[Doctor Who] S09E11: Heaven Sent

IMDb link.

Description:

Trapped in a world unlike any other he has seen, the Doctor faces the greatest challenge of his many lives. One final test. And he must face it alone…

Watched on: Amazon Prime Video India

Watch Date: 2020-01-09

Notes:

  • The highlight of the season for me. If it had skipped the one scene with Clara, and made it an episode where only Capaldi has a speaking role in all forty five minutes, that would’ve been legendary.
  • This felt a lot like Neil Gaiman’s short story Other People – the circular one of punishment in hell.
  • I’m feeling smug that I guessed early on that the Doctor was in the confession dial.
  • ‘How could my bespoke hell have anybody else in it’ turns around Sartre’s ‘hell is other people’ just as the Neil Gaiman story did. And it also brings to mind the quote from Small Gods:

“Death paused. YOU HAVE PERHAPS HEARD THE PHRASE, he said, THAT HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE?
‘Yes. Yes, of course.’
Death nodded. IN TIME, he said, YOU WILL LEARN THAT IT IS WRONG.”

  • Successive seasons really raise the stakes on a logarithmic scale. Back before the season 6 finale, the Doctor spends a three hundred years off screen. Then he spends three to four hundred years aging in The Time of the Doctor. And this episode makes him spend two billion years rebooting. Good grief.
  • Damn, that ‘I think it’s a hell of a bird’ speech and montage.
  • Last season, I thought that the Doctor was grumpy / irritable / quick to anger. Yhis season, he isn’t irritable – he’s just already angry and never exiting it.
  • The Sherlock / Doctor Who cross pollination continues, with the Doctor’s mind palace being the TARDIS.

 

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