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 …

Bassinet

Now this kid sleeps in style!

Bassinet

Time Lord Academy Graduation Certificate

Every good Time Lord needs one of these!

Graduation

Tom Baker Talks About His Return

From Unreality Primetime:

Following his surprise appearance in last Novembers Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, former Time Lord Tom Baker has expressed his thanks to fans and wished them all a happy New Year!

Baker, who appeared on our BBC screens as the fourth incarnation of The Doctor from 1974 – 1981, appeared briefly in the global celebration of the hugely popular BBC family sci-fi series, The Day of the Doctor, helping to guide then current Time Lord, Matt Smith on his quest to save the world from himself.

His appearance was warmly welcomed across the world, and Baker has revealed on his official website how he felt “swamped in love” following fans reactions, as well as revealing that he and Matt Smith did not discuss his appearance in the episode, explaining:

“Wonderful messages came in from around the world following his cameo in the The Day of the Doctor, which he revealed was filmed in Cardiff last spring. Through the wintry darkness of April, I travelled to Cardiff where my scene was to be shot. The BBC decided that I shouldn’t stay in a hotel in Cardiff in case people guessed what I was there for. Matt and I did not discuss the scene or talk about what it might mean; God forbid! No, we started just after eight am and about four hours later I was released.”

Baker also took the opportunity to reveal his experience of the London ExCel three day party held in the shows honour over the weekend of the anniversary, explaining:

“It was tumult: the fans cheered as if I had come back from the dead and the cheering did the trick… I travelled back in time: it was wonderful. I enjoyed it all.”

Finally Baker divulged his power-less Christmas period having been in the midst of the South East storms which left many homes without power over the Christmas period, as well as thanking fans for their support:

“Sue & I had to manage the best we could in the darkness, trying to be cheerful and entertaining ourselves. He looks forward to completing more recordings for Big Finish Productions in the New Year. I have never been happier at work than I am with my colleagues at Big Finish. The actors are well cast and are wonderful company.

“I am constantly touched and amazed by the personal stories people have told in my guestbook about how watching Doctor Who helped them through difficult times and inspired them to make something of their lives. Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories with me and other fans. I certainly find it very interesting.”

Doctor Who returns later this year for its eighth series, with new Doctor, Peter Capaldi at the helm of the infamous Tardis!

Santa

Santa

More Numbers

Entertainment Weekly has some more numbers for us:

The Time Lord has conquered the box office.

A special nationwide 3D screening of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary TV special “Day of the Doctor” grossed a stunning $4.8 million at the U.S. box office.

What makes this particularly impressive: That’s from one night. The 75-minute “Day of the Doctor” screened in 660 theaters as a one-night-only special event Monday and averaged $7,155 per location, with 320,000 tickets sold. Granted, the tix were $15 a pop, so that certainly helped.

In fact, the BBC’s cult favorite show was the No. 2 movie in America on Monday, behind only The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Its gross is nearly as much as The Wizard of Oz in 3D made during its entire run earlier this year ($5.5 million). And it was more than indie fav Much Ado About Nothing ($4.3 million) or bomb The Fifth Estate ($3.3 million).

And don’t forget: This screening was two days after the episode had already premiered on BBC America, so most fans had already seen it. On limited Saturday screenings, the show racked up $204,000 in the U.S. box office and $2.9 million at the UK box office.

“It’s incredible that Doctor Who has made history once again, setting record numbers across the board on BBC America, in social media, and now in theaters. It’s a testament to the fans and their dedication for Doctor Who,” said Soumya Sriraman, EVP Home Entertainment and Licensing, BBC Worldwide North America.

Doctor Who wasn’t too scruffy in the TV ratings either. A total of 2.4 million viewers watched the special’s first telecast at 2:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, breaking BBC America’s ratings records. That total rose to 3.6 million once including the show’s encore.

Moffat on Regenerations

Another from BBC America.  Now remember folks, rule #1 is that the Doctor lies.  Rule #2 – so does Moffat:

It’s been, what, 36 hours since “The Day of the Doctor” finished, and already debate is starting to build up over what the inclusion of John Hurt’s War Doctor will mean in terms of the regeneration rules.

In case you have only a passing interest, it’s been a staple of Doctor Who that Time Lords are only given the ability to regenerate 12 times, giving 13 possible incarnations. This was first stated in the 1976 story “The Deadly Assassin,” in relation to the Master, but as time has gone by, it’s becoming a more pressing issue for the continuation of the show.

Although it was thought that we had at least one last regeneration after the Eleventh becomes the Twelfth Doctor on Christmas Day. However, Steven Moffat has now revealed that this is not the case.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he pointed out that the Metacrisis Doctor (generated when the Tenth Doctor was shot by a Dalek and he diverted the excess regeneration energy into his own severed hand) counts as one regeneration, and now so does the War Doctor.

So the Eleventh Doctor is now the Thirteenth Doctor (despite what Mr Moffat may have previously clamed). And Peter Capaldi is lined up to play a man who cannot exist.

Or, as Steven himself has put it: ”The 12 regenerations limit is a central part of Doctor Who mythology – science fiction is all about rules, you can’t just casually break them.

“So if the Doctor can never change again, what’s Peter Capaldi doing in the Christmas special?”

Naturally, he offers no reply to this question, nor should we expect one until…ooh, December 25?

Thoughts?