Hell Bent

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    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @missy

    What? Or as Buffy says when confused “Hamnoo?”

    Maybe the material you’re writing about (3 seasons and Chibnall) should be on the News (4) page?

    Not sure. I won’t write anything here! in case we’re on the wrong page? -or something.


    PS: still “oh-ing” from The Final Problem. I feel pretty drunk. I’ve never drunk anything beyond soft drinks and the entire Sherlock thing has me dizzy.

    Missy @missy

    @thane15: Am I missing something here? Ichi and i were talking about PC and the chance that we might have kept him a bit longer. Final Probem, is’nt that Sherlock?

    No, I’m not being sarcastic, just confused. *grins*



    Anonymous @


    I apologise for interrupting your conversation with @ichabod.

    I was simply referring to something which appeared to be about “three more” -in other words, a News issue associated with a forthcoming episode of Who which is a Chibnal run season which led to my own confusion.

    Then, in my postscript I mentioned (but didn’t ‘spoil’)  tFP.

    Again, if I stated something I shouldn’t, I apologise sincerely. 🙁

    Thank you and cheers,


    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy  @thane15  Ichi and i were talking about PC and the chance that we might have kept him a bit longer.

    Yup; and I’m still talking about it, under my breath, to myself, grumbling and growling and snapping at the air . . . good thing it’s bed time, after a nice soothing glass of wine . . . But DRAT! and damnation!

    But I also think Thane’s right — this is about PC’s recent announcement re S10, not about Hell Bent, so we should probably we doing our snapping and snarling on DW News.


    Missy @missy


    Ah! Now I see. No apologies required or necessary. I am so incensed about Chibnal and his big gob (forgive the crudity) that I could scream. Thank you once more. *thumbs up*


    Yes, you are right. But here is as good a place as any! Wish I liked wine. *sigh*



    Chris Biffen @chrisbiffen

    I was so surprised when he finally broke through the wall to find not the TARDIS but a portal to Gallifrey! The first real Gallifrey episode of New Who! It kind of changes things though. If you look back to 9th and 10th Doctors episodes where they have this setting of “The Doctor is the only time lord and it’s a big deal if another time lord exists” which is pretty cool. The Doctor being the only one in the universe. However I do like the Timelords especially when Rassilon faced off with Tennant. I really wished Timothy Dalton was still Rassilon in Hell Bent. However, This is in my top 5 Capaldi episodes!

    Missy @missy


    Yes, it’s a good episode, but Heaven Sent is my favourite.


    The25thDoctor @the25thdoctor

    I hope somone sees this since it’s been awhile since this particular episode was posted about.

    Why in Hell Bent when The Doctor comes back from talking to Me does he act like Clara should be surprised to see her? Just a few minutes prior to this when Clara asked hm what was out there he says “Me”. I hope the answer to this is not something obvious. 🤷‍♀️


    Missy @missy


    Hello there and welcome.

    I don’t think that Clara realised the Doctor meant ‘Madam Me’, she may have taken him literally. She was going through a difficult moment, with no pulse.

    Well that’s what I think, but it doesn’t mean I am right. *winks*



    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @the25thdoctor I agree with @missy – and that’s kind of the point of the name.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    First, I think Missy (above) is correct when she says that Clara thinks the Doctor is outside the Tardis when he says “It’s me”.

    Now back to my reaction to the episode…

    Wow. Just, wow.

    I just watched Hell Bent and it is an emotional rollercoaster. Besides being a beautiful-looking ep (especially after the grimness of Heaven Sent).

    The whole recurring scene with the Doctor and Clara in the diner was delightful but bittersweet, with that special kind of delicious irony that imbues lines that have more levels of meaning than the characters realise. (There should be a word for that but I can’t think of it). As when Clara says “She could be me, for all you know”, and Clara knows it, we know it, but the Doctor doesn’t. That entire scene had me smiling but my eyes were damp.

    Those scenes where the Doctor confronted the military might of Gallifrey – and they all deserted and walked over to his side – were amazing, visually and dramatically. I did like that the pilot of the gunship was so careful and restrained – obviously acting under orders, but highly professional. And the General, too, was unfailingly polite and honourable – I felt rather sorry for him/her when the Doctor first clocked him one then shot him. But I had to admire the economy of the exchange – “Regeneration?” “Tenth” “Good luck” “You too, sir”

    And it took me entirely aback (though it shouldn’t have) when the direction of the story changed abruptly from the Doctor as new Lord President to suddenly going rogue and absconding with Clara.

    All the dialogue was beautifully written, from the frivolous – for example why the Doctor never asked how the Time Lords unfroze Gallifrey – “I didn’t ask. It would have made them feel clever” to the intense, as with Clara’s dialogue with the Doctor in the crypt, to the really clever reveals such as Clara’s answer when Ohila asked what she said to the Doctor – “Nothing I’m going to tell you. Except maybe this one part. I said Don’t worry, Doctor. They’ll all be looking at me” and the camera pans back to reveal an open trapdoor where the Doctor had been. I’m a sucker for clever and original dialogue.

    The whole episode was just crammed with little Easter eggs for fans, such as the knocking on the door at the end of the Universe – four knocks, of course. But we never did find out whether the Hybrid was Ashildr/Me, or the Doctor (who might be half-human), or the Doctor plus Clara, and it didn’t really matter. It was just a mystery myth encouraged by the Doctor so the Time Lords would have to let him finish his ordeal on Gallifrey. I did ask myself, why did the Doctor encourage this mystery in the first place, since it made the Time Lords kidnap him and Clara got killed in the process? But my answer is, he didn’t – if he’d been captured (with Clara still alive) he might have simply told everything he knew and got let out of the Confession Dial; but when Clara died, he formulated the plan to make it back to Gallifrey (the slow way) and use Time Lord tech to save Clara.

    And – this is where the emotional roller-coaster kicked in again – the realisation that Clara’s pulse wasn’t going to restart. The second time in three episodes that Clara’s had bad news, as in fatal, though this time it was the Doctor’s miscalculation not her own. And the scene where Clara would rather die than lose her memory was tragic. (Of course this wasn’t new, Donna underwent the same thing. The difference was, Donna had an established life to slot back into). That aside, I think the Doctor hadn’t thought it through – if he took away Clara’s memories of him, and even if her pulse restarted, what was he going to do with her? He couldn’t put her back in London at the time of her death – time paradox. He couldn’t keep her with him in the Tardis if she had no memory of him. Where could he put a girl with no pulse?

    As it turned out, Clara found her own niche – travelling in the Tardis with Me. But that final scene in the diner was as touching as any ‘parting’ scene in Doctor Who (even though the Doctor didn’t know it). I think Moffat managed the most skillful ‘loss of a companion’ sequence in all of SciFi. He managed to spread it out over two episodes so I feel she’s been properly farewelled, without dwelling on long teary farewells. Much better if the characters restrain their emotion and let the audience do the feeling for them.   And personally I love that Clara’s not dead-and-gone, even if we won’t be seeing her again.    I rather like to imagine the concept of Clara and Me spreading a little bit of chaos through the Universe.


    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  I so agree with you on this episode. It has all the feels you need. It went from funny to so sad in moments and the conversation between Clara and the Doctor in the crypt is one my favourite scenes in all of Who. When Clara asks the Doctor why he would suffer so much to save her and he says “I had a duty of care” I cry every time. Such a simple yet elegant line that says so much.

    Clara and Me flying through the universe in a diner shaped Tardis with a broken chameleon circuit is a great send off for both those characters.

    Stay Safe.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Thanks @winston

    Just a couple more reflections. I said previously that putting Clara back in London would have created a time paradox. But then the Doctor said he would put her ‘somewhere safe and out-of-the-way’. But (if her pulse had returned) then when she died (again) a paradox would arise. If her heart hadn’t restarted she would have been in a strange position, not knowing why or how. Flying off with Me in the Tardis was certainly her best option. Would the Time Lords bother to pursue them? Maybe not, they didn’t seem to bother too much about chasing the Doctor except when they had a specific aim in mind.

    Just re-watching – the first ten minutes are pure spaghetti Western. Once Upon a Time in the West is my favourite, and Rachel Talalay is taking a leaf out of Sergio Leone’s book, with the near-wordless, unhurried, almost stylised action, in a vast open space. And Murray Gold has gone full Morricone. Gallifrey looked gorgeous, as did Skaro at the start of the season.

    I had thought that the Doctor losing his memory in the Tardis, then being woken by a passer-by, then walking into the diner were successive events. But obviously not, since, between being woken and the initial Diner scene the Doctor had acquired an old pickup truck, and he said he’d been to London to look for the Tardis. Which confused me a bit initially, but there’s actually no conflict there. But in that case, Clara must have dropped the unconscious Doctor off, collected the Tardis from London, and then waited weeks for the Doctor to travel to London and back the slow way, and materialised the Diner on the Doctor’s route. But then, the dialogue of the final scene with Clara and Me makes it appear as if it follows closely on the Tardis memory-loss scene. I suppose in Diner time that was possible – dump the Doctor, collect Tardis, and jump some weeks into the future for Clara’s final encounter to return the Tardis. Does this mean Clara was watching over the Doctor to make sure he was all right? I guess that’s okay with me.

    I watched the scene in the diner with even more attention this time round. Of course it was written so, first time through, we didn’t know which one had lost their memory. Clever Moffat, operating on so many levels. But now *we* know: so, did the Doctor guess who Waitress Clara was? He must have become certain when the diner dematerialised and he saw Clara’s portrait on his Tardis. But did he know from the first moments and he was just hiding that from Clara? In which case “If I met her again, I would absolutely know” was a double bluff. Well I still can’t tell. But after reading many posts in this thread, I’ve concluded that “Memories become stories when we forget them” was a very cogent statement. I think the Doctor could remember the facts of most of his interactions with Clara, just the emotional impact was missing – for him. But still very much there for Clara. Those scenes in the diner are beautiful. Superlative acting. “You said memories become stories when we forget them. Maybe some of them become songs.” Awwww.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent That is a wonderful and very comprehensive analysis of Hell Bent. Reading it was almost as good as watching the actual episode. It is a beautiful episode and as you demonstrate the writing and acting are both close to perfection as is the directing. I do think this episode and Heaven Sent are two of the best of the best Who stories.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    Thanks for your kind comment.   It’s almost like therapy for me to write comments on an episode which made a deep impression on me, as this one did (specially since it’s the farewell to Clara).   I watch the episode, then I want to do something to celebrate the qualities of the episode, or just to ‘wind down’ from the emotional high that it induces.    Obviously everyone who watched it at the time has had their discussion, years ago.   The best I can manage is to post my comments in some suitable spot  (like Rigsy painting the Tardis? – that’s way too fanciful a comparison!) and if someone happens to read them and respond – well, that’s nice.   Thank you janetteB.   🙂


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