Before The Flood

Home Forums Episodes The Twelfth Doctor Before The Flood

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    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  So what is the soul in the Whoniverse?

    @bluesqueakpip  . . . Because Doctor Who can’t really use a religious meaning, Moffat seems to be using ‘soul’ as shorthand for ‘copy of the individual which is so good you can’t tell it from the original’. . . .

    There’s a concept of the soul in Buddhism and Daoism — a sort of discreet energy packet that moves from life to life manifesting different personalities for each life.  These personalities are the “false” constructs, as I understand it, designed for engaging with life X or life Y, that must finally be seen through and let go before the energy packet can dissolve once and for all, releasing its energy freely into the energy sea that is the universe at large (the Dao, I think).  Leaving aside reincarnation through successive lifetimes and personalities, maybe that concept of spontaneously emergent (rather than specifically “created”) souls works here, since it doesn’t require a God.

    I think that sort of “soul” would be a combination of a discreet energy packet and the sub-development, through a physical existence, of the individual personality.  At death, the released energy part carries the “personality” part into whatever sort of after-life existence (or maybe just persistence) we can imagine — the astral or spiritual or etheric etc. plane, a Heaven/Hell choice, a ghostly trace lingering in physicality until ultimate dispersal . . . ?  Or this combination soul can continue (voluntarily or not)  to be active on the physical plane as a ghost, or as this:

      . . .  that ‘soul’ can be contained in a physical body, an electronic avatar, or a dream-existence. 

    So the Doctor’s anger and fury might be because the Fisher King has co-opted the ‘souls’ he’s taken, has taken a person’s death – and instead of retaining the memory and essential personality, has simply converted it into a physical avatar with no option but total obedience.

    In the terms above, the FK has broken out the discreet energy part of the soul for his own use, leaving the personality part to die away since it has no energy left with which to persist on any plane or in any form (should that be an option)?  The FK is a vampire who drains the composite soul’s energy, which extinguishes the personality component that might otherwise have an afterlife if there is one to be had.

    This . . . ties in to another of Moffat’s long running themes: ‘death’ does not equal ‘defeat’. It’s not the worst thing that can happen to you: it’s simply the last thing that will happen to you.

    Well — the Doctor says there are no ghosts in the traditional sense that he’s found.  That may be Moffat saying that death is the last thing that happens to you.  But given the Doctor’s talk of the soul, death is *not necessarily* the last thing to happen to you in the Whoniverse, as we saw with the Nethersphere.  So talking in-Whoniverse about souls and what happens to them does change what death is there, I think.



    Mudlark @mudlark


    There used to be two lakes, Lower Loch and Upper Loch, and Lower Loch was drained to make room for a fake Soviet town (because there is obviously no cheaper way to do it when the military is involved) and the breaking of the dam merely restored the status quo ante

    OK, I’ll buy that explanation.  I can just about believe that the military would be capable of such a cack-handed way of doing things.  It reminds me of an occasion when I was in charge of excavating a large site where we had a bowser to supply water. At the end of the digging season, when it was time to collect the bowser, I was away on leave.  I returned to find the bowser gone and two great hephalump traps in the site compound.  It turned out that  they had been dug for the back wheels of the land rover in order to lower the tow bar.  Seemingly it had not occurred to anyone to use the jack to raise the tow bar link of the bowser!


    Mudlark @mudlark


    that which made them distinct, eccentric and altogether different and non-uniform in their humanity, is perhaps residing somewhere else

    Exactly!  A sculptural model or a hologram of a person is a copy which may be informed by an external observation of that person, but it is not *the* person in essence.  In turn, the image of a deceased person may or may not convey something of that person to the observer, but it is not the wholeness of that person, whether surviving only in the collective memories of those who have known them living, or on some plane after death.

    lisa @lisa

    The ghosts reminded me of zombies. I’ve been trying to recall what the Fisher King reminded me
    of and maybe someone already said this but not sure. It finally hit me that its a knock off of
    Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. That was a cosmic sea creature part man and dragon that lived in the water
    that was able to effect people in their minds. So if the Fisher King is based on the Cthulhu which
    is a water creature then that would mean the creature probably isn’t dead.

    lisa @lisa

    The Doctor said the creature had died in the flood. But if its basically a water creature
    then I have to think how?

    Mirime @mirime

    Just thinking, this might have been mentioned but throwing it out anyway on why The Fisher King as the name for the bad guy – Ravens are considered psychopomps and Bran (I remember the connection between Bran the Blessed and The Fisher King has been discussed) means ‘raven’.

    Also, the mural is interesting as it clearly depicts The Fisher King as a serpent which makes me think of Mayan mythology around the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl. It’s also not the first serpent we’ve seen this year and serpents are associated with rebirth – something else we’ve also seen.

    Anyway, just semi-random musings…

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @lisa   I don’t think that this Fisher King could have been a water creature in any true sense. According to my recollection, he told the Doctor that  his people, when they arrived, would have drained the world – presumably of water, implying either that they didn’t need it or had a use for it elsewhere.

    The name reminded @purofilion of Slavic tales of water spirits, but here it is associated with the legend of the Holy Grail, which probably had its roots in ancient Welsh or Irish lore and eventually became incorporated into the Arthurian cycle. In that context, far as I am aware, it  has no particular association with water.  What Whitehouse or Moffat had in mind is another matter; I for one, was looking for signs an Arthurian connection and could see none.

    As for Cthulthu, I always envisaged him/it as a monstrously multi-tentacled being, rather like a hugely inflated Dalek (the organic being inside the machine, that is).

    nerys @nerys


    I’ve even seen conversations get a little heated on this site, but then everyone seems to calm down and not declare war and that is a rare thing on the internet and worth protecting ;).

    I so agree, and how wonderful this lovely little haven is for it! It’s not that people agree on everything; I’ve seen a fair bit of debate just in the short time I’ve been here. The difference is that by and large this debate is conducted with at least a modicum of respect. People have differing opinions, but they are open to others’ opinions. It’s not “I’M RIGHT, and you all are idiots,” but “This is my opinion, and you’re welcome to try to change my mind (not that I will, necessarily, but the door is open).” I like that. How I wish all Internet discourse was conducted in that manner.

    Re: the Fisher King dying in the flood, even if it were a water creature, mightn’t it have been killed by the crushing force of the water rushing in?

    lisa @lisa

    @mudlark I remember the F. King saying he would drain the world but I was thinking he meant he would
    take/steal the water as if it were something he may have coveted? But might have misunderstood. I think
    that when we think about creatures from water we think tentacles but I don’t recall whether the Cthulhu
    was one? Could be so. I cant figure out the name connection either quite honestly. The only thing I
    can think of is that the wanted to make a connection with something Arthurian. If so, this one might be
    a big stretch. I was thinking it could have something to do with life force? The F. King drained peoples
    life force in the episode and also said he would drain all the water which without water nothing thrives.
    In the Arthur legend the life force was drained from the peoples ability to thrive too?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion   for someone steeped in music, and as a visionary in his art, the idea of losing one’s hearing and livelihood would be an unbearable loss.

    Reminds me of how in our own time Alzheimer’s and other dementias sometimes seem to target creative intellectuals, stealing over time the intelligence that they’ve built honored lives on . . . Terry Pratchett.  Iris Murdock.

    And yeah — it had actually sunk into my understanding that the Doctor went back 140 yrs to meet the FK before a flood that did no damage except to kill the bad guy, I might have lost my suspension of disbelief too.  But I don’t bring that kind of realism-demand to DW.  In my own work, when the background is complex, I’ve sometimes made decisions about just not pursuing a potentially dodgy element too far because there’s a danger of derailing the whole story, or clogging it up with boring explanatory gunkus.  It’s that “artistic license” thing, and how you choose to use the time you have for a project.  As always, choosing A means *not* choosing B, C, D, . . . using your judgment carries risks.  With something as strong as DW, they’ve got a lot of leeway with most fans, much less with others.  You cut the knot and hope for the best.

    And anyway, @pedant  came along and fixed it, so, not to worry; there’s always a bonkerism to get us around these little, um, sinkholes of logic/fact, provided we’re willing (not to say, delighted) to be steered north-by-north-bonkerly.

    lisa @lisa

    @mudlark I don’t recall if you have looked at the BBC released pictures from the next
    episode with Maisie but there is one where she is shown from her shoulders to the top
    of her boots and has a roundish item hanging off her belt. Do you have any ideas about that
    item? The reason I ask is because it looks roughly like the size and shape of the thing we
    named the CD of Rasillon. Probably just another silly notion but odd in the way that
    picture focused on that part of the costume. Probably where she keeps something stashed.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Wow that took a lot of catching up!!! Shouldn’t have let myself get over 3 pages behind. So much that I hadn’t thought of has been raised to me now though so it’s all good. (I can’t remember who posted what on the prior pages so apologies)

    re: Clara –> Nethersphere. I feel like this is a strong bit of bonkerising, especially considering the discussion on souls. Would certainly fit well into an arc where Missy is trying to break CapDoc and remove everyone other than him/her from CapDoc’s life.

    re: River/Clara connection. Again good thinking, I certainly didn’t notice it in that way but now that it’s been mentioned I can see where you’re coming from. The one thing that’s stopping me wholeheartedly buying into this is the CAL=Clara theory, which now that I’m typing strikes me as compatible with the Nethersphere theory as they both exist in largely similar ways, and would explain why both River and Missy seem so closely linked to Clara.

    re: Dawn Treader picture not mentioned (I think that was @bluesqueakpip). I highly doubt that we would have been given it if it wasn’t important, hich means it’s part of the series arc. As I mentioned a few days ago, the snake card in Tarot from what I can tell represents rebirth of some sort, and if that is supposed to be a woman in the mouth it could be a hint at Timelord!Clara. she was still inside the Dalek when the regen energy came through after all (though of course it could refer to Missy or River, or even another female timelord like Jenny).

    So that’s 4 theories on Clara in the same thread, without even mentioning the Claricles or the Dalek nanogenes and her seeming inevitable forthcoming doom, nor have I touched on the discussion of her becoming a Psuedo-Doctor almost and the possibilities that could bring. This is making me very intrigued to see who is right, if any of us are.

    Also, just one last thing

    @mirime re: Bran means Raven ……..please excuse me whilst I shake my fist at George R R Martin.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark   I don’t think that this Fisher King could have been a water creature in any true sense. According to my recollection, he told the Doctor that his people, when they arrived, would have drained the world – presumably of water, implying either that they didn’t need it or had a use for it elsewhere.

    He’s not meant to be a water creature; or, if he is, the water of his home world is long gone.  In one of the “extras”, a costume guy explained that they wanted the FK to look like a creature from a very *dry* place, so they tried to make his exoskeleton/armor look desiccated, and succeeded — he looks chalky.  So when he says they want to drain our oceans, I think that translates as “take your world’s water for ourselves” (and, by the way, enslave you).

    For me, that also explains the FK’s reaction to seeing the dam break: he stands still facing the flood and spreads out his arms, welcoming a joyful death by WATER!

    Mirime @mirime

    @bendubz11 feel free, but as I’ve not read the books or seen much of Game of Thrones can I ask why?

    django @django

    @ichabod @mudlark


    I disagree. I took his comment about draining the water to mean that his race would steal/consume it. Then his arms wide pose at the end is like a starving man at a banquet.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @lisa  I have responded to your query concerning the publicity photos on the Spoilers thread, since the subject matter could be seen as verging on spoiler territory for those particularly sensitive in such matters.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @django   The indications are, as you rightly say, that the Fisher King’s people had a particular need for water, and probably prized and revered it because of its scarcity on their home planet.  My point was that there was no sign that they were a water-dwelling species.  The creature looked like something that had evolved in or adapted to very arid conditions, and the information in the ‘extras’ feature which @ichabod saw confirms that this was intended by the costume designers.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @mirime  Although your query was addressed to @bendubz11, I hope that it will not seem rude of me to butt in and answer it while I am here.

    In A Song of Ice and Fire and in the Television adaptation, Bran is a young boy, rendered paraplegic by a fall, who has visions of a three eyed crow or raven who promises that, though he will never walk again, he will fly.  The visions are, as it turns out, highly significant.

    Mirime @mirime

    @mudlark ahh, thank you. Not rude at all. I did see some of season one of GoT but was rather busy with a new baby at the time and couldn’t keep track of names or much else really!

    Serahni @serahni

    Forgot to post about how much I enjoyed this!  It’s been a while since I was creeped out enough by Doctor Who that I was tempted to pretend I was watching and look at something else during some parts. lol.  Since I live alone, this is entirely silly but parts of this spooked me!  No mind-blowing theorising coming from me, need to go back and read what your lovely brains have managed to fire out.

    So far, this series is impressing me more than the last one.  I still enjoyed aspects of Capaldi’s first run but the whole time, I felt like what I was really waiting for was something to make it all worthwhile.  Some sort of pay-off that never quite came.  I certainly wouldn’t say I hated it, but already this series has coaxed me into watching each episode multiple times.  Excited to see this week’s!

    Mudlark @mudlark


    a flood that did no damage except to kill the bad guy

    I’ve just remembered that I meant to comment on this point (I’m in a somewhat distracted mood this morning)

    What made you think that the flood did no damage?  I certainly gained the impression from information given in Under the Lake that the buildings had been reduced to ruins and the alien craft had been buried under the rubble until a shift in the currents exposed it again.  The foundations and parts of the walls of the buildings would have survived – enough for some of the outlines to be visible – which would have made it easy for the crew of Drum Base to locate the church, especially if they had plans of the base dating from before it was flooded.

    Anonymous @

    What made you think that the flood did no damage

    @mudlark and @ichabod. When the latter said the “flood did little damage except to kill the Fisher King” Ichabod may have meant that as it was a mock-up of a village during the Cold War, there were no other people present: the Church, train station etc were unpopulated and so, beyond the rubble and the water damage, no lives were lost – until the Fisher King himself arrived in order to begin his ‘devastation’ and ghost transmissions.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @purofilion @ichabod and @mudlark

    I think it was more the potential damage than the actual damage. Remember, before the Doctor went back in time to sort things out, he had evidence in Under The Lake that the ghosts were trying to call a rescue sub to turn more people into ghosts.

    What he had (as he said when he pulled his UNIT rank) was a potential world-wide epidemic, if he didn’t stop it immediately.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  The foundations and parts of the walls of the buildings would have survived – enough for some of the outlines to be visible – which would have made it easy for the crew of Drum Base to locate the church, especially if they had plans of the base dating from before it was flooded.

    You know, for some reason I don’t recall seeing the village in UtL, and the church’s remains looked like normal collapse after 140 yrs — with the stasis bed not covered in mud, silt etc.  The base itself was shown in that overhead through-the-water shot that didn’t (as I remember) include any wreckage around it.  Maybe a mental comparison was going on in my head to all those news photos of the wakes of tsunamis, with so much just mashed to a sort of pancake of splinters, so finding the stasis bed just sitting there with a few boards over it didn’t say “flood” to me as in the coming wall of water we saw in BtF.  My iTunes stuff is in a bit of flux/crisis so I can’t actually re-watch til I get that resolved, though, so my comments are provisional.

    @purofilion  Ichabod may have meant that as it was a mock-up of a village during the Cold War, there were no other people

    Well, better if I had meant that!

    Thinking about how the FK might not have died but not actually drowned in the flood since it’s a bit like a tornado, I think, in that a lot of the damage (to people and buildings) is done by the wreckage the water carries banging along with it.  You can get slammed into a wall and die of that before you have time to drown.  Either way, I don’t give much for the FK’s chances of having survived the breaking of the dam in order to show up again later in the series; which is too bad — I wanted to see more of him, too.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod    It seems a bit strange to be debating the credibility of such details in an episode of Doctor Who, when most of us managed to a greater or lesser degree to swallow so much that was counterfactual in the last series. On the other hand, when it is a question of what does or does not allow suspension of disbelief, why not  🙂

    You were thinking in terms of a tsunami, but a tsunami has the whole power of an ocean driving it inland; the surge from a burst dam can be very destructive, as the aftermath of the dambuster’s raid demonstrated, but the force of the body of water behind it is less to begin with and, unless the dam is at the head of a narrow valley or gorge, it will to some extent be dissipated fairly rapidly as the water spreads out across the valley floor.  In this case the buildings below this dam were of brick construction, and although they would have been largely destroyed in the initial surge, I doubt very much that the foundations would have been completely scoured out and obliterated.  In the following 140 years things could easily have eroded and shifted about a bit, assuming that there was still a river feeding the lake and causing underwater currents, so that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility for things that had been buried to re-emerge.  I will have to watch Under the Lake again to refresh my memory, but I am willing to accept that, even if an unlikely amount of detail is shown in the underwater view, this is allowable in the interests of clarity in the narrative.

    Anyway, as @purofilion and @bluesqueakpip have pointed out, there are other ways of thinking about the damage caused or averted.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  Yes, it’s funny how people’s attention gets snagged, in a “but, realism!” mode, on this or that, in the midst of a parade of adventure stories about a regenerating alien and his time machine.  Thanks for the thoughts on what a rush of lots of water does.  In fact, I remember being surprised, seeing photography of tsunami flooding that looked more like a rapid oozing of increasing depths of water rather than a meters-tall invasion of water, once initial contact was made with the beach in phuket, I think it was, or thereabouts.  At any rate, I’m happy to accept the underwater arrangements in UtL too, to keep the gates open to the flow of The Story.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I think my favourite bit of the story was when GhostMoran was chasing Cass.

    There was this lovely, stereotyped ‘poor little deaf person, going to get slaughtered because she can’t hear the monster’…

    … and then it suddenly turned into ‘Sod being a victim!’

    Lovely bit of work. 🙂

    DrBen @drben

    Still digging through the thread (was out of town this weekend and only watched the ep last night), but I’m surprised no one has mentioned that the Beethoven bootstrap paradox from the beginning is more or less what happens with Bach in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.  I suspect that former DW story editor Douglas Adams is never far from the current staff’s mind.

    [Also, loved the episode for the most part, loved the rock guitar and souped-up theme, loved the professorial intro – still cogitating on the larger issues of what it means for Clara, what is the significance of the Fisher King, etc.]

    DrBen @drben

    @purofilion @arbutus – One of my old music theory professors described Beethoven as the original rock star, and used the Waldstein as an example.  “Can you imagine being at a fancy party in 1804, all dressed up in the latest fashions, and in walks this crazed lunatic, 33 years old, dressed in dark colors with crazy disheveled hair, and sits down at the piano and plays that?  It would have been a scandal!”

    Still one of my favorite pieces, just for that image.

    Anonymous @

    @drben welcome back! Great to hear from you.

    Indeed: a scandal, just for the messed up hair and the dirty collars. He was a virtuosic pianist and so taking any orders from a ‘Doctor,’ deciding to “copy them out, each concerto, each Sonata.” Hah! I don’t think so. He played very well before his compositions were realised. And Weelock Thayer speaks of that “disgruntled hush” which overcame the ‘audience’ when the Introduzione,  Adagio Molto led cleanly into the final Rondo Allegretto, Prestissimo. That audience wanted their time to cough, sip, burble and look around the room, fanning! And they didn’t get it. Afterwards, he “just got up and left.”

    There was applause but it took awhile. Whilst I love Arrau’s version it will be my teacher’s, John O’Connor’s, interpretation which stays with me: allegedly grilled into him from his own “grand-teacher” who happened to be the student of Weber!

    Like a family history.

    Anonymous @


    the Beethoven bootstrap paradox from the beginning is more or less what happens with Bach in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

    Goodness: I’ve never seen or heard this! How is that!?

    Can you describe it a bit? I guess I could Google it! After all, that’s what Twelve admonished us to do.

    Kindest, puro

    Anonymous @

    @lisa I think @craig mentioned no talk about next week’s episode and any actors/characters in this thread? Some people are naturally averse to Spoilers.

    No worries, just remembering



    lisa @lisa

    @Purofilion put message to you on BBX spoilers page

    DrBen @drben

    @purofilion – The Bach thing in Dirk Gently is a bit difficult to explain out of context.  Time traveler hears beautiful alien music, goes back in time, gives it to Bach, timey-wimey.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    I think the enduring popularity of Bach can be argued to be almost an anachronism, because his music was so little valued at the time of his death that years later some of his original music was being used as wrapping paper at a local store.

    The music earworm might be Pachelbel’s Canon which was written maybe very late 1600s and was almost unknown until 1968!  And then it exploded to become a fixture in weddings etc.

    Anonymous @


    Whilst Pachelbel’s canon in D was unknown for a very long time (oh how I wish it had remained that way) -and the composer is still disputed stupidly by several theorists and musicologists, there’s debate about his other works and canons in particular; most were very popular in his lifetime. He was one composer who did extremely well during the late 1600s.

    Bach, also in his Weimar period, did very well indeed and before that, due to an enduring friendship and business relationship with Buxtehude, also produced prolific organ work. Back in Weimar, he received generous remuneration and significant plaudits for his choral arrangements and cantatas.

    I would add that Bach was an organised performer and composer: very different in manner and style to Beethoven -the latter seen somewhat as the ‘rock star’ in temperament, behaviour, dress and in his ‘fingers up’ to the chordal certainties and structural expectations of the time. Somewhat like Debussy and Stravinsky in their respective eras.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @drben      I absolutely love that book, almost more than Hitchhiker’s Guide in many ways. It’s hugely quirky and clever. The thing about Bach there, as I recall, was that it came from the alien ship, and was saved, taken to the 18th century, and given in some way to Bach, and only after that did it exist in the future. It hadn’t actually existed before. The joke was that the time traveling professor hoped no one would notice that it was really more music than one man could actually compose in a lifetime!  🙂  @purofilion, you absolutely should read it. It has music, time travel, and quantum mechanics (sort of), and is absolutely hysterically funny.

    @jphamlore   One of the interesting things (to me) about Bach was that although he was composing at a time when a lot of new ideas were in play and the seeds of the classical era were being sown, he himself stayed absolutely old school, in terms of structure, texture, and harmonic language. He pushed the baroque further than it had ever gone, but as popular style was beginning to change, his innovations didn’t lead anywhere. Not immediately, anyway (although there were those in the next generation who admired his work), but even the quintessentially classical Haydn and Mozart were inspired by his music. Beethoven held him in great regard. I suspect that on his death, his heirs probably looked at what must have been an overwhelming number of manuscripts and simply didn’t understand the worth of it.

    @purofilion    Beethoven was a rock star, Bach was a workin’ man.  🙂

    I played a lot of Pachelbel fugues while I was studying harpsichord, they were pretty fun, less mind-bending and cramp-inducing to learn than Bach, but satisfying.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion    And its sequel, The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul, has Norse gods. Also pretty funny.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    <span class=”useratname”>@purofilion</span>: I bow to your greater knowledge of music and many other things.   Thanks for a history lesson.  🙂

    In the original series of Star Trek, Requiem for Methusaleh, the character of Flint apparently had been various famous men in history including Leonardo da Vinci and Brahms.  In an act of sheer genius, having found himself immortal on Earth, he decided to leave Earth where he became not immortal, and old looking, and devoted his life to creating the perfect woman, who did not fancy being with an older man, Flint failing to make a backup of his work.  And I am not sure if the Federation figured out they could at least try sending him back to Earth to see if he could regain his immortality.

    One wonders what would have happened if Flint had thought of bringing to outer space a coffin whose bottom was lined with soil from Earth.


    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore Ah, thank you but I didn’t want to sound like I was lecturing: and I apologise if I came across that way. I was really tired -but poor excuse 🙂

    @arbutus I like what you said about Bach vs Beethoven!  Indeed. The Well Tempered Clavier was a favourite of mine, though -very interesting and some superb melodies.

    And Pachelbel of course!

    As for the book -music and time travel, why haven’t I heard of that before? I’m stoopid:  officially. 🙂

    DrBen @drben

    @purofilion @arbutus @jphamlore

    Puro, you will certainly enjoy the Dirk Gently series, and you will enjoy them more when you learn that the basic story for the first book is taken in large part from Adams’ unfinished Doctor Who script Shada.  I fully agree with Arbutus that, as much as I love Hitchhiker’s Guide, the Dirk Gently series is a little better.  Do *not* watch the BBC series which, while charming in its own way, bears no resemblance to the book.  Please read the books immediately and report back. 😉

    Arbutus, I fully agree with your characterization of Bach as the working man.  There’s a wonder statue of him outside of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, and his vest (waistcoat for you Brits) is buttoned up all wrong and one of his pockets his hanging out.  I can fully imagine him at a table full of manuscripts working out that Sunday’s cantata at the last minute.  And it is completely true that, without Mendelssohn’s insistence in the 19th century that Bach was a genius, he would have been completely forgotten.  (For example, the Brandenburg concertos were a job interview – he sent the manuscripts to the Elector of Brandenburg while seeking a job as music-master there, and not only did he not get the job, but the manuscripts were discovered, still in their sealed envelope, after the Elector’s death.)

    As to the topic at hand, I remain an unrepentant Twelve fan and can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

    New theory on the tarot — This series could simply be progressing by the numbers.  Skipping 0, because the Doctor is *always* the Fool, 1 is the Magician (Magician’s Apprentice), 2 is the High Priestess (Witch’s Familiar), 3 is the Empress (Under the Lake), and 4 is the Emperor (Before the Flood).  No question who the Magician and HPs are — Clara (or Cass) could be the Empress, and the Fisher King (or the Doctor again) could be the Emperor.

    What is fun about this is that there are 12 episodes in the regular season, and then the 13th is the Christmas Episode.  Card number 13 in the Major Arcana is Death.  Bye bye Clara.  (Yes, disclaimer, Death doesn’t always mean death, but work with me here.)

    Anonymous @


    <p style=”text-align: left;”>There’s a wonder[ful] statue of him outside of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, and his vest (waistcoat for you Brits) is buttoned up all wrong and one of his pockets his hanging out.</p>

    I saw that statue years ago, and being stuffy then, was a little miffed! I thought: “oh, this isn’t respectful”

    I missed its point!

    Thank you about the Dirk Gently series. Aye aye sir! (clicking heels) 🙂

    Anonymous @

    Oops: wrong thread, really.


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    I am convinced Strength is Kate Stewart, who has already appeared in the first episode of this season.  Look at the lion.

    “A woman crowned with crown and cap of maintenance, who calmly, and Without effort, closes the jaws of a furious lion. She represents Strength.”

    If Moffat wanted to go throwback to the atmosphere of the 1960s – 70s of shows such as Sandbaggers, I wonder if Kate Stewart could be the victim of office politics at some point.  That would give her time to have an adventure or two as the Doctor’s temporary companion.


    Serahni @serahni

    Morning, fellow Whovians!  Another day until the next installment!  Doctor Who has become, yet again, the only television show I actually anticipate.

    After some odd dreams last night, I feel like I may have started to piece together some of the theories floating around but I wanted to check.  A couple of times, I have read that Clara might actually be The Doctor and I never really picked up on why people were thinking that or what their reasoning for it was.  Now that we’ve had this idea of a bootstrap paradox introduced, as well as the dedication of time to explaining how The Doctor always wins because he believes he will, (complete with actual flashback scenario), am I right in thinking that one of the theories is that Clara didn’t actually exist until The Doctor created her, perhaps with ghost River’s help, at the moment when she entered his timestream?  That somehow her bootstrap paradox is that she actually came into existence THEN but, in doing so and jumping into his timestream, she essentially set up her existence throughout time and space to account for him meeting her earlier on and then setting about the chain of events that lead to him being threatened by The Great Intelligence in the first place?  If this is the theory, then I can kind of get why people either think she is the ‘child’ of River and The Doctor, or possibly just a piece of The Doctor himself.  His ‘last minute solution’ win.

    If I am way off the mark, please let me know.  Lol.  Takes a while for me to catch up sometimes!

    MadBoyInABox @madboyinabox

    Well I don’t think Clara is the the doctor, that would just be silly. But you might be right😆😕

    ichabod @ichabod

    @drben  Wow!  What a handsome line-up of tarot and S9!  That’s a teensy work of art all by itself.  Now let’s see what happens — S9 is delightful so far, IMO.

    @jphamlore  Kate Stewart could be the victim of office politics at some point. That would give her time to have an adventure or two as the Doctor’s temporary companion.

    I would so like to see that — !

    @serahni  If I am way off the mark, please let me know.  Heck, we hardly ever know what the mark *is*, let alone who’s on it or way off!  I tend to go for the simplest theories, myself, only because I can’t keep the complicated theories straight in my head long enough to figure out how I feel about them.  My own feeling is that Clara is an emergent phenomenon, and on top of that (if it’s possible) a bootstrap paradox, possible called forth not by any particular person’s will, be they TL or anything else, but by a literally universal need that the Doctor not be allowed to get all killed and stuff because “we” (everybody) need a madman in a box ping-ponging wildly around the place to keep some creative/destructive spontaneity working the mix of events.

    From a writer’s p.o.v., I can attest to the excellent effects of this sort of thing on stories.  I had a straightforward story going once that stopped going because I couldn’t figure out what the characters would do next.  A new character appeared — almost literally “The Fool” only more toward the shamanic end of the wild card spectrum — and away we went, just on the energy derived from total surprise and the necessity of giving up the wheel to this new creature for a while.  But I don’t really expect anything like that for Clara — Moffat seems to prefer anchoring his mysteries somewhere out of sight for a later surprise-reveal.

    lisa @lisa

    @serahni That’s basically where my thoughts are now too about Clara. Plus the idea
    that she was born on a leaf implies River and under a clock tower implies the Doctor. I have
    felt that Clara channels both the Doctor and River on many occasions. In Name of the Doctor
    we learn that River is definitely connected to Clara. She makes this explicit.
    Falling into the time stream had to mean she picked up a lot of Doctor as well by becoming essential
    to his story. So maybe this makes Clara the hybrid that has been mentioned and the ‘child’
    of both born in that moment when she jumped into the Doctor’s personal time vortex which could
    have been the end of his life but for the creation of the Clara loop. Like River she saves
    the Doctor and also like River she is a loop. I believe River is also definitely a loop. That’s
    why she can keep returning as well. SM loves that device a lot!

    lisa @lisa

    @drben I will google the Tarot and try to see as you say ‘what’s next’. Thanks!

    Anonymous @


    Ah, have you read the strapline of this wonderful Forum: our theories are supposed to be mad!

    Although I might add that @serahni‘s is not so mad at all -the clock tower of which we have been told (@lisa)  makes an appearance, the idea that Clara existed only in the future because she arrived before the present (well, you get what I mean: bootstrap..which, thanks to more than a few people, I now know the meaning of) and of course River’s excellent analysis: “yo girl, you go in there and you die!” -referring to Clara’s score of ’10’ when she dived into the Dr’s timestream.

    Except she didn’t! Still, River has been wrong before. In The Big Bang when the Doctor insists we can bring everything back she says “well, that would be lovely dear, but we can’t because it’s COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE”  She’s wrong: it is possible, after all.

    Hmm. @serahni I like it. I like it all. It’s delicious and I want to kiss it!

    OK: sounds better when Peter Capaldi says it but I can dream can’t I?


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