Every holiday season we look forward spending time with family, traditional foods, and the Doctor Who Christmas special. This year’s special, “The Husbands of River Song,” will air at 5:15pm on BBC One and 9/8c on BBC America on December 25.
In “Hell Bent” Doctor Who gives us a Season 9 finale with everything but the kitchen sink. Clara receives her due, the Doctor makes his mark on Gallifrey, and the ghosts of series past are ever present. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman gave emotional performances, creating a strong end to the season.
In “Hell Bent,” Doctor Who returns to the desert, causing a coup in Gallifrey and revisiting America for a last goodbye. It’s taken billions of years, but the Doctor has finally returned to Gallifrey for a less-than-joyful reunion with his fellow Time Lords. In “Hell Bent” it’s revealed that the struggle the Doctor endured in “Heaven Sent” was less about keeping the secret of the hybrid and more about establishing a bargaining chip to save Clara. Peter Capaldi uses his impressive ability to convey intensity and power even while being still, increasing the drama of “Hell Bent.”
Season 9, Episode 11 of Doctor Who, “Heaven Sent,” gives us the Doctor in a way we’ve rarely seen him—alone. Yet he is never completely alone—not because of the creature that slowly stalks him through the castle, but because his continually fresh grief means that the memory of Clara is never far. Though the Doctor is without a companion, it is the idea of Clara that serves as his audience, instructor, and, ultimately, his conscience.
Nothing adds drama like including a Caledonian in the cast. While some of our favorite actresses on television hail from the Highlands, others were raised in the Scottish Lowlands. We can’t get enough of these talented lasses.
“Face the Raven” leaves us mourning the loss of another Doctor Who companion with the death of Clara Oswald. Though it had been announced that Jenna Coleman would be leaving Doctor Who in Season 9, closing out Clara Osgood’s chapter through death makes her departure stand out. “Face the Raven” is a strong episode not only because of the loss of companion Clara, but also because it’s grounded with the return of Rigsy and heightened with the appearance of Ashildr. It’s also fantastic because the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) changes into a maroon velvet jacket after the youth apparel he’s been wearing lately is destroyed during an adventure with Clara.
“The Zygon Inversion” was full of suspense and moral reflection, the things we love about Doctor Who. In “The Zygon Invasion,” the presidential plane had been shot down, leaving us to wonder how the Doctor and Osgood would survive. Though we know the Doctor must survive, it was still shocking to see the visage of Clara firing a bazooka towards the plane. “The Zygon Inversion” picks up here, showing us not only these events on the ground, but how the real Clara, trapped in the Zygon pod, comes to understand what’s going on through the mental link she has with the Zygon Bonnie who has taken on her form.