Doctor Who “Hell Bent” Spoiler-Free Preview

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Finale time and in keeping with the experimental nature of this series, Doctor Who “Hell Bent” may not be quite what you expect. Although you probably know it’s written by Steven Moffat so expecting the unexpected may be exactly what you expect. Once again, the trailer seems to have spoilt far more than we would have done, and once again the BBC’s preview site has asked reviewers not to give away one spoiler that’s in the trailer – so, bizarrely, we can’t tell you that [REDACTED] is back, but you presumably know who we mean. Because you seen the trailer.

Anyway, here are some more random observations/thoughts.

  1. It’s very weirdly structured, with all the stuff you’d expect from a series finale at the start then it goes off in another direction entirely.
  2. The first 20 minutes are amazing. The final few minutes are emotional and full of great moments.
  3. In between a lot of stuff happens – some of it cool, some of it creepy, with quite a few surprises – but it’s not always clear why it’s happening. It’s not confusing; you know what’s happening, but it’s not always clear what the reasoning is.
  4. There are loads of memorable visuals – occasionally the special effects shots evoke an emotional response as well as “Wow!” one.
  5. There are lots of new inferences about the Doctor’s past but few actual facts. Apart from one.
  6. There are some familiar locations though one’s in an unfamiliar location.
  7. Someone comes up with an explanation about the hybrid, preceding it with, “But I have a better theory…” They don’t. It’s a rubbish theory. We hope we’re not supposed to take it seriously.
  8. There’s a moment when you think, “Hang on, this has been done before…” but it doesn’t pan out the same at all.
  9. [REDACTED] is very good in it with a very surprising destiny. And good hair.
  10. As well as [REDACTED]  there are other returnees too (you can see them in the picture gallery here) but mentioning them is  not embargoed, because they’re clearly not considered similarly, “Oooooooh!”-worthy. Though one of them says a word that may have you going, “Oooooooh!” It begins with “B” and certainly makes someone close to the Doctor do a double-take.
  11. The very first scenes has a Buckaroo Banzai in-joke.
  12. The Doctor strums something on his guitar that he should never have heard.
  13. After having so many lines last week, this week Capaldi spends an awful lot of time on screen not talking. And very effective he is too.
  14. He drops a spoon. Again. Coincidence? (Probably yeah… but hey, we’re sure we can make a visual metaphor out of it if we tried).
  15. “What colour is it?”
  16. “On pain of death do no take a selfie.”
  17. We see something that we know does happen actually happen onscreen for the first time.
  18. The Doctor quotes The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935).
  19. Something make a comeback.
  20. A final message for the Doctor is an old message for the Doctor.

NOTE: There was no trailer for the Christmas special on the preview (hell, the credits were for “Deep Breath”) but we fully expect there will be one on the actual broadcast, though the title and a promo image have just been released.

Doctor Who, “Hell Bent” airs on BBC One on Saturday 5 December.


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