The following is a mostly subjective ranking of the Doctor Who episodes during Peter Capaldi’s run as the Twelfth Doctor, 2014-17. The rest is self-explanatory.
34. “In the Forest of the Night” (8×10)
Every series of Doctor Who has a dud episode. But “In the Forest of the Night” isn’t so much an episode as a collection of nonsensical plot elements, unfulfilling emotional beats, and ridiculous over-the-top child acting – ‘the foughts, the foughts’. It ends with a lot of flapping about at fireflies and there’s something to do with a forest and the Doctor’s role in the episode is basically nonexistent. Also, Danny Pink fights off a tiger. In most DW duds, you can at least tell what the writer was intending to do. But “In the Forest of the Night” is an utter mess, with its entire premise summing up to “Oh look, the trees are at it again!” and “Protect the environment, kiddos!” Not a bad message, overall, but it’s as much a coherent story as it is a peanut-butter sandwich.
33. “Sleep No More” (9×09)
While “Sleep No More” experienced… hmm, mixed success, you can’t fault Mark Gatiss for being brave here. Unfortunately, “Sleep No More” resolves itself by boldly proclaiming that the episode itself makes no sense. It’s less of a cohesive narrative, more of an excuse for Gatiss to shoddily stitch together a series of vignettes about a generic base-under-siege and say, “Oh look, here’s a gimmick for you!” It feels lazily made, with a collection of dull guest characters and a conclusion that doesn’t really conclude, well, anything.
32. “Kill the Moon” (8×07)
Managing a trifecta of ham-fisted, barely hidden pro-life commentary, some of the stupidest science to ever appear in a Doctor Who episodes and a dismal ending, “Kill the Moon” is the BBC’s annual expedition to some grey waste of a quarry (only this time it’s in Lanzarote, not Wales!). But while other episodes have made the best of their undesirable backdrops, “Kill the Moon” literally reflects its scenery in being a grey waste of screentime. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman’s final scene saves the episode, but only barely. Admittedly not as bad as its reputation suggests, but far from good, or even average.
31. “The Lie of the Land” (10×08)
The first half of “The Lie of the Land” is very good, fraught with post-apocalyptic imagery and the dismal horror of a police state, but the awful second half sadly overshadows it. Steven Moffat confined Toby Whithouse to a corner and forced him to cut a two-parter down to 45 minutes. I can almost feel Whithouse’s pain as he cuts out line after line of character-building and necessary exposition, crying all the while. The result is a half-baked and stupidly paced episode with an entire scene of trailer-bait and a dismal power of love ending. If only they’d just kept the first half, featured Missy as a companion rather than a banque de exposition, and portrayed the Monks as a race of Earth-conquering genius-intellect warlords instead of twelve slightly incompetent retail developers.
30. “Robot of Sherwood” (8×03)
This episode’s low ranking is more an issue of personal taste than with the four episodes preceding it. If you like Gatiss’s signature campy style, you probably have no issue with “Robot of Sherwood”. But this is peak Gatiss, and beneath its hackneyed, deliberately cheesy jokes, it is a bit thin on substance – and it lacks the quality of his stronger character work. That being said, if I watched “Robot of Sherwood” again, I would probably enjoy it, unlike the four preceding episodes on this list.
29. “Knock Knock” (10×04)
Missed potential is the order of the day here. “Knock Knock” suffers from a rushed and unsatisfying ending, and even with binaural audio it isn’t particularly scary, as the episode’s villains aren’t very memorable. David Suchet put on a sophisticated performance as the Landlord, but ultimately he was underused and his presence wasn’t enough to sell the horror-movie-feel writer Mike Bartlett and director Bill Anderson were going for in this episode.
28. “The Woman who Lived” (9×06)
The relationship between Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and Maisie Williams’s Ashildr/Me/Time-Lady-Arya-Stark/whatever she’s calling herself now in this episode is its finest quality. Unfortunately, it suffers from odd pacing and the presence of possibly the worst Doctor Who villain since the Abzorbaloff in the weird lion-monster-thingymabob. While “The Woman who Lived” had its great moments – Sam Swift’s scaffold jokes, for one – its ending, however convincingly played, is very clichéd.
27. “The Caretaker” (8×06)
Joining the lion-monster-thingymabob in the list of bad Doctor Who villains is the Skovox Blitzer, a Tesco own-branded Cyberman-on-wheels, which also happens to be ‘the deadliest predator in the universe’. “The Caretaker” allows Peter Capaldi to demonstrate his comedic timing, and Gareth Roberts does what he does best in this grounded minor-mystery episode, but it falls foul of Series 8’s greatest trap: Danny Pink. While Moffat and Mathieson were able to confine him to a tiny corner of their episodes, “The Caretaker” heavily features nobody’s favourite character, Danny Pink, and more Danny Pink, and even more Danny Pink, the most exciting thing since a bottle of pills and a loaded revolver.
26. “Smile” (10×02)
“Smile” isn’t bad, and for the first 25 minutes it’s a perfectly palatable story showing Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie at their most likeable. It’s well-directed, and Cottrell-Boyce proves his skills at writing realistic dialogue that adeptly establishes the Doctor-Bill relationship. Unfortunately, it has a horribly rushed dumpster-fire of an ending, and its premise, though not entirely bad, is perhaps best summed up as “meh”.
25. “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” (2016 Christmas Special)
After 12 long months of waiting, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” was something of a festive/not-really-that-festive. There’s a lot of charm in this episode, which pays homage to the classic era of comic books… perhaps too much of an homage, to be honest, as the episode is rather predictable and a bit too cheesy, even for Christmas. I remember being distinctly disappointed with this one at first, but upon rewatching I found a few saving graces: Matt Lucas’s first full performance as Nardole turned out to be endearing whereas I initially found it irritable, and it plays upon one of Who’s simplest and most effective mantras: “Everything ends, and that’s always sad. But everything begins again, and that’s always happy. Be happy.”
24. “Into the Dalek” (8×02)
Although “Into the Dalek” is one of the more original explorations of the Doctor’s most recognisable foe, it doesn’t change the facts that a) the Daleks have been milked to the point where they are honestly more comedic than scary, and b) any story featuring a Dalek is bound to end with plenty of “EXTERMINATE!” and lots of explosions. And honestly, the “Am I a good man?” angle is slightly overdone, making Capaldi seem a little bit too intimidating and one-note.
23. “Empress of Mars” (10×09)
“Empress of Mars” is an homage to classic Who, plain and simple. And though it has some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard, it’s all good fun, and the guest cast is quite memorable given their short screentime. The Ice Warriors weren’t quite as intimidating as they might have been, and the ending was arguably lackluster, but I wasn’t bored by this episode, and I found both its Britishness and classic monster-appeal rather charming.
22. “The Eaters of Light” (10×10)
“The Eaters of Light” isn’t a standout adventure, but it’s certainly enjoyable. The mystery of the Ninth Legion is a premise which is perfect for Doctor Who, and the time period and both the Roman and Pictish way of life are explored very well. Admittedly, the monster is a bit disappointing, both in its questionable CGI and the vague, unexplained nature of its threat. This episode is in a very similar vein to “Empress of Mars”, a definite homage to classic Who – which is unsurprising given its writer, Rona Munro. It moves above the previous entry by virtue of its slightly stronger writing and the ending scene which perfectly sets up the season finale.
21. “Last Christmas” (2014 Christmas Special)
Capaldi’s first Christmas Special had to be changed late in production when Jenna Coleman decided she would stay on the show for another year, and it shows. The ending of “Last Christmas” is slightly little inconsistent with the episode’s theme of dreams and departures, which undercuts some of its poignancy. It would have been a perfect departure episode for her character, but instead it ends up feeling a bit awkward. Still, Nick Frost is well-cast as Santa Claus, and it has a good Christmassy spirit, a certain magical quality that some of Moffat’s specials have lacked. This is more of a matter of personal taste than objectivity, admittedly – a lot of people seem to really like this one.
20. “Deep Breath” (8×01)
“Deep Breath” is a rollercoaster, with lots of ups and downs and dramatic moments, but a rollercoaster that only runs at two-thirds speed. Running at 76 minutes, this supersized behemoth of an episode is intended as an introduction to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. Admittedly, its opening minutes are a bit of a slog, but it evens out and Steven Moffat should be commended for effectively telling multiple character arcs over the course of one episode. Clara’s arc, with her skepticism of the newly-regenerated Doctor, is a bit cliché, but Jenna Coleman sells it well. The monster is a bit meh, too, but that doesn’t really matter, because this episode is really about Peter Capaldi. Admittedly, his introduction isn’t as good as Matt Smith’s, but it shows a lot of promise as the show charts a fresh new course. And any episode which stars the Paternoster Gang of Madam Vastra, Jenny and Strax, as well as introducing Missy and featuring a cameo appearance from Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, is a win in my eyes.
19. “The Pilot” (10×01)
Our introduction to the Doctor’s new companion, Bill Potts, takes place over an episode that could have come straight out of the Russell T Davies’s era. Admittedly, “The Pilot” doesn’t have a massively compelling storyline, but in terms of introducing us to the new TARDIS team, it certainly accomplished its task. It’s one of those episodes I’m certainly grateful for, but don’t feel a massive urge to rewatch.
18. “The Pyramid at the End of the World” (10×07)
It’s quite difficult to judge “The Pyramid at the End of the World” as a standalone, as it has the unenviable position of being at the middle of the Monks Trilogy. It’s got a belter of the ending and a fantastic soundtrack, but other parts of the episode are distinctly odd. Unfortunately, “Pyramid” loses a few places by failing to explain… well, anything. (Admittedly, this failing is partly due to the rushed nature of the following episode, “The Lie of the Land”). “The Pyramid at the End of the World” is like digging in the desert for ancient buried treasure, gold and jewels, and instead finding a cashmere sweater and some twenty-pound-notes. It’s not really what you wanted, but, hey, it’s better than nothing.
17. “The Girl who Died” (9×05)
I’m still not really sure whether or not this episode was intended to be a romp. The vastly overexaggerated bravado of the Mire warrior race suggests that it was, but it deals with some pretty serious issues on the side, namely the cost of immortality and the extent of the Doctor’s duty. Jenna Coleman and Maisie Williams were both standout in this episode, both alone and in their interactions with one another. Unfortunately, “The Girl who Died” doesn’t have a hugely thrilling premise or interesting setting, which means that despite the fantastic story, it’s somewhat lacking in excitement and repeatability. It’s a little bit like a Diet Coke.
16. “Time Heist” (8×05)
Boasting the dubious honour of having the worst episode title of Capaldi’s run, “Time Heist” falls foul of the Doctor Who writer’s oldest foe: the 45-minute timeslot. As a result of this, the main characters feel a bit static, the guest characters lack development, the Teller feels like a plot device, and Keeley Hawes is criminally underused as Madame Karabraxos. But… these failings ultimately dwindle into insignificance, because more than anything else, “Time Heist” is good old-fashioned fun. This is what Doctor Who is supposed to be. It’s a pastiche of the bank heist genre with a clever bit of time-travel as the framework, and it’s infinitely rewatchable, which makes it the perfect episode to entice your friends to watch the show.
15. “Mummy on the Orient Express” (8×08)
I think this episode is a bit overrated, but there’s no denying that “Mummy” is good. Jamie Mathieson’s first effort for Doctor Who is a fun, easy romp without an overly convoluted plot to follow. Frank Skinner is predictably excellent, and the ’66 seconds’ thing is a clever twist… but I always feel like I’m missing something when people tell me that “Mummy on the Orient Express” is the greatest episode in this series. And… that’s about it. I don’t really have anything else to say, so I’ll just repeat the ludicrously long title a few times: “Mummy on the Orient Express”, “Mummy on the Orient Express”, “Mummy on the Orient Express”…
14. “Thin Ice” (10×03)
“Thin Ice” is fantastic both in its development of the Bill-Doctor relationship and as a standalone adventure in Series 10. Granted, the monster is a bit weak, but “Thin Ice” is really about people, and the attitudes of Victorian London – indeed, it’s one of the show’s best explorations of human nature – of racism, regret, loss, love and prejudice – since… well, since Series 3’s aptly named “Human Nature”. And Sarah Dollard manages a mighty feat of storytelling by condensing such a multifaceted episode down to 45 minutes. It’s not exactly standout, but it’s pretty damn good.
13. “Under the Lake” / “Before the Flood” (9×03/9×04)
Also known by its working title, “Toby Whithouse and the Bootstrap Paradox”, this two-parter is simultaneously not as good as you remembered it being and better than you remembered it being. This weird dichotomy characterises the story: Whithouse’s use of paradoxes is masterful, but also incredibly confusing. The supporting cast are very well written, with two romances that for once don’t come off as ham-fisted, but the Doctor’s characterization is a bit all-over-the-place – he’s fun to watch, but there’s no real progression. The ‘ghosts’ in “Under the Lake” are intriguing, but the Fisher King in “Before the Flood” is an oddly disappointing villain, effectively defeated by being loudly shouted at. The underwater base location is original(-ish) and a very clever way of moving the plot forward, but by God these episodes are ugly, with horribly clashing colours and a colour palette consisting mostly of murky green and Soviet grey. Then again, the pluses outnumber the minuses, and it has Peter Capaldi breaking the fourth wall and playing the electric guitar, which is cooler than a fez, a bow tie and a Stetson put together.
12. “Oxygen” (10×05)
A horror story in space, “Oxygen” sets a frenetic pace and never lets up. It’s a brutally punishing ride, with real, lasting consequences from its cliffhanger that starts an arc lasting through to “The Lie of the Land”. Charles Palmer’s directing is fantastic, with sequences that leave us both breathless from the action and marvelling at the expansive wonder and cruelty of space. Yes, it’s heavy-handed with its commentary on capitalism, like “Kill the Moon” (which is not really something to emulate) but this episode is so much more than that. It’s about the unglamourous side of space: the cruelty, the loneliness, the empty, chilling fear.
11. “Dark Water” / “Death In Heaven” (8×11/8×12)
“Dark Water” is GOAT. It’s completely ruthless and utterly harrowing, and arguably far too dark for children. But as an episode, it is full of great and unexpected moments: Danny Pink’s sudden demise, Clara’s dark moment with the TARDIS keys, the ‘do you think I care for you so little?’ speech, 3W, and of course, the Cyberman twist and the Missy reveal at the end of the episode. It’s a work of art, in truth… and then we have “Death In Heaven”, which isn’t nuWho’s worst finale episode, but is certainly it’s most disappointing, somehow managing to throw away loads of brilliant setup with the intent of messily merging the plot to a single point: a non-existent final showdown in a bleak London graveyard, with characters variously being carried by Cybermen and thrown out of the sky to get there. It manages to avoid being a complete trainwreck by having a fantastic denouement, featuring a final tribute to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, the Doctor’s anger at not finding Gallifrey, the resolution of Danny and Clara’s relationship (incidentally, Jenna Coleman was fantastic in this episode), and a beautiful final shot which mirrors the ending of “Deep Breath”, and proves that Series 8, while questionable in places, was essential to the growth of both characters. “Death In Heaven” reaches a proper and emotional conclusion in the end, but its path to that conclusion is a bit messy. Do the ends justify the means? I don’t know.
10. “The Zygon Invasion” / “The Zygon Inversion” (9×07/9×08)
This two-parter is where Peter Harness wrote a dramatic post-9/11 war documentary, and then remembered that the Doctor needed to fit somewhere in it. For most of the “The Zygon Invasion” and about half of “The Zygon Inversion”, the Doctor, Kate Stewart and Clara strut around in three godforsaken hellholes: Turmezistan, a generic Middle Eastern country with an abundance of barbed wire and Stinger missiles; Truth or Consequences, a dusty, middle-of-nowhere, far-too-hot New Mexico town with no personality but a whole lot of guns; and those flats in suburban London which the BBC use to film basically everything, complete with creepy horror movie lifts and an underground Zygon base on-site for your convenience. Jenna Coleman has far too much fun playing Bonnie/Zygella, who is basically Series 8 Clara but with more makeup. Fortunately, Moffat (and Osgood) are on hand to pull Harness back into a relatively restrained mood. The episode culminates in an epic showdown where Capaldi engages in a very loud and very Scottish rant which reduces everyone to squalling children, and we all come away vaguely self-satisfied. “You don’t think he’s the Doctor?” we say to our fez-toting, Converse-wearing friends. “Well, watch this.”
9. “Face the Raven” (9×10)
“Let me be brave,” Clara Oswald says, arms spread as she makes her final sacrifice, “let me be brave.” The genius of “Face the Raven” is that it acts as a microcosm of Clara Oswald’s character development throughout Doctor Who, perfectly demonstrates the threat that arises from pretending to be the Doctor, and thinking that you’re invincible. It acts as a blunt and brutal doorstop to Clara’s meteoric rise throughout the Capaldi era. “Face the Raven” is probably nuWho’s most appropriate companion exit. And on top of that, it has a wonderful setting, permanently shot in some sort of strange, ethereal twilight, with a sense of underlying threat that fills you with dread.
8. “The Magician’s Apprentice” / “The Witch’s Familiar” (9×01/9×02)
The first two-parter of Series 9 is also its best. “The Magician’s Apprentice” is a re-orientation in the world of Doctor Who, based around some snake-monster thing hissing “Where issssss the Doctorrrr?”, a refreshing twist on the Doctor’s encounters with Davros, and the all-new, shiny Series 9 Peter Capaldi, a mid-life crisis Doctor whose idea of a quiet farewell includes tanks and an electric guitar. (Unfortunately, this episode loses points for introducing the sonic sunglasses.) “The Witch’s Familiar” re-invents the Daleks as monsters that are at least vaguely frightening, and has a smart, mostly-not-hamfisted resolution. However, the high-point of these two episodes is the golden trio of the Doctor, Clara and Missy. Michelle Gomez takes on the role of a vaguely sympathetic companion, and the odd mixture of selfishness, sympathy and self-confessed evil marks one of her very best turns in the TARDIS.
7. “Flatline” (8×09)
With a brilliant monster concept and a savage wit in the writing, “Flatline” proves that the boring-bottle-episode-set-in-a-depressing-English-city can be done in such a way that it sets new expectations for the ‘subgenre’ as a whole. This is Clara Oswald’s finest hour in the TARDIS; Jenna Coleman’s performance is both a satire of the Doctor’s mannerisms, and a showcase of Clara’s most endearing traits. Some of the guest cast are a bit flat (if you’ll pardon the pun), but Coleman’s performance, the Boneless monsters, and the ingenuity of the script make this episode worthy of its high placing on this list.
6. “The Husbands of River Song” (2015 Christmas Special)
Capaldi + Kingston = quality. “The Husbands of River Song” is Doctor Who’s best Christmas episode, full of the usual Moffat-isms. There are many brilliant moments – the Doctor’s reaction to entering the TARDIS ‘for the first time’, the comic relief provided by Greg Davies’s King Hydroflax (though the less said about Nardole in this episode, the better) and the sheer ridiculousness/uselessness of the Doctor’s sonic trowel – but really, it’s the chemistry between its two leads that makes this episode great. River Song may belong in the Smith era – that cannot be denied – but Alex Kingston’s acting ability is timeless. This final salute to one of Who’s most divisive characters is arguably her best episode, and the way Moffat wove this story into her grand narrative is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.
5. “Extremis” (10×06)
Crazy but brilliant is a cliché term that is used far too often, but it has never been more appropriate than with “Extremis”, the latest in a line of downright odd conceptual episodes by Steven Moffat. The Doctor’s blindness (carried over from “Oxygen”) provides an interesting new dimension to this story, and this, along with Daniel Nettheim’s superb directing and the fantastic use of lighting, makes the introduction of some of Who’s most visually impressive and shadowy monsters even more intriguing. So, “Extremis” is visually and conceptually impressive, but it’s Moffat’s writing which really elevates it. As the opening to a three-part story, “Extremis” has the luxury of slower pacing than most Doctor Who stories, giving it ample character-building opportunities, as well as the Da Vinci Code style mystery buildup that leads into one of the Capaldi era’s greatest twist. And though I found it a little underwhelming at the time, Michelle Gomez’s role as Missy in this story is far more signficant in the shadow of “World Enough and Time” / “The Doctor Falls”. “Extremis” gives rise to one of the show’s best ever lines: “Without hope. Without witness. Without reward… Virtue is only virtue in extremis.”
4. “Hell Bent” (9×12)
Look, you probably just don’t understand “Hell Bent”. And that’s okay; not everyone can have the same understanding of ‘dank Kino’ that I possess. So let’s go back to basics: this story is set on Gallifrey, but it’s not about Gallifrey – and to be honest, why would you want it to be? Call me ignorant, but there’s enough time for dusty Time Lord politics in the future, but there’s only one chance to say goodbye to a companion, and in the Capaldi era, there was only one chance to see the Doctor teetering so precariously on the brink of morality. “Hell Bent” is not only a fitting farewell to the days of Twelve and Clara Oswald in the TARDIS; it’s a pitch-perfect character study of the Doctor in crisis, a counterpart to the beautiful, almost romantic idealism of “Heaven Sent”. It’s a story of bitter scorn, verging on self-destruction and occasionally even hatred, next to the loving devotion of its predecessor. The Hybrid arc comes to a fitting conclusion, and Rachel Talalay directs this one impeccably right up until the second-to-last scene (if you really want me to criticise “Hell Bent”, I’ll say that the TARDIS stock-footage shot and the spinning diner was a bit much). There are some standout cinematic moments – the Doctor’s wordless defiance of Rassilon being the most notable – but the morals of this story are really what puts it so high on the list.
3. “Listen” (8×04)
Steven Moffat has written some brilliant monster stories over the years, but “Listen” is all about the characters, and it’s so well done that purely from a writing perspective, it deserves to be at the top of this list. The wonder of “Listen” is that it manages to completely tell a story arc for The Doctor, Clara, and Danny Pink (who is somehow not boring in this episode, I repeat, Danny Pink is not boring) in the space of 45 minutes. I’m not sure this is a good thing, but “Listen” accounts for about half of all character development in Series 8. Many have compared this episode with “Blink” – personally, I refute this idea. “Blink” and “Listen” are two very different episodes, with very different strengths. I don’t think the monster (or lack of monster) is there to make you feel scared, but it doesn’t need to. “Listen” is pure psychological horror, the deepest sort of all. Instead of making you afraid of statues or clockwork droids or monks, it forces you to look inwardly. It gets inside you, and forces you to re-evaluate your own life, because this isn’t even Doctor Who anymore; it transcends the screen and becomes part of the real world. And I guarantee you’d go to bed with nightmares about it if you skipped the ending, which brings the story full-circle with an absolutely stellar monologue/life lesson.
2. “World Enough and Time” / “The Doctor Falls” (10×11/10×12)
If you ever feel like making a tribute video, you’re in luck. Of all of Moffat’s stories, “World Enough and Time” / “The Doctor Falls” is the most emotionally compelling. On top of that, it remembers to be fun, something these conceptual episodes often forget. “World Enough and Time” has Michelle Gomez to provide a healthy smattering of humour, before throwing us into a bleak, austere, heavily chloroformed underworld. Rachel Talalay is at her best here, discreetly putting together the individual elements of what makes a Mondasian Cyberman before the big reveal. John Simm is excellent both in his Mister Razor costume and outside of it, and Pearl Mackie’s final journey as Bill is just a bit heartbreaking. “The Doctor Falls” sees Simm and Gomez come together, with some of the best chemistry ever seen on Doctor Who, and an ending to the character of the Master/Missy which is so fitting and so impeccably executed that you don’t really want him/her to come back for fear of ruining its significance. There are suitably emotional sendoffs for Bill and Nardole, but really, all this is just windowdressing. “The Doctor Falls” is, as the title would suggest, about the Doctor, and Peter Capaldi acts his heart(s) out here. In retrospect I think his speech from “The Zygon Invasion” is slightly better, but it was here, in these circumstances, that he truly became my Doctor. And you can’t really get much better than that. “The Doctor Falls” is also to be rewarded for subverting the expectations of a Moffat finale – rather than being forced to avert/fulfil a prophecy and save the Universe, this episode sees the Doctor sacrificing himself and everything he is for the sake of one spaceship. Peter Capaldi is the Twelfth Doctor, and he saves people.
1. “Heaven Sent” (9×11)
Kino (noun): a work of art, usually television or film, so intellectually and artistically stimulating that it transcends the medium in which it takes place and becomes an ideology. Known examples include Doctor Who’s “Heaven Sent”.
There is a world out there, somewhere, where people go down on their knees and pray to their DVD copies of “Heaven Sent”, where pilgrims attempt to recreate the Doctor’s labours by punching diamond walls and incinerating themselves, where every house has “how many seconds in eternity?” written on their mantelpieces, and churches are modelled on the castle in the Doctor’s confession dials, where Peter Capaldi, Rachel Talalay, Murray Gold and Steven Moffat are revered as prophets. There is such a world. I live in it. And honestly, I’m struggling to find anything else to say about “Heaven Sent”. It’s just so, so, so impossibly brilliant, and none of my descriptions can do it justice. It’s Kino. As the Doctor famously said in “The Pilot”, “Series Nine. Episode Eleven. Heaven Sent. It means life.”