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.