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    curvedspace @curvedspace

    Sorry about the double post, didn’t get back to the edit link in time.  In any case, I just read an author I like (Sarah Rees Brennan) talking about fan engagement:

    One of my favourite stories is actually a Dickens story, too: novels used to be put out in serialised form, and a boat was arriving bearing the latest installment of the Old Curiosity Shop, a book whose heroine was called Nell. And a MOB ran down to the harbour and they all yelled to the sailors: ‘DOES LITTLE NELL DIE?’

    (Presumably the sailors were like: HER MAJESTY’S NAVY DOES NOT GIVE SPOILERS, or something.)

    But the energy that’ll propel the mob of readers to wonder and to care is in the not knowing, and feeling you’re a part of the story as it happens…I think that’s cool.

    Readers (& viewers) have been engaging with and passionate about stories for as long as they’ve been told. I personally can’t imagine being so excited about a Charles Dickens story, but I definitely feel that way about waiting for the next Doctor Who episode.

    curvedspace @curvedspace

    Oh dear, it’s my third comment in 20 minutes. Done after this, I promise, but @bluesqueakpip said over in this post:

    oh, Rory’s attraction for Amy has always been something completely obvious to me. He’s her anchor; the person whose sheer stability and ordinariness means that she can bound off in her crazy life without it becoming so insane she can never get back.
    And Amy’s attraction to Rory is that she keeps pushing him out of his comfort zone and stops him being exactly like his Dad.:-)They may look as though they have nothing in common; in fact, they complement each other.

    I suddenly realized where I’ve seen this kind of dynamic before: in Moffat’s Sherlock. I’m not saying the two pairs are identical, or that he’s a one-trick-pony or anything like that. But he does like to explore relationships like these, doesn’t he? Ones where it doesn’t make sense at first, and you wonder why on earth one or both of them would stay together, but in the end they turn out to be perfectly complementary.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    On the one hand, I think that “shipping” — trying to figure out who will get with whom, and who we’d prefer to end up together — is something endemic to television. I think that watchers have been having these imaginings since watching began.

    I’ve stayed out of this one for now, but had to chip in and agree with you here. I was unaware of the “shipping” thing until @pedant, @bluesqueakpip and @juniperfish explained it. Once you understand it, you recognise it.

    My mum was addicted to soaps like Coronation Street, Eastenders and so forth and often used to comment that “such and such” didn’t deserve “another character” they should be with “this character”. Perhaps she could be defined as a “shipper”. Her reality was better than the imagination of the writer?

    With Rose, I do think it was unfortunate. You have 2 series with her, and the following one (with Martha) her absence informed it. When you come to series 4 (and many have missed this) you have the great partnership of Donna and the Doctor, but in the first episode you are informed that she is to return (in the crowd, at the end).

    All four series informed by one bloody character. I can understand people who express frustration at this point. I did myself, even if I think series 4 played out as best it could by minimising that expectation.

    Does Ten love Rose? Well, yes. From the script:

    DONNA: “It’s better than that, though.Don’t you see what he’s giving you? Tell her, go on.”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “I look like him. Think like him. Same memories, same thoughts, same everything, except… I’ve only got one heart.”
    ROSE: “Which means..?”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “I’m part Human. Specifically, the ageing part. I’ll grow old. And never regenerate. I’ve only got one life, Rose Tyler. I… could spend it with you. If you want.”
    ROSE: “You’ll grow old… at the same time as me?”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “Together.”

    Music swells, etc. Confrontation with Doctor 1. Doctor 2, who is exactly the same, says the words and they share a passionate kiss. The script has told us they are the same, except that pesky timelord biology.

    If you want to ignore the patently obvious in this one, I commend you on the thickness of your plot beer goggles.

    Just to add insult to injury – 10s last moments. After having a laugh at the prospect of pairing up the cast-offs of Mickey and Martha, who is the last face Ten wants to see?

    Shippers Paradise.

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    I truly do not understand why Rose causes such annoyance to some people, but I accept that she does.

    If you are a person who watched the Hartnell Doctor insist that his grand-daughter stay behind on a Dalek ravaged Earth in the 21st Century because he knew she was in love with a human, you are not a person who thinks that the Doctor is not open to the prospect of a Time Lord having a meaningful love affair with a person whose life will end before the Time Lord’s does.

    Clearly, the Doctor is capable of falling in love: Susan is, essentially, all of the proof you need for that conclusion.

    But that does not mean that you must take the view that the Tenth Doctor fell in love with Rose.

    There is nothing in this passage which states in a completely straightforward way that Doctor Ten was in love with Rose:

    DONNA: “It’s better than that, though. Don’t you see what he’s giving you? Tell her, go on.”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “I look like him. Think like him. Same memories, same thoughts, same everything, except… I’ve only got one heart.”
    ROSE: “Which means..?”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “I’m part Human. Specifically, the ageing part. I’ll grow old. And never regenerate. I’ve only got one life, Rose Tyler. I… could spend it with you. If you want.”
    ROSE: “You’ll grow old… at the same time as me?”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “Together.”

    Of course, it is entirely open to the interpretation that the Tenth Doctor is in love with Rose. No doubt. And anyone who thinks that has my unqualified blessing.

    The scene does goes on and Rose challenges the Tenth Doctor to say that he loves her – and he doesn’t. And the audience sees the copy Doctor whisper into Rose’s ear what we believe are the three magic words.

    The Tenth Doctor’s silence is consistent with him not actually being in love with her, just as those who think he is can read his silence as him not wanting to hurt her.

    To me, that quoted passage is key evidence as to why the Tenth Doctor was not in love with Rose.

    His copy is part human and that makes the difference.

    The word “except” is critical and meaningful. It can quite easily mean: “I can love you” or even “Because I only have one heart I can be in love with you in a way he can’t.”

    It also ties in with what the Doctor did not say when he left the devastated Rose at the end of Doomsday. If he was in love with her, he could easily have said so. As far as he knew, he would never see her again. He could have given her the comfort she craved. But he didn’t. If he was in love with her and thought he would never see her again why would he not just be honest about how he felt, so she would not always suffer wondering?

    Donna says “what he’s giving you” and she means it. Rose is being given something the Doctor cannot give her – a him who is capable of being in love with her.

    Of course, those that advocate the love affair can easily explain all that away. No trouble.

    But, for me, and I am quite happy to be alone in this, the Rose story was quite clear. Over time, she fell hard for him, he didn’t really notice that she had and then when he lost her he realised what she felt and he felt doubly bad – (a) because he had lost his playmate and (b) because his self-absorption had contributed to her sense of devastation.

    That does not mean that I think Rose was not important to the Doctor: I do. I also think that but for Billie Piper the AG series would not have done as well as it did.

    It also seems to me that it is quite natural that Tennant’s dying Doctor would save seeing Rose til last – because, at least from her point of view, one he understands, he caused the most damage to her.

    Donna’s loss of memory is not terrible from her point of view because she does not know about it; Martha has become a confident woman with a healthy and robust attitude to every aspect of her life.

    But he destroyed Rose and let her live with it until serendipity meant he could give her a second-best option which would see her largely content.

    And one key benefit of seeing it this way as it played out was that I had no trouble with Rose as a companion or any aspect of her contribution. They were great friends and they made me feel like Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen had all those years ago. When Rose appeared suddenly at the end of Partners in Crime it was truly exciting – at least for me and my nephews.

    She did not dominate the four years for me. I never found her irritating or thought of them as smug. They were having fun and, as a viewer, so was I.

    Indeed, when I think back to Tennant’s time now, my immediate thought is of he and Donna, not of he and Rose.

    All that said, there is another, more fundamental reason that I do not think the Doctor was in love with Rose.

    I think the Doctor is a hero, a good spirit, a force of compassion, kindness, joy and love. He sometimes goes a bit dark, broody or angry – but essentially, at his core, he is a true hero, virtuous and ebullient. He revels in freedom and life.

    Such a person, in my view, would, if they fell in love with someone, act on it. (Indeed this is what we are told to believe in relation to River)

    When a human falls in love with another human, there is no sense that a serious consideration is “will I outlive them?”. Is there? Perhaps I should just say that this is not my experience of it, for myself or in the loves of others I know.

    Equally, most of the time, one cannot help whom one loves – the chemistry just occurs and suddenly there you are.

    So, if Tennant’s Doctor was in love with Rose, why didn’t he find a way to reach her after Doomsday? Or at least try? ( Rose managed to find a way and she was not meant to have his intelligence ) Why didn’t he simply take her in his arms at the conclusion of Journey’s End, declare his undying love for her and live happily ever after with her until her death? Why did he let the copy have the woman he loved? And why, when he had the chance to give her the assurance Rose so desperately craved in those final moments at Bad Wolf Bay in Doomsday, did he not tell her the truth?

    However you answer those questions, if the answer is predicated on the position “He was in love with her but…” it is not pretty for the nature of the Doctor.

    The argument that he does not want to put her through the process of her ageing to death and him not is tosh. Relative to Rose, as she ages, so would the Doctor. They would grow old together, absolutely, it is just that eventually she would die and he would regenerate.

    One partner dying earlier than the other is just a simple possibility in any relationship.

    If you are in love with someone you do everything you can to make them happy. You don’t turn your back on them and pretend it is for their good. At least, not in my view.

    And the old “he’s an alien” argument doesn’t wash with me either – because if you believe he can fall in love, and did with Rose, then you are judging the relationship in human terms anyway.

    Reading the relationship the way I do leaves my admiration for the Doctor intact. If I truly believed he was in love with Rose and did what he did, I would loathe Tennant’s incarnation more than I loathe Colin Baker’s.

    But it’s just my own view, my own reaction to what I experienced and how I made sense of it.

    I don’t expect anyone else to necessarily share my view or even consider its worth and I don’t scoff at or condemn anyone who prefers a different interpretation.

    Everyone has their own personal journey with Doctor Who. It’s one of the series’ greatest joys.

    Anonymous @

    Morning all. Having another bout of insomnia so I thought I’d pass the time with a bit of ‘bonkers theorising’.
    One thing that seems to be on everyone’s ‘wish-list’ for Series 8 (including mine) is the return of River Song. Having recently re-watched AG Who Series 1-7a, I’ve a feeling we’ll get our wish as there still seems to be a few things that haven’t been resolved yet.

    1. The Same Sonic?

    In SitL, River says that ‘her’ Doctor gave her his Sonic. Whilst there’s no reason to believe that she ‘took it from his cold, dead hands’, it’s clearly not Dr11’s (unless he gets a new one in either the 50th or Xmas special). River’s sonic has a blue light (Dr11’s is green), it appears shorter than Eleven’s and has what can only be described as ‘half a pair of scissors’ on the side. It would appear, then, that she was given her sonic by a Doctor after 11.

    2. We Shall Farewell.

    The last time River saw ‘her’ Doctor prior to SitL was at the Singing Towers of Derilium. In the ‘Night and The Doctor’ mini-sodes The Doctor is taking River to the SToD but I don’t think this is ‘the moment’. Firstly, point 1 applies. Secondly, and more importantly, I don’t think SM would relegate such an important moment to a mini-sode. It seems more likely that this particular visit to the SToD is their first date and that The Doctor takes her there again when he realises that ‘the moment’ is approaching (River does comment in these mini-sodes that The Doctor is a ‘nostalgic fool’).

    3. The Enigma Of River Song.

    Bear with me, this is a long one.

    Back at the start of River’s journey, the was the mystery of who she was. Although most of the questions raised have been answered there’s still a question that needs to be answered before we bid farewell to our favourite psychopath and that is “What happened to the baby River was/is/will be expecting?”. I’ll pause for a moment in order to hear the pins drop…

    Ever since Series 6’s ‘TIA’, there’s been, for me ‘a penny in the air’. I’d noticed something but I didn’t want to notice it, almost as if the were a perception filter in place. The ‘thing’ was this:- By the shore of Lake Silencio, Amy sees a ‘Silent’. Nothing untoward happens other than Amy forgetting what she’d seen. A while latter, in the Oval Office, Amy sees another one. This time, however, she feels sick. River encounters several ‘Silents’ while exploring the tunnel network and when she reports the ‘all clear’ to The Doctor, apart from being a little out of breath, there’s nothing unusual about River’s behaviour. Then she returns to the tunnels with Rory following. This time she appears to be feeling a bit queasy. Throughout the episode (and DotM) no-one else is shown feeling sick so this doesn’t seem to be an after effect of seeing The Silence. At this point my metaphorical ‘penny’ is contentedly spinning in mid air, oblivious to Sir Isaac Newton’s Theory of Gravity. Fast forward to the end of ‘TAP’ and we discover ‘Amy’ is in fact a Flesh avatar and in reality, with a quick scene change, very pregnant with Melody.

    I’ve watched these episodes several times since they were released on DVD and it was only at the weekend that the ‘penny’ has finally begun to succumb to the Laws of Physics. The result of this is to make me come up with a theory so ‘bonkers’ that it needs to be certified insane and locked up for it’s own safety. I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that the ‘real’ River is hidden away somewhere (either by her own choice or by The Silence) and, from time to time, what we’ve seen a Flesh avatar.

    OK. Why, if she is pregnant, would River choose to go into hiding and replace herself with a Flesh avatar? Answer, she was taken from Amy at birth and conditioned by The Silence to kill The Doctor. If River were to ever have a child with The Doctor, she would obviously fear that The Silence would try the same thing again with their offspring.

    Why, having failed with their previous attempt to kill The Doctor, would The Silence try the same trick again? It’s possible that their original plan wasn’t to make River kill The Doctor but to create a someone who, whilst being capable of killing him, was of more use by being someone who The Doctor could/would fall in love with and thus, potentially, provide them with a child that, instead of just being Human ‘Plus’ (as River is), was closer to a full Time Lord.

    Madame Kovarian  (AGMGtW)  “Oh Doctor, fooling you once was a joy. But fooling you twice the same way? It’s a privilege.”

    How would fooling him thrice the same way make her feel? For that matter, how would it make The Doctor feel?

    So, has the penny hit the ground yet? I’m not sure. There’s this tiny, nagging feeling that not even The Moff would consider something so ‘out there’ and that my theory is based more on wishful thinking of continued appearances by River.

    As a final note, I have looked on various other sites to see if anyone else had a similar “River maybe with child” theory and could only find one other person who noticed it. Sadly, this person’s theory was quite vocally dismissed by trolls and ARSEs who, once finished ridiculing the theory, began to let loose their venom on the person who suggested it. I’m ashamed to say I was too much of a coward to leap to their defence 😳

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    OK, cannot answer this now, as am in…the Qantas Club Lounge and flight is about to be called (and yes, I am aware that most people on this board probably think I am making up all these references to the Club Lounge, but actually it is true! Unlike Moffat and the Doctor, I do not lie).

    Anyway, I may not have read your post correctly, but there was discussion on this board about whether River was with child (but not in the context of your theory–as I understand it).

    I have long harboured a belief that…somehow…we will see the offspring of the Doctor. I was attached to the idea of Clara as daughter, and, actually, that may still be feasible under your theory. Maybe. Anyway, have to go. But there is lots to think about.

    More later.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @fatmaninabox and @blenkinsopthebrave, brilliant! brilliant! brilliant! Clara as River and the Doctor’s daughter. Now that would work. I was always puzzled by River claiming to feel sick in DoTM. It didn’t not seem to “fit” into the story in any way yet was obviously there for a reason. Not sure about the flesh avatar part of your theory but the rest I like a lot. River could easily have hidden somehere obscure until the child was born then, using her time travel ability, left infant Clara on earth to be raised with a fob watch equivilant, (the book?) so that when Mum and Dad took her to the Doctor’s for routine check up the G.P wouldn’t be in danger of heart failure.



    Brynwe @brynwe

    Oh my goodness!  This is a genius theory!  I have nothing to add except I came in this thread to mention I downloaded some Doctor Who music and noticed the River music was especially heart wrenching.  I love it.  The composers are amazing.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @fatmaninabox @blenkinsopthebrave @janetteb @brynwe

    That is a really intriguing theory. It also potentially ties in with the theory of going back to the beginning in some ways. I agree with those who think the ganger bit is unnecessary – it works with just the premise that Clara is Dr & River’s daughter. It has the added benefit of conjuring a picture of asexual Dr ARSE fans having mass apoplexy 😈

    And which Dr’s baby would it be? 11’s? Or could it be 12’s ie Capaldi being a more paternal Dr (see prev discussions re Dr/companion relationship). We don’t know what River is up to or which Doctors she’s seeing in between seeing Matt. There was a lot of discussion at the time (on the Graun blog I think) of IA/DotM re it being just the women who said they felt sick.

    In interviews after reveal of River’s parents, Moffat said he’d planned it since Eleventh Hour, and that all similarities between Amy and River were deliberate. (As opposed to the “all Moff’s women are the same” moans). Working on that premise – that Moffat plans much further ahead and writes with more attention to detail than he is often given credit for – who does Clara most resemble…?

    For some reason this idea seems to work much  better now, than when it was suggested before. The difference is Capaldi. It didn’t feel right for Clara/Matt to have a daughter/father relationship. It does with PC (especially since we know that they were looking for an older Dr), even though we’ve not seen him yet!  It also explains @bluesqueakpip‘s suspicion that  there’s something odd about Clara as new baby scene. And WHY is Clara the one who was born to save the Dr, why her in particular?

    It sets up for the next Doctor to go off travelling with his daughter (like Hartnell with his granddaughter (have to come back to that later)) and a guaranteed change in the Dr/companion dynamic.  It’s a spiral back to something like the beginning but a reinvention as well.  It gives the Dr an actual family (a Moff theme re the redemptive power of family), no longer the lonely guilt ridden Last of the TimeLords.

    Is the cot in the TARDIS Clara’s then? Is that why she was allowed to see it? (Clara’s comment on seeing the picture in the Book of the Time War “So that’s who… ” may yet come to be significant)

    God bless your insomnia FMiaB!

    Oh my giddy aunt!!!!

    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    No, I don’t think your theory is as bonkers as you seem too.

    Depressingly, it has been worrying me for some time that this is how it might pan out.

    There are no explanations given for River’s sudden sickness and given Amy’s similar reactions it is certainly reasonable to speculate that River too is pregnant.As to who her child might be – well, Clara does seem a natural.

    For one thing, it would explain the Doctor stalking her past – if he was placing River and his child in a safe place for her own protection. (People have assumed that Smith was checking up on Clara’s past but that sequence might be there to distract)  Secondly, it would tie up with River not having seen Clara before Name of the Doctor but still being connected to her after she went into the tunnel. Thirdly, it means Clara can be the Impossible Girl twice – in the sense we already know and in the sense that the Doctor hides her to save her only to have her grow up, unknown to him, to be his saviour. Fourthly, it would go some way to explaining why River chooses not to travel with the Doctor.

    The ludicrous snog remains an issue – but can be laughed off on the basis neither knew who the other really was.

    Whether Clara then finds a way to be Susan’s mother – who knows? But given that we know there is a Gallifreyan Susan, then that too is possible. Why she would be urging Hartnell to leave with Susan is a mystery so far, but there are lots of possibilities.And, of ocurse, an aged Clara could still be on Gallifrey – perhaps she is the mystery woman we saw in Tennant’s finale?

    This all does tie in with a kind of reboot as has been much mooted.

    It also would appeal to Moffat’s paradox motif.

    As @scaryb (hello!) says, it would leave the Doctor’s original history rewritten and not rewritten; the first fifty years would start with the Dr and his granddaughter travelling, exiles from their home planet; the second fifty years with the Dr and his daughter ( though not the cloned one we expect ) having exiled their home planet.

    So, yes, you may well be right.

    And if you are, then, to slightly misquote Troughton, “Ah, Moffat, you’ve been redecorating I see…I don’t like it!”


    Anonymous @

    @fatmaninabox — I’m liking that theory and at the moment at least it seems to fit together quite nicely. Possibly then The Doctor’s Daughter was perhaps a ‘dummy run’, testing the waters of fan reaction to see if he was going to get away with it…

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @htpbdet (and hello back 🙂 ) The “ickiness” factor goes away for me so long as it’s not Matt or a same-ish-age-as-Clara Dr who is the parent. Maybe this is where HurtDr comes in…?  Maybe this is what he did that wasn’t in the Name of the Dr (ie slept with River to get some peace and sanity! )

    I’ve not been mad keen on the EVERYthing leads back to Amy thing, and I wasn’t at all keen on Clara as Doctor’s daughter idea before but I could see it working for me now.

    Off to do some work and then ponder in more detail.

    Btw haven’t had a chance to catch up yet on the Next Dr discussions (sorry)  – are you excited about Capaldi potential?

    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    I have lost count of how many times you have made me laugh when I had a mouthful of tea and then ended up covered it said tea.  This:

    Maybe this is what he did that wasn’t in the Name of the Dr (ie slept with River to get some peace and sanity! )


    I don’t have any idea what Hurt did or how he fits in in a satisfactory way.  But as everybody seems to expect that the Time War is involved, especially after the release of the Dalek photos, I still cant help wondering if Moffat is trying to trick us. To provide a big surprise. Somehow.

    Imagine, though, that McGann does appear and is taking an heroic approach to the Time War, self-sacrificing typical Doctor. Then either he regenerates into Hurt and Hurt takes the opposite approach to the Time War – thus causing the stress in future Doctors who resent what he has done but dont feel they can undo it – or he is the Valeyard in a different form and seals the Time War.

    Or something else entirely.

    It is the Clara as Daughter possibility which keeps me from thinking that Hurt will be Doctor Zero, because I just can’t see how the two would work – but that might be the very reason he is. Because Moffat has some clever idea that we don’t have an inkling of, which will set up the unraveling of the Clara as Daughter arc.

    As to Capaldi, well, as will be no surprise to you, I am well and truly ready for a regeneration. Capaldi is an excellent actor. But it will all be in the playing and the writing. I was sceptical about Eccleston when he was annouced – but he turned out to be very good indeed.

    Doctor Who thrives on change. And this change is as marked as you could hope for after Smith (leaving aside non-white or non-male possibilities).  So it bodes well.

    Time will tell, as it always does. I won’t have an opinion about Capaldi’s Doctor until I have seen him in action.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @fatmaninabox – yes, we’ve had this discussion. I think I was the one who suggested River might be pregnant – though I’m going for Matt Smith playing the Doctor’s son, brought up by Amy and Rory in the safe zone of New York. 🙂

    But I would say that River getting pregnant is an odds on bet. Why? Well, the first series the Moff did ended with a wedding followed by a baby, and the second series he did ended with a wedding. 🙂 So where’s the baby from this wedding?

    There are indeed two on-screen candidates – Clara, definitely human but also very like the Doctor. And Anthony, whose scene was written but then not filmed. That may well have been for the entirely technical reason that the scene would have given too much away for Power of Three and didn’t fit thematically with The Angels Take Manhattan. Or, it could be because Anthony has an important part to play later on, and they didn’t want to cast the actor yet.

    Or, it could be because the Moff knows exactly who’s going to play Anthony in the Christmas Special. Anyone else think Matt Smith’s haircut is starting to shape up as an American crew cut?

    If we’re going ‘back to the beginning’, the beginning saw the Hartnell Doctor a wanderer in space and time – with a family.  Susan was his granddaughter. We know the Moff is thinking along those lines: he made sure Jenny survived her story.

    Looking at the Great Intelligence arc long-term; any child of The Doctor conceived and/or born during the Smith tenure would have to be hidden. However much River might want to tell him she’s pregnant, she can’t – because if the child interacts with the Doctor, the Great Intelligence will be able to detect them upon entering the Doctor’s timeline. The GI is trying to destroy the Doctor; the nastiest way to do that would be to have the Doctor watch his children die.

    You can even do a retcon with the Jenny story; Jenny dies because the Great Intelligence arranges things that way (turning a victory into a personal defeat). She regenerates because the Claricle somehow readjusts the time-line; she does it after the Doctor’s left because that way Jenny’s regeneration isn’t part of the Doctor’s time-line – and so can’t be seen by the GI.

    Anonymous @


    An entirely respectable theory, but I don’t think the Flesh plays any role in the nausea that Amy & River seem to have experienced on their 2nd Silent encounters. The Silence didn’t abduct Amy until the orphanage – after the White House – so she was still the real deal at this point. That said, pregnancy is still an entirely viable explanation for the reaction. Amy was almost certainly already pregnant at the time of the WH encounter & we don’t have any evidence to rule out a River pregnancy. The only other explanation I could come up with is some sort of hereditary sensitivity which – like many allergies – doesn’t strongly manifest until the 2nd exposure.

    Even though Flesh isn’t necessary to explain the situation, I could certainly see River using a Ganger to hide her pregnancy/child from the Silence and/or GI. It might even provide her with a way to escape death in the Library.


    I think the Clara as the Doctor’s daughter theory has real potential. I suppose that @bluesqueakpip‘s suggestion of Anthony as his son (and adoptive brother-in-law) is possible too, but P.S. gave me the impression that Anthony ages at an ordinary human rate, rather than a slower Time Lord one. (Of course, there could just be some wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey-ness going on.) As to the “fob watch equivalent” – maybe the leaf? If she is his daughter – and if she leaves his timestream with the knowledge that Jenny’s alive – maybe her arc for season 8 will be a quest to get the family back together.

    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @fatmaninabox, @blenkinsopthebrave, @JanneteB, @brynwe (welcome!), @jimthefish, @htpbdet, @bluesqueakpip, @scaryb, @MadScientist72, @shazzbot and everyone


    Absolutely brilliant.

    You must have been chasing after Clara in the Doctor’s NoTD time stream. Oh my whirling head! I got dizzy just following one bonker after another. But they All Make Sense, now that you’ve ‘splained them.

    After a sit and a think and a sleep, I’m still dancing a happy jig. You’ve out-Moffated Moffat! You’ve very deftly picked up old threads, hints hidden in plain sight, and come up with an entirely plausible uberarc spanning his entire time with the show.

    Seriously tempted to ex-ter-min-ate Moff if this *doesn’t* happen in season 34/series 8.


    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    …… no idea why some members weren’t highlighted in blue ……. tried to edit, but no change.

    guess keyboard’s being guided by the Tardis on an off-day

    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @htpbdet, thanks for your long and thoughtful post about Rose and the Doctor. You articulated why I’d never been satisfied with the “Doctor + Rose 4ever” view of their relationship. The anguish on his face as he was searching for words while the door was shutting on the parallel universes was not the look of someone saying goodbye to his one true love forever. You’ve put your finger on a very nuanced — and, I bet, deliberately open-ended, pseudo-denouement*.

    I felt for both of them, but not because their story line was not ending in a Disney princess happily ever after way.** I felt for both of them, and probably shed a few tears, because of the pathos. Ten’s epiphany — seeing just how deeply their time together had affected Rose. And his inability to rewrite that time or to give her solace as the doors of their universes were snapping shut. And Rose, inconsolable. Infused with grief.

    I’d be happy to stand up for your right to free speech and free thought at Who fan clubs, @htpbdet. Anytime. You’re respectful, cogent, and support your interpretations and impressions with encyclopedic command of all things Whovian. Just gotta renew my passport.

    * I can’t really say denouement, because we all know Rose is just like the Energizer bunny in adverts (not sure if they’ve run outside of the US). The bunny that keeps on going. And going and going. (Returning, returning, returning?)

    ** The second act of the Sondheim musical “Happily Ever After” comes to mind.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @tardisblue, you missed the second t in my name so don’t take it out on your keyboard. You will be .. forgiven..

    I would hope that the Doctor’s new family, (taking on this wonderful bonkers theory as fact now) is not his old family. I would prefer for him to have had a family in his youth which, with the exception of Susan left on earth, perished in the Time War or earlier. River, Amy and Rory are his new family, part of his post Time war life. I don’t think we will encounter Jenny, not within this arc anyway. Moffat thought the character should live because later writers could use her. I don’t think he intended to use the character himself, necessarily. I think there would be hints if Jenny was returning. Clara however is part of an ongoing four season arc. Her connection to the previous series arc is not immediately apparent, but it is certainly there, or so Moffat has implied.

    I suspect Anthony is simply what he is stated to be, a son for Rory and Amy to tie off their story arc, a form of “happily ever after”, nice but not essential to the story.

    I like the idea that the Doctor was in fact watching over his own daughter, growing up and as for that cringeworthy snog, perhaps that is why it was so cringeworthy. Maybe that was intentional and that was only a Clarical, not the real thing.

    @tardisblue, I’m never going to be able to watch a Rose episode again without thinking of Energizer Bunnies. .



    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    temporarily changing name to TardisRedFace. That’s what I get for trying to show off … egg all over my face … souffle, anyone?

    Sondheim wrote a musical called “Merrily We Roll Along,” which famously showed the deterioration of relationships over time. I must have conflated the first word of that with its stars’ ultimate failure to live happily ever after. I *meant* another of his musicals, “Into The Woods.” A much more humorous and light-hearted take on the dystopian view that fairy tale endings end up being a far cry from happily ever after.

    …sentences self to 6 hours community service in a contemporary American musicals forum for offense of rambling on about off-topic stuff … my defense of forum’s time-limited editing window self-destructing edit was soundly rejected by the court, due to the stellar Crown’s prosecution by Martha Jones under the capable supervision of the Sixth Doctor…

    … slinking away to do my time …


    janetteB @janetteb

    LOL @tardisblue. Your knowledge of musicals is soo infinitely better than mine, (which is non existant) that if you hadn’t pointed out the error I certainly wouldn’t have noticed. Now we need @wolfweed to find us a picture of a blushing Tardis. 🙂

    And back on topic,(scratches head to think of something pertinent to say) I have a feeling that Susan will not be returning to the story in the forseeable future. She will be referenced but not be a major part of the story arc. I now think Moffat’s story arcs are contained within the years of his tenure, and maybe his earlier Nu Who stories. I will refrain from stomping my foot and demanding a resolution to her story, for the time being, provided Clara does indeed turn out to be the Doctor’s daughter.

    I do recall discussing this a very long time ago but it was discounted because of the Christmas snog. Now with an imminent re-incarnation of the character that does not seem so damning.




    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    Thanks for your words.

    I was going to ask you whether you meant Merrily or Woods, so thanks for clearing that up.

    I do think you are right to think about Sondheim’s influences on Moffat – I don’t even know if they are conscious or not, but they do seem to be there.

    From Company:

    Today is for Amy.  Amy, I give you the rest of my life.  To cherish and to keep you, to honor you forever.  Today is for Amy  – My happily soon-to-be wife 

    From Follies:

    You take one road, You try one door, There isn’t time for any more. One’s life consists of either/or. One has regrets Which one forgets, And as the years go on. The road you didn’t take Hardly comes to mind, Does it? The door you didn’t try, Where could it have led? The choice you didn’t make Never was defined. Was it! Dreams you didn’t dare are dead. Were they ever there?Who said! I don’t remember, I don’t remember at all. The books I’ll never read wouldn’t change a thing, would they? The girls I’ll never knowI’m too tired for. The lives I’ll never lead couldn’t make me sing. Could they? Could they? Could they? Chances that you miss. Ignore. Ignorance is bliss– What’s more, You won’t remember, You won’t remember at all, not at all…

    From Night Music:

    Isn’t it rich? Are we a pair? Me here at last on the ground, You in mid-air.S end in the clowns. Isn’t it bliss? Don’t you approve? One who keeps tearing around, One who can’t move. Where are the clowns? Send in the clowns. Just when I’d stopped opening doors, Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours, Making my entrance again with my usual flair, Sure of my lines, No one is there. Don’t you love farce? My fault I fear. I thought that you’d want what I want. Sorry, my dear. But where are the clowns? Quick, send in the clowns. Don’t bother, they’re here.

    From Merrily:

    Tend your Dream. Some roads are easy. Dreams take Time. Some roads are all uphill. Time goes By. Some roads you plod along with a will. Some roads you travel just for the thrill. Bend your Dream. Some rides are breezy. With the Road. Some roads are full of jiggles and bumps. Can’t let it get you down in the dumps.

    And many more.

    I particularly like this line from Merrily : it always makes me thinks of a particular sort of “fan”:

    Charley, Nothing’s the way that it was. I want it the way that it was. God knows, things were easier then. Trouble is, Charley, that’s what everyone does: blames the way it is on the way it was, on the way it never ever was.


    Brynwe @brynwe

    I finally had a chance to see The Pond Life minisodes on youtube courtesy of the BBC (they’ve probably been there awhile but I just now went searching for them) but the part in episode 5 where they’re showing Rory moving out with Amy crying after him and playing “River of Tears” over it (from the AG Season 5 soundtrack) was so heart wrenching, and I got so choked up watching it.  I mean when I watched Asylum of the Daleks you find out they’ve split had you not seen the episode, but seeing it made it just so, sad.

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    That was genius!



    CraigNixon @craignixon

    To put a dampner on the Bonkers Theory (which I do like), I always assumed River felt sick (this was in the warehouse right??) because of the timeline issues.
    Her younger abducted self is there, she is there, her mum is there and its all going a bit bonkers.

    Did we firmly establish when Amy was nicked as well? I can’t remember an exact time.
    If she is a ganger, she would have to be back to normal by the libary, otherwise the body would have melted and connection broken.

    Also, what happened to Kovarian? SHe died in the alternate universe, but surely she’s alive in the normal?

    Anonymous @

    @craignixon –  re Amy’s abduction, didn’t the Doctor have a line which stated ‘before America’?  So I don’t think it happened in the orphanage, although that was the first place that she saw Madame Kovarian’s face in the sliding door.

    Re Kovarian, she joins that illustrious list of loose ends that perhaps Moffat will address in the 50th, Christmas, or 8th series somehow … the duck pond with no ducks, why did the Tardis explode, (I’m blanking out, sorry, it’s been a few days and my bonkers theorising cap appears to have shrunk in the wash … help someone!  What were all the loose ends?)

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @craignixon– yes, interesting, Kovarian should still be alive. In fact we haven’t seen the ‘endless bitter war’ that they were attempting to prevent, in a ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ kind of way. Does the fact they tried to completely kill the Doctor, rather than just make him regenerate mean they knew it wasn’t Eleven? Or were they just making sure? Did they travel back to try and stop him, or were they working from some sort of prophesy? (And is the existence of River a game changer, even if not the game changer they were going for? Or was she inevitable?)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @craignixon and @Shazzbot – yes, there’s definitely a line in there somewhere which states that Amy was kidnapped before Series 6 started. Either that, or Moffat said when after All Was Revealed.

    River’s reaction to the Silence could be – a reaction to the Silence. If it’s morning sickness, she’d need to use her time bracelet to nip away from 1960’s U.S., have the baby (either in 1980’s Lancashire or 1949 U.S., you pick) and then nip back to her 1960’s role of finding Silents. What she can’t do is stay in the U.S. for several months hunting Silents without the pregnancy showing.

    Personally, I’d place any pregnancy during the Angels Take Manhattan. Not because there’s any morning sickness – but because River is a) really keen for Amy to go back in time to be with Rory and b) refuses to travel long-term with the Doctor.

    Looking at her refusal to travel long-term with the Doctor; it’s a bit odd that his own wife doesn’t want to live with him. But it makes perfect sense if she can’t possibly tell him (because of the G.I.) that she’s pregnant. Any long term stint in the TARDIS is going to make the evidence of pregnancy more than a bit obvious, especially when the Doctor’s got a medi-scan on his control panel.

    The implication when she tells Amy to let the Angel send her back in time is that she knows – has known for a long time – where her parents ended up; and also knows it’s somewhere that the Doctor can’t visit. Amy and Rory are, therefore, safe from the GI. So is any child of theirs. And an adopted child will also be safe from the Silents; they’re only interested in a child who has a ‘time head’.

    This could simply mean that River knows her parents will be safe and happy if they stay in New York. Or it could mean they’ve just become a ‘safe house’ to hide a child in.

    Anonymous @

    OK, @bluesqueakpip, now I’m going to have to watch ATM again.  🙂  My original memory of that moment is that River sees how broken up Amy is to have lost Rory and wants her mother to be happy.  Of course, if what you posit turns out to be true, even partially, I was just succombing to what I was expected to see; and now that the GI interference has happened, we really need to re-think pretty much everything.

    But now that I’m back, when will I have time to re-watch everything?!

    I just thought of another loose end – Clara’s ‘so that’s who …’ moment in the Tardis library.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – Angels Take Manhattan is being repeated in a week or two – BBC Three are doing a Friday night repeat of S7. As far as I can work out, the schedule suggests that ‘An Adventure in Time and Space’ will be broadcast the Saturday before the Anniversary Special.

    I’m rather glad of that, because my original recording of ATM got a bit wibbly-wobbly during some vital bits of dialogue. But I do seem to recall that River tells the Doctor to shut up, when he’s telling Amy he doesn’t know if the Angel will send her to the place and time where Rory is. She clearly knows that it does/did.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – I watched ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ when it was repeated last weekend – it was worse than I remembered.  I felt bad for everyone in it.  ‘I’ve got a gang now!’ **  Amy figures out the Silurian computer by just pressing buttons and talking to it!  Mitchell and Webb talking robots!

    ** Oh, if the PC Doctor gets multiple companions – which I do hope for – let him never say that phrase.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – no, that one was definitely for the shorter members of the audience. And the robots really didn’t work.

    But if you like, you can decide that Clara had done something interesting to the Silurian computer – we do see Amy and the Doctor from its point of view.

    (I remember suggesting that theory when the episode first came out).

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Shazzbot– but- Tricey was cute! And there was a nice moment between Rory and his dad. ‘you collect trowels, I collect medical supplies’. Other than that, it was a pretty disturbing mixture of child-friendly fun and dodgy innuendo.

    @bluesqueakpip– I remember you suggesting that. And I think you were right. The ship computer was ridiculously helpful.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip @miapatrick – yep, now that Bluey mentions it, I do remember her saying that before.  That’s the interesting thing about having all us different viewers – an actress is certainly going to notice camera angles in a way a civilan like me wouldn’t.

    And Mia, you’re right, that trowel v medikit comparison was very nice.  It was also a beautifully economical way of introducing a brand new character – we’ve never met Brian before, and we understood in just that very short scene of Rory attending to Brian that there were historical tensions in their relationship over Rory’s choice of career.  And how chuffed it made Rory to finally not only be able to prove his worth to his father in an emergency **, but that he needed that paternal approval of him being a nurse.  So much conveyed in so few minutes and lines.

    ** Although Rory still needs Brian to help in light fitting emergencies.   🙂  And Brian is probably happy that his expertise is required there.

    Anonymous @


    As to Capaldi, well, as will be no surprise to you, I am well and truly ready for a regeneration. Capaldi is an excellent actor. But it will all be in the playing and the writing. I was sceptical about Eccleston when he was annouced – but he turned out to be very good indeed.

    Well, assuming you turn out to be as impressed with Capaldi as you were with Eccleston, you’d have to change your moniker to:


    My mnemonic ( How To Punish Bad Daleks – ExTerminate ) would have to be appended – but with what? ‘Callously’? ‘Crisply’? ‘Crushingly’?  (certainly not ‘Courteously’.  or maybe … that’s exactly how a bad Dalek should be done away with!)

    HTPBDET @htpbdet



    But lets not get ahead of ourselves…

    Anonymous @

    @MadScientist72 –  I replied to CraigNixon but I realise this statement came from your post 15660 first:

    The Silence didn’t abduct Amy until the orphanage – after the White House

    As per my comment 15740 and @bluesqueakpip‘s comment 15744, the Doctor has a line (I believe to Rory, right after he goos Amy) which states that Amy has been a ganger since ‘before America’ i.e. before the series started.  So she wasn’t taken in this episode.

    But as one of the crowd who noticed the similar sickness both River and Amy felt ostensibly upon seeing the Silence (which none of the other [male] characters did), I’m liking more and more the idea that both were experiencing morning sickness, and it wasn’t really anything at all to do with being a female in proximity of a Silent.  Or even a female time-traveller in the vicinity of a Silent.

    Anonymous @

    @Shazzbot, @htpbdet


    Anonymous @

    @MadScientist72 – ‘catastrophically’ certainly has more zing than ‘completely’ (sorry @htpbdet !).

    Of course, the new series doesn’t even begin airing until next year (major bummer, man *) so we’ve got a loooong time until we know whether Peter Capaldi has hit HTPBDET’s spot.

    * You have to say this in the voice of Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    Anonymous @

    Note to self:  Once Topic Dalek is regenerated, these last few comments should be moved to The Next Doctor topic.


    Anonymous @

    @Shazzbot, @bluesqueakpip

    At the end of The Almost People, which is where I think you’re saying the “since before America”? line comes from, the only reference to how long ago Amy had been replaced by a Ganger is this:

    AMY: No. No! Doctor, I am frightened. I’m properly, properly scared.

    DOCTOR: Don’t be. Hold on. We’re coming for you, I swear it. Whatever happens, however hard, however far, we will find you.

    AMY: I’m right here!

    DOCTOR: No, you’re not. You haven’t been here for a long, long time.

    Then he zaps her with the sonic screwdriver, she melts into goo & the scene immediately cuts to Amy on a gurney in a white room. Madame K.’s face appears through the slit in the door, she makes some comments about Amy’s pregnancy & it dissolves int “To Be Continued” without ever cutting back to the Tardis. You can see it here, starting around the 2:30 mark.

    I tried to find the line on google, but nobody was giving a specific reference. Interestingly, some sources were citing the line as “since America”, rather than “since before America” and speculating that the switch happened during the months they were on the run between The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @MadScientist72 – it’s in A Good Man Goes To War – I looked it up on Planet Claire.

    Doctor: They must have taken you quite awhile back. Just before America.

    Anonymous @

    @madscientist72 and others, I’ve found the reference to how long Amy was gone. It’s in AGMGTW just after The Doctor gets his old cot from the TARDIS.

    DOCTOR: You were on the TARDIS, too, your heart and mind, soul. But physically, yes, you were still in this place.

    AMY: And when I saw that face looking through the hatch, that woman looking at me?

    DOCTOR: Reality bleeding through. They must have taken you quite a while back, just before America.

    It was the ‘reality bleeding through’ line which got me wondering about whether River was also a Ganger. Were her morning sickness symptoms also ‘bleed through’? At the end of ‘Closing Time’, Kovarian and The Silence come for River. Did they replace her as well? (for the record, I’m not entirely convinced they did, I was ‘just putting it out there’.)

    It’s most likely the it was the real River experiencing real symptoms, after all, she’s a time traveller so it would be easy for her to go into hiding once she started ‘to show’ and the continue her adventures after the baby was born.

    @craig  thanks for the help. In answer to your ‘delirium’ question – I think it’s a certainty 😆

    @shazzbot  Just to echo everyone’s sentiments – welcome back. I know we haven’t had a chance to ‘speak’ yet, but hopefully that will change 🙂

    Anonymous @

    Amendment to previous message – @bluesqueakpip – found it first!

    Anonymous @

    Incidentally, there’s a theory floating around on the interwebs that you can tell when Amy was abducted by her clothes. Allegedly, after her abduction, they stay the same. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Here clothes are similar from The Impossible Astronaut through to The Almost People, but they were not the same.

    tIA – Her flannel is predominantly red & her jeans are ankle-length.
    DotM – Same flannel, but her jeans are capri-length.
    CotBS – Flannel’s now predominantly blue & she’s wearing a cardigan.
    tD’sW – Still the blue flannel, but the cardigan’s been replaced by a tan leather jacket.
    tRF & tAP – Back to the red flannel, this time with a dark brown leather bomber jacket.

    Anonymous @

    FatManInABox @bluesqueakpip – nice detective work, both of you!  (I’m glad that I wasn’t hallucinating, but also amazed that sites exist with full dialogue from each ep.)

    And FMIAB, consider us ‘speaking’   🙂   Thank you for your welcome back, too.  I’m entranced by the explosion of theories that your original comment 15620 sparked off.  That’s what makes this site great (well, not the insomnia part, and I hope you’ve got over that now).

    Anonymous @

    MadScientist72  – Did the costume people have an extended holiday in this series?  🙂

    OsakaHatter @osakahatter

    Some intriguing theories above.  I’ve warmed to Clara as a descendant of the Doctor over rewatches – I think it was the snog that put me off originally, but assuming that’s overlooked, it would make a lot of sense, tie into the blood calling out to blood from Hide and take us back to the beginning of the show if an older Doctor is travelling with his grandchild (and he’d taken both his grandchildren to the Rings of Akhaten etc)

    I like @fatmaninabox ‘s suggestion on River being pregnant – but I think I’m leaning towards that child ultimately ending up with Amy and Rory.  Just because it seems to wrap their story up quite sweetly.  I do think choosing not to film the ATM postscript was deliberate though – just to leave it as an opening should they want to exploit it in the future.

    Not sure on River as Clara’s mother (although could possibly see her as grandmother?)  because it suggests that Clara’s mother was not her real mother – which seems odd given that she appears to have also cropped up repeatedly to be mother to the various Claricles (in the NoTD Claricle montage).  As other’s have suggested recently (@bluesqueakpip maybe?) I think there’s something timey-whimey about Clara’s mum and we’re going to find out more.

    There’s plenty still to be explained about Clara.  ‘So that’s who…’ in the History of the Time War, who was the woman in the shop that gave her the Doctors number, why does she always seem to know what to do (e.g. directing soldiers in NiS) – and is that part of her being born to save the Doctor (actually – I guess it’s because the GI gave her an upgrade in BoSJ thus creating his own downfall).  Is it important that she got lost on Blackpool beach and her mum found her?  Why did she faint at the end of NoTD – not on seeing the Hurt Doctor, but on discovering that this person was part of the Doctor, but not The Doctor.

    One rather bonkers thought to finish on – (apologies if this has been suggested elsewhere) – what if Clara is her own mum?  It would explain why her mum is always with her (and can always find her).  It’s suitably impossible, guarantees her own existence and justifies her specifically being born to save the Doctor.  It’d also be the latest in a series of Red Dwarf similarities.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip, @fatmaninabox, @Shazzbot

    Wasn’t Amy at home with Rory “just before America”? Even though that’s what the Doctor said, it still makes more sense to me that they’d have nabbed her in America. I know the Silents could have made Rory forget they were there, but I think he’d have noticed his wife going missing.

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