Doctor Who Spoiler-Free Preview For Heaven Sent
More on Doctor Who
An extended episode of Doctor Who featuring only the Doctor? Writer Steven Moffat and returning director Rachel Talalay have certainly given themselves a challenge for the penultimate episode of series nine. Fortunately they live up to the task with a finely crafted script and a memorable set piece for the Doctor to play in. But most importantly, the episode lives and dies by its central performance and thanks to a mesmerising Peter Capaldi, he delivers every moment of it.
But did we ever have any doubt? Capaldi was good in series eight but this year he has gone from strength to strength, delivering spine-tingling speeches like the one in The Zygon Inversion with a penchant for great humour (sipping tea in Davros' chair in The Witch's Familiar). But all that was just a build up to this episode.
The Doctor has been lured into a trap and the shadow of Clara's death hangs over this episode in unexpected ways. There are moments when he talks to his dead companion that will break your heart but he is not all consumed by anger or despair. There are still some moments of humour and there is a great mystery for him to get his teeth into.
And it is probably some of the best 55 minutes of a character running around an abandoned castle you will ever see because when that mystery comes together it is both shocking and heartbreaking and you'll wonder just how the Doctor is going to get our of it.
Heaven Sent is a bold, ambitious and thrilling episode. I am sure there will be those who complain nothing happens for the good part of 45 minutes but then they'll be the ones who miss the point of the episode. And it has a very good ending. Oh sure it's not a Clara dying ending but it some ways it is the biggest ending since Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005...