Empress of Mars

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  • #58854
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    Empress of Mars - Doctor Who

    And so we get to the annual Mark Gatiss episode. Is it a “Robot of Sherwood”? (sorry, couldn’t help myself)

    Directed by Wayne Yip, who directed last week’s episode, this finds Victorians on Mars, the home of the Ice Warriors. The Doctor, Bill and Nardole land on Mars, where ‘God save the Queen’ has been scrawled on the surface of the planet. What will they and the Victorians find beneath the Martian surface?

    I think this is better than last week, but it kinda feels a bit like filler, rather than a classic. It still has some great moments to enjoy and, with Victorians on Mars, could lead to some great bonkers theories.

    #58861

    That was fun.

    But why did the Tardis throw a hissy that needed Missy?

    #58862
    Nick @nick

    Apart from Missy’s “are you alright Doctor” nothing conceptual for the longer term particularly stood out other than as has been pointed out by @pedant

    Bonkerism at work for the rest in a very enjoyable way. As often with the purely fun episodes, the concept needed more time and depth to properly deliver its conclusion on the premise.

    #58863
    Nick @nick

    One initial thought is that the Tardis choosing to disappear itself and Missy’s Are you alright Doctor query link back last week ? I would be more explicit, but some of us were bonkerising on the spoiler thread last week so I havent been too explicit discussing that theory here.

    #58865
    wolfweed @wolfweed
    #58866
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    And the aftershow. Warning, may contain spoilers. I haven’t watched it yet.

    #58867
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    First thoughts:

    Starts off very much like ‘The First Men in the Moon’…

    men moon

    Man Friday is from ‘Robinson Crusoe’…

    Bill’s ‘eye gaff’ – Awkward!

    Sweet FA! (‘Sweet Fanny Adams – That’s what!’)

    I’ve never heard the phrase ‘A share of the rhino’ before…

    The human deaths by sonic disrupter were fun & nasty.

    纸老虎/紙老虎…

    ‘Sleep no more’ (my warriors)…

    The irony of ‘Sod this for a game of soldiers’…

    An age of honour where a man’s pledge is actually worth something…

    Funny to think that a being which looks like a big green Theresa May is now an asylum seeker…….

    #58868
    soundworld @soundworld

    Top memorable line for me: ‘Thats my problem – I always think like a soldier…’

    #58870
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>@soundworld – ‘warrior’ wasn’t it? But mine too.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>@pedant @nick – the tardis said she ‘always takes you where you need to go’.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Why did the Tardis need to take Nardole away? When he is clearly not as good as his former boss at driving it? So he had to fetch Missy?</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I wonder, is there a River ex machina? Is that why Clara could still see her when the Doctor was unconscious?</p>

    #58877
    ScaryB @scaryb

    I enjoyed that much more than I was expecting to, a fun one, and well realised I thought. I liked it. Lots of little digs at colonialism (eg Empress of Mars v Victoria’s title of Empress of India, Bill’s LOOK on hearing the ice warrior called Man Friday and realising he was in such a subserviant position (much like the dalek in V for Victory (also by Gatiss)) was brilliant).  I liked Catchlove’s (played by Ben Kingsley’s son) portrayal of the arrogant cad who’s ultimately a bigger coward than Godsacre (who was probably just more honest and ultimately turns out honourable).  And what’s not to love about the return of Alpha Centauri (from Pertwee era) – played by the original actor – Ysanne Churchmanm who’s now 92. I confess to a squeee at the hearing her voice!

    Re what was up with the TARDIS – I assumed the HADS kicked in (last time it did that, I think, was in Cold War (also an Ice Warrior story by Gatiss)). Nardole is nowhere near the controls. Unless it’s Missy with her hands on a remote control. (Out of story it was apparently because the story was written before Gatiss knew Nardole was going to be in it so he had to find a way of getting away from the others!).

    But what is it with Missy’s repeated concern for the Doctor’s health at the end? That was a very pointed “Are you all right?”. Does she know something we don’t? Was there more to that blindness incident than we know? And is she just going to go sweetly back in the box? Can’t wait to find out, but, but… there’s only 3 more Capaldi ones (and presumably the Xmas one) to go 🙁  🙁  🙁

    @miapatrick A dues ex River – I like it! (I wouldn’t rule it out)

    #58879
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @scaryb  @jimthefish  Gatiss wanted Peladon but I can’t say why he didn’t get it…..

    My bonkers theory is that the Doctor is pregnant with Missy’s baby…

    preggers

     

    #58880
    ScaryB @scaryb

    @wolfweed

    Funny to think that a being which looks like a big green Theresa May is now an asylum seeker

    and

    My bonkers theory is that the Doctor is pregnant with Missy’s baby…

    Now I’ve got wine spluttered all over my screen! 😯  🙂

    On the last one – there’s definitely that sort of a look in the photo. (Love the steampunky look of the Doctor’s special gear this season – the diver’s kit in Thin Ice and tonight’s spacesuit’s breathing pack in particular)

    #58882
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @scaryb

    It’s a wonder that the people of Earth didn’t turn Friday into shoes & handbags when he crashed. The power of the promise of riches untold!

    The spacesuits this episode are like a combo of the spacesuits from The Wheel in Space (adapted from those seen in The Tenth Planet) and the uniforms from Enemy of the World…

    twis

    eotw

    #58885
    MissRori @missrori

    @scaryb Good point about the TARDIS also slipping away in the other Ice Warriors story Gatiss penned.  The TARDIS always takes…or leaves…its occupants where they need to be.  (hmmm)

    True, Missy might have something to do with it — after all, it’s been established that she can sense the Doctor’s condition, so what’s to say she can’t influence his TARDIS too?  But perhaps the all-knowing TARDIS knows that the situation from the Vault cannot stand.  Missy can’t be locked up forever, and the Doctor will have to deal with her sooner or later.  Maybe ol’ Sexy wants it to be sooner…or knows that it must be…

    As for the Doctor at the end, to me he looks scared and wondering at once.  She’s supposed to stay in the Vault, but she did help out today, didn’t ask for any payment or anything.  Perhaps he’s wondering, maybe she can be good — or at least behave?  Maybe he and she can truly be friends again, and he wouldn’t be quite so alone in eternity?  Maybe he has found a way to redeem the worst of the worst?  That would be a lot to swallow all at once, such possibilities.

    Anyhoo, I liked this episode.  It could have easily tipped into broad comedy and there was some interesting satire on the Great White Explorer and Empire concept, but it mostly played things straight.  The production values were strong and the acting was very fine as always.  Although I think, of Gatiss’ 12th Doctor scripts, “Robot of Sherwood” is a bit more fun and enjoyable, this one probably works the best as a standard-issue Who story.  And that’s not a bad thing.  Loved the vintage Who shout-outs!

    #58888
    winston @winston

    I liked it! The Victorian soldiers on Mars was a fun idea and of course Ice Warriors had to be there too. The idea of these staunch British soldiers getting into a spaceship and flying off to Mars for riches and to claim it for the British empire and Queen Victoria was so outrageous it was good.Liked the portrait of Victoria. Anyway these soldiers stranded on another planet set up their tents and pull out the china and tea…very British. Why did the Tardis leave? She just does what she wants these days. Naughty Tardis.

    At the end when the Doctor sees Missy he aproaches her as one would a wild animal and he looks like you would if you just reallized you had left the cage open and the bear is in the room with you.  Move slowly and nobody make any sudden moves and startle the beast.

    I suspect Missy knows more about the Doctors health than we do but even when she is concerned for him I still don’t trust her.

    So it was a good episode by Gatiss but then I enjoy all his episodes. This one was a fast ,fun and a little silly like the Doctor should be now and then.

    #58891
    ScaryB @scaryb

    @wolfweed‘s comment on costumes – interesting – back to the Tenth Planet again.

    @missrori Very true about Missy, but I’m with @winston – I still don’t trust her! (“Realising you’ve left the cage door open…” I like it!).  And I do like a dialed down a bit Missy (at least for now). There’s amazing chemistry between Gomez and Capaldi). The callback to the Troughton adventure Tomb of the Cybermen when the Ice Warriors start to wake up and burst out of their cells was great.

    Last thoughts for now – eyes seem to be a recurring theme in the series – the Doctor losing his sight, people being metaphorically  blind to the Monk’s fake world,  the awkward moment for Bill when she’s telling the Doctor about Terminator and big Arnie’s lost eye and then realises that the Ice Warrior has also lost an eye; one of the soldiers says “an eye for an eye”… not sure if this is building to anything, but keeping an, er, eye on it! (Anyone else spot any eye/vision references in any of the other episodes?)

    #58894
    winston @winston

    @scaryb  There was the girl with the star in her eye in The Pilot. Eye like your theory and will look for more eye references.

    #58896
    MissRori @missrori

    @scaryb  Yep, I don’t trust her either.  I think that’s why the Doctor’s so distressed.  He wants to redeem his friend, she’s showing signs that it’s possible — but is it really possible?  What is he to do?  Is it all just another sign of The End for this particular incarnation?  Indeed, does she know that his body is wearing a bit thin?

    #58900
    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    A fun romp with some serious themes also in play. Hammer horror meets Zulu. And a good change of pace from the Monks (sort of) Trilogy. If we’d not known the writer, I think we’d have all picked Mark Gatiss.

    Greatly enjoyed what I take was a visual reference to Tomb of the Cyberman.

    Related image

    Bill’s right. Everybody loves The Thing.

    I’m with @scaryb, @missrori and @winston on Missy. It’s surely a question of time and not if she reverts to type.

    A great pity the Queen Victoria portrait showed Pauline Collins; a portrait of Clara as Queen Victoria would have have been a wonderful stimulus to bonkerising….

    Image result for jenna coleman as queen victoria

     

    #58901
    optimall @optimall

    I think that the Doctor really was shot last week, and he is hiding from bill that he is in mid regeneration.

    This regeneration is meant to be different from any other before. Being killed by your companion is different, that’s for sure.

    Missy can feel it, hence the worry.

    #58904
    thane15 @thane15

    @pedant @scaryb @wolfweed @winston

    I thought that Missy would’ve hijacked it. No clue how, considering she’s not in a vault but in a bluey/fence …

    Still, the “are you OK?” is interesting…..Does Missy care?

    All these references to scary movies: “everyone dies” makes me wonder what the next two eps will bring in light of that…..

    @optimall Welcome! And wow, what a bonkers theory that is! Bringin’ it!

    I was interested in the Doctor’s statement about 15 mins in saying “this could go verrry well or verrry berdly” (“badly”) and it SO reminded me of Tom Baker’s voice. And this isn’t the first time. Perhaps PC is still fiddling about with pronunciations? -odd, I’d say.

    Puro

    #58905
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Martian lives matter…….

    martians

    #58906
    Nick @nick

    @scaryb @thane15 @winston

    re the Tardis/Nardole

    If they had just wanted to get rid of Nardole from the story, he could have been left at home to guard the vault as in Smile. Don’t you have to conclude that the Tardis took Nardole and then refused to work, so that he had to bring Missy with him, to get back to Mars ?

    Whilst it could be a red herring I think “are you alright Doctor ?” ties back to last weeks fake regeneration. It may well be as @optimall suggests or something else (plenty of discussion on last weeks episode thread and elsewhere)

    #58909
    MissRori @missrori

    The TARDIS is a wise old girl…perhaps she — and the Doctor — know there is a course to be completed, things that must be done before he “sleeps”.  Things he dreads but cannot deny…(hmmm)

    #58910
    janetteB @janetteb

    That was jolly good fun. Really enjoyed it. Good characterisation, excellent sillyness and a bit clever too. A little sniff of mystery at the end. What is wrong with the Doctor? Gatiss was definitely playing to his strengths as a writer and having fun, which shows that let a writer do what they enjoy and the audience (reader) will most likely enjoy it too.

    I really hope Gatiss does continue to write for Dr Who. Though not all his stories work well his love for the series always shines through and never did it shine brighter than when we heard that iconic voice of Alpha Centauri one of Doctor Who’s most unique aliens and one of my favourites when I was young for that reason.

    Now to read comments,, looks somewhat less formidable a task this week but perhaps only because it is early yet.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #58911
    janetteB @janetteb

    Like @optimall (hi welcome good start) I wondered if the Doctor has already begun regenerating but at this stage it is only visible to Missy. A prolonged regen” would certainly fit the “something different” description. If so however I would suspect it was triggered before Bill shot him and the fact that his regen’ was in progress enabled him to heal without requiring a full regeneration. This would mean that something has happened which we don’t yet know about but will be revealed in the end. Moffat does like non-lineal stories.

    A return to Paledon would have been lovely. @wolfweed you have us guessing now with that comment.

    cheers

    Janette

     

    #58912
    MissRori @missrori

    @janetteb It would be interesting indeed — a sort of Time Lord terminal illness, perhaps.  A lingering effect of the confession dial ordeal?  (Sniff)

    #58914
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    re: Missy’s concern- could it be her version of ten with Harriot Jones? ‘Don’t you think she look’s tried’?
    If she could convince Nardole and Bill there was something wrong with the Doctor, that could create havoc.

    #58916
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    This is from the Radio Times:

    If you were impressed by the brilliant naming of dastardly villain Neville Catchlove (Ferdinand Kingsley) in this week’s episode, then you have history to thank – because Mark Gatiss recently revealed that the character was named after a real soldier who cropped up in a book he read for research.

    “I did a lot of reading again as I always love to do around the notion of the Empire and colonies,” Gatiss told RadioTimes.com and other journalists.

    “There’s a really wonderful book I read called Running the Show, which is where I got Catchlove’s name from. It’s all about the men, and they were only men, who ran the Empire.”

    Specifically, we’re pretty sure that he’s referring to a soldier mentioned in Stephanie Williams’s history book called Edward Napolean Buonaparte Catchlove who was actually alive (though older and in a very different situation than the TV Catchlove) at the time Empress of Mars is set.

    We understand why Gatiss went for Neville for his version, though – even for Doctor Who, the real Catchlove’s name might be a little extreme…

    #58917
    Kharis @kharis

    Haven’t read the other posts yet, but will get to that tonight.  That was a great episode!  And of all things, Gatiss wrote it!  Love Gatiss for Sherlock, but his last few episodes of Who, well, I’m not the eloquent writer in this group, so basically forgive my rather base assessment of his last few works: they sucked.   So I was completely surprised by this episode.  It was hilarious, exciting, unexpected and very moving, it had everything; it’s classic Doctor Who.  The character development was out of the park, and for only having one hour to make the audience connect to all the characters, all I can say is “DANG Gatiss, you had this in you all along?” and now I’m a fan.  Officially on board with team Gatiss.  This is definitely one of the best episodes of the season, and the first time since ‘The Pilot’ I plan to actually watch it again, which for me means I really and truly enjoyed it.  Absolutely love the main characters in this.  The Doctor, Missy, Bill and Nordole have great chemistry, can;t we have this quartet for at least one more season?

    #58918
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Absolutely loved it! For me, perhaps the best story Gatiss has done on Who. Fabulous call-back to the spirit of BG Who (and HG Wells).

    @wolfweed

    the Doctor is pregnant with Missy’s baby…

    Brilliant!

    Actually, I think you might be able to interpret that last scene in a way that confirms my hope that the Doctor will regenerate (has regenerated?) in the shape of Missy. I do hope so…

    #58920
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi celebrate the return of a very old friend.

    #58922
    Kharis @kharis

    Gatiss wrote ‘Robots of Sherwood’?  I didn’t know that.  Despite popular opinion, I liked that episode.  The rest of his episodes fell pretty flat for me.

    #58925
    lisa @lisa

    – Well I think this 1 was really good.  One of my favorites coming out of Gatiss since the “Unquiet Dead’

    which I have always liked very much.    Loved the Victorian space suits and this Ice Warriors design

    especially the Empress and her ‘hair’.     More referring to the Doctors health again.

    @optimall  yes!!

    Was it Nardole that decided to go get Missy or was it the Tardis?   Since the Doctor doesn’t  need Missy

    to get thru a regeneration  then what’s the deal?

     

     

     

    #58927
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @lisa

    what’s the deal?

    I know I am hoping for a “Michelle Gomez as the new Doctor” scenario, but:

    Could it be possible that the Doctor has already (partially) regenerated, and…somehow…they split in two and the newly contrite Missy is really the new Doctor in embryo, as it were? That might explain why the Tardis zipped off to get Missy. Or at least put Nardole in a situation where he had to bring Missy back to Mars. (That is, to save the Doctor before the regeneration is complete.)

    Hmm, well, still thinking this one through.

    #58929
    RorySmith @rorysmith

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Excellent episode! I love the ideas you all keep coming up with. The Doctor is dying of an illness or wound. The Tardis went to get Missy.  Alpha Centairi returns. Lots of serious crazy stuff at once. I have rewatched Jon Simms episodes trying to get an idea of what may come. The scene where he dies and refused regeneration while the Doctor holds him crying. That was the scene that won me on David’s acting. I hope Missy remembers this. I am actually tired of the Master being evil and it would be a fresh idea. Michelle becoming the Doctor? Wow. I expect the return of the Paternasta gang too. I read somewhere that there may be another Paul McGann camio and almost confirmed Tennant one.</p>

    #58930
    RorySmith @rorysmith

    Another thought before I go. The Tardis never refuses the Master. He stole it in Utopia and I think many times in classic Who. The Tardis is connected to all of time and space so she knows the Master has an important role to play.

    #58932
    Arbutus @arbutus

    I enjoyed this. We’re now right back to the feeling that we were getting pre the Monk trilogy, that lovely old-school-Who feel. Partly due to the presence of the Ice Warriors, but also the straightforward, simple, but emotive characterizations of the supporting characters— our “cowardly” leader who redeemed himself, our blustering, militaristic second-in-command who you knew was going to create problems, and who proved to be even less admirable in the end.

    Wondering of course about the ending, and what Missy sees that we don’t. I’m also wondering whether she did in fact demand something of Nardole in return for her help, and if so, what that might have been. Has Nardole been compromised? My guess is that if/when Missy “reverts to type”, there will be tragedy involved, possibly as much for her as for the Doctor. I don’t think it will be straightforward.

    I’m picking up a theme of alliances, standing together, the bundle of sticks being stronger than single sticks. I wonder if that foretells anything for the coming events?

    #58937
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Not a bad episode at all and possibly Gatiss’s best, certainly his best since The Unquiet Dead. I agree with @arbutus et al that it very much had a BG feel — you can get much more BG than a tunnel-based romp with lumbering monsters and a factional dispute. Even the set design for much of the stories this year seems to be deliberately retro, echoing BG aesthetics rather than more contemporary influences.

    Very light on arc stuff too but then we knew that anyway. Gatiss never seems to be given arc work to do and his episodes are always standalone, somewhat fillery, fare. I never find his stories that satisfying — I think he tends to be bit undisciplined as a writer. He can’t seem to help himself from shoehorning in pop cultural references — movies this time, 80s pop songs the last — and it can sometimes be a little clumsy. I tend to think of him as a pastiche artist, who, lacking the warm-hearted interest in human character of RTD, or the intellectual game-playing of SM, falls back on just throwing all the other works that have influenced and enthused him over the years and hope that some of it sticks. This sometimes works (personally, what I’d really like him to do is more documentaries, he’s an engaging and affable screen presence and his knowledge and enthusiasm for the by-ways of British pop culture makes for great TV) but sometimes it doesn’t, as in his attempted Bondification of the last series of Sherlock.

    But here it largely works and he’s produced the best Ice Warriors story since The Curse of Peladon. As well as the Who touchstones, some nice Wells and British war film references — although I’d suggest that The Man Who Would be King was a stronger influence than Zulu, with the concepts of lost honour, British soldiers being closer to mercenaries than anything else etc.

    Oh, and the Alpha Centauri moment. For Whovians of a certain age, The Curse of Peladon holds a special place in their hearts as it was repeated as a couple of compilations in the early 1980s. For them, this story would have been their first exposure to the 3rd Doctor on screen and I certainly remember being really enthused by seeing it (so much so that after the episode my friend I and would spend the rest of the evening lumbering around and hissing like Ice Warriors).

    If this is Gatiss’s last story then he can rest assured he went out on a high.

    #58938
    lisa @lisa

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Can 1 Time lord steal another Time lords regenerations?  Does Missy have the ability to ‘feel’

    this is  as you say that  the Doctor  is ‘in embryo’ ?  If she is in her last  regeneration but

    knows the Doctor has many going forward it might be her intention to ‘steal’  some of his

    regeneration energy when the time arises?  That could be why she’s pretending to go along with

    the ‘I want to repent”  stuff?   Then she is  there hanging around for when ever this next regeneration

    occurs.    Maybe?    She wants her friend back?   Or – she wants some thing he has and she needs

    for her own survival?   It can also make it seem perhaps like no other regeneration we’ve ever seen?

    @mudlark

    I’m a huge fan of gardening  too!   Weeding and pruning can be a very effective hypertension

    ‘medication’ .   🙂

     

    #58939
    Nick @nick

    @lisa @blenkinsopthebrave

    The Master plotted to steal the Doctor’s remaining regnerations as did the Valeyard in BG Who (it came up in three or four different stories).

    #58940
    lisa @lisa

    @nick

    Yes-  I used to know that before I forgot it  🙁    Thanks Nick

    So maybe here we go again?

    I read in Tardiswiki and interesting little factoid about the 10th Doctor and the 3rd.   Apparently

    the 3rd was drawn into the same time period as the 10th as he was going thru his regeneration.

    In a book called “The Christmas Inversion”   they shared energy thru an ‘osmosis’  process.

    Also,  both the 11th Doctor and River Song shared regeneration energy a few times.

     

     

    #58941
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Possibility A: It’s all (another) nefarious plot by Missy, using the Doctor’s friendship as a weakness to get under his guard.

    Possibility B: Moffat used the events in The End of Time to work in a character change for the Master/Missy. The Master found out that his old friend really didn’t want to kill him, the Doctor found the Master didn’t really want to kill him – and the Master found out that Rassillon was the one really responsible for sending him bonkers. The result is that Missy is now genuinely the Doctor’s old friend – except she’s still a psychopathic mass murderer who treats the universe as her own personal shoot-em-up game.

    I’m fairly convinced that Missy is the Doctor’s friend; far more so than when she was the Master. However, she expresses that friendship in a fairly inimitable style. For example, we know that she sent Clara to the Doctor; Clara saved his life (Missy-the-friend)- but she knew his love for Clara would (nearly) destroy him (plain-old-Missy).

    If we theorise that Missy was responsible for the re-programming of the Disc of Rassillon, then you can see that style in the backdoor provided for the Doctor. There’s an escape route (provided by Missy-the-friend), but the escape is going to take a million years to carry out (plain-old-Missy).

    So she’ll rescue him, if need be – but there’ll always be a sting in the tail.

    #58942
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    I liked this episode, fairly light-weight though it might have been.

    The best line for me: “Don’t belong? We’re British! [indignantly]”

    I wasn’t quite sure why Bill in particular was blank-faced upon being told the Ice Warrior had been dubbed “Friday”. It wasn’t clear whether that was amazement at the colonial assumption of automatic superiority, or just a literary reference that meant nothing to Bill, who was dropping movie references throughout.

    The main question for me is: why did the Tardis behave as it did? Is this the Tardis doing this of its own accord? If so, it’s hard for me to see why it would choose to take Nardole off-world and keep him there, stranding the Doctor and Bill. So perhaps it is Missy’s influence, as several have suggested? Was this somehow a ploy of hers to get Nardole to come to her for help, and allow her to build trust with the Doctor.

    The pointed “Are you all right?”, from Missy at the end seemed to be out of genuine concern. It’s tempting to tie that to a coming regeneration, as he really didn’t seem outwardly excessively troubled at seeing Missy out of the vault.

    #58944
    Nick @nick

    @bluesqueakpip

    I rather buy that description of the Master/Missy and Doctor relationship. In some ways, the relationship has always been one of mutual respect and mutual loathing. You have to ask whether the Master has ever really tried to kill the Doctor. He’s (I really wish we had an appropriate neutral pronoun in English) always us complex plots and stratagems. It’s like a test – get out of that one if you can. My intellect is better than those sort of thing (I’m tempted to say school boyish) with all that gloating. If you want someone dead, you don’t mess around.

    I guess we’re meant to infer the Doctor and Missy have been talking for a very long time in the vault. With nothing else to do, you might expect the Doctor and Missy’s relationship to become warmer (for the duration anyway). What else do they have to talk about except their relationship – whatever it originally was – and the past.

    #58945
    Nick @nick

    @lisa

    Whilst stealing regeneration any might be involvec(or not), I suspect Moff has a rather more complicated idea in play.

    #58947
    Whisht @whisht

    well – I enjoyed this one.
    As with all the episodes this season, it was brilliantly realised in terms of how it looked (steampunk, Victorian soldiers and tea set; Ice Warriors).

    I made no notes during it, so no bonkers theories, didn’t spot any connections (and I’ve tried looking at 1881 and Edgar Burroughs).
    I’m not sure that I actually ‘get’ the Ice Warriors in terms of their motivations; not sure I can anticipate what they’ll do in any situation (but that’s me).

    Initially I’d thought that the Tardis simply left to ‘force’ a situation where the Doctor engaged and solved whatever was to be solved. It was simply Nardole’s decision to invite Missy into the Tardis (I loved the look on his face and agree with people here talking about escaped animals!). But I’m now not so sure after reading comments here (but have no better idea!).

    @wolfweed – that ‘animation’ of the song is fantastic! Great artwork and loved the lo-fi nature of it.
    @miapatrick – ‘don’t you think he looks tired?’ – brilliant idea!
    @bluesqueakpip – agree with your thoughts on Master/Missy (Misster? Massty?). I’d also include her solution to the Monks in saying that ‘the connection’ had to be killed (‘but that’s Bill’ – “Awkward”). It wasn’t the only solution, but it was the solution that would cause maximum distress for the Doctor; ie Missy would ‘win’.
    And I do think that their relationship is simply ‘you’re my best friend’ (and I’ll forgive anything).

    #58950
    Whisht @whisht

    Not sure how much (or often!) I’ve said I like Michelle Gomez’s Missy but I really like Michelle Gomez’s Missy.

    I wonder if her ‘redemption’ (if that’s the right word) will somehow be her helping The Doctor’s regeneration; maybe she nudges it (maybe by forcing Bill to really shoot him this time).
    So doing the ‘right’ thing but in all the wrong ways!

    #58954
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @bluesqueakpip — I wonder if what SM is doing this series is essentially revisiting the Doctor/Master dynamic from Curse of Fatal Death, only this time seriously (or at least with fewer bellylaughs)….

    #58955
    MissRori @missrori

    @bluesqueakpip  @nick I think your readings of the Doctor/Master relationship are thoughtful ones, especially the conceit that Missy truly wants to be the Doctor’s friend but doesn’t know how to do that.

    @whisht The TARDIS does know the two of them well, doesn’t she?  And I think that’s key.

    A while back in the “Oxygen” thread, I was wondering about the TARDIS being unusually well-behaved this year — always getting him back to the Vault in time — but at the same time, she’s wanted the Doctor to forget about his vow and explore again since at least “The Pilot”.   She let him know of Chasm Forge‘s distress, took him and his companions there, and just look what happened!

    I theorized then that the Doctor’s vow, though noble, well-meant, etc. was holding him back from fully being the Doctor, tying him down to a safe, dull life where he can’t learn and grow and become a better man — as he does when he travels.  @ichabod had this to say in response:

    And, to your point about deliberately cocking a snook at whoever set him to guarding the vault (even if it was  himself!), well, he’s a rebel TL when all’s said and done, and none of his losses and resultant wisdom is likely to change that.  He doesn’t take orders — even from himself.  I like your point about “guarding the one thing” that’s over-ridingly important being an experience he had with Clara, and it didn’t end well for him in some major respects (not that he remembers the emotional experience, just the raw details).  Is the Doctor nailed down to one task instead of roaming the universe putting his foot in it still “the Doctor”?

    I think all that still stands.  He saved Missy from the grave and is determined to keep to the vow that keeps her alive and safe — and the universe safe from her!  But as he told her in “Knock Knock”, this has just made them both prisoners.  They’re both safe, but neither of them can truly grow, change, become better people, in this state.  It’s still not clear how much time has really passed since the day he almost slew her, but how much longer can this go on for either of them?  A present spent dwelling on the past, with the future so far away?

    So I think the TARDIS is continuing to push the Doctor to reconsider his vow.  She knows that he lives to liberate people from their chains, he’s been doing that all season.  And he wants to travel again, just be himself, not be limited to this painful task of protection.  He isn’t as consumed by his need to take care of the Vault and Missy as he was by his duty of care to Clara — at least not since he met Bill — hence Nardole needling him about it so often.  But this deeply personal relationship with Missy is still holding him back.   Perhaps that will be key to the finale — his coming to an understanding that he needs to free himself and her from this and let the chips fall where they may.

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