SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen last week’s episode of ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Face The Raven’, this article discusses the MAJOR development in it, so please turn back if you don’t want it to be SPOILED.
How do you follow up last week’s tragic ‘Face The Raven’ which saw the death of companion Clara Oswald? With Doctor, Doctor and more Doctor. This week’s new episode of ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Heaven Sent,’ is a special 55-minute episode and it stars Peter Capaldi and, apparently, ONLY Peter Capaldi. The episode is directed by Rachel Talalay and written by showrunner Steven Moffat who was inspired by a soliloquy he wrote for Capaldi in ‘The Zygon Inversion’ and thought up doing an entire episode with only The Doctor.
As Moffat explains:
“It’s a mad thing to do. I’m yet to find out whether I’ve just gone mad or not. It occurred to me that I had just written a huge monologue for him at the end of [episode eight, The Zygon Inversion]. Ten minutes. I was typing forever in that. And I just thought, ‘maybe we don’t need anyone else – we don’t need to cut to anyone nodding – it’s just him?’
“It just puts it in a different place. If you’re not going to try things that scare you a bit, that scare everybody a bit, then it’ll feel what it must never feel – it’ll feel like an old show. I remember when Russell T Davies first brought it back, he said, ‘we can’t ever make it feel old. It always must feel like a brand new show.’ And that worked, and we carried on. But we’ve now got to the point where the new show is also old. Slightly marred by the 50th anniversary being two years ago, but the new show is ten years old. So you’re fighting that as well. You want to be doing things that are first/second series experimentation.”
Indeed, the episode’s description offers little more insight:
“When, at last, you rise to go, there will be another shadow next to yours. And your life will then be over.”
In a world unlike any other he has seen, the Doctor faces the greatest challenge of his many lives. And he must face it alone.
So what can viewers expect? Well, one very pissed off Doctor, for one thing. I don’t think we’ve ever seen any Doctor this filled with rage, in a world attempting to scare him to death.
There are two new trailers for the episode, which you can watch below:
Now here is an unedited clip of the Doctor making the same angry speech from the second trailer:
This is what Capaldi had to say about the challenge of doing a solo episode:
“I was excited because it hadn’t been done before but it seemed like a very Doctor Who idea. It in one way reminded me of [classic story] The Mind Robber. It’s a kind of very internalised adventure. I love things that seem to be 100% undiluted Doctor Who. And that’s what this episode seems to be to me. It is challenging because you realise that if the audience get bored with me that’s really bad news. But there are more colours and angles to it than I’m suggesting…”
‘Heaven Sent’ airs at a special time, at 8:05 pm on Saturday night. It is the next to last episode of this season, not counting the Christmas episode.