Three-ish Questions We’re Left With After Hell Bent

So there we have it! The season 9 finale has come and gone, bringing with it the answers to some questions we’ve been pondering since episode 1 of this series and some questions that have been bothering us for a Hell of a lot longer, but we won’t get Bent out of shape worrying about the questions that still aren’t answered or totally new questions that have cropped up? or will we…?

Reactions to Hell Bent have been somewhat mixed, I’d say. Definitely mixed in my own head, at least, and the various heads that are laying around at K Towers. Some of those heads are even still attached to bodies, which is a plus.

I, for one, enjoyed the episode. It was fun. It made me laugh and (almost) cry. There were some fantastic set pieces with great acting from Capaldi. The Gallifreyan landscapes were gorgeous, especially the wide shots. I loved seeing the classic white TARDIS interior and learning more about the Matrix and the wraiths.

…BUT…

…and please don’t get me wrong. I did really enjoy it…

BUT there were quite a few inconsistencies and unanswered questions and pointless plot threads that niggle at me, somewhat. We’ve had a bit of a chat here at the Towers (those of us that still have heads attached, anyway) and here, in no particular order are some thoughts we have on those unanswered questions.

The big question for me, is why were the Sisterhood of Karn on Gallifrey and how did they get there? I like Ohila, she’s a great character, but was her presence in the story merely a tick in the box? How would the story have played out any differently if she hadn’t been there? Mind you, she was a useful foil for the equally redundant Rassilon to argue with and complain at.

There were some nice new dangling plot threads left in the barn, though. Who was that woman – a former nursemaid or maybe even a relative? And why did she say something about “keeping things here in case the boys…”? She was probably referring to the Doctor and… a mysterious other? Is this other a brother? Or a brother from another mother? I like this little story – it doesn’t mess up any continuity and could tie into another dangling thread from waaaaay back in the Peter Davison story Planet of Fire when the Master is burning up and cries out “you would do this to your own…AAARGH!” I think it is widely believed that the AAARGH could be substituted for “brother”. Anyway, that’s just me speculating wildly!

HELL BENT (By Steven Moffat)

The Hybrid. Did we really get a satisfactory conclusion to this season long plot thread and subject of Time Lord prophecy? I don’t think so. The Hybrid is supposed to threaten the whole of time and space – I didn’t feel much threat from either of the prime candidates (the Doctor and Ashildr – I won’t call her “Me”, as that is the most contrived name I have ever heard purely so the Doctor can be vague, enigmatic and ambiguous, stating that “the Hybrid is Me”) although I do get that The Moff probably intended The Hybrid to be both the Doctor and Clara and it is their obsession with each other that puts the universe in dire peril. I just don’t get where the peril comes from – how can the universe and all of time space come to an end by extracting someone at their time of death and letting them go free? Mind you, one of the talking heads at K Towers did point out that this is a Moffat thing – at the end of the day, the questions we thought were important and wanted answers to didn’t really matter. It’s all about the characters and their interactions – it’s this that keeps us coming back. Probably!

One other comment I have, more like a question, really… is all about the regeneration of the general from a man (back) into a woman. I know this is a divisive issue, but this is the first time we’ve seen it happen and it certainly seems to me as though The Grand Moff did this just to bait the fans who are against “this sort of thing”. Fair play, says I! And here comes another but…

…BUT…

…it just didn’t seem to serve any PURPOSE in the story, and for that reason, it just felt crammed in and awkward and shouldn’t have been there. I liked the General as he has, seemed like a nice fairly honourable chap, so why change the character part way through the story when it doesn’t serve the narrative? Also, with all the HOOHA about the gender-bending regeneration, did anyone notice that s/he changed colour? It occurs to me that this may have been a clever way of sneaking a colour changing regeneration into our psyches while we were all focussed on a different aspect. Well played!



Simon Mills

About

Simon was born at an early age and has loved Doctor Who since even before then. Truth be told, it was those pesky giant maggots and the dandy in the frilly shirt that got him hooked... but it was the hair, teeth, eyes and scarf that made him stick around to this very day. When not writing for Kasterborous, Simon indulges in his passion for karate training and listening to (and writing about) some seriously heavy rock and metal music. Not at the same time, though, as that can lead to serious injury and/or lawsuits.


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