Death in Heaven

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    elisian @elisian

    I really hope there won’t be a timey-wimey reboot for “PE”. In Series 5/6 with Doctor 11, there definitely would; that’s a world in which Amy could effing [i]remember the Doctor into existence.[/i] What?! But Series 8 has been notably more reasonable about metaphysics (death is death!) even as it’s gotten less realistic about normal physics (the thing with the moon egg, the ridiculous psychic trees, etc). I would be very disappointed if we just found another Danny in S9; it would erase the emotional wallop of Danny’s sacrifice in the end of S8. And we really don’t need another Rory. I am sick of women being willing to sacrifice themselves for the Doctor and men being willing to sacrifice themselves for those women.

    While I was really horrified at Osgood’s death — same screech of panic as when Danny was killed last episode — I actually saw it coming from the moment the Doctor offered to let her travel with him. Has anyone else noticed the pattern of women dying soon after the Doctor picks them as possible companion (in rebooted series)?
    – Astrid Peth, “Voyage of the Damned”
    – Jenny, “The Doctor’s Daughter” [though reversed]
    – Rita, “The God Complex”
    – Clara v2/governess, “The Snowmen”
    – and I might be missing others…

    On the other hand, Martha had to gradually get herself upgraded from 1-time to real companion, Donna demanded to (re-)join, Amy was promised and left alone for 20 years, and Clara was actively sought out as “Invisible Girl” after other Clara was killed. Any time the Doctor identifies someone as “companion worthy” without a lot of drama before that moment, the drama happens AFTER that moment.

    EDIT: this is my first post, so please forgive me for not using primarily @ replies. I did read the whole thread 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @janetteb – I agree that my explanation for the soldier man is obvious and pretty boring. So I do think your explanation starting with Orson would make things more interesting, which fits Moffat’s style better.  As long as we get an answer, I’m sure I will like it.

    The printing bodies theory does open a lot of new possibilities, maybe too many? Some possibilities are scary! 

    There would be nothing stopping Adric from returning!  😯

    janetteB @janetteb

    One day someone is going to bring back Adric, just to annoy us all. 🙂



    Anonymous @

    Hello and Welcome to the DWForum @elisian,

    I disagree with almost everything in your post, but you are not alone in your opinions.  Many people here have said similar things about the scetchy science at times during S8. 

    If your favorite thing about this season is “death is death”, then I would suggest bracing yourself.  IMHO, Missy will be returning sometime and I agree with the bonkers theories that would make Osgood’s return possible (so I believe that will happen too).

    I agree with you that Danny Pink is going to stay dead, because like you said it would subtract from the emotional impact of DiH.  That’s just my theory though, so very likely wrong. 😉

    Thanks for the list of female characters that met an untimely end, shortly after being offered to join the Doctor in the Tardis.  Although, I don’t think Clara should be included, since it was really just her Claricles that died (not Clara Prime, who is alive and well).

    Nice to meet you

    Rob @rob


    Adric is the boy that Danny doomed then saved


    Danny is infact Dr No 5 this time saving Adric

    Double Bonkers Mondays bought to you vis quintuple shot latte productions…… 😉

    elisian @elisian

    @barnable Actually, it sounds like you just disagree that the physics of S8 is wonky. Yes, I’ve seen opinions differ on that.

    I do count governess-Claricle because while her death was due to her being a Claricle in one sense (ontological) it was also a point of evidence for the pattern of travel invitations prefiguring a violent, sudden death (narrative). Which is to say, those invitations seem to foreshadow death in order to lend additional poignancy to those deaths. I honestly don’t think SM-et-al predicted how much fans would take Osgood’s death to heart, any more than we would be upset by Rita’s or Astrid’s or Madame Pompadour’s… (M. du Pompadour could also be considered one of the doomed ‘almost companions’ though her death was one of fate/timing from the Doctor showing up too late rather than violence).

    Anyway, the fact that governess-Clara was fated to die to save the doctor doesn’t take away from the pattern that the women the Doctor promises to take onto the Tardis “as soon as we get through this one next thing” seem to never survive that next thing. Seems they either hop onto the blue box immediately after invite, or they are DOOOOMED.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @rob. Where do you get your coffee? It’s clearly a superior brew to that which I’m drinking. 🙂 (Don’t tell Seb but right now I’m back to instant.)

    I agree that Danny will stay dead but either something of his DNA will become Orson or Orson will turn out to be a long lost twin so that Clara gets a chance of redemption because right now she is suffering from fairly actute guilt over her treatment of Danny and that is a very dark place to leave a character in, (Just my opinion there of course.) Which would be an entirely predictable Thomas Hardy ending but not really Dr Who as Santa pointed out. I loved the initial impression that it was the director making that call at the end.




    Anonymous @

    @elisian – There is no denying that there is a patern there. And I conceed you point that the Claricles should be included. You make a very good argument.  I disagree that it has to be changed though.  Like you said it has the effect of making the loss seem more emotional.  To me that is not a bad thing.  It might be getting over used, where it no longer has the desired effect?  It is still working on me, so I’m not complaining.

    Actually, it sounds like you just disagree that the physics of S8 is wonky.

    You are right, I do disagree that the physics of S8 are wonky.  I also disagree that Clara has ever been “the invisible girl” as you call her. I also disagree that there was anything “effing” wrong with Amy remembering the Doctor back into existance. I disagree that “death is death” should be considered a good thing especially in Doctor Who.  And unlike you, I am not sick of anything about Doctor Who ever.  

    But look on the bright side, I agreed the Claricles should be included on your list. 😀


    Mudlark @mudlark

    @arbutus  I did not have time to respond to your post #3519 yesterday, but returning to the discussion of whether or not Missy’s ‘choosing’ of  Clara involved a paradox loop: you said

     I wonder if Missy somehow avoided ending up in the Time-Locked Gallifrey? Possibly dying and regenerating in the process?

    That would certainly resolve the paradox, but I was going by this exchange between the Doctor and Missy:

    Doctor:  Why are you still alive?

    Missy:  You saved me!

    Doctor:  I saved Gallifrey

    Missy:  Yes, Gallifrey too, I suppose.  There is always collateral damage with you and me. It’s our Paris.

    Doctor:  Gallifrey is lost in another dimension.

    Missy:  Yes and No

    Doctor:  Meaning?

    Missy:  Yes, it’s in another dimension. No, it’s not lost.

    If Missy is not lying here, she implies that it was the Doctor’s saving of Gallifrey which incidentally saved her from destruction in the Time War and thus enabled her to escape, either at the point where he saved Gallifrey and brought about the end of the war, or from the pocket universe into which Gallifrey was saved (perhaps by exploiting the crack through which the Time Lords were able to grant the Doctor a new regeneration cycle). Naturally, from her egocentric point of view, the saving of Gallifrey is incidental to the more important fact of her survival 🙂

    The reference to Paris was presumably a nod to the film Casablanca

    @rob  I take it that when you said

    Surely the return of Gallifry when the Master saves the Doctor happens after the Timewar thus the Master was in effect never in the Gallfry pocket

    you were referring to the events in The End of Time.  But in that double episode the Master attempted to break the Time Lords out of the time locked Time War.  The Doctor pointed out that breaking the time lock to bring back the Time Lords from a point before the deployment of the Moment would entail bringing back the Time War as well, and allowing it, and all the attendant horrors, to continue.  As a result the Master changed his mind, prevented Rassilon from killing the Doctor and, when the link to pre-time lock Gallifrey was destroyed, attempted to kill Rassilon. In doing so he appeared to be drawn back with him and the other Time Lords behind the time lock and thus into the last days of the Time War.  He might have escaped this fate, as @arbutus suggests, but as I said above, that is not what is indicated by Missy’s words to the Doctor.





    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    If there were no Orson, the Doctor wouldn’t find Orson, Clara wouldn’t have the toy soldier given to her, the Doctor would never have had the dream, so Clara would never have found Rupert Pink.


    That (and the lack of the side trip to Orson) means the Doctor would never have had the toy soldier given to him, would’ve stayed in the barn crying all night, would never have heard the speech about fear.

    Would that mean he wouldn’t be ‘the Doctor’? Possibly.

    Clara, otoh, would’ve never met Orson, so would never have been encouraged to go back to Danny, so would never have been on the phone to him, so Danny wouldn’t have died. Which means Danny wouldn’t have been cyberised, so wouldn’t have been in a position to save the world.

    It’s all beginning to sound a bit like a ‘universe nips out for popcorn’ moment. 😉

    Orson, I think, is a dangling thread. I’ve carefully avoided finding out if Jenna Coleman is really leaving, so please don’t tell me. If she is, I expect Orson will be resolved in the Christmas Special. If she isn’t, it’s something that’ll get resolved in Series 8.

    coly @coly

    @bluesqueakpip Hello. That was the point i was trying to make. It all has to mean that Danny can’t be dead. This obviously annoys me because I thought Clara was a free agent. Dammit.

    macphisto96 @macphisto96

    @barnable I’m pretty sure it was Missy that tipped UNIT off.  We heard her go through a series of accents in the episode, including a Scottish one when she was telling Osgood that she was going to kill her.  I think Missy was cluing Osgood in at that point that she had called UNIT and they had fallen into a trap.

    macphisto96 @macphisto96

    @mudlark I don’t think Missy was lying about Gallifrey.  The interesting thing is that she states quite plainly that it is in another dimension but gives the Doctor coordinates in normal space.  Was the Doctor not really listening when she spoke?  I knew she was lying at the end because that statement contradicted her original statement.  I think the original is true.  Gallifrey is not lost, but it is in another dimension.  How is that dimension accessed?  Did Missy find a way out and is it a two way passage?

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @macphisto96   I agree; I don’t think Missy was lying, although I suspect that she was being a little bit economical with the truth in order to mislead the Doctor, and the Doctor, in his eagerness to learn the whereabouts of Gallifrey, failed to register what she was actually saying: that Gallifrey is in exactly the same place as it always was, but in a superimposed alternate dimension.


    Of course Missy was lying. Her lips were moving and sounds were coming out.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Anyway, thoughts on Ingrid Oliver returning:

    I agree that she’s already played two parts on Who. Osgood, and Zygon Osgood; the chances are good that she’ll be returning as the non-dead one. 😉

    In favour of it being Zygon Osgood who died is the point that she figured out Missy was the result of the Master regenerating as female.

    That suggests someone who already knows that about Time Lords – but it isn’t in UNIT’s previous experience. However, it could have been part of the eventual deal between UNIT and Zygons that they share information. Especially about alien races (including Time Lords) that are likely to invade Earth.

    Another part of the deal may well have been that Zygons had to stay in human (or horse) form, so as not to frighten the humans (or horses).

    In favour of it being Human Osgood who died, it would heighten the impact if the person who died was the person the audience thought died. There’s also a precedent in the Big Finish Audios for a Zygon staying in the form of a dead person and effectively taking their place.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Has anyone else noticed the pattern of women dying soon after the Doctor picks them as possible companion

    The entire adult membership of British Equity? If you don’t have a recurring character contract, then once the Doctor starts getting pally with you – look for the death scene. Your only chance of another booking is if it’s a ‘turn him down’ scene. 😈

    On screen, Rory highlighted it in The God Complex. The Doctor getting friendly with someone is practically a case of ‘notify the next-of-kin’.

    Brewski @brewski

    Can only make one comment that hasn’t already been made:

    I don’t want Americans here. They’ll probably start praying.

    OMG! Is that how the world sees us?! :O I need to move!

    P.S. Osgood as Zygon Osgood? Easy peasy! Missy specifically remarks on her smell! Zygon!

    Rob @rob

    @mudlark 😀

    The Master was at the end of time/Universe in his pocket watch and Gallifrey was destroyed by the War Doctor having used the Moment….. or so we thought.  The never ending drumming being used by Rassilon to call the Master to link pocket Gallifrey to real time and space. We the audience and the Doctor believe that Gallifrey has been destroyed not saved. The Timelords know they have been saved and are working out plans for a return, two plans have been used so far, the sound of drums and The Crack in The Wall (a town called Xmas) the Master/Missy split probably happened  at in this period and jazz hands she escaped (Prisoner Zero anyone???)

    So the Master defeats Rassilon and dies regenerates into Missy with or without gratitude ftom non Rassilon side on Galifrey. The Master was at one point everyone on Earth including Clara Prime and any Claricles present. The Master may also have had a bedtime story told to him by Clara.

    Remember folks the Masters/Missy’s timeline does not have to follow the Doctors they may end up married yet too scrub the fake wedding to Marilyn Monroe 😉

    I think this post got away from its original point if indeed it had one!!!!

    Time to tear more wallpaper off the wall

    PaperMoon @papermoon

    @Lscot6 – it was Brisbane. I took it as a nod to the character of Teagan who travelled with Doctor’s 4 and 5, and who was from Brisbane. But, I may just be making connections where there aren’t any,  it was a rather random mention though.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @geoffers   I didn’t get the feeling that the Doctor had decided to kill Missy until the moment he said “if it prevents you from doing it, yes”, or words to that effect. And even then, I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to go through with it!

    And yes, I too loved the Bondian view of the Doctor falling through the air and saving himself at the same time!

    @purofilion   I only wondered, since we clearly saw that the Cybermen had gone to Brisbane, whether you had seen any evidence of them around your place- cyberpollen, laser fire, cyborg zombies rising from the grave, etc.?

    Welcome @elisian! I agree about Danny’s death in a way. It was purposeful and meaningful, and it brought his story to a conclusion (albeit a sad one!). I am a bit concerned with where it leaves Clara, as I want her story to come to a similar one, and she is currently left in a very bad place. As I assume that she won’t be left that way, one obvious way to fix it involves the return of Danny. I don’t think it would be the only way, though, so I guess we will have to wait a few weeks and see! As for Osgood, I suppose it’s possible that Moffat really didn’t view her any differently than Astrid et al, except for two points. One, she was not a new character but one we had met before in the anniversary special, and who was quite popular with viewers at the time. Two, the manner of her death was very different from those other potential companions, less dramatically satisfying.

    @mudlark   Yes, good point. The Master/Missy must have gone into the cuppa soup with the rest of them. (By the way, has anyone who has been reading the “discussion” on the Guardian noticed that some people simply refuse to call Missy “Missy”, and are just calling her “the Master”, and even “him”? It made me laugh!)

    On the whereabouts of Gallifrey: I find it really hard to imagine the Doctor “forgetting” that Gallifrey was trapped in another dimension. He put it there himself! And it was still there at the time of his regeneration. I had rather assumed that in going to those coordinates, he had expected to find some evidence of Gallifrey that would help him to release it back into our universe.

    @bluesqueakpip    That suggests someone who already knows that about Time Lords – but it isn’t in UNIT’s previous experience.    Actually, UNIT is well aware of regeneration, even if they have never seen a time lord gender change before! However, I’m not discounting the Zygon Osgood theory on that basis.

    DrBen @drben

    I am unsettled.

    Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent episode.  But for me, Moffat’s progression has not been from “Everybody lives” to “Osgood dies” but more like from “Everybody lives” to “NO HAPPY ENDINGS FOR ANYONE”.

    Really, this episode was just unceasingly bleak for me.  I’m ok with tragedy, and I’ve been completely ok with 12 departing from the whimsy of 11, but this was a tough one.


    • Michelle Gomez’s inspired turn as Missy.  I thought she brought all of the crazy of John Simm, but was ten times as terrifying.  As others have pointed out, her countdown scene was truly chilling.  I very much hope she’s not vaporized.  As things go, of course, it’s always safe to bet that the Master has a way out.
    • Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink.  Nothing has gone right for poor PE this season.  A childhood in an orphanage, combat and PTSD, a little taste of happiness, and bam – you’re a Cyberman with an extra soupcon of pain and regret.  The realization when Cyber-Danny looked in the mirror in the morgue was simply tragic, and the look on his face when he removed the mask was just awful.  Anderson is able to convey so much with just a pair of sad eyes and a quiet voice.
    • Jenna Coleman has outdone herself.  No question.  Her faux-Doctor scene was bravura – a completely different characterization.
    • The Man Himself.  Capaldi shines throughout, but the scene of him silently thrashing the TARDIS console brought me to tears.

    Stuff that stabbed me in the heart repeatedly:

    • Clara being unintentionally horrible to Cyber-Danny — all that rot about how the Doctor is the only man she’d never lie to.  Way to turn the knife.
    • Osgood.  ‘Nuff said.
    • The Doctor & Clara’s extended lying session to one another at the end.  Clearly, as in the beginning of the previous episode, Clara had something big and important she needed to communicate.  (For Chrissake, Doctor, SHUT UP and let her talk!)  I don’t believe that it was simply “Danny didn’t come back.”  It was full-on Bad News.

    A few unanswered questions:

    • Whither Orson Pink, natch.
    • How does Clara know so much about the Doctor?  Yes, they’re close, but the Doctor has never said a thing about four wives, and is always reticent to talk about his past.  I had thought it was memories of other Claricles, but she’s not supposed to remember that, right?  I still suspect that she is not entirely who she says she is.
    • Why?  Why, dammit, why?!?!  (just in general)

    There was nothing in the episode that I disliked, although I will say that the appearance of [you-know-who] over the closing credits was like a record scratch, which totally upset the solemnity of the moment (and not in a good way).  Not least of which because I thought the voice sounded like Russell T. Davies, and had a moment’s (bonkers) thought that they were going full meta, and RTD would burst through the doors of the TARDIS, bitching about what a sad mess Moffat has made of his show.

    Not that I thought Moffat has made a mess of the show.  Quite the opposite – I think Moffat is at the height of his powers, and this was an exquisitely crafted episode (and season).  I’m just very sad, that’s all.  And now we have to wait 6 weeks for the hope of some kind of happy ending.

    PS – I can’t speak to this, being a Johnny-come-lately to DW, but were any long-time and BG fans bothered by Moffat resurrecting the Brigadier as a Cyberman?  It didn’t bother me personally (to the contrary, I sobbed through that scene), but I could imagine some people being upset by that.  Desecration of the man’s memory, or something.  Just a thought.

    lisa @lisa

    @ Arbutus – The Doctor spent a extraordinarily small amount of time when he opened the Tardis doors
    expecting some evidence of Galifrey. I still think those numbers ‘might’ mean something but he really
    didn’t do a thorough check. If he had would he have discovered a ‘crack’ in the neighborhood or
    something else?
    @brewski As an American who has even posted a few comments about belief/fairy tales etc.
    but however not religious in any way [I didn’t inherit those genes]so there fore I do not pray
    I make wishes! you might be referring to those wacky red states ? 🙂 Also, I like your catch
    regarding the ‘smell’ of Osgood but if she did smell like Zygon wouldn’t the Doctor have smelled that
    too ? They were pretty close at the time when he was laying on the ground.
    Hi @Barnable- ‘the stories are always bigger on the inside’ Love !

    Brewski @brewski


    you might be referring to those wacky red states ? 🙂

    Indeed. One of which is currently my home. However, I too rely more on the crossing of fingers than the folding of hands.

    Also, I like your catch regarding the ‘smell’ of Osgood but if she did smell like Zygon wouldn’t the Doctor have smelled that too ?

    Hmmm…. Good point. However, Who’s to say he didn’t notice and chose not to say anthing? 😮 Might be worth a rewatch just to pay more attention to his facial attention when he sees her….



    Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent episode. But for me, Moffat’s progression has not been from “Everybody lives” to “Osgood dies” but more like from “Everybody lives” to “NO HAPPY ENDINGS FOR ANYONE”.

    That rather begs the question that the story has ended.

    (oh and as well as underlining this, given the sombre tone I would say Santa’s cameo was absolutely essential for the younger viewers. Plus, I thought it was a hoot and Whedons nth rule in action)

    nerys @nerys

    Did anyone notice that during Clara’s “doctor” impersonation, Jenna Coleman’s delivery seemed eerily close to David Tennant’s?

    I agree with @arbutus. Rewatching this episode, it is difficult to tell the colour of the blast when cyber-Danny shoots the three Cybermen. It looks like a bluish-white bolt, followed by yellowy-red flames as the Cybermen explode. When Missy is hit, it’s blue light and blue sparks. So it was different … but as to what that means, we’ll have to wait and see.

    @janetteb Another mention of the Doctor’s family firmly establishing that he had children and grandchildren on Gallifrey. His despair at the end was truely heartbreaking. What does everyone want most for Christmas? Home and family. No matter where you are or how wonderful the adventures you have having, when it comes to Christmas there is a yearning, even just for a day, for home and family.

    So true. For the Christmas special, I wonder if he will decide he must trade his wish for Clara’s … making it even more poignant?

    GothamCelt @gothamcelt

    Well, here’s my opinion on a few things. I agree withthose who write that the cybermen were a let down. Par for the course really. They do a good clanking stomp but thats about it. The ‘coming out of the graves’ thing was good but it was badly timed. That could have been a lot more tense. As it was, they crawled out and erm…that was it. Could have been a taught finale. Oh, and the image of a cyberman hugging some-one is something I never want to see again. 

    Much to my surprise, I liked Mistress. I was a bit wary when it was voiced on here but I thought “Depends how it is written and how it is acted”. I liked it

    Boy coming back from the dead. Meh!. That’s right up there with the girl materialising out of a bush – but it still falls short of  the whole moon/egg thing

    Capaldi, I think, was great throughout. Some duff episodes and some really dodgy moments but I am certainly looking forward to the next series. Well, that’s providing Clara isn’t in it. I am glad quite a few enjoyed her but for me the whole Clara/Danny thing was a bore. We ventured into Doctor Hollyoaks on occasion.

    Can’t say I was interested in the whole story/arc thing. Too drawn out. Also, if you are going to pose all those questions then you really ought to make a bit of an effort to answer them 

    I liked the humour. That’s been a bit scarce in this series but there have been some laugh out loud moments. Thinking primarily of the Doctor’s little victory dance when he edged the TARDIS off the railway line a few episodes back. In this episode I liked the sky dive to the TARDIS and The Mistress’s “It’s our Paris”

    One final point. The Cyberbrig. Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Leathbridge -Stewart was a big chap. I couldn’t help but feel he must have been very uncomfortable squished into that small suit. Do they do XXL Cybermen?

    DrBen @drben

    @pedant – That rather begs the question that the story has ended.

    Yes, of course.  Still, as a season finale, taken on its own, it was unceasingly sad.

    (What, pray tell, is Whedon’s nth rule?  Bring in some comedy after you kill off major characters?  I’m still traumatized about [spoilers re Serenity]) 😉

    Spider @spider


    The organic material may regain heat. But not enough to show up on a thermal camera – the ground above would absorb all the heat. Thermal imaging will only show what is on (or slightly under) the surface. Plus, the cyberman shell is metal, so would be cold when under the ground, regardless of what heat anything organic had in it.  However, the cybermen probably have some sort of heat output power source. But again, not hot enough to show up on the surface. Hmm, maybe the scans they did were of Cybermen who had accidentally powered up their rocket boots XD

    And while I’m on a rant. Thermal cameras cannot see through glass – regardless of how many movies and TV shows seem to think that they can (ok so that wasn’t in this episode, I’m just saying!).

    Sensors are kind of my area. Therefore it’s always the one thing I can’t just let go (I had a similar problem with the stovak bl..oh whats the thing called, robot thing in the Caretaker episode when it used its ‘sensor’).

    Space egg moons. No problem! Giant spider parasite things. No problem (well apart from freaking me out by being SPIDERY). Space train on hyper-rails. No problem!  But misuse of sensors. ARGH! 🙂

    So I just have to accept it is some sort of futuristic alien technology thing that UNIT happen to have to somehow allow then to see underground from the air … somehow.

    Nope. Not getting it! 😉




    I can’t recall the number (he has loads) but it is “Go are dark as you dare, put your characters through hell and leave them bereft. But for god’s sake tell a joke at the end”.

    (I was more bereft by the other death, since we knew less about him and I suspect the was a truly dark back-story)

    DrBen @drben

    @pedant Ah yes!  Sage advice for sure, and from the man who knows more about putting his characters through hell and leaving them bereft than almost anyone else. 😉

    As the joke goes: Steven Moffat, Joss Whedon, and George R.R. Martin walk into a bar, and everyone you love dies.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @drben      Not least of which because I thought the voice sounded like Russell T. Davies, and had a moment’s (bonkers) thought that they were going full meta, and RTD would burst through the doors of the TARDIS, bitching about what a sad mess Moffat has made of his show.

    That would have been brilliant! Not because I don’t like Moffat’s work, but because it would have been so funny. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Santa doesn’t really figure in the Christmas episode. He could well have been more of a pseudo-Moffat, telling the audience that the story isn’t really over… Tune in next time! (Although I loved the Doctor’s expression when he saw who was at his door!)

    I have noticed a few people in other places making that type of remark about the Brig’s appearance, but just as many others seemed to feel as you did. I cried, myself.

    @gothamcelt   I think the thing about “boy coming back from the dead” that worked for me was that it allowed Danny to send him back, sacrificing himself. If Danny had just brought him back, happily ever after, etc., it would not have been as effective.

    @spider   When I write my science fiction novel, I’ll just leave sensors right out of it. Safer, really.   🙂

    PaperMoon @papermoon

    @spider – Skovox Blitzer – I’ll leave the sensors to you, 🙂

    DrBen @drben

    @arbutus He could well have been more of a pseudo-Moffat, telling the audience that the story isn’t really over… Tune in next time! (Although I loved the Doctor’s expression when he saw who was at his door!)

    Yeah – I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it was definitely a dig at the audience reaction, something like, “It can’t end like that!  You can’t just leave her like that!” or something.  I’m sure you’re right that it was a message to the audience that the story isn’t really over, but it was just such a WTF moment.

    BadWulf @badwulf

    Well, I’ve finally got around to watching the finale, and I was greatly impressed. It was probably the best episode of the season. I enjoyed practically all aspects of it. Some high points for me, in no particular order:

    • The teaser opening – Clara’s announcement that she was the Doctor was hilarious, especially when it showed her eyes during the opening sequence.
    • UNIT troops appearing to prevent the Cybermen from advancing through London, and tossing a BG Cyberman head on the floor.
    • The “Iron Man” style Cybermen taking to the air.
    • The Master’s escape from captivity, and the brave decision to kill off Osgood (some proper consequences for a change)
    • Danny’s death face, and the fact that he wasn’t given a Rory-resurrection (some more proper consequences)
    • The Doctor realising that he’s not a good man or a bad man, but an idiot.
    • The Doctor saluting the cyber-brigadier.

    Additional points for the music not being too intrusive, and allowing the dialogue to speak for itself.

    I definitely give this one a 5 out of 5, which takes my rating of BG Season 8 to 3.58 overall, just edging out over BG Season 2, which had 3.57 overall. That means that my season ratings are (only including the seasons for which I have seen all the episodes) are:

    1. Series 13 overall – 4.17
    2. 8th Doctor – 4.00
    3. Smith Specials overall – 4.00
    4. Series 33 (AG Series 7) overall – 3.87
    5. Series 20 overall – 3.86
    6. Series 30 (AG Series 4) overall – 3.86
    7. Series 10 overall – 3.80
    8. Series 27 (AG Series 1) overall – 3.69
    9. Series 31 (AG Series 5) overall – 3.69
    10. Series 14 overall – 3.67
    11. Series 11 overall – 3.60
    12. Series 34 (AG Series 8) overall – 3.58
    13. Series 28 (AG Series 2) overall – 3.57
    14. Series 32 (AG Series 6) overall – 3.50
    15. Series 12 overall – 3.40
    16. Series 29 (AG Series 3) overall – 3.36
    17. Series 21 overall – 3.14
    18. The Key to Time (Series 16) overall – 3.00
    19. Series 19 overall – 3.00
    20. Tennant Specials overall – 3.00
    21. Series 22 overall – 2.83
    22. Trial of a Time Lord (Series 23) overall – 2.75
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @spider   My take on the heat sensor problem (other than that UNIT probably had access to gadgetry more highly advanced than the rest of humanity) was this.   According to what we were told, the ‘pollen’ which rained down on the graveyards, penetrating the earth and locking on to the organic remains in the graves, consisted of nanobots. These nanobots proceeded to manufacture the cyber bodies round the nucleus of the organic remains, presumably using minerals available in the surrounding soil at a molecular level.  This process would probably generate heat in the surrounding soil as a by-product and, since the backfill of the graves would tend to be of a different and slightly looser consistency than the surrounding earth*, it would disseminate the heat more readily and the difference be detectable on the surface.  Couple that with some kind of geophysical ground penetrating detection and imaging system and you would have a result, though the detail in the images we saw stretched even my credulity 🙂


    * That’s how infilled pits and graves are detected and excavated on archaeological sites.


    Spider @spider

    @mudlark  good point about the nanobots. That does let me stretch believability (almost) that it could be picked up by some sort of airborne system or satellite.

    I suppose in the time the Doctor was unconscious UNIT could have gone round and done some ground penetrating measurements of graveyards – since he had warned them that’s where the threat would be.  Just ebcause we didn’t see them do that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen … But like you say, the detail was a bit too good even for that.

    Unless of course they were meta enhanced futuristic sensors with fantastic image processing algorithms to clean up the images XD

    Right. I REALLY need to get over this and move on with thinking about other slightly more important aspects from the episode XD

    Re Orson. I keep remembering back to a line from the Doctor in (I think) Caretaker episode where he says Danny looks nothing like Orson. That always struck me as a bit strange – it could be explained away with it being a throwaway joke about the Doctor being oblivious. But …what if Orson was a huge red herring by Mofffat to make us think the Danny/Clara relationship would have some sort of happy ending. But that that future is now re-written. What we saw is what Clara saw, that originally Orson was her and Dannys descendant. But that timeline has been replaced and although Orson is still descended from Clara, he has no link to Danny – in fact looks nothing like him.

    The Doctor ‘sees’ this new timeline due to him being a time lord (hence his comment) but Clara doesn’t, she remembers what she saw in the now redundant timeline.

    A bit of a stretch and full of holes. The main one being that when the Doctor makes that comment a few episodes back, it is well before we know Danny’s fate…but then I’m assuming linear time rather than wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey!

    And I’m probably overthinking what is just a throwaway comedy comment by the Doctor XD


    nerys @nerys

    Oh gosh, now I’m wondering if the “three months” Post-it note wasn’t that Clara was three months pregnant … but that she has three months to live? It’s just the way she says, “There’s something I have to tell you … and it’s not good news, so just listen.” That’s why she tells him she and Danny will be fine, because in death they will be together? Argh, I just put that together while watching the episode a third time. When the doctor says he’s found Gallifrey, Clara’s whole demeanour changes. She realizes she wants to leave him with that feeling of happiness and hopefulness … not the loss of yet another companion. Except that she doesn’t know he too is lying.

    By the way, at the end Santa says: “It’s meeeee. Hello … doctor? You know you can’t end like that, hmmm? We need to get this sorted, and quickly. She’s not all right, and neither are you. I’m coming in. There you are. I knew I’d get around to you eventually. Now, stop gawking … and tell me: What do you want for Christmas?”

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    I am unsettled.

    As am I. I had almost precisely the same response to all the things you mention. In fact, I have not been able to even give it a second viewing yet, as a result of my emotional response. It was, as you say, unrelentingly bleak. I can only hope that the story will be resolved in the Christmas special in a way that brings some hope.

    But I suppose I should watch it again. I must be strong.

    DrBen @drben

    @blenkinsopthebrave I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one to have that reaction.  I’ll be right over, with jammie dodgers and kleenex.

    @nerys That remains my theory about the “three months” thing, that she’s dying.  Bleak to bleaker, I know, but for some reason it feels right.  And it definitely adds resonance to the line “Danny and I will be fine.”

    nerys @nerys

    @drben That remains my theory about the “three months” thing, that she’s dying.  Bleak to bleaker, I know, but for some reason it feels right.  And it definitely adds resonance to the line “Danny and I will be fine.”

    It also makes her “You’re the last person who’s ever going to hear me say that” line to Danny that much clearer.

    lisa @lisa

    In the scene when the black cloud grows over the gated cemetery and we see a red phone box behind the
    people did any one else spot a refection of another red phone box in the mirror-like windows ? It
    seemed to me like the second red phone box had a chimney spout on top spewing out that black smoke-cloud
    so I am just wondering if that is a clue that the red tardis may indeed be Missy’s tardis?
    Also I am wondering about the co ordinates that Missy gave the Doctor – he put 10 0 11 00 02 but was
    that the correct interpretation? I listened to her say them again and I’m just not sure if they could
    have been entered differently
    She also mentioned a Dalek camp in the graveyard? I also have been wondering if there is some Dalek
    prison camp that isn’t trapped in the time lock bubble – Could it be located on the North pole of
    some planet in time for the Xmas special ?


    @blenkinsopthebrave @drben

     In fact, I have not been able to even give it a second viewing yet, as a result of my emotional response.

    It took me a while as well.

    The response to this one was…hmmm….not visceral….fundamental. 

    Something deep about that story and the people in it, but also about storytelling. I think that may be why I am so adamant about the “toll” being essential. But it is tough and deep, not in a S5 metaphorical way (as unutterably wonderful as that was), but direct and real. Someone we expected to get to spend time with, to get to know….isn’t any more.

    Maybe that why the ARSEites on the Graun have reacted so. They don’t want literal truth in their stories. Because it hurts and they can’t cope having no blankie.

    Anonymous @


    I’ve had to delete your post that makes reference to the Xmas episode trailer but I’ve reposted it on the Spoilers thread.

    Please can we all remember to post anything relating to trailers on the spoilers thread.


    DrBen @drben

    @pedant Something deep about that story and the people in it, but also about storytelling. I think that may be why I am so adamant about the “toll” being essential. But it is tough and deep, not in a S5 metaphorical way (as unutterably wonderful as that was), but direct and real. Someone we expected to get to spend time with, to get to know….isn’t any more.

    I thoroughly agree, which I think is why I’m having such a difficult time with this one.  I’m seeing lots of discussion (here and elsewhere) about Danny coming back, or Osgood coming back, etc., and they are of course entitled to their opinions.  And sure, death has never been all that final on DW.  But this was different.  Equal parts brutal and mundane.

    We fell in love with Osgood immediately because she was one of us, with her asthma and her official merch and her bonkers theorizing.  But to Missy, she was just another pawn, another way to hurt the Doctor.  Just another nameless victim.  Similarly, Danny was ultimately a nobody — he had to be hit by a car and die in the middle of a telephone call, just so that Missy could find another way to abuse her oldest friend.  (Yes, Danny found redemption in the end, but he basically did nothing but suffer until then.)

    I am in the camp of those who consider Doctor Who to be a fantasy show rather than a sci-fi show.  Part of that fantasy feeling is the eternal optimism, the underlying belief in the goodness of all (most) creatures, the breathless wonder at the unknown.  This episode was the opposite — a demonstration that no matter how optimistic you are, some people just die, and die for no good reason, and stay dead.  And sometimes there are no happy endings, and all you can do is lie to the people who care about you in order to spare them from knowing how miserable you are.  For all the magic and questionable science, this episode was about reality.

    And it was wonderful.  And painful.  I want to tell myself to shut up already [shuttity up up up] because it’s only a TV show, but I know you lot understand.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Yes, what @drben said.

    Although perhaps I do need a few jammie dodgers as well.



    Equal parts brutal and mundane.

    Paging Hannah Arendt, paging Hannah Arendt…

    DrBen @drben

    @pedant I was thinking more along the lines of a Hobbesian “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”, but Arendt will do nicely as well. 🙂

    BadWulf @badwulf

    One thing I noticed was that, the sight of the TARDIS dematerialising on a street in broad daylight now seems to be a totally unremarkable event, as the bystanders just go about their business without even pausing, let alone stopping to gawp.

    I suppose having an army of silver cyborgs pop up out of the ground will do that to the public!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @pedant   @drben

    I agree that this series has been, at its heart, about something beyond the bonkers, the monsters, the “all-of-time-and-space”, and even the science/pseudo-science that we are used to from DW. And maybe that was the motivation for the continued riffing on legends and myths, and what seemed at times like a deliberate toss-into-the-dustbin of actual science. The series may have been removing those trappings to clarify that this story was about a different kind of reality. In a sense, it was a spiritual journey. (I use that phrase with caution, because it is open to misinterpretation, but I think it’s what I mean!)

    I have admitted that I was and am unhappy with the decision to “off” Osgood. That hasn’t prevented me from feeling that this was some of the best work of the entire AG run! I didn’t agree with Donna’s fate at the end of Series 4 either, but that series was probably my favourite (up until now, maybe!).

    I guess I’m just saying, please don’t lump me in with the ARSE’s because I finally hit up against something in this series that I didn’t like!   🙂  I liked most of it so very, very much.

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