Home Forums Episodes The Twelfth Doctor Extremis

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    pıtırcapaldi @pitircapaldi

    Hello and thank you @thane15 🙂 yes ı’m new member

    Doctor always does the right thing but ıs not ıt tıme for master to change ?

    ı think ıt is given chance to master 🙂

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @missy Who is employing the Monks? I dare say we shall find out.  Perhaps the Time Lords? No, that’s too bonkers. Daleks?

    That’s a good reminder to never forget the Daleks! They do seem to be at least trying to keep tabs on the Doctor, and  told Missy the Doctor had been on Darillium.

    Missy @missy

    @pitircapaldi:  Hello there. Welcome.


    Mirime @mirime

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Or at least Missy said the Daleks told her about Darillium. The Daleks have never struck me as being the gossipy type!</p>

    MissRori @missrori

    @missy @countscarlioni The Daleks would be an interesting reveal, but so far I get the sense these creatures are either working on their own or for some other greater force.  Perhaps Missy’s found a way to escape the Vault?  Or the Great Intelligence is back?  It once employed human monks to do its dirty work.  I don’t think Time Lords are completely out of the question — especially as nothing related to following up on Gallifrey’s fate and the Doctor’s relationship with it has turned up this season. Maybe they’re a ruined, splinter sect?

    pıtırcapaldi @pitircapaldi

    thank you @missy 🙂

    pıtırcapaldi @pitircapaldi

    @countscarlioni Daleks ? This is very amazing but ı dont thınk

    perhaps Missy escape the Vault such as @missrori’s said or maybe Doctor allow the Missy for quit the vault

    I look forward to the new episode

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @pitircapaldi     Daleks. 

    The Monks seem likely to be an independent race acting alone. But once the Doctor has dealt with the Monks, then what’s the threat as we work towards the big climax to the series?? Or will the Doctor be fighting the Monks to the end?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    interjecting with a possible Bowie ref for this episode:
    On the day of execution/only women kneel and smile

    Hi! Now that is a good catch. I have to admit I’ve listened to Black star (the album) once and found it difficult listening at the time (just after his death). I’ve just listened to the track with the video for the first time. Wow – lots to chew over in that as imagery goes!

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  My first thought on seeing the monk, walking towards the Doctor bak-lit by the portal was “Buddhist” and they have monks too.

    Me, too.  It was the one bare arm extended out to the side when we saw him in silhouette.   Many of the Buddhist monks I saw in Thailand kept one arm bared, for doing stuff with, while the other was hidden by their robes — which were shades of deep orange and red and their heads were shaved (smooth like these mummy-guys’), so that’s what I thought of too.  They certainly prompt me to think of Christian monks.  And let’s not forget that the spokes-monk told the Doctor, “This *is* a game.”  I don’t see how the word “monk” would set off this reported-about-other-people outrage, when the image and behavior of the said monks have nothing to do with Christian monks (at least, as I’ve seen them portrayed, and in reality).

    @miapatrick  She’s says save me, not help me.  and the doctor did/was, he saved everything he saw and sent it on.

    Well spotted, although I think she actually said both things — I haven’t finished my re-watch yet.

    The very-temporary eyesight fixer as a possible game-changer at the end of the series: It will be called a deus ex machina by people who don’t understand the term.


    @thane15  on the in-class story exam I got the top mark: A+ My teacher wants it in a competition.

    That’s fantastic!  And it sounds like a cracking good story, too.  I’m very glad I could be a little part of such a successful project, and thanks for letting us in on the outcome.

    @thane15  Puro  The Pope rushing into the room, bewildered is deeply offensive to your friends.

    I do hope our current pope watches DW (like your bishop!), because I think he’d get a good laugh out of it; and so would John XXIII, a mensch if ever there was one.  Great post, by the way.  And I like (but also cringe at) the idea of winged weasels.  Why the hell haven’t they turned up yet as baddies in DW?  Why, I ask you?!

    @craig  My thought at the moment is that Capaldi can now possibly regenerate into a new Doctor, but can continue living in the alien reality – and be back with River (after The Library).  There could then be an episode or two with the new Doctor in the real world, and Capaldi Doc in the matrix world, working together at the series finish, or at Christmas. That’s my bonkers for tonight.

    What a nifty (and bonkers) idea!  Love it.  Also the musical analogy, from @arbutus — an excellent and clarifying approach, so thanks for it.  I’ll use it.

    @thane15  Puro  mysterious and odd, which is how I take my coffee Who.

    Okay, now you’ve done it: I want to know how your coffee is both odd and mysterious.

    @thane15  Puro  love the confusion. It’s good to be in the dark sometimes.

    Oh, delightful, and sometimes quite moving.  I’m reminded of the European version of Lem’s “Solaris”, so bafflling and troubled . . . Maybe the Doctor has some lessons to learn about the *good* aspects of being “lost in darkness”, hmm?  Along with us.  Good spot on no one can know I’m blind (except my worst enemy, of course, She Who Must Not Be Obeyed).  I’m still trying to figure out at which points Earth Prime switched over to Earth sim, and — back again, I think.  But I just sit back and wait for smarter folks to get it and pass it on; never could cope with Time switching, sometimes not even flashbacks!

    Missy @missy


    That’s a good reminder to never forget the Daleks! They do seem to be at least trying to keep tabs on the Doctor, and  told Missy the Doctor had been on Darillium.

    Glad you mentioned that. I have often wondered how Missy got away from Skaro and the Daleks? Then again, as I said, it might be the Silence, they wouldn’t be fond of the Doctor after Day of the Moon, and the Time Lords too, as @missrori suggested he did kill one of them after all.

    Oh for crying out loud, it could be anyone!




    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @missy   Oh for crying out loud, it could be anyone  A very belated thought. Perhaps the answer to most Doctor Who questions is, a) the Daleks or b) the Time Lords!

    Missy @missy


    Aha! Multiple choice.  How about (C) None of the above.  they could simply be different aliens.

    Then again, their bosses could be Mondasian Cybermen?

    I was watching Wedding of River song last night, and of course there was a pyramid in that too.


    MissRori @missrori

    @missy I am currently reading a 12th Doctor novel, Diamond Dogs, and an early scene has him outwitting some security robots by effectively taking a very anxious Bill hostage.  As he’s explaining why they’re not going to harm him or her to the human authorities, he says:

    “Now, do you think that if she’s my friend, I’m really going to shoot her?  No, of course not!  Well…I say of course not.  I have actually shot a friend once.  But there were extenuating circumstances.  And it was on Gallifrey.  And he got better.”

    (heh heh)  That’s my boy!  (Don’t worry, she gives him a good kick in the shins when the crisis is over.)  😉

    MissRori @missrori

    Also, @countscarlioni, it is a running gag in the Who reviews at AVClub.com that mysterious unidentified character X in any given arc could be either the Valeyard or the Rani.  😀

    Missy @missy

    @missrori:    *snigger*

    Night, night.



    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @missy   By this point, my own money too is firmly on an alien race running alone, but have a lingering hope for a connection! The red habits of the Monks are a bit suggestive with red being such a Time Lord colour. For fun, I took the Doctor’s advice, went to Google Images and spent ten minutes entering various search terms such as `Doctor Who and Evil Time Lords.’ Taking @missrori‘s advice and ignoring the Rani and the Valeyard (and ignoring other surely too obscure ones like Morbius), got to Omega, who I’d forgotten needed two Time Lords to defeat him. Get Missy out of the Vault! Also, the Peter Pratt and Anthony Beevor version of the Master in The Deadly Assassin & Keeper of Traken appear, if you squint, a little Monk like, though he has clearly been to a better dentist than the Monks. 


    Image result for Doctor Who Master Keeper of Traken

    Image result for Doctor Who The MonksImage result for Doctor Who The Master The Deadly AssassinImage result for Doctor Who Omega

    Missy @missy


    Well we’ll soon find out won’t we.  I have to say that I’d rather not know until I actually see the episode – and THIS time, I shan’t watch the trailer afterwards.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    In religion it is used to mean “belief” without evidence,

    No, it most definitely isn’t and doesn’t. 😀

    Sorry, I was catching up on the earlier posts; the ‘belief without evidence’ meme is a propaganda slogan. It’s roughly as accurate as announcing that computer scientists and game designers believe in fairies because they talk about ‘sprites’ a lot. 😈

    You display ‘faith’ in the ‘technical religious term’ sense when you stand at a bus stop waiting for a bus you’ve never seen because someone told you it’ll be along in ten minutes. ‘Faith’, in the religious sense, means ‘trust’, or ‘confidence in’. It’s usually based on evidence – personal/historical accounts, personal experience, observing the experience of others.

    To go back to the bus stop, you have two pieces of evidence – a personal account, and your own experience that bus stops are usually places where buses stop. You could be wrong – you might have asked the question of Michelle Gomez and the ‘bus stop’ could be a prop – but your faith is probably not misplaced.

    There are a fair few scientist-theologians, but the field of knowledge that is theology more usually demands expertise in academic history, language translation, text criticism and philosophy – as well as the ‘theology’ bit. In Extremis, Moffat quite correctly has the theologians do the translating – and also has them work out what they need to do with that translation. The scientists, bless ’em, would have been wondering what the funny marks meant. It’s not their field. 😀

    Anonymous @


    Can I say “thank God” you’ve shown up?

    Seriously, this was a ‘thing’ for awhile: munks as another religious ‘icon’ [icon’s not my word]  destroyed by Moffat and the idea of faith without evidence.

    Which, as you’d know, I don’t agree is the way to view the ‘concept’ . Have you listened to “The Infinite Monkey Cage” at all (probably not as you’ve study, study and study)?


    tardigrade @tardigrade

    I’ll just note that I’ve seen this and I appreciate where you’re coming from here, and although I’d be happy to discuss further, I’d prefer to avoid an extended off-topic philosophical discussion on an episode thread. The point I was attempting to make was about deliberately using the word “faith” to refer to science, which I perceive as often being a cynical attempt to delegitimize the evidential basis of science and put scientific conclusions on an equal footing with uninformed opinion, and hence dismissible out of hand without needing to counter with contradictory evidence. To be clear, I mean this usage of faith:

    Faith: Belief that is not based on proof
    Take something on faith: to accept or believe something on the basis of little or no evidence

    I think that’s obviously the major usage intended when referring to scientists (although I think it’s reasonable to say that religious overtones are also intended – it suits some to allude to the “cult of science”). So I shouldn’t have described this as the religious meaning of “faith”, which can obviously be broader and much more nuanced. Faith, in my intended sense, being equated with belief without evidence, isn’t some “meme”, just using the word according to its established meaning. I certainly didn’t intend to imply that religious belief is baseless.

    I wasn’t commenting on the Monks and any religious symbolism. By themselves, I don’t think robes are overtly religious- if anything I tend to think they’re often used in limited budget Sci-Fi for very pragmatic reasons- so that creature bodies don’t need to be designed 🙂 . And given how well the Monks did with their faces, I’m happy enough to leave the rest to the imagination. However, when the Monks were introduced right next to Vatican priests, a religious comparison is inevitable, although I’m not at all sure that was intentional. I didn’t feel that was offensive, but equally, I can’t make that call for someone else.


    @bluesqueakpip @thane15 @tardigrade

    When you wait at a bus stop on someone else’s say so, it is not an act of faith, it is an act of hypothesis testing. If the bus doesn’t turn up, then you revise the hypothesis. Eventually you may have enough evidence to propose a Theory of Bus Flows, but any new piece of evidence has the potential to completely destroy that theory, sending you right back to the drawing board.

    After a while you may even get to the point where the evidence on when and where the bus will turn up is so reliable that you can propose a General Law of Bus Dynamics, but that is a very high bar indeed. And even that can end up being incorporated into a much wider Theory of Public Transport Relativity. And then *that* might have to wait a long time until it can be integrated with the Quantum Theory of Travel, in which it seems the bus can both arrive and not arrive, and may become entangled with the White Van Particle.

    None of it is anything to do with faith.

    This episode works because the time Veritas was first translated was when  Church *was* the centre of inquiry (also true of Islam at the time). But had they not hoarded it for a few centuries, they may have got there quicker by showing it to Kepler, Newton or one of Ibn al-Haytham’s students (and then the Monks probably would have just run another sim until they got the outcome they wanted, being entirely stochastic in outlook).

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @tardigrade @bluesqueakpip

    The White Van Particle -the God Particle, if the Universe is the answer to a single or even multiple questions then what are the questions? 🙂  Love it!

    Equally though, your personal experience of the bus stop, and the arrival of said bus or Ford Prefect, rest to some extent on faith that the hypothesis is valid and the deduction sound…


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    None of it is anything to do with faith.

    Yes, it is. You are standing waiting at a bus stop to prove the hypothesis that a bus will turn up, yes, but that doesn’t stop your hypothesis testing also being an act of faith. If it’s important that you get somewhere else quickly, you will not have time for repeat testing. You have to trust a) the person who told you a bus was coming and b) the evidence of the bus stop. 🙂

    So, for Doctor Who: there is a wobbly looking bridge that the Doctor needs to run over. Or he can pick the roadside path, but then the Cybermen might catch up. Somebody yells ‘The bridge is fine; I came over it ten minutes ago!’

    Hypothesis: the bridge is safe. Falsification: it collapses and you die/regenerate. Personal account: it’s just been used safely. Personal experience: it looks wobbly.

    Since you don’t have the engineering specs (which you’d expect if you were road-testing a science hypothesis), and the Cybermen are enthusiastically planning to delete you, you have to do a faith test. Do you believe that personal account (was it Bill or Missy who gave it)? Is your action of running across the bridge instead of the roadside based on trust or belief?

    If it’s based on trusting your personal experience, your knowledge of what a bridge is supposed to look like and your belief that the person telling you it’s safe is truthful (at least in this case), it is an act of faith (in the technical religious sense). But at no point have you had a lack of evidence. You might not have enough evidence. But you have evidence.

    Oh, and when you get across the bridge safely, you’ll have proof that your faith was justified. But not until you get across the bridge.

    Both Kepler and Newton were profoundly religious – they’d have been fine if you wanted something in Greek or Hebrew, but that was because those were the biblical languages.

    Nowadays (and this story is set nowadays), if you want a document translated, you go to a translator, not a scientist. If you want to prove that Queen Elizabeth I owned a particular piece of jewellery, the only scientist you could ask would be a Time Lord – a physicist would be utterly useless and you’d need to go to a historian. If you want a piece of religious writing translated, you don’t ask someone who usually does legal documents – they will be adrift in a sea of unknown, probably very technical vocabulary.

    Science is one field of knowledge; a very important field of knowledge. But that doesn’t mean that you should denigrate historians, translators and theologians because their fields rely on different rules. There are certain situations where the scientists would be useless.

    @tardigrade – you should probably try the OED definition, which has ‘complete trust or confidence’ as the first definition. I’m using the 10th Edition, 1999.

    There are always problems when a technical term is deliberately confused with a general definition. Scientists act on ‘faith’ a lot – but that just means they sometimes have to go forward without enough evidence, not that they don’t have evidence. As I just said to pedant, an act of faith can also be part of hypothesis testing. But defining faith as ‘belief without evidence’ is wrong; ‘belief without final proof’ is a lot closer.



    Equally though, your personal experience of the bus stop, and the arrival of said bus or Ford Prefect, rest to some extent on faith that the hypothesis is valid and the deduction sound…

    Nope. That is subject only to constant testing under threat of falsification. That is why it doesn’t get to be called a theory until it has strong evidence to support it (and why “evolution is only a theory” is such a stupid statement to use by creationists, not that they care).

    A Higgs Boson walks into a church.

    The priest say “We don’t allow fundamental particles in here”

    And the Higgs Boson said: “You can’t have mass without me”.

    There’s a reason the episode went to CERN.

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    you should probably try the OED definition, which has ‘complete trust or confidence’ as the first definition

    I have a problem with a “complete trust of confidence” definition as applied to science. If a scientist says that have faith in the process of science, the meaning would typically be something along the lines of meaning that they have a high degree of confidence that it can achieve better understanding in a reliable way, over a sufficient period of time. While scientists have good reason to trust the process of science, based on a track record of increasing returns from following that method over hundreds of years, there is generally a good understanding also that it has limits, and that it can’t, even in principle, answer everything. Trust really doesn’t come into it- the process depends on treating every result as suspicious- not taking anything “on faith”- and a rigourous attempt to disprove every result. Confidence in the process of science depends on not having greater confidence in any result than is justified by the evidence, and that comes from repeated failure to disprove it. That definitely isn’t the case when applied to a hypothesis. “I hold my hypothesis in the tips of my fingers, ready to let it go at the slightest breeze.” is something I’ve heard repeated (but can’t find an attribution at the moment, so the quote is doubtless paraphrased also). Scientists have to be scrupulous in avoiding getting invested in hypotheses, and to make every effort to prove themselves wrong (in part, because if they don’t, someone else will).

    To take an example, quantum physics and general relativity are two of the cornerstones of “modern” physics. They both make predictions that are exquisitely accurate, and as a result both fully warrant the label “theory”, in the scientific sense of something that has a high degree of confidence, rather than the perjorative sense of a guess. However, these two theories are, at their base, fundamentally incompatible. Physicists know that they don’t – *can’t* – make up a full description of reality, and have confidence that the scientific method will one day help to come up with a theory of quantum gravity that resolves this. Empirical science doesn’t deal in absolutes.

    I actually think that a modern definition of “faith”, when used divorced from any religious meaning, is closer to “optimistic confidence”. I think the absolutist definition pretty much only applies in a religious context. A phrase like “have some faith” wouldn’t be meaningful if faith is an absolute. That’s really a call to optimism (or trust if referring to a person).

    I don’t think you would say that your bus example shows absolute trust either- if you were to allow the stranger to blindfold you, put earplugs in and stand you on the edge of the road with the promise of giving you a hearty shove when the doors of the bus are open in front of you, you might be closer to absolute trust 🙂

    Missy @missy

    Blimey!  Posts are getting too complicated for me, too intellectual. All I know is that I loved this episode and keep watching it.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    ‘complete trust or confidence’ is not the same as ‘absolute trust or confidence’. Which may be why you’re uncomfortable – if you think that having a complete trust is the same as some kind of ‘absolute faith’.

    For example, Bill probably has complete faith in the Doctor, but the evidence suggests that she doesn’t have absolute faith in him. That evidence also suggests that her complete trust in him develops according to evidence.

    If a scientist says that have faith in the process of science, the meaning would typically be something along the lines of meaning that they have a high degree of confidence that it can achieve better understanding in a reliable way, over a sufficient period of time. While scientists have good reason to trust the process of science, based on a track record of increasing returns from following that method over hundreds of years, there is generally a good understanding also that it has limits, and that it can’t, even in principle, answer everything.

    Yup. That’s faith. High degree of confidence, check. Understanding changing and developing over time, check. Looking back over the track record, check. Awareness of limits, check. We’d generally add in evidence from our personal experience of God, and our methods of cross checking new theories are rather different, but that’s pretty much ‘faith’.


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    My impressions of Extremis:

    This is really two episodes intercut into one. Missy, the Veritas; plus a subthread of Bill’s attempts at a romantic involvement. And the Veritas thread is quite hard to follow – until the truth is revealed.

    I love the neat little reversals in the intro. The planet dedicated to executing people is delightfully grim. Who thinks it’s the Doctor who is under sentence of death, until Missy is brought out?

    I had to laugh when Bill’s foster mother relaxed when she found out Bill’s guest was a girl – how little she knows! And then the Pope walks out of her bedroom. This is hilarious (though I can fully understand Bill’s frustration).

    The Moff does have an excellent grasp of psychology –
    NARDOLE: Okay, so you’re blind and you don’t want your enemies to know. I get it. But why does it have to be a secret from Bill?
    DOCTOR: Because I don’t like being worried about. Around me, people should be worried about themselves.
    NARDOLE: Yeah, shall I tell you the real reason?
    DOCTOR: No.
    NARDOLE: Because the moment you tell Bill, it becomes real. And then you might actually have to deal with it.
    DOCTOR: Good point, well made. Definitely not telling her now.
    – and that just feels so true.

    Pope Benedict – the Doctor’s mediaeval ‘friend’ – was certainly a fine looking woman. And maybe that is not so impossible as one might think, there were apparently legends or rumours of female Popes.

    The Veritas thread is engagingly spooky – what could be so terrifying that everyone who learns it, kills themselves?

    Then we have the white room, with doors on the Pentagon, the Vatican, CERN – this is fascinating. The CERN staff all appear to be remarkably upbeat about their impending mass suicide. Stranger and stranger.

    Then the CERN scientist explains they’re in a simulation – using the same ‘choose a number’ routine that the Doctor used in Last Christmas. And CERN – exploded their own simulation.

    And the Doctor subverted Missy’s execution for his own – conscience?

    And then it turns out, the ‘main plot’ with Veritas, was just a digression, a virtual occurrence in a simulation, the details of which get emailed to the Doctor outside Missy’s vault door.

    I can understand (though I don’t agree with) fans who complain that the Moff’s plots are ‘too complicated’. To me, they work fine on two levels – one, the braindead approach, just sit back and enjoy the surprise twists and witty dialogue without trying to understand it. Or two, the geeky approach, concentrate enough to understand what’s going on, sometimes on a re-watch. And it’s the multi-level plotting that makes a re-watch so rewarding.

    ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u


    saw/anticipated your post on The Monks and decided to revisit them myself… I remembered it as impressive and a bit flawed.

    So, my considered opinion on the The Monk’s Trilogy…

    In many ways it’s a four parter, ‘Oxygen’ being the basis of The Doctor’s blindness, the chink whereby The Monks conquer earth, having run their pesky Veritas simulation.

    Within the Whoniverse, The Doctor is being called out over the ‘this world is protected’ schtick. Interestingly The Monks didn’t see fit to run their simulation for another six months. Apparently that’s how they roll.

    Now, the meta method being my fave, I do wonder what The Monks really represent in the mind of Moff. Interesting that Missy had encountered them before. Obviously, The Monks ‘control’ method bears a passing resemblance to The Archangel Network utilised by the Master in Sound of Drums/Last of the Timelords.

    Well, nothing in Who is very new. The view within the Whoniverse might indicate the Master stole the tech or even that the Monks were also somehow behind the Toclafane. Woah! Otherwise, my meta hat safely installed, its worth noting that the Archangel network satirised demagoguery. Now, don’t start shouting at me but could The Monks have something to do with that there social meeja and cancel cultcha?

    No, please don’t shout. Compared with what preceded it, my considered opinion is that most things ‘woke’ are utterly unobjectionable; I may have decided to dismiss a handful of elements, but I also note that opposition in those areas was woefully devised. What I really don’t and never will buy into is the populist ‘faux traditional’ reaction.

    Actually, all this populist outrage seems a bit weird because wokery is hardly an adequately defined ideology, more the logical conclusion of single issue politics. Aside from the manufactured positions created by The New Despotism, hostility for the World of Woke stems directly from the attempted denial of the digital world to ANY opposition.

    ‘You people caused the problem, so we will redact your opinion and eventually you will die and your ideas with you.’

    And the IRA were in due course saddled with Eamon DeValera.

    And yet the algorithms assume OUR consent everytime WE like or unfollow. Rewrite the past. Colonise the past. Never grow old. Never learn; doomed, frozen, withered and pseudo religious. They are Monks! They gain control through ‘love’. That’s Moffat/Harness/Whithouse speaking.

    Or, more obviously, The Monks are the opponents of democracy. Vote for me and… that’s it. Could they be The New Despotism itself? The West is bankrupt: that thing that happened in 2007? Nevermind Dubbeyuh, Bliar and the fall of International Law, the Hague went and stuck what the Despots regarded as perfectly serviceable dictators behind bars.

    Well, they’re not doing that to us. Nah. We don’t need you anymore.

    Or is it both, because this is BOTH sides of t’internet? The Despots looked at the net pumping the West’s chaotic mind into their tidy Corporate computers and yelped. They were reminded that they really could not tolerate any alternative: Taiwan, Ukraine, Xinjiang; the oppressed below the 38th parallel; oh and you never stop being Iranian no matter where you hide.

    This is interesting because not all of this had taken form back in 2016. Moff IS making a remarkable farsighted point. Never mind the coincidence of the deadly microbe in the lab, the whole concept is incredibly impressive. Also imminent cultural extinction doesn’t just sell well, what it is NOT is Woobie Destroyer of Worlds. Or ‘Reality’ or ‘Time’. Hoorah! Seriously, got to be a good thing.

    Whatever. We also need to remember what the developing digital burden of the internet meant for the creative in the West. Cos Moff does have a history with feminist critics. Having epically and serially failed the Bechdel test, he and Mathieson had even set a joke about it in the luggage car of the Orient Express!

    This is what makes The Monk Trilogy slightly uncomfortable. It might logically be Piers Morgan and Laurence Fox’s fave Who.

    Truth be told there is indeed something just a little creepy about Moff’s women, even or especially the overlong ‘welcome to Darillium’ closing shot from the end of ‘Husbands’. I can hear Capaldi saying, ‘not sure I can bring this off Steven.’

    Well, this is Doctor Who and at that point he was still a bloke and his companions predominantly female, many of them really quite young. That’s nought to do with Moff. Nonetheless, he insisted ‘yes, I’m a bloke, but I’ve won awards, and I think women are great!’ Really, that sounds more than a little like the bass player from The Stranglers. Not saying anything at all about The Stranglers’ sexual politics, just that the world has moved on.

    More nit picking.

    I haven’t really got a problem with Rome getting a pummelling, just question how medieval you really need to get on their sorry asses. Obviously, an equivalence is made between Rome and The Monks, the new religion on the bloc. And its just a bit of fun. Like Father Ted.

    Harness’ original plan called for Trump, Corbyn and fat Kim vs the Turmezistan Pyramid. Now that could have been a LOT of fun. Without them, the Bill part of the story, The Monks juggling various military hardware and reducing the Sekjen to dust, sagged just a tad.

    Critics liked the third part the least. Basically The Monks Broke like the Wind; if only solving the issues of the digital world was so simple. If indeed that is what the trilogy is about. Perhaps it was only ever Moff and his mates Pete and Tobe throwing mud at the Wall on Which the Prophets Wrote. Whilst disposing of some agreeably ugly aliens.

    Despite all the talk of sacrificing Bill (far too interesting a character to be any kind of Messiah) the denouement is very very reminiscent of Last of the Timelords except, rather than The Doctor rapidly progressing from Dobby to floaty god, Bill airdrops all the pictures The Doctor handily took of Bill’s biological mum into the collective brain of humanity. Poor Moira: bit of an obvious target. I’m sure she meant well.

    So, All You (really do) Need Is Love.


    Have you ever heard Fodderstompf by PIL? Jah Wobble could have defeated The Monks with a fire extinguisher, couldn’t he?

    Or are Moff and Tobe saying, ‘don’t listen to that. Just remember who you are?’ That didn’t really come across.

    The pyramids and the memory crimes are indeed straight out of Orwell. Always nice to see.

    So, not perfect. Maybe not quite as coherent as the previous Zygon two parter (also by Harness) which it superficially resembles. But The Monk Trilogy was insanely ambitious… made you think, made you stare.

    As for Moff’s feminist issues, that was only going to be solved by A Lady Doctor. And lo! One day Dull Chris came to town and he said ‘I can do that! Gissa job.’ Except apparently he couldn’t.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    Well that post of mine (immediately above yours) was written two years ago on my first pass through the series.

    Extremis is the best of the three episodes, for me. I don’t see it as bashing the Catholic Church by the way, the Pope seemed to be quite a reasonable sincere man. The Doctor’s old ‘friend’ Pope Benedict IX now, was not in historical actuality a woman, but apparently had a fairly turbulent and controversial Popedom, so I don’t think Moff was slandering an Icon of the Church in that respect.

    Maybe the Monks didn’t run their simulation past their takeover because they would become part of the simulation – some sort of infinite feedback loop might result.

    ‘Woke’? (ugh), I detest the word, like most abuses of the English language. What is it supposed to mean? Indeed, what does it mean? Seems to me it’s like, say, ‘left-wing’, it can be stretched to mean anything the speaker wants (a la Humpty Dumpty). I was in favour of half the things now labelled as ‘woke’ long before the term was invented, or even ‘PC’; the other half I find utterly absurd. One thing I absolutely deplore is reading too much into some minor aspect of a work or a comment and treating it as an indicator of the writers’ (or director’s, or actor’s) presumed character failings. That’s equivalent to witch-sniffing or reading chicken entrails. [/rant]

    If indeed the original plan of Pyramid at the End of the World was to feature Trump, Corbyn and Kim Jong Il versus the pyramid, that would have been extremely ill-advised. It’s one thing to bring Richard Nixon into The Impossible Astronaut (and I notice they treated him fairly fairly sympathetically, which is fair enough, his sins are all public knowledge now) – but current leaders? No. Besides, what would they have been doing? Kim would have been trying to nuke the pyramid, Trump would have forgotten his esteem for Kim in his haste to surrender (‘negotiate a deal’) to the Monks, and Corbyn I suppose would have been trying ineffectually to mediate between them. Could have made a good episode of Capaldi’s previous show, but not, I think, Doctor Who.

    As for the Lady Doctor – well yes, I would love to see a good one. Not Whittaker, miscast, mis-directed, mis-written and mis-costumed, I think that about covers it. I’m rapidly coming up on Chibs’ era and I’ll watch the better episodes and skip the more cringey ones, it’ll be interesting to see if my views on Thirteen have mellowed at the end of it. (I would’ve loved to see Sophie Okonedo (Liz 10) as a female Doctor. Or of course Jo Martin (the Doctor in Fugitive of the Judoon))

    ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u


    I thought I’d post on the Extremis thread, but I had been following your reviews of series 10 and reacted to your comment on The Winchester.

    When The Monks were first broadcast I was still smarting from the apparent unresolved elements from the previous arc, and didn’t really appreciate Moffat’s work here. I really like Bill, from the ‘I fatted her’ digression in The Pilot to ‘you are an arse!’ (and 1’s reaction) in Twice Upon a Time.

    Yes, the BBC apparently did tell Peter Harness he could notuse Jezzer, Don and Kim. Or maybe it was caricatures of those three stooges. Of course RTD referenced Obama directly and Harold Saxon was a bit Blairish. Geopolitically you might think the three interested parties should be Vlad, Xi and Modi. Don’t suppose anyone took Modi seriously then; saying nothing about Novochok or Winnie the Pooh!

    Benedict IX was deposed and reinstated at various points in the C11th. The legendary Pope Joan may have been confused with the C9th John VIII. Interestingly, the survival of the legend of Joan is cited as ‘feminist and anti Catholic wishful thinking’ by Philip Jenkins in ‘The Last Acceptable Prejudice’… Moff lampshading his own knee jerk maybe?

    I remember seeing a read through script of Extremis in which the Priests in Bill’s bedroom are very interested in her laundry basket. Shortly before the ‘you’re going to hell!’ line.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @ps1l0v3y0u Well I think Moff is probably non-religious (like me), but I haven’t really seen any strong anti-Catholicism from him, other than maybe mild irreverence. If one was looking to bash the Catholic church one could find dozens of bigger skeletons in their closet than just old legends of ‘Pope Joan’.

    If the priests in Bill’s bedroom were intrigued by her laundry basket that would indeed add a lot more point to the ‘You’re all going to Hell’ line. As it is, it still works as a sort of retaliation for them invading her bedroom, but not quite so well.

    I seem to recall the reference to Obama was brief and uncontroversial. Yes Harold Saxon was Tony Blair all over, but the name ‘Blair’ was never ever mentioned. Has anybody ever mentioned Trump? Probably best not, if the Beeb doesn’t want death threats from MAGAs… (Though, did somebody say ‘orange’ at some time, and I don’t think it was a ref to William of Orange?)

    I’m always a bit uneasy about referencing real historical figures – Hitler and Churchill being the most obvious examples, though maybe the sensitivity of that is decreased by the fact that everybody’s ‘done’ them. Other figures – particularly scientific/technical ones like Tesla and Edison (and howcome they never mentioned George Westinghouse??) bring out all my geeky nitpicking tendencies. If they ever do George Stephenson or I K Brunel they better get it right!

    Of course there’s always the logic problem with recent times explaining how everybody doesn’t remember the events of the story – like the starship Titanic almost crashing on London. Moff ‘fixed’ his most recent version of the problem by having the Monks erase themselves from history when they departed – covering their tracks. That was quite neat, I thought. They had the technology.
    Traditionally, sci-fi has got around that paradox by setting itself in ‘the future’ – so it hasn’t happened yet. But of course time marches on, and any near-future story that’s famous enough will get itself overtaken by the inexorable date – 1984 being the most notable example.

    ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u


    caricature of Trump? Jack Robertson in Arachnids in the UK maybe? And Revolution of the Daleks… I wasn’t really paying attention by then. Or he was just a generic dodgy yank. Apologies to all yank-kind.

    But yes you did hear orange… I think its when The Sekjen mentions the president of earth and Bill doesn’t realise he means the Doctor.

    I had a feeling Moff really only wanted to cross Hitler off his conceptual time travel wish list… LKH almost felt like he was going through the motions.

    Pope Joan is obviously a fable: I think it’s first recorded during the C13th row with Frederick II (aka stone cold genius). A historical dealing with the Guelphs (papal supporters) and Ghibellines (imperial supporters) would be interesting: you could shove in Romeo and Juliet, Shylock, (rewrite) the Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado about Nothing; Frederick II refuses to defend Hungary against the Mongols (‘Are you crazy?’)

    The laundry basket… https://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/documents/doctor-who-s10-ep6-extremis-shooting-script-steven-moffat.pdf

    I was wrong. The Tardis had materialised around the laundry basket. Nardole warns the priests away from it. So the ‘hell’ line comes previously; must be just Bill’s frustration when Penny runs away.

    Moff is on record as saying he just wanted to see what was the worst thing he could do to Bill’s date. He did the same thing with Clara in Listen. RTD only ever humiliated Jackie in ‘Love and Monsters.’ Funny though.


    nerys @nerys

    @ps1l0v3y0u Yes, I thought Jack Robertson in “Arachnids in the UK” and “Revolution of the Daleks” was the character most obviously based on Trump. Like so much during Chibnall’s tenure, the writing was handled in too heavy-handed a manner to be effective.

    ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u


    Chib… virtue/unforgiveable sin/urghh that man REALLY is an ijit… signalling… until the very end.

    The man WAS part of the problem. The sooner RTD admits it, the better. (He won’t)

    Moff is laughing like dog.

    winston @winston

    @ps1l0v3y0u  and @nerys There is a saying that there is no such thing as a bad pizza and I always thought the same about Who.  I am a very forgiving fan and usually find something I like in every episode but many of 13s leave me feeling baffled. What is wrong and why don’t I love it as much? I can’t put my finger on it but it didn’t work for me. I think the buck stops with Chibnall as he was the show runner and it was his vision. The writing in general, the fam , the flux or the horrible Tardis interior, I don’t know. It just felt different, not bad but strange and unfamiliar. Bring on RTD.

    Stay safe



    ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u

    @winston @nerys

    sorry for the incoherent post. I was briefly incoherent

    But pizza… pineapple? Stuffed crusts?? Jonathan Nathan Turner? Even the more foolish parts of Graham Williams’ tenure…

    The man who doesn’t care what he eats will hardly care at all.

    nerys @nerys

    @winston @ps1l0v3y0u I tried to like it, and wanted to, but mainly found Chibnall’s tenure wanting. My favorite episode was the “Eve of the Daleks” New Year’s special. It caught the magic, I thought … then dumped it. Such a shame.

    winston @winston

    @ps1l0v3y0u  Mmmm pineapple pizza, now I am hungry.

    ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u

    Sorry… more about The Lie of the Land really.

    After more consideration I think I would definitively state that the Trilogy declined as it progressed. Creepy labyrinth dwelling Monks are scarier than needy Monks who seem to need you tell them they’re great in bed. The Doctor REALLY does need to recruit Jah Wobble and arm him with a fire extinguisher, if only because that might be both funny and stymie Toby Whithouse’s surprisingly inept platitudes.

    He ain’t Moffat or Mathieson but Tobe must have been a bit disappointed with the outcome. Maybe it was a question of trying to stuff too much in the stocking. I didn’t buy the Missy reveal either. I think Bill would be bound to say more about Missy but Moff wouldn’t want to go there because some comparison was bound to be made with Clara, to which The Doctor would say ‘who?’

    That’s the problem with neural blocks. Someone will point out the obvious.

    So, death by plot hole it is.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys I share your feelings about 13. (I’m shortly about to experience them again, I’m almost up to there, only 5 Moffs to go. I’ll just skim the highlights of 13.)

    @winston Eve of the Daleks was, in my recollection, far the best of 13.

    Ah well, on to Empress of Mars which IMO was the weakest of Season 10, very Edgar Rice Burroughs, could almost have been a Chibnall episode…

    ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u


    Empress of Mars!

    oh well, there I was, doing Terror of the Zygons. Not all that good actually…

    Have to watch EoM tonight I suppose. I remember it quite fondly. Let’s see.

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