9.12. Hell Bent

Series 9 - 2015 - 2016

Writer: Steven Moffat
Produced by: Peter Bennett
Director: Rachel Talalay
Music: Murray Gold

The Doctor: Well, the difference is, when you die, you stay dead.
Clara: So does he.
The Doctor: We're on Gallifrey. Death is Time Lord for man flu!


In Nevada, USA, the Doctor is given a lift through the desert to a diner. It's the only building in the area and inside is one person, an English waitress. He doesn't recognise the waitress, and she asks what he wants. He says he has no money, but he can play a song on his guitar. When the waitress asks what the song is called he says 'Clara', and the waitress asks the Doctor to tell her about Clara.

The Doctor's arrival on Gallifrey has set all the cloister bells ringing in the Capitol. At the base of the city, in the Matrix, the Cloister Wraiths are active. In an old barn the Doctor is found by a woman, and word soon gets round local Gallifreyans that the Doctor is back, and he is given a bowl of soup. Moments later a ship arrives and a soldier orders the Doctor to lay down his weapons and accompany him to the Capitol. The Doctor drops his spoon and instead draws a line in the sand.

The General arrives with more Time Lords guards but the Doctor refuses to talk to him. When the newly regenerated Lord President Rassilon appears the Doctor meets him. The Doctor throws down his confession dial, and Rassilon explains that they needed to know if the Doctor had information about the hybrid. Angry, the Doctor tells Rassilon to get off his planet. Rassilon orders his guards to fire on the Doctor, but none of them are prepared to shoot the Doctor - including the General. Instead the all drop their weapons and stand by the Doctor. When Rassilon threatens to fire on the Doctor the General stands between Rassilon and the Doctor and tells Rassilon to get off his planet.

With Rassilon banished the Doctor returns to the Capitol with the General. The General tells the Doctor Gallifrey is located at the end of the Universe for its protection. Rassilon had trapped the Doctor because he was scared of the Hybrid, and the Doctor asks the General about the prophecies. The Doctor says he can help, but he needs to use an extraction chamber to talk to an old friend.

Using the extraction chamber the Doctor travels back the instant before the raven enters Clara (see Face The Raven). Clara follows the Doctor into the extraction chamber. Naturally Clara is confused; she was about to be killed. The Doctor tells her that her physical processes have been time looped, and that she is between a heart beat and her last one. The General tells her that once they have information from her she will be returned to face her death. Her death is a historical event that must happen. The Doctor is not going to let that happen. He takes the General's weapon and shoot him, knowing that he can escape whilst the General will regenerate - into a Black woman.

The Doctor takes Clara to the Cloisters where the Matrix database is located. Inside there are neutralised creatures left over from the Cloister Wars, including a Dalek, a Cyberman, and Weeping Angels. The Matrix is the sum knowledge of the Time Lords, and can predict the future through prophecies. Whilst the Doctor tries to find a way in Clara distracts the General and her guards. With the guards distracted the Doctor finds a way to the old workshops where he steals a different TARDIS, goes back for Clara, then leaves Gallifrey with her.

Once the TARDIS breaks free of Gallifrey's time zone Clara's heartbeat should restart, but it doesn't, and the tattoo on her neck still reads 000. The Doctor takes the TARDIS to the last hours of the Universe where he finds Ashildr. The Doctor goes out to meet her, leaving Clara inside. Whilst the Doctor talks to Ashildr/Me Clara watches from inside the TARDIS. Ashildr asks the Doctor about Hybrid that the Time Lords fear. She has a theory that the Hybrid isn't one being but two. A Time Lords, and a human behaving like a Time Lord. The Doctor tells Ashildr that he is going to take Clara back to Earth, somewhere safe, and wipe her memory of him using a Neural Block in the TARDIS.

Inside the TARDIS Clara hears the Doctor and sees the Neural Block and using the Doctor's sonic glasses reverses the polarity of the device. When the Doctor and Ashildr enter the TARDIS she tells him she knows that the Doctor plans to do to her. She also tells him she reversed the Neural Block. If he uses if he will wipe his memory of her. The Doctor is not sure the device can easily be reversed, and together he and Clara activate the device. One of them will have their memory wiped.

It takes a minute or two for the device to work - and it's the Doctor who collapses. When he wakes up he is in the Nevada desert.

In the diner the Doctor tells the waitress he can't remember Clara: what she spoke like, or what even what she looked like. As the Doctor strums his guitar the waitress leaves and enters the console room of the TARDIS where Ashildr is waiting. The Doctor is still playing as the TARDIS de-materialises around him, leaving him in the desert with his TARDIS. On the side is a picture of the waitress - Clara.

As the Doctor leaves Earth in his TARDIS Clara and Ashildr leave in their TARDIS - which may now be stuck in the form of an American diner.

Regular Cast

  • Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman

Guest Cast

  • The President: Donald Sumpter
  • The General: Ken Bones
  • Ashildir: Maisie Williams
  • Female General: T'Nia Miller
  • Gastron: Malachi Kirby
  • Ohila: Clare Higgins
  • The Woman: Linda Broughton
  • Man: Martin T. Sherman
  • Wraiths: Jami Reid-Quarrell, Nick Ash, Ross Mullen
  • Voice of the Dalek: Nicholas Briggs

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 12. Hell Bent Saturday, December 5, 2015 8:00 PM - 9:05 PM 6.17M

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