Dark Water


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Dark Water

Series 8

Episode 11

First Transmitted

1 November 2014

Final Ratings



Complete Series 8 cover


Series 8 Limited Edition Box Set


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Regular Cast

Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara)

Guest Cast

Samuel Anderson (Danny Pink), Michelle Gomez (Missy), Sheila Reid (Gran), Joan Blackham (Woman), Chris Addison (Seb), Andrew Leung (Doctor Chang),  Bradley Ford (Fleming), Antonio Bourouphael (Boy), Jeremiah Krage (cyberman Ryan Armstrong (Cyberman Uncredited), Mr Armitage (Nigel Betts)


Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Rachel Talalay 
Produced by Peter Bennett


One morning in every city and town in the world, the human race wakes up to face the most surprising invasion yet. Everywhere, in every land, a forest has grown overnight and taken back the Earth. It doesn’t take The Doctor long to discover that the final days of humanity have arrived.


Clara is ready to confess to Danny the adventures she’s been having with The Doctor, despite telling him she wasn’t, she’s left post-it notes around to keep track. The moment she asks Danny if he would be able to forgive her for keeping a secret, the phone goes silent. A woman picks up on Danny’s phone, explaining that a car came out of nowhere and ran over Danny. Clara is left numb by his passing, trying to call The Doctor. As she watches her phone ringing on her kitchen counter, Clara is visited by her Gran. When consoled over Danny death, a rather passive Clara says that its not his death that’s bothering her, its that it was so ordinary and boring. The Doctor finally picks up on his end, asking Clara what’s going on.

Later, The Doctor picks up Clara asking her where she wants to go, almost immediately sensing something is wrong. She asks The Doctor to take her to a volcano, all While collecting up the TARDIS keys that are hidden in the console room. She asks for a sleep patch since she’s having trouble sleeping, he turns her down without looking, allowing Clara to place the patch on his neck and knock him out. The Doctor seemingly wakes on a volcanic planet, and Clara tells him what’s happened and that she is holding the seven TARDIS keys hostage.

Clara then reveals that she knows lava can destroy them and if The Doctor doesn’t let her try to save Danny she’ll throw them all into the crater in order to prevent The Doctor from ever re-entering the TARDIS, proving that she’s serious by throwing one straight away. The Doctor point-blank refuses to save Danny since his death is part of her personal timeline, changing that event will lead to a paradox. He tries to take control of the situation by goading her to throw another key in the lava. Clara then throws all but one in, and when The Doctor still won’t help she throws the last in before suddenly being overcome by the enormity of what she’s done.

The Doctor then reveals that she didn’t actually knock him to sleep and the two are still in the console room, with this being a telepathic test to see how far she’d be willing to go to be with Danny again. When Clara asks about the state of their friendship, The Doctor says”go to Hell”. Seeing this as a justified ending of their relationship, The Doctor clarifies that he actually meant the afterlife. Almost every culture in the universe has a concept and maybe Danny is there. Seeing the extremity of her desire to see him, despite his fury at her betrayal of him, The Doctor agrees to do everything he can and connects her to the TARDIS’ telepathic circuits, as her time stream’s connected to Danny’s. The TARDIS takes them to wherever she thinks Danny now is. Clara is overwhelmed by The Doctor’s generosity of forgiveness.

The TARDIS has taken The Doctor and Clara to the 3W Institute, where they see skeletons seated in watery graves. They’re greeted by Missy. Stating that he clearly didn’t receive the official greetings package, she kisses The Doctor, and claims to be a Mobile Intelligence Systems Interface. Missy lets The Doctor feel her heart, evoking a reaction of quiet surprise from The Doctor.

In the Nethersphere, Seb asks Danny if he’s ever killed someone, due to a request from someone Danny could have killed in the army. Remembering his “bad day”, the child Danny accidentally killed is revealed to him.

Chang reveals the dark water to The Doctor and Clara. When submerged, only organic matter can be seen – the skeletons are inside something else, hidden by the water.

Danny meets with the child, who runs away when Danny tries reaching out to him. He and Seb hear a man screaming, which Seb explains to mean he left his body to science.

Chang then explains to The Doctor and Clara that the 3W was established after a discovery from television static, that their founder, Dr Skarosa, translated to be distant voices. Believing them to be the voices of the dead, Skarosa isolated some of them. Chang plays a recording of the voice that inspired 3W’s founding: “Don’t cremate me”. Chang tells them the dead are still conscious and aware of everything that happens to their body. The Doctor mocks such an idea.

Seb is explaining the same to Danny, who constantly feels cold because he’s still connected to his body, which is being kept in a cold place.

The Doctor states that the dead don’t come back, and Chang establishes a communication signal to the Nethersphere, and Clara is able to speak to Danny, with Seb’s assistance. The Doctor tells Clara to ask Danny questions only to which would he know the answer.

Missy activates the tanks, and the skeletons stand. When Chang and the Doctor arrive, Missy reveals she was only pretending to be an android and kills Chang. As the tanks begin to empty, the Cybermen are slowly revealed.

Clara asks Danny to name the restaurant that they went to on their first date – but he can’t remember.

Missy shows The Doctor the Nethersphere, which is a Matrix data slice housing minds of the deceased in edited forms, while their bodies are used for Cyber-conversion. The Doctor knows the Nethersphere (actually a small sphere within 3W) which is containing the neural patterns is actually Gallifreyan technology, and Missy reveals that she is indeed a Time Lord, or rather a Time Lady as she prefers to be called. The Doctor asks her which Time Lady she is – she’s the one he “left for dead”, without expecting her to “find [her] way back”. The Doctor runs out of the 3W, which is St Paul’s Cathedral.

Clara asks Danny more information about her and tells him that if he is Danny, she is determined to find him in the netherworld and threatens to hang up if he says”I love you” one more time instead of answering her questions. Danny tells Clara she must continue her life and not follow him, he repeats the same words for the last time and she disconnects the communication signal. Seb gives Danny the option to delete himself, which would relieve him from the surge of emotional trauma from his call with Clara.

Back in 3W, Clara turns around to see a fully-revealed Cyberman in the water tank. The Cybermen activate, and begin marching down the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. The Doctor yells at civilians to run away, but he’s dismissed as an angry Scotsman. The Doctor demands that Missy tell him who she truly is, and Missy reveals that her name is short for “Mistress” as she couldn’t keep calling herself by her previous title… The Master. The Doctor initially reacts with disbelief that quickly turns to horror when he realises she is telling the truth and his old nemesis has returned.

In the Nethersphere, Danny is on the verge of disconnecting himself, and sees the child he killed reflected on the screen of the iPad he holds.


  • This episode marks the first on screen instance of a Time Lord changing gender through regeneration, although the possibility had been alluded to in The End of Time, The Doctor’s Wife and The Night of the Doctor.
  • TARDIS keys can only be destroyed by being thrown in lava. The Twelfth Doctor had previously told Clara this at some unseen point.
  • Clara tries to use a mood patch to put The Doctor to sleep. (Gridlock)
  • In Clara’s flat, there are numerous sticky notes with references to many events of her life and alternate lives. (Asylum of the Daleks, The Snowmen)
  • This isn’t the first time that the Cybermen have hibernated in tombs. (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Nightmare In Silver)
  • A female incarnation of The Master was previously mentioned to be among his various incarnations who were captured by the Sild. (Harvest of Time)
  • The Doctor uses the TARDIS’s telepathic interface, using Clara to find Danny. (Listen)
  • Clara attempts to force the  to go back in time and avert Danny’s death. This isn’t the first time he has been asked to do so. (Earthshock, Father’s Day)
  • The Master previously had an assistant named Chang Lee that he also killed, although in that case the effect was temporary. (The TV Movie)
  • The Cybermen walking from St Paul’s Cathedral and through the London streets emulates a famous scene in the 1968-1969 story The Invasion.

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