Heaven Sent
Doctor Who Logo 'Heaven Sent'
(Story Code 9.11)

by Steven Moffat
The Twelfth Doctor

‘If you think because she is dead I am weak then you understand very little. If you were any part of killing her, and you are not afraid, then you understand nothing at all. So for your own sake understand this: I am the Doctor, I’m coming to find you, and I will never, ever stop…’ - The Doctor

In a mysterious castle, giant stone cogs start turning, clockwork machinery comes to life, and, in a control room somewhere within the ancient building, a burnt hand pulls a lever and then crumbles to dust. In the centre of the room is a glass cylinder, a teleport terminal, inside which the Doctor materialises. Still reeling from Clara’s death, the Doctor vows to find whoever has abducted him. Exploring the apparently empty castle, the Doctor ponders his situation aloud: he has been brought there by an augmented ultra-long-range teleport, so must be within a light-year from Earth, and he did not feel any time travel effects, so must be in the same time zone as when he left. After finding a spade covered in dirt, the Doctor notices that one of the many television screens in the castle now shows his face – the point of view of someone watching him from the opposite window, a creature dressed in an old, decaying shroud; then the image changes as the creature comes for him, flies heralding its approach. The Doctor initially holds his ground, but quickly changes his mind and runs, only to stop at two locked doors; after telepathically convincing the doors to open, the Doctor is greeted with the sight of a brick wall. The veiled creature reaches the Doctor, and as its clawed hands grab for him the Time Lord realises out loud that he is scared of dying… and then the Veil and its flies all freeze in their place. The castle comes to life, its floors rotating like giant a clockwork mechanism, reconfiguring the layout and providing a room beyond the doors into which the Doctor escapes. Inside is a bedroom, and a very old painting of Clara. When the Veil reappears the Doctor realises it comes from an old nightmare of his – someone has created a torture chamber from his memories. As the creature approaches, the Doctor grabs a small table and throws it at the window, breaking the glass – and then he jumps out after it… [The Doctor enters the TARDIS, talking aloud to his memory of Clara, recounting how he escaped – except this isn’t the real TARDIS: it is inside the Doctor’s mind, his ‘storm room’, a way of clearing his head to work out how to save himself. Telling ‘Clara’ how he has deduced that he is falling towards the sea, the Doctor calculates his fall and then finishes with a perfect dive into the ocean; as he sinks into the depths, in his mind ‘Clara’ writes three questions on the blackboard: What is this place? What did you say that made the creature stop? How are you going to win?] The Doctor wakes up as he sinks towards the sea bed, which is covered in skulls. Swimming to the surface, the Doctor emerges from the water at the edge of the clockwork castle. Inside he finds a fire and a change of clothes, exactly the same as the soaked ones he currently wears; changing outfit, the Doctor leaves his old clothes in front of the fire and then continues his search of the castle. In one room the Doctor finds an octagonal gap in the tiled-stone floor, surrounded by chalked arrows. Thinking aloud to ‘Clara’, the Doctor observes how someone is trying to scare him: the theatre he is in is a fully-automated haunted house, a killer puzzle box designed to scare him to death – and he is actually enjoying himself! As night falls the Doctor comes across an octagonal garden, in the centre of which is a freshly-dug grave; seeing a spade nearby, the Doctor resolves to take the bait in the trap and dig up the plot. The Veil tries coming for him again, but the Doctor manages to keep it behind a door, securing it in place with the spade. Once the Veil has left the Doctor resumes digging; eventually his spade hits stone: it is the missing tile, the words ‘I AM 12’ scratched into its surface. Then the Veil bursts out of the soil, looming over the Doctor in his grave! [Returning to his storm room TARDIS, the Doctor reasons that in order to stop the creature he has to confess, to tell truths never before told]. With the Veil’s claws reaching out for him, the Doctor admits that he lied about leaving Gallifrey because he was bored – he left because he was scared; the Veil immediately backs away, and the castle reconfigures itself once more. As the sun rises, the Doctor looks out a window and sees that the castle is in the middle of an endless sea; beneath him, two skulls float to the surface of the water, and then sink again… Over the next few hours, days, weeks, the Doctor ascertains that after each reconfiguration the Veil takes fifty-seven minutes to reach him; by drawing the creature to one side of the castle and then racing to the other extreme, the Doctor can buy himself eighty-two minutes in which to eat, sleep, and search for Room 12. He maps the castle, counting off each room he finds in his search, and determines how the rooms move around – he is either inside a closed energy loop, or in hell, but wherever he is, the Doctor has plenty of food and drink, as the castle returns everything to how it was when he arrived – everything but the skulls… Always staying one step ahead of the Veil, the Doctor finally returns to the teleport room, where he finds a skull connected to the controls via two cables; written in the dust on the floor is a single word: ‘BIRD’. The castle moves again, revealing a set of ascending stairs; still carrying the skull, the Doctor takes the stairs and arrives atop a high turret, the tower at the centre of the castle. Leaving the skull on the battlements, the Doctor resumes his search and suddenly discovers a new door has appeared, Room 12 – however, it just leads to a stone wall. Returning to the central tower, the Doctor examines the stars and realises they are in the wrong place, they are where they should be seven thousand years in the future. When the Veil appears behind him the Doctor stops it with another truth: the legend of the Hybrid recalls a half-Dalek, half-Time Lord – the Doctor knows it is real, and he is afraid. As the Veil leaves the castle’s floors move again, the vibration causing the skull to fall into the sea; the change finally opens Room 12, and when the Doctor enters he finds a twenty feet thick wall of Azbantium, a substance four-hundred times harder than diamond; on its surface is the word ‘HOME’, which then vanishes. Believing that the TARDIS is behind the wall, just one confession away, the Doctor then recalls the word ‘BIRD’ and makes a connection. [He returns to his mental TARDIS in fury, railing about the unfairness of his situation; the only way to escape is to reveal the truth about the Hybrid, but he cannot – and will not – confess that. The Doctor is all for giving up, until a vision of Clara appears before him, urging him to get up and win]. Back in Room 12, the Doctor confronts the Veil: he will not give it a confession, but he will tell it the truth. He punches the wall and gasps in pain at each blow, vowing to escape and find the person who put him in his trap and stop them. As the Veil shambles towards him, the Doctor starts to recount a story from the Brothers Grimm – but then the creature grabs his head in its claws, its touch burning him. The Doctor falls to the floor and the Veil teleports away… Injured beyond his ability to regenerate, the dying Doctor crawls up the stairs; it takes a day-and-a-half to pull his blackened-body along the corridor and into the teleport control room. [In his mind-TARDIS, the Doctor realises that all the skulls at the bottom of the sea are his – he hasn’t time-travelled to the castle, he has been there seven-thousand years, dying again and again; each of his deaths triggering the castle’s giant clockwork mechanism to reset]. His life ebbing away, the Doctor takes up the cables from the teleport controls and attaches them to his temples; using his dying burst of energy to activate the system, he creates a new version of himself from the copy held in the hard drive. As the teleport activates, the Doctor writes the word ‘BIRD’ in the dust, and then his body crumbles away. The castle resets, and another Doctor steps out of the teleport cylinder to start the cycle all over again… and again… and again…

Each time the Doctor experiences the same events, all for the first time. Every sequence ends with him punching the wall of diamond, his attack from the claws of the Veil, and using his dying breath to restart the teleport, creating himself anew…

Years pass: twelve-thousand… six-hundred-thousand… twelve-hundred-thousand… two million… twenty million… fifty-two-million… one billion…

Each time the Doctor punches the wall he wears it away; over the centuries he makes a tunnel in the wall, and the extra distance the Veil has to cross allows the Doctor to tell more of his story: a tale of a bird that sharpened its beak on a diamond mountain, slowly wearing it away…

Two billion years pass… until the wall finally breaks under the Doctor’s blow! The cycle broken, the Veil collapses into a pile of rags, clockwork cogs and dials. The Doctor steps though the tunnel’s end, emerging into a desert on an alien world; behind him the portal collapses into the Doctor’s Confession Dial, inside which the castle has been all along. When a small boy runs up to him, the Doctor sends him to the city to find someone important, to tell them that he “has come the long way round”. The boy runs off – towards the Capitol on Gallifrey. As the Doctor walks towards his home, he addresses his unknown tormentor: the ancient Time Lord prophecy was wrong: it isn’t a Dalek/Time-Lord Hybrid that will conquer Gallifrey and stand in its ruins – it is him


Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jeanna Coleman ('Clara'), Jami Reid-Quarrell (The Veil)

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):
28th November 2015 @ 8.05 pm


Notes:
*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor

*This episode is fifty-five minutes long

*Part two of a three part story