Fugitive of the Judoon
26 January 2020 at 15:49 #69370
The Judoon are back! And for some reason they are targeting Gloucester, England. The Doctor, Yaz, Ryan and Graham race back to Earth in order to prevent them from doing too much damage to the beautiful cathedral city. But who are they looking for? And what did they do to incur the wrath of the Judoon?
This is co-written by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall. Patel is the British-Indian screenwriter and playwright who wrote last series’ “Demons of the Punjab”, which got him nominated for a Hugo Award and won him “Best Scriptwriter” at the Eastern Eye Arts, Theatre, and Culture Awards. He’s also well-known for writing the BBC drama “Murdered by My Father” about an “honour killing”, which was nominated for a BAFTA award.
It is directed by Nida Manzoor, the award-winning genre/comedy writer and director, who did a great job directing last week’s episode “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror”.
Guest-starring this week are Jo Martin, best known for the BBC sitcom “The Crouches”, Neil Stuke, best known for the TV sitcom “Game On”, and Ritu Arya, who has been in “Humans” and “Sherlock” but also seems to have a large role in the second season of “The Umbrella Academy”, from what I can tell after a quick search.26 January 2020 at 20:01 #69375
Well, that was full of surprises! And I guess Chibnall is going all timey-wimey this season.26 January 2020 at 20:04 #69376
Omg OMG talk about mind twisting and well Chibnall is obviously rewriting timelord history will have to watch again to try to get my mind around it all, but have to say best episode of JW Doctorhood yet
All I can say is let the Bonkerising begin26 January 2020 at 20:08 #69377
so, first thoughts – alt line War Doctor? I mean, yes, fine, she didn’t fire the gun. She acknowledged she wouldn’t fire the gun. She said please don’t pull the trigger. But the Doctor really doesn’t do armed weapons. They just like (River, Ada) women who do… Working for/with. tried to quit, companion with military training, it seems like something like the Time War situation.26 January 2020 at 20:16 #69378
Wow, well Vinay Patel is officially my favourite writer on Chibnall’s team.
That was the first time I’ve felt really gripped with the excitement that is Doctor Who at its best since the start of the Chibnall era.
Loved seeing Captain Jack again – always a fave Nu Who character for me, and he came bearing a cyberman mystery too. And (and this is good writing) – excellent dramatic tension, because Jack and the Doctor didn’t get to meet again (and of course we want them to). Hah, Graham’s head must be spinning, wondering about the Doc and Jack’s past after that hearty kiss :-).
Jo Martin made an excellent, slightly scary, alternative time-stream Doctor, and the tension between her and WhitDoc was perfect – just the sort of mutual, appalled fascination and contempt I remember with fondness from previous multiple Doctor stories.
It looks as if we’re meeting the Doctor from another time-stream (now it’s been established in Orphan 55 that other time-streams are a thing) – kind of a Star Trek style Mirrorverse, in which the Time Lords are running an imperial dictatorship of some kind?
WhitDoc telling her companions that she’s lived for thousands of years and they don’t really know her, was a great moment. I really felt the alien shine out of Whittaker, as if she’s been putting on a persona for “the Fam” up to this point. Looking forward to more of this.
Overall, I want to thoroughly celebrate the episode, and can only hope this calibre of story is going to continue.
We certainly have a lot of threads to follow now – Captain Jack, the last cyberman, the Doctor’s other self, an Imperial Gallifrey, the Master, possible Gallifreyan genetic experiments… I’m delighted.26 January 2020 at 20:19 #69379ian55 @iansanderson55
wow jack cybermen I been watchin Dr who almost since the beginning this is outstanding the best yet.26 January 2020 at 20:20 #69380ian55 @iansanderson55
jack is back wow26 January 2020 at 20:27 #6938126 January 2020 at 20:30 #69382
@juniperfish I really get the feeling with this Doctor she was trying a new start, new gender, shake off all the baggage approach, and might have believed in it. And then she finds out this new mate she’s been whatsapping is her oldest friend/enemy. That Gallifrey is destroyed. That there’s a horrible Time Lord secret. And how much she cared. She might have thought she want sharing much about herself because she was leaving all of that where it belonged. In the past. But of course that’s fairly meaningless for a timelord. She has been keeping them at a distance. Having so many companions. Telling them so little. Till now, post gap, the Doctor has tended to bond quite intensely with one companion at a time. (Rory married in, and was Rory.)
A lot of people have commented on the number of companions, sometimes with justice. But this could be spun as a deliberate strategy. She seemed surprised – pleased but surprised – when they told her how much faith they had in her. That they really were her family.
She does have good reason to keep some things private. Thing is, the Time Lords running some kind of imperial dictatorship isn’t really a great stretch. They’re not, as a rule, the kind of people you can’t imagine running some kind of imperial dictatorship. And her ‘fam’ are going to have to discover that the Doctor will always forgive the Master, which tends to upset companions who’ve seen them kill other humans like its nothing.26 January 2020 at 20:38 #69383BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice
Wow. I was expecting this to just be a largely standalone story subtly commenting on police brutality (given that the Judoon are in it and it’s written by Vinay Patel, who has written more serious/’heavy’ drama in the past) but it went in a completely different direction. It almost feels a bit ‘kitchen sink’, bringing back the Master and destroying Gallifrey earlier in the series and now bringing back Jack, hinting at a Cyberman arc and introducing a Doctor from another dimension(?), but after last series barely had an arc or any ties to Who lore, I’m absolutely fine with that. Very excited to see where this goes.26 January 2020 at 20:41 #69384
@juniperfish I’m not convinced this was an alternate timeline Doctor.
Given we now know Timelords can have more than 1 set of regenerations, I.e. Mattdoc being ‘granted’ a new cycle to become Capdoc. I am now on wondering if all timelords have had any number regeneration cycles but under normal circumstances their memory of previous cycles wiped at the beginning of a cycle except for perhaps for a small cabal of timelords who are controlling Galifreyan Society from the shadows so to speak, and it was this that the master had found out when he said everything the Doctor knew was a lie. In a way this would tie in with how Timelords were portrayed in the BG Who as a mysterious controlling race that the Doctor mistrusted in the main.26 January 2020 at 20:45 #69385
@miapatrick Yes, in terms of the distance WhitDoc has been keeping from her companions, from a character point of view, we can argue it make makes sense, particularly after all the trauma of the Time War and its aftermath and losing River and then Clara and Bill, all in upsetting ways.
Although, that’s also, perhaps, a little generous to the S11 writing, because that “strategy” has made for a rather flat series of Doctor-companion relationships on the TARDIS up to this point. It looks to me as if there’s been a significant re-think in the writers’ room for S12, based on reactions to S11.
Although, it remains to be seen if the high of Vinay Patel’s excellent episode (and to be fair he shares the writing credit with Chibnall) will be continued.
I should also say I loved Ritu Arya’s Gat, the Time Lord hunting down Jo Martin’s version of the Doctor. The relationship between them was intriguing (possibly old lovers?) so I’m sorry she’s (apparently) dead.
Agreed, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine a Time Lord imperial dictatorship. And that’s an excellent theme to be exploring now, in the context of what the Chibnall era has done best, in my view, up to now – depicting the Doctor as resolutely anti-fascist. Because what do you do when you find out your own people are the fascists this time?26 January 2020 at 20:47 #69386jomomentor @jomomentor
When Jack says he will see the Doctor again but maybe not for a long time (in his timeline because he will obviously be back later this season) I hope that he looks different. John Barrowman now has silver hair so imagine him playing a bad ass 10,000 year old Jack. Who wouldnt want that?!
Doctor Who season 12 episode 5 discussion: Fugitive of the Judoon26 January 2020 at 20:54 #69387
@jomomentor the Doctor has already met an ancient captain Jack remember he was the Face of Bo26 January 2020 at 20:58 #69388
@juniperfish oh quite – a kind of retcon spin for one of the issues with season 11.26 January 2020 at 20:58 #69389toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond
Top Trolling from Chibnall! Not only is the doctor female, but now she’s black too!26 January 2020 at 21:27 #69390CHowley @jus4fun83
just a theory but im thinking parallel world where instead of the time line we know everything is backwards, upside down and inside out. that would explain how the master is back after ‘missy’ was supposed to have been killed off not to metion how both doctor cant remember being the other and how Gallifrey is still around. there are several more theories im sure but when has doctor who ever been as straightforward as it seems, talk about a mind wrecker. jack arkness is back woo hoo… another doctor WTF26 January 2020 at 22:09 #69391JimTheFish @jimthefishTime Lord
Well, that was interesting. It looked great and had a real kinetic forward momentum in the direction. And this was the first time that Jodie was really clicking for me as the Doc too. Plus I even liked the Judoon, who I thought were pretty rubbish in Smith and Jones.
Plus the other Doc’s TARDIS looks great. Why can’t we have that one instead of the crystal monstrosity? Jo Martin in general was a pretty fun Doc herself. But when you get past the fangasmy potential, it was kind of a mess.
Jack is still as an annoying git as ever (sorry @juniperfish but I was so over the erstwhile Time Agent by the end of s3) and if there is not payoff for his being there, other than giving the fam something to do while the Doctors bond then it will count as the biggest piece of fanwankery in the show ever.
So, I guess we’re moving towards some sort of multiverse finale, with alternate Doctors and maybe alternate Gallifreys (alternate Masters?) All of which I find quite intriguing. Just so long as it doesn’t get messed up in the telling.
But if Chibs is really going for a ‘the Doc having a whole set of pre-Hartnell regenerations’ thing, I don’t really have a problem with that. It doesn’t detract from the First Doctor in the slightest and could open up interesting possibilities.26 January 2020 at 22:51 #69392
@jimthefish Oh I’m pretty confident the “cyberman” clue will pay off in a future story.
The Captain isn’t for everyone, I know that. But I personally love his swashbuckling, piratical, big bisexual energy 🙂
In a way, it was a smart writers’ move not to have Jack and WhitDoc meet, because I kind of think this version of the Doctor might get on less well with the Captain than the previous versions he’s travelled with. She might find him a tad too bombastic, given her own down-to-earth demeanour.
<div class=”vmod”></div>26 January 2020 at 23:45 #69393
Okay, that was exciting.
@jimthefish – remember last week that I said Doctor Who had no compunction about using stuff from the New Adventures? And this week, guess what? A reprise of Human Nature.
@miapatrick I’m with @devilishrobby – I’m really not convinced this is an alternate timeline Doctor. Now admittedly, as far as we know the Doctor stole the TARDIS when he looked like William Hartnell and the first appearance of the Police Box outer appearance was in that 1963 London scrapyard. But the hints so far seem to be that the Doctor has (like Ruth) a past she can’t remember.
[I mean, I can think of at least two ways the Jo Martin Doctor might have the same TARDIS as the Whittaker Doctor, even with the Hartnell Doctor stealing the TARDIS for what he thought was the first time (guided by Clara), so I’m sure that wouldn’t be a problem for the writing team.]
The running theme, signposted in the last speech, is of the Doctor’s past. Old enemies – the Master, the Time Lords, Cybermen, the Judoon. Old friends – the Master, Captain Jack Harkness. Old episodes – Trial of a Time Lord, Human Nature. Riffs from previous episodes have been appearing throughout these last five. The the sat-nav that tries to kill you, the underground sign revealing it’s Earth, the companion who’s protecting the chameleon arched Doctor being madly in love with him/her – though at least this time, the love was requited. 🙂 And the Martin Doctor echoes the War Doctor (another ‘hidden’ Doctor).
Dr Fish, I think the reason Captain Jack felt slightly fanwankery is because what was needed in this episode was any major character from the Doctor’s past to turn up with a warning. Could’ve been Jack or River – anyone who could reasonably teleport/scoop the fam.
But when you get past the fangasmy potential, it was kind of a mess.
I’d disagree. I think this is a very clever episode indeed. It’s about the Doctor, not remembering her past. Being chased by something from her past that she can’t remember. The two Doctors are mirrors for each other – there’s a scene where even their dialogue is mirrored. But that mirror, the Martin Doctor, is a Doctor that not only doesn’t remember her past:
Everything she thinks she knows – is a lie.26 January 2020 at 23:45 #69394
Maybe it was the input of Vinay Patel as co-writer, but this episode seemed to display a surer touch than almost any since Chibnall took over, and for me at least conveyed more of the essential Doctor and her universe; and for the first time I had the feeling of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor as a fully realised incarnation of her predecessors, with all the necessary intimations of alienness and mystery – or, as @jimthefish put it, it was the first time she truly clicked for me in the role. The additional scope for speculation on all things timey-wimey is also liberating, particularly in the context of this forum, and hugely welcome. As @devilishrobby says, ‘Let the bonkerising begin’.
As for the mystery Doctor, divergent time lines generating alternative universes is a possibility, as @juniperfish suggests. The fact that the Ruth Doctor had no knowledge of Gallifrey’s destruction would be consistent with this, but it would mean working out a way in which alternative – as opposed to parallel or bubble universes – could intersect. On the other hand we have the possibility of a dual lineage of Doctors stemming from Jenny the Doctor’s daughter who, as a clone of the Doctor (give or take a bit of initial chromosomal tweaking given that the Doctor was male at the time), would register in a scan as identical, as would regenerated male or female incarnations, allowing perhaps for a few random genetic mutations incurred along the way. Jenny was left as a dangling thread, and if Captain Jack can re-enter the story, why not her?
I agree with @jimthefish that the Judoon worked much better here than they did in their previous appearances, and I too am ambivalent about Captain Jack. A little of him goes a long way as far as I’m concerned, and by the end of Torchwood he’d lost any appeal he might once have had. But who knows (nose) this time around?27 January 2020 at 00:45 #69395JimTheFish @jimthefishTime Lord
@juniperfish – yes, it would have been difficult to imagine 13 and Jack getting on, possibly even less so than 12 and Jack. (In fact, for someone so chirpy, I can’t help but feel that 13 is the Doc least likely to get on with a whole range of people. She seems to use that fam like a security blanket in a way. And as that is stripped away, as in this episode, she emerged as a much pricklier character – and I’m not sure she’s not all the better for it.)
remember last week that I said Doctor Who had no compunction about using stuff from the New Adventures? And this week, guess what? A reprise of Human Nature
Yep, and I, of course, agreed with you. But with the chameleon arch, Jack and the Judoon, it did feel kind of like an RTD greatest hits package which I’m not sure I’m totally in love with. If it’s a one-off, fine. But if this is a well that Chibs continues to dip from then I think it might get old pretty quickly.
Dr Fish, I think the reason Captain Jack felt slightly fanwankery is because what was needed in this episode was any major character from the Doctor’s past to turn up with a warning. Could’ve been Jack or River – anyone who could reasonably teleport/scoop the fam.
True, and I suppose for Chibs, Jack is the obvious choice. I’ve just never particularly understood his appeal. That Chibs had to dig so far back for someone to fulfil this role is partly a side effect of having such canonically pared down series last year. Moff would have been able to slot River or Vastra in without any trouble or query. And while as @juniperfish says, it makes sense to keep Jack and 13 separate, it also minimises the actual sense of having Jack there. They don’t know him from Adam and it really could have been anyone there. Even someone we’ve never seen before. He’s there for the benefit of a bit of fan service rather than being narratively necessary.27 January 2020 at 01:22 #69396
@jimthefish He’s there for the benefit of a bit of fan service rather than being narratively necessary.
Except, Jack is only one of a handful of the Doctor’s previous companions who can time-travel independently. And we do seem to be getting gratifyingly timey-wimey. Maybe the Jack who the “Fam” just met came from further up the present time-stream, in order to bring his cyberman warning?
I saw a great theory elsewhere on the interwebs, which I can’t claim credit for, that perhaps the Jo Martin character isn’t, in fact, the Doctor, but is an AU River Song. Their supporting points were quite convincing. River can fly the TARDIS. The parents’ graves recall Amy and Rory. The Jo Martin character was certainly quite happy using weapons, but said impatiently to Whit Doc, “I know!” when WhitDoc said, “The Doctor doesn’t use weapons.”
I’d put that weapons-usage inconsistency down to a Mirror-verse effect, but, I do like this as a bonkers theory.
@mudlark The fact that the Ruth Doctor had no knowledge of Gallifrey’s destruction would be consistent with this, but it would mean working out a way in which alternative – as opposed to parallel or bubble universes – could intersect.
Yes, that lack of knowledge of Gallifrey’s destruction for Jo Martin’s Doc is what, combined with the Orphan 55 signpost that multiple time-lines for Earth are out there, which the TARDIS can visit, is what led me to the alternative time-line theory.
The Doctor’s speech to the “Fam” in Orphan 55, that the future of Earth they’d seen there wasn’t inevitable, it depended on humans actively working to avoid that apocalyptic future, makes me think the Doctor is going to have to figure out, back in time, what the Time Lords could do, in order to avoid the Master’s (apparent) destruction of Gallifrey.
I’m quite excited about a Time Lord fascist empire, which, although in Jo Martin’s Doc’s imperial time-line Gallifrey seems to have avoided destruction, also clearly can’t be good.
Perhaps the Doctor is going to have to navigate between the Scylla of Gallifrey’s destruction in her own time-line and the Charybdis of Jo Martin Doc’s time-line, where Gallifrey isn’t destroyed, but the Time Lords are full-on imperial fascists.
Or perhaps, as we’ve speculated already, the Time Lords were fascistic in every time-line, in their use of genetic experimentation, and that is what has led to both outcomes we’ve seen thus far – imperial Gallifrey and destroyed Gallifrey. And the Doc must find another way.27 January 2020 at 06:57 #69398
@everyone – no recap in t’other place…
I’m quite happy that this seems a fairly moral ambivalent (relatively speaking) Doctor. Just because up till now every time we’ve seen a male Time Lord regenerate into a female Time Lord they’ve seemed to be – I don’t know -emblematic of a kind of unwittingly patronising male feminism I see sometimes from well meaning men who clearly (and for obvious reasons) never spent much time in an all female environment. She had gun, she went for the gun, she used the gun (albeit in a fairly Doctory fashion). She flat out killed someone and though she didn’t want to, there are more effective ways of avoiding this than handing them something that will kill them if they pull the trigger and then simply asking them not to pull it. This is definitely a War Doctor, even if it is a previous, rather than alternative, time stream.
@jimthefish I think the logic of using Jack is that not only can he time travel, but he lives a long long time. They dyed his hair here, but obviously he still looked a fair bit older than his last appearance. The BBC probably can’t stretch to de-aging technology, the actor might quite well have refused to undergo what I’m informed are, unfortunately, now referred to as ‘tweakments’ (shudder) but Jacks immortality (difficulty dying I should say) can still be an important point. He ages but very slowly. He has a lot of time in the universe ahead of him.
Additionally, how did he become what he became? It was Rose bringing him back to life after absorbing the power of the Tardis, wasn’t it? Which, as far as I recall, made The Doctor very uncomfortable with him, or with what he had been made. (Sorry I’m so vague, I’ve been meaning to re-watch RTD).
I like the idea of this being from the hidden past of Gallifrey, I’m just not sure how it could have been scrubbed from the record, everywhere, as far as we know, without some timey-whimey alternate timelines taking place at some point. It’ll be interesting to see if our Doctor remembers it. She actually told her companions, when I really wasn’t sure she would.27 January 2020 at 10:29 #69400Rob @rob
After some reflection (and several large mugs of coffee) and now reading the musings of the
nuttersWho-rati my sixpence short of a shilling lands heads on an alternative universe Doctor and tails on a prior/subsequent Doctor.
This was one of the best jaunts we’ve had for a long while
The Judoon were more than just stumpy rhino police
Captain Jack made a brief appearance, could pick holes but never the less he properly served his purpose and a dig at the Doctor misogyny wallahs too
I didn’t guess the plot twists, though breadcrumbs were laid (thought Master, another Timelord style or trick to get at the Jodie Whittaker Doctor )
8 or even 9 out of 10 will rewatch tonight which I haven’t done really since Matt Smith Doctor
We’ve had plenty of alternative universes in Who before, Rose and her not quite Doctor for one, so an intact Gallifrey would have the technology to slide across alternative or parallel universes, weren’t the original Cybermen from an alternative Earth?
Thus two Doctors without knowledge of each other
The Master lies, Gallifrey still exists in its pocket universe and the destroyed Gallifrey is another pocket universe stroke duplicate used as a an extra layer of look we’re really really dead. Of course two Doctors also means two Masters or is our Master from the alternative/parallel getting around Missy’s demise.
Hmm perhaps more coffee is needed27 January 2020 at 12:22 #69401Psymon @psymon
Hi everyone, new here, but had to join up to discuss theories on this episode, finally a decent twist, genuine surprises, and a build to a great story arc for the rest of the series. I hope the awful Orphan 55 was just a blip we can all forget about…
Anyway onto my thoughts about this episode…
Firstly I saw a chameleon arch coming a mile off, although I was way off mark with who it belonged to – I was thinking maybe it was the Master and inside the box the Doctor found was going to be his fob watch but I was way off there (was the contents of the box ever explained, or was it just a red herring? Need to watch the episode again).
Anyway, nice to see Captain Jack back, I recognised the voice instantly and was very happily surprised it managed to remain a secret, so rare these days you get a genuine surprise in a show like this. Did anyone else think the ship he stole looked like a TARDIS though, was wondering if that was deliberate to make you think The Master had taken Graham?
So onto the main twist of the episode then – I loved the real WTF is happening aspect to it, it’s been a long time since a DW episode has had me like that, certainly the first time in the JW era (although the end of Spyfall Pt 1 came close). I’m not buying that this is an alt-timeline version of The Doctor, personally I don’t think the multiverse theory sits well in the DW universe, that was one of my main gripes with Orphan 55, the timeline in DW has always been relatively linear with fixed points in time, it would be too easy to explain away canon continuity and even episode threats by just jumping into a different multiverse. It would kill the concept of the show in my opinion.
My working theory is that the new Doctor is pre-Hartnell, however in order to keep continuity of the previous Doctors she would have to be one of 13 previous Doctors that we do not know about – either that or whatever wiped her memory of herself was part of a reset by the High Council that included a new set of regenerations? It is possible to explain away without ruining the canon of classic Who, much like they did with the War Doctor and other ‘inbetween’ versions of The Doctor. It would add to the big secret the Master discovered on Gallifrey. There has been Classic Who episodes that have implied there were faces to The Doctor before Hartnell so it’s not a completely new concept.
There are many arguments for this theory – the appearance of the TARDIS is consistent with the original design which implies it’s still new, the alt-Doctor refers to it as her ‘ship’ which Hartnell also did but this was later dropped by future Doctors, she has never seen a Sonic Screwdriver because that was invented by the 2<sup>nd</sup> Doctor, and in her timeline Gallifrey is still standing. There are also references in Canon to the ‘Dark Ages’ on Gallifrey when they were more tyrannical rulers of time and wouldn’t have issue with using time-weapons or employing the likes of the Judoon to do work for them, so this behaviour would be consistent with an earlier version of Gallifrey. The only big argument against this theory is that the TARDIS is a phone box which it didn’t get stuck in until the Hartnell era – could this just be a massive goof by the writers because seeing the TARDIS buried was more of a shock reveal?
My only other theory is that the alt-Doctor is somehow the Valeyard, which as I recall was an incarnation of the ‘darker side’ of the Doctor that occurred somewhere between the 12<sup>th</sup> and last regeneration – so it would be correct in canon for the Valeyard to be created around now – perhaps the alt-Doctor will regenerate into the person that puts the 6<sup>th</sup> Doctor on trial? But this would be an obscure callback and it’s far more likely to me it’s pre-Hartnell canon related to the Timeless Child and all parts of the early history of Time Lords has been wiped from their memories until now…
Let’s hope they can pull it off, because the concept has a lot of promise…27 January 2020 at 12:29 #69402
Viewed in the cold light of morning it seems obvious Jo Martin’s Doctor cannot be a regenerated Jenny, so scrub that hypothesis of mine. In the first place, Jenny would surely not have forgotten the existence of her parent, even if she believed that parent had not survived beyond the end of his twelfth regeneration and she decided to take on his mantle and call herself The Doctor, perhaps reasoning that they were in a genetic sense the same person. Secondly, even if she had stumbled on the complicated truth of the matter, she would have known that in the universe as a whole Gallifrey was at least generally ‘known’ to have been destroyed. Thirdly, even if she were somehow been rendered amnesiac* the hypothesis would need to construct a plausible explanation of how she became so thoroughly entangled with the Time Lords in the first place, and how she got hold of a Tardis of her own.
I should know better by now than to try and dream up theories late in the evening when I am tired and sleepy.
When thinking in terms of alternative universes there are at least three options to consider.
There is the concept of bubble or pocket universes which has been used on several occasions in Doctor Who and which we know can be accessed given the right conditions and necessary technology; for example e space, House’s somewhat unstable bubble universe in The Doctor’s Wife, and perhaps the dimension in which Gallifrey was sequestered at the end of The Day of the Doctor.
Then there are alternative time lines generated according to decisions or actions taken or not taken at critical points, as the Doctor explained in Orphan 55, and as we have seen in episodes such as Turn Left. What isn’t entirely clear to me is whether these forking alternative time lines can result in permanently coexisting universes or whether such universes normally exist only in potential, like Schroedinger’s cat in its box; and if the latter, shouldn’t the Doctor visiting them have the effect of collapsing the wave function, so to speak? On the other hand we have seen the kind of mayhem which can result from altering past events, as in Father’s Day, so is it a case of flexible nexuses versus fixed points in time?
Finally there is the concept of the multiverse, in which a potentially infinite number of superimposed but separate universes theoretically exist and have always existed, but I don’t recall that having been referenced in Doctor Who.
If Occam’s razor is applied to the hints and clues we’ve been given so far, then the most likely explanation for the dual Doctor and the seeming paradoxes entailed should relate to the big Lie which the Master discovered – which does allow for the possibility that the Time Lords had at some point been manipulating alternative realities. Perhaps Occam’s razor shouldn’t be invoked on this home of bonkers theories, but in this case it still leaves ample room for speculation.
*Other than when chameleon arched, obviously, but not wholly improbable, given Time Lord abilities.27 January 2020 at 12:43 #69403Psymon @psymon
Another aspect of the episode I didn’t get thinking about it was the whole issue of 2 Doctors being together and even if 2 TARDISs are too close. This made no sense to me given there are lots of multi Doctor stories and the TARDIS has often parked right next to a previous version of itself? Gallifrey itself was saved by all 13 Doctors existing at the same point in time? Another goof, or does it have a deeper meaning? Maybe on early pre-Hartnell Gallifrey it was assumed to be impossible?27 January 2020 at 13:06 #69405
As you say, there have been multiple instances of two or more incarnations of the Doctor and his/her Tardis assembling without obvious problems, though I think that there have occasionally been allusions to potential problems arising. What has been shown to cause a serious paradox is when the Tardis materialises inside her past or future self, which on at least one occasion caused a problem of infinite recursion. But I’m not sure that there has always been consistency even on that point27 January 2020 at 14:10 #69406MissRori @missrori
Also (as someone asked over at io9, I think) if Thirteen can “contact” with Gaz, why didn’t she try that with Ruth!Doctor to figure out where each one falls in the timeline? Seems like that would be worth a try…
Other theories I’ve seen as to what’s going on with the timelines that I don’t think have been mentioned above are that the situation has something to do with the MetaCrisis Doctor and/or Pete’s World, or that Ruth!Doctor is actually an incarnation of the Master. :p Actually, the former would explain why so many of the callbacks to past events and characters are ones strongly associated with the Tenth Doctor (Captain Jack, Judoon, the Master, mind wipes, etc.).
I have some miscellaneous blue-sky ideas:
27 January 2020 at 14:24 #69407MissRori @missrori
- Thirteen and the fam have been/still are in an alternate timeline/universe since some as-yet-undisclosed point.
- Alternatively, it’s a constructed world ala “Extremis” or “Last Christmas”. 😉
In the meantime, with all the talk going on about how dark this season’s been going for Thirteen…Blogtor Who was commenting that perhaps whatever she learns in this year’s finale will “break her” and she’ll go all Time Lord Victorious and stuff. Personally, I think it would be a lot more interesting to see her hold up and Be Kind whatever she learns, don’t you think? 😉27 January 2020 at 14:32 #69408Whisht @whisht
So, I saw Fugitive of the Judoon last night and after reading the mainly positive comments will need to watch again. I guess my initial impression wasn’t ‘squee’ with reveals etc, but more exhaustion from the stream of ‘and now this!’ (Judoon! Jack! Cyberman riddle! RuthDoc!).
On re-evaluating one aspect (just now) I guess I’m a bit more ‘ok’ with the ‘other doctor’s’ fighting skills as PertweeDoc was hardly shy with a bit of Venusian Aikido. Otherwise I’d be guessing she predates Hartnell but as a separate Time Lord who on dieing/ not regenerating, allowed the role/name to be taken by Hartnell’s Time Lord.
In terms of an actual bonkers theory from me, RuthDoc may be a result of actions The Master has taken eg either destruction of Gallifrey or by interacting with whatever the ‘lie’ turns out to be. Perhaps by ‘solving’ the ‘lie’ The Doctor will cause the RuthDoc to disappear/never have happened (itself an emotional/ dramatic choice).
Btw do we know how many seasons Chibnall (and Whittaker) are likely to do? Will they leave together?
Not that I want either to leave, its just I’d imagine Chibnall would plan out his tenure for example “the first season will be x eg all wonder and ‘new’ and light and glee and new monsters; second season will be y (eg give Doctor mystery, introspection, Timelords and origin-story); last season will be z, (eg Daleks/ resolution of whatever stuff I need to untangle that I put in in first two seasons)”.
Anyway, over to the Music Thread where I have another Kraftwerk tie-in27 January 2020 at 14:57 #69410
Maybe on early pre-Hartnell Gallifrey it was assumed to be impossible?
That’s what I’d go for. The Martin Doctor and Gat are from Gallifrey’s past. Which past isn’t what the Doctor thinks, maybe. Or maybe it’s her own and the Master’s past?
The thing about the alternate timeline – where are the clues? The only clue I could possibly think of would be the ‘time can be changed’ aspect of Orphan 55. Otherwise, there isn’t a single hint that we might be in an alternate universe, or in the middle of a dream/constructed reality. We’re getting loads of ‘look at the past’ hints, but no ‘alternate reality’ hints.
Captain Jack’s assumption that Graham is the Doctor – funnily enough, I remember jokingly suggesting that Graham was a chameleon arched Susan, back before Series 11. I know, Jim, that you don’t like this re-use of themes from RTD, but Donna and the Doctor being continually mistaken for brother and sister did turn out to be an echo from their future relationship. That’s now twice this series: if Graham is mistaken for the Doctor a third time, it may be important.
My guess is that the reason Chibbers is reusing the Ten era as ‘the Doctor’s past’ is simply that it’s the AG Who era he knows better. He did write for Moffat, and he’s cast a lot of those actors, but he was busy with Broadchurch for a lot of the Moffat era. As Dan Martin pointed out over at T’Other Place (the recap’s up, @miapatrick) he’s written for Captain Jack, bu I don’t think he ever wrote for River Song?
Also, my reading of him as a writer is that he’s primarily interested in how characters react to situations. Moffat took a minor in philosophy and finds time paradoxes genuinely interesting to write. Chibnall, I think, would be far more interested in how the Doctor (after a series where she tries to start with a blank slate) would react to discovering that at one point she really did re-start with a blank slate. That she doesn’t remember her entire past.27 January 2020 at 15:10 #69412Davros @davros
Well now then.
I was pleased enough that the Judoon were back but the title buried the lead somewhat. Captain Jack! Cybermen! Unknown Doctor! Fair to say I didn’t see any of that coming. Once I saw the Break Glass device I said aloud, “I know what his is!” But I still wasn’t expecting Ruth to be TD. They did a great job keeping all this quiet.
It’s a pity Jack didn’t play a more significant role: basically just stored the Fam so they weren’t in the way of the main story.
It seems there might be three realities at work: Normal, Cyberman Empire and Galifrey Empire.
I don’t have any favourite theory about Ruth, but one way or another she’s not part of D13’s future or past, or has forgotten, or has _been_ forgotten. A few fans about the place suggest she is D2.5: the Bitch from 6B. The old school Tardis decor supports this, I suppose.
I wonder what we’ll even call the Ruth Doctor, when the dust settles?27 January 2020 at 15:37 #69413RorySmith @rorysmith
Very seriously digging on prequel to the Whoniverse. I wanted this since I was 12
The idea that the first Doctor was not the first version of the one we know as the Doctor but a suppressed in memory version and we accepted the rules. Those rules Matt screamed about. Yes lets go back more!!!
The Valeyard was a first pick but to go further in the past than ever is on the plane with Omega.
The Doctor and Rassilon were in the same realm with Omega.
Chris. Do it!27 January 2020 at 16:33 #69414Charlie Cook @charlie-cook
Wow, wow wow! Best one since… can’t remember!27 January 2020 at 18:42 #69418Spider @spider
Wow! That was great. One of the best episodes in some time!
Did not expect Jack at all, what a great surprise! When we first heard the voice I wondered if it was him but went “nah, surely not” only for him to appear! I think it had to be someone significant to pass on the message about the lone Cyberman because it means the Doctor will take a lot more seriously than if it were just some random character we’d never seen before. I always preferred the Captain Jack in Doctor Who compared to the one in Torchwood. Yes he is cheesy and cheeky and not everyone’s cup of tea but I thoughrally enjoyed seeing him in the show again. Also we get a John Barrowman / Bradly Walsh snog – not sure even the wildest of bonkerest of us would have predicted that XD
Lone Cyberman. Danny? Bill Potts? Handles!? … ok so probably none of them but I had an enjoyable few minutes trying to thing up bonkers scenarios where that could be the case.
I really laughed more than I should at the “Judoon platoon near the moon” and even more so at “by the lagoon”. Ok so maybe a bit shoe-horned in there but I’ve always loved that line from Smith and Jones and the glee on Tennant’s face when he says it, so I was very happy for the jokes to be in there!
As for RuthDoc. Did not see that coming, was sure she was going to say she was the Master (or the Rani). Currently I think my feeling is towards her being a pre-Hartnell Doctor … although the main thing that bugs me about this theory is the Tardis having the police box exterior.
Alternative timelines – yep I could buy that as that was set-up as a thing in episode 3. Other universe? not so sure about that one – although we did have the creatures from another universe in Spyfall trying to invade did we not?
But I do wonder if we are being thrown a massive red herring here and it’s someone who thinks she is the Doctor but isn’t (and is somehow been set-up by the Time Lords for … as yet unknown reasons) – part of this is of course what we had in “the next Doctor” but since some themes appear to be being recycled, who knows! I know the Doctor scans RuthDoc she says they are the ‘same person’ but then not that long before this the sonic scan was reading her as human. Although the veil has dropped, perhaps there is still another veil there that we don’t know about? Dunno, will have to ponder that one a bit more as I suspect I am grasping at straws here.
Really like how the companions are both ganging up on / questioning AND supporting the Doctor. They really are become a close family unit (I really don’t like the “fam” tag myself but I have to admit it does fit them). I have pondered in the past if 3 companions are too many – but this is now showing how this is can work very well with them as a unit.
Jodie Whittaker was on top form in this one. In particular I thought her demeanor and expressions at the end, going from despair/coldness (when she is disparaging Ryan) to the slow dawning of warmth when they all have her back was excellent. I’m enjoying seeing more of a range from this Doctor this series – not just the (mostly) happy-go-lucky one from last series that just did not sit with me that well at times.
So we have a great set-up for whatever is coming next, my slight worry is still that they won’t stick the landing – as happened with so many good ideas in previous episodes that often fell flat. I hope I’m wrong though!
(\(\;;/)/)27 January 2020 at 19:13 #69420Arbutus @arbutus
Well, I started off mildly underwhelmed, mainly because I never much cared for the Judoon. I didn’t expect this. 🙂
Oddly enough, after being critical of the “kitchen sink” aspect of Orphan 55, I didn’t feel that way this time. While that one was basically a stand-alone episode, this feels like we are being given the ends of a lot of threads that will eventually come together.
Loved Jo Martin’s Doctor. She had a bit of a War Doctor vibe. Not just the violence, but also that sense of being a secret. Something very strange is going on. We have the Master’s clue about Gallifrey, Captain Jack’s clue about the Cybermen, and a mysterious Doctor that doesn’t seem to come from either her past or her future. She feels more like a splinter. And interesting that she didn’t seem to recognize the sonic screwdriver.27 January 2020 at 22:10 #69421
Something in Jack’s warning about the cyberman which flew past me first time around registered as significant on second viewing and, on the reasonable assumption that there has been joined-up thinking in the plotting of the developing narrative arc, I have a suspicion it could have a bearing on the problem of the two Doctors and/or on the Lie, depending on whether or not the two things are connected.
After telling the companions to warn the Doctor about the lone cyberman, and explaining that the cybermen were from an evil empire, now destroyed and in ruins, Jack says
‘But that could all change if she doesn’t listen to this message. To defeat them the Alliance (?) sent this thing back through time and space … ‘ at which point he is interrupted by the nanogene attack.
When they passed on the message about the lone cyberman to the Doctor they didn’t mention this detail, which might I suspect could be a cause for regret later on. What if the ‘thing’ which was sent back tampered with the time lines and gave rise to the kind of proactive and exceptionally aggressive Time Lord seemingly represented by Gat?
As for why neither Martin Doctor nor Whittaker Doctor recognised the other, I think that it was you, @bluesqueakpip , who suggested here and in t’other place that the memory wipe might be involved, and I very much like that idea. If you wanted to tamper with time lines and conceal the tampering, or to perpetrate a monstrous lie and make it stick, the ability to erase or block memories would certainly come in very handy.27 January 2020 at 22:22 #69422Spider @spider
Have now re-watched and am now even more intrigued. Very interesting watching it back knowing all the twists.
First shot is huge close up of Ruth’s watch (i.e Time!) it also has dark blue coloured hands, and the push button to the right is blue as well. Also when she looks in the mirror, it’s hexagonal! Very minor and subtle things but surely not by accident.
The other thing that struck me when Ruth and the Doctor are driving to the lighthouse and the conversation they have. Makes we wonder if the disused lighthouse is actually references to that barn on Gallifrey somehow? Although I’m not sure how that works if RuthDoc is indeed a pre-Hartnell incarnation. It just seemed like there was more to be read into that conversation.
I do now think we have met a past version of the Doctor that we (and she) has not known about until now – as all the pointers are towards this rather than alternative timeline or universe. The niggle I had about the Tardis being a police box I now have a theory about – what if RuthDoc and Lee originally landed and hid in Britain in the 60’s and have been hiding out even since and it was at this point the Tardis took on that look. Then after whatever happens to make the Doctor forget her/his past life(s) and then he runs away again (with some old link to the Tardis being a remnant so he takes the same one he had before … or maybe Clara’s echo knew all this!) when he returns to Earth the Tardis remembers and takes on that look and doesn’t want to change because it a memory/link to the past. Gah I dunno, I’m just trying to think of wild theories to make that make this make sense – if this is going to be what this is all leading too!
(\(\;;/)/)27 January 2020 at 22:27 #69423
I know the Doctor scans RuthDoc she says they are the ‘same person’ but then not that long before this the sonic scan was reading her as human. Although the veil has dropped, perhaps there is still another veil there that we don’t know about?
That idea of a double bluff, a chameleon arch within the chameleon arch, is very appealing, even if it proves to be a bonkerisation too far 😀27 January 2020 at 23:04 #69424lisa @lisa
I got the impression in previous episodes this season that Chibbs was hinting at multi verse stuff.
In Moffett’s version Timelords were at war with the Daleks and the 3 Doctors came together to
save Galifrey into the pocketverse.
Maybe now inside this alternate universe its the Timelords at war with the Cybermen instead?
The lone Cyberman? The one that escaped? Possibly like the lone Dalek ? Btw we also had
the three Doctors? Human Doc, Donna Doctor and real Doctor saving planets.
It seems we always need three.
I wonder if we get a third Doctor this season? I vote to bring back the curator 🙂 !
Also, in Moffett’s version the Earth has been visited by Cybermen and Daleks. Humans on Earth
(at least all those living in the UK ) knew about them. But these companions of the 13th Doctor
have never heard of them.27 January 2020 at 23:26 #69425Whisht @whisht
@bluesqueakpip – so is your theory that the Doctor has mind-wiped herself (or allowed herself to be mind-wiped)?
I’d go for that!
But still wonder if a choice needs to be made at the end, between ‘our’ Doctor and RuthDoctor – that a choice needs to be made ‘for the greater good’ (as you’ve suggested about Yaz) that changes the relative future.
Methinks RuthDoctor would say “do it” (even though it means she never existed), our Doctor hesitate, and Yaz…. hit the button!
;¬)27 January 2020 at 23:38 #69426Charlie Cook @charlie-cook
@lisa nice spot about the companions not knowing the cybermen or daleks. Mistake or clue?….27 January 2020 at 23:41 #69427Arch @arch
Well it’s about time. This feels like who, this feels like sci fi, this feels right. Plenty going on, all of it interesting, let’s hope they continue down this path.
i get the feeling that the time lords destroyed themselves. That is the imperial empire time lords killed off the isolationist time lords, why I’m not sure but if they were attempting to combine time streams in order to prevent or even destroy a cyber man invasion that I could get on board with.
I love the idea of a non pacifist gallifrey, a colonial expansionist power. Makes for great viewing, keep it up chibs28 January 2020 at 00:22 #69428
so is your theory that the Doctor has mind-wiped herself (or allowed herself to be mind-wiped
It may have been voluntary – something an earlier Doctor felt was necessary. Or, given that the Master seemed to be horrified by what he’d discovered (and we’re talking the Master, here), so horrified and angry that he destroyed Gallifrey – it may have been something involuntary. Something in keeping with the ‘Imperial Gallifrey’ that the Martin Doctor seems to be fleeing from.
I agree that this arc could end with the Martin Doctor being mind-wiped/choosing to be mind-wiped. But I think she’s pre-Hartnell. If you look at the costume, the specs, the style of TARDIS, the jokes Moffat made about the Doctor not remembering whether he was male or female when he was small, Missy’s comment that she’d known the Doctor since she was a little girl – they’d all fit in with a pre-Hartnell female Doctor.
A mind-wipe followed by a forced regeneration as a baby/toddler (with a new regeneration cycle), then never quite recovering from the trauma of those wiped memories. That could work in to such a lot (especially if it was the Doctor and the Master). The Doctor’s difficulty in passing exams, even though he seems considerably smarter than most other Time Lords. The desire to stay away from Gallifrey, which has so many different explanations it sounds almost like the Doctor doesn’t really understand why he/she never wants to stay. The Master’s obsession with the Doctor, which again has no real in-show explanation beyond ‘stalker boyfriend’.
To me, that would be far more fun than ‘alternate universe Doctor’. 😀28 January 2020 at 02:08 #69429nerys @nerys
Just watched this tonight, and … wow! This and last week’s episode felt like a proper Doctor Who episode.
Jodie Whittaker was firing on all cylinders. It’s not that she hasn’t before. But somehow, for me, here her Doctor was completely captivating: alternating between funny, brilliant, manic, mysterious and dark … in the way that I have come to expect from the Doctor. In fact, every aspect of this episode came together for me in a “greater than the sum of its parts” way. I was drawn into the story and the characters, never once thinking about actors playing characters (even though that’s what they do; I don’t want to see the wheels turning, I want to be swept along for the ride). The banter did not feel forced, but flowed freely. People were reacting naturally to one another. Most importantly, the relationship between the Doctor and her companions felt real to me, I think for the first time in this regeneration.
The Judoon were hilarious. Just the right touch. And oh, Captain Jack! What a surprise. I was happy to see him again, and I wonder where his lone Cyberman warning will lead. The imagination runs wild. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s bonkerizing about this alternate, previously unknown Doctor. I really have no clue where this is going, but I’m hoping the delightful momentum established in this episode continues!28 January 2020 at 02:47 #69430blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
The Blenkinsop household has now viewed, discussed and read the previous comments. Like everyone else; wow. Lots to bonkerize about. But unlike everyone else, perhaps some different conclusions.
I remain unconvinced that that Doctor Ruth (my term, live with it) is either from some sort of mirror universe (to use a Star Trek analogy) or part of the Doctor’s actual timeline (past or future). I tend to think at everything from Spyfall on is part of an illusion.
Back in my comments to Spyfall I tried out a bonkers theory (based, at that point, on the fact that the Master had been living in an outback house that flew through space to another planet, and that where he had been living was Australia–i.e., Oz) that we were being set up for a story that would reference The Wizard of Oz. After watching this, I still stand by that.
Remember, in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wants, desperately, to go home. In order to achieve this, she has to find The Wizard. But sending her home is the one thing he cannot do. Ultimately, all she has to do is click her heels. (On a side point, in this episode the Doctor is revealed to be very, very, fragile at the end, and has to be convinced to continue her quest by her three companions.)
I just have the feeling that what we are watching is all an illusion, and that ultimately the curtain will be drawn back. And…we don’t even know at this point if the Masters outrage (“It’s all a lie!”) is real or feigned.28 January 2020 at 04:25 #69431winston @winston
I thoroughly enjoyed that from start to finish, with massive surprises in between. First there was the Judoon searching for a fugitive, but a much more realistic Judoon capable of showing far more emotion. Then there was Captain Jack and I clapped my hands in surprise! But then there was another Doctor? What? A doctor we don’t know and who don’t seem to know one another. Wow. A whole bunch of stuff to ponder over and a rewatch is required.
@blenkinsopthebrave I also think that somehow the Doctor and Fam are in an illusion but how or why, I don’t know. I said after Spyfall and seeing the Masters house spinning about like Dorothy’s house in the twister that the Doctor wasn’t in Kansas anymore and I still get that feeling. This new Doctor seems not quite right. First she doesn’t seem too bothered to lose her companion and then she ripped off the Judoons horn which was cruel and robbed the Judoon of honor. Our Doc was shocked about that and the gun that new Doc “fixed ” to misfire when she probably could have stopped from firing at all. I feel like she is an imperfect imitation or illusion. I am probably so wrong but there you have it, my bonkers theory so far.28 January 2020 at 06:36 #69432Rob @rob
The Master has exceptional hypnosis skills and maybe was in Oz to find some of the Dream Lords pollen put the two together and we get Dallas style dream arc or a Jodie Whittaker Doctor who is not seeing reality but a web spun by the Master.
Alternatively, this Master is from the parallel universe of Jo Martin Doctor, this gets around Missy’s demise, and that Jodie Whittaker Doctor is the Timeless Child of a “bastard universe Gallifrey ” so our perspective is we are the correct or original universe but the still powerful alternative Gallifrey we live in an aberrant universe which needs to be tidied up
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