Heaven Sent – Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 11 – The DVDfever Review

Heaven Sent

And to hammer home the point that Clara’s death is a sore point he struggles to get past, there’s an ancient painting of Jenna Coleman hanging up within his incarcerated abode. And most of the time he’s talking to her – well, not TO her, but making her ever-present in his mind, rather like Stellan Skarsgård’s imaginary manifestation of Nicola Walker in River. He imagines he’s in the TARDIS, talking to Clara (who’s only seen from behind), telling her early on how he survived an initial big fall, even though he was still working that out at the time.

And on a blackboard appears three questions in turn, the answers coming as the episode went on:

    “What is this place?”
    “What did you say that made the creature stop?”
    “How are you going to WIN?”

And then, we had a River-style cameo when an uncredited (in the opening credits, at least, but not in the closing ones) Jenna Coleman popped up as a figment of The Doctor’s imagination. So she’s still dead. Don’t get too excited!

In the end, the revelation was that the Doctor was working his way through the maze, arriving at a wall of Azbantium – 400 times harder than diamond and 20 feet thick. But the Veil would catch up with him, sort-of electrocute him and then half-kill him off to the point where he was constantly ‘burning’ his old self to make a new one who arrives and goes round the maze again. So when you saw a load of skulls in the water near the start, it was only ever him who’s been there and all those skulls were his, constantly replaying it all until he got it right.


Questions to be answered…

There was also talk of a Hybrid, which he stated was half-Dalek and half-Time Lord, but then later corrected himself as having no Dalek involved, since they’d never allow that. And as he found himself back on his home planet, “The Hybrd destined to conquer Gallifrey and stand in its ruins…. is me!”

That was it??! It took him 2 billion years to chisel through the Azbantium. It almost felt as long in the telling. Capaldi did the best he could, but he’s been hampered by appallingly weak scripts this series.

I’ll also lay blame at the door of director Rachel Talalay, who previously directed last year’s two-part finale, Dark Water and Death In Heaven, and I’ve never forgiven her for her godawful feature-length debut, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, from 1991.

And if Beethoven was alive, he’d be suing Murray Gold for bastardising his 7th Symphony, time and again to drum up the tension!

Next time: Ashildr’s back yet again – well, The Doctor just passed her task; there’s more Hybrid talk and the words “the regeneration is in progress” are heard… but we know it won’t affect The Doctor because Capaldi is in the Christmas episode.

Heaven Sent is available on the BBC iPlayer until December 27th.

Doctor Who Series 9 Part 1 is available to buy on Blu-ray and DVD, you can also pre-order Series 9 Part 2 on Blu-ray and DVD ahead of its release on January 4th 2016, and individual episodes can be bought in HD and SD here.

And click on all the images in this review for the full-sized version.


“Coo-eeee! I’m back!! …Nah, just kidding!”

Score: 5/10

Director: Rachel Talalay
Producer: Peter Bennett
Screenplay: Steven Moffat
Music: Murray Gold

The Doctor: Peter Capaldi
The Veil: Jami Reid-Quarrell
Servalan: Jacqueline Pearce
Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman


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