Hell Bent
Doctor Who Logo 'Hell Bent'
(Story Code 9.12)

by Steven Moffat
The Twelfth Doctor

“All Matrix prophecies concur that this creature will one day stand in the ruins of Gallifrey. It will unravel the Web of Time, and destroy a billion, billion hearts to heal its own.” - The General of Gallifrey

Jackson, Nevada, U.S.A.: a truck drops off the Doctor outside a gas station and a familiar-looking diner, where he meets a familiar-looking waitress, a young woman who looks amazingly like his dead friend Clara. Showing no signs of recognising her, the Doctor offers to play his guitar for food, and then tells the waitress a story about his friend Clara…

Gallifrey: the Doctor strides away from the Time Lord’s city, making his way through the desert until he reaches an old barn: the barn from his childhood, from where he also ended the Time War... In the Capitol, the Time Lord President and his High Council are in disarray: all the Cloister Bells are ringing, and the Cloister Wraiths, ‘Sliders’, are active - all warning signs that Gallifrey faces great danger. The President takes this to be the threat of the recently-returned Doctor, and his concerns are increased when the Sisterhood of Karn, let by High Priestess Ohila, arrive in the Council Chamber. Back at the barn, the Doctor receives a welcome from the locals, who bring him a bowl of soup and then watch attentively as he begins to eat. The Doctor’s meal is rudely interrupted by the arrival of a military gunship; the soldier piloting the aircraft orders the fugitive to accompany him to the Capitol – but the Doctor stares him down, draws a line in the dirt with his boot, and then returns to his meal to thunderous applause from his friends. Monitoring these events, the President angrily despatches another gunship, with the General and his men; once again the Doctor faces them down, before dismissively returning to the barn. Soon another gunship arrives, this time bringing the entire High Council of the Time Lords; once again, the Doctor just ignores them and steps back inside the barn. Finally the President himself comes to see the Doctor, extending his hand in friendship; but the Doctor throws his Confession Dial at the President’s feet and orders him to get off his planet. Furious, the President orders his soldiers to shoot the Doctor – but each man has served with the Doctor during the Time War, and they deliberately miss. The President again orders his men to kill the Doctor, only to watch as they each throw down their weapons and stand aside the war hero. President Rassilon threatens to kill the Doctor himself using his gauntlet, but stops as more gunships arrive; however, the ships aren’t there for the President, they are there to support the Doctor… Later, in the highest tower of the Capitol, President Doctor watches as the banished Rassilon leaves in a shuttle. The General advises that Gallifrey is safely at the extreme end of the time continuum, in the furthest star system, and the Doctor remarks how he took the long way round. After giving the order for the High Council to be expelled next, the Doctor goes down into the Cloisters, where he meets Ohila; the Doctor tells the high priestess of his experiences inside the Confession Dial – Rassilon abused the purpose of the device, entrapping the Doctor because he feared the coming of the Hybrid. Returning to the Council Chamber, the Doctor takes his place at the head of the table and discusses the legend of the Hybrid with the General and Ohila: Time Lord legend foretells that the abomination is a mix of two warrior races, half Time-Lord and half-Dalek, and all Matrix prophecies concur that the Hybrid will destroy Gallifrey. In response the Doctor orders an Extraction Chamber – he needs to talk about the Hybrid with an old friend …

London, the Trap Street: Clara faces the Raven, knowing she is about to die as a consequence of her recklessness. However, to Clara’s astonishment the Raven stops in mid-air before it reaches her – and then another Doctor appears in a rift in space, offering to save her life. Clara follows the Doctor into a clinically white room where waits the General and a medical team – but this isn’t the TARDIS, this is Gallifrey several billion years in the future. The Doctor explains that Clara has been time-warped: having been taken out of time she has no heartbeat, and doesn’t even need to breathe. The General warns the Doctor that Clara can only be extracted for a few moments, after which she must return to her proper time to die; but the Doctor has other plans: he punches the General and takes his gun, refusing to let Clara die. When the General warns that the Doctor’s actions could fracture Time itself, Clara tries to talk her friend out of it – but instead the Doctor shoots the General, grabs a neural-block genetically-altered for humans, and runs for it with Clara. As the Doctor expected, the General regenerates – back into a woman. Ohila arrives on the scene and informs the General that the Doctor will have fled to the Cloisters; the General orders every exit to be blocked with every available guard... Deep inside the ancient catacombs, the Doctor and Clara search for a secret exit, carefully avoiding the unstable Sliders that roam the Cloisters, guarding the Matrix. They come across an ancient Dalek covered in cables - having failed in its attempt to break into the Matrix, the trapped creature now just begs for death. Ancient Weeping Angels converge on Clara, but she manages to evade their clutches, as well as the grip of a Cyberman. The Doctor explains that the Cloisters are the Matrix Database, the Matrix being the repository of the minds of all the dead Time Lords - essentially a big computer made of ghosts, in a crypt, protected by more ghosts. The Doctor locates the service hatch he was looking for and proceeds to start unlocking it; as he does so he tells Clara the tale of a student who once spent four days inside the Cloisters, talking to the Sliders; after escaping the student went mad, stole the moon and the President’s wife. Clara tricks the Doctor into revealing that the student was him, although he admits he actually stole the President’s daughter; but she is unable to get him to admit how long it has been since he last saw her, or where he has been. Having located the Doctor, the General and her soldiers arrive in the Cloisters; Clara warns them back, needing to question her friend about the Hybrid. But the Doctor won’t reveal that information, he needs it to bargain with the Time Lords so that he can save his friend. Clara asks Ohila how long the Doctor was away, and learns that he was inside his Confession Dial for four-and-a-half billion years; Clara is shocked, particularly at the fact the Doctor could have left any time if he revealed the secret of the Hybrid. The Doctor tells Clara his plan of reaching the workshops and stealing a TARDIS, but Clara knows that her time is up; confronting the General and her troops, Clara distracts them long enough for the Doctor to escape – and stands there grinning at them as a cylindrical TARDIS materialises around her. Inside the stolen time-space ship, the excited Doctor is all for leaving - until Ohila orders him outside. The high priestess warns the rogue Time Lord that he is breaking every rule, and must not give Clara hope; but the Doctor ignores her warning, choosing to run away in his new TARDIS with Clara. Now free of Gallifrey’s time zone, Clara should have a pulse again; but when she tells the Doctor she still has no heartbeat, the Doctor is puzzled, and notes that the tattoo on the back of her neck still says ‘000’. Flying the TARDIS to the very end of time, the Doctor assures Clara that Time will heal the fracture caused by him saving her. However, Clara’s continual lack of a pulse frustrates the Doctor – time is not healing... Surprised by a knock on the door, the Doctor orders Clara to stay in the TARDIS why he goes outside to investigate; he finds himself inside the Cloisters, within a reality bubble at the end of the universe, along with the only person left alive: Me. Unsurprised to see his old acquaintance, the Doctor refuses to listen to the immortal’s insistence that Clara died billions of years ago. [Inside the TARDIS, Clara dons the Doctor’s sonic sunglasses, activates the ship’s scanner screen, and listens in to the Doctor and Me’s conversation…] When Me questions the Doctor about the Hybrid, the Doctor tells her it isn’t a half-Dalek, half-Time-lord creature, it is her, half-human and half-Mire, a mix of two warrior races. Me responds with the idea that the Hybrid might be the Doctor – could he be half-Time Lord and half-human? When the Doctor chooses not to answer, Me voices a better theory: the Hybrid could be two persons, a passionate and powerful Time Lord and a woman very similar to him – a theory made even more likely given that the chaos-mad Missy introduced the Doctor and Clara to each other. The Doctor tells Me that he plans to take his friend back to Earth and then wipe her memory, thereby protecting her from the Time Lords. [Inside the TARDIS, Clara picks up the neural-block…] Returning to the TARDIS with Me, the Doctor comments at Clara’s lack of surprise to see the immortal; Clara admits she was listening in, and when the Doctor explains his plan to wipe her memory, she refuses to lose the best years of her life. Clara tells the Doctor that she used his shades to reverse the polarity of the neural-block; the Doctor holds out the device anyway, telling Clara that it will affect one of them either way. Together they activate the neural-block – and the Doctor’s memory of Clara is wiped. As he collapses on the TARDIS floor, the Doctor says his final goodbye to Clara: he knows he went too far, breaking his own rules and becoming the Hybrid, but he accepts his fate, even if Clara can’t. Then the Doctor slips into unconsciousness…

…and wakes up in the Nevada desert, along with a stranger who was told to look after him by someone called Clara. The woman has gone now, and the Doctor has no memory of who Clara is…

In the diner, the Doctor tells the waitress that he can remember every adventure he had with Clara, he just cannot recall anything about her. The Doctor is now searching for his lost friend, convinced he would know her if he found her – but clearly he doesn’t, much to ‘waitress’ Clara’s sorrow. The Doctor tells the waitress that he has lost his TARDIS, someone has moved it from London, and also comments that he has been to the diner before, with Amy and Rory, but it seems to have moved since then. As the Doctor starts to play his guitar, Clara watches him one last time and then steps into the diner’s back room – and into the control room of the stolen TARDIS, where Me is waiting. The Doctor is surprised when the entire diner dematerialises around him, leaving him in all alone the middle of the desert – all alone except for his TARDIS!

In their TARDIS, Clara tells Me that she is fine with having no pulse and never aging. She promises Me to return to Gallifrey, so that the Time Lords can put her back at the moment of her death; but Clara also has some ‘wiggle room’, so they can take the long way round…

Seeing Rigsy’s graffiti shrine to Clara, the Doctor realises the true identity of the waitress. He enters the ship, which comes to life all around him, and as he reaches the top of the stairs he finds his blackboard has a message from Clara: ‘Run you clever boy and be a Doctor’. Donning his velvet jacket, the Doctor catches the brand-new sonic screwdriver that flies out of the TARDIS console; them shutting the doors with the click of a finger, the Doctor sets off for new adventures. Outside, the graffiti falls from the surface of the vanishing space-time ship, the last picture of Clara crumbling to dust. The TARDIS flies off through space, narrowly-missing a certain diner as it flies in the opposite direction…

Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Donald Sumpter (The President [Rassilon]), Ken Bones (The General), Maisy Williams (Ashildr [Me]), T'Nia Miller (Female General), Malachi Kirby (Gastron), Clare Higgins (Ohila), Linda Broughton (The Woman), Martin T Sherman (Man), Jami Reid-Quarrel (Wraith), Nick Ash (Wraith), Ross Mullen (Wraith), Nicholas Briggs (Voice of the Dalek)

Directed by Rachel Talalay
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
5th December 2015 @ 9.00 pm

*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara

*This episode is sixty-five minutes long

*Part three of a three part story