Face The Raven
2 June 2016 at 04:57 #52641Anonymous @
“Is it *perfect*? Not quite….“Hell Bent” follows this by leaving the true identity of the hybrid even murkier, that final line from “Heaven Sent” just feels like a tease without a pay-off, to me.”
“Hell Bent,” did seem like a bit of a let down to me as well, although I had a feeling it would be, such that I was almost afraid to watch it. “Heaven Sent,” was just so well done that I suspected it would be a very hard act to follow. Also, I had my own ideas about what it was all about, which I really liked and I guessed that theirs might be quite different. I do feel there are a lot of loose ends here and that everything is so interconnected that without some specific answers it is a bit difficult for me to fully evaluate what I actually did see. Hopefully they will give us some better answers later but I guess we will just have to wait and see. 🙂
“Agreed on Capaldi, and most definitely on “Heaven Sent” — gorgeous piece of work (and let’s not forget the contributions of the director, as illuminated by her comments on her fb page).”
I also thought the camera work, lighting and editing were amazing! It seems to me this was one of those rare occasions when everything comes together in just the right way to produce a classic.14 June 2016 at 05:45 #52698
The whole episode deserves an award. Acting, special effectrx, directing, writing and the music.
Missy16 June 2016 at 23:01 #52723Anonymous @
I think so too.17 July 2016 at 18:22 #53307
I thought this episode was effective and moving, but the weakest part of the finale three-parter. Part of it was that Clara’s death felt too contrived — even with the rules laid out about how the chronolock worked, it never explained why the Doctor couldn’t just stop or destroy the quantum shade itself before it could unjustly slay Clara, given that he knew what it was and how it worked. Aren’t words his weapons? Why not talk to it before it was too late?
Also, it really bothered me that the other characters present for the climax didn’t do anything to help the Doctor. Couldn’t somebody have subdued Ashildr before he was teleported away, and/or gone for help? Heck, why didn’t he do that and make a break for the TARDIS and get to prying that bracelet off? (He’s got lots of keys, remember, to the TARDIS and otherwise.)
Finally, Clara Oswald gave a terrible “pep talk” to him before her demise — basically telling him “You can’t handle this and nobody cares about you and your feelings, but you have to be everybody’s martyr anyway.” No wonder he decides not to listen in the next episode!
I’m hoping that the Doctor calls in his debt to Anahson and her mum next season… 😉18 July 2016 at 04:16 #53317Anonymous @
I think it’s important to remember that this episode and its finale -the “pep talk” to which you refer, is more symbolic than just a narrative thread. The points were Clara was always over-reaching, the Doctor always saves people but he can demonstrate rage (see Donna’s wedding) and so, commendably, Clara quietens the inner demon by: “be a Doctor.” Had she not died there, that day, it would have happened elsewhere.
Words couldn’t be his weapons in this or every instance -“every good man faces the world with actions” and sometimes, with inaction, which is symbolic in itself.18 July 2016 at 06:32 #53320
As the Doctor says in Husbands of River Song, he can’t change things/save people, every time, and this was one of those times.
Missy18 July 2016 at 09:11 #53321
@puroandson Words couldn’t be his weapons in this or every instance -“every good man faces the world with actions” and sometimes, with inaction, which is symbolic in itself.
And Clara has pent up his best weapon herself: “Whatever you’re about to say, don’t.” She disarms him and forbids him to *act* out revenge. He bows to her wishes (at least in the heat of that moment), with a silent action of love, not rage — that kiss on the knuckles. (I read that he came up with that while doing the scene — damn, Capaldi’s good.) I can’t see her speech as a pep talk either — I think it’s much more layered than that. I think it’s a speech about being realistic about limitations: the pragmatism that life teaches by demanding it.
She says, My limitation is that I got myself into this and must must choose to accept the consequences, including not being able to make it less hurtful to you (“What about me?” “If I could do something about that, I would”) in order not to fail my own integrity. Then she says, now you must put limitations on yourself — that’s *your* part here. So he does.
To me, that’s not a pep talk. It’s a complex, deeply intimate interaction between the two of them. But I’m probably “over-thinking” it, as they say (one of *my* limitations, I guess — if there are depths, I’ll find them, and if there aren’t, I’ll make ’em up!).18 July 2016 at 09:57 #53322Anonymous @
yes, I don’t see it as some pep talk but perhaps a serious and final conversation between two people who have travelled together, saved lives -together -two people, in fact, who have grown in a certain way due to momentous events (the day the Doctor chose to save Gallifrey with The Moment) which have shaped them both.
She knows his panoply of thoughts, words, deeds and attempts to simplify the complexities of this non-human mind to focus on his heart, his memory and his need to “be” a Doctor. She then writes that on the board with the words “remember me” at the very end of the series.
I see her speech in the lane book-ended by her chalk writing on the board -the last words the Doctor would ever read from this person/being who, fittingly, he can no longer remember. There exists a cut-out or hole in his mind of a ‘Clara-shaped’ person which is a very beautiful and vivid concept -far more distinguished than if Clara “stayed dead” – the mantra of those who dislike Clara’s “resurrection” (at the “hands of Moffat”) as a terrible script decision: I think it was far more brave (dare I invoke that expression) to have her return and then categorically forget Clara so completely considering this was hinted right from the beginning in “remember me, you clever boy” implying a time in the paradox where he would no longer “remember” something important. Something very significant to him. And in the end he would play a melody and shrug -whilst his Tardis flies in the opposite direction to hers and Ashildr’s. 🙂
I think we were challenged to consider this possibility or even probability from the moment we met “soufflé girl”.
Kindest, PuroSolo18 July 2016 at 17:46 #53324
@ichabod No, you’re not overthinking it; you and the other commenters make good points. At the very least you’re not overthinking it any more than I tend to overthink things. And as an autistic woman, I overthink things a lot! 😉
That smooch on the knuckles was improvised?!? Wow!19 July 2016 at 06:13 #53334
Well, I didn’t know that! About the knuckle kiss I mean. It makes me appreciate Peter Capaldi even more, it was such a loving and poignant gesture.
Hurry up series 10.
Missy19 July 2016 at 19:06 #53336
“Hell Bent” follows this by leaving the true identity of the hybrid even murkier
Really? To me it was very clear that the Hybrid was the gestalt entity of the Doctor plus Clara – in itself a powerful meta-statement about those who inhabit the Tardis.
Heck, why didn’t he do that and make a break for the TARDIS and get to prying that bracelet off
It has been well established that the Doctor is more than willing to play a very long game. He wanted to know who was behind things, and was willing to do whatever was needed to find that out and save Clara.
(And, as others have said, Clara’s words were not in the vicinity of a pep talk. They were a warning in exactly the same way that Amy warned him not to travel alone – she knows him and thinks she know what he can do. Off course, she had no concept just how long he was willing to spend doing it)
*cough* Run you clever boy, and remember *cough* 😉19 July 2016 at 23:12 #53337
@puroandson I think it was far more brave (dare I invoke that expression) to have her return and then categorically forget Clara so completely considering this was hinted right from the beginning in “remember me, you clever boy” implying a time in the paradox where he would no longer “remember” something important. Something very significant to him. And in the end he would play a melody and shrug -whilst his Tardis flies in the opposite direction to hers and Ashildr’s. 🙂 I think we were challenged to consider this possibility or even probability from the moment we met “soufflé girl”.
I think I’d use the word “bold”, rather than “brave”, since Moffat already has lots of hate from his haters so in a way he can do anything he likes without incurring wrath he doesn’t already receive; but bah, no quibbles really — I agree that yes, looking back, I can see a pattern of stressing “memory” and its failures, past and future, that’s admirable, if you see it as intended from the start. Memory and its vagaries and effects both in presence and absence turned out to be a powerful theme in S8-S9, perhaps more resonant for older viewers than younger ones, since the former have (usually) so much more of it stacked up — all of which will go, one day. Now, imagine that you’ve lived 900-2,000 yrs . . .
Interesting, too, that you point out the Tardises going in opposite directions. So the Doctor’s Tardis clearly agrees with the Doctor’s and Clara’s decision (that he’s now forgotten) to part decisively from Clara; no arguments or waffling on that score. Can’t get much more definitive than that.
@missrori That smooch on the knuckles was improvised?!? Wow!
I think I got that from one of Rachel Talalay’s breakdowns of how the show was made: they needed something more incisive than a long stare between them, and this actor found it, and delivered it perfectly — not a smoochy face/mouth kiss, which would have seemed very weird (to me, anyway), but not a formal, Old World hand kiss either (in which — I think I have this right, read it recently) the woman is supposed to be wearing gloves, in the first place, signaling her delicate purity and honor which must not be allowed to be smirched, and the gentleman is supposed to give an air kiss, not even actually touching the glove with his lips, signaling the appropriate response of respect and maybe even attraction, but honorable and unyielding self-restraint.
Well, the Doctor is only sometimes a gentleman in terms of manners at least, and the circumstances or particularly special, so — Capaldi and Coleman deliver perfection, IMO. Right there, in beautiful public.
@pedant To me it was very clear that the Hybrid was the gestalt entity of the Doctor plus Clara – in itself a powerful meta-statement about those who inhabit the Tardis.
Yes, that was stated outright plainly enough. I just didn’t find it entirely definitive as an explanation of such a broad term, so I can only take it as — if you like — 0ne very useful meaning of “the Hybrid” among several. I like it as shorthand for the equal-but-not-equal, yet incredibly strong, even fatally strong, partnership they’ve developed, but I can’t deny a persistent undertone of skepticism.
And yes, the Doctor *loves* a long game! It’s way more diverting and entertaining than a short one, and he’s had enough experience at winning such games to have strong expectations of coming out the winner, which underlies his sometimes very impetuous jumps into risky situations: if they turn out not to be long games, he might be able to prolong them himself, with clever moves. Like Sherlock, the Doctor needs diversion from his own mind, and his own company. Only the Doctor is, IMO, more invested in being the Caretaker of the universe he knows and loves than Sherlock — who isn’t, poor fellow, alien or powerful or experienced *enough* to dare that. Sherlock is “just” a very smart guy. The Doctor, as Capaldi said once in dry and gentle rebuke to an interlocutor who used that term about the character he plays, “A ‘guy’? The Doctor is not ‘a guy’.” And (unless I’m making up this part myself because it was so strongly implied), “I’m a guy; the Doctor is the Doctor.”
So true; but, from what’s publicly known about him, *what* a guy!20 July 2016 at 03:03 #53339Anonymous @
Yeah, somewhere I thought it was “run you clever boy and remember ME”
But no, it wasn’t that.
At the end, in his forgetting bubble he sees the words: “run…be a Doctor.”
But no “remember”. I’ll have to go and look.
“Pep” talk. This is not an expression I prefer -strictly speaking in my opinion – I’m sure it’s one way for others to view it and I’ve no problem with that. I prefer something a little more hefty considering the moment. Something more grand p’haps.20 July 2016 at 04:36 #53340Anonymous @
Or, you could download and read the script here:
which, interestingly, aside from confirming, “run…be a Doctor,” as the actual ‘note’ left by Clara, also indicates that the Doctor did remember Clara when he saw her picture on the TARDIS, something that certainly wasn’t obvious to me from Capalidi’s performance at the time but kind of makes sense to me now, given how happy the Doctor seemed to be after he got back into the TARDIS.
And also, I rather suspect he would have kept on looking for her if his memory was incomplete; whereas, I believe the intention is that knowing the way things are, which he appears to in the end, he needs to move on.20 July 2016 at 05:29 #53341
Well, the Doctor is only sometimes a gentleman in terms of manners at least, and the circumstances or particularly special, so — Capaldi and Coleman deliver perfection, IMO. Right there, in beautiful public.
Agreed. To me it was almost a salute.
I think that you could be right. He just pretended to forget, that way Clara could go off and live as long as she could – the long way round.20 July 2016 at 05:59 #53343Anonymous @
No I think he didn’t remember her at all.
That was the point of the episode.
I think others up thread have written convincing accounts as to why: it’s not in the actual script we witnessed on television as it aired. The picture itself held no awareness for him as the girl herself, Clara, was unrecognisable to him also. It’s a classic Greek, opera Buffa style or comedic projection.20 July 2016 at 06:51 #53345
While the Doctor is talking to Clara he does not recognise her because he has no memory of Clara herself. He knows only the hole that is left where the memory should be as he says. At the end though, when he sees Rigsey’s portrait on the Tadis he must realise that it was Clara he was talking too and that is the moment that he “lets go” of his grief and accepts that she is gone knowing that she is off having adventures in her own Tardis. His not recognising her is essential for the poignancy of that ending. (which is as near to perfect a series ending as I have ever seen.)
Janette20 July 2016 at 07:44 #53346
@stitchintime @puroandson I don’t think he remembers, either, and yep, I’m one of those who put my thinking on it out there way up-thread. I think he takes the chalkboard message as one he might have written himself at some earlier point, or that the Tardis might have generated for him.
@puroandson The picture itself held no awareness for him as the girl herself, Clara, was unrecognisable to him
— as anyone else than, for some inexplicable reason, that young waitress back in the diner, because he still doesn’t have any idea of what Clara looked like. I do like the idea of pinpointing a moment when, in full knowledge of what just happened, he *decides* to let go of his grief and move on, @janetteb, I can’t believe in it (if I read your comment as you meant it to be read). I think the grief is already gone, just a shadowy sense of loss (but who was that person who’s gone, and why is he driven to keep looking for her?), that’s been clinging to him.
Maybe I could be convinced otherwise, if he did something like turning staring back after the vanished diner after spotting the Tardis and its picture — but he seems just bewildered by the thing vanishing with a Tardis-y sound. What distracts and galvanizes him into action isn’t the picture (of that nice waitress, for some odd reason) painted on the Tardis, but the fact that there’s his Tardis, that has finally found *him* — so he can be the Doctor again.
But mostly because to me, it’s a far more effective little scene if we, the viewers, know what’s happened, and Clara has left away knowing what’s happened, but he, the normally ahead-of-everybody-else Doctor, doesn’t know — yet he instinctively understands what’s expected of him, what’s right for him, and does it, with increasing energy and confidence, because that’s who he is. That’s just the take on it that works for me, although I can see the appeal of other views (Moffat, you devil!).20 July 2016 at 14:03 #53347
About the whole issue of the graffiti still being on the TARDIS — I was asking at TVTropes why the Doctor’s mind wipe wouldn’t be more or less moot once he was back in it, because surely he had pictures, mementos, etc. of Clara in there that would jog his memory — and the TARDIS itself would remember her. Someone suggested that she must have “de-Claraized” it beforehand, since she had her own key, and did leave behind the message on the chalkboard and the new Crombie coat. But if she was being that thorough about it, why leave the graffiti intact? 😀
In the meantime, yeah, “pep talk” wasn’t the best choice of words regarding Clara’s final speech in this episode. But still, I bet she regrets telling him to heal himself. Because he tried…by burning a billion billion hearts in a confession dial! 😉
It just bugged me that she couldn’t have couched her “order” to him in a more positive fashion — saying that she can’t do anything about his suffering, etc. Why not ask Ashildr not to teleport him into the hands of his enemies? Now I understand that she knew that Ashildr only went along with the plot to keep the trap street safe, and Clara didn’t want the Doctor to hurt her or anyone else — as the Doctor himself put it in his closing lines. But even so, why does the Doctor have to be sold down the river and suffer? Sure, he loves the long game, but why not at least tell him that he isn’t really going to be alone — that he has to think not only of her but of all the other people in the universe who love and care for him. That perhaps if he is kind, good, and strong, he’ll get the help he needs. That would be more motivating than telling him he’ll be alone and might not be strong enough to resist his darker impulses. But that’s just me!20 July 2016 at 17:29 #53354Anonymous @
Well, it seems to me that the Doctor is one who cannot resist a mystery; therefore I think that if he didn’t remember her completely, he would have continued to search for her forever, hence derailing everything. But in view of the apparent ambiguity, such that we are unlikely to reach a consensus on this, which knowing the folks running this show could be quite intentional, perhaps this will not be finally resolved until season 10 or later.20 July 2016 at 17:46 #53355Anonymous @
“He just pretended to forget, that way Clara could go off and live as long as she could – the long way round.”
That’s an interesting theory. I didn’t think he was pretending, but that he didn’t remember until he saw that picture. He does stare at it for a good long time, which suggests to me that he is at first non-plussed to see a picture of what he thought to be the waitress and then slowly realizes it was Clara all along. I think the use of the portrait is highly significant given a portrait of her is all he had to remember her by for four-and-a-half billion years, something that I suspect would be difficult to forget.–a memory jogger, if ever there was one. And then he also remembered the reason they had to part ways and he knew she was as safe as she could be for the time being, that there was nothing more he could do at this point and he had to let her go.
Then again, as I suggested above, I have a feeling there may be more to this story, which we may or may not find out later.20 July 2016 at 22:14 #53364
Yeah, I think that by the time he regenerates, or perhaps when he regenerates, the whole business about memory and Clara will be settled, done and dusted. After all, Ten said goodbye to his companions and other associates, and Eleven had a vision of Amy. Twelve will likely find final closure regarding Clara when he comes to his destiny.
Actually, I think one of the most intriguing questions about Twelve is what his total story arc will turn out to be. It has to be something bigger than Clara, bigger than finding Gallifrey…something cosmic that will tie everything together.21 July 2016 at 00:57 #53368
Yeah, somewhere I thought it was “run you clever boy and remember ME”
Yes – she used that as well (in Snowmen).21 July 2016 at 01:07 #53369
The Hell Bent script was discussed at length, with theory and everything.
On the Hell Bent thread, which this isn’t.
Actually, I think one of the most intriguing questions about Twelve is what his total story arc will turn out to be. It has to be something bigger than Clara, bigger than finding Gallifrey…something cosmic that will tie everything together.
Why? It could, on everything we have seen, just as easily be the story of a lonely child who has slowly learned to belong. While saving the universe as a matter of course.21 July 2016 at 01:59 #53371Anonymous @
I agree -a lonely child is a helluva “story mission” and I might add that as someone who was always attracted to social history I’m glad that the current iteration hasn’t seen or visited some famous artist, inventor, musician etc.
I like the little people. It’s what moves the Doctor too -whether it be Rory or Astrid Peth.
I think others on a diff thread were discussing the visiting of the ‘famous people’21 July 2016 at 23:19 #53389Anonymous @
“Actually, I think one of the most intriguing questions about Twelve is what his total story arc will turn out to be. It has to be something bigger than Clara, bigger than finding Gallifrey…something cosmic that will tie everything together.”
It could be. I guess we will just have to wait and see.22 July 2016 at 11:19 #53397
I think there is room for both ‘little’ people and the famous. A bit of variation never hurts.
Missy23 July 2016 at 02:39 #53402
@missy True enough, and DW has thriven on just that; pity many fans only give lip-service to change, but balk like a spooked horse at the actual jump (from one actor-Doctor to another, that is). Even a show based on theme-and-variations will attract a conservative fringe — though of course, as in most questions of judgment, where to draw the line varies from person to person, and sometimes too *much* change can throw everything out of whack for too many fans, I suppose.23 July 2016 at 05:06 #53403
@ichabod There are good changes bad changes. Change is not good simply for the sake of change. AG Who changed a lot but it maintained a feel that made the series still recognisable as BG Who. The Canadian film for instance failed to do that and that is why it failed and fans generally hated it. Dr Who has a certain “feel” to it that means that one can watch a recent episode and watch a story from the first series back in 1963 and accept that it is the same series. Superficial things, such as the gender of the Doctor, can change without altering that fundamental feel. The Doctor becoming an out and out beefcake action hero (for example) would alter the fundamental nature of the character. Urgh. Please no. The portrayal of the Doctor in the film, (from memory) was not the issue but the script was wrong and the overall glossy look was too radically different from the quality of the original.
Some people will just object to any and all changes without consideration of how those changes affect the underlying nature of the show, if they are necessary to keep the series “current” and if they add something new and wonderful to something that must always grown and develop. That is human nature.
Janette23 July 2016 at 06:05 #53404
I agree. Not being a fan of Paul McGann, or any of his family, I disliked this film intensely. As you say, it didn’t have the right ring to it.
Missy23 July 2016 at 08:00 #53406Anonymous @
Paul McGann and his brothers and absolutely brilliant people in the world of television and cinema. One Withnail and I was always a favourite. I introduced it to young Son last night as a matter of fact: his words, “one of the best films I’ve seen.”
I recall a stunning telly series with the McGann brothers regarding the potato famine in Ireland-perhaps filmed some 15 -18 years ago? Brilliant. @pedant @jimthefish you may know of this particular series? I’d like to get a hold of it some time.
Then, I believe the cute little Midwives story has the elder McGann brother as the genial doctor? (not a huge fan of that little series but it had Jenny Arguter -and I love her)
Puro and Son23 July 2016 at 23:09 #53411JimTheFish @jimthefishTime Lord
The TV series you’re thinking of is The Hanging Gale. And I’ve known I’ve said this before, but fans of McGann should really check out the dramatisation of Our Mutual Friend from 10 or so years ago. Not only is it a roll call of familiar Who faces, it’s got some splendid performances in it, including a great one from McGann.
As for the TV Movie, personally I think it got more right than it got wrong. It was just the general plot that was wrong rather than anything majorly tonal or structural I think. If there had been a TV series then I think it would have found its feet in no time at all….24 July 2016 at 01:37 #53412Anonymous @
Halloo! Thank you -The hanging Gale. I don’t know the other one of which you speak. Aaaand hang on…Our Mutual Friend…of course I know that one. At first I thought “eh?”
As for the film, I agree, it seemed to get more right than wrong -there were a few cringe worthy moments and one overall cringe worthy ‘bad guy’ -but I’m not sure he hasn’t become more acceptable over time.
PuroS24 July 2016 at 06:11 #53413
I’ve got Our Mutual Friend, bought it ages ago. 2001 it was released. Yes, PM was very good, I simply don’t like him.
Missy25 July 2016 at 05:07 #53421Anonymous @
Overall, I thought the movie was good, although not great, but on the whole I tend to prefer the way McGann played the Doctor in most of the Big Finish audios that I have heard. His ‘cameo’ for the 50th anniversary did not impress me very much. Then again, there really wasn’t much too it.25 July 2016 at 07:08 #53425
@missy — Funny, I don’t care for McGann either — maybe he’s just to smooth for my taste. I like ’em a bit spiky, myself.25 July 2016 at 14:43 #53433
@jimthefish I love Our Mutual Friend. One of my favourite Dickens’ adaptations. I started watching the Hanging Gale when it was on TV many years ago but had trouble distinguishing which brother was which. I am due for a rewatch. (it should be in my collection somewhere.) I was pointing out one of the McGann brothers to my youngest the other day in Shackleton. They do all look alike.
I really enjoyed P.M in the minsode. I think it is a pity he didn’t get to do more. I have only heard one Big Finish. He has a good voice for Radio work.
Janette26 July 2016 at 05:42 #5343627 July 2016 at 00:04 #53441Anonymous @
“He has a good voice for Radio work.”
Yes, I think so too. I like many of the Big Finish audios I’ve heard, however, not just the McGann ones; so it could also be that.27 July 2016 at 06:33 #53445
Of the many, many talking books I’ve listened to, I’ve never heard any of the McGanns as narrators. I shall look out for them.
Missy28 July 2016 at 04:03 #53449Anonymous @
Regarding McGann, as you’ve said you like something a bit more spiky than smooth, you might want to check out the Lucy Miller as companion series of Big Finish or later, as some of those are I think a bit more intense. Then again, there are a few, such as, “Something Inside,” and, “Other Lives,” which predate that, that are also a bit heavier. It really depends on which ones you choose. I’ve heard that apparently McGann actually prefers heavier stuff than he was getting in the beginning, but I think back then he may have been just happy to be doing some more Who.29 July 2016 at 11:38 #53468
@stitchintime: Thank you for the info.
Although I’ve seen the above mentioned on here, I’ve never actually heard of them anywhere else? I’m assuming they are talking books? Google, here I come.
Missy29 July 2016 at 17:18 #53474Anonymous @
Actually they are audio-plays or performances rather than audio books; so, they are multi-cast and include music and sound effects.
For examples, see:
There you will also see the prices for the CD versions and that the downloads are considerably less expensive. A good library might have some of them or have access to them. I tend to have obtained access to them in a similar way and so I have not heard any of the more recent ones. Hence I’ve only gotten as far as the end of season 3 of Lucie Miller’s run as companion, which fortunately worked out well for me as I felt it was a kind of a high point and therefore a suitable place to stop.31 July 2016 at 05:51 #53490
Ah, I see. Believe it or not I don’t listen to Doctor Who books or plays, I much prefer to watch them.
My favourite place to go is BBC 4 Extra, the amount of plays and books are astonishing. If I want a change, I go to YouTube, lots of stuff on there too.
Thank you for the link though. *thumbs up*
Missy1 August 2016 at 00:42 #53510Anonymous @
“Thank you for the link though. *thumbs up*”
You welcome! (*grins*)8 August 2016 at 18:31 #53617
Getting back to “Face the Raven”, one thing I only recently thought of that makes this story even sadder, and the Doctor’s actions throughout Series 9 more understandable:
By this point, both the Doctor and Clara know there isn’t an afterlife in the Whoniverse. When one is dead, they’re dead; dirt in the ground, smoke on the wind. No “promised land” waiting, except the false one that was the Nethersphere. (I’m surprised the Doctor never mentioned that to Ashildr. He may have trapped her in life, but consider the Cyber-alternative…) So the Doctor couldn’t assure himself that Clara would be in a better place. Maybe that’s why he was starting to get more concerned about not losing people he cared about — especially her.
When one considers that Torchwood suggests there’s nothing, or nothing good, on the other side as well…well, it’s harder to blame the Doctor, really. There’s nothing beyond the veil in the Whoniverse, unless I’ve missed something…
Actually, given the heaven/hell and death motifs in his tenure thus far, perhaps the Twelfth Doctor’s “big” arc will finally reveal there is a real promised land and give him something to work towards/look forward to?8 August 2016 at 23:06 #53620Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
The Doctor certainly seems to believe that – but he always does seem to have believed that. The Time Lords (as distinct from the Gallifreyans) seem to be the type of atheists that make Richard Dawkins look like a devout Anglican. If anything, Dark Water seems to indicate that he’s becoming a little less certain, a bit more agnostic. The Nethersphere? Well, it’s defined as not so much an afterlife, rather a bit more life than you were expecting. The ultimate question of what happens next isn’t so much answered as postponed.
Torchwood certainly does try to suggest that there’s nothing on the other side by having someone briefly revived and remembering (literally) nothing: it’s another example of RTD’s tone-deafness about religion that he doesn’t know that this would be entirely compatible with Christian theology, possibly Buddhism as well. I think the worst tone-deaf point was when he had someone lose their faith due to aliens. Really not sure how he’s managed to avoid noticing the number of SF writers who are also practising members of a religion, or that the Vatican has a policy on alien contact. 😉
There are several other points in RTD scripts where I’d go ‘well, you got that bit about religion wrong’- but I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that in a Moffat script, even though he’s probably just as agnostic as RTD.
perhaps the Twelfth Doctor’s “big” arc will finally reveal there is a real promised land and give him something to work towards/look forward to?
Well, there were quite a few times in Series 8 when I was joking that Moffat must have been on an Alpha course, but I think any arc along those lines would only go as far as admitting that the Time Lords might be claiming certainty where there is no certainty.8 August 2016 at 23:55 #53621Anonymous @
The Time Lords…seem to be the type of atheists that make Richard Dawkins look like a devout Anglican.
Good one! LOL9 August 2016 at 09:36 #53625
@missrori and @bluesqueakpip Thank you both.
Very interesting posts. I haven’t an opinion one way or t’other (for once *chuckle*) simply enjoyed reading them.
Certainly food for thought.
Missy9 August 2016 at 13:56 #53632JimTheFish @jimthefishTime Lord
Actually, given the heaven/hell and death motifs in his tenure thus far, perhaps the Twelfth Doctor’s “big” arc will finally reveal there is a real promised land and give him something to work towards/look forward to?
Yes, this has definitely been an arc for the 12th Doctor. But I think with Heaven Sent/Hell Bent we’ve seen either the culmination of it, or a curveball. As the Doc said to the Clockwork Man in Deep Breath, he doesn’t believe in the Promised Land. That was probably a lie, given utterances later in the series. The Doctor did believe in the Promised Land (aka Gallifrey) but when he eventually found it, it was corrupted, disappointing and had to be overthrown. This, to my mind, casts the Doctor as Satan (in a very much Miltonic sense).
Where it goes now is open to speculation. Is the Gallifrey story ‘done’ now? Or is the story now the building of a new promised land? I suspect it’s the former….
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