Hell Bent – New Who Season 9 Episode 12 Review

Season finale here we go!!  Spoilers as always.

We open up to the Doctor getting out of a truck in Nevada with a bag and a guitar.  Not how we left off, but I like the visual.  He enters a diner and there’s Clara working as a waitress.  Haven’t we seen this diner before?  I’ll come back to that later.  They chat while he plays, he says the song’s name is “Clara” and she says “tell me about her”.  Clara doesn’t know who Clara is?

After the credits we’re back to Gallifrey.  The Doctor marches through the desert while the Sisterhood of Karn join the High Council.  Well, he’s actually going to the barn that we saw in The Day of the Doctor, where he had the Moment.  An old woman comes in and looks very happy to see him.  His mother?  Next thing we know he’s at a small table eating with a massive group gathered around him.  He looks kind of happy until a ship comes down and points a giant gun at everyone.  The Doctor gets up, draws a line in the sand, then goes back to his meal.

First the head of the military arrives at his door.  He shuts it on him.  Next the high council. The same.  Next, the president.  When the president offers his hand, the Doctor drops the confession dial containing his torture chamber at his feet and tells him to leave the planet.  The president tells soldiers to aim at the Doctor and fire on his command, but because the Doctor is a war hero, the soldiers won’t do it right away.  We see them aim and fire and then we switch back to the diner.

So if you haven’t been following, this is the part where I tell you that the diner isn’t really a diner.  It’s more the in-your-own-head kind, where the Doctor is going to tell Clara how clever he is.  Right?

Okay, so all of the soldiers intentionally miss.  Then, a few at a time, they drop their weapons and join the Doctor.  Reinforcements arrive to aid the Doctor, and even the head of the military joins him.  The president is told to get off the planet, and later the head of the military points out that he may have nowhere to go because they’re at the far end of everything.  The Doctor says he doesn’t care, and he plans to send the high council off as well.

The Doctor has a chat with the military head and sisters.  Basically what we already knew about the Hybrid according to their prophecies.  He promises to save them but needs an extraction chamber to talk to an old friend.

Flash back to Clara’s death and time freezes just before the raven enters her.  She goes into the extraction chamber and it’s explained to her that she’s basically in a form of stasis and once they’re done with her she’ll be returned to the moment she was in previously and will die as she was supposed to.  The Doctor grabs a gun with the intent of saving her, but Clara tries to talk him out of it.  They say if they save her time will fracture. He asks the head of security how many regenerations he has left before shooting him, grabbing a human compatible neural block and taking Clara away.

The head of security regenerates into a woman, and the sisters come in.  They say he’s going to the Cloisters, and they were right.

Back at the diner, the Doctor is telling his waitress this story, though made less spacey and more Earthy.  She tells her that he had to wipe Clara’s memories of him to protect her.  So it looks like the diner isn’t in his mind after all.

With the Cloisters we see various creatures that tried to break in and were trapped, including a Dalek, several Weeping Angels and a Cyberman.  They find the hatch out but are trying to work out the key to open it.  While they chat, Clara realizes it’s been an extremely long time for the Doctor since he’s seen her.  You can see that makes her sad.  When this is all said and done they’ll most likely need to say goodbye again, and I’m not sure I can handle that twice in one day.  She asks lots of questions about what happened, and he downplayed it as he told the story.  While this was happening the military and sisters were arriving.  So Clara asked *them* how long he was trapped inside the confession dial.  The answer was 4.5 billion years… they *think*.  Clara was devastated.  She told the Doctor that her time was up and they needed to tell each other everything they needed to say because this was it.  I can’t handle this… Seriously.

She then goes back to the Time Lords and tells them they’re monsters.  She’s right though.  She gave them a short speech about how terrible they are and when they asked what she said to him she replied that she told him not to worry and that they’d all be looking at her.  Of course when they looked over he was gone.  They asked what he’d do and she told them he was stealing a TARDIS and running away, at about the time one materialized around her.

The Doctor said she should be “alive again” once they broke free of Gallifrey but she didn’t get a pulse back.  The tattoo is also still on her neck.  They head to the end of time and she still has no pulse.  There’s a knock at the door and the Doctor says it’s me.  He goes outside and there’s Ashildr.

“Do you know why we run, Doctor?  Because summer can’t last forever.” – Ashildr

Hmmmm, sounds very Game-of-Thrones-y to me.  In their quick little chat, Ashildr basically says that Clara died for who she was and they don’t have the right to change that.  Then inside the TARDIS Clara uses the sonic sunglasses to turn on the viewscreen, just in time for a conversation about the Hybrid.  The Doctor suggests it’s Ashildr and she suggests it’s him.  In reality, Ashildr thinks it’s actually a combination of two people – the Doctor and Clara.  She points out that Missy introduced the two of them.  The Doctor then tells Ashildr that he knows he went too far and he plans to save Clara by putting her on Earth somewhere in the middle of nowhere and wiping her memory of him.  He plans to tell her first, or so he says.

They both come inside the TARDIS and Clara says she was watching.  When the Doctor explains his intentions she says that she used the sonic sunglasses on the neural block and she’s keeping her memories.  The Doctor tells her she’s right.  But he’s gone too far to protect her so one of them has to go.  He says he doesn’t know what the block will do, but I think he does.  They push the button together.  The Doctor starts to pass out, then says goodbye to Clara and out he goes.  Damn it I’m crying again.

The Doctor wakes up in the desert with a man standing over him.  The man says Clara asked him to look out for him and that he might be a little upset.  At the diner, the Doctor explains that he knows there was a girl whose name was Clara, he knows they traveled together by the holes in his memory, knows the adventures, but can’t remember *her*.  Only her name.  I’m sad all over again…

He starts spinning in his chair saying he thinks they were there together once.  Just enough time for Clara to wipe the tears from her eyes and for me to start all out bawling.  He then remembers that it was Amy and Rory he was in the diner with.  Clara dropped a hint about maybe the memory of what she said to him in the Cloisters becoming a song… maybe the one he was playing.  She walks into the back room of the diner, which is now the inside of the TARDIS with Ashildr inside.  The diner disappears from around him as the TARDIS takes off and he’s left in the desert again.  And he’s standing in front of his own TARDIS.  The front of it has been decorated as a memorial to Clara… including her image.

In the other TARDIS Ashildr thinks the chameleon circuit is broken so the exterior will be stuck as a diner.  Must be a common problem with those things.  Clara still has no pulse, so she knows she has to die.  To do that she has to go back to Gallifrey so they can put her back in her time stream.  But she can take the long way round, so it looks like she’ll travel with Ashildr for a bit.  That means we could potentially see them again or even (I hope not) have a spinoff, although *someone* would need to get killed off of Game of Thrones first.

The Doctor steps inside his TARDIS while we listen to what I like to call “The Clara Music”.  I suppose we won’t be hearing that anymore, which makes me sad.  Everything lights up, and on Clara’s chalkboard we see “Run you clever boy… and be a Doctor”.  His velvet jacket is hanging there as well so he puts it on.  We also get a brand spanking new sonic screwdriver and the doors close with a snap of the fingers.  Then he goes off to his next adventure, which will be the Christmas special.

I really didn’t think I was this attached to Clara, but I guess I was.  That or I’m a stupid emotional woman, maybe both.  I have a ton of theories and things going on in my brain right now but because there could be about a million different things …

Heaven Sent – New Who Season 9 Episode 11 Review

After that last episode I’m not sure how much I want to keep going, but I guess I will.  Spoilers as usual but lets hope this one doesn’t make me cry…

We start basically where we left off.  A voiceover of the Doctor talking about death and then he appears from his teleport.  He’s in a giant glass tube… and he looks afraid.  He steps out, remembers Clara and then looks sad.  He finds some sand on the floor, then gets angry.  He’s out for revenge, no matter what he was told.  He starts wandering around and talking to the person he assumes is there.  He seems to be in a castle, and finds a shovel with dirt on it.  But we don’t know if he’s still on Earth (I’m assuming he is) or who brought him there.

Eventually a TV on the wall activates and shows the Doctor looking out the window.  A figure from another window across the castle is wearing a hooded cape and watching him.  I think it’s Clara.  Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.  We see a bunch of flies buzzing around and a hooded figure (the same one?) advances on the Doctor, who runs.  He finds himself at the end of a corridor with a locked door.  He forms a telepathic link with the door and it opens.  He then catches himself saying “See Clara…”.  Oh there’s going to be a lot of sad… The doors open to a brick wall.

He says he’s scared of dying then everything stops in front of him.  The figure, the flies, all frozen.  The entire building shifts around like some sort of puzzle.  The entire levels shift around going different directions, along with an enclosed bridge that crosses a courtyard.  The door behind him opens and he runs through.  Now in a bedroom with fresh Lillys, a TV and a big (not to mention very old) painting of Clara.  I wonder if the figure is the Doctor, who’s been locked in the caste for centuries and is responsible for bringing himself there?  Or maybe it’s Ashildr.

Speaking of the figure, he appears again.  The Doctor says that someone’s been stealing his nightmares.  He jumps out the window and next we see him in the TARDIS,  He’s talking to the back of Clara (why not her front?) and telling her he thought quickly so that everything around him slowed down.  That he’s actually falling right now and thinking about how he’ll be in the TARDIS telling her how he escaped.  He worked out that the castle is next to salt water and the gravity and such works into a likely survival scenario.  Then he hits the water.  Underneath, he sees the entire bottom covered in skulls, no actual land in sight.  After crawling out he finds he’s in the middle of the “courtyard” (which is just the water with a small shore) and the only place to go is back inside.

He finds a fire with his own clothes drying by it.  He changes out of his wet clothes into the dry ones (the exact same ones he’s wearing) and hangs his wet ones where the dry ones were.  A time loop of some kind?  Maybe during the whole time he’s in this castle only minutes will pass.  He moves to another room with another TV along with a missing tile in the floor with sand where it should be, and a bunch of arrows pointing to it.  In his mind, he keeps talking to Clara and she keeps asking questions on a chalk board.  We only see the chalk board, which is kind of sad.  I suspect Jenna Coleman wasn’t actually contracted to be in this episode, since the back of the head we saw didn’t look like her hair and we’ve never seen her face.

The Doctor now believes he’s in a fully automatic haunted house, maze-style.  He believes the idea is to trap him inside and scare him to death.  He goes outside into another courtyard, one with actual grass.  We keep seeing a circular pattern with a hole (up until now sand) in the middle and this is no exception.  This time it’s dirt, and I think he’s supposed to dig based on the dirty shovel we saw earlier.  Sure enough, we see another shovel and he does exactly that.  Although once I get a better look at it, it almost looks like he’s digging his own grave.  It’s the right shape for it.

He digs for a while and then we see the flies again.  The figure tries to come out through the door but the Doctor jams it closed with the shovel.  The figure heads to the room with the missing tile.  I feel like that’s a way outside.  In the meantime the Doctor resumes shoveling.  Eventually he finds a large stone that says “I am in 12”.  Then the flies are back and the figure grabs him from the pile of dirt.

Now we’re back talking to Clara’s chalkboard in the TARDIS.  He realizes that he’s being interrogated and the only way to stop it is to tell truths he’s never told before.  Wait, is this to go on the confession dial?  Missy had it at the beginning of the season but I can’t remember ever being told details on how she received it or what was actually on it.  Could Missy be behind this or is it still Ashildr?  Maybe something else?  No, I can’t see that.  Anyway he says there are truths he can never tell but admits to being alone and afraid.  It’s a sad side of the Doctor that I don’t enjoy visiting but is necessary to see.  It’s like seeing a good friend or family member in pain, and you just want to make it stop.

He tells the figure that he left Gallifrey because he was afraid and it goes away.  Then the maze shuffles itself around again.  We then see the castle is basically a self contained island in the middle of nothing.  Just water in all directions.  And the Doctor sees it too.

We then see (or are told) how he spends his time.  If he draws the creature to one end of the castle then runs to the other, he can get a maximum of 82 minutes before it reaches him again.  He uses that time to eat (but where is the food?), sleep and look for room 12.  If he leaves a room long enough it will revert to the exact condition it was in when he arrived, which means he can’t set anything up to return to it later.

“Or maybe I’m in hell.  That’s okay. I’m not scared of hell, it’s just heaven for bad people.” – The Doctor

The Doctor goes to the room where he first arrived, picks up a skull and sees the word “BIRD” written in the sand.  Then a wall moves and reveals a set of steps.  He follows them and finds himself at the top of the tower in the center of the castle.  He’s surrounded by water far below.  He leaves the skull there and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see it still there later.  Heading down, we find room 12.  He opens the doors to find a blank wall.  He goes back up and the figure joins him again.  He tells it that the Hybrid moved the starts before the time war and that’s why they’re out of place.  It’s half Dalek and half Time Lord, and he knows where it is.

The figure moves away and the walls move again.  Room 12 is open.  Beyond the doors lies a long corridor with a bright wall at the end.  The word “Home” flashes on it for a moment.  The Doctor realizes he’s one confession away from his TARDIS and they want to know about the Hybrid.  He sinks back into his mind where he can talk to Clara but you can see the despair on his face when he knows that no matter what happens she’ll still be gone.  But we finally hear her and see her and she tells him to win.  And I find myself misty again… I think she’s actually gone.

The Doctor snaps out of it and tells the figure he won’t say anything about the Hybrid.  Then he starts hitting the wall and starts to tell a story.  The figure wraps its hands (claws?) around his face, he falls to the floor and then the figure appears to teleport away.

Back in the TARDIS of the mind, the Doctor explains how dying can take days for a Time Lord if they’re too injured to regenerate.  His plan is to drag himself to the top of the tower before he dies.  This place was his own personal torture chamber all along, and there were never any other prisoners.  So while he’s talking we see him drag himself to the tower, to the room where he first arrived, the one with the teleporter.  There should be a copy of him on the hard drive, exactly as he was when he arrived… 7000 years ago.  He knows from the stars.

In the room, he burns up his own body as energy to start the teleporter.  He is the skull he found in the room, and a new copy of himself appears in the teleporter… one without all of these memories.  Before he dies he writes “Bird” in the sand.  Then the room resets again with the new arrival.

Then we see he does the same cycle over and over.  But every time he does it he chips away at the wall in room 12.  For some reason that room doesn’t reset.  2 billion years at last count before he broke through that wall, before the light hit the figure and it collapsed into a shroud and a pile of gears. He walked through and found himself in a desert.  His castle collapsed into what looked like his confession dial.  He sees a boy and tells him to go find someone important and say that he’s back.  We see him run toward the city.  Toward Gallifrey.

The Doctor tells the dial that the Hybrid is not half Dalek.  That it is destined conquer and then to stand in the ruins of Gallifrey.  That it is him.

Guess we’re back to the home planet sooner than expected.

Face The Raven – New Who Season 9 Episode 10 Review

My “free time” will be coming to an end sooner than I’d like, so I’m trying to get as many of these done as I can.  So here we go, and remember: Spoilers sweetie.

We start with the Doctor and Clara running back into the TARDIS after what sounds like quite an adventure when the phone rings.  Yes, *that* phone.  She answers and it’s Rigsy.  He has a number tattoo on the back of his neck and it’s counting down.  Well we can’t just ignore something that strange now can we?  When we arrive we see that he has a child.  His wife had told him that he left the previous day before dawn and came back after midnight, but he remembers nothing and apparently skipped work.  His phone got a crack during that day, but there’s nothing on the phone to indicate that day existed at all.

After some scans, the Doctor tells Rigsy he’s had significant contact with aliens in the last day… and that he’s been retconned (TORCHWOOD!!!!  I just did a little happy dance).  He then tells him he’s going to die.  Rigsy says he has to fix it because saving people is what he does, and the Doctor says he will but I don’t feel like his heart is really in it.

They start looking for a street that’s gone “missing” because the Doctor believes this is how they’ll find out what happened to Rigsy.  This does involve a bit of a cool scene with Clara hanging out of the TARDIS wearing the sonic glasses while they fly over London, but it really is just filler.  They find three potential areas that could contain the street so they split up.  Never a good idea but they do converge on the area.  Clara runs back to the TARDIS for some things but winds up just grabbing Rigsy’s phone, on which the data was recovered.  When he touches it he starts remembering things.  Aliens, a body, and then they find the street they’re looking for.

The floor locks them in place, and some aliens in disguise (human holograms basically) come out and ask them why they need asylum.  They say this is a refugee camp… and then we see Ashildr.  She seems to be a running theme this season.  So why do I feel like she’ll be the one to end Clara’s time with the Doctor?  Maybe I’m wrong, but back to topic.  We find out that Ashildr is responsible for the tattoo on Rigsy, that he committed some sort of crime.  She said she sentenced him to death, wiped his memory and sent him home to say goodbye to his family even though he didn’t remember any of it… She also plans to wipe the memories of the Doctor and Clara.  One of the others calls Rigsy a murderer, so we must be to believe that he killed the woman we saw on the ground earlier.

The street lamps are actually causing a telepathic field which makes us see everything the way we want.  When Ashildr pinches the Doctor he sees an Ood working on a Cyberman instead of a person wrapping another person’s head.  We’re taken to a room where we see a body in what looks like a cage.  Apparently she was found at the entrance to the street, with Rigsy standing over her.  That assume he caused the head wound which killed her, but Clara disagrees.

On the street, a man begs Ashildr for his life.  He was sentenced to death after stealing medicine for his wife.  She shows no mercy, and a raven comes out of its cage and kills him painfully.  Ashildr says that if they can convince the crowd that Rigsy didn’t kill the woman she’ll spare him.  Clara finds out that Rigsy has two options.  He can get her to remove the tattoo, or he can give it to someone else if he can get them to take it willingly.  Clara’s plan is to get Rigsy to give her the death sentence.  Since Ashildr promised the Doctor she wouldn’t be harmed when they arrived, she figures she won’t have to face the raven at all.  After some convincing he agrees, and the tattoo moves to her.

Meanwhile the Doctor is questioning people on the street.  One of them says that when they found Rigsy with the woman he asked them to call him a doctor.  In other words, he wanted to call *the* Doctor.  Only they didn’t know that… But Ashildr did.  Now the Doctor knows that Ashildr knew that Rigsy knew him and she lied about it.  Follow that?  Good.

The dead woman could see people’s pasts and so could the women of her whole species.  The woman had a son so that wouldn’t help.  Only Clara knew better.  The son is actually a daughter dressed as a boy, and she can see that Rigsy didn’t do anything wrong.  She can’t see what Ashildr is doing because it involves the Doctor, but she does know that she’s afraid of something.

Ashildr had told the Doctor that the dead woman was being kept there until someone could take her home to be buried.  Their species actually burn the dead, so another lie.  At the body, the Doctor discovers that she’s actually being held in a status chamber, meaning she’s actually alive.  The machine is set up so the Doctor has to use the TARDIS key to unlock it.  When he does, it puts a metal band on his arm.  Ashildr arrives in time to say it’s a teleport bracelet and he’ll be given time to say goodbye.  She has made a deal with someone.  In exchange for delivering the Doctor her street will be kept safe.  She also takes his confession dial, but she doesn’t seem to know what it is or how it works.

Ashildr moves to take the tattoo from Rigsy but it then comes out that Clara has it.  When Clara took the lock from Rigsy it changed the way this all works.  She can’t give it back and Ashildr can’t remove the lock, at least that’s what Ashildr says.  The Doctor tells Clara he can’t fix it but then tells Ashildr that she will or he’ll destroy everything she has and put her in her own personal hell for all of eternity.  But Clara steps in and then things are just sad for a moment.  She says her goodbyes and tells the Doctor to go on and be a good person about it and not to take revence.  I don’t expect her to die now, but I’ll admit I got a bit teary.

She walks into the street, the raven enters her, and that’s the end of Clara Oswald.

The Doctor threatens Ashildr and then he’s teleported away… and the episode will be continued…

Wow, okay, I didn’t expect that at all.  I expected them to find a way to save Clara before the raven got her and I expected some quick resolution to the while lets-kidnap-the-Doctor thing.  However, I didn’t realize it was a two part episode.  I suspect that’s not quite the end of Clara, but maybe I’m wrong.  I guess we’ll see soon enough.

The Woman Who Lived – New Who Season 9 Episode 6 Review


We open on what looks like a stagecoach robbery and flash over to the Doctor stepping out of the TARDIS tracking something.  This is the second part of the previous episode, so I’m expecting to see out “little girl” appear again.  Think she’ll be all grown up or still a child?

As usual, the Doctor mucks things up and accidentally lands in the middle of the robbery.  Whatever he was tracking was on the stagecoach, and he let it get away while arguing with the robber.  I noticed he said something about Clara being on holiday, so perhaps she’s not in this episode, which seems strange.  Anywho, the robber is our little Ashildr, and yes, she’s still a little girl.  Turns out she’s learned how to use a man’s voice when she wants, which is creepy…

She seemed disappointed that the Doctor didn’t come for her.  Maybe we’re setting up for our next companion?  Probably just for this episode… So we find out that Ashildr is 800 years old, and simply robs people for the excitement.  She has all kinds of money and a house with a servant.  Seems she’s bored, and a companion’s life *is* full of adventure.

And quite quickly, she actually asks to go.  Says she’s seen and done it all on Earth and can’t even remember most of it.  After all, she has a human brain and has lived much longer than a human ever should.  She’s pompous and arrogant but still sad.  She also knows way more about the Doctor than she should, and come comments lead me to believe she’d be willing to steal the TARDIS if given the opportunity.

She says she’ll help him find what he’s looking for and they’ll leave in an hour.  The Doctor reads her diaries to discover that she was once a wife, a mother.  She lost her love and her children and vowed to be alone to never suffer the pain again.  To avoid the heartbreak she hardened herself, much like many of us do.  Only things aren’t exactly as they seems.  Ashildr goes and visits her creature outside and eludes to some sort of plan.

Our duo goes to break into a house to find some artifact they’re both looking for, and we see the return of the sonic sunglasses.  Damn.  I was really hoping they were gone.  We also find she’s not used the second immortality charge.  Very quickly they find “The Eyes Of Hades”, which is a pretty ominous name.

They sneak out, only to get held up at gunpoint, then get out of that.  The Doctor discovers Ashildr’s “friend” Leandro.  Leandro was stuck on Earth and needs the amulet to escape.  They need to kill someone to make it work and Clayton the servant is the planned sacrifice.  The Doctor intervenes and gets himself captured while Ashildr decides to get her sacrifice at an execution instead.  Maybe there’s a bit of good left in her.

The Doctor talks (bribes) his way out of captivity and arrives just in time to start helping the condemned man entertain the crowd, then step in with his psychic paper and claim it’s a pardon.  It worked until Ashildr uses the amulet on him… so much for the good in her.  But the portal opens and it’s not an escape but an invasion.  Ashildr realizes she’s not as hard as she thought she was.

It’s hurtful, isn’t it?  It’s infuriating.  You think you don’t care, then you fall off the wagon.” – The Doctor

The only way to stop this, to close the portal, is to reverse the death of the man causing it.  Sam Swift, our condemned man… And we have an immortality charge which hasn’t been used.  Bingo.  So is he immortal now?  Is he not?  Who knows…

The Doctor chats with Ashildr and explains that he can’t take her because they need normal people around them to keep them grounded.  We even got a nod back to Captain Jack in the conversation.  They’re friends, and she plans to clean up the mess he keeps leaving behind.  I think it’s possible that this won’t be the last time we see her.

Sure enough, in the very next scene Clara comes to see the Doctor with a selfie from one of her students.  There, in the background, Ashildr.

This episode to me was mostly a reminder of who the Doctor is.  Who he turns people into, what he causes, and how people around him die.  There seemed to be a lot of foreshadowing to later episodes where we will perhaps see the demise of Clara and another appearance of Ashildr.  This entire episode basically felt like “something’s coming”.