The latest Black Archive release from Obverse Books examines one of the Twelfth Doctor’s most notable episodes – indeed, one of the most iconic stories of modern Doctor Who: Heaven Sent!
The story found the Doctor in his own private hell, reliving the same events over and over, a puppet to the Time Lords.
The Black Archive is a series of analytic book-length essays giving readers new appreciations on a story. This is the 21st title in the series, although you can jump on at any point, and here’s the synopsis:
“I’m not scared of Hell – it’s just Heaven for bad people.”
Nine series into its 21st-century run, Doctor Who made history with Steven Moffat’s Heaven Sent (2015). It was the show’s first single-hander, and the first ever to be shortlisted for an Emmy Award.
Heaven Sent is more than just the Doctor’s own puzzle-box: it also serves as a decoder ring, allowing us deeper insight into both the Time Lord who fled Gallifrey and the persona of ‘the Doctor’ he adopted for himself. With a toolbox containing everything from Jungian psychology to video game design, this Black Archive (the second of three covering the final episodes of the 2015 season) seeks to take apart the Doctor’s Confession Dial and discover what he’s been hiding from his audience – and himself – for all these years.
The Black Archive #21: Heaven Sent is written by Kara Dennison, who specialises in deep analysis of geek and genre entertainment. She has contributed to Seasons of War, The City of the Saved, and the You and Who series. In March 2018, she conducted Peter Capaldi’s first public interview since leaving Doctor Who.
It’s part of a triptych which began with last month’s The Black Archive #20: Face the Raven by Sarah Groenewegen (an excellent tome), and continues with The Black Archive #22: Hell Bent by Alyssa Franke, due out in August 2018.
The Black Archive #21: Heaven Sent is out now, with an RRP of £6.99, although it’s just £4.99 directly from Obverse Books!