Tag Archives: Hell Bent

Doctor Who Series Nine Review

Another series has come to an end, but what a great series it was. Seeing a more settled Peter Capaldi lead this series, he gets to show a superbly fun streak while keeping the deeply moving moments when needs to. From busting out guitar solos to heart-wrenching speeches, it was a fantastic series which built upon the 2014 run and came out high. Jenna Coleman may now have left, but we got some great episodes featuring Clara to show how much we shall all miss her. Plus, who can forget appearances from Reece Shearsmith, Maisie Williams, and even Ingrid Oliver coming back as Osgood.

  1. The Zygon Inversion by Peter Harness and Steven Moffat

Not by any means a bad episode (compared to series 8 which had a few weak episodes), but arguably I felt this conclusion to the Zygon two-parter lacked much substance to me. I felt at this point Clara was very much just being sidelined to make Osgood appear to be a replacement. The threat from the rogue Zygons never feels as grand as it should, there isn’t that worldwide ramification which is teased in the first part and to see Kate Stewart minimalised is a crime. But, the speech from Peter Capaldi does really stand out as one of the best acting movements from the Scottish actor.

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  1. Under The Lake by Toby Whithouse

Following on from one of the most thrilling two-parters ever, Toby Whithouse had to give a story which could keep the same attention as Steven Moffat had done for the previous two weeks. Though it seemed some of the cast was wasted to short parts, the characters of Cass and Lunn really make a good mark as the double act. But Morven Christie is superb as O’Donnell, it is just a shame that her great presence is then minimalised in part two. The tension builds nicely and makes for a great conclusion, which I will discuss later…

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  1. The Woman Who Lived by Catherine Tregenna

When we see Ashildr after so many years, we find that she is almost nothing like the Viking girl we met in ‘The Girl Who Died’. Maisie Williams proves to be the best guest star of series 9 with her appearances in the show. This one sees her very much become traitor as she looks to trick The Doctor to get away from earth and explore the world, but the alien Leandro looks set to make his own plans (I have to admit, he was a weak villain in an otherwise strong story). Also, it was nice having a companion-lite story and who would have thought Rufus Hound was cast so well? It may not be a classic, but Catherine Tregenna should come back!

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  1. Sleep No More by Mark Gatiss

This episode took me by surprise, making a twist to the found-footage genre and giving it a Doctor Who episode was definitely out of the ordinary. On first viewing, I was greatly impressed. But, the second time really was a killer. I still get a great chill from that last scene, as it really does infuse a horror element to the show with an effortless performance from Reece Shearsmith. The creatures themselves were a great invention, though I would think this story could be expanded upon and a follow-up could be better.

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  1. Hell Bent by Steven Moffat

The finale came and wow! First off, The Doctor is back on Gallifrey and is finally free from billions of years stuck in his confession dial. Though the Time Lords ask for his help, he merely despises for their actions and eventually dethrones Rassilon. The humour is great and to see many story strands conclude here is all well and good. But, as much as I loved Jenna Coleman, bringing Clara back really seemed to destroy the outstanding exit scene she was given just two weeks prior. On the plus side, we do get to see a second TARDIS and Ashildr returns.

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  1. The Zygon Invasion by Peter Harness

The Zygons exploded back onto the screen this year, and they brought Osgood back with them too. With the fear of a fracture in the treaty between human and Zygon, The Doctor is called upon by UNIT to help stop everything going to hell. The choice to have a mostly female led cast was genius and highlighted the best in Doctor Who with Osgood, Kate and Clara. The cliffhanger may not be the most stunning in its history, but the Clara reveal was well played and really made the stakes high.

INVASION OF THE ZYGONS (By Peter Harness)

  1. Before The Flood by Toby Whithouse

A two-parter unlike any other, this second part saw The Doctor travel over 100 years to the past to see what happened to cause these ghosts to appear. As well as meeting the mole-like Prentis, we also get to see The Fisher King, one of the most haunting and creepy monster’s to appear in the show. The combination of three separate actors bringing The Fisher King to life was indeed impressive and how long will you be questioning if Beethoven really made his own music?

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  1. The Witch’s Familiar by Steven Moffat

Fighting the Daleks, stealing chairs and drinking a cup of tea from an unknown source was just the starters of this episode. Seeing two hero/villain double acts fill the majority of the episode was impressive. While Clara and Missy teamed up to save The Doctor, The Doctor and Davros were getting chatty and some serious and fun moments evolved from that. The joke about the only other chair on Skaro will be a long lasting one. Also, kudos to the special effects team, Skaro looked really cool.

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  1. The Girl Who Died by Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat

Jamie Mathieson wrote the superb ‘Flatline’ last year, and it was not an easy task to follow on from that. But, he did so and more. A Viking village is attacked by alien race The Mire and young Viking Ashildr declares war against the warrior race. The Doctor and Clara then have just 24 hours to train the village to become warriors like those they have lost. Putting in many great jokes, some stunning action sequences and seeing The Doctor talk baby again. A winning episode which finally tells what helped the Time Lord get the familiar looking face he currently holds.

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  1. Heaven Sent by Steven Moffat

Imagine being stuck in a loop for billions of years, being chased by a creature that can’t die and won’t stop. Imagine being all alone with no companions and no exit. The Doctor literally punches his way out of this nightmare trap over the years and slowly wears a wall away until he is free. Seeing a vulnerable and frightened Doctor, it was a great in-depth look into the mind of our hero and a story which could never be replicated. A grieving Time Lord after losing his friend is a dangerous thing.

HEAVEN SENT (By Steven Moffat)

  1. Face The Raven by Sarah Dollard

We knew it was coming, but who would have thought the death of Clara Oswald would have been so moving? Jenna Coleman provides one of her greatest performances as she does her best to save friend Rigsy and tries to be like The Doctor. Learning the hard way she can’t be like the Time Lord, the ultimate price is paid for trying to be more than human. The Doctor physically and mentally is shaken by the series of events, and even looks to destroy former ally Ashildr after she sets up the trap which puts all these events into motion. Seeing Clara fall to the ground will haunt Doctor Who fans for many years to come…

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  1. The Magician’s Apprentice by Steven Moffat

To start off on such a massive high is a huge gamble, but started what was to be a fantastic series can’t be denied. With The Doctor missing, Missy and Clara working together and the best axe battle of all time, there was a lot to enjoy. The biggest surprise comes in the opening minutes when The Doctor meets a young Davros on a battlefield and leaves him to die. He then goes to hide, knowing that Davros survives the events and is looking to get him. With the pace being hectic, yet grounded, we have such a strong opener which floods the screen with references and characters. All perfectly placed, all pieces move towards what becomes the biggest ever cliffhanger in the history of the show!

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Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

 

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Episode Three: To Galaxies Far Far Away

Episode three of the podcast is now available. Reviewing the series finale of Doctor Who, ‘Hell Bent’ presents a story of two halves. Also, details on that christmas special and what me and Tara B are hoping to see in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Listen in now…

http://thesingingwhovian.podomatic.com/entry/2015-12-06T08_06_15-08_00

Doctor Who – Hell Bent. “Get off my planet.”

A finale of two halves is given to us here. ‘Hell Bent’ is a piece of Sci-Fi with many layers which some multiple views shall be required to get them all. The first half was superb, the second maybe not so much. In the Nevada desert, The Doctor is wandering around until he enters a similar looking diner. He finds a woman there who looks like Clara, though neither of the two seems to recognise each other (we will come back to this after). The Doctor is a broken man, he has been pushed to his limits and is ready to take what is his own; Gallifrey. After fighting for billions of years to get out of his confession dial to get home, all he wants to do is just rest and take in being home. The high council all panicking and fearful of what The Doctor is going to do, the idea of the “hybrid” is obviously not sitting well with them (and being the main reason for locking him away). President Rassilon is intent on getting rid of The Doctor, knowing that The Doctor can defeat him. After sending soldiers and other members of the council to bring The Doctor into the capital, Rassilon eventually comes to claim The Doctor himself. The Doctor only has four words for him, “Get Off My Planet”. The Time Lords don’t want to fight The Doctor, and they all side with The Doctor and we eventually see Rassilon getting chucked off Gallifrey. The Doctor, still clearly very angry, is determined to get one more request fulfilled before he is willing to divulge information on the hybrid. They need to see Clara, acquire her just before she dies…

HELL BENT (By Steven Moffat)

Using an extraction chamber, they are able to obtain Clara between her last two heartbeats of her life. The Doctor uses this as a way to keep her alive and take her away from her doom. Being frozen, she has no pulse and is ageless. The Doctor knows he is risking huge splinters in time by taking her away from her fate, and fights the Time Lords and the Sisterhood of Karn to get to The Cloisters. It is here The Doctor comes to steal a new TARDIS and hopes to pull Clara far enough away to give her life back and re-ignite her pulse. They go all the way to the end of time, just minutes away from the last remnants being destroyed. Clara is still frozen, but they do encounter Ashildr who has survived all the way to the end. The Doctor claims her to be the Hybrid, and this is denied. The Hybrid is by Ashildr to be The Doctor and Clara, a Time Lord and a human who both have the same characteristics and are willing to do anything. With The Doctor knowing he can’t save Clara, he decides he will have to wipe her mind of her time with The Doctor (similar to what he did to Donna in series 4). The device he goes to use is tampered with by Clara, and it results in The Doctor forgetting about Clara. Though he loses her face in his mind, he mostly remembers Clara by the time their chat in the diner finishes. Clara then leaves The Doctor in the stolen TARDIS with Ashildr and leaves his TARDIS for him. Clara tells Ashildr she will go back to Gallifrey to finally die, but wants to have some fun first. The Doctor takes to his TARDIS, and picks up a super-cool (I know, but it is) new sonic screwdriver and prepares for a new adventure.

I have heaps of praise for Peter Capaldi, this year he has been superb. From his top speeches, the quirky moments and the guitar solos have made him stand out as a top Doctor. Seeing The Doctor finally tread on Gallifrey again for the first time since the Time War, it was fantastic to embrace that and see what he would do with the power granted to him. Although this takes away somewhat from the epic death in ‘Face The Raven’, Jenna Coleman was great to see one more time. We see that she just wants to accept her fate, and knows she has to tear away from this hybrid combination that will destroy time if they stay together. Donald Sumpter gives a great move as Rassilon; it is just unfortunate we don’t get to see more of him in this episode (though this could be setting him up as the Minister Of War? Or am I looking into that too much?). Maisie Williams has done a superb job in this show, Ashildr has surely become the River Song of this series and I mean that very positively. Her character appears at the times when it is required and to see her right at the end of time is a nice touch and adds real solid ground to the shaky second half of this story. I feel Steven Moffat wanted to achieve so much in this story, and the call-backs to ‘The Impossible Astronaut’, ‘The Day Of The Doctor’ and ‘Listen’ work well in creating this story (and the trapping of Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels in the cloister room). But, the whole aspect of bringing Clara back like that following her death was a bit too much. I was hoping she may appear pre-death sentence for The Doctor to say goodbye. Also, Ken Bones and Clare Higgins make great cast additions and really cement the re-emergence of the Time Lords that began with the 50th anniversary special. We now know that Gallifrey is back in the fold, The Doctor is free to travel again and it’s time for him to meet his wife again. But, has River Song been a bit naughty?

Overall, a great episode. Not as strong as the previous two leading into this story, but I feel Moffat should have just restricted the Clara role more as she was dead (and this is mentioned many times). Will the four billion years take a toll on The Doctor? I can’t wait to see. Such conflicting thoughts I have in certain aspects, but I still enjoyed this episode a lot and I can forgive the few problems to say series 9 has been nothing short of fantastic. Bring on Christmas!

Final rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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