Doctor Who: Initial Reactions to Heaven Sent
A Guest Blog by Hevy782
Since I was nice last week and started off by discussing the death of Clara I think it’s only fair that I be a bit mean this week and leave this week’s big event, the return of Gallifrey, until the end. But being mean isn’t the only reason for doing this. I’m also doing it because Gallifey’s return doesn’t really feed into this week’s story like Clara’s death did last week. In fact this episode could very easily be considered a stand alone one similar to the way The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived can be seen as two stand alone episodes. But anyway, I’ll wait until next week until I say whether or not I think it’s a stand alone as it doesn’t seem as simple as that at the moment. So then, this story has been of great interest to me for a while now, ever since we found out it was a one hander. I was intrigued by how they were going to handle it and to just simply have a showcase of Capaldi’s amazing acting skills. And obviously coming out of this Capaldi’s acting is one of the things you most remember. Then we had the trailer and I was really liking the otherworldly quality it had to it. I mean a story about the Doctor trapped in a castle which rearranges itself while a nightmarish creature is slowly pursuing him, what’s not to love about that?
Well this may surprise some people given the amount of positively this episode has got but I do feel there are some things not to like about this episode. Starting off with a simple one, the montage goes on way too long. I get what it was trying to do but it was basically five minutes worth of everything we’d seen up to that point on a loop. Two minutes worth would’ve been enough to get the point across nicely, three at a push. Another thing that annoyed me about this episode was the Sherlock-esque sequences in the Doctor’s mind. It broke up the flow of the story in my opinion and while it was more tolerable on a second viewing I still felt that they were unnecessary and the point could’ve easily been got across in a line of dialogue or so. And then inside his mind he’s trying to impress Clara, which is a bit creepy but that’s not my criticism here. My criticism here is that Clara is dead and the show’s still trying to convince me that she is the most amazing woman in the universe and no-one has ever come close to her and no-one ever will. Now it’s not that I don’t want her death to affect the Doctor but I would prefer the show not to treat her as the Doctor’s whole world. He’s had many companions before and will probably have many companions after, each are special in their own way so stop trying to push Clara as the god of all companions. It just feels forced and makes me like her even less, which is saying something as she’s already dead. Now I know I’ve been quite negative up to this point but I did like this episode really. It’s just that negatives are a lot easier. What I’m basically trying to say here is that if I haven’t mention it up to this point then I think it’s brilliant. The Veil and it’s slow but constant pace is a terrifying creation. The fact that it’s point of view is displayed on the screens only adds to that. I’m just happy that Steven Moffat’s come up with an original idea for once and done a good job executing it. Seeing as a lot of his previous scripts as of late have been rehashing his quite a few of his old ideas this one’s a breath of fresh air.
So now we come to the moment you’ve probably all been waiting for, the return of Gallifrey. Given that it’s going to play such a big role in next week’s episode there’s little to actually talk about in relation to it here but I will try my best as I’ll need as much room as possible next week to talk about all the other hopefully awesome things that may happen in that episode. So then the most obvious question to begin with would be am I happy that it’s back? And the answer to that would be of course I am! However, I’m not very happy with the reveal. Partially because it was spoiled by really bad marketing which revealed it weeks in advance. Secondly because This is Gallifrey from series three wasn’t playing during the reveal. It’s some of the best music the show’s ever had and would’ve made the scene so much more epic compared to the rather standard incidental music that we ended up getting. Hopefully we’ll get to hear it next week as that theme is simply beautiful. Look it up if you’re not sure what I’m on about. Now one more thing before I rap this up, I’m going to put a theory out there. Remember how Skaro was invisible in The Magician’s Apprentice? What if Gallifrey was invisible in Death in Heaven and Missy was telling the truth after all. Just think about it for a bit.
Overall, despite my review seeming quite negative on reflection I did really like this episode. In fact I’d go so far as to say its a eight-out-of-ten in my eyes. Now there were a couple of other things which I didn’t mention here that slightly bothered me but depending on how Hell Bent turns out I could be fine with them so I’ll give this episode the benefit of the doubt in that respect. So hopefully Hell Bent will provide a satisfactory conclusion to those loose ends as well as providing us with a simply epic finale, something which I feel we haven’t had since The Big Bang. So until we see it next week be sure to sound off your thoughts on the episode in the comments below.