The Doctor is trapped, hunted by a veiled figured, and a bird sharpens its beak.
After the death of Clara Oswald, The Doctor finds himself teleported to a castle in the middle of a vast sea. He’s not alone, however, as a large, terrifying, veiled figure surrounded by flies stalks the hallways, never stopping, slowly chasing The Doctor. To add to the fear, monitors are set up throughout the castle showing the viewpoint of this monster. The Doctor is afraid, scared enough to confess his deepest secrets, which somehow give the monster pause.
Telling any more of the plot to “Heaven Sent” would spoil the episode’s many twists and turns and final reveal. But the winding road The Doctor takes to the end, however many times he takes it, is worth watching again and again to join The Doctor in solving the mystery of where he is.
Filling out an intricate plot are elements that have been teased throughout Capaldi’s time as The Doctor. As mentioned above, throughout the castle are monitors showing the monster’s viewpoint, just as in “Sleep No More.” The writing on The Doctor’s chalkboard are used once again, similar to last season’s “Listen,” as well as figures from The Doctor’s nightmares. And, similar to “Before the Flood,” The Doctor breaks the fourth wall and looks directly at the viewer, mentioning he’s “nothing without an audience.”
This season has implemented various types of narratives to tell its stories, specifically in regards to “Sleep No More’s” use of found footage. While “Heaven Sent” doesn’t venture far from the usual method of filming, the entire experience feels like an old mystery survival game like “Myst.” These first person games were less action oriented and depended on suspense, visuals, and mystery to ramp up the excitement for the player to keep them coming back for more, which is similar to “Doctor Who’s” focus on story and science over action to showcase its mysteries.