Doctor Who – S9E12 – Hell Bent review

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I haven’t really been emotionally invested in Doctor Who since I began to dislike it a couple years back. After the complete ugly failure of Time of The Doctor, I’ve come to the realisation, along with many others, that whilst there are elements of the show that are still top tier, the writing is increasingly testing.

Doctor Who is still a show that I won’t miss, because I know that one day all new writers will come aboard and the show will transform into something different. Whilst there are still strong episodes, Flatline and Mummy on the Orient Express from last year were highlights, whilst Heaven Sent may be one of Doctor Who’s finest hours.

It’s of no great joy that I say that I dislike Doctor Who as much as I do. I don’t hate it, it just frustrates me. Four years of increasingly convoluted plot lines and self one-upmanship could’ve derailed BBC’s juggernaut, but it’s held on in there, even with diminishing ratings.

So when we get to a final, a showrunner written finale, which ends the emotional arc of a key character, I find myself dry eyed, whereas I can’t help but weep when I say goodbye to Donna or Rose on repeat. All credit to Jenna and Peter, they do a great job. Whilst I can’t say that Clara has ever been the best written character, Jenna has tackled the role with aplomb, and admirably done her best.

I won’t be sad to see her go, mainly cause with Doctor Who change is the most exciting thing, but also cause I never resonated with her. Still, Hell Bent does a decent job of finishing her story. Albeit the idea of her becoming some time frozen, essentially immortal special lady, flying about the universe with another immortal special lady, is kind of a cop out, but it’s a nice idea to give both characters a goodbye together anyway.

The whole second Tardis thing is just a remnant from the mangling of the history of the Time Lords left over from the anniversary. It’s such a shame that with all the mystery and fear conjured up by Eccleston and Tennant, that the Time Lords were not the good guys you thought, is undone by the massive reset button.

There’s a real jumble to the way it all comes together. Where did Galiffrey return from? How? Why? So he’s evil, but they’re not, no wait they are. It’s a mess really.

The Doctor arriving on Gallifrey should be massive. Instead, its a wet firework. The Doctor faces a couple of guards and some reasonably creepy ‘Sliders’, shoots a guy then buggers off to stand about in the dark for a while.

It’s a disappointment isn’t it.

It just comes and goes. All the build up since Day of The Doctor, the return of Gallifrey, barely happens at all.

But Clara and Me got to fly off and be happy, in a Tardis shaped like a Diner. Which is admittedly a nice touch, especially if you assume its the same diner that Amy and Rory went to.

Also, it’s annoying the way that the solider guy starts talking about Claras irreversible timeline, when Moffat has paid no attention to them before.

Then there’s The Doctor calling it “The biggest database in the universe” Is it really? It looks like a basement to me. And it’s a case of the biggest, scariest, worst, oldest thing in the whole universe again isn’t it.

Still “On pain of death, no-one take a selfie” is a damn good line.

That’s Season 9 done.

There was a perfectly enjoyable underwater two parter. The girl who died was a great set up for a bad part 2, and Heaven Sent was Midnight levels of superb. Just no more Dalek Sludge or Sonic Glasses again, please, or I’ll break something.

Rating: B-  6/10



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