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    Anonymous @

    @jimbomcmaster  @bluesqueakpip   I have attentively read all your discussions about the solution, The Moment’s role, Clara’s pivotal position in the story as well as, most importantly, the Choice and the ‘lesser of two [or three] evils’. I think, in the end, you do agree (with respect, as this is just my opinion) and Jimbo’s most recent post gave me pause in that direction.  Perhaps, initially, it was a case of semantics (normally not the way I would ‘label’ a ‘debate’ -as usually that’s considered by some as a ‘cop out’ –  though not by me) and then it centred on the discussion about whether The Choice is a ‘bad option’, a no other ‘option’ situation and whether any choice (or ‘either/or’) would be morally wrong; morally bankrupt or just “totally wrong”.

    I suspect in the end you might agree? Either way, this was a well handled debate and, for any people who come to this site and believe we are ‘stodgy’ followers of Who and agree ‘all the time’, then your discussions, erudite, not inflammatory, but clear and precise, should serve as an example to those occasional trolls and ‘venters’ who escalate an argument for the sake of creating one: here we flex our mental muscles (!). I am always interested in your views, Bluesqueak and yours, Jimbo; perhaps there is more to come in this discussion! Personally, I look forward to it.

    Kindest, puro

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster


    I did make a reply (post #34417) a few days ago, but I don’t think the tag worked so I thought I’d try again. Apologies for the delay.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Sorry for the delay; you raise some rather complex ideas which can’t be tackled with the speed of ‘maybe minaturisation is a key theme!’ 😉

    Okay, let’s do some of this formally. You have proposed the following.

    1. I have a choice between two wrong acts.
    2. I must make a choice between those acts.
    3. The best choice will be that act which is least wrong.

    So far, so good (sorry!). I think we can both agree on those propositions.

    However, you then continue:

    1. The least wrong choice is the right choice.
    2. A right choice is also a morally right choice
    3. Therefore the best (least wrong) choice of any set of options will be the morally right choice.
    4. Now at this point, Socrates would start rubbing his hands together about your second premise, and would ask you ‘But, Jimbo, can we prove that a right choice is always a morally right choice?’ Meanwhile the Athenians will be muttering ‘Well, if the least wrong choice is the morally right choice, does anyone have some hemlock to hand?’

      But that’s the crux of the disagreement between us. You believe that, in a choice between two morally wrong options, having to select the least wrong option will transform it into a ‘morally right choice’. I don’t agree. I go with ‘It’s always wrong,’ even if you sometimes have to do it.

      I think he would consider doing the Bad as, very occasionally, the ‘right’ choice.

      As was pointed out in Flatline, the Doctor frequently has to make these ‘no Third Way’ choices on a small scale. However, he doesn’t consider the Bad choice as a morally good choice. That’s why one of the questions this series is ‘Am I a good man?’. And, indeed, he twice separates Clara’s goodness from her excellent performance as ‘Doctor Clara’.

      I think the (very) occasional acknowledgment of this makes the show a deeper, more well-rounded thing.

      ‘The Doctor’ is not the person who kills children (or Space Whales, for that matter). That seems to be the bottom line according to Steven Moffat. If he does that, he isn’t ‘The Doctor’. And since he did do that, then what then needs to be shown is a long, hard journey back. One of grief, reparation-through-deeds, of trying to forget who he was and what he did – until finally, he can be ‘The Doctor’ again.

      What you don’t do is what Clara tried to do in Flatline; argue that because ‘we saved the world’ we can ignore the fact that ‘no good choices’ ended up with people dead. That is not deeper, or well-rounded. It’s simplistic, in fact.

      If you kill me, it doesn’t matter that by doing so you saved the world. You didn’t save my world.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @bluesqueakpip   @jimbomcmaster

    There is only ever one truly right choice. It is this: Never go in against a Sicilian when Death is on the line!

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    @bluesqueakpip – sorry for the slow reply!

    3. Therefore the best (least wrong) choice of any set of options will be the morally right choice.

    This isn’t quite what I’m saying. I’m not saying the best/least wrong/right choice of any set of options is always a morally right choice. For example, if someone asks you to guess what their job is, out of a set of options, guessing it right is not morally right any more than guessing it wrong is morally wrong.

    What I’m saying is that, if all the available choices have some kind of moral value, and not an equal moral value, the best choice = the least wrong = the right choice.

    So I’d like to rewrite your two sets of 1-2-3 like this (with additions/changes in bold) (also, remember one of the two possible ‘acts’ will of course be to not take action):

    1. I have a choice between two wrong acts, of differing moral value.

    2. I must make a choice between those acts.

    3. The best choice will be that act which is least morally wrong.


    1+2. The least morally wrong act is therefore the morally right choice.

    3. Therefore the best choice (the least morally wrong act) out of any set of morally wrong actions (of differing moral value) will be the morally right choice.

    So in the sort of ‘impossible choice’, ‘act or do not act’ scenario we are dealing with, I believe that a person should choose whatever act entails the smallest amount of ‘badness’ happening overall – not just the act which entails the smallest amount of ‘badness’ occurring by their hand personally. This is something I believe you agree with. So if someone does what little they can to make the outcome of a situation as positive an outcome as is possible (even if it’s still a negative outcome) I don’t think that this should be considered reprehensible. I think that’s unfair on the person who has found themselves in that situation, having to make that choice.

    I will say this though: In the sort of case we’re talking about, where even the Bad choice involves committing an act which is terrible in and of itself, choosing the Worse choice (or at least ‘failing’ to choose the Bad-But-Better choice) is of course not a horrendous thing to do. Killing a person takes a lot of guts, for want of a better phrase, (in fact I think I’m right in saying there are in-built inhibitions in the human brain against this), and pretty much anyone who happened to find themselves in this sort of situation would probably find it hard to come to terms with the fact that they are limited to choosing one of only those two choices. The thought of making either choice would be an emotional one. So, not choosing the Bad choice, even though it means choosing the Worse choice (and wrong choice, in my opinion), would be understandable and forgivable. However, I still believe the Bad choice in these ‘impossible choice’ scenarios is immensely more morally right. And as you say, I believe that out of two morally wrong acts the more morally right (aka least wrong) can be called, by definition, a ‘morally right’ choice.

    But that’s the crux of the disagreement between us. You believe that, in a choice between two morally wrong options, having to select the least wrong option will transform it into a ‘morally right choice’. I don’t agree. I go with ‘It’s always wrong,’ even if you sometimes have to do it.

    So basically I agree with your summary of the situation. But I’ll just deal with your later points too.

    If you kill me, it doesn’t matter that by doing so you saved the world. You didn’t save my world.

    I find this a surprising statement. I can only respond by saying: But I did save everyone else’s world, which I could not have done otherwise. That’s pretty good going as far as I’m concerned. I made the universe a better place than it would have been had I made the other choice. And, if I did it in full view of the facts of the situation, I consider that morally good.

    What you don’t do is what Clara tried to do in Flatline; argue that because ‘we saved the world’ we can ignore the fact that ‘no good choices’ ended up with people dead. That is not deeper, or well-rounded. It’s simplistic, in fact.

    It’s not ignoring that people died. It does take that fact into account, but it is also acknowledging another very important fact: that a greater number of people were saved that would not have been otherwise. Therefore, if someone chooses the Bad, to avoid the Worse, they shouldn’t be treated like a bad guy. They did what little they could to make the world a better place than it would have been otherwise (you and me both agree) and they shouldn’t feel bad for that or be punished for it.

    It’s not simplistic to think that making an overall positive difference to the world is a morally good thing. It’s simplistic to judge the morality of an action without taking into account it’s context; why this action was taken, what it’s intended consequences were.

    the Doctor frequently has to make these ‘no Third Way’ choices on a small scale. However, he doesn’t consider the Bad choice as a morally good choice.

    I think, in this latest season, this is often true for the Doctor. But by the end of the series, he has returned to my way of thinking (and the one I proposed he held in the Day of the Doctor (all three of him), pre-regeneration into the more introspective Twelve). After his revelation about himself at the end of Death in Heaven, the Twelfth Doctor says: ‘I’m an idiot. With a box. And a screwdriver. Just passing through. Helping out.’ In other words, he just takes the opportunity to do what he can to make a positive difference to the universe around him, as Clara was doing in Flatline. And, happily, I think that’s something he’s proud of by the end of this season.

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    @bluesqueakpip   – In response to your post which will be appearing on the blog:


    Undistributed middle: you’ve just turned the least morally wrong act into the morally right choice without confirming that the least morally wrong act IS always the morally right choice.

    If we are in a situation where the only available acts are immoral ones then the least morally wrong act IS always the morally right choice. I should point out that that is the whole point of my argument. That’s it. It’s not that I haven’t confirmed that the least morally wrong act is always the morally right choice in the ‘no Third Way’ scenarios – I’ve actually spent the entire discussion saying that it is. You may not agree. So we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    It should be considered reprehensible by the person who had to do it. Is that unfair?

    Yes, it is unfair. It is either reprehensible or it isn’t. There is another way (a more cerebral, less emotional, way) to stop someone repeating the act.

    The person who committed the Bad act to avoid the Worse (or someone else, eg a therapist/counsellor) should remind themselves of why they did it, and remind themselves that almost always that act is a bad one to commit. They should tell themselves that just because they happened to find themselves in the unlikely scenario where committing that act happened to be the best thing to do, that it will never be the best thing to do in any future scenarios (or at least very rarely). That they are not any more entitled to commit that act now than they were before the incident. There are probably other ‘debriefing’ ‘statements’ like these ones they could use, but my point is that this sort of thing serves the same purpose as the guilt/moral condemnation you advocate (preventing that person getting carried away with themselves, effectively) while not deliberately making that person feel bad in the process.

    So yes, it is a slippery slope, but you can avoid that slope through means other than saying that the person is immoral for what they did. You are right that someone coming out of a scenario of the sort we’re discussing could suffer from psychological ‘issues’ as a result (eg a shift in their judgment of when killing is ‘okay’, if ever), but surely someone’s psychological ‘issues’ should never be solved by them trying to make themselves feel bad.

    I don’t doubt that the person may feel guilty within themselves about what they did, understandably, but that doesn’t mean that it is fair that they do (it just shows that they are still human!). Guilt is a feeling that is built into our brains to control us in a way that is generally beneficial to society (to stop us repeating immoral acts), but the human brain is not perfect when it comes to this sort of thing. For example, lust is built into our brains to encourage us to procreate, but that doesn’t mean lust is always a good thing, or that it always has good results.

    Me: I made the universe a better place than it would have been had I made the other choice. And, if I did it in full view of the facts of the situation, I consider that morally good.

    You: I don’t know how much history you know. But the history of the Twentieth Century is, in many ways, a history of people (many people, in many countries) who thought it was morally good to kill other people to make the world a better place.

    And in those issues, I might very well disagree with those people about whether or not they were actually making the world a better place. In other words, in those instances I would likely disagree with them about which option counts as the ‘Bad’ and which is the ‘Worse’, or about whether it was a ‘No Third Way’ choice that they were actually facing to begin with (I suspect I would often think they weren’t). But that doesn’t mean that we would disagree about whether, in a ‘No Third Way’ choice, choosing the Bad to prevent the Worse should be considered morally right or morally wrong. Those would be two different debates.

    One debate is the one you and I are having. The other debate, which you also bring up with your heretic-burning and murder-reprisals examples, is: ‘here are some examples, which of each of these pairs of choices are the Bad and the Worse choices?’ But that isn’t our debate. Our debate is: ‘If there was only two choices, a Bad and a Worse (in other words, we are assuming that we agree which one is ‘Bad’, which one is ‘Worse’), then what are the moral implications of choosing the Bad?’ These are two different debates, and of course we don’t want to stray into the wrong debate.

    So, in my sentences that you quoted:

    I made the universe a better place than it would have been had I made the other choice. And, if I did it in full view of the facts of the situation, I consider that morally good.

    the thing we are debating is the second sentence: ‘I consider that morally good’ (whereas you don’t consider it so) and not the first sentence: ‘I made the universe a better place…’ (which would be the subject of another debate if we were talking about a specific example eg declarations of war against Germany). Remember that we both agree that we would/should choose the Bad-but-better choice, and that all we disagree on is whether the act which that entails can be considered morally right or morally wrong.

    Re: your examples of contexts for killings:

    The point of taking the context into account is not to then say ‘great, that’s that context taken into account, now I can declare that this person was justified no matter what’. It is so that we can make a judgment about whether they were justified, or not. Essentially we are asking ‘Do I agree with the killer about which choice was the Bad and which was the Worse? Do I even agree that it was a ‘No Third Way’ choice at all?’ Most importantly we should ask ‘Did the killer do enough to search for a Third Way?’ You seem to believe that the context is essentially irrelevant and that the person who has to choose the Bad choice in a No Third Way scenario has done wrong no matter what. So I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    Me: he has returned to my way of thinking

    You: Are you sure? He rejects the army. And he’s horrified at the thought of killing Danny.

    Yes I am sure.

    He rejects the army because he’s very good at stopping bad things without causing bad things to happen in the process. He doesn’t need an army to get the same results. This isn’t a ‘no Third Way’ choice – because the third choice is to reject the army and still save lives without killing.

    Of course he’s horrified at the thought of killing Danny. Regardless of whether he holds your view or my view on the morality of killing Danny in that situation, he would still be horrified at the thought. Also, this was before his revelation about himself at the end of the episode, so isn’t actually entirely relevant.

    Anyway, this will have to be my last post about this discussion, I’m afraid. I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree, otherwise this could go on forever! It’s been enlightening and enjoyable.


    Anonymous @

    @jimbomcmaster  @bluesqueakpip  I must get my head around this debate. Whilst I agree with you on some points I cannot top your examples; neither can I agree with the relativist position in full.

    When The Doctor spins on his heels and declaims: “…just passing through, helping out” I can’t connect with this as not “entirely relevant” (insofar as this revelation occurred only at the end of the episode) -the Doctor sits within the middle, before and beyond time. Yes, he has realisations; definitives occur to him that, as part of the story of Who, must be elemental and acute -these exist to speak to the audience. We are ‘in time’, so to speak.

    Socratic arguments aside, I recognise that the paragraph above is not constant to your main debate, but the positioning of the Doctor and his digressive narrative is an essential element of the story behind the debate.

    Socratic arguments to the fore: It is not necessarily a morally right choice if it is the least morally wrong act – the differing moral values are created outside the loop of the Socratic argument itself.

    Justified Context is just hubris – in my opinion.

    Goodness, puro.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @purofilion, @jimbomcmaster, @scaryb and @all

    The entire debate has now been turned into a blog, so it can be read in one place.

    All 15,000 words plus. 😀

    Happy New Year!

    ichabod @ichabod

    I think one qualifier needs to be added in the choice debate, and that is this: since we can not possibly know in advance *all* of the consequences of whichever choice we make, at the moment of making the choice there is no “right” choice or “wrong”  choice in practical terms.  And what appears, with our limited vision into the future (as in, *none*, since a methane exploding from deep layers within the earth could blow the whole place to smithereens at any moment, or the final pandemic could just have been launched in Buenos Aires, etc.) to be a “better” choice can always turn out to be a much worse one, depending on where you (or others) in the future choose to draw the line and say, “There, this is how that choice turned out” (which will always be incorrect, since much of the time we have no idea of how that past choice has spread its consequences into the future and meshed and melded them with the consequences of everybody else’s choices since then)..

    In terms of our little lives, of course, we go by whatever rule of thumb about the probabilities of consequences of this choice or that, because the alternative is an extreme form of Quietism — to do literally nothing at all, thus producing no consequences (which is also impossible; you take a breath of air, and there are consequences).  But for the Doctor, while operating on this basis (because even for a time traveler, could it ever be possible to follow out *all* of the consequences, good or bad — however you would determine that — of any choice?), he would also, I should think, be well aware of the elements of contingency in every choice, now and moving on into whatever future the interplay of all our choices produces, moment by moment.  He is (potentially at least) much closer to the “God’s eye” view (just the view — I’m not getting into the “God” part) than any of us, yet must live and act largely in a state of blindness as to the real-world ethical significance of his own choices, intermeshed with ours.

    Now I have a headache, and am going to eat some cookies.  If this contributes something of use to the discussion, I’m glad; if not, please forgive me for thinking out loud, and I’ll try not to in future.

    Whatever that may turn out to be . . .




    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    @ichabod – this is a good point. When facing a Bad/Worse choice, a person must of course consider the probability that the ‘Worse’ would actually come to pass if they choose ‘Inaction’ (aka ‘Worse’). As you say, nothing is ever guaranteed. If it’s 99% likely, then the person’s choice might be a different one than if it’s only 50% likely. If they choose the ‘Bad’, they are in a sense betting on the possibility that the ‘Worse’ would actually have come to pass if they did not choose the ‘Bad’.


    When I said the ‘not entirely relevant’ thing, it was in response to @Bluesqueakpip ‘s latest post which did not actually appear on this forum (I just replied to it here cos I couldn’t get the formatting right as a PM). It is on the blog post though.

    The reason the Doctor’s horror at the thought of killing Danny wasn’t relevant was because I’d previously said that by the end of Series 8 the Doctor had essentially returned completely to my way of thinking on this debate. This happened when he had the revelation you mention (“…just passing through, helping out”). And thus evidence taken from before that revelation that is intended to make a comment on his point of view after that revelation isn’t relevant – it tells us nothing about his viewpoint on the matter at the end of Series 8 because his viewpoint on the matter will change again before the end. (Although in fact he would have been horrified while holding either viewpoint – its not like he’d want to kill Danny in any circumstance).

    Hope this helps.





    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    I know it will have been done but …

    One dimensional man, musing on his existence thinks, “What’s the point?”

    ichabod @ichabod

    @Barbara Lefty  I love a smile in the morning (well, my morning here, anyway); thanks!

    lisa @lisa

    @Barbara Lefty – Nice !

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @barbaralefty – Nice one. 🙂 I’ll bite.

    Two dimensional woman, musing on her existence thinks, “I’m going round in circles, here.”

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @barbaralefty   @bluesqueakpip

    Not as clever as the first two, but:

    Three dimensional child, musing on his/her existence, thinks, “I am the centre of the universe!”

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    ha @bluesqueakpip! I feel I have acquitted myself here and someone else come up with the 3D one. I’m having a ball, but I fear if I keep going it’ll all go pear shaped …

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    groan! I mean, excellent @arbutus!! 😛 Who’ll do 4 dimensions? 😉

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @arbutus and @barbaralefty

    Four dimensional alien, musing on their existence thinks, “I need a bit more time.”

    I’ll get me coat…

    Whisht @whisht


    Very true…. I’m forever musing on my place in the universe.

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    Yeah, @whisht, @bluesqueakpip, think it got real there o_O

    Arbutus @arbutus


    Oh, well done. Your drink is at the bar. 🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    @Barbara Lefty  Nix on 4th dimension here — I’m already up to six, doing my tax-prep!  (Finally . . . now I know why I kept putting off completing the job.)

    TenthDoctorFtw @tenthdoctorftw

    @ichabod @purofilion @barbaralefty

    Watching Flatline right now. Saw something very, very weird. Peter Capaldi got a haircut in the middle of shooting the episode. Until 30:28 he has the normal hair and after that he has a new haircut!!!!

    TenthDoctorFtw @tenthdoctorftw

    @ichabod @purofilion @barbaralefty

    Oh and at the end of the episode he has the old hair again. Thats a production designing fail.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yes, they shot some scenes from the episode in pick-ups, weeks or possibly months after the main shooting block. By which time, Peter Capaldi had had a haircut.

    Haircut spotting is always fun – there’s another good example in Time of Angels where Matt Smith’s Doctor seems to leap off mid episode for a quick trim.

    TenthDoctorFtw @tenthdoctorftw

    @bluesqueakpip Yeah! I don’t how come I’ve never noticed this before. And there is another thing in Flatline, I’m going to try to explain it the best way I can. The 1st time the Tardis gets smaller the door *compared to the main frame is centered on the floor. When it gets even smaller its in the center or the main frame. For some reason they changed the framing. I’m getting very dorky detailed sometimes.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip @tenthdoctorftw

    the hair. I spent weeks analysing the hair and I needed some kind of binary calculus system to work out if the Doctor had the shorter hair whilst wearing the sparkly t-shirt. Turns out: hair cut and the shirt was his idea.

    Honestly, madness, cuts one way.

    With respect the door, the smallness and its ‘positioning’ are correct -the door moves further away -or it appears to be, imo.

    TenthDoctorFtw @tenthdoctorftw


    The hair thing happens a lot in many series. My boyfriend knows a lot of how things work in series and cinemas and said that its a production designing fault. If they allow it no one else can have a word at it. That’s why you can find “mistakes” in series in general.

    It amazes me every single time I watch this episode that the flat people literally act as zombies but only run a little faster. Do you have any idea how their “look” worked out? I know I’m getting a little technical here but I thought it might be a greenscreen sheet on them.

    About the door, the thing you said, it didn’t even occur to me for some reason and that is a much simpler explanation than what I thought!!

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion  — course they can’t run fast!  They’ve only just got legs, and crap legs at that, all rick-tacky.  The Doctor despatched the bunch of them in the nick of time.  A little more practice, and —

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The behind-the-scenes video had some details on the flat people effect.

    Basically, it involved taking lots of 2D photos of the actors and then using the photos for animation.

    Anonymous @


    thanks for that -I hadn’t gotten around to reading about those effects in S8 at all -other than a little on the commentaries and I think I mentioned how ‘enraged’ I was about some of those  -although I do understand a lot more about how much time elapses before a Director attempts to discuss his plans and execution of the episode.

    I was still watching some of the episodes only for the 3rd time -so I hadn’t gone looking for the answers to some of my questions about production -the issue about the hair Capaldi had, did annoy a bit.

    For awhile, I was utterly convinced that the episodes hadn’t occurred in the ‘same order’ compared with Clara and that allowed for a further plot arc not yet resolved, his general endless and unfinished calculations and of course his changed appearance -the t-shirt as well as the hair. But he had his own haircut -without the permission of the wardrobe and continuity department, I ask you, how is THAT fair? 😉

    @ichabod “course they can’t run fast!  They’ve only just got legs, and crap legs at that, all rick-tacky. “

    Uhm? I don’t think I talked about the flatliner’s people? Was that someone else? Did I say they can’t run fast? Sorry, must have been a mind wobble on my behalf!

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion  — Misdirected comment, my fault — somebody posted that the Flatliners were very slow moving zombies, or some such.  I was responding to that, meaning that their legs are in zig-zags (thank you, automatic correction function, for utter nonsense of “rick-tacky”, above), so it must be hard to move faster.

    He went and got a haircut on his own?  How *dare* he?  They must be very pissed with him!  I wonder a bit, though, about that hair.  We’ve seen at interviews and out of shot bits of film when he fluffles his fingers through it in a very emphatic and thorough way, more like a — pardon me, but I don’t know how else to put this — more like a dog scratching an itch behind his ear than a guy just smoothing his hair down.  It could be that it’s both wild and itchy when it gets long, so when he needs to not be distracted by it he doesn’t ask anybody, just goes and gets it cut, and that’s that.  It’s great-looking hair, but specially good stuff sometimes comes with special maintenance requirements, too.

    Just a thought.

    Anonymous @

    @ichabod I agree re the hair. Me saying the flatters were like zombies? Me? Hah! Detention: woman!

    On the Sofa thread I posted a rather long and rambling post (my fav) about the change in companions lately -to Clara’s amazing self-sufficiency as companion or ‘virtual’ doctor and quite a few other things I can barely remember. I’m a bit embarrassed now

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion — f’Chris’ sake, don’t be embarrassed — I just *answered* that post (and had a good time doing it, too).  Good post (mine too, I hope).


    TenthDoctorFtw @tenthdoctorftw

    Oh thanks, that’s interesting. The work these guys are doing is awesome!!

    Spider @spider

    I just decided the hair was due to the whole dimension messing about that was going on 😉

    As for the look of the boneless, I thought in some scenes they looked a lot like a Lidar scan with visible imagery imposed on top – which I thought was pretty cool since it’s 2D creatures trying to be 3D  – which is exactly what a Lidar scan is trying to do!  (Laser bean scanned over area and trying to recreate 3D from the timing of the returns).

    Oh dear, I’ve gone all ‘sensor’ again XD


    ichabod @ichabod

    @spider —  Well, you (and our eternal sidekick, Autocorrect) have definitely made my evening with a “Laser bean” scanning the area . . . Ah, the image . . . When not filled with rage and dread for various and sundry excellent reasons, I do love living in the modern era!  Who knew that new tech would be the source of so much verbal slapstick?  Besides the people who developed it all, of course.

    Spider @spider

    Damnit! Shouldn’t have mentioned Laser bean – that’s top secret that is! I’ll have UNIT round at my door if I’m not careful.

    Hmm, ok time for emergency procedures, Strax – fetch the memory worm … and the gloves this time.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Passed on from Strax:

    Sir: I have discovered a strange alien life form. They appear to have the shape of a giant worm. Would you like me to eviscerate them?


    Spider @spider

    Lol @bluesqueakpip   😀


    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    I think ” The Flatline ” is the best episode in season 8 . I even love the title because it reminded me of the Torchwood radio drama ” The Dead Line ” so I was even fan girling over the title . It was great seeing The Doctor on his own for a change and it was a great idea having him trying to keep the Tardis safe from danger like trains . It was also great seeing Clara act like The Doctor . She even had her own companion . Clara was a great Doctor . I also think The Boneless were great creatures to have on the show . Ever thing about The Boneless screamed Doctor Who .

    ichabod @ichabod

    @gamergirlavatar  Doesn’t the Doctor have to go to some ratification board to affix a monicker on a new species?  Hmm.  Madame Vastra would make a very good Ratification Board, maybe?  I mean, somebody else could name them “The Paper Doll people” or something, and who knows, it might even catch on!

    I’m particularly fond of the hand-walking Tardis, and also of Rigsy the Companion to ClaraDoc.  That kid needs some extra-terrestrial experience to boost his self-confidence and get him started inventing some new art forms, or saving creative geniuses on other planets from witch-burners, or designing and building new bodies (NOT cyber-armorsuits) for species that have to give up their old ones, etc.  We’ve got scientists (mad and sane), warriors, would-be gods, paranoid egomaniacs scheming for ABSOLUTE POWER!!!!!!, bureaucrats, royalty, Zygons, and monsters.  Why can’t we have an artist space and time traveler?  Sheesh, Rigsy could maybe get the Doctor back to sketching again, doing something that requires not just brains but talent (oh, wait, that was Capaldi who sketched, not any of the Doctors — see what I mean!?).  The closest we’ve come is — the Ood!  Music is an art, right?

    Oh, boggons.  End of rant.

    Missy @missy

    Very clever idea again. The idea of the Tardis shrinking is novel and Clara suing what she’s been taught works well.
    Also, the statement that Clara had been an exceptional Doctor, but that goodness had nothing to do with it, was food for thought.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    This was a standout, wasn’t it? I was impressed at how flawlessly it flowed between humour and suspense… one minute we would be laughing at the Doctor stuck in his tiny TARDIS, the next, ripples were running across the floor and people were being sucked away. The cold opening was one of the creepiest ever, and then it was followed by the shrinking TARDIS, amusing rather than worrying at first. The Doctor’s quiet pleasure at something he didn’t understand- “Can you not just let me enjoy it?” There was a really BG Doc energy to him in these early scenes.

    I thought Clara was great in this. I like her much better as a no-nonsense companion getting the job done. The person who is starting to sink under the weight of her own deceptions is of course great for dramatic interest and story arc purposes, but I hope that in the coming series, we will see more of this competent, effective Clara. Rigsy was fun as well. I liked the idea of a graffiti artist helping to save the world through his art! I wonder if, as with Leonardo da Vinci, the TARDIS will show up in his work later on.

    The lying to Danny bit felt a little shoehorned in. Why on earth did she answer the phone? I wouldn’t have. I truly think she must have been wanting to be caught by now, and it’s really hard to see how Danny didn’t put two and two together at this point. But this wasn’t about Danny learning the truth, but the Doctor learning it.
    The whole “Doctor Clara” thing is interesting- the Doctor seeing himself from the outside, as it were- is that what it looks like when I talk/act that way? He is clearly not pleased that Clara has become Doctor-lite. Presumably he needs, not a mirror of himself, but someone to fight with him, keep him “human”, as Donna did for Ten, and Rose for Nine. I think Rory did that job for Eleven, as Amy really was too much like him. (I do wonder though, as Rory seems in some ways to be an awful lot like Danny, whether he went along mostly out of self-defense, knowing that it was the only way to keep the woman he loved? A whole potential line of inquiry for the Companion thread!)

    janetteB @janetteb

    @arbutus in all the excitement over the prologue I missed your Flatline review when it was posted. This is definitely one of those episodes which improved by multiple viewings and this was one of the better ones to begin with. You have summarised it well. The “baddies” were proper scary, there was a generous sprinkling of Whoish humour and the secondary characters were well developed.

    Clara has gained enough confidence to be The Doctor but this may not necessarily be a good thing. She is needed as a counter to the Doctor not a reflection.



    Anonymous @

    It really is an absolute classic of an episode.

    Missy @missy


    Agreed. So is Time Heist can’t find it on here. Not one of SM’s obviously.


    Anonymous @

    “The lying to Danny bit felt a little shoehorned in. Why on earth did she answer the phone? I wouldn’t have. I truly think she must have been wanting to be caught by now”

    Arbutus I agree. Flying thru a window could be “I’m in the loo” so therefore one simply lets it go to voice mail.

    And I loved @janetteb ‘s idea of the companion “as a counter to the Doctor not a reflection”

    Excellent: makes me wonder about the Magicians’ Apprentice….still, can’t talk about that here (not that I know A  THING about it!)

    Anonymous @


    “So is Time Heist can’t find it on here. Not one of SM’s obviously.”

    Are you looking for the thread for Time Heist?

    Missy @missy


    Yes puro. I still haven’t quite got the hang of finding everything here. Could’st thou giveth me a shove please?



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