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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 96: Heaven Sent
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On Doctor Who Episode 9.11 “Heaven Sent,” after witnessing one of his worst nightmares, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is teleported to a mysterious castle that seems to reconfigure and alter its passageways causing a disorienting labyrinth prison for the Time Lord. He begins to unwind the mystery of who put him here and why, only to find he must face more of his own fears and confessions.

During TARDISblend 96, we discuss the critically acclaimed episode with a phenomenal performance from Peter Capaldi – the good, the bad, and the several jaw-dropping revelations from the adventure. We also examine where our predictions were right and/or wrong!

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend podcast!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.11 “Heaven Sent”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who 9.11 Heaven Sent BBC

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 11 “Heaven Sent”
Directed by Rachel Talalay
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Jami Reid-Quarrell
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, November 28, 2015

WARNING: SPOILERS for Season 9 of Doctor Who

This week on Doctor Who, Episode 9.11 “Heaven Sent,” we are forced to consider the myths of Prometheus, the Greek Titan. In an episode featuring only three actors, the Doctor is trapped in a prison apparently designed to both punish and tantalize him. A method of escape apparently exists, but it comes at a horrible price. It is a beautifully atmospheric piece of Gothic horror with a clockwork castle, an amorphous death-like adversary, and plenty of chills that bite deeply enough to hit bone.

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TV Review: Doctor Who 8.12 “Death In Heaven”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who Death In Heaven

Doctor Who
Season 8, Episode 12 “Death In Heaven”
Directed by Rachel Talalay
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Samuel Anderson, Michelle Gomez
BBC America
Air Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014

The end has finally come and with it, reckoning. A number of threads were left hanging after “Dark Water” last week. What is Missy/The Master planning? Is Danny really dead? What will happen to Clara? How do the Cybermen fit in? It was all a bit of a mish-mash. It was difficult to see where the dramatic payoff would come from, and how it would finally let viewers look back at this season’s story arc.

While I believe this final episode, “Death In Heaven,” competently checked off all the boxes and answered everything, excellence came only in flashes. Michelle Gomez is responsible for much of it. The scene in which Missy finally pulls back the curtain to reveal the reason for all this to the Doctor comes to mind. The sequence between Missy and Osgood is also quite chilling. The rest of it merely services the arc. Give some credit to Steven Moffat for turning the Cybermen into zombies, and then a platoon of soldiers, but that’s all they are. Likewise, Danny’s part in the finale all fits, but it’s nothing spectacular for all its final flash. In all, it’s been a quality season that set the bar high. This finale meets that bar, but does not dramatically surpass it.

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TV Review: Doctor Who 8.11 “Dark Water”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who Episode 8.11 Dark Water and The Invasion BBC

Doctor Who
Season 8, Episode 11 “Dark Water”
Directed by Rachel Talalay
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Samuel Anderson, Michelle Gomez
BBC America
Air Date: Saturday, November 1, 2014

What a difference a week can make, or a writer can make. After coming through an episode like “In The Forest Of The Night,” where everything felt like it was on unsure ground in terms of character and motivation, here we are on bedrock once again. Odd bedrock it is, however. The blows come fast and furious: first there is a death, then a betrayal, and then a mystery. Finally, the little snippets of the Missy story that we’ve seen make sense, and we know who Missy is.

Now whether you like what you see in this episode comes down, as it often does, to whether you like Steven Moffat‘s brand of storytelling on Doctor Who. In his favor, the trademark cleverness is here, and the economical knack for character. We definitely now understand how the crumb trail was left for us, the audience, across the season. The condensed plotting and the penchant for odd ideas that drive parts of the audience nuts are present here too.

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