Saturday, December 05, 2015

Doctor Who – Series 9, Episode 12 (Series Finale)

HELL BENT (By Steven Moffat)
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Well, here we are  - it’s the series finale, and it’s promising to be a great one! The critics are on maximum alert, sharpening their pencils (and knives) ready to cast their opinion. This series has mostly been received in a positive way by the Newspapers (especially The Guardian and The Telegraph), but many of the episodes have split the fans. Sleep No More is considered to be ‘the turkey’ of series 9 (which for me, it very surprising as it was written by the rather excellent Mark Gatiss). Viewing figures are down and that’s being blamed on the later transmission time but for me, the quality of the stories varied episode by episode from the excellent to the wtf - and there could have been even more of the superb ‘Who-music’ from the very talented Murray Gold.

More positively, this series had its fair share of two-parters – and for this viewer at least, I felt it was a great move. It allowed stories the time to develop and also to bring back the cliff-hanger format from early-Who.

Peter Capaldi is now 25 episodes into the role and the vast majority agree that he is The Doctor. So, what about this episode? In short, I loved every minute of this one. Well, it wouldn’t be a series finale without a revelation, a plot-twist or two – and some big surprises. And this was no different, where show-runner Steven Moffat pulled-out all the stops to keep us, the audience, engaged. It featured the return of some familiar characters, as we delved deeper into the significance of Gallifrey – and also the return of a familiar object (that must surely be THE Christmas present this year for any serious Whovian). Kerrrchingggg!
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But like many of the episodes in this series, it’s wasn’t for the casual watcher. There’s no way anyone could pickup this halfway through the episode and work out what was going on! But that probably applies to any script penned by SM, as he always credits his audience with a forensic-like ability to make sense of what’s going on! For me, a lot of time after watching an episode this series, I’d been scratching my head working out what’s going on, and although maybe that’s not a bad thing, it did leave me on more than one occasion diving onto the internet to seek some clarity.

The series has ended on a happy upbeat note. We’ve got a Doctor who’s now alone (again!), but I got a sense he had sort of been ‘reset’, which of course prepares us nicely, the viewer, for the next series. I just hope that the plots don’t get any more complicated!

All that’s left now is the traditional Christmas Special, which looks like it is going to be a humorous storyline – I hate those!
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