Empress of Mars

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This topic contains 170 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by  Missy 3 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #58958
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Mark Gatiss wanted Winston Churchill to return in this story but couldn’t fit him into it because of the Victorian setting…

    chrchill

    #58959
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Missy’s crib…

    #58960
    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick awesome idea: on the tiredness comment back to (the PM): “my name is Harriet Jones and I–

    The Daleks & everyone else: “Yes, we know who you are.”  😀

    @whisht

    I think their relationship is friends too – @bluesqueakpip, I think you mentioned that as well? The idea of enemy inside the friend: when Clara was the Dalek on Skaro (not during the Amy/Rory era). What was Missy’s plan -did she think “this companionship with Clara is going to bring destruction ?”

    @blenkinsopthebrave I love THIS: so bonkers we need a new word: GOOFBALL and….something better than ‘goofy’.

    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

    I really like the theory that he’s already in the regen ‘cooker’ . It could explain all sorts of weird things like in Smile: “I have an urge to blow things up” or “springing” the ‘shoot me’ scene on Bill.

    Also was there a time several years ago when Who was 13 episodes + one Christmas special?

    Thank you and good night, Thane

     

    #58962
    MissRori @missrori

    @thane15  Yes — until the Twelfth Doctor era began, there were 13 episodes plus a post-finale Christmas special each season.  Ten also had the 2009 specials, and Eleven had a bonus Christmas special (because “The Snowmen” came midway through Series 7) and “The Day of the Doctor”.  Ten and Eleven also had quite a few supplementary shorts for online, DVD, Children in Need, and theatrical release.

    Twelve’s era has been only 12 episodes and a Christmas show each season, plus an extra Christmas special with “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” due to the long gap between Series 9 and 10.  There’s only been 4 bonus shorts — the “Deep Breath” prelude with the Paternoster Gang that’s on the standalone DVD release of the episode, the two prequel shorts to “The Magician’s Apprentice”, and “Friend from the Future”.

    #58965
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @nick, @jimthefish, @missrori

    I wonder if the other thing that has changed in the relationship – apart from Missy’s sense of it – is that the moral dynamic has changed. Pre Gap, the Doctor had a sense of moral superiority over the Master. Yes, fine, he was a thief and a rebel – but he wasn’t a mass murderer.

    Oops. Or as Missy would say, ‘awkward’. Clara may have helped him out of the loop where he perpetually committed genocide, but the implication is that he now has that memory of being willing to kill billions of children. He is Missy’s equal; both mad, both murderers. The only difference between them is that the Doctor found a way to undo his greatest crime – with the help of Clara, who Missy sent to him.

    Which is, incidentally, what was so worrying in Thin Ice. ‘The Doctor’ finds a way to save children, save the innocent. The man who doesn’t can no longer call himself ‘The Doctor’ – this has been a Moffat theme since The Beast Below, where if The Doctor had lobotomised the Star Whale, he’d have had to find himself a new name. ‘The Doctor’ doesn’t kill the innocent. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s one child or a billion; a child was dying in front of him, and he grabbed the easily replaceable sonic screwdriver. Then he makes a big speech about the way society deals with its most unimportant members; the disconnect is huge (and almost certainly deliberate).

    #58966
    soundworld @soundworld

    @whisht

    There was a Time-Lady so delicious,
    Wild and fey, and totally capricious.
    Missy! I’m in love with you…
    Even tho’ you’re you-know-Who…
    And your motives are totally suspicious!

    Is that bad enough to get me banned for life? 😉

    #58967
    Nick @nick

    @bluesqueakpip @missrori @jimthefish @blenkinsopthebrave @thane15

    Absolutely spot on. The failure to save the young child, is the most unusual thing we’ve seen in S10 (I also thought the lack of even an attempt to save the Girl in the puddle was also problematic, although not completely outside the range of possibilities). Things have escalated since, with the regeneration that wasnt (or was it), the Tardis dematerialising on its own and now Missy’s concern.

    The doctor isnt the Doctor right now.

    Why ? I think we’ve got various different variants on the same theory – something to do with the regeneration – on the go. Any alternatives ?

     

    #58968
    MissRori @missrori

    @nick, @bluesqueakpip, etc… Although there’s a good point about how the Doctor’s Time War experiences have helped change the dynamic of the Doctor/Master relationship, and I think the comments about their relationship in general are spot on…well, to be honest, I think the Doctor is still the Doctor.

    I got the sense in “Thin Ice” that he realized he couldn’t pull that poor kid up through the ice, and though the sonic’s replaceable, well, under that kind of pressure you’re trying to get what you can…and how exactly was he supposed to try and save Puddle!Heather?  Yes, the Doctor does save the innocent whenever he can.  But sometimes he just can’t.  Heck, a major theme of Series 9 was that there were times when he’s saved innocents when it would have been better to let them die.  Look at all the trouble saving Ashildr caused him.  Nobody ever spoke up in his defense on that.  And nobody treated him as a hero for trying to save Clara.  He had a chance to save an innocent woman and took it, but…

    No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Doctor in the sense he isn’t the Doctor.   Might he be ill and in a slow regenerative state?  Perhaps.  But I think the heart of things is that he must learn to let go of Missy, and his vow.  His relationship with her is reaching a crisis point; they cannot keep being prisoners.  The problem is he doesn’t know what to do next.  He can’t just let her go in the sense of letting her go free; he knows she’s not trustworthy.  He doesn’t know if she’s sincere, but her behavior is so different than it would usually be, and that’s causing him a lot of distress.  He wants to save her — because she was an innocent once, it was the Time Lords who got in the way to drive her mad after all — but he doesn’t know how, or if he even can.  But the TARDIS knows, perhaps, that it can’t keep being a stalemate.  He’s going to have to make the tough choices soon.

    (Though given Missy’s abilities, and past history with the TARDIS, she could have manipulated things…)

    (Deposits $0.02)

    #58969
    Nick @nick

    @missrori

    What I love most is that we all have different takes. I thought the Doctor was undoctorish in the way that he “saved” Clara. It was cowardly. As the Doctor, he can try everything and anything to save someone, and if he fails, he can suffer, but also know that there was nothing else he could do or would do differently. Clara acted nobly in the Raven. It was true to her character. Having failed to save her from the result her choice, then he death and his mourning is appropriate.

    Acting outside his core principles (which he didn’t do with River, Rose, Amy/Rory or Adric in BG Who) in the way he did is undoctorish. Contrast it with the Time of the Doctor, when D11(13) sacrificed himself to protect Trenzalore and stayed true to his core morality, even though he knew it would be his Death.

    The way the Doctor acted to “save” Clara was selfish and actually more like Missy/Master behaves. I think even Clara knew that, when she wiped herself from his memory.

    Its not that he failed to save the child, but that he didnt even attempt to try and save the little boy that is undoctorish. The Doctor we know from pre-D11 would have been willing to died trying surely ?

    I agree Heather is more probable (but if the puddle can absorb it someone, surely it is possible that the reverse can happen too ?). We have the impulse to destroy the star ship before even checking whether everyone had already died or not in Smile.

    How can he let Missy go ?

    He chose to save her from permanent Death on the basis of her vow to redeem herself and agreed to a 1,000 year period to help her do so. An impossible task ? Probably. Based on the Master’s character wouldn’t he/she do and say anything to avoid real Death ? The Doctor knows this better than anyone. The Doctor also knows that the Master did chose true Death once though.

    Every subsequent death at Missy/Master’s hand would be completely his fault. His guilt. I’d suggest there isn’t any morally acceptable solution if she isn’t redeemed, except to finish the execution that he halted. Admit his mistake, not withstanding how painful it might be. He has placed himself into an almost impossible moral quandary, with a very low probability of success.

    @bluesqueakpip  re your On the Sofa comment. I sympathise. I felt the same all too often in series 5/6/7.

    #58970
    MissRori @missrori

    @nick  Thank you for respecting my perspective.  We’ll just have to agree to disagree…

    I saw the Doctor’s choice to save Missy as the heart of the in extremis concept.  He did it “without hope, without witness, without reward”.  Because he knows he can’t trust her, he can’t put too much hope in her being good, and he knows it’s going to be nothing but trouble for him to watch her.  He doesn’t gain anything from it, doesn’t expect to.  If he let her fry he’d have the satisfaction of knowing there’d be no more deaths at her hands, the satisfaction of revenge even for all the misery she’s caused him.  He came very close to slaying her (or seeming to slay her, of course) back in “Death in Heaven”.

    But he does have a clear chance to save her from the grave at that execution.  And she isn’t a Dalek or a Cyberman, regarded as “less than” in terms of who it is and isn’t acceptable to kill (to talk about mass killings…).  She could be redeemed, so long as there’s breath in her body.  And if there is a chance…even a small, hopeless chance…he can redeem her…then the cruel, cowardly choice would be to never take it and never try.  To give up.

    He will come to this choice again soon enough, I believe.  And if she proves unable to be good?  Well, in the end it is not his fault what she chooses to do, though I would not be surprised if he blames himself, like he did when Clara died.  He had to understand that it was her choice to take the risks she did…And that was part of what made him un-Doctor-y in “Hell Bent” — that he could not respect and accept the choices she made and what they led to, and tried to take away her free will just to ease his unhappy conscience.

    #58971
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @missrori and @nick

    I think that Nick’s put his finger on it when he says that the Doctor didn’t even try. The way it was shot, the kid’s hand was still sticking up from the ice, holding onto the sonic. Normally, what you’d expect with a shot like that is that somebody will grab the hand/wrist then either succeed or fail in pulling the character out. But the Doctor went for the Sonic.

    And they didn’t need the kid to be still holding the Sonic, either. Easy enough to have him drop it on the ice when he gets grabbed by the hungry ice-whale.

    No, the shot was set up to lead us to expect the Doctor to grab the child, but he’s actually going for the Sonic. Then we have the later juxtaposition of a Picard Speech about judging societies by the way they treat their weakest members. Except the Doctor’s just decided one particular weakest member was less worth saving than his screwdriver – and the script hammered home that the Doctor, also, started out as a thief.

    Actually, the Doctor is still a thieving git, it’s just that we give him a free pass on account of saving the world a lot. 🙂

    Given that he had Bill write an entire paper on free will, I’d say it’s difficult to argue that he becomes morally responsible for Missy’s future crimes. Missy is the moral actor: she will have asked for mercy, promised repentance and then made a free-will choice not to. The Doctor knows that her evil might not in fact be a free will choice – Rassillon made the choice to make the Master.

    Furthermore, everyone who knows the Doctor really, really well knows that killing Missy will destroy him. For evidence, I present the Cyber-Brig and his dead wife, who sent a message via Nardole. This ‘friendship’ is so strong, it might as well be called ‘love’.

    And even more furthermore :-), the Doctor is himself a reformed and repentant murderer… who is he to condemn?

    Repentance and reformation was a sub-theme in the Mars episodes. Depending on when you meet them, the Ice Warriors can be noble heroes or villains; the Colonel was a repentant coward who became a true hero. People can change – but can Missy?

    And if she can’t change now, can she change in the future?

    #58972
    Nick @nick

    @bluesqueakpip @missrori

    Missy in the vault is a massive problem for the Doctor forsure. He chose, he took responsibility (physical and moral) for Missy when he refused to execute her and took her at face value and exiled her to the vault. She may escape, but the responsibility can only be his if he chooses to let her go. Whilst she has free will, so does he. He cannot avoid some moral responsibility for her (post vault) actions once he placed her into the vault. Death sentences must always be wrong (there is always hope of redemption as missrori states), but then that’s why life imprisonment exists.

    Even if the original spark that made the Master/Missy wasnt their fault, he/she chose to act upon those dark impulses and made it a core part of their personality. Original sin and the fall of lucifer. The oldest moral question in western thinking.

    I agree with you at bluesqueakpip, not only is repentance and reformation  the theme of this story, but isnt it (or at least different aspects of the same moral dilemma) the theme of series 10 so far and perhaps even of D12’s regeneration ?

    By inference, the resolution must come at the regeneration. The Doctor Falls (a complete moral failure ? – something to do with Missy and/or Bill) and is redeemed at Christmas (It’s a wonderful life style perhaps  – I cant recall who suggested that).  A complete rebirth if you like ? Moff underlines the PTSD Doctors, the War Doctor, the Doctor = warrior, the UnDoctor themes for good.

    With all that angst (D8 to D12) out of the way, Chibbers has an open door to do something completely different. A hard reset at a basic level. The AG AG-Who.

    I don’t know if this is what Moff is planning or not, but if it is, it would indeed be a triumph, even if it doesn’t come of 100 %.

    #58973
    MissRori @missrori

    @nick I suggested the It’s a Wonderful Life idea, actually.  But I don’t think a complete moral failure for Twelve is in the cards; it would largely rehash “Hell Bent”.  I think, rather, he’ll make some good choices, some bad, and things will go badly for him <i>in spite of </i>his best efforts and he’ll wonder if it’s worth being the Doctor at all.  In It’s a Wonderful Life, the protagonist usually makes the selfless choices in life, and loses/gives up most of (though not all) his own desires and dreams in the process.  And for all that, one day he ends up facing complete ruin thanks to the mistakes and evil of others.  He has a breakdown, forgets all the good things in his life, and wonders if all of it was worth it, and then he’s shown he made the world better for his choices and existence, far better than it might have been otherwise.  He chooses life and then he sees that he was cared for, far more than he knew.  It would be fascinating to see such a story template applied to this particular Doctor…

    (Good heavens, I’m in tears now…I need to get to bed…)

    #58974
    MissRori @missrori

    By the by, another reason I don’t think the Doctor will completely bottom out in “The Doctor Falls” (and remember that many finale titles don’t tell the whole story) is because if there isn’t some spark of hope at the end, no one would want to see the Christmas special!  😉

    #58975

    @nick

    Acting outside his core principles (which he didn’t do with River, Rose, Amy/Rory or Adric in BG Who) in the way he did is undoctorish ….. The way the Doctor acted to “save” Clara was selfish

    Or he was thoroughly few up with losing people and had been tortured for 4.5 billion years.

    You have basically just blamed a depressive for his depression.

    #58976
    Nick @nick

    @pedant

    I agree, you can argue that the billion years, spent being tortured might have changed things, but then each Doctor in the Hell Bent castle has no memory of the previous Doctor. He has to work it out from first principles and then spent whatever time left clawing at the wall. Surely the impact can only be intellectual and not physical as there are no accumulated memory.

    #58977
    MissRori @missrori

    @pedant  Excellent point.  This particular Doctor’s been unusually broken by his experiences, he couldn’t find people on his home world who could understand what he’s been through, and even a mind wipe can’t take all the hurt away.  He had a reprieve with River, and was strong enough to let her go after 24 happy years together…but it still hurt.  No wonder he couldn’t just let Missy fry.  Beyond wanting to live up to his chosen identity as The Doctor, he has next to no one left in his lives at this point…(sniffle)

    #58978
    Nick @nick

    @missrori

    I thought it was your idea, but I want 100 % sure !

    I don’t think you can necessarily take the title too literally with Moff. I suppose, at the core, I’m suggesting that the undoctorishness is growing and will somehow reach a peak. The Doctor may make the wrong choice, or be faced with a no-win situation. I dont know and cant guess what Moff has planned. I wonder if the choice of more primitive Mondasian cybermen is a clue.

    Why I like your a wonderful life idea, is that its a way of constructing a christmas episode in theme which ends not in sadness (the regeneration), but in a rebirth leading into something new, full of hope for the future. That concept fits so well with how series 10 (and the end of series 9) seems to be progressing towards a Doctor, who is gradually becoming the un-doctor.

    Isn’t Missy/Master the ultimate un-doctor in any case ? Does the execution, the vault, the proposed redemption of Missy counter-point the Doctor’s gradual fall into un-doctorism ? To redeem Missy, the Doctor falls (becomes the un-doctor). Could anything be worse for him ?

    #58981
    ichabod @ichabod

    @rorysmith  The Tardis is connected to all of time and space so she knows the Master has an important role to play.

    Oh no — a Deus in Machina!  I like it.

    @missrori  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.

    Good thought; I’m glad that Moffat is playing around with Missy’s character, since I’ve generally found the Master (in the past) to be a bit of a pain — “Absolute powaaah, hahahahahahahaHAHAH!” — and underused in the sense of rough infill of a very crude outline from melodrama.

    #58982
    MissRori @missrori

    @ichabod Thank you.  I’m doing a lot of feeling about as to where it’s all going, some of it from the official spoilers, some from clues in earlier episodes.  I see something more optimistic — yet tragic — for it than most, I suppose.  But that’s for another thread…

    #58984
    Mirime @mirime

    Oh I wrote a long post and it seems to have not made it through the ether. Damn.

    OK, short, rough version.

    Losing Clara – different to the other losses in that in a way she died three times – the Doctor failed to save her three times – and was willing to risk her life to save him.

    (by the way I don’t believe there ever was a ‘Clara Prime’, I think they were all Claricles, and that Missy bringing Clara and the Doctor together was less clever than Missy thought as they had to meet for Clara to jump into the Doctor’s timestream and create herself. I like her ‘ending’ – she finally gets to go off and live her own life).

    I suppose his lack of effort to save the child in Thin Ice could be because of needing to stay in one piece to watch the Vault, but that didn’t stop him from risking everything to save Bill in Oxygen. Unless it was Bill he was trying to look after – if he’d got himself properly killed what would have happened to Bill?

    Or perhaps he’s just been spending too much time with Missy, possibly looking for a hairbrush as neither of them seem to have been near one for a while!

    @nick

    but then each Doctor in the Hell Bent castle has no memory of the previous Doctor.

    He seemed to remember something, given that when he has his blue screen of death moment he says something like ‘you don’t understand Clara, I can remember it all. Every time.’

    #58985
    Nick @nick

    @mirime

    In Hell Bent, was the first version we saw, the very first time. He left himself clues to speed up the process of getting to the barrier. Whatever memory he has, must be limited. Less than all, or the episode is a lie.

    In any case, I’m not sure that it changes my overall idea, or even that @pedant ‘s argument does. Pedant’s suggestion gives him a valid excuse for not being able to meet the Doctor’s moral code at that point, but doesn’t for anything else subsequently, except to explain why he is now increasingly undoctorish. Hell bent broke him and he’s falling apart. However, after Clara removed her existence from his memory, surely it is reasonable that how he acted in the attempt to save Clara after the her Death (and the events that lead up to it) must also be gone ?

    #58986

    @nick

    be intellectual and not physical as there are no accumulated memory.

    I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here and guess that you have never had to be treated for depression.

    @mirime

    I have a strong suspicion that there is something we have not yet seen of events on the Chasm Forge.

    @ichabod

    I’ve generally found the Master  (in the past) to be a bit of a pain

    When Roger Delgado was killed, a decidedly ungracious 12 year old me was most disgruntled when they recast the role. Even then I’d start to have “Oh, no! Not The Master again!” thoughts. That’s the risk Doctor Who has always had to dance around: how not to overuse villains.

    #58987
    Mirime @mirime

    @pedant I think you may be right about Chasm Forge.

    @nick the implication of the BSOD moment and ‘you don’t understand’ line is that it’s only then that he remembers at least something of the previous times.

    #58988
    Nick @nick

    @pedant

    No I haven’t – other things yes.

    I can understand why you think the Doctor is depressed (I’m assuming you essentially mean clinically depressed). The Doctor has spent a billion (or several) years in a ground hog day loop, breaking through to the Time Lords. Hell Bent suggests each time is the first time for the Doctor, although its probable that he remember something between each time.

    I agree that this caused him to attempt to try and recover Clara from her Death in a way that the Doctor hasn’t acted before (or after with River). He then has a large chunk of his memories of Clara and Clara related adventures removed by her. At that point does he even remember Hell Bent or Heaven sent even happened to him ? He sees the gaps and can make some educated guesses.

    He then goes to the final 24 year Dinner with River, following which she leaves to go to her Death at the Library. He’s called to the execution. River sends Nardole to look after him and he decides to save Missy and help her find redemption (and his own ?). There is several hundred (probably) years of the two talking before he meets Bill and series 10 commences.

    If you’re suggesting that he’s acting unDoctorish because of depression caused by this sequence of events, then I can certainly accept that as plausible.  Would Moff signal that with less ambiguity ? Perhaps, perhaps not.

    Whatever his state of mind when he met Bill, I’d suggest that adventures with Bill would be therapeutic ?. Wouldn’t we be seeing him behave more like the Doctor from the Pilot onwards, even if the last two stories are going to be about something dreadful, which causes is final “fall” ? It seems to me that things are getting worse not better as we go through S10.

    #58989
    Nick @nick

    @mirime

    Thanks for the clarification.

    #58990

    @nick

    If you’re suggesting that he’s acting unDoctorish because of depression caused by this sequence of events,

    No.

    That’s not how depression works. The stressors inflame the illness, they don’t define it. Eleven understood this. Twelve is living it (and even Eleven withdrew from the world for an extended period after Angels Take Manhattan).

    Your thinking on this is too mechanistic.

    Actually, that does lead me to wonder exactly who is giving therapy to whom in the vault…

    (I suspect he is a bit undoctorish because he is running against a clock that we have yet to see running down)

    #58991
    Nick @nick

    @pedant

    Thanks. I understand you much better now.

     

    #58993

    @nick

    No, you don’t.

    #58995
    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  Or he was thoroughly few up with losing people and had been tortured for 4.5 billion years.  

    Yes; that’s my version of the story, and I’m sticking to it.  DW deals in depression quite a bit, and that’s <i>our human </i> story too, for the most part, just scrawled all over the universe over massive amounts of time instead of over a small (or large) handful of decades right here on Earth.  I’m talking about what I think I’ve seen labeled “situational” depression (as opposed to “clinical” depression): your brain chemistry is fine, but you’ve just run into tangle of razor wire and there’s no (apparent, or maybe actual) way out.  Doesn’t matter whether you “give up” or not: you’re not getting out.

    @nick  each Doctor in the Hell Bent castle has no memory of the previous Doctor. He has to work it out from first principles and then spent whatever time left clawing at the wall. Surely the impact can only be intellectual and not physical as there are no accumulated memory.

    But what he tells Clara in the cloister suggests that he does have accumulated memories of at least the wall-punching part of his ordeal in the Dial — particularly of the 4.5 billion years (they really did over-reach a bit with that, IMO).  He’s embarrassed to tell her how long he was trapped there, but does remember *why* he kept punching: to free himself to go get Clara, because of his “duty of care” (ie, “I love you with the extravagant, time-annihilating, all-forgiving love that TLs go in for — see, Missy and me”, as I read it; and also there was nothing else to do in there).

    @mirime   they had to meet for Clara to jump into the Doctor’s timestream and create herself. I like her ‘ending’ – she finally gets to go off and live her own life

    I love that too — “I’m one heartbeat away from my death, so I’m gonna do my own thing while I can.”  A feminist take that in fact is one of the choices that many women face when their nuclear families disintegrate, one way or another, come to think of it.

    @pedant  That’s not how depression works. The stressors inflame the illness, they don’t define it.

    Do you mean that there is no such thing as “situational” depression, unless there’s also an underlying clinical condition waiting to be set off by stressors?  Can you talk a bit more about that?  It seems deeply counter-intuitive to me, particularly in the case of the Doctor, who’s seen so much carnage over a couple of thousand years . . . I’m thinking, for example, of older people who’ve led reasonably cheery and successful lives but who, as they get well into old age, start losing everybody else and visibly retreat into what I don’t know how else to describe except as depression.  They may stay there right to the end (not my dad, though, who was very “down” in his last years with us, but had a complete turn-around of mood when he and a lady at his care facility fell in love), but how is living long enough to be “the last of your kind (family and friends) necessarily an “illness” in the mind, if you really are the last?

    @nick  . . . suggesting that he’s acting unDoctorish because of depression caused by this sequence of events

    Was he acting unDoctorish — or having one of those flashes of acting “more alien”?  The TLs, as I recall, lean toward non-interference due to taking a long, cold, rather utilitarian view, which he objected to early on but sometimes does still show, himself (Into the Dalek, when Clara smacks him for it, and other bits in 12’s story).

    #58997
    Nick @nick

    @ichabod

    What is being Doctorish ? Each regeneration is different. In this particular place, (at the end of Heaven Sent) then No not in my opinion. Is Clara more important to him than River ? More important than Rose. River died. He knew how, where and when before he even knew who she was and what she was going to mean to him. What was Rose to D8 and D9 ? Was she less important to him than Clara ? There’s no answer to these questions and each of us will have a different opinion.

    In mine, Being The Doctor means accepting fate, accepting companion’s decisions sacrifices (River sacrificed herself to save Him after all) no matter the personal cost. Can he fail. Of course, even he can have his breaking point. But by reaching that point, he ceases to be the Doctor, at least for a period. I said before I thought this was the most unDoctorish thing that he has happened.  His most human even.

    Anyway Ichabod, the questions that most relate to S10’s strange behaviour, is why and how does it relate to the last 2 or 3 episodes of D12.

    #58998
    MissRori @missrori

    @ichabod  I think you’re on to something about the Doctor simply being more prone to alien-ness this year; the Moff mentioned that was going to be the case.  Given what we know of his circumstances now, it’s not surprising, and you’re right that we’ve seen it before.  That’s why I’m not seeing his behavior as especially unusual.  🙂

    Also, a friend of mine had some interesting ideas of her own about the TARDIS and/or Missy’s behavior — could it be under some other force’s control?  Is there a plot against the Doctor?  Is Missy gaslighting him into believing he’s not well?  Questions, questions…

    #59000
    lisa @lisa

    @missrori

    Missy in possession of  the Doctors confession dial was  ultimately a Rassilon setup wasn’t it?

    Could this be some part of the long story where she cuts another deal with him?

    She delivers the Doctor to him and gets some new regenerations?  I know Missy

    is a gaslighting  Queen  but I’m mulling over if she can get around the Doctor?

    Interesting possibilities.   I’ve had for a good part of the season been smelling a whiff

    of Rassilon.   Where did he end up in his exile?   Is that where the Doctor will be in

    the last episodes?

     

     

    #59002

    @ichabod

    Do you mean that there is no such thing as “situational” depression,

    No, nor anything like it.

    Everybody, at some time or another, will get situational depression. The number of situations that can provoke it is too long to itemise. But then the situation changes and the problem goes away, at most a bad memory. Mostly it doesn’t need treating, other than palliatively.

    But for the 4 or 5 people in any given group of 20 who suffer clinical depression the situation isn’t cause of the problem and changing the situation does not change the illness, unless the illness of treated. Think of Amy convinced that all Vincent needed to cure him was to see how loved he became.

    Of course, sometimes a situation can cause so much damage that it is permanent. Abuse, extreme trauma, extreme isolation for unnatural periods and many more. But clinical depression – people who are depressives, rather than people who are depressed – don’t necessarily need a “situation”. The careless word, that 15 or 16 people brush off, strikes like a flaming arrow. But the target (intended to not) is already broken.

    I don’t blame @nick for not understanding. There are few conversations more challenging than trying to explain depression to people who have never had it: good people, kind people, people who really want to understand – so many times you can see it is just not quite sticking.

    The Doctor’s behaviour has changed – maybe there is a cool sci fi explanation about shared regenerations. Or maybe he is just broken, and we can see it but he can’t. As I said upthread, just who is counselling whom in the vault?

    Or maybe it is both and one of the finest users of metaphor in television is doing what he is brilliant at.

    (Thea Gilmore’s new album has a track called Slow Fade To Black which uses the metaphor of an occupying army in the mind and soul. That’s even better than Churchill’s black dog, for me)

     

    #59003
    ichabod @ichabod

    @lisa  “New, exciting perfume scent is discovered: A Whiff of Rassilon!  It’s inter-galactic!”

    @nick  Being The Doctor means accepting fate, accepting companion’s decisions sacrifices (River sacrificed herself to save Him after all) no matter the personal cost.

    Agreed; but it *also* means sometimes giving up, stepping back, “Why can’t I just lose?! . . . You still won’t be there .”  I see it from maybe a reverse viewpoint: I see the person who carries the title The Doctor having to learn that lesson of ultimate acceptance over and over again, because “never give up” is directly opposed to “This is right.  I accept it.”  The conflict is built into the character’s series of journeys, so to me, that intermittent lapse of acceptance  isn’t failure.  It’s part of the Doctor’s self, his nature.  It’s all “Doctorish”, including glimpses into a very very long, TL perspective on things from time to time.

    He learns, over and over (because it’s so hard to maintain that acceptance if you get attached), what ordinary humans also learn, or try to learn, or avoid learning, over the course of a single lifetime.  He’s an inspiring figure because he keeps moving to and fro across that dial from “never give up!” to “I accept” and back again.  And we generally get to know what that’s like, if we’ve lived any length of time with active self-awareness and intellect.

     

    #59004
    lisa @lisa

    @ichabod

    Wow!  I’m inspired!  I shall  market it on Etsy and at  Comic Cons   🙂

     

    #59006
    Anonymous @

    @nick @pedant @soundworld @missrori @ichabod and others in this wonderful discussion.  It’s Thane typing for Mum and putting in my ideas too.

    Yes, the issue is one of depression: and I must confess that I have had both clinical and reactional depression (the latter term is one expressed in medical circles in Australia and at Yale). It’s a sticky situation.

    @nick

    I thought the Doctor was undoctorish in the way that he “saved” Clara. It was cowardly.

    This is proving a little confusing to me! And thought provoking. You’re referring to the Doctor entering Gallifrey (after his 4 billion years within the Castle, shall we call it?) and wanting the hardware which would bring Clara back?

    Are you saying this action was cowardly? I find that difficult to entertain, imho. I know that for many interwebs this was THE moment when Moffat lovers “betrayed” Moffat.  🙂  On this Forum there was hectic, even angry postulation!  But that’s OK. It’s how we move on from there and learn, I believe: where, once again, the ‘why’ was of penetrating significance to this twin episode of ‘Hell Sent.’

    To me, it was Classical Opera Buffa where the Tragedy turns into a marvellous almost comic ending. Which was the point of the beautiful Diner as Tardis rolling thru space whilst the Doctor’s Tardis spins in the other direction. Metaphor upon metaphor: even the Diner Tardis (as an American concept) is another metaphor: a place of confession, a private hub where the wait staff receive tips, where, as in Seinfeld, the bar man is the therapist every bit as helpful as $700 (an hour ) of psychiatric treatment.

    I tend to think the Doctor’s actions here were not cowardly? His need to use a memory wipe on Clara was problematic as was shooting the General (who had stood beside him in ensuring the members of the High Council were banished. That exile was an excellent decision). His reference to this, as he, the Doctor, passes out, is stated in script  as “make amends” and I believe his repentance refers to the two issues within this paragraph.

    (me Thane is writing this bit:) I must admit that if a person states that they know something about depression, have hinted (strongly) at treatment then it’s pertinent to reference that here. It’s, in fact, cowardly not to -in my opinion.

    Mum doesn’t want to add fuel to a fire gone out and nor does she want sympathy for this, that’s not why she wrote that please!  -it was because of Crohns that reactive depression was firstly diagnosed. But what from @pedant has said, and forgive me if I’ve stepped over the line in the sand (and there was a line in the sand in that last amazing episode where the Doctor drew it when talking to the Council on Gallifrey) but I am so sorry to hear of your depression, or that of someone really close to you.

    I know I’m barely 15 but I know the warning signs from kids as well as doing a whole lot of reading about it when we have what used to be called  ‘Sex Ed’ and is now an hour a week where we discuss different things like depression, suicide, the rate at which assignments are handed  out etc.  I know Mr P that you are a private person but I feel that I should offer that.

    This Forum has been extremely helpful to Mum, with her illness, she’s made friends here and I have also! It has taught me so many wonderful things including Romeo &J -and I must thank those who PM/ed me about that play providing alluring ideas which was pause for thought.

    For what it’s worth discussing things like cowardice and depression stems from such excellent episodes, meaty episodes, where Moffat like Whedon face an issue head on with less trite ideas, less cliché and action right on the screen mixed with little dialogue so every single word counts.

    The idea of the Doctor saving ‘his sonic’ does seem undoctorish to me, though Mum doesn’t fully agree: she said it’s complex and that it’s “always hard. Always.” Not sure what she means exactly there but I think she’s talking about choices, decisions and depression such as the Doctor suffered or is going thru and his jacket -the worn one -signals this. Amazing that costume provides ample explanation. It’s not ambiguous at all which is why I like Whedon and Moffat -and the guy who wrote Foyle’s War.

    Anyway, thank you for being patient and reading this long post!   if you made it to the end 😈

    From Puro and Thane15

     

    #59007
    Missy @missy

    I haven’t read all your posts as yet (shall do) but here is what I thought about this episode.

    It was light relief from the last three episodes. A bit silly, but fun nonetheless.

    Why did the Tardis take off all on its own? Did Missy have anything to do with it – how?

    And why did  Missy ask the Doctor if he was all right? What, one wonders, was that all about?

    Very Mark Gatiss.

    Missy

    #59008
    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  Thanks, that’s exactly the point I was trying to make, that difference between situational and clinical depression; you lay it out much more clearly than I did.  I’ve seen examples of both types of depression close up, so I’ve been a bit sensitized, I guess, to maintaining that distinction.  I think many people don’t really see it at all.

    #59009
    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @nick @mirime  @lisa (sorry Mirime, I left you out the first time -and I really like your post above. That  helped me to understand  and also @bluesqueakpip) It’s Thane -generally Mum’s much better and @’ing people 😀

    The Doctor having to learn that lesson of ultimate acceptance over and over again, because “never give up” is directly opposed to “This is right.  I accept it.”  The conflict is built into the character’s series of journeys, so to me, that intermittent lapse of acceptance  isn’t failure.  It’s part of the Doctor’s self, his nature.  It’s all “Doctorish….”

    @ichabod .   That comment really is something I haven’t thought about at all. The idea it is ” all doctorish”

    He’s a healer, still coming to grips with his ‘face’ and even when in Dark Water he said: “I’m………an idiot, in box, helping out” he was still reflecting on who he was. He said “whose frowning my face” in Deep Breath and asked in Listen and Flatline “who am I? Am I a good man?”

    Like in Sherlock where the inspector says: “he’s a good man and one day he’ll be a great man.”

    This reminds me of romeo and Juliet (@idiotsavon, thank you so much) where Friar Lawrence says “I am the greatest” and what the next line then means in context.

    The Doctor himself has come to a  point, a point where he has been re-visiting the last 4 years:

    what is my doctor?

    All of the words we hear, the scenes we see mixed in with our  personal likes of either Pertwee, Tom Baker, Tennant or Mat Smith, the Doctor himself is asking that same question.

    I think that whilst he’s saving millions of people and then doesn’t or isn’t able to save the child in Thin Ice is part of the bigger question “what or who is me, this Doctor?” or “Why am I me?”

    A whole class watch of several key episodes of Doctor Who would show viewers what existentialism really is 🙂

    But yes, I think the falure to save the child and the way the film part was shot – @bluesqueakpip said that really well – was significant. They could’ve had the kid drop the sonic or the child go right under -because why is the arm up like that holding the sonic? You’d expect him to fall right through the ice??

    This reminds me of the Witches Familiar  where the Doctor is in a ‘hand field with eyes on the hands’ throwing  Davros his sonic.

    That was such a contradiction with Thin Ice which works with Puros’ idea (and other’s ideas not hers) of the Doctor not being the Doctor and being hijacked by another person, maybe? Or simply struggling with his own depression. When he says “I have no time for outrage” was a really interesting discussion with Bill in Thin Ice .

    Thank you for reading,

    Thane

    #59010
    nerys @nerys

    Thank you for this thoughtful discussion about depression. It really is a complex beast, and it helps to point out the differences between situational depression and clinical depression. People who know of, or have experienced, situational depression think that’s all there is. There must be a “cause” of it. Eliminate the cause, and you eliminate the depression. But with clinical depression, that’s irrelevant. Yes, there are triggers, but the reality is that clinical depression has no overt cause, other than genes, stress and the particular brain chemistry which produces it.

    Which raises an interesting question @thane15 alludes to: Who will heal the Doctor?

    #59011
    ichabod @ichabod

    @lisa  Wow! I’m inspired! I shall market it on Etsy and at Comic Cons 🙂

    You’ll make a fortune, at least until “Deadpool Face and Bleaching Cream” comes out, not to mention “Batman’s Bat musk”.

    @nick  Anyway Ichabod, the questions that most relate to S10’s strange behaviour, is why and how does it relate to the last 2 or 3 episodes of D12.

    Not for me, because I’m not convinced that this behavior is all that strange, given that it’s the Ancient Alien we’re talking about; but we’ll all find out, so I’m happy to leave it there.

    I’m not getting the “cowardly” thing about Hell Bent.  “Cruel”, although more in the sense of “Shut up and get out of the way of my solution to this problem” than the “I’m about to make you scream and squirm, just for fun” sense.  In the case of shooting the general, even there, before pulling the trigger the Doctor makes sure that he’s not taking the general’s last life; and his thoughtless recourse to the Donna solution for Clara is just that, thoughtless, not actively cruel.  She gives him room to change his mind by arguing — by making him think.

    Or is it something else about Hell Bent that could be considered cowardly, that I’m missing?

    #59012
    Missy @missy

    @mirime: He actually says that, when he retreats to his Tardis. back to the diamond wall he thinks “why Bird?”

    You see his face change and coming back to the Tardis he says, “That’s what I remember!” He repeats this to Clara, without mentioning the bird.

    Nick: he wasn’t cowardly, he had a duty of care – and he missed her.

    @ichabod: I don’t think you’ve missed anything, if so, then so have I.

    My goodness what a debate, unfortunately I cannot add anything of worth to it. I do know that SM said that the regeneration would be different from all the others, I heard him say so.

    Missy

    #59013
    ichabod @ichabod

    @nerys  Who will heal the Doctor?

    Probably nobody, fully, until he heals himself — by regenerating; turning the page on 12.

    Damn it!

    @thane15   Our hybrid is humming right along tonight (well, night for me, anyway).  I didn’t care for Seinfeld, but I do like “the bar man is the therapist”.   And you’re so right about that shabby coat — at least, for people who’ve had the experience to know what they’re being directed to recognize.  These days, I should think *most* people have seen the kind of uncharacteristic self-neglect that depression of either type can bring about.  These are anxious times.

    And yeah, for all that it’s designed to be thrilling but also comforting to young kids, there’s a powerful current of existential angst built into DW’s basic assumptions, there to be polished to a high shine by a writer or show runner who chooses to favor that “darker” illumination.

     

    #59016
    Missy @missy

    A thought occurred to me.  The Doctor took a big risk plugging himself into the transmitter Monk, in fact it threw him off. Surely that would have affected his mind.

    Add to that, the machine which restored his sight temporarily, was dangerous – he said it could fry his mind (words to that affect.)

    The loss of River and Clara, the girl  he cannot remember other than her name.

    The responsibility of guarding Missy with the hope that she will become a good Time Lord.

    All of which must have had an affect on him, and the fact that he looked so tired when they returned to the Tardis, is to my way of thinking something to be taken into consideration.

    Perhaps all these things plus Missy asking if he was all right, could be the beginning of the end of our Doctor.

    Missy

    #59017
    MissRori @missrori

    @ichabod on the Doctor and healing:

    Probably nobody, fully, until he heals himself — by regenerating; turning the page on 12.

    Hmm, I am not so sure about that.  The idea that no one can help him to heal sounds like what everyone was chiding me about thinking before — the idea that no one truly loves the Doctor.  But River said he was loved by so many.

    Perhaps this will be the heart of the Christmas special/regeneration story.  After he loses so much in the finale, probably making another choice to let go on the way, then and only then will someone finally be there for him in his hour of sorrow and metaphorical death, after the universe failed him in the confession dial.

    Perhaps it will be Clara Oswald.

    Perhaps it will be River Song.

    Perhaps it will be Susan Foreman.

    Perhaps it will be Ohila.

    Perhaps it will be the Paternoster Gang.

    Perhaps it will be Bill Potts.

    Perhaps it will be the Osgood “sisters”.

    Perhaps it will be the Time Lords.

    Perhaps it will be someone entirely new…

    #59018
    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy   All of which must have had an affect on him, and the fact that he looked so tired when they returned to the Tardis, is to my way of thinking something to be taken into consideration.

    True; lots of stress and conflicting demands, plus some big losses and challenges with very uncertain outcomes.  That stuff could wear out even a TL; maybe that’s why they stay home on Gallifrey.  Rebelliousness isn’t “freedom” necessarily, and it does have its costs.

    #59019
    Nick @nick

    @ichabod

    Agreed; but it *also* means sometimes giving up, stepping back, “Why can’t I just lose?! . . . You still won’t be there .”  I see it from maybe a reverse viewpoint: I see the person who carries the title The Doctor having to learn that lesson of ultimate acceptance over and over again, because “never give up” is directly opposed to “This is right.  I accept it.”  The conflict is built into the character’s series of journeys, so to me, that intermittent lapse of acceptance  isn’t failure.  It’s part of the Doctor’s self, his nature.  It’s all “Doctorish”, including glimpses into a very very long, TL perspective on things from time to time.

    I agree with everything you’ve written here. The difference in opinion between us, is that after trying everything he can do (which we saw in the Library or the Raven episodes or to save Peri) and that final end comes (River, Rose trapped to an alternative universe for ever, Amy & Rory in the past) there is acceptance of that fact with sadness, depression, withdrawal from universe (Matt the Monk). Although these sort of things were less dwelt on in BG Who, you can add Adric, Susan and others into the same category.

    What’s undoctorish is not accepting fate as he did with Clara. In the same way, but differently, the failure to even try to save the 4 year child at the beginning of Thin Ice, leaping to the conclusion in Smile that the space ship should be destroyed before even checking that the crew was dead, using the fake regeneration to test Bill are all more than just the Doctor being alien, they aren’t consistent with the way we expect the Doctor to act. We expect him to try and same the child (especially), to investigate the colony ship first and certainly not to provoke Bill into shooting him.

    @pedant suggests, very plausibly, why this may be happening. I think Moff has something else in mind. We’ll see soon.

    #59020
    Nick @nick

    @thane15

    Puro, Thane

    Are you saying this action was cowardly? I find that difficult to entertain, imho…..where, once again, the ‘why’ was of penetrating significance to this twin episode of ‘Hell Sent.’

    Yes. Cowardly, selfish, there are a number of words that seem appropriate to me.

    The Doctor walks in time. He is old, very old. Everyone he has cared about has died around him. He has died himself multiple times (I count each regeneration as a death, the the following doctor is essentially a new personality). He has sacrificed himself at least twice to save a companion (Peri and Rose).

    In the Raven Clara made a choice to save one person. She may have made that choice in error, not understanding the full  situation, but she accepted the choice she made and faced her death willingly. For once, the Doctor was unable to save her, even to sacrifice himself for her.

    Having failed to save Clara, in Heaven Sent, he puts aside all rational considerations in an attempt to bring Clara back from Death. At the final moment, when he knows that he has failed, Clara is an animated corpse, undead walking not a living person, instead of saying that final goodbye that was robbed from both of them in the Raven, instead of returning her to death, he does the opposite. How can we not see this as a selfish, cowardly act on his part. It dishonours Clara’s actions in the Raven, it dishonours her memory and that off every other companion as well as that of his wife, River.

    Of course, we can understand why he does it. Grief combined with Hell Bent provides the reason and a justification. However, that doesn’t make the justification a valid one. We can understand how the Doctor, broken in Hell Bent, severely damaged by his Dalek/Time Lord genocide in the Time War and subsequent shame and guilt, acts as he does. Is this him at his most Human ? The Doctor fell here, most certainly.

    #59022
    Nick @nick

    @thane15

    Thane

    For what it’s worth discussing things like cowardice and depression stems from such excellent episodes, meaty episodes, where Moffat like Whedon face an issue head on with less trite ideas, less cliché and action right on the screen mixed with little dialogue so every single word counts.

    All very correct. I find discussing some of Moff’s ideas here, especially long after the event when your personal impression (whether good or bad) of the episode has faded somewhat, to be very enlightening. I didnt particularly like the end of Heaven Sent, at the time. I understood the rage and grief that drove the Doctor to act the way he did, but that it might be deeper than that hadn’t struck me. I had always thought Moff to be a good or great writer who made some wrong choices (imo). I still think that, but illuminating why he made some of those choices only adds to my appreciation of his ability.

    I suspect that we will need, in a couple of years, to rewatch the whole of Capaldi’s run, using hindsight to fully appreciate what both Moff and Capaldi actually achieved.

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