06th Dec2015

‘Doctor Who: 9×12 – Hell Bent’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


A show like Doctor Who sometimes needs to do the unexpected, and that is what Doctor Who: 9×12 – Hell Bent does. What I think I will call this episode is “fan service” because that is exactly what it is, in all the right ways

Continuing from Heaven Sent The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is now on Gallifrey and ready to take on the Time Lords for their actions. The question is, who has the upper hand in the situation…The Timelords, or a very angry Doctor?

For a lot of this episode you may be confused as to where it is leading, but that is okay. Just go with the flow and let it lead you to the end. We see some characters return, and finally get a good taste of Gallifrey, but most importantly Peter Capaldi once again flexes his acting muscles in all the right ways.

In this episode (spoilers of a sort I guess) we do see Jenna Coleman as well as Maisie Williams who play a big part in the big finale to the season. What does steal the scene though is the show itself, that includes the TARDIS and a few other elements that are revealed. As you can tell I’m trying not to let go too many spoilers, but fans of the show will love this.

I’ve never hidden that I am a fan of the “old school” Doctor Who, I have my favourite Doctors, and I have my view of how Doctor Who should be. One of the reasons I call this episode a fan service is that it not only does everything right for the newer fans, but for older ones too. There will be moments were you can’t help but smile, because Steven Moffat has pulled in some old Doctor Who elements to just poke fans who complain about the show losing its touch.

There are also fun moments, and even a regeneration (which is not really a spoiler, so don’t worry). What I did like about this though is the fact that Moffat is trolling fans who have long called for certain things to be brought into the show. In Hell Bent Moffat throws this at fans and says “Happy now?” and while they won’t be, they have to admit that it is still a nice touch.

When the episode ends and everything is in its place to set up the Christmas episode, and the next season I’m sure there will be a few tears shed. Once again though, the very end of Hell Bent will have fans very happy to see the end of a contentious aspect of this season, and a good closure to the story arc that has been dominant. This is Doctor Who at his best.

Season nine of Doctor Who needed to go out with a strong episode and this is what we were given with Doctor Who: 9×12 – Hell Bent. A very good episode reminding us just how good Doctor Who can be, this has set up Peter Capaldi once again to move onto the next adventures of the Time Lord.

***** 5/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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