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Doctor Who – 9.11: HEAVEN SENT

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 24/11/2015 - Programme Name: Doctor Who - TX: 28/11/2015 - Episode: HEAVEN SENT (By Steven Moffat) (No. 11) - Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED UNTIL 24th NOV 2015*** Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Simon Ridgway

You could look away for one second for fear of missing something important. It twisted and turned more than the corridors the Doctor was forced to wander. Just as it left you wondering what the hell was going on it explained it all in a crescendo of a montage.

‘Heaven Sent’ is the penultimate episode of series nine and up there with (the writer) Steven Moffat’s best.  It was an episode that demanded attention. Every moment felt like a clue; from the vocally expressed internal monologue, the ‘Sherlock’ mind palace moments in the TARDIS, to the Doctors confessions. Once again Moffat at the same time builds and tears apart the mythology of the ‘Doctor Who’ universe. One of the most important of these moments was the confession that the Doctor ran from Gallifrey because he was scared and not bored; contradicting what the Doctor has said since the Patrick Troughton era story ‘The War Games’.

Virtually a single headed episode Peter Capaldi had a lot to do. He filled the screen. So much so I never felt like there was a need for anyone else. It was the moment where Capaldi made the role his own. Afterwards it’s hard to see how anyone could still think he’s too old, grumpy, ugly, blah blah blah.

The only criticism you could throw at ‘Heaven Sent’ is that, much like the previous episode ‘Face the Raven’, it draws an influence from the ‘Harry Potter’ universe. The veiled figure that stalked the Doctor had the look at feel of a Dementor and the moving castle had a touch of ‘Hogwarts’ about it.

So this was the start of the end of season nine and another strong contender for episode of the series. ‘Heaven Sent’ is a story worth watching again. Even if it’s just to pick through the clues and find something new.

Rating out of 10: 9.5

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