Main content

Dark Water: Fact File

The read through for Dark Water took place on Thursday, 12 June, 2014. The shoot began the following Monday, 16 June and locations for the episode included Cardiff, Pontypool and, of course, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Roger Delgado (the ‘first’ Master) in 1971's Terror of the Autons.

So, Missy is the Master! The character first appeared in 1971 and became a kind of Moriarty to the Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes. Although they are usually (but not always) on opposing sides, the two characters have a grudging respect for each other, possibly best summed up by the Doctor who described the Master as his ‘best enemy’. They were friends on Gallifrey before they both left their home world and perhaps elements of this friendship still linger. In The Five Doctors, the Master mused, ‘A cosmos without the Doctor scarcely bears thinking about.’ Find out more about Missy / the Master.

‘I am Missy… Mobile Intelligent Systems Interface.’ This is a typical ploy of the Doctor’s old enemy. The Master employed countless disguises during his previous escapades and has masqueraded as a 13th century nobleman, a telephone engineer, a Colonel, Cambridge professor and in The Daemons, the local vicar in a village called Devil’s End!

The Cybermen are back! First seen in the First Doctor’s final adventure, The Tenth Planet, the Cybermen have undergone numerous ‘upgrades’ over the decades with this latest version debuting in Nightmare in Silver. Find out more about the Cybermen.

1967's The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Seeing the Cybermen outside St. Paul’s Cathedral evokes memories of the Second Doctor story, The Invasion. In that adventure, earlier versions of the Cybermen invaded London and the shots of them outside the cathedral became instantly iconic. The weekend of Dark Water’s first broadcast marks the 46th anniversary of The Invasion which began 2 November, 1968.

The layout of the Cybermen’s ‘tombs’ as the Doctor calls them in Dark Water, reflects the look of their tombs as seen in the 1967 adventure, The Tomb of the Cybermen. In both stories the tombs are simply resting places for the Doctor’s old foes who spring back to life following the Time Lord’s arrival.

‘Remember we did this before? Plugged you into the TARDIS telepathic interface?’ The Doctor is referring to the events of Listen when Clara accidentally took the time machine to Danny’s childhood.

At one point, Missy yells, ‘Bring out your dead!’ In 1665 ‘searchers’ were paid to find victims of the Great Plague. Many of them would drive their carts through London shouting ‘bring out your dead’. They would then collect the corpses and take them away to a mass burial pit.

Clara’s birthday is 23 November. We know from the tombstone seen at the close of The Snowmen that ‘Victorian Clara’ was born 23 November, 1866 and, of course, Doctor Who’s birthday is also on that date: the very first episode of the show was broadcast 23 November, 1963.

This isn’t the first time the Doctor has been asked to go back in time to avert a death. Following the death of his companion, Adric, in Earthshock, Tegan suggested that the Doctor went back to save the young man’s life. The Doctor refused, adding that ‘some laws cannot be broken’.

Sheila Reid as Clara's gran.

Dark Water features the return of Clara’s gran, the woman who tries to comfort her after Danny’s death. Last seen in The Time of the Doctor, the character is again played by Sheila Reid.