Hell Bent was the twelfth episode of the ninth series of Doctor Who produced by BBC Wales.

It was the final regular appearance of Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald. Although Clara met her demise in Face the Raven, the Doctor arranged for time to be frozen around her, yet Clara would remain conscious of everything happening around her, which left her alive but no longer affected by physical qualities such as breathing, heartbeat or even ageing.

It featured the return of the Time Lords for the first time since The Time of the Doctor. Among them was Rassilon, now in a new incarnation after his previous one was last seen being attacked by the Master in The End of Time, who was banished from Gallifrey along with the High Council after losing the allegiance of his race for his cruelty to the Doctor and his role as one of the driving forces of the Last Great Time War and deposed as Lord President, with the Doctor briefly assuming it in his place. Also returning was the General, who regenerated and was revealed to be a naturally female Time Lady who had assumed a male incarnation, marking the first instance of an on-screen regeneration where a Time Lord changed genders, as well as being a rare on-screen instance of a Time Lord also changing skin colour.

Ohila and the Sisterhood of Karn also reappeared, wherein Ohila was hinted to have a greater personal history with the Doctor that may have gone back to his earlier days. Ashildr made another appearance as well, this time having persisted to the final moments of time. She eventually ended up in possession of a TARDIS which the Doctor stole, and began travelling with Clara, who was not ready to return to Gallifrey and face her end.

Hell Bent ended up being full circle for both the Doctor and Clara. For the Doctor, he was once again running away in his TARDIS. For Clara, she was now time-travelling again, but with Ashildr, another long-lived being. Moreover, the chameleon circuit on this TARDIS, which had the original control room layout of the one which the First Doctor stole, was not working properly and left it stuck in the form of an American diner which the Doctor had visited in The Impossible Astronaut.

This story witnessed the Doctor reach his limit, seeing him break his own moral codes, step away from being the Doctor and unleash his fury on the Time Lords in an attempt to save his companion's life, which came with the price of losing his memories of Clara as atonement for what he had done. Additionally, several facts about his past before fleeing Gallifrey and prophecies of the Hybrid were revealed, though who or what the Hybrid was remained uncertain.

The story also saw the return of the sonic screwdriver, with the Doctor's TARDIS once again gifting him with a brand new model.


After being tortured for billions of years within his own confession dial, the Doctor has been pushed to the brink of madness. Returning to Gallifrey, he must face his own people, the Time Lords, but how far will he go in his quest for vengeance? Does he have another confession?


The Doctor walks into a diner, and is greeted by a waitress, Clara. Having no money, tells her he can play his electric guitar. As he starts to play her a song, he begins his story.

Walking through the desert-like plains of Gallifrey, the Doctor arrives at an old barn, and climbs up into its loft. A woman walks in on him and, upon realising his identity, warns him that "they" will kill him.

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Story notes


Filming location

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Production errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When taking off in the getaway TARDIS, Clara's hair changes from combed, to messy, to combed again, in a series of jump cuts.


Home video releases

DVD releases

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Blu-ray releases

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External links

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