Fugitive of the Judoon

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    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    I begin to suspect that the Doctor will be waking up in the a proverbial shower at the end of this series. We mustn’t forget that ‘everything is a lie’.

    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice


    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.

    It’s been a while since I’ve watched it but isn’t that what happened in series 2? There was certainly the parallel universe where the new Cybermen were created and Rose ended up in, but I seem to remember the Doctor saying something about there being infinite possible universes, separated by the Void (which the Cybermen found a way of travelling through).



    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)”.

    Jodie Whittaker confirmed she’s staying on for series 13 at least. I don’t think Chibs has stated how long he’s staying but I’m sure he won’t leave before Jodie does.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The Wizard of Oz film is a classic example of ‘she woke up and it had all been a dream’ – but I do think I’d like a bit more evidence that we’re in a dream/alternate reality. Where is it in the other episodes? Orphan 55, possibly, but that’s more ‘we can still change the future’.

    Especially since the theme in Tesla and Fugitive is memory, not alternative realities. Tesla is less remembered than Edison, but the episode writer implies our collective memory is prioritising the wrong man. ‘Ruth’ can’t remember being the Doctor in Fugitive.

    In Spyfall Part I and Orphan 55 we don’t know what we’re seeing. So in Spyfall, we see O – but it’s the Master behind the curtain. Perception filters. In Orphan 55 we’re on Earth – but first perception filters and then preconceptions prevent us understanding that until the reveal. In Tesla we see Edison, but the real ‘great man’ is Tesla (and we also don’t see the eugenics stuff hiding behind Tesla’s curtain). In Fugitive, we see Ruth – but the Doctor is hiding behind the curtain of the chameleon arch.

    They used Gloucester Cathedral a lot in Fugitive – that might simply be because it’s a great location. But it kind of fits with ‘the truth shall set you free’ – Lee sends her to the Cathedral to find the truth about herself, and it may also turn out to be the place where the Whittaker Doctor finds the truth about herself.

    So I don’t think the Oz reference is a reference to the gang now being into Oz. It’s a reference to the reality behind the curtain.

    Psymon @psymon

    It wouldn’t be the first time a someone has lied about their status in the show to maintain a secret. I do believe JW will be around for at least one more series but I wouldn’t trust that just because she says – I remember relatively recently John Barrowman said he’s not been asked back and he doesn’t think he would ever reprise his role as Captain Jack, he even pretended he was renovating a house in Cardiff to explain his presence there – the actual proposal from Chibs “how do you feel about Captain Jack coming back to the TARDIS?” so I don’t think it’s the last we’ve seen of him this series…

    Anyway, onto the main point of this post…

    I had a theory pop into my head about the Police Box TARDIS of Ruth Doc… To expand on what @spider was saying – perhaps it was RuthDoc that got her TARDIS stuck in the Police Box, but when the Doctor was ‘reset’/’wiped’ and became Hartnell he was drawn back to steal his old TARDIS (which had since been repaired/reset) – but the TARDIS consciousness still remembers and locks itself into a Police Box on purpose as a way to try and help the Doctor remember – all this time the TARDIS has been trying to tell him/her the truth! Maybe the Chameleon Circuit on the current TARDIS has been working all along, but it was the Doctor’s perception it was trying to change and when the truth is discovered they could even say the TARDIS has the ability to use it again (although most of the time the Doctor keeps it as a Police Box out of nostalgia/habit). Would be a pretty cool explanation, and reminds people the TARDIS is a sentient being and not just a machine…

    To take it a step further, although this is overthinking it, the TARDIS only pretending to stuck as a Police Box would also explain why the appearance of the Police Box has varied slightly over the years as it has not been truly stuck in that shape just pretending to be!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    No, it wouldn’t, but Jodie Whittaker would need a very good reason indeed to effectively announce that she’s unavailable for work throughout most of 2020 and probably into 2021. That’s why it’s so difficult to keep a change of Doctor secret. Actors have mortgages (and small children to feed) and most UK actors (even the current Doctor) don’t get paid enough to take a year off work.

    It’s quite different from John Barrowman (and Paul McGann and many other Who actors) fibbing that they haven’t been asked back and it’s just that they’re renovating their house/taking a holiday during the couple of weeks where they’re really filming. There, we’re talking about fibbing over a few weeks that they’re being paid for, not an entire year where they’re not.

    I had also heard a similar statement in another interview, but wasn’t sure whether it was in the spoiler territory – so I’ll post it in the spoiler forum.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Of course! how could I have overlooked that instance 😳

    And assuming that we are dealing with an alternative universe, this scenario would seem to be the most likely, especially as Chibnall does seem to be mining the RTD era at the moment.  A parallel universe in an adjoining dimension in which everything is almost but not quite the same would allow for an alternative Doctor, alternative Time Lords with a slightly different history and attitude, and a Gallifrey which was never destroyed or sequestered. All that would be needed then was an explanation of the intrusion of one into the other without anyone apparently realising it had happened.

    Private Harris @privateharris

    During the time war Rassilon establishes a number of different time lines. Each time line exists in its own pocket universe so that they cannot influence each other.

    Rassilon then plays out a number of different scenarios in each universe to see which results in the time lords winning the war. Each scenario ends with the same outcome, the destruction of Gallifrey, all except one. The successful scenario is the one where Ruth is the first doctor. Her mission was to stop the war ever happening by using coercion, assassination or any other means.

    Rassilon maintains control of the pocket universes using the time less child. The timeless child has been exposed to the untempered schism in the same way the master was as a child. To stop the timeless child being driven insane, Rassilon keeps them in a perpetual state of childhood.

    Rassilon intends to use a white point star to transfer himself to Ruths timeline but as the events of “The sound of drums” play out Rassilon uses the star to instead transfer Gallifrey out of the time war. When this attempt is foiled Rassilion finds himself and Gallifrey frozen in its own pocket universe (see The day of the Doctor).

    From this pocket universe Rassilon finds he can no longer control the alternative time lines, the timeless child has been killed during the Dalek attack. When the Doctor banishes Rassilon during Hell Bent he establishes contact with the last of the Cybermen and agrees to become a converted cyber leader (see the comic, Supremacy of the Cybermen). It is the converted Cyber Rassilon that Captain Jack is referring to.

    With no one controlling them the alternative time lines begin to bleed into one another, as a result the timelines become intertwined, allowing for the same person to exist in each other’s time line. Rassilon sees an opportunity to cyber upgrade all the timelines in his own image and surrenders to the Doctors pleading with them to hand him over to the Jadoon to stand trial for war crimes.

    What he really wants is to take control of their Tardis’s and use the eye of harmony and his own regenerative energy to cyber upgrade all of time and reality.

    Both doctors suspect what Cyber Rassilon is doing and a fight breaks out between Ruth and Cyber Rassilon. Both fall into the eye of harmony. Cyber Rassilon, now in the eye, tries to carry out his plan but Ruth uses her regenerative energy to cancel out Cyber Rasilions. Ultimately both perish and the alternative time lines cease to exist.

    RorySmith @rorysmith

    Got it.
    In the parallel universe that gave us Bad Wolf Bay and the other cybermen, where was the Doctor for that reality??

    She was there until something made here leave like maybe 10.2? We have the Judoon, Jack, and an alternate Doctor. Does this hint at Rose and even 10.2 returning?


    Please be so!

    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice

    I wonder if the Judoon’s guns in this episode really killed people, or if they were actually teleporters of some kind, like what Captain Jack used to transport the Doctor’s companions. Lee and Gat were both shot by these guns, but they’re clearly important characters and we still don’t know exactly who they are, so it seems a bit premature for them to be dead already. And Gat is a Time Lord (she only referred to herself as a Gallifreyan but the Doctor called her a Time Lord) so why didn’t she regenerate? Maybe she died too quickly to regenerate, or maybe the gun actually teleported her somewhere. If there is indeed a parallel universe involved here, perhaps these guns could be a way of transporting people between universes.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @psymon – Yes, that’s a spoiler. That particular article is being discussed in the Spoilers forum

    @craig or @phaseshift or @jimthefish – can you do some post removal please? Ta

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord




    The Doc’s motivation for getting involved in Gloucester was that the Judoon were trigger-happy and dangerous, so I think those deaths were there to bear that out. And if what they were hunting was a renegade Time Lord then it would make sense that they would have guns that would have an anti-regeneration feature. My inclination is that they’re dead. Which is a shame cos I’d like to have seen some more of Gat.


    That is one incredibly fanwanky theory (but that’s what we’re here for). But having said that, it’s still not as fanwanky as the episode itself was…


    Davros @davros

    Damn, I’m seeing some very negative reactions from my regulars on Youtube, eg Jay Exci.  Others such as WhatCulture are okay with the episode but expect CC not to be able to manage the plot.

    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice

    @jimthefish Good point. My theory may have been partially wishful thinking as I also would have liked to see more of Gat. Then again, this is a show about time travel so that may not be out of the question…

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Absolutely, anything is possible in this show. Let’s cross our fingers for more Gat.


    While I wouldn’t want to be overly negative, I must admit I do still have quite a few reservations with s12. Here’s what I posted on Twitter after a rewatch of the ep:

    Just rewatched Fugitive. Brilliant, kinetic fun but I don’t think my opinion has changed on what a mess it is narratively. It’s really just a series of WTF fangasm moments strung together in a plot that’s a mash-up of Smith and Jones, The Eleventh Hour, Name of the Doctor, Family of Blood, Utopia and probably more. Kind of confirms my belief that Chibs is not a creative developer in the manner of RTD or Moff but a recycler of other’s ideas, with an impatience to skip from one Big Moment to the next without considering the story logic of doing so.

    It feels like a Greatest Hits package more than anything else and I suspect that after the adrenaline rush of this week has died off, it won’t be considered a classic ep in the long run. But he has raised some fascinating ideas and I’ll take my hat off to him if he pulls it off.

    lisa @lisa

    Ok so if it’s not an alternate universe maybe its a ‘hybrid’  universe?   That could possibly

    account for all the loose ends and timey whimeyness?

    Wondering if this Jo Doc is some sort of hybrid?    You can have two types of hybrids

    in the same time line.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just finished a rewatch, and as Ruth and the Doctor are driving to the lighthouse, Ruth claims she left the lighthouse in mid-December 1999. Could this be relevant? The McGann Doctor battles the  Master on Dec 31, 1999. Could the new Martin Doctor fit into the timeline at this point, somehow?    I know it seems 2 weeks out of whack, but it is <i>Doctor Who</i> after all!

    I also know that the McCoy Doctor regenerates into the McGann Doctor, but could the Martin Doctor lie between the McGann Doctor and the Hurt Doctor? Again the two-week discrepancy is a problem.

    On the other hand, if the memories of the Martin Doctor have been covered up during her life as Ruth, that could include her entire life as Ruth, and, as Ruth, she claims to be 44 years old.

    I do not have an answer, but I do wonder why we are explicitly given dates and ages, if it isn’t important in some way.

    Brewski @brewski

    I’m going with WhitDoc is in a parallel universe.  Has been since her Regen.  That’s why the TARDIS went nuts and tossed her out.

    And why she didn’t recognize the Stenza.

    FWIW, it means we could meet other parallel Docs who might have had different fates, different deaths, different regens.

    Cue the appearance of one of the Classic Docs!

    P.S.  Hello all.  Been a while!

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Fortified by coffee, another reflection. The lighthouse. Lighthouses also have connection with time, as the are governed by the tides, and the tides are governed by time. As the saying goes: “Time and tide waits for no man”. No conclusion–just a reflection.

    P.S. @brewski, good to see you back!

    Brewski @brewski

    Hi @blenkinsopthebrave,  Thanks!

    ETA: Just watched a reviewer claim that another unknown Doctor can’t be wedged in to the lore because we’ve seen all the regenerations.

    Untrue: We never actually saw Two to Three.  So if they wanted to squeeze in another Forgotten Doc, it could be done.  But I don’t think so.


    Davros @davros

    Ruth’s combat style reminded me of Pertwee’s…

    Mudlark @mudlark


    The reviewer in question clearly lacks imagination 🙄

    There is a relevant discussion which might be of interest if you are prepared to venture onto the Spoiler forum.

    Whisht @whisht

    So – I think I have it.

    RuthDoc is The Doctor. But she won’t always be.
    She’ll become The Master.

    So… now for some timey wimey effwittery to get this bonkerising to be the case….

    There once were two friends at the Academy on Gallifrey.
    One was a bit more distracted than the other. This one had to re-do their exams etc and stay at the Academy an extra year.
    But the other friend was smart and she passed as expected, became a Time Lord and was given the title/name… “The Doctor”.
    This name was one that called for the TL to be wise and caring and helpful etc etc.
    Unfortunately this TL was none of these – in fact she was a bit of a git.
    So bad in fact that the TLs had to ‘recall’ The Doctor to Gallifrey and remove that title/name from her (oh the indignity!).
    They gave her another title/name and mind-wiped the memory of being The Doctor. And then had to give her another title/name as she failed to live up to that one either (and another mind-wipe). And again, over and over going through various title/names with various mind-wipes. She wasn’t up to any of them.
    In the end the TLs sarcastically gave her the title/name “The Master”*.
    [Obvious the multiple mind-wipes did nothing for her mental stability.]

    They gave the title/name The Doctor to the friend at the Academy who had finally passed their exams and was ready to become a Time Lord. They told this one “you need to make sure the name ‘The Doctor’ only means good things etc”.
    We know The Doctor, this Doctor, as its our Doctor, the one we first met as HartnellDoc.

    The O’Master has returned to Gallifrey and discovered the terrible truth of how s/he wasn’t good at living up to any of the names s/he’d been given and how all the TLs laughed at him and its all a lie… (and then went and invited the Daleks in for tea to destroy Gallifrey).

    RuthDoc hasn’t yet been recalled for being ‘a bit of a git’ so thinks of herself as The Doctor, but knows she shouldn’t really shoot people/ rip their horns off etc.



    * yes this entire season is all a gag about being a jack-of-all-trades and…

    Whisht @whisht

    @blenkinsopthebrave – its an interesting Oz allusion.

    I wonder if the lone Cyber/Tin Man will be important?
    A chopper-down of trees… (back to Orphan 55?? gawd hope not) who asks for a heart… but should not be given one (because it means the ‘end’ of Cybermen and so is an echo of Genesis of the Daleks “Do I have the right?”) or because they would be unstoppable…?

    tbh it may be just for throwaway lines and spinning houses in the air; more catnip-clues-for-bonkerising.

    Generally I think that if they’re trying to give the Doctor some ‘mystery’, then answering all this would actually leave us with no mystery, so I’m resigned to loose ends!


    lisa @lisa

    Maybe the Timelords were trying to minimize the damage of the Time War and save themselves

    by splitting the ‘time line’ of  this universe in the way Clara split herself into lots of versions to

    save the Doctor?  The Master found out that this is the lie?  In which case the Master would

    know that he wasn’t the only or even the original.  His destruction of Galifrey was only

    in his and Jodie Doctors particular time line.  Then there could be several Doctors and Masters

    floating around within the same time line.  River called them ‘splinters’ along one timeline.

    That would mean that Galifrey in the pocketverse was just one ‘splinter’ within the time line.

    I’m not completely on board with pre Hartnell Doctors since he was the one that

    we were all told originally stole the Tardis.

    In any case, its nice to feel the fun of conjecturing about all of what’s going on again in the series.


    Psymon @psymon

    @blenkinsopthebrave you saw McGann regenerate directly into Hurt in Night of the Doctor so can’t be that…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    ooh, I like the idea of the lone Cyberman as the tin man in search of a heart!

    Yeah, I am sure we are fed stuff as catnip clues for bonkerising but, to be honest, I enjoy constructing “theories more insane than what’s actually happening” rather than predicting what will actually happen.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Ah, I had forgotten…There is a good theory that @mudlark has developed over on the “Spoilers” page, that may well be the explanation.

    But I still find it interesting that they go to so much trouble to give us specific dates and ages in the episode. Perhaps more catnip, as @whisht notes.

    Pharmanerd @pharmanerd

    Has anyone else been noticing the “Easter eggs” in each episode? I feel like there is some sort of matrix type thing going on….

    lrf868 @lrf868

    What if the new master is contemporary with the Martin Doctor.  That is that he is pre Roger Delgado.  This episode certainly raises the possibility that regenerations of the Doctor existed before Hartnell.  Why not for the Master before Delgado.    This master certainly implied that the Time Lords had hidden something related to the timeless child and made sure that no one remembered it.  So, whatever happened to cause our Doctor to forget, a mind wipe  or something else, must have happened to the Master as well.  This was not a small scale operation.  This new Master did say they lied to all of us, implying that this was not an event local to the Doctor.

    If this new master is before Delgado, it preserves Missy’s timeline.   It also preserves everything we know about the Master to this point.    I can see this Master, post mind wipe, finding Gallifry where it had been hidden and discovering the secret of the timeless child and planning how to intersect with the Doctor leading to the events in Spyfall where the first Doctor he finds is JW.

    It seems to me that the Martin Doctor must exist from a time before Hartnell.    Something happened related to the timeless child that required it be buried or the Time Lords would be destroyed.  There was no choice but to do mass mind wipe to get rid  of all trace of the the timeless child.  Perhaps this process resulted in some forced regenerations and new cycles.    William Hartnell’s Doctor was the first of this reset cycle.  After all, if a mind wiped time lord was near the end of his regenerations pre mind wipe and then though he/she was the first, it would be quite suspicious such a time lord were to die when they were supposed to have a bunch more regenerations.   Let’s not forget the Doctor 1 must have spent a lot of time on Galifray.  After all, he left with his granddaughter as far as we know.  This means he had a life on Galifray.  He must have had a mate and a child who would have been Susan’s parent, unless that is all part of the big lie.  In any case, having this new Doctor exist anywhere than prior to Hartnell would just create some huge issues that would not be easy to make right with Doctor’s history as we know it.

    GalaxyMage @galaxymage

    That episode was fantastic! Absolutely fantastic! I loved the speed, and I was immediately drawn into the story. It was over way too fast — I really wanted to keep watching!

    The Chameleon Arch was awesome — me and my brother spent the episode trying to figure out where the fob watch is, since we guessed about the chameleon arch really early on (we’ve been rewatching the revival series, and had just finished Human Nature, so it was heavily on our minds already). Eventually we decided it was the box, and my brother had almost convinced me that Ruth was The Rani… The fire alarm in the lighthouse was definitely not what we were expecting — I didn’t know it could be anything besides a fob watch. And neither of us were expecting Ruth to be The Doctor, but she definitely is a good one. That “I don’t like bullies” scene, where she tore off the rhino’s horn, was what made me doubt my brother’s theory that she was The Rani. That moment was so Doctor-y!

    I really liked both versions of The Doctor here — initially, Ruth (as human) seemed so different from The Doctor that I had some reservations about this new Doctor, but by the time the episode was over I really liked her. She did seem really similar to River Song in hindsight, though that’s likely to be simply the inspiration for the character.

    I never really liked Captain Jack Harkness in the older new Doctor Who, but his return is still amazing. I know he’s himself, but I really would like if he cut back on the flirting a little, though. (In general…I didn’t like him mainly because of his flirting with Rose.)

    Now, time for the insane theorizing…

    The lone Cyberman first, I suppose. I think Jack’s line about not giving it what it wants, no matter what the cost seems really important. It will cost a lot to refuse, but what? Gallifrey? The Doctor’s sanity? A slip into Time Lord Victorious? One of the companions’ death (I don’t think they’re going to go this route…a real, multiple episode companion hasn’t died in a long long time)? Someone’s memories? The Ruth Doctor’s life? The thirteenth (I’m going to go with the normal numbering for now) Doctor’s life? The TARDIS? Something having to do with The Master?

    I have a lot of questions…and no answers. This might be connecter to The Timeless Child…it might not. Probably is. We’ve seen The Master frequently working with Cybermen — is this his plot? Was this his plot? (Perhaps he recruited the Cybermen and lost control, just like the Kasaavin and pretty much anyone else he allies with.)

    The Lone Cyberman could be someone The Doctor knows…I doubt it. I really doubt it. Danny Pink had his heroic sacrifice, right? And Bill Potts either was turned into one of those oil creatures or she had her molecules rearranged and then went to travel with her girlfriend. Something like that. Now, yes, they brought back The Master after Missy’s “ending” but this is The Master. They’re always going to come back. It’s like killing off The Joker. It simply will never stick. But Danny and Bill did have their endings. And for them, death/kind-of-death really can stick.

    Whatever the Cyberman wants, it either aligns with The Doctor’s interests or doesn’t seem bad enough that she’d refuse if it meant the death of one of her friends. Well, I suppose it could also seem completely harmless. For some reason, she needed to know not to give it what it wants. And so she would want to. I’m not sure how this is going to work out. It might get what it wants, actually, because The Doctor makes a mistake.

    Now for bonkerization about Ruth.

    I believe that she really is The Doctor, but I’m going to call her Ruth for now as clarification since I don’t know where she fits in.

    What if she was the one the message was intended for? Jack just said “tell The Doctor”, not which one. This could be a huge problem. If Ruth ends up making a mistake and bringing back the Cybermen, it will be a disaster (for the characters, fun for us). I feel like it was for Ruth.

    I don’t think this is a case of parallel worlds, even though it does fit nice and neatly. The theme has been of time issues and memory wipes. “Time is swirling around me”, not “reality is swirling around me”. I do think Ruth and the 13th Doctor are a bit too quick to jump to this conclusion, but on a meta level they’re probably right. I’m a bit annoyed that they didn’t check if they have any regenerations in common. I doubt they do, though.

    Things really do seem to be leading to a forgotten cycle of regenerations before Hartnell, which I’m fine with. It’s not like retconning is unheard of in this show. Really, it all comes down to the execution which they’ve been doing great so far.


    I just have the feeling that what we are watching is all an illusion, and that ultimately the curtain will be drawn back.

    This makes an absurd amount of sense, but I doubt they’ll go there. It would be really cool, but might end up being too confusing for some viewers and sort of makes some of the other episodes seem cheap. Although if they do pull that off, I’d love it.

    And when I think about it, both FotJ and Spyfall Part 2 have had a similar feel. I don’t mean this as a criticism, but they were both somewhat hectic and fractured (in a good, exciting, interesting way) that really does give it a sort of dream-like feeling. Like this really is in Oz, because it doesn’t quite make sense. (I guess I mean it sort of seems like Alice in Wonderland a bit, and Oz to a lesser extent. It’s chaos in a good way, but if someone told me that it was all an illusion I wouldn’t be surprised because it does sort of feel like a hallucination. If it isn’t, then they were both still really good episodes, I just think they could reasonably be interpreted that way.)

    The theory about Ruth being the actual Doctor makes sense, but I think who we believe is the 13th Doctor is still The Doctor…at the very least from an alternate universe. It struck me as odd that they just jumped to the conclusion that one of them forgot the other. This could just be the writers wanting to make it clear that that’s what happened, but it could also have purposely left out the other ideas as a way of keeping us from thinking about them. It seems like the idea that one of them forgot the other is just that…an assumption. And a sketchy one at that.

    And one final thing. While Ruth appears to be the Timeless Child, it doesn’t really make much sense. Although the “she’s not a child” can be overcome by her simply having grown older, the mystery of the Timeless Child has to have traumatized The Master (well…he was already pretty traumatized and insane, but here he lost his sanity enough to destroy Gallifrey). And The Doctor having forgotten memories really isn’t exactly the type of thing that would do this. Sure, it would certainly be important to The Doctor, and The Master might use this to taunt him or her, but it wouldn’t make him destroy Gallifrey.

    “They lied to us”…not “they lied to you”. For some reason, the us here seems like the Timeless Child lie might have been to a small group, or important to a small group, rather than they lied to the Time Lords in general. As in, “They lied to me and you.” But then again, I could easily be wrong on that. The Master is not above killing people and destroying things just because he’s angry even though they’re not the ones at fault. Even though they’re victims too.

    The thing is, if the Timeless Child was used by the Time Lords to get their powers, then The Doctor being the Timeless Child doesn’t really make sense. They lied to us, not they lied to you. It seems like The Master is putting The Doctor on the same level of being a victim of this as him — he sort of seems to want her to find out, but he also doesn’t want to make it easy for her, and his tendency to kill and destroy certainly isn’t helping. If The Doctor helped found Time Lord society, participating in the lie, he’d want her dead. And yes, he does seem to want her dead in Spyfall. But he’s willing to talk, willing to control himself and not immediately attempt to murder her (although this all slips too, and rather quickly). If she was responsible for whatever shocked/hurt The Master so much, he would have just straight-up killed her. (Unless, is course, he wants her to find out the truth because it’s so terrible that it will make her suffer a lot…I personally don’t think he’s got enough control over himself for that, though. Although he does manage to have enough patience to hide as O for a while, even when he does agree to talk he ends up attempting to strangle The Doctor.)

    And if The Doctor is the Timeless Child and they somehow used him/her to give the time lords their powers in a way that wasn’t good and then wiped his/her memories, then I don’t think The Master would react like this either. He wouldn’t take it so personally, although he might be upset that his abilities came from The Doctor. He might start hating his species since it’s powers all came from his enemy…but I don’t think that would be enough to make him destroy Gallifrey.

    Just thought of this — Jack said to tell The Doctor that he might not see her for a very long time…what if he meets the 13th Doctor and considers it a long time because he thought he was talking to the Ruth Doctor’s companions? More Captain Jack Harkness!

    Second thing after extremely long “final” thing…this seems to echo a lot of RTD era stuff. In the 1st and 3rd seasons, there were big, important arc words hidden throughout the story. (I don’t know about 2nd and 4th…my memories a bit fuzzy.) I wonder how many people noticed (on their own, at least) that they had no clue who Harold Saxon was before The Lazarus Experiment? The name drops sort of slip into the conversation naturally…and you never notice. Oh, Harold Saxon. Must be some political guy. And then you forget, because your brain garbage-collects your useless, aimless thoughts that last only a second. I don’t have a way to rewatch the episode right now, but if I find one, I’m going to go through this and look for anything confusing. Anything that’s been mentioned that my brain either never noticed or flagged as weird and then forgot. Because the first time around, I never caught any of the Harold Saxon mentions. I always forgot them. And how do I know that there hasn’t been a “Bad Wold” is the season, words that have been following The Doctor around? Because I won’t notice unless I’m looking for something seemingly random that doesn’t add up. (For example, I noticed that “we go way back” has been said twice so far, once by The Master and once by Jack, while watching the show. Then I promptly forgot. For all I know, that line could repeat somewhere else and be significant!) Then I’ll look at Spyfall, NTNoT, and Orphan 55 if I have time, all of them within days of each other so my memory’s reliable. And I’ll try to figure out the similarities, if anything confusing, random, or unknown is mentioned twice. Even a number. For all I know, 55 has been following them around!

    I’ll try to come up with more insane theories later and post them.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Still processing all your ideas (there’s a lot there!) but certainly agree that Ruth is not the timeless child for the reasons you outline. I don’t buy the idea of Ruth as the actual Doctor– Doctor I am prepared to accept, but the actual Doctor, no. When it comes to the Master and his motivations, there seems to be a general consensus that he is genuinely outraged. But I am not sure we should accept him at his word. I am still not sure the outrage is real. It may well be feigned.


    Rob @rob

    If we follow the Oz theory and have the Cyberman as the Tin-man. Then we need the other characters too….. possibly

    Wizard of Oz, The Master? No surely not he’s more likely to be The Wicked Witch of the West (www his use of computers in the episode?)

    Wizard of Oz then is Jodie Whittaker Doctor (or maybe  she’s Glinda) or Rassilon (or definitely Chris Chibnall as he is pulling the strings behind the curtain)

    Dorothy , The Jo Martin Doctor, she needs help getting “home”which is a number in the Who heirarchy of Doctors

    The Munchkins, well that’s humanity as portrayed by the Fam-guard

    So we need the Scarecrow and the Lion, so let’s have a nice cup of tea and a slice o’ cake to ruminate on what could be


    Kharis @kharis

    I’m glad to see the show picking up the pace from the last season.

    It’s been hard to hang on for some of us.

    Staying awake has been half the battle, but this episode was okay, no coffee required.

    Brewski @brewski

    > @mudlark: The reviewer in question clearly lacks imagination

    I can forgive that. But not knowing basic facts like we have not witnessed all the regenerations?? Unforgivable! :p

    Thanks for the invite to the spoilers discussion. But I have decided to go spoiler free this series.


    After a rewatch, here is my big question:

    Since when does a Hartnell-ish era Doctor have transmat access to the TARDIS??

    Seems much later Doctory to me…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Um. The transmat first makes its appearance in the Troughton era – the Daleks have it, I think, in one of the ‘missing’ stories, which is why I’m not very sure. Then lots of people start having transmats; when we turn up on Gallifrey for the Five Doctors, the Time Lords use a transmat to send the Master into the Death Zone. During the T. Baker period, the Time Lords mention that they’ve had Transmat tech for ages and think it a bit passe.

    So I suppose the answer is that it’s a perfectly allowable retcon to say that a fully working TARDIS has transmat facilities, but the current Doctor’s TARDIS transmat is not working.

    That said, I am getting the feel that the Martin Doctor is either between Troughton and Pertwee or pre Hartnell. Either way, the Martin Doctor has a fully working TARDIS. Possibly because it was repaired, then un-repaired when they exiled the Pertwee Doctor.

    I’m using names for all the Doctor incarnations because I have this funny feeling that Chibbers is looking at Moffat’s wrecking of the numbering and saying ‘okay, hold my beer.’ 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Anything that’s been mentioned that my brain either never noticed or flagged as weird and then forgot.

    I think Graham being mistaken for the Doctor needs to be watched for. It’s happened twice now in this series.

    Whisht @whisht

    @rob @blenkinsopthebrave
    I think that if there any allusions to Oz then I hope(!) that they aren’t too literal (as I think it’d reduce the companions rather than extend them).

    However… not wanting to leave a bone or catnip alone…. one could have:
    Scarecrow – wants to be smarter; has Graham had a habit of thumping his head and saying “I know this” while trying to think of something?
    Tin Man – wants a heart (empathy) – Yaz has loads of empathy but riffing on @bluesqueakpip ‘s earlier thought as to whether Yaz might want to suggest a ‘for-the-many’ solution by sacricing one, this could be a moment to ‘learn’ this is ethically…. dubious (at least arguable!);
    Lion – Ryan constantly battles his nerves and lack of self-esteem. But like all the companions in Wizard of Oz, they already have the gifts they always thought they needed…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    I think that if there are any allusions to Oz then I hope(!) that they aren’t too literal

    I would go back to my earlier comment about the difference between bonkerising and predicting. For me, bonkerising involves coming up with a theory that is simultaneously fanciful (with no real chance of succeeding in the prediction stakes) yet strangely compelling, based on the allusions, as a possible (though highly improbable) explanation of where the story is heading.

    So, I love your explanation of how Graham, Yaz and Ryan could fit into a Wizard of Oz reading!

    Whisht @whisht

    @blenkinsopthebrave – I wholeheartedly agree and truly hope none of my bonkerising is anything like the actual storyline!


    Mc46 @mc46

    I have a theory for how the Fugitive Doctor fits into the Doctor’s life. I believe that the Fugitive Doctor is not in the main Doctor’s timeline, but the Metacrisis Doctor’s, as seen in the end of the Tenth Doctor’s era. I think that the hole between the parallel universes, as mentioned in Season 2’s Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, has been reopened by the lone Cyberman, mentioned by Captain Jack Harkness, and the Fugitive Doctor has accidentally travelled into our universe. Then she has turned herself into a human because she has realised what she has done. As she doesn’t seem to care about her companions, this then implies to me that Rose Tyler has been ditched somewhere along the line.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    The discussion which I referred to isn’t really  spoilery, just the report that sparked it off.

    This gist of the hypothesis which I proposed there is that the coincidence of the paired regenerations of Hartnell Doctor and Capaldi Doctor which immediately followed their meeting, which could be seen in one sense as simultaneous although technically separated by the time of their lives between, triggered some kind of timey-wimey disruption which resulted in a twinning in Hartnell Doctor’s regeneration and a corresponding forking or splitting of the time lines. These time lines would eventually merge again with the regeneration of Capaldi Doctor into Whittaker Doctor, thus forming a closed loop or ellipse bookended by Hartnell ->Troughton Doctor at one end and Capaldi -> Whittaker Doctor at the other.  So, according to the hypothesis,  the regeneration of Hartnell Doc into Troughton Doc which we saw was mirrored by an alternative regeneration which we didn’t see and which resulted in a separate lineage of incarnations and a slightly divergent history for the Time Lords and for those individuals and species on whom the Doctor’s actions impinged.  This would explain why Mason Doctor didn’t seem to recognise a sonic screwdriver and thought that having two versions of herself and two manifestations of the same Tardis in proximity was dangerous – an early concept later demonstrated to be untrue – and why the destruction of Gallifrey apparently hadn’t happened for her and Gat.

    In this scenario the question of whether or not Hartnell Doctor had knowledge of transmat technology is irrelevant because, just as there have been thirteen incarnations of the Doctor following him in the time line we have seen, x number of incarnations will have separated Mason Doctor from Hartnell Doctor in the time line we haven’t seen.

    The possible flaw in my argument is that, with a merging of time lines, even if they had followed a broadly similar course in most respects, we could potentially have a very large number of doppelgangers now wandering around, or else individuals with two versions of reality in their memory, and also a Gallifrey which is both destroyed and not destroyed, which seems a bit implausible but not, I suppose, impossible in a quantum universe.

    Note that I use the term hypothesis rather than theory, as I have been trained to reason scientifically 😕 and try to live up to that training. It seems to fit what little we really know so far but remains to be proved. I just hope that the resolution Chibnall has dreamed up isn’t more mundane.


    lrf868 @lrf868

    The meta crisis doctor is fully human as far as we know.   When he and Rose were left in the alternate universe, it was made clear that he would age and die along with Rose.  This means that he could not regenerate.   Thus, the fugitive doctor could not be a regeneration of the meta crisis doctor.


    winston @winston

    @lrf868      River was fully human but because she was conceived on the Tardis she could regenerate so maybe the meta crisis  Doctor ,who was “born” on the Tardis also has that ability. It was the 11th Doctor who realized that so the 10th Doctor would have no idea it could happen to a human when he left him with Rose. Maybe Rose grew old and died or just died so the Doctor was heart broken and left the alternate earth to travel about in the Tardis he built. Or maybe I am totally wrong and this is a bonkers theory at its best.

    lisa @lisa


    I really like that notion!  Your correct that the ‘hybrid’ splinter of 10  was  born of his hand

    within the Tardis and exposed to its particular energy fields like River was as an embryo.

    If  all  Time Lords have  realized  this is an additional way of procreating themselves then

    possibly this could have something to do with the lie that the Master speaks of?

    But also  this could have something to do with the ‘timeless child’ concept of immortality?

    I  also wonder if the episode starting on her birthday is a clue?

    You don’t need an entire Time Lord.   You can take a piece of one and grow a duplicate version.

    But to what purpose cause that reason chould be a part of the lie that is not making the Master

    a happy bloke!

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Another viewing…why not?

    A couple of things or, rather, questions. Given that Lee, Ruth’s husband (“I’m married, and I’m 44 years old”, as Ruth says) must be a Time Lord as well–hiding out on Earth, protecting Ruth–it would be nice to know more about him. Specifically, what was in the little metal box that Gat recognizes? And then there is the guy who is the ex-bartender, trying to adapt to making espressos. He has a thing for Ruth, and has compiled a dossier on Lee. Somehow, it seems important, and yet it is all thrown away along with the poor guy’s life, when he is killed by the Judoon. Somehow, those things felt like they had more meaning than was explored in the episode.


    Mudlark @mudlark


    what was in the little metal box that Gat recognizes?

    Lee did in fact open the box and we got a brief glimpse of what was in it. He said it was his service medal. Gant implied that it was made of or included a distinctive alloy which enabled her to trace him to Earth. Everything points to Lee also being a Time Lord, as you say, and presumably also chameleon arched, since he registered as human in the Judoon’s scanner.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Another thought: we’ve been assuming that all the people who vanished when zapped by the Judoon were killed, but I’ve been wondering about that. The Doctor described the weapon used as a temporal isolator, designed to freeze time, but that when used it causes horrific collateral damage to anyone and anything in its path. ‘Collateral damage’ probably does mean killed, but it could also apply if the weapon simply isolated the targeted individuals in time – i.e. left them in stasis and perhaps retrievable, at least in theory.

    Whisht @whisht

    @blenkinnsopthebrave @rob

    I kinda now think this theory is less ‘bonkers’ and more ‘I kinda hope not as it’d limit the characters’ so I’ll leave it alone and try something more daft (like following up on RuthDoc being the Master ;¬) ) but to belabour this one, there were two major characters I forgot to do…

    Dorothy – she wants to go home (and presumably grow in most adolescent-hero-journey terms); The Doctor (ie WhittakerDoctor) wants to go home but is also now in a reality that feels slightly odd.
    The Wicked Witch of the West – she’s just nasty (though she wants something from Dorothy) so makes sense just to think that’d be the Master. However…
    The Wizard of Oz – is a powerful, frightening ruler yet… is revealed as a sham, someone with no power at all. If this were the Master, perhaps that’d be closer to him realising about himself that all the shouting, the seeming power and control of others are “all a lie”. Such a thing would crush him…

    Scarecrow – wants to be smarter; has Graham had a habit of thumping his head and saying “I know this” while trying to think of something?
    Tin Man – wants a heart (empathy) – Yaz has loads of empathy but riffing on @bluesqueakpip ‘s earlier thought as to whether Yaz might want to suggest a ‘for-the-many’ solution by sacrificing one, this could be a moment to ‘learn’ this is ethically…. dubious (at least arguable!);
    Lion – Ryan constantly battles his nerves and lack of self-esteem. But like all the companions in Wizard of Oz, they already have the gifts they always thought they needed…

    Davros @davros

    “Everything points to Lee also being a Time Lord, as you say, and presumably also chameleon arched, since he registered as human in the Judoon’s scanner.”

    Mmm, but so far the three times we’ve seen a chameleon arch being used (D10, JacobiMaster, Ruth), the subject (while arched) does not remember their true form or history. Lee appears to know what is going on: he’s Ruth’s Martha.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Loving it! Of course, bonkers theories don’t need exact parallels every step of the way, but I await your ability to come up the version of the good witch who tells Dorothy that all she has to do is click her heels to get back to Kansas.

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