With some mild spoilers, here are my thoughts ahead of tonight’s longer episode season finalé Hell Bent. Much has been drip fed from the BBC, so the mild spoilers I have should be known to many.
I’ve also scanned several so-called spoiler-free reviews. They seem remarkably consistent.
Now I know the Doctor lived through his aeons of pain and torment inside his own confession disc (in last week’s Heaven Sent). I also now read Steven Moffat planned to bow out at the end of this season or with the Christmas special so in some respects this is his nailing his colours to various bits of canon. I also know there are many of returning characters (eg Ashildr or Ohila) and glimpses of monsters (Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels) all of whom look like exhibits in a museum.
What I do expect is:
- Identification of the Hybrid
- The Doctor’s confession
- A possible resolution to the Ashildr story
- Some mysticism (thanks to Ohila from Karn)
- The return of Gallifrey to normal reality
- Fans will be split.
Is it the Doctor (half-human or not?), or is it Me (ie Ashildr). Can I believe Gallifrey would have a mystical legend? Yes I can, though I hadn’t really spotted the big push of the Hybrid concept this series. Dalek crossed with Time Lord? Nah, not for me. Either option works, the Doctor created Me from Ashildr and she is now meant to be very, very old. Is it the Doctor? Do we get the canonisation of the Gallifrey / Earth connection?
Why leave Gallifrey? Well, if Cartmel / Aaronovitch can suddenly add the Other (at least in novel) and stellar manipulators to the Doctor’s back story, I think Steven Moffat is entitled to add his own twists. The Doctor didn’t want to stay though has been back. The initial threat / danger presumably held in abeyance, I hope this is a good twist and not clever for its own sake.
She might be the Hybrid, she might die, she might go back in time and become the mother of the Time Lords, Kaleds, Rassilon, The Doctor – who knows. Something is in the wind.
Of course – who else can be around for prophecy if not the Sisterhood of Karn?
For me time to return. I don’t see the Doctor as having been questing, just wandering about. I look forward to being corrected / surprised. More likely Gallifrey will return but the Doctor will be banned and made President again!
Most people loved last week’s story — this is not a natural state of affairs for fandom, so I expect very diverse reactions!