When I last tackled this episode back in December 2015, I had the interesting notion of cutting out Clara’s ‘final’ farewell to The Doctor, but in doing so, it left the story feeling slightly under-length. Not that there’s a problem with “shortening” Doctor Who episodes if you feel it makes for tighter pacing (or allow it to synch up with well with the length of traditional “classic” Who stories) , but I thought, for this second go-around, I would try to bump up the length so it was closer to that of a modern series episode.
How to acheive this without compromising my earlier ideas? Look to none other than the very next episode, “Heaven Sent”
Inspired by a discussion I had with Whoflix (who had recently completed his own edit of Face The Raven, which I recommend checking out), I felt compelled to try and make the episode feel more like a two-parter, leading directly into Hell Bent without dragging out The Doctor’s struggle inside the confession dial too much…and the easiest solution was to simply use the last act of the episode focusing on The Doctor experiencing the loop time and again, which neatly condenses the events of Heaven Sent into a very manageable ten minutes and gets us to Gallifrey in no time at all
Also changed is the pre-credits, gone is Rigsy’s phone call to the TARDIS, and The Doctor telling Rigsy there’s no easy way to tell someone they’re going to die being where we hit the titles. Not much else of FTR has been changed other than that.