In Review: Doctor Who – Hell Bent

If you took everything from him, betrayed him, trapped him, and broke both his hearts... how far might the Doctor go?

Synopsis: If you took everything from him, betrayed him, trapped him, and broke both his hearts… how far might the Doctor go? Returning to Gallifrey, the Doctor faces the Time Lords in a struggle that will take him to the end of time itself. Who is the Hybrid? And what is the Doctor’s confession?

Review: The Doctor takes on the mantle of the man with no name as he calls all the authorities on Gallefrey out and fobs them off until he is granted audience with the President.

But what on earth is he up too.

Seemingly everything he has planned is all to do with going back in time to pick up Clara moments before her death and try and save her.

The mystery of Clara being the impossible girl is finally sort of solved, but somewhat left open to how you want to interpret it.

It was great to see The Doctor return to Gallefrey and once more bump heads with the authorities, but on this occasion it could well be the Doctor who is in the wrong.

The episode opens up in a diner, which proved somewhat important as we draw to the close of the story. In the diner there is a waitress. It’s Clara, but the Doctor does not know or recognize her.

He proceeds to tell her about a girl he knew once called Clara and reveals that his feelings for her went so deep that he’d kill and go to the ends of the earth for her. She was the only companion he ever had who was like him when it came to his lust for life and adventure.

These scenes in the diner are interspersed throughout the episode and tie it all together, but I have to admit. I kind of seen the twist coming well and truly before it was finally revealed and I was half right.

A big moment in the story is The Doctor’s confrontation with President played by Donald Sumpter who wants the Doctor killed, but unfortunately for him. His General and all the soldiers he is ordering to kill the Doctor served under the Doctor during the ‘time war’ and will not obey. But things get even edgier when the Doctor pulls Clara out of time between heartbeats prior to her death. He takes her to the cloisters amid the wraiths to try and find a way out for them.  At this point a conversation ensues between Clara and the Doctor, which ultimately makes Clara realise that the Doctor has gone to far in his quest to save her life. This becomes apparent when the General who the Doctor shot and is newly regenerated as a woman tells Clara that The Doctor had been held and questioned for Four Billion years. This prompts Clara to stage a distraction making it easy for the Doctor to make an escape. The General and her soldiers dare not follow because of the wraiths.

The Doctor and Clara go to the very end of time. The Doctor is trying to restart Clara’s pulse, but it just ain’t happening. There is a bit of conversation back and forth in the Tardis until The Doctor hears four knocks. The same rhythm as the drums that The Master used to hear.

The Doctor goes out to investigate and finds Ashildr who reveals to the him the very thing that he is not wanting to hear. The truth about who he is and why he is always running. The conversation then turns to revealing who the hybrid is. The Doctor believes it to be Ashildr, but she asks rhetorically asks f it would be possible for the hybrid to be two people.  One a timelord and the other a human.

This was a pretty good episode in which we have a final farewell to Clara, but it is also an episode in which we get to see The Doctor at his most dangerous and vulnerable. And ultimately it takes Clara making a great sacrifice in order to save the Doctor from himself.

Now that we have Gallefrey back in the picture and the Doctor in the wind and running. This could get very interesting in the coming years on the series. Especially given that the President and a certain General may have a bone or two to pick with the Doctor.

All this said. The episode still left us with a few unanswered questions. Which can only be a good thing.

Doctor Who - Hell Bent
  • The Doctor being shown at his most dangerous and vulnerable.
  • I would have liked more time among the time lords and maybe an appearance of missy
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
3 Comments on this post.
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    6 December 2015 at 1:16 am -

    I would have actually preferred Clara stay dead, but if she has to be out in the universe, it was an above average story for that. Truth is, short of full-on death or becoming a Time-Lord Lite, as she has, Moffat had written himself into a corner with her. Something like this had to happen, and I’m glad he wrapped up Ashildr’s arc as well. You know, of course, that the Doctor will fully remember her either when he regenerates or when Moffat needs him to before that for plot reasons.

    I am now fully ready for a Companion whose arc is not straight out of fanfic. It maybe above averagely written fanfic, most of it, but they need to get on a new creative track.

  • Daniel Feuerstein
    7 December 2015 at 9:05 am -

    I thought it was an interesting episode and they brought out the old William Hartnell T.A.R.D.I.S. control machine, the circular walls and the old you would say engine room as well. Still I thought Clara should’ve remained dead too, but I guess this is a good send off for Jenna Coleman.

    • Ian Cullen
      7 December 2015 at 12:54 pm -

      I liked the fact that they brought back the old tardis design.

      And kind of agree about clara. Bringing her back kind of killed the impact of her death the first time out.