Twelfth: Husbands of River Song

husbandsWriter: Steven Moffatt

Director: Douglas McKinnon

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companions: River Song (Alex Kingston), Nardole (Matt Lucas)

Series: 2015 Christmas Special

Summary: The Doctor arrives on a remote space colony on Christmas in the year 5343, where he meets River Song one last time. And gains a new companion named Nardole!

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Twelfth: Hell Bent (Part 2)

Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Rachel Talalay

Producer: Peter Bennett

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Series: 9, episode 13

Summary: The Doctor arrives on Gallifrey and attempts to extract Clara from her death. Thanks to Time Lord technology, she is now still conscious and affected by the world around her, but she no longer ages, breathes, or anything else one does in life.

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Twelfth: Heaven Sent (part 1)

Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Michael Talaly

Producer: Peter Bennnett

Companion: none

Series: 9, episode 12

Summary: The Doctor is all alone in a castle, pursued by a shadowy, veiled figure. The events are in an endless loop, and each time the figure kills him, it starts over. This is the Doctor’s Confession Dial.

Review: It is very rare for a companion to die, even in Classic Who. In fact, only three companions died in Classic Who, if you count Sara Kingdom. Most of his companions left of their own accord, and the Doctor is grieving. This was a great exploration of that grief that we all face when someone we love dies. The veiled figure reminded me of the Grim Reaper, and has to be one of the scariest monsters in Doctor Who.

Continuity: The Doctor remembers that Clara told him not to take revenge for her death. He mentions that whoever has trapped him should know better than to put him in a trap, the same thing he once told the Weeping Angels.

Trivia: This episode ran 75 minutes, making it the second episode during Capaldi’s era to run longer than the usual run time.

 

 

Twelfth: Face the Raven

face the ravenWriter: Sarah Dollard

Director: Justin Mololnikov

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Series: 9, episode 10

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Summary: Clara is called by Rigsy, who helped her when the Boneless attacked. He has a tattoo on the back of his neck that is counting down to his death.  They discover that he has killed an alien and has been marked for death by Ashieldr, who is now the “mayor” of a “trap street”, a place where aliens live. Clara sacrifices herself by taking his place.

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Twelfth: Sleep No More

sleep no moreWriter: Mark Gatiss

Director: Justin Molotnikov

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companion: Clara Oswald

Series: 9, episode 9

Summary: This episode is told in “found-footage” style, similar to movies like Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. A space station has been invaded by strange monsters made of “sleep dust”, the dust left in your eyes when you wake up. These monsters absorb crew members into themselves. The crewmembers don’t sleep, and instead use “Morpheus Pods” to renew themselves, subjecting themselves to a state similar to sleep.

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Twelfth: The Zygon Invasion (Part 1)

zygon invasionWriter: Peter Harness

Director: Daniel Nettheim

Producer: Peter Bennett

Companions: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave)

Series: 9, ep. 7

Summary: The Nightmare Scenario has occurred. The Zygons have learned that Osgood, one of the humans who negotiated with the Zygons in “Day of the Doctor”, has died. This has caused Zygons to fear their lives are being threatened. Zygon terrorists are wreaking havoc. Can the Doctor and Clara stop the Nightmare Scenario, when they aren’t even sure who is friend or foe?

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Twelfth: The Woman Who Lived (Part 2)

ashildr

Writer: Jamie Mathieson & Steven Moffatt

Director: Ed Bazelgette

Producer: Derek Ritchie

Companions: Ashildr (Maisie Williams), Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Series: 9, episode 6

Summary: Several centuries later, the Doctor meets Ashildr again, who now calls herself Me. She’s now a robber baron called the Knightmare and has fallen in love with a fire-breathing creature. When the Doctor learns that an innocent man may die in her place, he has to intervene.

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Twelfth: The Girl Who Died (part 1)

girl who died

Writer: Jamie Mathieson & Steven Moffatt

Director: Ed Bazelgette

Producer: Derek Ritchie

Companions: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Ashildr (Maisie Williams)

Series: 9. ep. 5

Summary: The Doctor and Clara help a Viking village fight a race of warriors called the Mire disguised as their god Odin. However, a girl named Ashildr dies during the battle. Using technology from the Mire’s ship, the Doctor grants her immortality.

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Twelfth: The Doctor Falls (part 2)

doctor fallsWriter: Steven Moffatt

Director: Rachel Talalay

Producer: Peter Bennett

Companions: Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), Nardole (Matt Lucas)

Series: 10, episode 12

Note: This episode ran for an hour and a half.

Summary: Bill has been converted into a Cyberman! Can the Doctor save her? Can Missy actually be trusted?

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Twelfth: Under the Lake/Before the Flood(dual review)

under the lakeWriter: Toby Whithouse

Director: Daniel O’Hara

Producer: Derek Ritchie

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Series: (9, ep. 3&4)

Summary: The Doctor and Clara arrive on an underwater base, haunted by ghosts. The ghosts appear to be silent, but only because they can’t be heard.  They meet a crewmember named Cass, who is deaf. The Doctor takes two people to discover why the base was flooded. They meet an alien named the Fisher King, who is invading the base in different times.

Review: Toby Whithouse is in my opinion, one of Doctor Who‘s most underrated writers. I didn’t realize until I rewatched this episode and “Vampires in Venice” just how good he is. He can take a standard formula such as the “base under siege” model and put a nice twist on it. In fact, this story could be considered a “double BUS” story, as the base is being attacked in different times. I thought Cass being the key to the mystery because she can read lips was a great idea, and kudos to the casting of an actual deaf actress (Sophie Stone) to play her! I hope that when Chris Chibnall takes over, he keeps Toby Whithouse on, because he’ll need someone who can apply the standard formula in unique ways.

Overall Review: 8/10

Continuity: The Doctor uses his sonic sunglasses, which was introduced in “The Witch’s Familiar”. The Cloister Bell rings again to alert the Doctor to destruction to time. The Doctor’s amplifier has the logo for Magpie Electricals. Clara tells the Doctor that she isn’t ready to lose another person she cares about.

Note: This is my last dual review. The rest of series 9’s episodes are reviewed better separately than as one complete story for both parts of each episode.