if they — oh nevermind, I can’t even finish that thought, too boring.
There are plenty of explosions ahead, and Clara might even have turned evil, which is promising, but then again, I wouldn’t put it past the writers to somehow chalk up even the most surprising moments to a mundane explanation that the Doctor miraculously figures out in two minutes after spending the previous 40 either yelling at Clara or pacing in the TARDIS. My hopes remain high however, and I will report back next week on my findings.
If you loved this season of Doctor Who, let me know in the comments. Any and all counters to my cynicism are welcome!