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Doctor Who XXXV/9.12: Hell Bent

December 5th, 2015 (09:43 pm)

This was another episode where I'd been asked to write a review based on a rough cut of the episode available through the BBC Previews web service. I had rather a lot of time on my hands this week and so it's even longer than usual. Doctor Who Reviews: Hell Bent

I added a few more thoughts at The Event Library, but really as accompaniment for the link. Meanwhile there is more squee than scorn online, and I expect a flurry of fanfics about a certain partnership within the next twenty-four hours.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/12/05/hell-bent.html.


Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: December 5th, 2015 10:55 pm (UTC)

I don't squee, but I liked it! Even though Time Lords can be a bit pompous and dull. I feel uncomfortable with the Doctor shooting someone, though, even if it was supposed to show how out of control he was. When Adric died, all he did was try to go sightseeing at the Crystal Palace...

I'm glad we got a happy ending, but I still feel new Who has problems with writing out its companions, as we have discussed before, here and on louisedennis's blog.

Overall, it's been a very strong season, possibly the strongest since the series returned. That said, it's not my favourite new Who season (I'd follow Jac Rayner in DWM distinguishing between 'favourite' and 'best'). I prefer the more fun and upbeat season thirty-two. I think the season has perhaps been a little too bleak and its barely pre-watershed timeslot may be costing it the family audience it has sought since 2005.

Was the other TARDIS left over from An Adventure in Time and Space? It looked very Hartnellian.

his all-powerful but uncontrolled compassion

Those who look for the mythic in Doctor Who might note the kabbalistic idea that God's kindness, if left unchecked, would destroy the world, by removing human agency. The Doctor, despite last year seeming to have too much gevurah (strictness, restraint, justice) turns out to really be suffering from an abundance of chessed (kindness, abundance).

Doctor Who is more than a drama series; it’s a pan-media, pop culture event.

Great quote!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: December 5th, 2015 11:52 pm (UTC)
Hartnell words

I really like the kabbalistic parallel which you mention. I have no idea of this but it works.

The TARDIS was apparently a new set except for the console, which was the Adventure... one painted white. It's now been paintd green again and returned to the Experience.

Posted by: heliopausa (heliopausa)
Posted at: December 8th, 2015 02:35 am (UTC)

I thought it was a real scrap-bag of clever (occasionally clever-clever) and effective pieces, which didn't make a satisfying whole. The evocation of the deep sadness of loss of memory of the dead was the best part; I thought the seriousness of that theme was undercut by the dodging (again) of Clara's death. That ending felt like a sop, a buy-off.