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 …

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

Spoilers…

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”.

The Girl Who Died – New Who Season 9 Episode 5 Review

I know, I’m so far behind it’s pathetic.  Life’s getting in the way again.  As usual, spoilers are expected here.  Time to watch an episode that *seems* to promise a dead girl…

We open with Clara floating through space with some sort of creature trying to kill her and the Doctor bouncing in and saving the day, all within the first minute.  Do we have an action packed episode in store, or are we foreshadowing to the death of Clara…?

Within the next couple minutes they’re captured by vikings and the sonic sunglasses are destroyed.  I’m *not* sorry to see those things go.  They were like the ones the theater gives you for a 3D movie.

Within seconds of showing the viking village I spot Maisie Williams (Arya Stark, for Game of Throne fans) and I have high hopes for the episode!  The Doctor seems to recognize her, so I suspect we’ll see a bit of her this episode.

The Doctor tries to pass himself off as their God Odin but the “real” Odin appears.  It appears to be some sort of invasion as the troop steals the strongest, including Clara and Arya-I-mean-Ashildr.  They’re put in a room where they’re zapped (and killed) if they leave, then the back wall starts pushing them out.  Typical brains-over-brawn kind of scene.  Next thing you know, the ladies are outside the enclosure and the men are nowhere to be seen.

Clara tries to bluff her captors into thinking that she’s a lot tougher than she is, with a lot more resources and a lot more backup.  It’s getting kind of old now, as we’ve seen this more that once previously.  It seems that Odin has been crushing up warriors to get their testosterone to drink it.  Mmmmm…

The universe is full of testosterone.  Trust me, it’s unbearable. – Clara

After a failed attempt at reasoning, Odin agrees to a war and sends the girls back down.  Not, however, before showing his true face to them (but not us).  So which baddie are we in for?  A known one or a new one?

Upon their return, Clara manages a hug out of the Doctor, and it was his idea.  I’m convinced something tragic is going to happen to her soon (this season?).  Once the villagers are filled in, the Doctor suggests running and they (the farmers who are left) want to stay and fight.  Because that seems like a good plan… So he gives up on them and Clara, as usual, manipulates him into staying to help.

That basically means a crash course in fighting, which doesn’t go so well.  It’s good for comic relief, if nothing else.  But eventually we need to get on with things and Clara gives the Doctor a pep talk to push him into figuring out what needs to be done.  As it turns out he just needed to talk to the baby to come up with a brilliant plan.

The village spends the night constructing their elaborate scheme.  Basically they steal a helmet, alter it and Ashildr puts it on and uses it to make a puppet appear to be a monster.  Oooo scared, running, threats from Odin, teleporting away and that’s that.

Only it wasn’t.  Because the little girl died.  The Doctor is quite upset, more so than normal.  But that leads him to the reason why he has the face he does (as well as some nice flashbacks).  It’s to remind himself that he saves people.  I love that we finally acknowledge that we’ve seen his face before.

With a field med kit he brings the girl back to life (feels like cheating to me).  He gave a second one to her to use on whomever she wants… I think he just created an immortal.  If the kit never stops repairing her, she can never die, right?  Would she age?  Clara seems oblivious.

Sure enough, in the next scene that’s exactly what the Doctor explains.  He gave her a second kit in case she meets someone she can’t live without.  Very unsubtley (is that even a word?), the Doctor suggests that Clara is his someone that *he* can’t live without.

To be continued… I didn’t expect it to keep going…

This one wasn’t too bad but they seem to be dropping a lot of hints about the potential demise of Clara.  What did you think?

Jenna Coleman Interview

About a week and a half ago Zap2It had an interview with Jenna Coleman where she talked about everything from ComicCon to food.  Yes, I’m just getting around to it now.  Sorry!  Read on below:

Jenna Coleman might be the luckiest girl in the “Doctor Who” universe. She joined the show as the Doctor’s mysterious companion, Clara, in its 50th Anniversary season and found herself working with Matt Smith on his final episodes. Soon, she’ll help usher in a brand new Twelfth Doctor (to be announced in a live international TV special airing this weekend).

In less than a year’s time, she’s acted alongside famous guest stars including Diana Rigg, John Hurt, Warwick Davis, Richard E. Grant and David Warner and just recently made her first trek to Comic-Con (where her boyfriend, actor Richard Madden, also turned up to promote HBO’s “Game of Thrones”).

We sat down with Coleman for a one on one chat during the recent TCA summer press tour to discuss “Who”-mania, the upcoming 50th Anniversary and Christmas specials, what it was like working with iconic stars from “Who” past, and (because we couldn’t resist) what she thought of the “Game of Thrones” Red Wedding.

We even had a special guest interrupt the conversation…

Let’s talk a little bit about the 50th. I know you can’t say too much, but what was the vibe like on set, since it was the 50th Anniversary special. Did it feel like a regular episode?

Jenna Coleman: No, it didn’t. It was different in so many ways. Because it’s 3D, the way of shooting is totally different. The cameras are a lot bigger. It takes a lot more time with set ups, and actually filming the show. Also, just having so many people on set. It’s such an ensemble cast, with the three Doctors, with Billie Piper, myself, lots of different characters.

It was a really nice feeling because every day felt like a celebration. There was just a buzz. You knew you were part of something special, and part of the history of the show. There was that kind of atmosphere around. I have to think it will be lovely to look back in a few years and be like, ‘Cool, I was part of that whole thing!’

It looks like David Tennant and Matt Smith have terrific chemistry together judging by the Comic-Con trailer. Was that evident on the set too?

Yeah, from the read-through actually. You read it in the script, and you’re like, ‘This is brilliant. This is brilliant.’ It was so snappy. And just the kind of the humor that David’s doctor has, and then Matt — they’re very different doctors, very different but also there’s definitely a meeting of minds in humor. Then there’s also the antagonistic stuff as well going on. And John Hurt is completely his own [Doctor]. It’s just a great dynamic of the three of them being the one person.

Had you met Billie Piper before or was this the first time?

This was the first time I had met her. I heard a lot about her. Matt’s really good friends with Billie, so I felt like I met her before.

Did you compare companion notes at all?

It’s funny, the stuff you talk about is more like the logistics of like, ‘Oh yeah, I used to eat at this place.’ ‘Well, actually did you know about this place?’ ‘Oh, I stayed in this place.’ We shared notes on that kind of thing, and then we just really got on. She’s great to have around. She’s got such a good energy on set as well. We all had special chairs made for us for the 50th. In between takes and stuff like that, we’d sit around and it was just like a big family.

It sounds exciting.

It was, and we’d all get Nando’s at lunch. Do you have that here?

I haven’t heard of it.

It’s like a spicy chicken take-away. We’d all bond over Nando’s. It was everybody’s birthday as well, which was weird. It was my birthday, David’s birthday, Joe, our lead cameraman’s, birthday. I’d never been on a shoot with so much cake!

Did John Hurt eat Nando’s also?

No, John wasn’t into Nando’s.

I had to ask! Switching topics a bit, Steven Moffat said at Comic-Con that he’s still writing the Christmas Special with Matt’s departure. I’m not asking for spoilers but do you know anything about it at all?

I know a tiny little bit, but to be honest, I like to wait for script. I like to read it as the page turns.

At what point did you find out Matt would be leaving?

It was always [talked about] from day one. It’s not a decision that he’s made lightly, and it’s something that we’ve been all talking about for a while, so I kind of knew from the start, really, that, that was what was going to happen.

Did you get any reassurance for Clara that if the Doctor leaves, she would stay?

I’m trying to think how it went. I think the idea was, as it always is in the show, we get to know the doctor and a companion for a couple of seasons before they move on.

I definitely don’t want to see her go yet. We’ve only spent half a season with her, and during that time she was mostly a mystery.

That’s what I’m very excited about is that we can actually get the more human side. We couldn’t get to know too much about her because she was a mystery last year. It’s going to be nice just to have her as a human, as a girl. There’s quite a lot to explore still, I think.

When David Tennant left he was on his own, but Matt’s departure seems more similar to when Christopher Eccleston left and Rose got to continue with another Doctor.

It’s only been done once with Rose, I think. At the moment, it feels like a blank canvas. It’s totally in Steven’s mind. That’s what’s kind of exciting, with the nature of the show, we could go anywhere with it. I suppose there is an element of starting again as well which is always so exciting about the show.

I don’t know how they did this with Billie, but have you been involved in the casting process for the Twelfth Doctor in terms of chemistry tests or things like that?

Yeah, I think it’s a good way to do it. Obviously I had a few auditions with Matt, and I know Matt read with some of the [other] potential companions. I think it’s really good for the writers as well to see us read together.

It’s going to be exciting to have a front row seat to the casting because I’ve been on the other side of it quite a lot on different jobs. I’ve never actually been the girl reading with them, so it’s interesting. I like to see lots of different actors do the same scene, and how different they can make it and what they can do.

Have you started thinking at all about your own ending on the show? The Doctor’s companions are always leaving, and this seems like a very exciting time to be a part of “Doctor Who” because Arthur [Darvill] and Karen [Gillan] and Matt have all gone on to great roles.

Yeah. I saw Arthur on Broadway [in ‘Once’]! His voice is insane. I don’t know. It still feels very much like I’m at the beginning, but what’s quite nice is I’m working on something else [BBC miniseries ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’] at the moment. I sort of have a break and then I have another break, after Matt goes, later in the year because I know I’m not shooting until January. It means I get to explore other projects and come back, and that keeps me very happy.

What’s your role in “Pemberley” like?

I’m playing Lydia Wickham, who is, I apologize already to every single viewer because the director gave me the note, ‘We all should want to slap you in the face,’ so I’m basically as annoying and awful and hysterical a drama queen as possible. I’ve had a great time having a license to just be ridiculous, basically. But everybody else has to sit and witness it, so sorry about that.

I hope it’s okay to ask a “Game of Thrones” question, but what was your reaction to the Red Wedding, since you must have known that was coming?

I think my reaction was just this [jaw drops], for about five minutes. That’s something that I knew was coming, but it was just hand over mouth, shock.

And at Comic-Con you shared a panel with David Bradley [who plays Walder Frey on “Game of Thrones” and stars in the upcoming “Doctor Who” docudrama “An Adventure in Space and Time”], had you ever met him before?

No. He was in [‘Doctor Who’] but that was before I was. He’s a good friend of my boyfriend’s, and also Matt has said some wonderful things about David Bradley. He’s a rock star. He’s cool. You know somebody is a good actor when it makes you feel uncomfortable, afterwards even.

[At this point Matt Smith jumps in briefly to tease Coleman.]

Matt Smith: Is she still going on? I’m really sorry. She’s really boring.

I can’t get her to stop talking!

[Coleman to Smith:] Pipe down, Smith. Go eat some caramel wafers.

[Smith walks away smiling.]

Sorry about him.

It’s funny he did that because he keeps mentioning the great friendships that he’s made on the show, and it must be a little sad to think that he’ll be leaving soon.

I’ll miss him. I will so miss him. We don’t say things like that to each other. But I just can’t imagine it yet. That’s the thing, I don’t need to because we’ve not finished. We have yet to say our goodbyes and yet to even read those goodbyes, so I’ve not moved on. I’ve not dumped him just yet, you know what I mean?

You want to make the most of it.

Oh, massively. [Smith’s first full episode] ‘Eleventh Hour’ is one of my favorite episodes, and it’s one of Matt’s as well. I think he’s been such an incredible, amazing Doctor. [The Christmas special] is going to be such a tribute to Matt, and to the Eleventh Doctor.

We both just want to really go in there and make it up there with ‘Eleventh Hour’ — as strong as possible to give him the best goodbye possible. It’s gonna be exciting. Coming to Comic-Con, and seeing the trailers and things like that, you’re like, ‘Aw, I missed that,’ because we hadn’t done it for a couple of months. It’s like, ‘Let’s get ourselves back to Cardiff, and make some “Doctor Who”!’

The “Doctor Who” 50th Anniversary Special airs worldwide Nov. 23.

Another Panel At SDCC

This is nearly my dream panel!

David Giuntoli (Grimm), Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who)

It should be a rule that the person holding the camera is quiet.  Watch out for the super loud high pitched screams.  It would also be nice to find a copy of this taken from a closer perspective (pointing at the people not the screen) but I can live with this copy minus the screams.

Richard Madden Surprise

Richard Madden was talking to Nerd HQ during San Diego ComicCon when he got a special surprise.  Check out 41:20 or so onward… wait for it!: