Hell Bent (a.k.a. Muh Clala): The
greatest, most wonderful, most exceptional, most marvelous, most satisfying, most atrocious, most awful, most unacceptable, most unsatisfying finale in the history of Who. List of confirmed happenings:
- Capaldi reks the Time Lords. confirmed
regenerates, steals a TARDIS, and flees Gallifrey to have mad adventures. confirmed
- 8 and 10 confirmed. denied (rip Platinum Age)
- New screwdriver, sunglasses erased from Doctor Who. confirmed
- The Sliders have a stolen TIE Fighter sound effect. Seriously, am I the only one who has noticed this? confirmed
- The President is Rassilon. Duh. confirmed
- Looms confirmed canon. plausible
- Ashildr was Susan all along. denied
- Gallifrey is lost at the end/returned to pre-discovery status. denied
- It's a disappointing conclusion to a wonderful set up (a la The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords, The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, The Wedding of River Song, Dark Water/Death In Heaven). plausible
Episode SynopsisEditGallifrey, the Doctor returns to the barn seen in Day of the Doctor and Listen. The Doctor squatters in a barn that may or may not be occupied by his mum. Remember, the Doctor is half human on his mother's side. The Doctor gets an unwelcome visit by the Gallifreyan military, and decides to finish his soup instead of talk to them.
Eventually, Rassilon pays the Doctor a visit and orders a firing squad to kill the Doctor. They all miss. The Doctor kicks Rassilon's ass out of Gallifrey, and proceeds to save Clara from her death by taking her out of her time stream the moment before the Benefactor assaulted her. Time-locked, Clara has no pulse. The Doctor rescues her and steals a TARDIS to take her all the way to Russell T. Davies The End of Time, part 3, in order to break her from her time-lock and forever rescue her from her death.
At the end of time and the universe, The Doctor hears four knocks and almost loses his shit. Ashildr makes her fourth appearence this season, this time watching the end of everything in a chair. The Doctor proposes his fan theory that Ashildr/Me is the hybrid. Ashildr then proposes that the Doctor is the hybrid, being half human on his mother's side. The Doctor neither confirms or denies this. Ashildr then works out the bullshit loophole that the hybrid could be two people from two different races, and the canon officially declares the hybrid as the team of Clara Oswald and The Doctor. Ehhhh.
The Doctor attempts to erase Clara's memory as a last ditch effort to protect her from the Time Lords, but she reversed the polarity of the neutron flow using the sonic shades, and the Doctor accidentally erases his own memory of her instead.
The Doctor wakes up in the middle of the desert. Thomas the Tank Engine tells the Doctor that someone named Clara rescued him. The Doctor asks the question- the ultimate question, the oldest quesiton in the universe. The one hidden in plain sight. He then makes his way to a diner and tells Clara Oswald... oh we're back here again. He plays a song and tells waitress Clara that, though he can remember the adventures he had with her, he cannot remember what she looked or sounded like, and that he's sure he would recognize her the moment he sees her. He also comments on the diner previously being on the other side of the hill. Clara comments that memories can manifest into songs, and walks behind a door in the diner, revealing the entire diner to be the TARDIS Ashildr and Clara had stolen.
Ashildr tells Clara that she must return back to Gallifrey and face the benefactors' assault. In a power mad manic state, she kidnaps Ahildr and decides to run off and have adventures instead, telling Ashildr that she will go to Gallifrey, but take "the long way round".
The diner dematerializes, leaving behind the Doctor's TARDIS. The Doctor enters the TARDIS and sees the words "Run You Clever Boy and Be a Doctor" written on a chalkboard at the back of the console room. Some anon remembered seeing the acronmym RYCBABAD from an episode preview and predicted this phrase 100% correctly.
ReceptionEditTLDR: It was GOAT, best finale of NuWho, only big bang is close ish.
/who/ ranks /who/ gave it a 7
It was ok.
CLARA GETS A FUCKING TARDIS? SHE CAN BARELY RUN HER FUCKING FACE!
IT ABSOLUTELY SUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKED.
IT WAS ABSOLUTELY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAT.
It's absolutely divisive; arguably the most divisive episode ever.
Honestly, how you feel about this episode ultimately depends on how you feel about the character of Clara and her relationship with 12. If you're like me and couldn't stand Clara then you probably thought this episode was shit. Shall we begin?
The episode starts properly enough; the Doctor is somber and and rightfully pissed off at the situation that Rassilon and the Time Lord High Council have put him in. They're indirectly responsible for the death of Clara, and have trapped the Doctor in his own personal hell for four and a half billion years. These opening 20 minutes or so are absoultely 12/10 GOAT. Without saying a single word, the Doctor overthrows Rassilon and seizes control of the High Council and Gallifrey, and is restored as Lord President. We also have scenes of 12 and Clara in the diner which are quite comfy.
Once he becomes Lord President he uses his position as power to trick the time lords into saving Clara. He tells The General he needs to speak with a friend using the extraction chamber. This scene is absolutely 12/10 GOAT. Once Clara is taken away from her death he uppercuts The General, stealing his gun, and tells the other people in the room to give him a neural block. Clara tries to get him to stop saying that she doesn't want this and we get a GOAT scene with 12 deliberating whether or not he should shoot The General. 12 shoots The General, causing him to regenerate, and drags Clara along with him.
I eliminated quite a bit here because it was simply summary. We don't need anymore of that.
However, instead of truly saving Gallifrey and restoring it to a system of justice while simultaneously restructuring it's society and finding a way to restore his homeworld to it's proper place in the universe, he immediately uses his position to save Clara from (what should have been) her inevitable fate.
Why should he do any of that though? Why should he "truly save" Gallifrey? Wasn't Rassilon the real villain? He was certainly part of the problem, but what's the point of finding Gallifrey if you're just gonna leave it where it is to burn out? Maybe I just misunderstood all of The Time of the Doctor, but I always understood that saving it meant restoring it to it's proper place in the universe. It feels to me like the Doctor kind of left his job half finished in Hell Bent.
Now let's break away here for a second. The show up until this point hadn't had a proper Gallifrey story since 1983. That's 32 years without Gallifrey. Bringing it back should have been a very, VERY big deal, especially after the events of Day/Time. However, Moffat wasn't really all that interested in Gallifrey and the potentially epic story that could have been told pivoting around a power struggle between the Doctor and Rassilon coinciding with Gallifrey's resurgence into the universe proper, all while dealing with the emotional turmoil over the death of Clara and his return home. No. He was dead set on making Clara the focus, which is arguably the worst decision he has ever made.
Regardless of whether or not it was emotionally charged (which it was, I will definitely grant you that), Clara shouldn't have been the main focus because
- The show isn't about Clara and
- Regardless of how the Doctor feels about Gallifrey and the Time Lords, coming home after such a long and traumatic journey should have had some sort of onscreen repercussions, but it didn't because it focused on Clara. The show has, IMO, suffered the past two series because of this and it really came to a head in Hell Bent. Pitching the Doctor and Clara as equals wrecks the entire Doctor/companion relationship and, by proxy, much of the plot itself.
Now, back to the plot of Hell Bent. While it isn't out of character for the Doctor to desire to save his companion, the idea that he would throw away the salvation of an entire civilization for the life of one person completely goes against everything the Doctor has ever stood for. Hell, that was supposed to be a dramatic plot point in Death in Heaven (when the Doctor tells Danny "I need to know" before sacrificing him for the greater good). Some of you at this point might be crying something along the lines of "bu-huh-huh the Time Lords were evil during the war", to which I give this response: then why did he even save them in the first place? I'll leave you to try and reconcile that for yourself.
>throw away the salvation of an entire civilization for the life of one person
Upon rewatch I realized just how much of a universe breaker this episode is. The Doctor, no matter how much he cares for someone, would never destabilize time and space to save them. That was the whole plot of The End of Time. If the series 10 arc isn't about time rupturing because Clara is still out there, it will just go to show how much of a hack Moffat has developed into. I guess we'll see. Whaddaya fuckin know it sure isn't. What a hack.
Now to the end (and this is where how you feel about Clara really comes into play). Despite Moffat and everyone else screaming "The Doctor isn't a special guy!!!!11!!1 He's just some dude who runs around doing stuff!!11!", the truth of the matter is that the Doctor is special. He has made himself special throughout his 2000+ years of life. Legends aren't told about ordinary people. The whole premise of the show is based upon the fact that the Doctor is like no one else, and is capable of things ordinary people aren't. I wouldn't be writing this if he wasn't, and you wouldn't be watching the show and fuming over this essay if he wasn't. "Where is all of this going?" you may ask. "Why is this important?" This is important because Moffat loves Clara oh so much and has made her the most important person ever. Which means what? That she has become equal to the Doctor. Literally equal. She becomes an immortal travelling the universe with a TARDIS and a companion of her own. This lessens the character of the Doctor. The reason we watch him is because no one is like him; no other entity in existence comes close to the uniqueness of the Doctor, which is why he's so interesting. Putting Clara on the same level as him not only fucks his character up, but hers too. The companion is supposed to be a foil to the Doctor; an ordinary, plain person that gets swept up in the Doctors mad cap adventures and ultimately, in one way or another, pays the price. But the Muffler couldn't let that happen this time. This time, he sacrificed core aspects of the show (Gallifrey, the Time Lords, and the character of the Doctor himself) so that his super special OC do not steal Clara Oswin Oswald™ could be just like the Doctor. What. Utter. Shit. You should be insulted, and if you're not then you must not realize what actually happened in Hell Bent.
And that's why Hell Bent is a shit finale, second only in shittiness to Last of the Time Lords. Wake up, /who/. Stop accepting bad writing.
Hell Bent was so shit that Doctor in Distress was more enjoyable than that crap
It was a good romp. I enjoyed it.