Doctor Who RECAP: Welcome to Hell, Danny (S8:E11)

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EXT. LONDON STREET

Oops, Danny’s dead. Hit by a car. Hope you didn’t tune in three seconds too late.

CLARA:
This is too ordinary of a death! If he’d been disemboweled by a Neptunian Snot Termite, sure, that I could accept! But an boring old traffic accident? Hell, no! Because if I’m going to lose my boyfriend, the Doctor owes me a better story about how it happened!

The TARDIS arrives.

CLARA:
(suddenly acting sweet)
Hey, you know how if you had a discreet little joy buzzer that harmlessly put people to sleep, kind of like an electronic Vulcan nerve pinch, it’d pretty much be the most useful thing ever and we should be pulling them out six or seven times an episode? Well, I’ve been having trouble sleeping so let’s just say we’ve always had just such a device lying around and never thought to use it for anything but a substitute Ambien. Can I borrow it?

THE DOCTOR:
Well, I’m not sure that’s a good idea—

Clara sneaks up and zaps The Doctor with said device, and we abruptly cut to:

INT. MOUNT DOOM

The TARDIS is sitting inside a volcano, and Clara is holding all seven TARDIS keys out over a ledge above an ocean of exposed magma because actual volcanoes have those, sure, why not.

DOCTOR WHO RECAP: Welcome to Hell, Danny (S8:E11)

CLARA:
You’ll rewrite history so Danny doesn’t die or I’ll toss all the TARDIS keys into this volcano because it’s the only thing in the universe hot enough to destroy a TARDIS key and holy shit we really did just rip this off from Lord of the Rings, didn’t we?

THE DOCTOR:
You’ve gone mad, Clara! If the magma was that hot, your clothes would catch on fire just standing this close to it and you’re not even sweating.

Clara tosses in one of the keys.

CLARA:
And I’m going to keep tossing in another key every time you point out a reason this scene makes no sense!

THE DOCTOR:
In that case, 1) volcanoes are not remotely close to being the hottest things in the universe, 2) there’s no way every single one of my hiding places for TARDIS keys would be in one room, 3) even if they were, they wouldn’t be in easily accessible spots that you could quickly and quietly reach in a few seconds while my back was turned, 4) since when does the TARDIS have precisely seven keys anyway, and 5) I don’t even need the fucking keys anymore because we’ve established many, many times that I can open the TARDIS with a snap of my fingers.

Clara tosses all the keys away but one.

CLARA:
Change time so that Danny is alive again or I’ll destroy the final key!

THE DOCTOR:
Listen to me, Clara! You can’t just go around willy-nilly rewriting time!

CLARA:
Have you even seen this show?!

Clara tosses in the final key, locking The Doctor out of the TARDIS forever!

THE DOCTOR:
Except this is all a dream.

CLARA:
Yeah, right. How lame would that be?

THE DOCTOR:
No, really, you didn’t use the Vulcan nerve pinch machine on me; I used it on you. I just wanted to see how truly distraught and desperate you were because I’m a dick like that. See, we’re still in the TARDIS.

They are.

CLARA:
And now you know I really would have destroyed all the TARDIS keys given the chance. What do we do now?

THE DOCTOR:
(actual line)
Go to hell.

CLARA:
I understand. I guess this is goodbye forever.

THE DOCTOR:
No, I mean I’m going to take you to hell, or heaven, or wherever it is human souls go when they die.

CLARA:
Then why the fuck would you phrase it that way?

THE DOCTOR:
Because, what part of “I’m a dick” do you not understand? I mean, why did I even make you go through that whole dream sequence if it wasn’t going to change anything?

CLARA:
Wow. So we’re really travelling to the afterlife?! THIS IS GOING TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT AND SPECTACULAR JOURNEY THE DOCTOR HAS EVER—

THE DOCTOR:
And we’re here. I told the TARDIS to take us to the place where you and Danny would cross paths again, and voila, it’s right outside the door!

CLARA:
Wow, it’s that easy and you never thought to do it before now?

INT. EMPTY OFFICE

Danny Pink is sitting behind a desk in a room with no other furniture or decoration, having just arrived in the afterlife. A bureaucrat walks in, and it’s his office—so don’t ask me why he’s never decorated it or why Pink is the one behind the desk. Trust me, these are going to turn out to be the least problematic things about this version of the afterlife.

BUREAUCRAT:
You’d think I’d calmly and directly walk you through what’s going on here because not only would it be the humane thing to do, but it would also make my job a lot easier. But what the hell, I’m going to be pointlessly glib and obtuse.

DANNY:
Where am I?

BUREAUCRAT:
Here, take a look out the window.

doctor who 8.11 office window

If you’ve been watching all season, you know the afterlife is a garden paradise where our overarching villain Missy lives… and also fuck you, it’s now an domed mega-city with maybe upside-down skyscrapers hanging from the top or something.

BUREAUCRAT:
Welcome to the Promised Land.

INT. CORPORATE OFFICE BUILDING

Clara and The Doctor leave the TARDIS to find themselves in the hallways of the 3W Corporation. Along the walls are glass tanks with skeletons sitting in chairs under water.

doctor who 8.11 halls of skeletons

On a pedestal is a book that projects a 3D promotional video because we’ve got to get some exposition somehow.

VIDEO:
The 3W Corporation preserves the bodies of the dead to protect them in the afterlife.

The video ends and out walks Missy.

MISSY:
Greetings, I am the Mobile Intelligent System Interface, but you can call me MISI. Are you here to visit the resting place of a loved one? Or would you rather just make out?

Missy—er, I mean, MISI kisses The Doctor passionately.

doctor who 8.11 kissy missy

MISI:
Now it’s time for second base.

MISI grabs The Doctor’s hand and puts it on her chest.

THE DOCTOR:
If you’re a robot, who built you? Who maintains you?

MISI:
I am maintained by the doctor.

THE DOCTOR:
Doctor who?

Yes, he really says that, and it’s actually pretty awesome.

MISI:
Doctor Chang! Visitors!

DOCTOR CHANG:
Hello! I’m the only genuinely nice and helpful person in this entire episode! I hope I don’t meet with a quick and untimely end!

EXT. BALCONY

Don’t try to figure out what room of what building this balcony is attached to. All that matters is the Bureaucrat and Danny are continuing their conversation here.

doctor who 8.11 balcony

BUREAUCRAT:
Say, ever kill anyone?

DANNY:
Good to see the dialogue is as on-the-nose in the afterlife as it has been all season. Why, yes, that does happen to be my one defining character struggle, how did you know?

BUREAUCRAT:
Because someone put in a request to see you as soon as you made it to the afterlife. Here he is now.

In walks a 12-year-old boy Danny accidently gunned down during an intense battle in the streets of Iraq or maybe Afghanistan or whatever, not a lot of thought has gone into the details this season. We know it’s an intense battle because of the sound effects even though not one other soldier, allied or enemy, is shown in the entire flashback, because extras are expensive.

12-YEAR-OLD BOY:

DANNY:

12-YEAR-OLD BOY:
(runs away)

BUREAUCRAT:
Hmm, maybe should have come up with a point to that scene. Oh well, hindsight’s 20/20. Anyway, you’ve got an incoming call on my iPad… because technology in the afterlife is identical to 2014 London except that we use tablets for phone calls here apparently.

INT. DOCTOR CHANG’S OFFICE

Doctor Chang shows off a jar of magic water that makes everything invisible that’s not part of a living creature, why not.

DOCTOR CHANG:
That’s what all the dead bodies are sitting in because… people like watching their naked, dead loved ones rot… or something. The whole point of this company is that people pay to preserve the bodies of their loved ones because we believe damage to the body is felt by the soul in the afterlife. Other than the pain of rotting down to a skeleton, I guess.

THE DOCTOR:
Why would anyone think the soul could feel the pain of the dead body? Since the nerve cells and brain cells aren’t functioning, that’s ridiculous on its face.

DOCTOR CHANG:
And yet still not in the top 1,000 problems with this whole setup. Anyway, we’ve been receiving psychic messages from the dead begging not to be cremated, so what other conclusion could we reach? Here, take a listen.

VOICES:
(over a small PA system)
Don’t cremate me! Don’t cremate me!

doctor who 8.11 doctor chang's office

DOCTOR CHANG:
Those three words are all they ever say.

DANNY:
(over the PA system)
Hello? Who’s there?

CLARA:
Danny! It’s me, Clara!

DOCTOR CHANG:
Allow me to express no surprise or interest in this conversation.

THE DOCTOR:
Me, either. Wanna go grab a bite to eat or something?

DOCTOR CHANG:
Sure, the cafeteria’s on the third floor.

THE DOCTOR:
Later, Clara.

They leave. THEY LEAVE. THEY FUCKING LEAVE!!! Is talking to a dead person too boring for you, Doctor?! This is why you came here!!!!!!!!

doctor who 8.11 leaving

THE DOCTOR:
It’s just that I feel like there’s some clue I’m missing.

The Doctor and Dr. Chang disappear into an elevator with the Cybermen logo on it because, as ever, there’s nothing more important to supervillains than branding.

CLARA:
Danny! Prove it’s you! What restaurant did we go to on our first date?

DANNY:
What? I don’t remember.

CLARA:
Typical guy. Tell me something only Danny would know to say.

DANNY:
I love you.

CLARA:
That’s the most obvious thing an imposter would say! Tell me something else!

DANNY:
I love you.

CLARA:
Say it again and I’m hanging up.

DANNY:
Wow, that’s twice in one episode you’re threatening an over-the-top, self-destructive action if one of the men in your life tells you something you don’t want to hear. Bitches be crazy, huh?

CLARA:
I’m serious, Danny! I’m going to find you and be with you wherever you are!!! All you have to do is say something other than “I love you” so I know it’s you.

DANNY:
But I don’t want you to be dead… so I’ll simply say I love you.

Clara hangs up. SHE HANGS UP. SHE FUCKING HANGS UP!!! Do you have that little impulse control that you’d hang up on your dead boyfriend because he annoyed you for a few seconds, Clara?! This is why you came here!!!!!!!!

doctor who 8.11 clara on phone

INT. 3W CORPORATION HEADQUARTERS

The Doctor and Dr. Chang return to the original hallway they started in because since The Doctor’s just wandering aimlessly anyway it might as well be in a set that’s already been built.

THE DOCTOR:
There are a million obvious questions I could ask you since you’re standing right here and perfectly cooperative—like what year is it, what planet are we on, how many bodies are here, who are your customers, how long has 3W been doing this, why are you and a robot the only two employees, etc.—but something tells me the writers didn’t bother coming up with answers to any of that stuff.

MISI:
Right you are, Doctor!

DR. CHANG:
Wait, did you just say she’s a robot? Because she isn’t.

MISI:
Oh, Dr. Chang, I’m going to kill you now for no reason, but not until you say something nice.

DR. CHANG:
Then clearly I have no motive to say something nice. What kind of idiot would do that?

But he does, and MISI… er, Missy kills him.

doctor who 8.11 misi

MISSY:
And look, a floating Gallifreyan hard drive!

Sure enough, one of those appears.

THE DOCTOR:
How do you have access to Time Lord technology?

MISSY:
Because I am one, of course. Didn’t you feel my two heartbeats when you felt me up earlier? Anyway, I’ve been uploading the minds of every single human that’s died since at least Robin Hood’s era into that hard drive, and upgrading their bodies here in these tanks.

She drains the tanks of the magic water, revealing the skeletons are all inside Cybermen bodies.

doctor who 8.11 draining tank

THE DOCTOR:
What horrible future is this?! I must warn everyone!!!
(beat)
Except for Clara. I’m just going to leave her here in Cybermen Central.

The Doctor flees the building to discover he’s in the middle of modern day London!

THE DOCTOR:
Wait, so the 3W Corporation exists in Clara’s time? Why hadn’t she heard of it? Wouldn’t a company preserving millions, if not billions of dead bodies because of a horrific message from the afterlife made a few headlines? And didn’t Dr. Chang think it was weird that he had access to all of this clearly futuristic technology?

MISSY:
There you go asking questions. You know the writers of this show don’t know or care about any of that stuff. They’re just going to cram wild plot point after wild plot point down our throats, each one invalidating the last, all for the cheap and fleeting shock value. Speaking of…

EXT. BALCONY

Danny and the Bureaucrat are still talking.

BUREAUCRAT:
That phone call must have been very upsetting for you. Wouldn’t it be easier not to have any emotions? We can erase those for you. Just click confirm on the iPad. Seriously, do it. Because for some reason the Cybermen now require your consent to erase your emotions, unlike every other Cybermen episode ever!

EXT. STREETS OF LONDON

Picking up with The Doctor and Missy right where we left off…

MISSY:
See? Screw all previously established plot points! BWAHAHAHA!

THE DOCTOR:
But that’s madness! All science fiction is based on establishing and following clear rules! You’re destroying any semblance of coherent reality!

MISSY:
It’s what I do. For Missy is short for Mistress… Which is the feminine form of The Master!!!

doctor who 8.11 doctor and missy

CREDITS.

TV Show: Doctor Who
Tag: Doctor Who

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  • Cy Chase

    At least…they gave us…a female reincarnation…?

  • sousaphone93

    I’m glad you recap the episodes so I don’t have to watch them.

  • elpinche

    I thought the Master went a bit bananas after his last run in with the Doctor. I was thinking that it was Rani.