Doctor Who, Death in Heaven, review: The knives were out, and so were the tissues in Peter Capaldi's finale

Warning: review includes spoilers

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The Independent Culture

If you weren’t an emotional wreck after watching tonight’s episode of Doctor Who then you’re as heartless as a Cyberman.

The body count was higher than usual, not including the zombie Cybermen. When likeable characters bite the dust that’s when you know things are really starting to get serious.

Danny Pink is definitely dead – even by Doctor Who standards. Not only does he sacrifice himself to save the Earth, he gives a second chance to the boy he killed in Afghanistan instead of returning to Clara.


The unexpected death of everyone’s favourite bow tie-wearing, Converse-rocking, OCD scientist Osgood also hits home hard. Apparently, no one is safe in this darker new era of Doctor Who.

If this was Russell T. Davies’ tenure, everyone would be alive and happy. But it’s not. It’s very adult drama these days and sometimes it’s hard to stomach.

Both Samuel Anderson and Jenna Coleman up their game. It turns out Danny and Clara become a lot more interesting when placed in a perilous situation.

Sadly, the Chris Addison-Peter Capaldi meet up never happened. But as deaths on Doctor Who go, Seb’s exit was memorable – no other character has been vaporized while doing “jazz hands”.

Michelle Gomez gives a devilish and dazzling final performance as Missy the female master. She’s a twisted Mary Poppins with a flirty side – the Doctor even gives her a quick peck on the lips before she’s destroyed.

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‘Death in Heaven’ is unlikely to leave a dry eye in the house. It’s a fantastic emotionally-charged, action-packed close to Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Time Lord. Yes, the Doctor still can’t find Gallifrey but at least he’s stopped suffering from an identity crisis.

“You know what I am? I am an idiot with a box and a screwdriver, passing through, helping out, learning.”

Just so.