Deep Breath

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    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @arkleseizure I think Cessair of Diplos sounds like a pretty damn good theory. Why? Er… not sure either. But I like it!

    On the other hand, why do you say Earthshock gets worse on repeat viewings? It stands up for me. Who doesn’t like a well-prepared meal?

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    And unfinished business in Pompeii. Maybe one of the Doctor’s past mistakes that he wants to correct was saving someone he shouldn’t have? That would indeed be dark.

    Whisht @whisht

    @arkleseizure – you say you don’t do bonkers?????!!!!?

    I had to look up the Cessair of Diplos and can only say that if I shaved with your razor I wouldn’t have any scalp left!!



    What I love is that there’s a really straight line I can’t see!!

    Arkleseizure @arkleseizure

    @fivefaces: my problem with Earthshock is that it’s one of the most plot-hole filled stories in the shows history. On first viewing, I didn’t notice because I was enjoying the ride so much. But, on rewatching, I found myself wondering all sorts of things. I will just go into the biggest: other than something mumbled about alien technology, there is no reason given as to why the ship goes back in time. Also, the Cybermen seem to do things out of pure spite and have a huge army aboard a ship they’re going to crash on Earth! (And if their bomb works, what do they need thar army for? And where do they evacuate the army to? And why do Earth’s crack troops not know who the Cybermen are when Earth is holding an interplanetary conference on them?)

    Those are just a few of Earthshock’s plot holes. It’s tremendous fun, but Each time I watch it I find myself spotting another one.

    Whisht @whisht

    I think the ‘face thing’ is probably about saving/ not saving people (sounds reasonable).

    Perhaps Missy will force him to do something dark (eg allow Clara to die) in order to do the right thing.

    ie allowing ‘Clara’ to save him (as the Claricles have saved previous Doctors).
    (ah @scaryb – glad you’re feeling better and I hadn’t thought that the regen would have meant that she wouldn’t have seen Capaldi’s Doctor, but of course that’s true!)

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    (Am I off topic here? Should I put this on a different forum?)

    Anyway, I take your point @arkleseizure I too have worried about the fact that the Cybermen leave an army on a ship that’s basically a flying missile. I suppose it comes down to how much plot holes matter, compared with other things that make you love a story. For example:

    The early cave-exploring stuff is really well put together. You never see anyone die, and the lights going out on a screen is always taut.

    A killer reveal of the big monster (for me gets bonus points because this was my first in-show real encounter with Doctor Who history: loved it).

    Berye Reid playing a sort of homely dominatrix space captain. Not exactly a classic trope; but this was Thatcher’s Britain.

    The Doctor’s big speech: I know some mock it, but I like it. For me this was the essence of Davison’s Doctor.

    Adric’s death and the silent credits. And I don’t mean that as a criticism; has this ever been done again? And the endless suspense: we’ll never know if he was right!

    Anonymous @


    Berye Reid playing a sort of homely dominatrix space captain

    Did you have to use that precise expression. You’ve curdled me Nesquick up here…..

    zeitgeis @zeitgeis

    I was especially struck by Capaldi’s Doctor making reference  early in his regeneration  to the people he encountered as having pudding brains (I forget the exact term).  Matt’s doctor, recall, obsessed over pudding during his regeneration, eating gobs of fish sticks dunked in pudding.  I think it is clear that our new doctor will be quite intellectual.  That could not be said of Matt.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @jimthefish Was it the typo on Beryl?

    Anonymous @

    @fivefaces — it was more the dominatrix thing really….

    Back to the face thing. I’ll be very interested now if we see a story where Doc 12 has to decide to save someone, or decide not to save someone, or is faced with the consequences of having once saved/failed to save someone in the past…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @zeitgeis – no, it was custard that the Smith Doctor dunked his fish fingers in. Not the sort of custard that makes a pudding; it was the sort of custard you put on pudding.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Just watched it finally a second time on my tiny 12 inch laptop screen – not quite the detail of seeing it projected on the Sky Lounge on Saturday.

    A few thoughts in my traditional format of a list:

    1) The cyborg’s ‘Promised Land’ put me in mind of the obligatory Red Dwarf reference which I always like to dust off for every DW episode.  This time ‘Silicon Heaven’ a la the episode ‘The Last Day’.

    2) Ten managed to disable the organ harvesting robots on SS Madame de Pompadour by pouring wine on them.  I did wonder if the Doctor was trying the same trick with the whisky he offered the cyborg man.

    3) Missy’s accent.  Does Missy have a Scottish accent because the Doctor does?  My thinking is more towards a Dream Lord sort of explanation for her.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @jimthefish Fair enough. I think one of the big themes of this series might be that the Doctor is out to correct what he (now) regards as his mistakes from the past. I never really agreed with the whole ‘the Doctor is basically a bad person’ idea that M0ffat seems to have been pushing; as far as I can tell, he’s always acted with impeccable morality. So what are these mistakes he’s made? As you say, is this about people he’s saved/failed to save?

    Anonymous @


    as far as I can tell, he’s always acted with impeccable morality

    I’d seriously dispute that. Look, for instance, at the mess he basically made of Amelia Pond’s life. Or Rose’s for that matter. Or Adelaide in Waters of Mars. And going back, look at the Seventh Doctor’s behaviour to Ace in Ghost Light or Curse of Fenric (and any number of the Virgin novelisations, if you can get your hands on them). Or the Sixth with Peri. And even the Fifth with Tegan, who leaves him in disgust.

    No, I think the Doctor has done plenty of bad things, whether he meant to do them or not. It was always there, I think, but it’s just that RTD and Moffat have been making it more explicit.

    But, as you say, it will be interesting if we’re going to see a Doctor having to face up to past sins. Is this going to be SM trying to do his version of Trial of a Time Lord?

    Now, that is ambitious.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Next week Dr Who faces the return of his greatest enemy…



    ‘the Doctor is basically a bad person’ idea that M0ffat seems to have been pushing;

    Sorry – have no clue what the basis for this assertion is.

    The idea that Moffat has explicitly stated is that the bad people don’t know they are bad, but I don’t see the opposite as a corollary – the Doctor is always wracked with doubt, even if he would die rather than let it show. When alone he can become dangerously impulsive (as Amy and River both pointed out), which is why he seeks companionship.

    Where does the notion that Moffat sees the Doctor as bad come from?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    What the hell did Madame Vastra do to the Doctor during that psychic link?

    Serahni @serahni

    I go to bed and wake up only to find someone left the cage door open.

    Now you’ve scared the goat.  You know what the smell of troll does to him.



    @arbutus  I admit it’s a ridiculously fanciful idea, all of Gallifrey exploding from the Clock Tower, but it would bring back that Gallifrey vs. Earth ‘which home gets to live!’ quandary.  (Okay, it’s probably not going to happen but it would look cool if it did.)

    As for the Doctor being a ‘bad’ person, I think he’s always existed in shades of grey for no other reason than you cannot live the life he leads and remain perpetually in the light.  A human’s definition of right and wrong tends to be, aside from some abstract realisation that life will still be around after we’re gone, quite quantum-locked within our own lifetime.  Most of us have a decent moral centre but there’s also some scope to argue that there are things we don’t do, not because we suffer tremendous moral guilt if we do, but because we risk getting into trouble. (Speeding, stealing, scrumping…)  Not all of us but at least some of us, especially the younger we are.  How controlled are our children, after all, by the notion of punitive consequence?  Until the get over their egocentricity and develop true empathy in any case.  Humans, traditionally at least, are very bad at making decisions based on something that might be catastrophic in a thousand years time.  see: climate debate

    Imagine, however, if we had the Doctor’s awareness of the implications of our actions.  Not just conjecture but actual hard fact.  Imagine if we could visit the result of our choices.

    For the Doctor, he’s got a bloody long time to live and a very large estate to take care of, with a lot of stakeholders and potential threats.  On a cosmic scale, who knows how many times he’s been faced with impossible decisions, like the proverbial ‘which child would you save from the cliff?’ scenario?  It is impossible to be the good guy to all the people, all the time.  With even the best intentions, it is a huge responsibility to accept control over situations where the outcome cannot be 100% survival of the deserving.  This is a man who surrendered, at first, his entire civilization for ‘the greater good’.  That may seem like the ultimate, but how many times, on much smaller scales, has the Doctor been left listening to the cheers of a grateful crowd, only too aware that some voices are missing?

    Indeed, his choice of face and the fact that he seems to be aware of some significance behind it might point to just this kind of mental anguish.  Pompeii was a classic example of him having to look at the larger scale, accept responsibility for the lesser of the two evils, and then stand there and watch people burn.  To the people of Pompeii, he was not a hero, and I would wager the Doctor is likely to carry around the faces and names of the people he couldn’t help with far more clarity than those he does.

    So good or bad?  It really depends where you’re standing.

    Anonymous @

    @tardis.Pilot  I am coming to the defence of @craig -not that he needs this from me!  But I really think you haven’t paid enough  attention to the story. To state ‘& it’s you that’s not been paying attention’ regarding the 13 regens, implies you did not watch not did you understand the Christmas Special where it explicitly stated that the Time Lords gave him many more: effectively he is now Number 1 -which could explain why he’s experiencing something akin to dementia.

    Perhaps an important point is to clarify just what might happen to a Time Lord who continues past the 13 lives ‘rule’?

    In this forum people think before they type: it’s not a stream of consciousness thing. It requires puzzling out the inferences and suggestions. At no point does Moffat expect us to be babied. He adores setting up plots, red herrings and demands that we question versions of the Doctor, his identity and his changing companions. He expects that we watch and re-watch; as something always changes with a fresh look.

    You seemed to just throw out a list of things you hated without explicitly stating an argument for why. As for @smeglennon his understanding also appeared limited; a very shoot from the hip response immediately after viewing the episode. Three days later and I’m still cogitating and I know that some 12 and 15 year olds are doing the same thing.

    Doctor Who TV has always been a complicated thing and it certainly suffers the most criticism which I think is fair -it should. But getting offensive for the fun of it just gets tedious!

    Kindest, purofilion

    Anonymous @

    @tardis-pilot I think that message should reach you!

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    I’ve had to wait absolutely ages (well, two days but it felt a lot longer) to watch Deep Breath.
    Finally had a chance to watch it though, and then immediately came to read everybody’s posts on the Doctor Who Forum (obviously). I forgot what a friendly, interesting and really rather clever corner of the internet this is!
    I’m a big Ben Wheatley fan, and love Peter Capaldi (who doesn’t?) and Jenna Coleman was the best I’ve seen her. I also liked the script, and adored watching Capaldi doing such a hilarious job of disliking his own face. (There are a few scenes in Being John Malkovich that I love for very similar reasons).

    However, on first viewing, I have to say I found myself appreciating the episode rather than enjoying it, if that makes sense. And there wasn’t any good reason for this. Nothing was wrong in particular. I just wasn’t feeling it, and I couldn’t work out why… until the phonecall. I hadn’t seen any spoilers, so Matt Smith was a complete bolt out of the blue. And I’m not too proud to admit that I got dust in both eyes simultaneously.
    The truth is, much as I can’t wait to find out who the new doctor turns out to be, I’ll also miss the last one. The friendly, smiley one. “I wear a fez now” and “Geronimo” and “Who’s for Twister” and “Do we tend to say yowza”. I absolutely loved all that. It was fun.
    I’m not complaining. I think I’m just a kneejerk “Change Is Bad” sort of person. Didn’t watch Nu Who for years because it had CGI and a pop star (Billie Piper) and it just seemed all wrong. (Later saw the error of my ways and bought box sets…) The consensus seems to be that the phonecall was aimed at small children. I’d say it was probably aimed at small children and change-averse 34-yr-olds who should know better 🙂
    I’m surprised that so many people think Clara’s response to Twelve was out of character. I didn’t see it that way, and thought it was consistent with the “He’s a-comin’” dialogue in the Xmas special when Eleven was ready to regenerate. And when Clara first saw him, all fresh-faced, didn’t she say something like “You’re you again”? – Not “you’re young again”, but “you’re YOU again”. She didn’t even feel that the old him had been the real him. I thought that scene showed that Clara was going to find it difficult to adjust to his new face (and body, and personality… and kidneys.)
    I agree that the “Trigger’s Broom” metaphor was a highlight – well-scripted and brilliantly acted. I remember a similar speech in the Doctor’s Wife, made to the couple that House kept repairing with bits of Timelords. Something along the lines of “You’ve been patched up so many times I’d be surprised if there’s anything left of the real you”. I wondered whether this, too, was about the Doctor as much as the patched-up people… I also think it’s a big part of being human, but that’s more of an undergraduate essay than a forum post 🙂

    Looking forward to watching the new series, following the bonkers theories, and possibly even coming up with one or two of my own!



    Anonymous @

    Just watched “Deep Breath” again and I have a question….the Control node droid…is he wearing the face of Jackson Lake from Tennants Xmas Special “The Next Doctor” ?

    Anonymous @

    @scaryb good to hear you! Agree with you totally about the difference in the Doctor’s tone -settled and baritone by the end of DB.

    @chickenelly great spot on the offering of whiskey to the mandroid (like GitF)

    @zeitgeist I would think Matt’s Doc was quite an intellectual – in his reading of the physics polemic; philosophical discussions with Vincent; discussions surrounding the Weeping Angels and the mediation between Amy and the Silurians.

    ScaryB I can see that along with @arbutus and @bluesqueakpip that it wasn’t this immediate ‘mad running; blow shit up’ type episode but an introverted analysis of relationships and identity.

    Like Waiting for Godot, where time is based on chance, in DB chance is based on time. Though not so arbitrary, this episode has that self-critical quality of a post-modern script. The Cap-Doc’s internal monologue (reminding me of Hamlet at one point) & then  his dialogue with the tramp/viewer/the semi-chorus in a opera buffa also gave me a sense of him as the thief (‘borrowing’ the coat) from the Gospels during Christ’s crucifixion.

    The Cap-Doc entreats Clara to accept him but to understand he must re-dress his past mistakes; be ‘forgiven’ and thus visit purgatory (‘We are going into Darkness’). Then, there’s a version of atonement -perhaps as a way of accepting the new regenerations which are going to be ‘heavy’ -I think I mentioned before the price a TL pays to renew himself. Then there’s ‘paradise’ which doesn’t quite send me into the ‘land serene’  but creeps me out 🙂

    Godot made me think of how humans  (seemingly) “distract themselves incessantly with absurd and petty topics”. Number 10 loved the simple life of us: “chops and tele; chips and fish” (Planet of the Dead) and the Cap-doc’s annoyance with “Pudding Brained” peoples is that dual essence of the Doctor.  At the end of DB, his dual nature was approachable again, balanced out from his POV above London; the fiercesome love he projected for us  -warts ‘n’ all.

    @serahni yes I love the proverbial moral discussion that inevitably pops out of the closet when we study the Dr’s past choices and “the acceptance of the lesser of two evils”. I loved your: ” being …only too aware that some [voices] are missing” when the decision is final. And yet so much of the Doctor is infinite and vivid. When there’s finality, there’s almost always a negative consequence.

    Kindest, puro and trolls be damned…at least we think!

    Anonymous @

    apologies that’s @zeitgeist !

    also, @bluesqueakpip and @okies about the boyfriend and androids – reminds me of River’s referenced boyfriend/date (tBB) who was an android with “swappable heads which kept it fresh”. Could have been a Nestene, though?

    @wolfweed thanks for the incidental music because I’d scoured Ytube with little luck -it is great music although I can see the theme might be ‘slim’, lacking in that width & depth of pitch.

    Anonymous @

    @Recky  I think Jackson Lake was played by David Morrissey from State of Play. I didn’t notice him as ‘the face’ but who knows. Would he get a credits mention? I’d think so, if it’s Morrissey. A better eye than mine is needed. Kindest, puro

    FlirtingDinosaur @flirtingdinosaur


    Fist of all: thanks for the welcoming 😀

    As to your questions:

    Yeah, I think there probably are lots who have just picked it up recently. In my country, which is Switzerland, it’s very little known, at least it was to me until a few months back. I knew there was this thing called Dr. Who but that was it. Of course once I started watching, it totally took over my life, but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about ;D So in a way 9, 10 and 11 are MY Doctor (which is nice, because they are all brilliant in my eyes).

    I agree, The Girl in the Fireplace is a great episode. What I was missing was a reason for it all though. Yes, of course, the ship is somehow connected to the lifeline of Mdm de Pompadour because it is named after her. But why? Where did the clockwork-robots come from? Why did they dedicate the ship to her? What was it all for? Where were they going and who had sent them on their way? Here’s hoping will find out with the 12<sup>th</sup> !

    – s

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @flirtingdinosaur – thanks (if you – or anyone else! – ever want to share how you came across Dr Who, what it was that captured you, whether you dragged your partner into watching or vice versa, etc etc then you can do it over on the Memories of the Doctor thread). But no worries if you don’t want to!

    In terms of GitF you’re not the only one it left a little puzzled.
    Over on the GitF rewatch thread there are similar conversations.

    I think (I’ll be wrong – why am I doing this?!?) that:

    • The ship is called the Madame de Pompadour – that’s what it was christened (like any ship, eg Enterprise, The Mary Queen or Titanic).
    • The ship is massively damaged by something (I think they say a storm) and can’t travel anywhere.
    • The ship tries to repair itself – the droids are the repair droids.
    • The ship needs spare parts to repair the damage and finds that the crew have compatible spare parts in their bodies (eyes, hearts etc).
    • The droids were not programmed not to kill the crew so just do it, as its the simplest way to get the spare parts (which is their primary programming – ‘repair the ship’).
    • [computers have that annoying habit of doing exactly what you tell them to do!]
    • The final spare part that’s needed is to replace the damaged ‘brain’ of the ship – the droids have harvested the crew (probably humanoids) so look for a compatible humanoid brain.
    • The ship is called Madame de Pompadour so it ‘reasons’ that the brain of the humanoid Madame de Pompadour will be compatible.
    • The ship is 37 years old and so needs her brain to be 37.
    • They blast holes through time, opening windows onto her life (in a hit-and-miss attempt to find her at the age of 37). The ‘windows’ are disguised as mirrors, curtains, fireplace etc.
    • They find her at 7 (“not ready”) 20-something etc.
    • They finally find her at 37 (at the party) and commence to cut off her head/remove her brain.

    phew – did any of that make sense!??!?

    And massive apologies if you knew all that – I’m not a great writer and that may come across as condescending – absolutely not intended!!

    What I’ll be interested in is whether the droids started out as clockwork droids (ie it happens to be the technology of this culture in the 51st century) or whether they started out as something other and became clockwork after constantly repairing themselves (one bit here, another cog there until… tick-tock!).

    After writing that I think the latter (especially in light of Deep Breath), and in fact, the original repairers of the ship may have been humanoids who then created simple droids which after a long time of self-repairing turned into clockwork droids.
    However, that’s not explicit within the storyline of GitF (I think the Doctor says that they were only repairing themselves for a year in their time, but the ship is a mess of self-repair so… maybe that’s just what happens when you leave droids with a simple program to ‘repair the ship’!)

    Hope this helps/ hasn’t offended (or confused or bored)!

    geoffers @geoffers

    @serahni – i really like your idea of gallifrey being hidden behind the clock tower! you seem to be thinking it’s on earth, though? the town of christmas is/was on trenzalore, not earth, so there’s no reason that gallifrey coming back to displace it would harm the earth. indeed, i remember some thought that trenzalore was a future (“dead”) gallifrey, back when it first appeared. so how cool would it be if it became the “new” location for gallifrey, in real space, once it’s restored back to the doctor’s prime universe? 🙂

    as for my thoughts on the episode, and the new doctor… i’m so glad this show is back!! i really need this escape from boring old real life stuff. i’m still catching up on the BG episodes, too, but i already love how capaldi is squaring up against the elder docs…

    there is some excellent stuff to ponder, almost too much, already! (thank you, to all the bonkers pudding heads!) some brief notes…

    i like clara much more, now, that she seems to sense that there’s (now, more than ever) a mortal danger to travelling with the doctor. he probably won’t trick her into staying home, ever again! and i like that she decided to stick by him, despite her initial reservation. but i couldn’t have said “no” to eleven, either! (yes, i was surprised, and yes, my eyes betrayed my manliness, appropriately…)

    i love the childishness of the paternoster gang. in small doses! but i love, Love, LOVE jenny!! she is just a bit more than, er, a pretty face, now, somehow… 😉

    i wish every episode could be watched at the cinema! there’s a communal thing that goes on, there, where everyone is reacting in unison (for the most part) to what’s happening, that is such a joy to be a part of (as is lurking about here on this forum). and there was a stunning young version of river at the showing i attended this past evening (and lots of sonics being used, all around), though there weren’t as many cosplayers as there was for TDotD. lots and lots of cool t-shirts, though (note to self)…

    i have watched it in private, too, to be able to rewind and replay (especially for dialogue). there have only been a couple of episodes that i didn’t watch at least twice. i may just be slow to gather it all in, but i think it’s more that there’s so much packed into it than is obvious, in only one viewing. i agree with those here who think it’s more of a character exposition story, than an adventure-centric story. just enough action to keep up the pace, but lots of great dialogue and character insights…

    and, finally, my first guess was that missy is an older (much, much older) tasha lem (or some similar connection to the papal mainframe). for spoilery reasons, i won’t elaborate on how i think this… except to say, i wonder if she had help getting her dalek-y bits removed (if she even did), and if so, maybe there were… complications? the idea that she’s the matrix is very intriguing, too. either way, or whichever other bonkers theory she proves to be, i Loved that snorting laugh at the end!! it was so adorable in its sheer madness. and also, the way she breathed out “paradise” to the half-face mandroid’s “digital ghost.”

    anyway, cheers to everyone! it’s good to be back, and i will attempt to de-lurk more often, as i’m able…


    geoffers @geoffers

    oh, and i’ve been meaning to ask this question for a while, now…

    am i the only one who doesn’t like the windows of the tardis, now?! they look so plastic, and… FAKE! (fake, as in, like a prop, not like real windows would look…) i can’t pinpoint when this started bugging me, but i think it started with promo pics on the bbc site? just before trenzalore (TNotD), maybe? i can deal with the exterior of the tardis being shiny and unscathed (most of the time), but the plastic-y windows bother me. especially those two white-ish ones…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Could I make a request please?

    ANY references to spoilers should stay in the Spoilers forums. That includes ‘I think/don’t think this because of spoilers’. @geoffers, I’m not getting at you specifically; you’re not the only person to do this, just the latest.

    It’s no bloomin’ good not mentioning what the spoiler actually is if you promptly tell us all the theory is due to spoilers/you don’t believe the theory because of spoilers/the spoilers hint at…

    We all know that the first five episodes are already out there – plus quite a few location photos – and it really ruins the game for people when someone plays the trump card of ‘there’s a spoiler that shows something different.’

    Remember peeps: for a lot of us, the fun is in the speculation. Being right is just a pleasant bonus.

    And generally a bit of a surprise. Which I’d like to keep as a surprise. 🙂

    Serahni @serahni

    @geoffers  That’s because I’m a twit and I keep getting my clock towers muddled up.  XD  I’d forgotten about the one on Trenzalore, I was actually meaning what, for argument’s sake, might be called Big Ben.  *lol*  But I like your theory even better!  It actually sounds almost feasible.

    geoffers @geoffers

    @bluesqueakpip – i see your point, and i’m sorry that i transgressed! i really don’t know anything, though. beyond having seen a few official bbc pics (and there was no avoiding a HUGE one before the cinema showing last night), i’ve avoided all the leaked scripts and episodes, as i don’t want to know what’s coming up, either. my main speculation about missy being an older tasha lem is from 2 known things: she was dalek-ised, and she was part of the papal mainframe (whatever that is, exactly), which was (i think) also taken over by the daleks, in the attack on trenzalore. so she might have gone a bit crazy(er)…

    and she’s obviously going to be in at least one future episode, if not many, as the overall big bad (like the great intelligence)…

    but, i’m almost certain i’ll be proven wrong!! i usually am, except on the odd occasion (as when i correctly guessed that the time lords would have to give eleven more regenerations). but, still, i apologize for the slip. i will be more careful in my hypothesizing…


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @geoffers – not a problem. As I said, it wasn’t just you. 😉

    If they did several of Missy’s scenes in that location, she could well be dropped into quite a few episodes. A location shoot for one day, no costume changes – think how many inserts they managed with Mme Kovarian.

    geoffers @geoffers

    @serahni – on the contrary, gallifrey (or just one timelord) popping out from virtually any old clock tower (whether on earth, or elsewhere) is a brilliant idea, one that could be easily realized in our favourite timey-wimey show! it was i who assumed you meant the one on trenzalore, because that’s where the “gallifrey crack” was…

    also, if the watch the doctor traded for the coat now can’t be used as a chameleon arch, as one had been used before, might the doctor try to use an iconic timepiece like big ben as a chameleon arch, instead? (or, again, some other timelord?) i wonder how that would work? i know it would look great on my tv screen!! 🙂

    geoffers @geoffers

    i have just finished watching the end, again, and have one more thought to add about the surprise call from eleven. i didn’t have any problem with it, at all, as some had, and it makes sense (both in-story, for clara, and in a meta way, for younger viewers) that moffat wanted to ease the transition from the young doctor back to an old doctor…

    but, might it also have been throwing clara a bone (hur hur), in that her farewell to eleven was usurped (in part) by amy’s “visitation” at the end of TTotD? she didn’t get the closure she wanted then, as eleven was all wrapped up in his farewell speech. (just re-watched the end, and the falling bow-tie, and her “please don’t change,” are still heartbreaking… then BANG! he’s gone.)

    and after ten’s rather prolonged “farewell tour,” i felt sorry for her, that she was left without a proper goodbye… but that has now been corrected. and i like that, a lot. we rarely get closure in the real world, why deprive us of it in our fantasy world? the impossible girl is being asked, once again, to help her doctor, but at least her last impression of him, now, is that he cared enough to say goodbye…

    could just be sentimental old me, though… 🙂

    Whisht @whisht

    @geoffers – I was one of those who on first viewing thought “oh, did they have to do that?” when Matt reappeared, but since Thommck’s kid and thinking about the younger audience I thought, ‘ah, fair enough’.

    However, call me an old softie, but I think what you’ve just said re: Clara’s closure is rather beautiful!

    When I get around to watching it a third time, I may just get that dust in my eye now!


    Serahni @serahni

    @geoffers  Well, between us we’ve managed to come up with two clock towers that would work.  The more this nuts idea of mine gets air-time, the more I kind of want to see what it would look like.  The clock/clockwork theme is already pretty strong, with the new opening title sequence and now a favoured pocketwatch masquerading as an unimportant barter in the first episode.  (I don’t trust your unimportant stuff anymore, Moffat!)  Then we have Victorian Clara claiming she was ‘born’ behind the clock face, (which again has the feel of something that could still hold significance.)  We’re all hedging our bets that there is still more to this ‘blatantly human’ Clara than meets the eye, so by the magic of explanations that I can’t quite come up with, I deduce that she is of Gallifreyan descent and that she, and possibly a heap more of them, are coming out of Big Ben’s clock tower.

    There, I said it.


    Serahni @serahni

    @geoffers  I thought much the same thing, I think I mentioned it previously, (or could have just dreamed I did.  It’s been that kind of week.)  Those who thought Clara was overshadowed by Amy have had that rectified now, surely, which is poignant and quite sweet.

    Oddly enough, I never understood the concern though.  I admit, in a traditional sense of how regeneration scenes tend to go, Clara might as well not have been there, the Doctor would have happily spoken to himself, I think!  From her point of view, that must have been daunting and, well, scary.  I do wonder if perhaps the Doctor expected her to be better prepared, since the Impossible Girl has seen all his faces and probably knows better than any companion save Susan and Romana what the process is all about.  There is also the point that the Doctor had been without her for a very long time.  What had been a whirlwind of time vortex hitchhiking for Clara was hundreds of years for him, so perhaps you can forgive the old duffer for not being entirely ‘in the moment’ with her.  She must have felt a bit like a piece of the past that kept boomeranging back. (Then again, Impossible Girl…he’s never really got rid of her, has he? :D)

    But really, the reason I never thought he was dismissive of Clara was because, instead of thinking about what I expected as a viewer from a regeneration scene, I tried to look at the story and how it unfolded and I realised that, whilst Clara might not have been central to his goodbye when he was regenerating, she was front and foremost in his mind when he thought he was dying.  This is a man who has since sort of intimated that he kind of fancied himself as her boyfriend.  Yet he sent her away to keep her safe.  Twice.  When there was no time for a third time, he pleaded with her to let him keep her safe one last time and, with feeble arms, gave her a parting hug and said goodbye.  A man notorious for hating goodbyes.

    “I’ll be keeping you safe. One last victory. Allow me that. Give me that. My Impossible Girl. Thank you. And goodbye.”

    So whilst I kind of get why people were a bit miffed at him for being high on vortex energy and too full of his own accomplishments to pay her or her feelings any attention, I always found it quite compelling that he most certainly did not ignore her when he thought his time was up.

    And, of course, now we know he wasn’t ignoring her even when high on vortex energy.  He really did have it bad, didn’t he?

    Whisht @whisht

    btw – really enjoying your bonkerising @serahni ! TL’s (actually anything) exploding from the clock face would be a visual treat!

    and yes, it does seem that clocks are a motif (is that right? or theme? hmm)

    Now, I kinda have a new hat to throw in the ring…

    [takes a not-so-ironic-Deep-Breath]

    Missy is the SS Madame de Pompadour.

    @fivefaces – you kinda mentioned this yourself aways back – I’m not saying its the actual Mdme de Pompadour, but the ship.

    Right, how to explain…

    I re-watched Girl in the Fireplace yesterday and it got me thinking.
    When the Doctor left the ship he powered it down but he didn’t ‘kill’ it.
    It would have been able to construct more ‘repair droids’ and even repair the time windows.
    If it did, it could travel back to 18th Century France and retrieve Mdm de Pompadour’s brain after she died. Heck, if the ship took a few years to repair itself then the brain might even be the right ‘age’ by then!
    With Mdm de Pompadour’s revivified brain at the heart of the ship, it would be a tad… deranged.

    But this is the 51st century. AIs are all over the place it seems, so not too fanciful to have the ship become sentient.

    So, she sends her sister ship (the SS Marie Antoinette) to Earth, looking for her ‘boyfriend’ the Doctor. It sends it back a very long time ago, so to stumble across him at some point.

    When the clockwork droid finally dies* it is ‘downloaded’ to the SS Madame de Pompadour.

    Its obvious!


    * btw its actually quite a querolous voice that asks the Doctor “How would you kill me?” almost as if it realises that that’s the only way to get to the Promised Land – perhaps to complete its mission?

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @geoffers and @serahni

    I like your thoughts on Clara. See also my earlier post re her having seen all his pre 11 faces, but not post 11.

    It also strikes me that for once (second?)  the situation is reversed (I think I mentioned this in the Time of the Dr thread) – the Doctor is the one who has aged, his companions and friends haven’t.

    Love the echoes of ageing in real life – eg you don’t see someone for a long time and when you do they can seem like a different person. An elderly relative can turn into a seeming alien if they have Alzheimers/dementia – manic mood swings, memory loss, jumping into the Thames while inappropriately dressed. How do you deal with that, especially if it is someone to whom you were close?  How do you “see” beyond the changes to find the person you once knew who is still there – possibly very frightened at the changes they recognise are happening to them, but don’t understand – behind the eyes.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Poor Clara & Smith Doctor. It’s like Hugh Grant turning into Joanna Lumley…

    The wedding’s off.


    I just want to add to the ‘Missy is the Master’ campaign with a reminder that the Master usually had an obvious pseudonym.  More often than not it was  ‘Master’ in a foreign language, or a weird anagram of Master.

    Beware of any future character called ‘Stream’…

    Of course, Missy would not actually be a pseudonym but a (funny &  informal) female version of Master.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces


    Beware of any future character called ‘Stream’

    Maybe the Twostreams facility from The Girl Who Waited (which seems to have some kind of link to Missy) = Two Masters?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    It started with a phone call. It ended with a phone call…


    I hadn’t thought of that, @fivefaces


    And here’s the obligatory River conspiracy. Remember, the episode featured the Thames…


    geoffers @geoffers

    @serahni – holy crap! your clara theory fits, especially if we consider that she‘s been chameleon arched, to protect her identity (by her mother and/or father)! perhaps someone else has thought of that, too, i don’t remember? but, gallifrey coming back through the clock tower on trenzalore, or clara learning of her timelord heritage via big ben… i would love to see either of (or both!) those ideas be true!

    and you raise a good point about eleven’s earlier farewell. i had forgotten about that. but, i remember thinking at the time, that a possible reason he left her there (other than for her safety), was because he hoped she could work some magic of her own on the timelords. we can only guess what the doctor may know about his own possible futures, but he may have (somehow) “remembered” he would have at least one more incarnation (from the events of TDotD, “no sir, all 13!”), just as he sort of “remembered” saving gallifrey. even if he didn’t specifically know that she would be able to sweet talk the timelords into a full set of regenerations, i still think he hoped for some kind of intervention that would give him at least that one more life…

    but i look at it more from her point of view, too. the old man on trenzalore, whom she doesn’t really know anymore as her doctor, has said goodbye, and is going out to die, without her, but then she saves him (yet again). without her, he would have truly died. but at the bitter end, she couldn’t save him for herself, the wayshe wants him to remain. he “immediately” turns into someone she doesn’t recognize, or connect with. and that’s the confusion and angst that carried over into the new episode, that has now been nullified by the call. he knew she needed that extra attention, from that face, even if he doesn’t realize her full role in the events that gave him his extra time… if any of that makes sense? lol, i’m sure i’m over-analyzing everything little thing!

    “He really did have it bad, didn’t he?” – this, assuredly, no matter how we psychoanalyze it! 🙂

    @whisht – i find that a good cleaning of the dust from my eyes makes my contact lenses work better! 😉

    your theory sounds pretty solid. i’ll have to try to rewatch TGitF before next week’s ep, to catch up on these rubbish droids and the ss madame de pompadour. but, one of my questions (with no answer, yet) concerning half-face man is whether he’s a “digital ghost” in heaven, or the real physical thing, transported there by __________? for the moment, i’m guessing “digital ghost,” in a heaven akin to CAL, from the library de silence…

    @scaryb – to which earlier post are you referring? there’s A LOT to go through! 🙂

    as for your other comments, that’s a heartbreaking of a different kind. 🙁  no elderly relative troubles, yet (thankfully), but earlier this year, in fact, i re-connected with an old friend from high school, whom i had not seen or spoken to in over 10 years. we had a good talk, and a good meal, but the friend i remembered had been “replaced” with someone sort of familiar, but vastly different. i know he’s “in there” still, but there are so many more layers on top of him, now, that i wonder how do we move forward (or do we, at all)? and to complicate it further, he just moved out west this week, so now we can only interact via facebook. (UGH!) there are many echoes of my real life, throughout the run of dr who. perhaps that’s one reason i lean so heavily upon it, now, to try to help me make a bit more sense of it all, and myself?






    wolfweed @wolfweed

    As far as I’m aware, there’s never been an official multi-Master story, has there?

    I’d also like to see ‘The 12 Ranis’…

    thommck @thommck

    Wow, that took a while to catch up on messages since my last post!

    First of all, thanks to @pedant for helping me understand why Clara found the Doctor’s new look so hard to take

    Clara isn’t a Claricle, she is Clara

    Secondly, I half re-watched the episode again while reading through the email alerts from this forum and I made sure I listened really carefully to the new theme tune. I have to say I absolutely love it! Less ooh-weee-ooooooooh and more wah-wee-waaaaaaaah :). It definitely seems more alien and sci-fi (in an 80’s synthesizer kind of way).

    Was Humpty pushed? – I’ve been wondering if the Doctor did push the cyborg from the balloon. The Doctor says only one of them is lying about their basic programming after just telling Half-Face man that he doesn’t murder people. Well, he has, hasn’t he?!? He’s ended the lives of 100s of lifeforms, so surely that is proof that he did the pushing.

    A fair trade – @wolfweed, and others mentioning watch-for-coat trade the Doctor did with the vagabond, do you all think he was talking about a fob-watch? I thought he meant Eleven’s rather snazzy wristwatch. It’s a good swap IMHO because presumably the tramp could sell it and buy a lot more than an old smelly coat. I don’t think it was of any value to 12 and was just another example of him shedding his former skin.

    Missy – I got hit by a bolt of inspiration on her identity, and I’m so glad no one else has stolen my thunder 😉 It’s got to be Clara’s mum, Ellie Oswald<span style=”color: #1f1e38;”> (née</span> Ravenwood<span style=”color: #1f1e38;”>). </span>

    <span style=”color: #000000;”>ELLIE : It doesn’t matter where you are, in the jungle or the desert or on the moon. However lost you may feel, you’ll never really be lost. Not really. Because I will always be here, and I will always come and find you. Every single time. Every single time. (source)</span>

    We were maybe thrown off the scent by Missy’s fascination with the Doctor but she is actually just trying to keep Clara safe.

    I have a feeling that Missy is trapped in “Heaven” and only has some form of psychic communication. She may also have a one way portal she can suck the Doctor’s victims into. However, as Twelve would say, “That is not the question!”. The question is Why is she collecting them. Is she trying to amass an army against the Doctor or is she trying to lessen the Doctor’s sins by helping his victims. I also wonder if she will always wear the same costume or if that depends on who she is saving (if she even is saving people!)

    BTW @chickenelly & others, when she said “Think I’ll keep it” about the Doctor having a Scottish accent, I took that as meaning she will keep his accent. As in, she likes to copy him, not that she gave him the accent in the first place.

    A few little things I noticed…

    Strax throws Clara a newspaper called “The Times”. A very suitable choice. Come to think of it, maybe the Ad in it was actually printed on psychic paper!?

    I spotted another useless connection – The Doctor gives his “Trigger’s Broom” speech, and Trigger was an Only Fools & Horses character played by Roger Lloyd-Pack, who was also the voice of the Cyber-Controller, giving this episode another link to the cybermen 😛

    On the official site, the BBC Fact file points out Clara refers to Marcus Aurelius in her fight with Vastra. Another link to Rome in the show. It turns out he was famed for progressing soldiers into a higher rank based on merit and ability, not class or status as was the done thing in those days.

    @scaryb @arbutus Torchwood is cannon. I saw a show were Moffat says that RTD told him how Capaldi from the Pompei could be linked to Frobisher, and when RTD heard Capaldi gotthe job as Twelve then they both talked about how it still worked. So there is definitely a theorised connection (whether or not it ever is shown on screen). AFAIA the Doctor wasn’t aware of Frobisher but I’m not sure if that is important

    The Doctor says he doesn’t know where his faces come from but does anybody else? The Sisters of Karn perhaps?

    Missy is short for Melissa, and there have been several characters of that name in the show. The only one that really stands out for me is Melissa Heart for her involvement with Clockwork Droids but that is only a DW book, not a cannon episode.

    @craig Do you think it would be a good idea to have a separate Missy topic/blog or should we keep it in the relevant episodes thread?

    FlirtingDinosaur @flirtingdinosaur

    @thommck I like your idea of Missy as Claras mother. So far we know little about her family apart from the leaf and that her mum died (if I’m wrong, feel free to correct). But she is a very important character to Clara herself, she keeps babbling on about things her mother said. so it be fun to see Claras past become more clear/important

    Was Humpty pushed?
    I like to think he was, even if the situation had quieted down before the fall it seems rather agressive to imagine the doctor pushing him after they stopped wrestling by the door. Still we all know the doctor lies! and he’s capable of killing, especially if it comes to saving the humans.

    thommck @thommck

    Thanks @flirtingdinosaur, don’t forget all Clara’s talk of her mum’s soufflés!

    The soufflé wasn’t the soufflé itself, but rather the recipe

    It’s Trigger’s Broom all over again!

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by  thommck. Reason: formatting
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    In mythology, Melissa seems to relate to Diana/Artemis (Queen of the Hunt), whilst Melitta relates to ‘Hive’.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    The site that never sleeps!   🙂   I love watching how this site makes its way across the time zones. If I log on before bed, there are all kinds of great conversations going on with our Pacific area members, and when I wake up in the morning, the UK members have been busy speculating for hours!

    @serahni    I really enjoyed your assessment of the Doctor’s moral character, excellently stated. And this:

    Whilst Clara might not have been central to his goodbye when he was regenerating, she was front and foremost in his mind when he thought he was dying.

    It’s a point I hadn’t thought of, but then, until reading it here, I never realized that some people felt that Clara was shortchanged when Eleven regenerated. It all seemed very lovely to me at the time, but it is a point that his final goodbye was to a dream of Amy, rather than to his current companion. But by this time, he knew he was coming back. And he knew he had made that call.

    @idiotsavon      The friendly, smiley one. “I wear a fez now” and “Geronimo” and “Who’s for Twister” and “Do we tend to say yowza”. I absolutely loved all that. It was fun.   Bless you, it was. I really enjoyed Matt Smith. When he regenerated, I was sad. But we were already into his era when I picked up the new show, and I realize that I haven’t had this long to get over a regeneration since the break between Six and Seven way back in the day. So I guess I have had all these months to “move on” in my mind.

    I’m pretty sure that Clara said, “you’re young again”, in the more northern version of her accent. (British members can tell us if they don’t agree with that, though!) However, I think your point still stands. She was begging him not to change, even as it happened. So yes, her adjustment was always going to be difficult.

    @purofilion   I loved your discussion of the “yin yang” of the Doctor’s view of humanity. It reminded me of an audio play where the Eighth Doctor suggested his continual amazement that with all of the human race’s great achievements (and some of his ideas of great achievements were rather amusing), we are at the same time capable of quite startling foolishness.



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