Doctor Who: Hell Bent

What a loaded Season 9 Finale of Doctor Who! Hell Bent definitely wasn’t the way I thought it would be, but with this show surprises can definitely be something good. Spoilers are coming your way!

hell bent

What was it about?

The Doctor uses his status as a war hero on Gallifrey to get back his beloved Clara. He is willing to tear apart time itself apparently, but his realisation about the hybrid and his best friend leads with them having to part ways anyways. 

My thoughts?

I know I say this almost every week, but I seriously don’t know where to start! I enjoyed last week (although not as much as some of you guys), but I definitely didn’t see this continuation of Heaven Sent coming! At the same time, this is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t think that Clara deserved such a short and uneventful death like the one in Face the Raven. She was and still is important to me and I wanted her to get a spectacular exit – Hell Bent gave her that and so much more! In the end she became what she was heading towards the entire time – immortal, running away with a TARDIS and possibly even her very own companion – basically the Doctor. I am sure that many won’t agree, but to me, that was really the perfect ending for her. And like with River, there is a slight possibility of Clara and the Doctor crossing paths again. I LOVE IT!

I think what got to me the most though, was that this was almost like a reversed Donna-scenario. When I realised that Twelve didn’t recognise Clara, I was heartbroken for her! Imagine your best friend not knowing who you are anymore … it’s really quite sad, especially since he was so convinced that he would recognise her. In the past I’ve complained about the excessive use of Twelve and his electric guitar, but wow, I am so glad he played Clara’s theme, that put some more cracks into my heart. Anyway, I am still wondering what exactly Clara told the Doctor in the Cloisters …

We haven’t had an episode on Gallifrey for a long time and they didn’t shy away from including some popular monsters as well. I almost wish they’d made it more Gallifreyian centered though, because it’s such a great setting for all kind of stories. However, aside from that I loved seeing all the other Time Lords and Ladies and how they idolise and fear the Doctor. Then again, I couldn’t believe some of the changes he had went through in those 4.5 billion years (still can’t believe it was that long!). He wasn’t really the Doctor anymore, I mean for crying out loud, he shot someone (even if he knew that he still had a regeneration left). It’s kind of frightening to think what all the Doctor would do for Clara. Which brings me to my next point!

The hybrid was Clara and the Doctor in the end? Did I get that correctly? Was that what was happening? Because after the last episode it was pointed out to me that “me” could have been the Doctor or Ashildr, which I was apparently way too tired to really notice. Many would have liked to see Ashildr become the Doctor’s new companion (I wasn’t one of them), but she ruined her chances of that. However, it was fitting that they met at the end of time and I am  now sort of hoping that she’s Clara’s new travel companion, taking the long route to Gallifrey.

Now, last but not least – THE SONIC SCREWDRIVER IS BACK! And it’s a glorious and fantastic looking one that I would love to add to my own collection!

I am sure I once again missed a ton of references to pre-2005 Whovian episodes, so if you wish to share some of your observations in the comments, be my guest! Also, sorry if I went on a tangent every now and then … it’s late. Other than that, I can only finish with being really excited for the Christmas Special. River was always one of my favourite characters!

14 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Hell Bent

  1. I need to watch this again to figure out how I feel about it… there’s so much to take in! I love the new sonic though. And Clara and the Doctor’s parting was sad, even though I think I would have preferred Clara to have stayed dead.

    As for classic references… I think the only one (that I can remember) that new series viewers might not get at first would be the Matrix, which is like the Nethersphere but infinitely bigger.

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  2. I really enjoyed tonights episode.I actually really dig him playing his guitar but then again I love people playing them so I might be because of that lol .Anyway I liked how they ended it with Clara and finally we got a run you clever boy .I was sad that that was not said in Face The Raven so I was very happy to see it here.I can’t wait to see River Song again in the Christmas episode.

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    • I thought it was cool the first couple of times he played the guitar but then it was every episode and it got a little on my nerves. AND YES! I am so glad there was a “Run you clever boy” as well. I really missed her saying it.

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  3. I liked this episode, but I found that it didn’t really impact me until the final third, when we see where it’s going and what it’s doing. It was interesting to say the least though. It showed how Gallifrey had been affected since it was time-locked, how the Doctor had reached the status of a god among them, and it explained the real reason why the Doctor left Gallifrey: he really was afraid of himself! Interesting. And the fact that the Doctor and Clara together are the hybrid and capable of destroying so much because they fear losing each other really came out of left field for me. And I like how even though the Doctor forgot who Clara was, he does I think realize that the woman he told the story to was her and that they did right by each other. I think he’s also a little healed now. These past two seasons he’s been in conflict over his role, about who he is, but he saved his best friend, and I think we’ll see a lot more smiles from him now. AND Clara gets a little more time, time to have a bit more fun and save some more people before her death. She can even do…something so that Orson Pink comes along (yeah, I’m still hung up on that).
    So now there’s a chance to see more of Ahildr and Clara, and more of Gallifrey too, and maybe Rassilon as a bad guy again. I like the possibilities of that.
    And I love the new sonic screwdriver! I can’t wait for the toy to become available.
    Also, the spare TARDIS was basically the First Doctor’s TARDIS, probably filmed at the Doctor Who Experience (though you might know more about that than me), and the Matrix was a well-known subject of DW stories from the time of the Fourth Doctor. That’s all the classic references I know of.
    Now if you need me, I’m going to write my own review of the series.

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    • I didn’t think the episode was perfect either, but I adore what they did for Clara. You’ve put so much time in your comment and I feel bad for replying in such a short manner, but you already mentioned everything important and I don’t really know what all to say. Except maybe that Clara can’t get pregnant in her current state. Her body is biologically frozen between two heartbeats, I don’t see how she could get pregnant that way. Also, did you know that River has a sonic trowel now? hahaha

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  4. You’ve already read my write-up (and I quite enjoyed yours!), so I won’t repeat myself too much. Rassilon was established in the classic series, as the founder of Time Lord society, and appeared once, in the 20th anniversary special. He was played by Timothy Dalton in the 50th, but not identified as Rassilon until his final scene, and wasn’t properly reintroduced as the founder of Time Lord society. The guy who played him last night had bit parts in 2nd and 3rd Doctor episodes decades ago… and didn’t get much more screen time than that tonight.

    The stolen TARDIS console was the wrong color — the first 7 seasons of the classic series featured a green console, because that looked better in black-and-white (but Season 7 was in color), but last night’s was white. DAMN YOU, MOFFAT! 🙂

    In the classic series, companions were written out efficiently and usually on short notice, either when the actor was fired or when their contract expired (Susan, Jo Grant, and Sarah Jane being notable exceptions to this). Writing companions out of the new series is MUCH more effortful and almost always involves temporal shenanigans that permanently rules out their returning ever again… it took 3 episodes to sort through Clara’s exit, with lots of looping twists and turns that seem to have forgotten what goes where (like, are the Time Lords still going to be pursuing her?!).

    Still, I was happy where Clara ended up in the end, after I was very unhappy with “Face the Raven”.

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  5. I absolutely LOVE Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi is my favourite by far. He brings gravitas and other lovely nuances to the role. Seriously, “Hell Bent” was a powerhouse of an episode, especially when you consider that he was essentially the only actor in it for almost the entire run time! I was thoroughly gripped by the metaphysical timey wimeyness of it all, and the reveal that he was actually in his own Confession Dial for billions of years… well, that blew my brains out.

    The final episode was great too. It was a great pay-off for Clara’s story. I completely agree there. It feels like the ending that Clara should have, and Me is the perfect travelling companion. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we might see those two pop up again somewhere down the line, much in the same way that River Song, Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax have. It’s great that the Who universe can incorporate a great supporting cast like this.

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    • Thank you so much for your comment! I find Capaldi to be good Doctor, but simply not my favourite. I think I was one of the few people who wasn’t actually all that transfixed by Hell Bent :/ and I actually saw the Confession Dial thing coming hahaha
      The final episode was great though! I am so glad Clara got a proper ending and not a useless death! She could really get a spin-off show, just like people have been suggesting for the Paternoster Gang. I would definitely watch it 😀

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