139 Hell Bent

This is the one where the Doctor tells a story to Clara about Clara in which he saves Clara and then forgets who Clara is. Also, they stole another TARDIS.

This is the one where the Doctor tells a story to Clara about Clara in which he saves Clara and then forgets who Clara is. Also, they stole another TARDIS.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet recording in a studio permanently disguised as a house: It’s the Noobs and the Whovian! 

My name is Austin and I’m the Whovian, and these are my sons Corbin and Tripp and we’re the noobs!

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t.

Welcome to Episode 139, covering series 9 episode 12: Hell Bent 

Production notes

  • Story #262
  • Originally aired December 5, 2015 to 6.17 million viewers
  • Written by: Steven Moffat
  • Directed by: Rachel Talalay

Misc Trivia

  • The wikia marks this as the first time we’ve seen an interior shot of a TARDIS other than the Doctor’s since 1987’s Time and the Rani.
    • To get this, you have to exclude the Junk TARDIS by either designating it as one of the Doctor’s, or not truly an interior shot?
  • Thanks to the Cloister trapping one inside, we got to continue the tradition of having a Cyberman in every 12th episode in the Moffat era!
  • Existential crisis
    • I fell down a weird rabbit hole by clicking on the link to the page on “N-space.” This was because this episode is apparently the closest we’ve yet gotten to the end of the primary Doctor Who universe, called “Normal Space” or “N-Space” for short.
    • According to the wikia, “According to the Eleventh Doctor, the universe was born alive, but it could only become aware of itself by developing sensors across its surface, known as life forms, each of which suffered a temporary delusion of separate identity during data collection – called consciousness – but in reality had little to no individual existence. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) “


  • The General
    • Eleventh General – Ken Bones – last seen in The Day of the Doctor
    • Twelfth General – T’Nia Miller – she was Kay in Banana and Cucumber, which were Russell T. Davies mini-series that we’ve mentioned before.
    • The General’s name is Kenossium which literally Latin for “Ken Bones”
  • Rassilon – Donald Sumpter
    • He played two once-off characters in Classic Who.
    • He was Enrico Casali in The Wheel in Space and Commander Ridgeway in The Sea Devils.


  • Name of the episode spoken in dialogue?
    • Still no
  • Jiggery Pokery
    • TARDIS 
      • Rigsy’s graffiti was still present. But it couldn’t/didn’t dematerialize with the TARDIS.
      • This happened before with some posters in Vincent and the Doctor.
      • Corbin took issue with this… 
    • Sonic
      • After 2 seasons of not having his own sonic…!
  • The march towards 13
    • The General is the first to regenerate onscreen into a different gender.
    • Remember that, presumably to preserve the mystery reveal, the Master regenerated into Missy off-screen.
    • Apparently, the first “live” gender-swapping regeneration happened on an audio adventure called The Black Hole that premiered two weeks before Hell Bent aired.

Other stuff we noticed 

  • Was that the diner from The Impossible Astronaut?!
    • Yes, yes it was… 
  • When he first enters the diner, I recognised the version of Don’t Stop Me Now that was playing, but couldn’t place why it was familiar.
    • It’s the cover by Foxes that she sang on Mummy on the Orient Express.
  • Was the inside of the diner still the outside of the TARDIS?
  • Every story ever told really happened. Stories are memories go when they’re forgotten.
    • Eleven said “when all just stories in the end, really. Make it a good one, eh?”
    • And some of them become songs.
  • Apparently, the internet is gonna rise up at some point? “THAT was a war!”
  • Hope is a terrible thing on the scaffold.

Who’s Who?

  • Who is Ashildr?
    • She literally made it to the end of the universe.
    • We run because we know the summer can’t last forever.
      • Yes it can, you just have to steal a time machine!
    • Wait, why does she know what’s happening with Clara?
    • So, after living for untold billions of years, she got into a time machine to just keep on going!
  • Who is Clara?
    • Nobody’s ever safe. I never asked you for that.
    • No one is promised tomorrow, but I insist on my past.
    • So, she’s going back to Gallifrey and taking “the long way round.” When the Doctor did this, it took him 4.5 billion years… 
  • Who is the Doctor?
    • You been traveling? Yeah, from time to time.
    • You know what I have out here in the Drylands where nobody matters? No witnesses.
      • Me too… 
    • He’s from Space Glasgow
    • Drop your weapons – he drops the spoon!
    • “How many regenerations did we grant you? I’ve got all night!”
    • The first thing you notice about the Doctor of War is that he’s unarmed. For many, it’s also the last.
    • This is no time to play. It’s the end of the universe, it’s the only time I’ve got!
    • I had a duty of care. 
    • At this moment, I’m answerable to NO ONE!
    • He doesn’t like endings, says Me.
    • Run like hell because you always have to. Laugh at everything cuz it’s always funny. Never be cruel and never be cowardly and if you are, always make amends. Never eat pears, they’re too squishy and they get your chin all wet.
    • I went too far.
    • Clara? Clara, who?

Can we talk about Clara’s send-off?

    Classic Who Connections 

    • In this episode the Doctor checked how many regenerations the General had gone through before he shot him, essentially making sure he had some left. There was a similar exchange in The Five Doctors in the Death Zone between the First and the Fifth Doctors
    • The Doctor says that people think he stole the moon and the President’s wife due to rumors spread by the Shobogans. These are the indigenous people to Gallifrey and are first mentioned in The Deadly Assassin 
    • The Fifth Doctor was the first to be named Lord President of Gallifrey and he vacates the position when we runs away again. Once again, we see him reclaim the title and run away.
    • Clara and Me’s TARDIS console room is very similar to the First Doctor’s
    • Me theorizes that the Doctor could be the hybrid because he could be half-human half-Time Lord. The Eight Doctor theorized this about himself in the TV movie Doctor Who.
    • We have the return of Rassilon! 
    • Clara talks about reversing the polarity of the neutron flow
    • Original Time Lord leadership costumes

    Overall impressions

    • Overall rating out of 10
      • Jared – 8 Weird, gold headdresses and shoulder pads
      • Austin – 9 diners
      • Corbin – 7.5 metal tubes
      • Tripp – 9.5 small universes 
    • Creep Level – out of 500
      • Jared – 50
      • Austin – 50
      • Corbin – 10
      • Tripp –  10

    Listener Input 

    • Christina had some input!
      • Just listened to your podcast. (I love starting out my week with you 3. You never fail to make me laugh.) Why does the Doctor always have to complicate things? Someone asked why the Doctor buried his clue, why’d he leave a mystery for himself to solve? I definitely would’ve been easier to leave himself a note, in his own handwriting, sitting there on the table. “Dear Doctor, I know this is going to come as quite a surprise but you’ve been caught. Now here’s how you need to get out….btw, don’t forget to take the shovel with you to hit the wall with and save your fist. Love always, the Doctor.” But the episode would not have been long, or interesting. I figured he left himself a puzzle to solve because he can’t resist a puzzle AND to keep himself sane, keep his brain working and not die of boredom. 
      • One more thing, 200 creep levels?  Did you watch the same episode I did? The entire premise was beyond creepy! 
      • That is all, I love you guys. Bye 
      • First, this is what she posted on Nov 10, 2019:
        • How do you know you’ve been watching too much Doctor Who? When you have dreams about watching Doctor Who. It was a regeneration episode and the Doctor came back as a GINGER!!! That’s right, oh how happy he was to find he was finally a ginger, until he realized he was a 12-year-old boy. And let me tell you, he was none too happy about the prospect of going through puberty all over again. I won’t bore you with all the weird dreamy stuff that never quite makes sense but I will tell you he happened upon a Wilf-like grandpa type who tried to protect the Doctor the entire adventure and ended up becoming his companion. I’m going to rate my dream a 10 out of 10 red hairs and freckles just simply for the great mood I woke up in. ☺️
        • She then commented under it this month:
        • Did you notice the Tempus Fugit last year? No, huh? Conveniently overshadowed by the pandemic. *smh* Tsk tsk….
      • Second, she posted this a couple weeks ago:
        • Heaven Sent. WHAT. AN. EPISODE! I honestly can’t figure out if I absolutely love it or hate it entirely, but I can tell you this: If you are in need of cheering up do not, I repeat do NOT watch this episode. Skip it completely. It is far better to wonder what happened in the one show that you missed than to be thrown into the pit of despair. Geez! I don’t think it could have been any more depressing….or creepy. Between that nasty looking dementor/mummy hybrid and the thought of using your last bit of energy to bring yourself back so you can use your last bit of energy to bring yourself back, I’m going to give it a 1000 out of 500 creep levels. I was left with a few questions. Where was the rest of his skeleton? Why did just the skull “survive”? Why did all the other rooms reset so much faster than the room he began in? And how old is our dear Doctor now? One thing was for certain though, his love for Clara. His persistence, perseverance, dedication and determination to getting out of his hell just so he could avenge Clara is proof positive he cared deeply for her. *sniff* And whoever put him in that hell should be terrified! Like I stated previously, I’m not sure if I loved it (after all, it was VERY well told) or hate it (how could they put my Doctor through all of that?!) So it’s either a 10 or a 1 out of ten Doctors pushing a tv around the Tardis. Xavier says it’s a 9 out of ten “OH MY GOSH, THOSE ARE ALL HIS SKULLS!!!”
        • Btw, can’t wait to hear the “Corbin has feelings” part of the next podcast. 😁

    The Game Plan

    • Next week we’re continuing with episode 12, Hell Bent 
    • After that it’s The Husbands of River Song featuring… River Song.
    • Then it’s Doctor Who: The Movie. We’re having trouble getting this one nailed down. It appears to be on BritBox, but I’m not 100% sure yet.
    • Next up is our next Timey Wimey episode covering Philip K. Dick’s 1952 short story The Skull. It is in the public domain, so you can find the free e-book at Project Gutenberg.


    Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Tripp Reason. Corbin Reason is our Production Editor. Special thanks to tardis.wikia.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connections. Shout outs to Victor, Jared, and James for their Patreon support.

    You can find us at facebook.com/noobsandthewhovian or twitter.com/noobswhovian and email us at [email protected]. Consider supporting us at https://www.patreon.com/noobsandthewhovian. Please subscribe and leave a rating wherever you found us, and share us with a friend not because we’re a great show but because we watch one.

    Until next time, be safe if you can. But always. Be. Amazing.