Reviewed By: Tim90
Review Date: 12/5/15 10:50 pm
6 out of 11 found this review helpful.
One of the strongest series of Doctor Who since its 2005 revival comes to a close with "Hell Bent";, following hot on the heels of the astonishing and innovative "Heaven Sent". With the Doctor returning to Gallifreyan soil for the first time since the Time War, and having waited the entire time span of the universe to get there, we were guaranteed an exciting story, right?
Well, no actually. "Hell Bent" is an absolute mess of a story. You wouldn't think it possible that a story involving Gallifrey, the Matrix, the end of the universe, Time Lords, a Regeneration, Weeping Angels, a Dalek, A Cyberman, an original Tardis interior, and the wrapping up of several story arcs, could be this boring.
That's not to say there aren't any good ideas here, but they're nearly all swept under the carpet in favour of Clara's story, which as far as I'm concerned should have come to an end with "Face the Raven". The Cloister Wraiths could have been a brilliantly scary invention, but we only ever get one close up shot of one of the creatures. Then we find ourselves in a position where the Doctor has deposed and exiled the President and Founder of Gallifrey, overthrown the High Council, and taken the presidency for himself. This should have shaken the series to its very core, and had serious ramifications for years to come. But, no. It's forgotten about almost as soon as it's mentioned. I don't know about other viewers, but I'd far rather see the Time Lords, leaderless and lost at the end of creation itself, struggling to survive, than seeing Clara's exit dragged out in the most ridiculous way possible. Yes folks, Clara has finally become the Doctor, going on the run with a stolen Tardis. Yuck.
This could have been a classic. All the elements were there, particularly following the excellence of "Heaven Sent". But ultimately, "Hell Bent" represents one of the worst drops in quality between episodes since "Caves of Androzani" was followed by "The Twin Dilemma" (or perhaps since "The Satan Pit" was followed by "Love and Monsters").