A few weeks ago with Sleep No More, I said that it was a Doctor Who experiment that had failed. With Doctor Who: 9×11 – Heaven Sent though, they’ve tried something new again, but this time brought us a season highlight which next week’s finale will have trouble topping.
After the events of Face the Raven, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) finds himself trapped in a castle with the only company being a shrouded creature who stalks him through the corridors, forcing him to confess his secrets. With some secrets hidden deep within his mind though, can The Doctor escape before being forced to reveal them?
What we have with Heaven Sent is a chance to see Peter Capaldi in his element, and that is acting his ass off once again. Being the only vocal character but for a fleeting visit from Jenna Coleman we see him at his most arrogant, and also at his more fearful as he finds himself in a hell designed to pull the truth out of him however long it takes. We learn some interesting facts in this episode, but also just how good Doctor Who as a show can be.
The danger of an episode like this is while it works for many people (as it did with me) I can see some people feeling that this episode didn’t deliver. To put on an episode like this on a Saturday night is a very brave move, but it is a move that personally I think Doctor Who fans should love. We finally learn what The Hybrid is (and I won’t be revealing it here) and we get a hint as to who may have been behind the events in Face the Raven, and we get the perfect scene to set up next weeks finale. In my view, Heaven Sent is an episode that we really needed this season and we finally got down to business.
While not everybody is a Peter Capaldi fan (we all have our favourite actors who plays The Doctor) one thing we have to admit is the fact he is a good actor. He is able to put this episode on his shoulders and run with it, keeping the audience invested in a well written episode. It’s quite surprising that this is a Steven Moffat written episode, but it is nice to see the showrunner has actually got back on form with his writing. It is also no surprise that he would take control of the pivotal episode of this season, and thankfully he delivered.
Now that we move onto next week and the big confrontation, I do worry that the episode will not live up to what we’ve seen in Doctor Who: 9×11 – Heaven Sent. All season I’ve waited for the show to hit its stride, and it is a shame that it’s taken so long to pull out an episode like this one. I’d not be surprised if some were bored by this, but to me personally this was television gold.