TV Review: Doctor Who 9.12 “Hell Bent”

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 12 “Hell Bent”
Directed by Rachel Talalay
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Maisie Williams, Ken Bones, T’nia Miller, Clare Higgins
BBC America
Air date: December 5, 2015

This week, we find the Doctor back on Gallifrey, the home of Time Lords. It’s a place of many traps, both for the Doctor and for Doctor Who. There is the Doctor’s own, occasionally troubled relationship with his own people. There is the temptation to reveal too much about who the Doctor really is. There is frequently the desire to indulge in the worst kind of fan nostalgia by summoning up key words, faces, and objects from the past.

In this week’s episode, “Hell Bent,” I think the Doctor emerges relatively unscathed, but only after the showrunner Steven Moffat leads us through some abrupt and unconvincing turns that aim high but cater to the show’s worst storytelling tendencies.

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