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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who blogging: “Hell Bent”


[previous: “Heaven Sent”]

warning: spoilers!

“Nothing’s sad till it’s over.”

So Steven Moffat has just told us that nothing can ever be sad on his Doctor Who. Because nothing is ever goddamn over.

Clara’s not really dead: she’s off traveling in the “wiggle room” with Ashildr in their own TARDIS. Such exciting! What adventure! Only it hasn’t been four and a half billion years for Clara since she last saw Ashildr: it’s only been a few minutes. But I guess that’s enough time for her to forgive Ashildr for selling out the Doctor. How long does she need, anyway? Oh, it’s that infamous Clara Oswald recklessness we keep hearing about!

The Doctor hasn’t actually forgotten Clara. He is telling us this story! We are overhearing him as he tells this story to the diner waitress who is actually Clara. He doesn’t remember what she looks like, obviously: he just remembers absolutely everything else. (Except one other thing, which I’ll get into below.)

Or maybe he doesn’t! Maybe he’s an unreliable narrator whom we shouldn’t trust. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe there isn’t really a legend about the Doctor being unarmed during the Time War, a notion so powerful that it would move soldiers ordered to execute him to instead drop their weapons at his feet. Maybe it’s not then a contradiction to see the Doctor do this:


We watched the Doctor kill a man. With a gun. Yeah, that man will regenerate, but just because he can heal — though the Doctor’s “good luck” suggests that’s not a sure thing — the Doctor still murdered him.

(Unless he really didn’t do that at all. Maybe he’s exaggerating his story to the diner waitress for dramatic effect, because why wouldn’t the Doctor invent a story about killing someone? That totally seems like him. *facepalm*)

Without that legend, this is still an outrageous violation of a character we have known and loved for 50-plus years. Having that legend and this action occur within mere minutes of each other is inexplicably bizarre from a dramatic standpoint.

Oh, I know: it’s meant to show us how far the Doctor will go for Clara. But if last week’s episode didn’t make me understand why he would suffer four and a half billion years of torture for her (way worse than the two billion years that episode suggested), there’s certainly nothing here that makes me understand why I should believe that Clara is so much more special than any other companion he’s traveled with that he would do something so out of character. (He wouldn’t pick up a gun for Gallifrey, but he will for Clara Oswald? What a pile of horseshit.) Nothing here makes me appreciate that the power of their devotion to each other could destroy the universe.

I feel like we’re being trolled by this show. “Ha ha,” it seems to be saying. “Did you cry when Clara died two episodes back? Psych! She’s still around.” Did you find this sad, the moment when either the Doctor or Clara was about to forget the other?


Psych! They both still get to remember. Joke’s on you for crying.

If you did. I didn’t. Moffat’s Doctor Who cannot commit to its own story, which makes it impossible to believe in it. Like this: In this episode we learn that the Doctor doesn’t actually know what the Hybrid is and where it is, yet one of his confessions in the dial was that he knew these things. Which means he lied in the confession dial. The Doctor knew he was lying and that a lie would achieve the same result as the truth, but this is contrary to everything that was explicit and implicit about what was happening in that episode. So why we should we trust anything that we see or hear?

And then there’s all the really important stuff that we don’t see or hear! Like the one other thing the Doctor doesn’t remember about Clara: the thing she told him in the Matrix chamber. “People like me and you,” Clara says, “we should say things to one another, and I’m gonna say them now.” And we don’t get to hear them because, I suspect, Moffat has no idea what she could have possibly said. He doesn’t know why the relationship between the Doctor and Clara has been so intense that they could destroy the universe for each other. He hasn’t actually written the drama of their friendship: he sees only what the highlights of that drama might be.

Everything in the gaps between those highlights is the “wiggle room” of Moffat’s Doctor Who… and all that wiggle makes it really tough to care.

Random thoughts on “Hell Bent”:

• He actually drew a line in the sand?



Because Gallifreyans have the same cultural references as people from just one of the many cultures on an uncivilized backwater planet that hasn’t even developed time travel yet.

• The Sisterhood of Karn can just wander into the center of power on Gallifrey? How does that happen?

• Clara can reprogram some Gallifreyan technology on the fly? How does that happen?

• Funny how many Time Lords who aren’t the Doctor can regenerate into women.


Funny, that.

Oh, and hey: Maybe in a culture where people regularly change gender, gender wouldn’t be such a concern that someone would have to hurriedly apologize for using “sir” with an “er, sorry, ma’am.” Maybe they would have gender-neutral ways to address people.

• One thing in this episode did move me:


The appearance of the classic design actually made me gasp. And then it made me sad, because it reminded me how much joy I used to get out of this show, and haven’t now in quite a while.

[next: “The Husbands of River Song”]

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  • I felt the exact same way as you did. Beyond seeing Gallifrey again(which the Doctor apparently doesn’t actually give a crap about, considering the way he treats the Time Lords in this episode) and the classic console room and stuff, this was bad in near-surreal ways.
    What the heck is the Hybrid supposed to be? The Doctor and Clara? Yeah… that’s not a Hybrid, that’s a duo. And why would they be in Gallifreyan legends anyway? What’s the point of a storyline that goes nowhere. NONE. Except this storyline was the entire point of the season. So what’s the point of the season? THERE IS NONE. We had a good thing going with Series 9, but nope, he Moff’d it up again.

    What was the point of the Series 6 diner?

    Turning the General into a woman of different gender was the most gimmicky and pointless thing I’ve ever seen. Speaking of which, the Doctor didn’t even have to shoot him. He was unarmed and wasn’t threatening him. At least the Ogron in “Day Of The Daleks” could’ve killed the Doctor.

    Why is the Doctor legendary? At this point, I have to ask. How come we never see the man Moffat talks about do something real? Why is it always a “maybe” or a “kinda”? He sort of does this and sort of does that. Legends aren’t born out of that.
    Here’s a fun fact: in the RTD era, the Doctor’s actions often became legends that were referenced in future episodes. But what has he actually done in the Moffat era apart from rebooting the universe a few times?

    I find it very unlikely that Ashildr would be the last immortal, considering that she’s only alive through technological trickery. That Mire gadget would’ve eventually broken down or burnt out.

    The two things I didn’t mind were the presence of the Sisterhood(they mentioned that all immortals are forced to come together at the end of the universe) and Clara’s happy ending(I hate the script, but the concept of her and Me leaving the show together is preferable to being axed by a bird).

  • RogerBW

    “Stand not upon the order of your going,
    But go at once.”

    Or to put it another way, Stephen, stop milking “this might be my last ever script for the show” for your personal PR. You’ve written the few things you write, repeatedly, and you’ve written about writing about the few things you write; are you going to write about writing about writing about the few things you write? You go, or you stay, but nobody loves you for spending a year hemming and hawing.

  • The Doctor didn’t suffer 2 billion (or 4 billion) years for Clara – there were zillions of copies of him who each spent a couple of weeks in the castle (?) before dying. The version of the Doctor that we see had spent a couple of weeks grieving for clara and suffered a bit of a hurty hand as a result of punching through the final piece of the portal.

    Now Ashildr – she really went the long way round.

  • RogerBW

    And Rory. Nobody seemed to mind that, though it’s basically the same story, only Wromantic.

  • Chris Lockard

    I would debate your points….but it seems useless.

  • Danielm80

    I would point out that pointing that out seems pointless, but…

  • David_Conner

    “Moffat’s Doctor Who cannot commit to its own story, which makes it impossible to believe in it.”

    The point about the Doctor not actually *knowing* what the deal is with the Hybrid is the final nail in a coffin that was already pretty dodgy to begin with (I hate stories that have to rely on prophecy for their juice.)

    OK, so the Doctor had a few good guesses, but can anyone fill me in on why the Doctor felt it necessary to go to such great lengths not to answer the question, and why the Time Lords felt it important enough to be worth torturing Gallifrey’s greatest hero for 4.5 billion years to get it? (Not a rhetorical question, btw – maybe the answer’s there and I didn’t see it?)

    BTW, can I say how much I loathe the fact that Ashildr started calling herself “Lady Me” just so the show could set up some “pronoun trouble” gags 4.5 billion years later? It’s almost as bad as the literalized “Doctor WHO?” business from the Matt Smith episodes, but at least I liked the first iteration of that bit. (Driving it into the ground 23 or 49 more times, not so much….)

  • “The Doctor would not pick up a gun for Gallifrey, but he would for Clara Oswald?”
    That’s nothing. People are telling me over the Internet that the Doctor would destroy Gallifrey for Clara Oswald.

  • You’re forgetting that he remembers each life he lived.

  • “Can anyone fill me in on why the Doctor felt it necessary to go to such great lengths not to answer the question, and why the Time Lords felt it important enough to be worth torturing Gallifrey’s greatest hero for 4.5 billion years to get it?”

    This. 4.5 billion years in a confession dial this. Notice how every single question in this episode is answered with a pause and “tell me Doctor!”. Yes. Tell us, for pete’s sake! The answer will underwhelm us anyway, so why bother keeping it?

  • Except the important information that he needs – bird, room 12, 82 minutes etc. Hmmm. I appear to be agreeing with MAJ about consistency.

    I guess this kind of inexplicable knowledge accumulation is part and parcel of the inconsistency of lots of time travel stories.

  • Charlie

    Never understood why people who claim to be doctor who fans constantly trash the show. Only on the internet do I hear this shit. If you don’t like the show don’t watch.

  • JeffWMoore

    “…whether I will bother to spend much time with a show that no longer rewards me in return is up in the air.”

    Charlie, thank you for the advice. Sadly, I think I am there. I used to come here to read the reviews because of the joyous love affair we all shared with the Doctor. But, I that romance died awhile ago and while I have stayed and stayed for the memory of what once was, it just doesn’t seem like it will ever be the same for me again. This makes me very sad indeed.

  • Danielm80

    I think that one of the problems with this story arc—and there were a lot of them—was that Moffat was writing a love story but wasn’t willing to commit to it. The Doctor was always acting lovestruck around Clara—particularly in this episode—but they never became a couple. I suspect that a large number of viewers would have been creeped out by a romantic storyline when the age difference between the actors was close to 30 years.* I might have been one of those viewers. But if they’d become a couple, the Doctor’s motivations would have been clearer, and the Hybrid story would have made more sense—not a lot more, but maybe enough to make it slightly credible.

    A romantic relationship wouldn’t have given Clara a personality, and in all likelihood, it would have been a terrible idea. But Moffat’s decision to imply a relationship without following up on the implications made the story even worse.

    *The age difference between the characters is now impossible to calculate.

  • Moffat keeps writing an Ultimate Episode… which is a problem when he has to follow it up the next week. He’s the boy who cried wolf.

  • If the Doctor doesn’t remember every iteration in the confession dial, then there’s no power whatsoever behind the notion that he lived all that time out of some devotion to Clara. I mean, there really isn’t any power there (at least I don’t feel it), but Moffat clearly thinks there is. We are obviously intended to have All The Feels over the Doctor spending four billion years trying to Save Clara.

  • can anyone fill me in on why the Doctor felt it necessary to go to such great lengths not to answer the question, and why the Time Lords felt it important enough to be worth torturing Gallifrey’s greatest hero for 4.5 billion years to get it?

    I bet this is another thing Moffat doesn’t know himself. Wiggle room!

  • If you don’t like my reviews, don’t read them.

  • Tell me, is there a show you like?

  • It’s kind of sad how Clara was originally promoted as the Doctor’s best friend… until it turned into this weird obsession between the two of them.
    Donna knew when the Doctor had to be reined in… but she also respected his decisions and knew when to NOT rein him in. She didn’t try to dominate time and space(metaphorically speaking) like Clara did, she just wanted to see the universe.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Here’s the thing. It’s only useless if you operate on the assumption that you’re going to “win”; i.e. your argument will be so persuasive that everyone here decrying the current state of the show will recant their previous disparagements and offer up their first born to Mr. Moffat. (I’m exaggerating for effect, obvs.)

    I think you’re at the same place I am: discussing the show on MAJ’s “Doctor Who” blogs isn’t very much fun anymore unless you dispise the show. It’s not the “love fest” it started out as, where even the worst episode* was praiseworthy for simply being “Doctor Who”. Much as MaryAnn and most of the regular commenters feel like the show has mad away from them, the blog has moved away from viewers like you and I who still like the show’s direction.

    I just had to stop reading the blog. (I still read everything else.) The arguments against the show feel too personal, and too steeped in nostalgia, and that’s fine for everyone else. But I no no longer feel like I can contribute without just feeling sad. So I don’t. But, because I respect MaryAnn and everyone else here, I just let them have their fun, and instead engage in communities more in line with my feelings about the show.

  • Stephen Robinson

    What I liked about The Doctor and Amy Pond is I thought they were convincingly written as best friends. And despite their looking around the same age, The Doctor didn’t view her romantically but like a favorite grandchild.

    This is what irritated me about Clara from her forst appearance. Suddenly the Doctor was behaving like a lovestruck teen. 11’s wisdom vanished.

    I had high hopes for Capaldi because Moffat said repeatedly that he was not doing the “boyfriend” Doctor. The dynamic was going the change between the Doctor and his companion. But this never materialized. These last few episodes could have been 10 and Rose, and I thought getting an older different Doctor would change this. Instead, it’s still all about Clara, and basically a romance except The Doctor is no longer as nice or gentle as 11 or 10 or even 9.

    I felt so disgusted by the season finale — and I owe Mary Ann an apology for even defending Heaven Sent — that I would avoid the series until Moffat leaves, though it pains me to see what Capaldi wasted.

  • Danielm80

    I’m sticking with the series, for now, because Moffat is still capable of moments of brilliance. But sometimes I feel as though I’m in an abusive relationship with a TV show–especially this week.

  • Stephen Robinson

    Doctor Who is like Superman or Batman — they are more than just their current creative team. If I didn’t like what Sorkin or Carter were doing with West Wing or X-Files, I wouldn’t argue as strongly against it as I do against what Moffat is doing with Who. Doctor Who is even bigger than its current star.

    And I remember the early days of the Internet before the revival when Colin Baker and even Paul McGann were regularly trashed by fans in verbiage far less considerate than what Moffat receives here.

  • I owe Mary Ann an apology for even defending Heaven Sent

    Of course you don’t.

  • Chris Lockard

    Yeah I agree Dr. Rocketscience. I’m all for criticism, but at this point it really does feel like something personal, like Moffat stole their innocence. They demand a level of perfection that I just never expect in sci-fi fantasy….especially when it comes to Doctor Who. For me its about themes and characters. I can look past small holes in plot elements because the story itself is interesting and I care about the relationships the Doctor has with different companions and secondary characters. I also don’t mind the show evolves into something different than it was before. The 12th Doctor’s run feels very different than the 11th Doctor’s run….heck the first season of the 12th Doctor is a very different feel from this season….and that is a very good thing. It gives new perspectives and doesn’t let the audience rest on its laurels. There are times when the show works and other times when I have no desire to ever view an episode again….I’m looking at you Robots of Sherwood. As long as the themes and characters are interesting on a whole, I’ll continue to watch and enjoy. There are things I’ll wish they improve on (sometimes Moffat goes way to far on expanding upon mythology of the show) but for the most part every season of the show has offered something interesting and worth being invested in. If it isn’t for you, then yes maybe its time to move on instead of just constantly tuning in to get pissed off.

  • MegawackyMax

    Hey, Moffat! Disney has something to say on the whole Clara thing: “Let it go! Let it go!”

    Honestly, this episode… Why. Just… WHY. I don’t have a knowledge on the old series, but I’ve been following the new series with such a rejoice… and then… I don’t know… Moffat got over-excited with it, or something. The whole Clara arc is a MESS. She wasn’t even such a good character. These past two seasons, save for an episode or two, have been very difficult to watch, much more to enjoy.

    I don’t know. I really don’t know. Oh, and it seems River comes back for the Christmas Special. Because now Clara is out, so Moffat has to bring back something else from the past. This is… sad.

    So sad.

  • kco99

    I used to really enjoy this blog until the Doctor Who reviews became so unrelievedly negative; not simply nit-picky but oddly bitter in tone. I’m afraid they caused me to quit the site altogether. I came across it again this week on rotten tomatoes and see that MaryAnn’s reviews here this series are often either the only or virtually the only “rotten” review. I also noticed that instead of the dozens of commenters who used to participate, it has shrunk to an echo chamber of a handful, who seem determined to be unhappy with the show. I am glad that I am among the many who are really enjoying this series.

  • Danielm80

    So something you used to love gradually changed its style and content, until you could no longer connect with it. Why does that sound familiar?

  • seem determined to be unhappy with the show.

    Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that I would rather be unhappy with the show than love it? Really?

  • Chris Lockard

    Debates aside, I will offer up my own theory on the end. Spoilers obviously:

    I believe the Doctor knew exactly what would happen when he left the Tardis to speak with Me/Ashildar. He left his sonic and the neural block in Clara’s possession. He knew she would use them to her advantage to protect her own memory. He also knew she never would never want to go back to her old life so he stole a Tardis for her. The whole scene was a setup because he knew Clara could handle losing him, but not the memory of him or the adventures he brought to her. On the other hand, I dont believe this Doctor could take losing Clara. She was the one who stuck by him even when his new personality made it at times impossible to do so. For the 12th Doctor, Clara meant more in the universe than anyone else. So he set the stage for her to continue on, while he started a new chapter, free of the attachment he felt towards her. Even gave her the perfect companion. The Doctor knew the best way to end this, and at the same time soften the blow losing Clara would leave in his heart while protecting her from the Time Lords. Just my two cents.

  • Paul

    I agree with you 100%. Especially your use of the word fun.

  • Paul

    Because he doesn’t know the answer.

  • Then he should just say so.

  • Paul


  • Because keeping pointless secrets is pointless and a waste of time.

  • David_Conner

    Putting on my “Flick Filosopher Half-Assed Rewrite” hat, a reason came to mind that could work. In *The Prisoner*, they keep asking Number Six a question that seems pretty innocuous on its face: “Why did you resign?” Why does Number Six use all of his powers and ingenuity to resist answering? Not because of the content of the answer, but on principle, because the bad guys *want* it.

    Problem is, there’s nothing to really support that interpretation here.

  • Exactly. This comment pisses me off. Why in the world would I WANT to be unhappy? I used to LOVE this show. I was hardcore invested. Laughed, cried, couldn’t wait for the next one each week. Then, over time, it started drifting. Changing. The scripts weren’t working for me anymore. I lost all emotional connection. And yet I still watch, always with a tiny glimmer of hope. Never with any determination to be unhappy. The notion is just ridiculous.

  • First of all, as you said, there’s nothing to support that. Nothing in Twelve’s behaviour suggests that he isn’t keeping a legitimate secret. He acts like it’s too dangerous to tell, even in his own mind.
    Secondly, even if he did keep it in the dial, there’s no reason for him to do so once he’s out and has ousted Rassilon. The Time Lords are completely on his side.

  • Paul

    You “seem determined” (notice I’m using the same phrasing as Dr. Rocketscience) to be offended. That doesn’t mean, as you seem to think it does, that I am suggesting you want to be offended. It just tells you how your writing comes over to me. And given that Dr. Rocketscience’s earlier comment expressed my feelings exactly, perhaps not just to me.

    I grew up with Doctor Who. I remember Troughton, I met Pertwee, and apart from a brief slump in the Williams years, I kept watching it, even C Baker and McCoy. My first boss became the editor of the Virgin books, and a number of friends of mine wrote Doctor Who books. I even edited one of them. But when I lost patience with Doctor Who (during those Virgin years, as it happened), I didn’t spend all my time whining about how terrible it was and how Peter Darvill-Evans should be shot at dawn for crimes against the mythos. I walked away. At that point there was actually little prospect of the show returning. So I was left with the videos of the old episodes. And that was enough. What right had I to demand more, made to my specifications?

    When the show came back, I was suspicious at first, but it won me over. And more importantly, it won my son over. I still criticise its failings, and I find it interesting to read well-argued critiques of the show. But if I once again lose patience with it, I will walk away again, safe in the knowledge that I still have what has been made, and that this is a pretty good body of work. I won’t feel it necessary to subject every episode to a joyless burst of pedantry. Why would I want to do that? Others apparently do. But as Dr. Rocketscience suggested, to continue to do that seems like a determination to wallow in unhappiness.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Um, the “seems determined” phrasing wasn’t me.

  • Paul

    Arggh. Sorry about that. It was kco99. Sorry to you both.

  • butting

    Well, be fair, the mood he’s been in post-Time War (and even post-Day and -Time of the Doctor, come to that) I wouldn’t put it past him to destroy Gallifrey over an unpaid parking ticket.

    Time War? Ended. Daleks? No more of a problem than usual. High Council? Right then, you lot can Malcolm Tucker right the hell off, and as for the general who helped out but who, let’s be honest, helped them set all that mess up in the first place, premature regeneration sound reasonable? Okay then, hope it doesn’t hurt too much, and don’t follow me too quickly if you know what’s good for you.

    If the story was wholly and entirely about Gallifrey I think I would have loved it massively. Making it about Clara was a weakness which… well, really, made it feel like it was made for 12 year olds. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, there’s no reason 12 year olds should have been robbed of a for-real-no-cheating companion death.

    Instead, three solid, general-audience, legacy-rich endings—Clara’s death, the Doctor’s furious-but-limited vengeance on Gallifrey, and Ashilda nipping off in a shiny new Tardis (slash tourist attraction) with a companion beside her—got crammed into a single storyline.

    Dammit, Moffat.

  • I just don’t like the idea that the Doctor doesn’t care about Gallifrey anymore or hates it. This wouldn’t be a problem if it was the classic series and the Sixth Doctor, but it’s not. The Doctor’s been alone for so many years and has moped about it endlessly. Heck, even the Series 3 finale was all about him being the only Time Lord.

    And now his weird obsession with Clara matters to him so much more than his own homeplanet, his people, his relatives(some still have to be alive), that matron from the barn etc.

    When did the Doctor’s running away thing become psychological anyway? He ran away at the beginning of the whole series because he was bored(that’s what was canon back then) and in The Five Doctors because he didn’t want to lead a dead civilisation that can’t expand. The whole reason behind his wandering about was to give Gallifrey a political message, to show that the non-intervention rules were wrong and the Time Lords could be benevolent helpers. When did he turn into an indulgent, reckless man-child?

  • butting

    I don’t take Twelve as not caring at all; I see him as deeply and truly angry over the Time War. And while I’m vague regarding Six and Seven, I gather the High Council has been comparable to the Daleks ever since arguably The Trial of a Time Lord and certainly since Nine first talked of the War.

    To me, sorting that lot out is entirely within character; the universe is better off without a corrupt High Council, and Gallifrey can presumably be trusted to look after itself with them (and Rassilon) gone. (Gone yet conveniently not out of the story, and that’s entirely within tradition. And also allows for a rogue Council teaming up with Missy, and that sort of thing’s been a staple since, what, The Five Doctors?)

    But like I said that should be the core of the story, not a step towards an unnecessary companion wrapup.

    Good point about the psychology of it, but the War Doctor has been looming over everything and finding-and-purging Gallifrey is both an appropriate bit of closure and, I’d argue, justifies his original motives for leaving being re-examined.

    The side-effect that I truly don’t like is now he’s effectively another President Of Bloody Everything. The Four who balked at finishing off the Daleks would have a few pointed reservations about that, but instead we’re likely to get him (as you say) man-childing around with that like he has with Earth with Unit’s backing. (Granted, Three and Four weren’t above treating Unit as their own personal toy box.)

    I’ve never even seen an entire episode The Thick of It, but I think Tucker would deal with those who’d put the Doctor in charge better than Moffat is.

  • Allen W

    Re: The Hybrid – He thought the Hybrid was Ashildr, though he was apparently wrong.
    (What bugged me was that Ashildr had apparently gotten over her memory limitations, though I suppose she might have just gotten a neural implant or somesuch.)
    Re: Changing gender when regenerating -it’s apparently not shocking, but it doesn’t seem to be really common, given that the army leader was female in 10 out of 11 bodies, and the Master was apparently male in all but 1 of 16+ bodies. Still not sure why the shooting was necessary, except to add a misleading regeneration for the trailers.

  • Allen W

    Couple more thoughts — it seems odd that Clara, who is at first concerned about time fracturing if she isn’t put back, then decides to ignore it and go have adventures with Ashildr. If she dies, is lost, etc. on those adventures and doesn’t go back to earth to be killed by the Raven — doesn’t that break time?
    Would love to have had a story set on Gallefry be about the doctor’s relationship to his people rather than have that be the side light.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Hey, I like River. If the show has to bring back yet another character from the past, I’d just as soon see it be her.

    And after the show’s recent attempts at would-be seriousness, I like the fact that this year’s Christmas episode seems to be a bit of welcome comic belief. Of course, I might not feel the same after I actually see it. But at this point, it’s hard to imagine it being any sadder than what was done to Ms. Alex Kingston’s character on the American show ER on her last few episodes where the show’s writers made it quite obvious that they were quite tired of her character and anxious to write her out of the series as soon as possible so that they could concentrate on the show’s younger characters.

  • Tonio Kruger

    For a while there, I feared that the Hybrid would turn out to be the love child of a certain Galifreyan and his terrestrial companion. So thank God the show’s writers didn’t go there, right?

  • Namnoot

    First off, don’t be ageist. In real life a 30-year age gap between people is not unusual (and it’s only 27 years btw). If both parties are adults there is nothing to be creeped out by. I wish people would grow up and stop age-shaming. As for the love story part – I agree with you on that 100%, though Moffat admitted it was a love story a year or more ago. He, Capaldi and Coleman all referred to it as a romance in pre-Series 9 publicity, and it even goes back earlier. Jenna Coleman confirmed at several conventions in 2014 that when Clara says “I love you” at the end of Mummy on the Orient Express, she is saying it to the Doctor, not to Danny Pink. So the elements are there. The only thing is the Doctor does not play by the rules humans do, so he doesn’t see the need to go to bed with everyone he fancies, and the phrase “I love you” is not something he says. But after punching a diamond wall for 4.5 Billion years, he doesn’t need to.

  • In real life a 30-year age gap between people is not unusual

    Yes, it is. And it’s not ageism to point that out.

  • Radek Piskorski

    Wow I would suggest medication.

  • Radek Piskorski

    I never bought that he remembers, so I don’t feel that there is any power there. Clara seemed to understand that, but that’s a different story.

  • Radek Piskorski

    I do. You unconsciously want to hate it.

  • Radek Piskorski

    The Time Lords feared the Hybrid and wanted the information at all costs. The Doctor realised this but, unfortunately, didn’t really know the hybrid, so had to bluff. For the simple reason that he wanted to be admitted into Gallifrey and have access to the Extraction Chamber.

  • The Doctor is a genius. Had he been in-character, he would’ve admitted he knew nothing about the Hybrid simply to face his opponents and find a way to defeat them.
    And since it was the Time Lords, they would’ve spared the Doctor and he would’ve found a different reason to access the Extraction chamber.

  • Looking at this again and having read comments from people who really enjoyed this episode…
    the reason why this doesn’t work isn’t the story arc of Clara and the Doctor. The events of this episode were set-up. This was meant to happen. However, the execution was piss-poor.
    Let me compare this to another story where the Doctor saves people who were meant to die: The Waters Of Mars. There, the Doctor suffers from this decision. He agonises it over it and we see how his logic twists, we see his principles bend and we see just how wrong he is in the end.

    Here, it’s completely artificial. The Doctor doesn’t even seem to think about what he’s doing, he’s a mindless brute(this Oncoming Storm thing really needs to end. He’s a thinker, a scientist, a little man who got too clever. That’s why he is so interesting.), he doesn’t have any regrets and we don’t see any hint of “time fracturing” from when he rescues Clara. There’s no reason for him to even wipe his own mind. His principles don’t bend, they just break.

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