Hell Bent from Gallifrey straight to Big Finish - Maisie/Jenna as Me/Clara from now til the end of time

Date: Sat Apr 22 2017 Doctor Who
p039ph43.jpgWhatever else we make of the Doctor Who Season 9 finale, one thing is clear: Maisie Williams and Jenna Coleman have a long career ahead of them playing immortals "Me" and Clara, traveling the universe in their own TARDIS. That's how the episode ended, eh? Clara insisting on a return to Gallifrey to finish things, but to take the long way around. She cannot die because her death is pre-ordained on Trapp Street and, thanks to Time Lord technology, she is a walking frozen point of time waiting to return to her regular time stream, swallow the raven, and die. Until then she can roam the universe, accompanied by someone who swallowed alien technology that will keep her body fully repaired, and is also effectively immortal. There you have it, the perfectly sensible back story of a Big Finish franchise.

no-matter-where-you-go-there-you-are.jpgAnd while we're on the subject of odd bits. Raise your hands how many noticed this. Keep your hands up if you knew immediately what this referred to. Just sayin, that was wild seeing that flip by ever so quick that I wasn't sure I'd seen it.

The question is whether this phrase - "No matter where you go, there you are" has anything to do with this story. These people on Doctor Who rarely, if ever, throw in a completely random something without it meaning something for real. But, I just don't see anything specific. This phrase is the ultimate self-referential-definition-of-selfhood so of course it applies to anything, but I'm not seeing how it applies to this mini story arc in Season 9 of Doctor Who.

So, what about this story, Hell Bent? It's highly confusing and very simple at the same time. The sequence of events is pretty straightforward - boy loses girl to a Death Raven, boy spends 4 billion years beating his fists to a bloody pulp against a wall of diamond 20 feet thick, boy gets girl back, but has to chase off the evil guy and go through hell, only to forget that girl ever existed, but girl takes pity on him, gives him a new ride, returns to him his magic wand, before she and her girlfriend head off to see the rest of the universe.

But.. what's the impact of all this. Just how is "Time" not going to be badly fractured by all this? Well, that question has a simple answer doesn't it? Clara has to eventually return to Gallifrey and be reinserted into her natural time stream so she can Face the Raven, eh? But in the meantime her and Me can romp around and have some fun.

The BBC billed Hell Bent as a one-parter, but it's really a three-parter starting when Ashildr/Me lured the Doctor and Clara into Trapp Street. I mean, why couldn't the Doctor see that a mile away -- Trapp Street? That's gotta be a Trap, right? Anyway... he wouldn't be the Doctor if he didn't walk right into obvious traps.

What we have is this woman - Me - who's "effectively" immortal, because the Doctor accidentally made her so. Kinda like he did with Captain Jack Harkness. But this time around the person became resentful, and I can imagine that because the Doctor ran away so quickly (as he often does) he made no time in which to prepare this person for an immortal life. It's not like in The Highlander when the Ramirez character spent a few months preparing the Highlander to be immortal. Ashildr had no such training, and had to make it up on her own, and it didn't go well.

Lesson: Follow-through is very important.

p03908r8.jpgThen there's this castle The Doctor found himself in, and the very delicious symbology of the wall of diamond 20 feet thick. When first seen this wall said "Home" -- implying that his Home was on the other side of the wall. To which he said that of course the TARDIS would be in the castle behind such a wall.

Turns out not to be the case, and instead that Gallifrey was on the other side of the wall.

A practical little thing about this is that even though the wall described as "harder than diamond" it's still a crystal. Therefore, hit the crystal in the right way and it will crack by a little bit. It simply took 4 billion years of pounding -- 4 billion years of dedication -- to reach Home.

Now, isn't that symbolic of how we (supposedly) spend lifetimes reexperiencing our Karma and healing everything, and that our personal Enlightenment occurs once we've worked through all that stuff? How many lifetimes or years does it take us to work through all that stuff, and reach Home?

Then finally we get to Gallifrey. The Doctor, as the person who Won the Time War, and what's his reception? A firing squad? Is that the reception he deserves? But we're talking about Rassilon, right?

I have to raise one thing - why does the Sisterhood of Karn have access to the Time Lords council chambers? They aren't Time Lords, so who are they? This week I re-watched The Brain of Morbius to refresh my memory, because that's the episode from which they come.

In that story the Sisterhood was a kind of side story, with the main story being a Frankenstein-like thing which was a particularly evil Time Lord attempting to recreate himself after having been atomized. Karn is a planet near Gallifrey, which had been ravaged by that Time Lord when he went megalomaniacal. The Council captured the dude and ... and, well, that's not important to the Sisterhood.

They were a group of priestesses guarding a sacred fire which produced an elixir of life which granted immortality. That elixir was highly prized by the Time Lords, and apparently the Time Lords often went to the Sisterhood for help with regenerations. Hence, the Sisterhood would be privileged enough because of their importance to the Time Lords to have access to Gallifrey etc.

But if the Sisterhood knew how to get to Gallifrey, why didn't they just tell the Doctor? Why did he have to go through all this?

I really don't grok why Rassilon gave up with so little of a fight. That's not like Rassilon at all. Yes, he faced a mutiny of the Time Lords backing the Doctor in preference to Rassilon. But, we're talking about Rassilon. He's the sort of guy who'd do more than boast a bit before scurrying off with his tail between his legs just because of some mutinous Time Lords.

I don't get that at all.

But, still, it means The Doctor is again the President of the High Council of the Time Lords. Did you notice that? General whos-her-his-face called him (The Doctor) Lord President.

And, Moffatt just had to sneak in a Time Lord regneration that went from male to female -- further cementing the possibility of a female Doctor.