Dark Water

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    BadWulf @badwulf


    To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the recursion problem has been forgotten by the production team, or even just conveniently ignored. It would be the best thing to do if it interfered with the story they want to tell.

    Oblique @oblique

    Nicely paced story. It felt as if there was time to keep abreast rather than trying to process too much information too quickly, given the time in which stories have to be told, or do they? I’d love to see longer episodes. It would be great if season finales were handled this way.

    Ah yes, the misleading spoiler. I may have said elsewhere that an edit is all important. Edits can tell very different stories to the one directed: here put to clever use with almost everybody believing Clara isn’t Clara at all – brilliant stuff.

    If Danny hadn’t been run over; if Clara hadn’t chosen to ring him when she did, then the adventure wouldn’t have happened when it did, and in the way it happened, unless the situation had been manipulated…

    Lovely nod to the Cyber tombs on the planet Telos by the way.


    Oblique x

    Oblique @oblique

    I think the days of monsters may have seen its day as we move into more psychological territory and of late, themes of myth and spirituality

    Rob @rob

    Seb could be SEB Steel Enclosed Body the original Cyberman 🙂

    lisa @lisa

    @ Rob— love that interpretation !! I would have never guessed that a Cyberman would have such
    a sense of sarcastic humor but it really works – (so remarks that mean the opposite of what is actually
    said } so clever

    Whisht @whisht

    So, while I’m still sober (its been a long week and I’m self-medicating with a few pints of rest)…

    I was idly thinking “they’ll need to break those people out of that nethersphere… hm, now who have we recently met who was able to break into an impregnable vault and hack into the system…? and will they need to minituarise to get in there…

    Have all the preceding episodes been ‘dry-runs’?

    Will they need a golden arrow (though Moffat’s done a “the gang’s all here” before so maybe not all of them will cameo).

    Has anyone else got an urge to see Vastra and Missy to square off? Or even Jenny, but the haughtiness of Vastra, insanity and glee of Missy and both of them with cutting remarks… yum yum!

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Apropos of superimposed dimensions, and with an element of serendipity, I have just watched episode 3 of Stones of Blood, shown earlier today on the Horror channel and recorded.  It involves a ship in hyperspace superimposed on a prehistoric stone circle in normal space in England.  Koestler coincidence, or what?

    The story also involves silicone based life forms which feed on blood; a concept which I find rather more difficult to swallow.

    Spider @spider

    Been catching up with the oh so many posts. So much good chat, haven’t quite got my head round all the current bonkers.

    I had barely recovered from almost snorting beer out my nose at @phaseshift ‘letter to the BBC’ about trolls when I then came across the post from @whisht and well, lets just say I wishI had some sort of respiratory bypass system thing that would have allowed me to actually breathe rather than inhaling most of the rest of the beer into my lungs XD  Great stuff. Very funny!

    @apopheniac for the record, don’t worry  I don’t want Adric back either! Just couldn’t resist silly bonkers with the Maths link 🙂

    As for current thinking, and I think I’m repeating what others have said, so apologies for not @ing everyone.

    Initially I had thought the 3 month note could have been a nod towards Clara being pregnant but now (having watched things back and also reading the various theories on here) I’m not so sure – I ‘m leaning more towards the 3 months is how long she has been lying to Danny about still travelling with the Doctor.

    Also think that Clara’s phonecall to Danny is definitely in real time – I had thought at one point this was a future Clara but looking back I don’t think so. Mainly because she doesn’t realise he’s had the accident

    I’m now wondering if all these notes are all the things she wants to say and get out in the open (with the notes being all the points she wants to make sure she says) with her end goal being asking Danny to marry her. But she never gets to pop the question!

    @rob SEB as an acronym, oh now that’s very interesting. Don’t think I can top your one, but I’ll go with:

    Sarcastic Evil Banter







    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    So, while I’m still sober

    Still sober? What went wrong? 😉

    Yes, a crack shot with a golden arrow would be a handy bloke to have around. As would the expert hacker (to hack into the Nethersphere). Even Rusty might turn out to be a useful mutated blob in a crisis.

    Nothing wrong with ‘the gang’s all here’. I always enjoy the quick recap through previous episodes, in which we discover that they’re all connected. It makes me feel as if all our bonkers theories were justified (if, usually, wrong). 😀

    Whisht @whisht

    aw @spider (and before @Purofilion ) thanks – actually I instantly regretted that post as I ended it sounding all po-faced. I meant it, but still, thought I came across as holier-than-thou.
    But thanks, you’re kind

    @bluesqueakpip – yeah, I know, I kinda squee a bit with the gang’s all here moments.
    Thinking about the Mummy, the obvious is to think phasing or teleporting or whatever but what I forgot to say was that the solution was a codeword – “I surrender”.

    The codeword against Cybermen might be 3 words – “I love you”.
    Re-connects all that tiresome emotion… but they’re somebody else’s words now…

    hmm… 3W….

    oops – quick edit to add –

    “I love you” is when Clara is completely truthful.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @whisht      I had the same thought about the potential connections to earlier episodes. I had dismissed it because of the similarity to A Good Man Goes to War, but that was awhile back now, so who knows? Like @bluesqueakpip, I find the idea rather fun. We’ve had some great secondary characters this season, it would be fun to see some of them tie in to the resolution of the arc.

    DrBen @drben

    @whisht @bluesqueakpip – I think there’s gotta be *some* call-backs in this episode.  I’m hoping that Psi and Saibre return, and there has to be a tie-in to GUS, right?  I’m also hoping that there’s some reference to “Listen” – either the identity of Orson Pink, or who wrote “LISTEN” on the blackboard, or whatever.

    Of course, there are so many things I want from this episode, it’ll be impossible to get them all into a 44 minute show.  Is this one going to be longer?

    Whisht @whisht

    ok – medication kicking in….

    Bonkers theory – Dr Skarosa won’t be an evil Cyberman!

    No real reason to think that other than ‘wouldn’t it be neat if s/he’s been imprisoned in his cybersuit and tank, imploring Clara to release him’ (or breaking out but not attacking though we think it might).

    nah – she’s in peril!! 👿

    But Seb’s gold pin… deliberate to protect him from the Cybermen? Or has Missy managed to figure out how to prevent the rather unfortunate massive debilitating influence of a metal on such a destructive creation? Or is she happy to have such a fatal flaw to keep control?
    and will it be used by an ex-soldier (again)?

    Nah – its far too small. I mean, they’d have to be tiny…

    Anonymous @

    I don’t like the Master being a woman as that means that the doctor will be a woman at some point in the future and I DO NOT want that to happen and before you call me a sexist here are my reasons What would happen if Doctor Who were played by a woman

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 6 months ago by  Craig. Reason: Fixed link
    Mudlark @mudlark

    Slightly off topic, but continuing from my previous post:  final words from ‘The Stones of Blood’.

    Professor Rumford (archaeologist), having just seen the Tardis dematerialise:  ‘I do have my academic reputation to consider’.  

    Is there something I should be picking up on here? 🙂


    Spider @spider


    I agree with your sentiments. My initial negative reaction to Missy being the Master was mainly because it ‘helps’ (but not the only reason, as Time Lords/Lady’s changing gender has already been well established) pave the way to the Doctor eventually being female in the future, and that is something I personally would hate to see.

    Sexism has nothing to do with it IMO it’s more how people view the character. My reasons for not wanting the Doctor to be female are nothing to do with me thinking a female couldn’t have that role, it’s just not where I personally want the Doctor character to go.

    I haven’t read your link, because it goes nowhere. But my take on “what would happen if the Doctor was played by a woman” is: overall? very little.

    That doesn’t mean it would require a great deal of adjustment myself if that were to happen. But as far as Earth shattering type things go? Overall … not really. The show would remain essentially exactly the same: Mad person in a blue box through ALL of time and space.

    Actually, there’s a thing. I wonder what would cause the biggest uproar. the Doctor being female or the TARDIS being a permanently different colour/shape 😉


    Anonymous @

    Hi @mudlark excellent post, you definitely make a strong case for your favorite theory that I can’t argue with, but I disagree with some points you make. I wasn’t arguing anything in my post. I just listed some alternatives that could possibly still happen. I agree that everything in my post was easily countered and said so, but countering is not disproving.  But I don’t even know what proof is anymore when it comes to DW?!?  🙂

    I disagree that any of the possible explanations are off the table, since nothing can be proven at this point. Although you do have the benefit of evidence to support your theory, which the other theories do not have, so I am not arguing that your theory is wrong.

    (I even said that your theory is most likely correct).

    But it is definitely not proven yet. So, because it is not proven, SM could easily pick any of the other explanations (or some explanation my puny brain hasn’t even thought of, which he always manages to do and REALLY makes that the most likely reveal of all). 🙂

    We might get the answer in a few hours from now.

    Missy does explain what is happening, and that does seem to disprove the “real people theory”. OTOH, I don’t even believe what the Doctor says most of the time, so I definitely don’t believe Missy or Seb. I don’t think the Doctor is lying though, but the sphere he is seeing might be a Nethersphere inside a Nethersphere (like @phileasf said).

    But, you seem to disagree most with the idea that physical (real) people can exist inside of a virtual world (like that is just completely impossible). I don’t have a scientific explanation for how it works, but I think it is definitely possible. I see your point about miniaturized people would just see circuitry etc, but I imagine it differently. Here is what I think it would be like.

    I think it would be awesome if people could get miniaturized and go inside of a video game (like WOW) – but not be virtual (we do that already, that’s not fantasy). Instead the person is really in the game and the game becomes reality for the person. That is really bonkers, and it probably can’t happen in the real world, but in the Whoniverse it is possible, imo. My guess on how it is possible is “different dimensions”, so it could be thought of as a new VideoGame dimension.

    If it is a VideoGame dimension, then that is why I compared it to The Mind Robber, which you said was a Null dimension. So to me that is about the same thing or close? But I only suggested thinking about The Mind Robber to help me explain what I was talking about. Since it does help me think about it without melting my brain.

    For real, I haven’t made up my mind on which theory I want to happen. All of the explanations would be great, so I’m just waiting to see what happens now. I really don’t know what will happen and that is the best thing of all. 😀

    Anonymous @

    Yeah sorry Spider I am having real problems posting links on this forum I tried but it just went nowhere I would appreciate help with it. Anyway my reasons just to sum up for not having a female Doctor are as follows.

    The dynamic between the Doctor and the Companion needs to be male and female NOT because womens place is as the sidekick far from it. The role of the female companion is to keep the doctor on his toes and in some ways protect him. That’s what Liz Sladen said about it. People wouldn’t accept it the other way around because ironically they would look at it as being sexist.

    All of you who are desperate for a female doctor you label anyone who doesn’t want one as sexist tell me would you want the female doctor to be like this

    Never save the day in her season finales its always her male companions Rory, Clarence, Martin or Donald, get stuffed in a bird cage, stand at the side whilst Rory destroys the Daleks and says “I want you safe my Doctor”,  have Donald get all of her powers and use them better than her, be forced to marry her mad stalker, have Clarence be retconned into being the hero in every single story.


    Tell me do you want that because that’s te companion/Doctor dynamic so it would have to remain the same if the genders were reversed Somehow I doubt these people like Paul Cornell who want a female doctor would want to see that.

    Spider @spider


    Can’t help you with the links thing, hopefully one of the mods can help with that.

    Ok, so first that the Doctor/Companion needs to be male/female?      It absolutely does not. Utter bolloxs.

    Sorry but IMO most of your arguments are nonsense and in fact incredibly sexist and patronising.

    “the role of the female companion is to keep the doctor on his toes and protect him” !! well you just invalidated your  ‘not a sidekick’ argument there. Plus..very sexist! I think you will find it is the role of ANY companion to keep the Doctor on the straight and narrow., male OR female

    She will never save the day in her season finales because ‘it’s always her male companion’ ? Mate what the friggin hell are you smokin?

    You want to try that all again?

    *throws troll food into death trap*






    First, don’t use URL shorteners for links. If I can’t see where the link is going, I ain’t clicking it (it doesn’t work becuase you have the http bit in twice). Also: punctuation helps readability.

     would you want the female doctor to be like this

    Never save the day in her season finales its always her male companions Rory, Clarence, Martin or Donald, get stuffed in a bird cage, stand at the side whilst Rory destroys the Daleks and says “I want you safe my Doctor”,  have Donald get all of her powers and use them better than her, be forced to marry her mad stalker, have Clarence be retconned into being the hero in every single story.

    Is that real how you see female heroes? Have you never seen a single episode of Buffy? Or Xena? Or Charmed? Or Homeland? All of those feature a strong – powerful, indeed – female lead that builds a strong and mixed gender team around her. Have you really missed this as one of the most powerful and important developments in TV storytelling – and genre storytelling in particular –  of the past 15 years?

    Are you really that ignorant, or are you just a witless troll?

    I have no strong feelings about whether the Doctor should be female – I can think of perfectly sound story-telling reasons why it would be tricky that are nothing to do with gender stereotypes that were out of date before Glenn Close boiled her first bunny.

    But I really wouldn’t mind Gina Bellman having a crack at it (few female actors do “other-worldly” like her, she has a voice like warmed mead and she is hot enough that it would take all of three seconds for the wailing fanboys to get the fuck over it and forget that The Doctor was ever a man –  and, of course, she is great mates with Moff)

    Anonymous @

    @mudlark – I have thought of a more scientific explanation for real people existing in virtual worlds.

    • Real people are coded by their DNA.
    • Video Games are coded by a computer program.

    Both are codes (biological code and computer code).

    So, maybe biological code could be changed into computer code; then DNA could be re-coded into a computer program?

    It would be the same information, just reformatted to be compatible living in a virtual world instead of an organic world.

    That might be more bonkers than just believing in a fairytale explanation! 😀

    Anonymous @

    Bonkers Theory

    The Doctor is re-coding DNA into Computer Code on the chalkboards.

    lisa @lisa

    Getting very close to the second part now- I have thoroughly enjoyed this season thus far!
    Someone mentioned up the thread that this season has been far more philosophical and ever
    so slightly less about the monsters which I personally feel has been a positive evolution
    — and there have been many excellent stories both the episodes and over all arc stories
    The process of reading all of the theorizing on this fan site has been an immense part of
    my relishing of this fantastic show -so thank you all for that and I’m glad I found you
    I can’t wait to see all the comments tomorrow !

    geoffers @geoffers

    @drbenOf course, there are so many things I want from this episode, it’ll be impossible to get them all into a 44 minute show.  Is this one going to be longer?

    yes, it’s (at least) an hour…


    Mudlark @mudlark


    Apologies if my response to your ideas yesterday seemed disproportionate.  I did rather bring out the heavy artillery, didn’t I ?   I just enjoy debate and I suppose the old academic reflexes kicked in 🙂

    And I did and do appreciate the fact that you concede the strength of my arguments.

    Anyway, it is not long now before we get some answers (and/or, knowing Moffat, a load of new puzzles to occupy our minds).


    Anonymous @

    @mudlark – ah no need to apologize, I love reading your posts so please don’t change your academic style. You are setting a good example. I hope to write arguments and theories like yours eventually. 😉

    todeledo @todeledo

    A hell of a nerve wracking epiosde. Especaly when Clara blackmails the Doctor. A realy mean cliffhanger at the end though. Can’t wait for todays episode.

    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    Hello @mudlark

    even if it were possible to miniaturise someone to the extent that they could be inserted into a computer hard drive, all they would be able to perceive would be the hardware; they would not be able to read or make use of the information stored on it. The miniature people exploring the interior of the Dalek were in the Dalek hardware, not in its organic or cybernetic mind.

    Two words: Perception filter. 😀
    (You have a good point about the difference in Deep Water to Into The Dalek; however, we don’t know about ‘organic or cybernetic minds’ for what’s going on with The Nethersphere.)

    I like where @barnable is going with DNA and computer code. That’s an excellent bonkers theory for the chalkboard writing.  Also, how you’re describing video games (also in 34963).  Obviously I said I thought miniaturisation would be the answer, and you’re making my wild thoughts seem actually plausible!  Thanks!  🙂

    PS got a new keyboard installed on my laptop, I can do apostrophes now!  Whoopee!   ‘   ‘   ‘   ‘   ‘   ‘   ‘

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @burrunjor —

    The role of the female companion is to keep the doctor on his toes and in some ways protect him

    Says who? There are many, including myself, who would dispute that. Especially as it’s dated, sexist and just downright limiting. The dynamic between Doctor and companion changes all the time. There’s a world of difference between the dynamic of Troughton, Jamie and Zoe and, say, Hartnell, Ian and Barbara. Or Pertwee, Jo and the Brigadier and T Baker and Romana 2. That’s actually been a rather large part of the show’s enduring success.

    I’ve no doubt at the time there were ‘fans’ who thought regeneration itself was a bad idea because it would change their show. They’d say the Doctor is mean to be old and they’d have thrown up their hands in horror at the idea of Davison or Smith, let alone Troughton. And look how wrong they’d be.

    Yes, having a female Doctor would change that dynamic once again. But it adds to the richness of the programme, rather than detracts from it. And it’s not a case of simply switching genders between Doctor and companion. Every companion, of the new series at least, have been pretty well rounded and defined by a lot more than their gender. As has the Doctor, come to that. To see the show in terms of ciphers operating primarily in terms of gender is incredibly limiting.

    The other argument I’ve seen a lot is ‘why not leave the Doctor alone and create some other, strong roles for women?’ My answer to that is there’s no reason why we can’t do both. The Doctor is a bona fide cultural icon and the stroke of genius of regeneration means that we have an opportunity to open up the character to a whole new dimension in a way that it would be harder to do with, say, James Bond. We’d be foolish not to exploit that.

    Look, for example, at how some of the greatest portrayals of Hamlet have been by women — including, currently Maxine Peake. I’m not comparing Who to Shakespeare at all. But it seems to me that those saying the Doctor can’t be female, that something will be lost, are just suffering from a failure of imagination more than anything else.

    Anonymous @

    Its not me who says that’s the role of the companion its Russell T Davies! Look at hi era. Without Rose 10 goes nuts completely insane he drowns the Racnoss and Donna goes on about how he needs someone to help him, then he gets Martha who makes him a better person. Amy also goes on about that about how he shouldn’t be alone then there is 12 practically begging Clara to stay with him and 11 phoning her saying that man is so scared he needs you because he is so scared.

    I don’t get how that is sexist towards women? If anything its sexist towards men. Here we have a male hero who constantly needs a woman in his life to give it meaning or else he goes nuts and drowns the Racnoss and is often despite being a 900 year old alien entirely dependent on the young female companion.

    Like I said imagine that in reverse imagine a female hero who constantly needed her male companion to save her and needed a man to keep her sane people would find it offensive.

    I never once said that those characters were defined by their gender.

    Also I am sick of this argument that oh doctor who is about change so every change must be good. Hartnell changing into Troughton is not the same thing. It had been on for 3 years at that point they were still establishing the lore of the show. Its been on for 50 years now. Tell me would you want the TARDIS not to look like a Police Box, the Daleks not to be evil, the Doctor to tell us his true name etc.

    And yes the companions do have different dynamics with the doctor but that’s the point is that they all men or women, often have to help him. Liz Sladen even said this as did Peter Davison as well as Steven Moffat that the reason the doctors companions often go with him, not always but often its because he is their friend and they want to make sure he is okay when he gets himself into trouble.

    And I am sorry but the most famous performances of Hamlet are from men.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Also count me in the segment who don’t agree with you. I’d also point out that as much as I respect RTDs view, I don’t always agree with him. He said in an interview I once posted that the Doctor could never be an older actor again. One season of the show would kill him. Peter Capaldi still lives.

    I think there are challenges to doing it but it is by no means out of the question. The difficulty with the discussion is actually a lot of projection from interested parties, some gender politics and some clichés that may diminish if it was done, and done well. I feel the same every time I read the thoughts of Mathilda Gregory, who has weighed in on the G with another click-baity opinion –


    Its tiresomely triumphal and I always ask if she really wants this for the right reasons. I’d ask you if the reason you don’t want it is for the right reasons as well. You seem to have a limited grasp of the potential for relationships.

    Then I read something like @pedant s suggestion for Gina Bellman, and for me that’s a genuinely exciting proposition. As Sophie Deveraux in leverage she played a conwoman. A habitual liar, who subsumed herself in roles, was easily distracted by shiny things, was more than a little bat’s arse, playful and delivered the full gamut of emotions from joy to pathos. Bellman filled Sophie with warmth to counterpoint Sophie’s less attractive traits. She’d be a pretty good choice.

    In terms of relationships, the show could take a risk – a bit like Donna (as you seem to be a fan of his, and trust his judgement), not every companion has to be the younger model to engage both old and young generations. Imagine a partnership between The Doctor and Canton Delaware III. Are you really telling me that the majority of fandom wouldn’t be intrigued enough to tune into that relationship? That hordes of screaming fanboys will descend on the BBC offices with placards demanding the rematerialisation of the Doctors willy?

    Canton with a Bellman Doctor. Now – neither of those actors may be interested in the idea, but the thought for me would make it appointment television if they did. I’d watch this show in a heartbeat.

    And that’s how it should be – getting a genuine vision for the show by someone who fundamentally has a plan. If you don’t like it, you can tune out. It’s not against the law. Like the posters who came back this series having missed Matt Smith because they thought he was too young. In your case, it appears the proposition of too female is the issue.

    Moffat isn’t going to do it himself. PC will be his final Doctor as showrunner I’m sure. What interested him, I’m think, was codifying the potential in the Whoniverse for others to explore. I think he made the right decision to take this opportunity to “age up” the Doctor on this occasion. When casting the Doctor, age shouldn’t be an issue. Gender shouldn’t be an issue.

    The right storyteller, with a genuine vision of the right actor of either sex, of whatever age, working in tandem to make the show a continued success. That should be the issue.It is everyone’s right to throw their toys out of the pram at an idea, rather than waiting for the reality. And evaluating it. But it does make me assume you have very healthy knees, with all that jerking you put them through.

    Whisht @whisht

    @burrunjor – if I get you right, you’re saying that there can’t be a female Doctor, because if they continued with the current dynamic of the Companion being the moral compass (“one who cares”), then that would be a male role and the audience would think its sexist.

    I have some sympathy with this, except that the role of the Companion is not set in stone. In BG Who the Companion wasn’t the moral compass at all.

    So with a female Doctor OR with a male Doctor its up to the writers how they treat the Companion. And its up to the writers how they treat the Doctor.

    And hopefully they aren’t sexist and hopefully the audience isn’t either.

    As for the Hamlet comparison from Jimthefish – if there hasn’t yet been a ‘famous’ performance by a woman, that doesn’t mean there can’t.

    But I don’t think you’re being sexist btw – I think you’re worrying about the possibility of sexism (which is fair enough) – I just don’t think you should worry in this instance.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Like I said imagine that in reverse imagine a female hero who constantly needed her male companion to save her and needed a man to keep her sane people would find it offensive.

    I never once said that those characters were defined by their gender

    Actually, you’re still doing it. What I’d say RTD and SM have done is display the interdependence of human (and pseudo-human) characters on each other. Neither the gender of the Doctor or his companions has all that direct a bearing on their motivations. That’s what makes the dynamics so interesting. It’s how they’re relating to each other as people and if the tenth Doctor had been female and Donna, say, had been male, it wouldn’t have been all that different. Certainly not sexist, nor demeaning.

    But the examples you cite are ones that work with a male Doctor/female companion pairing. No one’s saying that that story would work in the future with a different Doc/companion. Hell, it wouldn’t have even worked with different existing Doctors. Would Smith’s Doctor have done the same thing to the Racnoss? Would Peter Davison’s? Probably not. It’s a false argument to use particular scenarios or viewpoints that worked in one period of the show to say that something like a female Doctor could never work because, yes, adjustments in writing/theme/plot would have to be accommodated because the dynamic would have once again changed. There would be different stories to tell and different ways in which to tell them.

    It sounds more like you’re rather keen that the Doctor remain the dominant patrician, with the companion in the lesser role. The new show definitely plays and questions the incipient power relationships that were left unquestioned by the old show and that to me can only be a good thing. The point is the hierarchies within the TARDIS shift and re-align all the time now. As they did in fact in the show’s very beginning but were then solidified and unchanging for too many years, primarily under the influence of Pertwee and the first Baker.

     It had been on for 3 years at that point they were still establishing the lore of the show. Its been on for 50 years now

    Exactly. There were far more places for the show to go in those days. Now it’s got 50 years of baggage and has explored a lot more narrative avenues. A female Doctor would just be another one that it hasn’t explored yet. The show is also existing in an entirely different culture to the one it did in 1966. The proviso to this is as @phaseshift, and SM himself for that matter, has said — it shouldn’t be a gimmick or done ‘because we can’. But it should emerge organically for terms of narrative evolution. We shouldn’t go looking for a female Doctor but rather wait until the right actor for the next Doctor comes along, who might just happen to be a woman. Personally I’m in no hurry. I want to see Capaldi do at least another year, hopefully more. But I’ll have absolutely no problem to see a female Doctor should it happen then.

    the reason the doctors companions often go with him, not always but often its because he is their friend and they want to make sure he is okay when he gets himself into trouble

    And there’s no reason, no reason whatsoever, why that would somehow cease to be the case if the Doctor were a woman and her companion were male. To suddenly argue that the dynamic was suddenly, irrevocably, sexist is to me a daft argument and one made by people (again) who just see the Doctor/Companion role as patrician alpha male/supportive nurturer. It would all be down to the writing. It’s possible that such relationships could be written clumsily, but I’d imagine great care would be taken to ensure that they were not.

    Tell me would you want the TARDIS not to look like a Police Box, the Daleks not to be evil, the Doctor to tell us his true name etc.

    Well, we’ve seen not-evil Daleks in the new series and it’s an intriguing concept. I think we’ve seen some interesting nuances been hinted at in Dalek culture by Moffatt and I’d like to see more. So, yeah, I have no problem with that. As to the TARDIS not looking like a Police Box — well, it’s a cultural icon, a design classic and a key part of the show’s imagery so there’d have to be a good narrative reason for it to go, but if such a thing did arise then I don’t see why not. And as to the Doctor’s name, it sounds like you’ve spectacularly missed the point of The Day of the Doctor and its companion episodes. Hasn’t SM clearly established that who the Doctor is, what his real name is, is basically beside the point and irrelevant?

    And I am sorry but the most famous performances of Hamlet are from men.

    Most famous doesn’t necessarily mean ‘best’. But surely Sarah Bernhardt’s performance is secondary in fame only to Olivier’s, if it doesn’t actually take precedence, which I could argue it might? And Peake’s Hamlet is meant to be well worth seeing (and she’d also get my vote as a female Doc, actually). Frances de la Tour’s Hamlet was meant to be the definitive portrayal for a generation, although I haven’t seen it. I have seen Fiona Shaw as Richard II however and she gave the best performance in the part I’d seen.

    But your comment is very telling in itself.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @burrunjor @JimtheFish @phaseshift @whisht

    Interesting discussion.

    I’ve been watching the show since 1963, and have gone thro various degrees of ARSE* along the way. I was upset when Susan left FFS! And then the Hartnell/Troughton change. How dare they change my fave programme! The Doctor should be old!! Then I watched Troughton’s first story – Power of the Daleks – and by the second episode it wasn’t quite “Hartnell… who?” but I was completely on board with it.

    The Doctor/companion dynamic has varied hugely over the years with young and old men and women, some from earth, some not, sometimes a single companion, sometimes several at a time; on occasion a robot (dog and cyberhead) and a shapeshifting alien.  Generally speaking the companion is our (the viewer’s) way in but whether it works or not is 100% down to the creative team responsible.

    It’s interesting when discussions come up about a new Doctor. All the suggestions put forward by fans, media commenters etc, that I saw were for actors who were by and large very similar to Smith or Tennant. So what do we get? Capaldi – a choice seemingly out of left field and outwith the so called “wisdom” of how the show works/what it needs. And he gets a storyline to suit this new Doctor. It should be the same with any casting of a new Doctor. IF there is a woman cast in the role then it should be because she walked into a mixed casting call and blew them away as the ONLY possibility for the Doctor. And because there was a new story to tell. Whatever – she would still be the Doctor we love.

    My point is that the show encourages us to embrace changes. They might not always be to our personal liking, but it’s worth giving the writers/directors/producers etc a chance to tell the story they want to tell before making the call. It’s MUCH more fun this way 🙂


    *ARSE – A Righteous Sense of Entitlement – when the fan thinks they should be in charge of the show and knows better than the current showrunner what the showrunner wants to say

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @barnable    The Doctor is re-coding DNA into Computer Code on the chalkboards.   This is a very cool idea!

    @jimthefish   Well said. I will admit that I’m not really warm to the idea of a female Doctor. But that’s a personal response, not really supported by the facts. I actually find that I can never really envision how anyone will work as the Doctor until I’ve seen it (even true of Capaldi, and I was excited about his casting). And as you say, if we can have a female Hamlet, I honestly can’t find a rational argument against a female Doctor!

    @phaseshift   Interesting article. Yes, the tone of that sort of thing drives me nuts. I am never comfortable with the “it must happen”, “it’s coming so suck it up” sort of narrative, or the assumption that everyone who feels unsure about such a thing must be some kind of sexist fanboy nerd, etc. However, I agree with this:  As if Time Lords becoming women is baffling in a way that Time Lords becoming Scottish isn’t.   And I loved your sentence:   That hordes of screaming fanboys will descend on the BBC offices with placards demanding the rematerialisation of the Doctors willy?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    And @scaryb:    They might not always be to our personal liking, but it’s worth giving the writers/directors/producers etc a chance to tell the story they want to tell before making the call.   I was trying to say this. You said it better.   🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @arbutus Thank you *does little happy yeti skip!*

    And look at this series.

    If they’d announced prior to it running that there would have been a female Master there would have been uproar. I’m not saying there wasn’t a bit anyway, but it was very much tempered by admiration for Gomez’s performance. (That’s what I meant in an earlier comment about calling her Missy gave people a bit of a chance to get used to the idea before the reveal). There’s been a lot of agreement (even if somewhat reluctant in some quarters) that she makes an absolutely brilliant Master/Mistress

    And thanks for picking out @phaseshift‘s comment “That hordes of screaming fanboys will descend on the BBC offices with placards demanding the rematerialisation of the Doctors willy?”  I meant to highlight that too, just brilliant.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    He said in an interview I once posted that the Doctor could never be an older actor again. One season of the show would kill him. Peter Capaldi still lives.

    But one season with RTD might well have killed him – though I genuinely don’t mean that in a nasty way. RTD thinks script first. Actors perform the script as written. If RTD thinks it’s going to be really funny to tie the Doctor in a chair and get him dragged down stairs, he’ll do it. It’ll only occur to him months later that maybe that wasn’t the best thing to do to an actor who’d recently needed a back operation

    Timeloop @timeloop


    I want to make some predictions for the final episode:

    We know that the Master chose Clara. We know he can supervise the Doctor from afar  (bank). We know that Clara would betray the Doctor in order to save Danny.

    So the Master and Clara will defnitely meet again in this episode (funny that Clara didn’t recognize him in the morgue…). Clara will betray the Doctor to get back Danny(again). Dannys death was influenced by the Master which is why he can grant him back. The master orchestrated the orient express thing?


    LordAllons-y @lordallons-y

    After the first appearance of Missy, I predicted that she was the Master reborn as a Time Lady half jokingly to a friend of mine. I prefaced the prediction with “I desperately hope I’m wrong because when the Master pops up, I get depressed for a week or so”.

    Then, at the beginning of the episode, I chuckled and said gloomily to my girlfriend “Wouldn’t it be a bummer if he got hit by a car?” and then Danny’s end of the phone call goes silent after a few knocks and bumps right after we see him standing on the roadside preparing to cross.

    But when I tell the gamblers in my life to bet on the Ducks…the Coyotes win in over time. I have a very gloomy sort of luck.


    LindaLee’s (sister’s) review, complete with explanation for the delay to this and the review of Death in Heaven

    elevenisrad @elevenisrad

    Clara Oswald thoroughly disappointed me in this episode. Thoroughly.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @pedant Thanks for posting the Autumn depping for Linda Lee review 🙂 (@Juniperfish – did you see that?)

    So, I’m guessing Autumn is about 3/4 (if her sister is about 6). Her reaction is very interesting with ref to the “is Dr Who too scary/dark for kids?” question.  The bodies feeling stuff after death goes completely over her head – it’s the cybermen (and the skeletons) that she reacts to. And Missy. Oh and she’s a TimeLady now – no prob!

    Poor LindaLee, hope she gets better soon.

    nerys @nerys

    Once again, I am very slow on the uptake (and I apologize if someone else has already mentioned this): But here we are, starting out with an active volcano. And Pompeii is where the doctor found “the face” he chose for this regeneration. I wonder if the reference was intentional … and if so, why didn’t the writers dwell on it a bit more deeply? I keep waiting to see the doctor finally connecting the dots between The Fires of Pompeii and now. But maybe I’ll be waiting a long, long time.

    JohnBoy94 @johnboy94

    This is a great episode I loved it so much never expected missy to be the master when the episode was over I couldn’t wait for the finale. it was just fantastic love peter capaldis acting has a really good doctor.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    I’m trying to remember if we have ever in 10 years of AG Doctor Who had fifteen solid minutes without so much as a flash of light, a single moment of humour. Even without the shock value of first viewing, that opening fifteen minutes is still incredibly hard to watch. Then, suddenly, we are in Seb’s office, and he is asking for coffee, “the good kind” and it’s like a sharp wind and splash of water on the face. Suddenly it feels like Doctor Who again.

    There was so much good in this episode, but interestingly, less to say about it. It’s all kind of out there, front and centre, not the sort of subtlety of some of the others stories that brought out people’s fascinating insights and interpretations of character and plot. Because here is where it pays off, and we are given the answers.

    When the Cybermen were revealed partway through I realized that, yet again, I had forgotten that they were coming. This says something about how the episode held my attention! And what a fabulous cliffhanger, Missy revealed, Danny’s finger hovering over the delete button. (Although I did momentarily wonder how Clara could be so dim as not to understand that Danny was deliberately driving her away to keep her alive. But not always the most intuitive girl, our Clara.)

    tommo @tommo

    hi all. i’m pretty new here so don’t know if was mentioned earlier but the name of the founder of the 3W facility – Prof. SKAROsa – is/was a nice foretelling of the ‘magicians apprentice’ scenario i thought….

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Dark Water

    Well now, this post is a bit late to the party, but this seems to be the place to put it…

    So after the filler episodes, some of them good, some of them questionable… (KTM, Forest of the Night) – after those, we’re back on the real hard stuff. Pure 100% Moffatt, and directed by Rachel Talalay, yet. This is mainline.

    And it starts with killing Danny, just like that. Well, that happens sometimes. Probably doesn’t help Clara’s equanimity that he was distracted by talking to her at the time. So, Clara being Clara, she does something about it.

    Boy, does she ever. (As an aside – Clara knows altogether too much about the Doctor’s habits, like where he hides his keys). That confrontation in the volcano is electric. I would not care to try to negotiate with – or bluff – either of them. But of course the Doc is one step ahead.

    And it leads to one of the most moving lines in all of Who – “Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?”

    And, “I don’t deserve a friend like you.” “Clara, I’m terribly sorry, but I’m exactly what you deserve.” I love the Moff’s way with words.

    Magnificent acting by both of them, by the way.

    The Nethersphere – I have a slight problem with the geographical location of this. It’s hollow, from the curvature it’s obviously too small to be the inside of the Earth (as may have been believed in Mediaeval times), besides which, gravity. So I’ll assume it’s virtual, or a satellite (like a literal Death Star?) in orbit somewhere. But never mind, cool idea. Love the euphemistic banality of Seb. The not-really-fishtanks and their contents are supremely creepy. And the Nethersphere two-circles symbol is instantly reminiscent of – something.

    And there’s some lovely ambiguous chit-chat with Missy who appears to be rather more than the interactive welcome-droid she claims to be. The Moff does loaded dialogue so well.

    The thing about the dead feeling what’s happening to them is, we hope, a lie perpetuated by Missy and 3W. Otherwise it has very sinister implications not only for cremation, but for any organ donors, and doubtless many other burial practices like embalming. Any equanimity with which I contemplate my demise is predicated on the assumption that I’ll be out of it, and won’t even have to endure a long boring service like my surviving acquaintances.

    We keep getting hints about what the skeletons actually are (‘dark water’ is a fascinating concept, by the way), so I don’t think I was very surprised when the Doctor walked through the doors with the paired circles – but still, one hell of a reveal.

    And it turns out the Nethersphere is actually a ball-shaped data storage unit about three feet across, which neatly answers my misgivings about the nature of the ‘underworld’. And the mausoleum is – inside St Pauls Cathedral. (Odd, I’ve been inside St Pauls, didn’t notice any actual Cybermen, though there were a couple of vaguely cadaverous ushers hanging around). It turns out they were hidden by some Time Lord dimensional legerdemain.

    So, Missy using Dr Skarosa’s organisation to create Cybermen is pretty convoluted, but I guess no more so than the Master’s usual schemes.


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