TV Review Readers please note: THIS IS A POST-UK BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!
At last! The Doctor is on Gallifrey. And what an epic journey to get there. Two billion years of punching his way, Kill Bill-style, through that 20-ft thick wall – 400 times harder than diamond.
This is truly how you "get up off your arse and win," Whovians.
Peter Capaldi's performance is nothing short of incredible in Heaven Sent. He, quite deliberately, takes on the same gravitas of Tom Baker, so-much-so that his voice – at times – melds into that of the fourth Doctor.
It's a terrific episode penned by showrunner Steven Moffat. Season 9 has veered off course once or twice, but over all it's been thoroughly entertaining. And I say this even though those damn sonic sunnies are still being worn by the Doctor.
We're entering a whole new phase of the Time Lord's adventures. So where better to start then on Gallifrey.
I love the way this ep teases us with all those skulls on the seabed. My notes, as I watched Heaven Sent, ask the question: "Is the Doctor following the Doctor?"
And, it turns out, I'm spot on.
Setting aside being irked by that 3D printer reference, I love the idea that there's a copy of the Doctor in the hard drive. Imagine how many backup tapes you'd need for that, though?
The Confession Dial as a torture chamber-cum-puzzlebox is a very clever idea. And it's neat that even when the Doctor isn't on the TARDIS, he can still use it as a storeroom: "Lock the door and think."
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Heaven Sent. Pic credit: BBC
When the punchline comes, it's a real wow moment for the audience.
The Doctor tells the Veil throughout the ep that "the Hybrid is a very dangerous secret and it needs to be kept locked". His final confession to the shrouded creature is to say that the Hybrid is real.
All along, though, the audience has been led to believe that – somehow – the Hybrid is half-Dalek. But, of course, the Daleks would never stand for that.
"The Hybrid destined to conquer Gallifrey and stand in its ruins is me," the Doctor declares, once he is safely outside of that "bespoke torture chamber".
Clara's dying wish was for the Doctor not to seek revenge for her death.
Perhaps he will honour that, but he seems to have a taste for blood now and, without a human companion by his side, anything can happen. ®