Heaven Sent

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    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @geoffers indeed, I posted, went back to the main forum page, and your post was already up!

    Anonymous @

    @bendubz11 I think that this is a good point. It could also be that the teleporter on his arm was a prison bracelet. Once he’s in the teleport machine he ends up leaving the bracelet behind because otherwise he could use it as Missy said in TMA with the sonic. Here, he had no weapons.

    Also, I recall way back when the Eccleston Doctor said to Rose “leave the Tardis on some corner to collect dirt and people will put posters on it” or something like it. I think that it was Rigsy who started that by painting a garden over it in Clara’s name. The cycle cycles back!

    Interesting that this dial is not so much a testament but a confession -what a great thing. It echoes out idea of a last will -but much better. It tells the truth of your life and the things you keep secret and what you are willing to ensure stays that way  -forever, if necessary.

    And what is he a hybrid of.

    Son of Puro

    nerys @nerys

    @puroandson Ah, your theory about it being the same coat all the way through (but looking darker at some points because of lighting/moisture) makes sense! Thank you. My brain hurts a little less now. These are the things that hang me up, while meanwhile a great story is unfolding.

    By the way, husband and I watched The Secret Agent tonight prior to our Doctor Who outing. It was quite wonderful to see a much younger Capaldi shine in a different (and rather sinister) role.

    Anonymous @

    Unbelievably brilliant, if it’s not the best Doctor Who episode I’ve ever seen it’s damn close. Incredibly moving.

    This is surely Moffat’s magnum opus, perfecting his narrative pyrotechnics and grounding them in an emotional purpose.

    Anonymous @


    Ah yes, but Son and I could easily be wrong: we are open to suggestions!


    perfect words: “magnum opus” perfectus (OK, I made the last bit up -bit Harry Potterish I suppose)

    Kindest, Puro

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    I have a theory that Moffat is deliberately re-writing various parts of the classic Doctor Who canon to allow his successors to do the same and keep the show alive for every era.

    To me the Confession Dial is Moffat’s rewriting the self-assembling message box the Second Doctor used in The War Games to contact the Time Lords.  This box has the ability to return to Gallifrey.  So perhaps does the Confession Dial.  If one looks at the inner workings of the Confession Dial, it appears to me that it is actually a form of Tardis in of itself.  Thus the bracelet the Doctor has to teleport teleports him inside the Confession Dial.

    It may be as a defense mechanism to hacking, the Confession Dial is programmed to destroy any invader that does not correctly answer what its contents are.  It is possible the Time Lords did not intend to torture the Doctor, or even to learn the nature of the hybrid, things just worked out that way.

    Now in Face the Raven I believe that just before the Doctor teleports, there is the sound of Ashildr activating some button.  This I assume both activated the Confession Dial and the teleport.  So the question is, how did Ashildr learn of the Time Lords?  I’m going to guess the Time Lords were able to send a brooch, a pendant, what Ashildr wears around her neck, similar to the Eye of Hades, that is small enough to go between dimensions.  This may have been enabled by Missy.

    Now with the Gallifreyan child first contacting the Doctor, this is an indication the Doctor will in the end decide not to kill one billion Gallifreyans.  Thus my theory still stands the Doctor’s sentence will be to put Time Lord souls into the Daleks.  It’s the one thing the Daleks can’t fight, because the soul might not be DNA-based, and it is DNA purity the Daleks enforce.

    The universe had aged billions of years, but the Time Lords in The Day of the Doctor were said to be frozen in a moment of time.  They are a small bit of the way towards the very end of the universe.


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    I am sure Moffat did not intend this, but with the extreme suffering depicted that the Doctor underwent for billions of years, for me, the Doctor has paid in full for his actions in The Zygon Inversion.  Thank you, Steven Moffat.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @jphamlore the question is: Where is the Eye of Hades now? Is it still in Sam Swift? Did Me take it out of him? Does it even still work?

    Starla @starla

    @nerys @puroandson

    I think the coat is the same throughout. When we encounter the Doctor it is 7000 years into the future. The clothes and shoes are there because the previous version of himself had left them to dry. Having said that, I’m not sure what the very first Doctor did! Maybe he didn’t twig that he could leave them until a few thousand goes. I am fairly certain that the coats etc are the same. 😊

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Here’s something I find interesting: The Doctor mentions the prophecy the hybrid will do something to  a billion Gallifreyans.  But there were 2.47 billion children alone on Gallifrey in The Day of the Doctor.

    I think it is still in play, 1 billion adult Time Lord souls to be transplanted into Daleks, the Doctor’s revenge that ends the way.  Perhaps some number of Gallifreyan children souls to be reborn in either new humans or humans who died prematurely.  Many others can stay on Gallifrey and live out their lives apart from the rest of the universe.

    Think Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica.  Humanoid appearing Daleks with Time Lord souls.  Other Daleks their enemies created by Davros.  It’s a perfect solution.

    Starla @starla

    I still wonder why Me was dressed very much like the 80’s/90’s version of Clara’s mother in the selfie Clara took. There’s been no resolution to that yet .

    Arch @arch

    Loved it, im an unashamed fan boy but this was brilliant. Capaldi was masterful and truly this is the best performance by a dr I think ive seen. The groundhog day sequence at the end was perfect, mostly due to the soundtrack that accompanied it. I know I sound like a gushing schoolgirl but I just adore the whole thing from start to finish, I always suspend disbelief when I watch sci fi so I may not be as bothered as some others with the impossible. Bring on next week is all I can say.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @lisa   I did like how he fell back into his comfort zone which was having Clara and the Tardis aka his mind when he needed his ‘deliberations’ . That’s how he managed his sanity.

    Yes — that gave him someone to talk to besides the Veil.  About his sanity, I dunno . . . he could yet do something terrible, and need to restore himself from that.

    @puroandson  I’m going to take the audio voice out and just listen to the music on the stereo -that will be very interesting. let the story with its action and the music give us the directions to the conclusion.

    Damn!  I wish I could to that — are you using a high-end sound bar that lets you separate the tracks?

    @countscarlioni  “In Lower Pomerania is the Diamond Mountain, which is two miles and a half high, two miles and a half wide, and two miles and a half in depth; every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on it, and when the whole mountain is worn away by this, then the first second of eternity will be over.”

    Thank you for that!  I’ve been worrying that story and the diamond mountain and the persistent bird.  None of it made sense to me, but now it does.   Gods, weren’t his hands a mess . . . and it took me a couple of looks to catch where that wired-up skull had come from . . .

    @puroandson   Without Clara’s death would he have been there forever: literally forever? Or would he have died and given up which is against his creed

    Son of puro, what a great question!  He asks how long; without the help of Clara-in-his-mind, the One Who Never Leaves, he might never have broken through into Gallifrey.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  It may be as a defense mechanism to hacking, the Confession Dial is programmed to destroy any invader that does not correctly answer what its contents are. It is possible the Time Lords did not intend to torture the Doctor, or even to learn the nature of the hybrid, things just worked out that way.

    Interesting possibility!

    @arch   I always suspend disbelief when I watch sci fi so I may not be as bothered as some others with the impossible. Bring on next week is all I can say.

    I’ve got to say, it was no effort to suspend my disbelief.  Capaldi’s performance just yanked me right under, and I still haven’t exactly come back up.  I *loved* the little touches of humor along the way — nobody cracks wise like the Doctor.  Moffat, a thousand thanks for this beautiful piece of workmanship!

    Avaris @avaris

    To me, this episode is an instant classic. It is unique, atmospheric and emotional. This is Peter Capaldi’s best performance, most doctor-defining, and most memorable episode to date.  This episode demonstrates (to Gatiss in particular)the way you play with new ideas in DW.

    First, some nit-picking with continuity issues in the episode. Time-stop during confession is not consistent. Room returning to its original state has some exception cases – Room 12, Clara’s portraits and the teleport room.

    To the positives in the episode (there are just too many), I just love the Doctor’s storm room depicting how the Doctor thinks and solves dangerous situations. It remembers me of the Eleventh Hour and Sherlock’s mind palace, yet it is more refined in the episode.  Interacting with Clara inside the room is just an extremely clever idea when she is dead and the Doctor is trapped in the Confession dial alone.

    The imagery of old castle, skulls and the veil create astounding impending doom atmosphere. The veil is just very scary despite moving very slowly. It makes me jump twice – once at the door and the other at the grave.  It is safe to announce that the veil is the best monster in series 9.  I also like how the production team finds the right balance for a kid show without being too dark and bloody. Plus the moving castle(like the staircase in Hogwarts) is a nice touch in adding complexity to the stationary environment.

    This episode gets better on re-watch. Brilliant acting from Peter Capaldi for capturing my attention even on re-watch. The very best bit of the episode is Twelve keeps on trying even though he has to endure the pain repeatedly and go through the same process again and again. Never cruel or cowardly; Never give in and never give up. He soldiers on and lives on to the expectation of Clara – being the Doctor. Only the Doctor can stick to his belief that he will win in the end even in this dire situation. There are moments I ask why Twelve is still trying – it is almost impossible and too painful to continue. The most painful part is not hitting the diamond with his fist or his death inflicted by the veil.  It is the long course of climbing back to the teleport room when he is dying. He knows that climbing back to the teleport room will only brings more pain and suffering which last for eternity, and he still does it as it is the right thing to do.  I am just so touched by his choice. (I recalled a speech about tiny differences/choices separate great people(heroes), the ordinary and the villains.) Twelve has just become of my favorite Doctor for his perseverance. There is also a nice parallel between the Doctor and the veil. They simply will not stop.

    Lastly, it is a very well-written script by Steven Moffat. The monologues of Twelve are poetic and utterly beautiful. It fits perfectly in the the Doctor Who genre – something about time, something old (old culture, stories – the Grimm’ fairy tales), something new(bring them into the context of modern sci-fi and magical nature of Doctor Who), something borrowed (ideas- Christopher Nolan’s Prestige(2006) and others) and something blue (it is sad and it brings hope at the very same time). This is the exact reason why I love the show. Steven Moffat please keeps on writing for the show even when you leaves as head-writer. NuWho is not the same without him.

    The third question was, “How many seconds are there in the time of eternity.”

    The boy answered, “In Lower Pomerania is the Diamond Mountain, which is two miles high, two miles wide, and two miles deep; every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on it, and when the whole mountain is worn away by this, then the first second of eternity will be over.”

    The king liked all the answers and took the shepherd boy home.

    Grimm’s Fairy Tale (https://111booksfor2011.wordpress.com/tag/grimms-fairy-tales-the-shepherd-boy/)

    Steven Moffat why are you capable of writing such beautiful stories out of ordinary things?
    Random Thoughts
    I think the Doctor cannot die in the confession dial.  Dying might be a easy way out or simply automatic restart the process.  The doctor crawling back to the teleport room act as an interference to the Bootstrap Paradox or breaking the reset system (automatic room-service).
    This episode is the making of the Doctor’s confession dial.  This series definitely has some timey-wimey stuff that makes Twelve in the magician’s apprentice in possession of the confession dial.  The confession dial electrifies Clara because she is dead in the perspective of the confession dial time line ( it creates a paradox.), although there may be some other reasons why Ashildr and Missy does not get shocked.
    Veil is a childhood nightmare for the doctor.  Are there any possibility that this is the reason why the young Doctor is crying in the barn in Listen when Clara comforts him with the Fear is a superpower speech?  If so, Clara will have some great importance in the next episode.
    And Ashildr.  I was planning to write a small piece of article comparing the influence of the Doctor on Clara and Ashildr (and may be touching a bit of Davros).  Looks like it needs to wait since Ashildr is appearing in the next episode.

    ichabod @ichabod

    Here’s a little something about skulls, picked up on tumblr:

    “We had Peter in for a lifecast for episodes three and four [Under the Lake and Before the Flood] as we’d made prosthetics for the Ghost Doctor,” Kate Walshe, SFX producer at Millennium FX, told RadioTimes.com. “As we already had his lifecast, [producer] Pete Bennett and I discussed the possibility of making a skull based on Peter’s own face.

    “We cast a version of Peter’s face out in clay and, following the contours of his distinctive bone structure, pared the form back to reveal what we imagine may be Peter’s own skull.”

    Gobsmacked.  So, just when did they tell him his “alas poor Yorick” moment would be to a model of his own skull, d’ya think?

    GothamCelt @gothamcelt

    I realise and accept that I am in the minority here but that episode did not work for me. Self indulgent, joyless, pretentious nonsense . I tried watching it again but remain unmoved. Don’t expect many on here to agree but that is my opinion. Glad so many appreciated it. Will look to next week with guarded interest.

    Avaris @avaris

    @gothamcelt @delta

    I am sorry to hear that you guys didn’t enjoy the episode.  This episode is a bit metaphorical.  I believe the very key part is the Doctor enters room 12 and remembers all of his previous encounters.  The Doctor wants to give up and asks Clara why he has to continue like this.  Yet, in the end, he still stands to his principals not revealing the secrets about the hybrid for 2 billion years.  He is faced with lots and lots of sufferings and failures.  Nevertheless he persists.  A simple word/concept, but can everyone understand its gravity and implications.

    This episode is trying to explore how this quality makes an impact and to tell the life story of the Doctor.  The Doctor throughout different incarnations(symbolized by his clones)  has faced threats (the veil) and losses/suffering (the pain/ torture).  Still those experience(2 billion years in the dial) has not changed a single bit about his belief (escaping this hellish confession dial) – the Doctor saves people, and believes there are good in men.

    This alone makes me admire Twelfth, and makes me think twice before giving up.

    Anonymous @

    @whoa all! overwhelming love for this episode on other forums. This is son of Puro (we promised we’d say which was one of us was writing: it helps you and us!)


    As a kid, I suppose, I’d like to get why you think it was nonsense though? I thought the veil lurky evil thing was very good and very possible -like the mummy last year which could well be a story. As well as pretentious: that means being sort of stiff and showy off-y. Was it a show off by Moffat in your mind? Just asking because I like to hear why people don’t like somethings and others like them. @ichabod -thankyou for tagging me. I think more people like you should converse. There’s a lot of “I have a theory. This is it.” Not enough “I liked what you said and why did you say this?”

    Just my opinion!!

    @jphamlore You have had a lot of brilliant ideas. Awesome. Do you think the Doctor will make the TLs hybrids with Daleks? I think, personally, the Daleks “would never allow this” (evidence from the end of the show). Glad you enjoyed it. You are a real thinker.

    @arch totally agree -bring it on!!


    I hope I can write like youdo one day. You have some great things to observe there

    @ichabod Mum has a computer attached to the BOSE stereo. It was rigged up by her and some production dudes and so she can remove the music from the audio spoken bits. Strictly, not removal but tone down the speaking and turn up the music or the other random noises? I think.

    I’m going to watch it again after spending 1900 words on a 500 word assignment which wouldn’t fit into that according to the silly ‘scaffold’. I call it a ‘gallows’. If you don’t follow it, you die. If you do, you die too. Took me 5 hours. Unlike the doctors 2 billion or whatever horrible number. With Mum’s help.


    So glad people are positive about this episode but I can understand why some wouldn’t like it or find it silf indulgent.

    Anonymous @

    watching it again @ichabod. What astounds me is that there are minutes with no discussion, no words, just music and gentle movement and yet it stands completely. It is compelling nonetheless.


    tommo @tommo

    anyone seen a recent horror movie called ‘it follows’? one of the best horrors made in the last decade for me. it’s just the opening prologue immediately conjured it up in my mind.

    also, why did the crystal wall not reset like the other rooms in the prison…? did i miss an all-important sentence?

    capaldi, as most have already said, was totally captivating. he held my total focus for 55 minutes effortlessly it seemed. a hearty pat on thy back to moffatt and crew.

    Anonymous @


    I think that was the final puzzle: the wall of not-diamond?

    I’m wondering if the castle as it resets is almost like a tardis -the way it moves for instance.

    It moves in threes -like the score which at times is a waltz.


    Anonymous @

    But no @tommo, sorry I haven’t seen the movie you mention. I must do now!

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Just having another thought about “the Veil”. @phaseshift suggested it’s another incarnation of the tarot Death card.

    I thought that the glass wall is actually the timelock (the veil) between the bubble universe Gallifrey is in and “this” universe.

    But what if “the Veil” is also a play on “the Valeyard”?

    “I am in twelve” is what the Doctor writes on the grave inside the castle/ trap/ confession dial. Confession-dial Doctor appears hell-bent on revenge on whoever was responsible for Clara’s death, although Clara expressly told him not to seek it.

    Is it the Valeyard inside the Twelfth Doctor who will seek the annihilation of Gallifrey as revenge, and the Doctor inside the Twelfth Doctor who will, in the end, come to his senses and remember Clara’s dying wish?



    I still wonder why Me was dressed very much like the 80’s/90’s version of Clara’s mother in the selfie Clara took. There’s been no resolution to that yet .

    Me stated very clearly that she did it to get the Doctor’s attention.

    Thanos @thanos

    Interesting episode, well made and performed. I hope the “high concept” doesn’t alienate youngsters though. The casual viewer may also feel it a bit impenetrable. As with Sherlock, Moffat could be trying to be a bit too clever clever.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Wow. Three pages. I have only just finished watching and comments are already onto page 3.  I will never catch up, well not tonight anyway. That episode has all the makings of an instant classic. Afterwards R.3 (the 14 yr old) remarked that it was possibly one of the best episodes ever. Even the far harder to please R.2 was impressed though he did remark on the lack of science. One thing the episode was not was “chewing gum for the brain.” I was on the edge of the seat and there was more discussion than usual from the sofa as we all unpicked what was happening as it went along.

    The only thing we didn’t “get” was his comment just before the “monster” lays its hands on him despite rewinding three times. I will rewatch tomorrow with the headset so hopefully will catch it then.

    So who is behind it all? The trap was clearly of time lord origin but was it the High Council, the War Council who presumably take over once the High Council hightail it at the end of the Time War. (I have wiped the final Tennant stories from memory so not sure quite what happened to them), or it is Missy or some other renegade Time Lord? There are echoes of “Deadly Assassin” in this.

    I was right about seeing how the confession dial is created indicating that we go full circle this series. I wonder if we will find out why the Doctor was on Skaro too. Maybe that it to come, hence that sense that he knew Clara was to die.

    So maybe the Doctor is half human after all, a hybrid of two great warrior races, humans and Time Lords, hence his fondness for earth. Maybe his Dad is a professor at Oxford or Cambridge uni. having set the first “college” up of course way back in the middle ages.

    Apologies if I am repeating others comments. Three pages is rather daunting at 10.30 pm after a long day.



    Anonymous @

    dear @thanos

    I wondered about that too.I have friends who really disliked it and couldn’t remember the :long way home’ statement, didn’t recognise Galllifrey and didn’t know what the ’round thing’ was. I mean it was in last week’s episode too  but not as much as the very first of this season. Yes, it could be impenetrable. I’ve seen it twice and probably couldn’t watch it a 3rd time. Mum will watch it 6 times or more!

    @ dear @pedant yes, that is right. I thought it was just a very big “I am watching you” and not much else. I don’t think there’s any more to figure out with that.

    @juniperfish That is awesome. So ‘I am in 12’ is not the room but the man or the Doctor who made the proper promise to not revenge Clara?

    That’s very good. From son of Puro.


    Anonymous @

    dear @janetteb Mum and I watched in on iview this morning with the captions; they were great. Maybe you could try that? Yes, I think so much is in the wrong order: like when the Doctor said “why did you say trap street?” to Clara in that worried voice last week. He’s remembering differently.

    I think ‘Me’ is Lady Me. She was a hybrid of those who wanted all the testosterone and herself – a human. Isn’t there testosterone all over the TLs? Enough for that warrior race to eat up. That is what Mum has said. But I don’t really know!

    Thankyou. Goodnight now. From Ilion son. (I hope the fires have died away now?).

    Starla @starla

    @pedant Ok, fair enough, it was her way of drawing his attention.  I still think it was an odd choice of dress though.

    She could have drawn his attention purely by being in the photograph, without the need for this outfit. I felt there must have been more to her choice, a message perhaps… We know she’s been in cahoots with, or being used by, TL’s to some degree.  Whether she has travelled in time or not, she’s been fed information regarding Clara’s past.

    I am probably reading too much into it, however it’s one of those little things that feels purposeful. Otherwise what’s the point of her being dressed like that? Why go to the effort… unless it’s just to mess with out minds irl / thd Doctor’s mind in thr show. 😊

    Serahni @serahni

    I am heartbroken.  I loved it.  I may never forgive it.  To have churned out the most powerful episode this season, in my opinion, on the back of a companion’s death, with just the lead actor and a seriously terrifying monster carrying the entire storyline…

    Capaldi; you sodding genius.

    That’s as much as I have the brain capacity to say.  This one punched me in the gut.

    AurigaM37 @aurigam37

    My thoughts:

    One of the reasons that “always” wins, is that he creates time loops all the time. Upon his death he starts at a previous point (or a checkpoint) in his timeline. And gets another go, until he gets it right (which means him not dying). This is why his companions can die, he would break his own time loops to save them, and loops within loops are the timey wimey stuff.

    Teleporter (i.e. not), agree with @bendubz11, this is time lord tech (i.e. the doctor’s own creation). And to add, the time loop isn’t reset on energy from his death but JUST his death.

    I enjoy this episode.

    BTW, to have a start checkpoint, you must have an end checkpoint. And this is why very rarely he can “die”, beyond him choosing it.


    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    @countscarlioni funnily enough I was thinking of the Avengers episode The House That Jack Built during this as well. Happens to be my favourite Avengers episode.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    I like the idea that the Doctor is half human and half Time Lord too. But, I’m pretty sure that’s a misdirect and he’s not the hybrid in question.

    I hope the fires are safely out in your neck of the woods now? How scary for you all.


    Yes, I’ve been hoping for ages that the Doctor’s “wicked” incarnation the Valeyard (somewhere between his Twelfth and final incarnations in the lore) will make an appearance in some way under Moff. He makes an appearance in Trial of a Timelord (old show). He’s supposed to be an amalgamation of the darker sides of all the Doctor’s previous incarnations, and as we’ve been getting so many nods to previous incarnations recently, from the second Doctor’s check trousers to the third Doctor’s velvet frock-coats and the first Doctor’s portrait in the Black Archive, perhaps the Valeyard is upon us!

    @everyone Just having a think about why Clara’s painting was in the confession dial/ trap. It was there to make the Doctor angry, but also I think there to sustain him, so he wouldn’t give up. I’m sure the confession dial’s purpose wasn’t simply to extract the identity of “the hybrid” from him – but to get the Doctor to “punch through” to Gallifrey (thus giving them an escape hatch back into this universe).

    Additionally, the fact that Clara appeared as a painting, made me think of the painting Gallifrey Falls (No More). That was Time Lord art in which a real slice of time was frozen. What if Clara is not dead, but has been “frozen in time” temporarily? Yes, her portrait didn’t look 3D, but, that could be a disguise because the TLs didn’t want to give the Doctor hope, at this point. A “quantum shade” sounds like Time Lord business, doesn’t it?


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Reading back over the above post…. duh… the Valeyard IS a hybrid – as an amalgamation of the darker sides of all the previous incarnations of the Doctor – so actually, perhaps the Valeyard is the hybrid.

    TheBrainOfMoffat @thebrainofmoffat

    Excellent episode and probably the best this season. Possibly the best of these two seasons, competing with Listen if nothing else.

    There are some dangling threads that need explained, though. If this castle scenario was created by the Time Lords, whence the mangifier and the picture of Clara? And the grave? Surely the TL’s couldn’t know about Clara and her death unless Missy had witnessed it and is somehow responsible for this, or unless Me somehow (and somewhen) did it. And what was the first time through the castle like (e.g. someone mentioned that there wouldn’t be any drying clothes)?

    I do have to admit, though, that I had an inkling from the moment I saw the lever pulled by a dying hand that it might have been the Doctor. The drying clothes and the ocean of skulls sealed it for me. My only mistake was in thinking that a time loop was involved. As for the fact that some rooms didn’t reset, I think the issue is actually one of focus — don’t focus on those rooms, but rather on how the reset ones actually get reset, which I imagine was just through some kind of tech not relating at all to time travel. However, admittedly, I’m not sure that anything can explain why the teleporter/whatever room wasn’t overflowing with death dust from so many disintegrated Doctors.

    But as to time… it was, indeed, progressing. Several billion years, according to the stars’ positions. But was the sky that of Earth or that of Gallifrey? And because this is a live question for me, I have to wonder, also, where the majority of the episode actually took place. Was it inside the confession dial, and the dial was merely simulating the sky (in which case the external time elapsed may have been mere seconds)? Or was it in an actual location and the Doctor came through a portal? Maybe this question would be answered with a rewatch, but I wanted to get my ideas out there before I forgot them all.

    Did we witness the creation of the confession dial (which would logically explain why Me took it from the Doctor — to avoid having the dial within the dial)? Or was the Doctor transported into the dial at the end of Raven and the dial was transported to Gallifrey?

    I had more to post, but it got lost somewhere inside a castle in my mind. Drat.

    This episode was definitely a Moffat masterpiece.

    TheBrainOfMoffat @thebrainofmoffat

    Oh, yes, now I remember more of what I was going to say. Something else that needs to be explained is the presence of the messages about “12”. How would the TL’s, Missy, or anyone but Clara, really, know about that number’s relation to the Doctor?

    nerys @nerys

    Wouldn’t the Time Lords have been aware of the Doctor’s regenerations via “The Time of the Doctor” … with Clara talking to them through the Crack in Time, and them subsequently gifting the Doctor with an entirely new set of regenerations?

    nerys @nerys

    Best review I have read of “Heaven Sent”: The Doctor is all alone in a perfect episode

    Mudlark @mudlark

    That was magnificent; a tour de force on the part of everyone concerned in its production, and breathtaking even on second viewing – in fact *especially* on second viewing. Count me among those who rate this among the best episodes ever.

    What we saw was, of course, entirely from the Doctor’s point of view – a subjective reality within the Confession Dial, or rather in a virtual, closed-loop environment – a projection of his own mind generated by the Confession Dial and representing, in metaphor and symbol, significant elements of his life with its fears and secrets. @soundworld summed it up succinctly and well: the Doctor was, in a sense, inside his own head, and the key was, I’M IN 12, recalling Room 11 in The God Complex.  Significantly, perhaps, the inscription was at the bottom of a rectangular pit resembling a grave.

    The Confession Dial itself, being Gallifreyan technology, could be a sliver of a Gallifreyan hard drive, just enough to store the mind and life experience of a Time Lord, and it appears to have been the instrument by which the Time Lords were able to bring the Doctor to a point of contact with Gallifrey and there to manipulate his perceptions to create a personal hell, though a physical break-through was not possible until the Doctor himself, through inhuman persistence, had battered a way through the wall of Azbantium. I like @juniperfish ‘s image of the wall as the lock or veil between our universe and that containing Gallifrey, though the physical wall we saw must have been a metaphor of an underlying reality.

    The whole episode was permeated by imagery of passing time and death. In the pre-title sequence the Doctor’s soliloquy, repeated in the text glimpsed briefly on the castle wall, speaks obliquely of these inescapable companions following us through life, never hurrying, never ceasing.  Clockwork imagery is everywhere in what follows, carried through from the title sequence. The internal workings of the Confession Dial, when we see them finally, resemble clockwork, and this is reproduced in the ratcheting wheels and cogs which operate the castle, and in the structure of the castle itself, with its independently revolving sections and cog-like crenellations. The Veil, which at the end also collapses into a heap of cogwheels, represents the inexorable passage of time, but also death and the Doctor’s fear of death, symbolised for him by the childhood memory of the veiled body of a woman and the flies. When the Doctor eventually succeeds in entering Room  12, the snapping of his fingers echoes the ticking of a clock.

    The passage of time within this closed environment is, however, subjective. The jump cuts, reminiscent of the final sequence in the film 2001, suggest this, but it is more directly referenced in the passages where the Doctor retreats into his mental refuge, the Tardis, to consult Clara in his mind and think of solutions to each predicament as he faces it. As he says, during his 7 second fall from the castle window to the sea below; the faster one thinks, the more slowly subjective time passes.*

    Viewed like this, I don’t think it matters whether two billion years passed in reality, or it just seemed so in the Doctor’s experience. I incline to the latter interpretation, since the teleport initially brought the Doctor to a point of interface with Gallifrey, without travelling through time. The alternative would suggest that when the Doctor(s) removed Gallifrey from the Time War they shunted it forward in time, or else into an alternative universe where time passed at a different rate.  By the same token I’m not sure that the question of whether or not the Doctor was repeatedly reconstituted from the Teleporter hard drive over two billion years is particularly important. In a sense it was all happening in an analogue of his mind – the repetition of mental and physical agony was subjectively real, but not necessarily actually so.

    When he finally breaks through to Gallifrey he admits what he had refused to confess during his ordeal; that ‘The Hybrid is me’.  For what it is worth I turned the subtitles on, and the m was lower case – though I concede that this does not necessarily resolve the ambiguity noted by several others above.


    * In a minor way I can vouch for this from personal experience.  I once tripped and fell headlong into an excavation trench, and in the brief time I was falling time seemed to slow, I was able to calculate my trajectory and where I would land, and to realise that there was a distinct possibility that I might break my neck ( I didn’t, obviously).

    TheBrainOfMoffat @thebrainofmoffat

    @nerys In The Day of the Doctor, the Time Lords should have seen 13 TARDIS’s seal them in the pocket universe. To my mind, Doctor 12’s participation in said event was necessary in order to convine the TL’s to give him another cycle of regenerations in the very next episode, since Doctor 10 “wasted” an entire regeneration on his own face. If 12 hadn’t done this, the TL’s might have suspected that he had another regeneration left and had tricked Clara into conning a second cycle out of them for himself.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Obligatory Mudlark nit-pick:  Time Lord skulls must be very different from human ones, since even after two billion (subjective ?) years, the lower jaws appear to have remained attached to the skulls. Once the flesh and ligaments have dissolved from a human skull, there is nothing to keep the lower jaw in place.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @mudlark- trust an archaeologist! (my mother is an archaeologist, and you never want to get her on the subject of bones…

    A lot of people in t’other place claim an inconsistency that he took the long way and then confessed. I think in fact that is very doctor- assuming what he said when he got out of the dial was the truth- stubborn and bloody minded and only ever so slightly showing off. He didn’t confess in the end, he made his way there and told them something.

    Whisht @whisht


    both for the episode and for the posts here!

    Finally got to the end (of the posts) and there’s the usual higher-level-than-mine understanding of the episode (so thanks – I’ll bare in mind during a re-watch probably tomorrow!)

    I have a thought (dangerous I know) that is almost certainly wrong but, that’s what this forum is for!


    Could the Confession Dial, castle etc actually have been created by the Doctor?

    ie he discovers (somehow – I have no idea how) that to get to Gallifrey, he will have to get through an ‘impossible’ barrier (the very thick diamond). Its an impossible barrier… except that ‘eternity’ makes everything possible if you’re persistent enough.

    But how would he be persistent enough?

    Well, he’d give himself a puzzle and he’d forget he’d given it to himself (as he did in Time Heist).
    And it would mean he’d have to suffer a lot but… he chooses to do so because its the right thing to do (ie the only option he sees as working).

    In this way, he’d leave the clothes out, the lupe etc to guide him to an answer which guides him to the punching/pecking slowly through the ‘impossible’ wall.

    hm, “theories more insane than….”


    Whisht @whisht

    oh and two things:

    @puroandson –
    &son – I am enjoying your posts enormously, for their intelligence, insight and open-mindedness. Also, you make me laugh in all the right ways (ie with you rather than ‘at’ you in any way). You’re a good bloke.

    @everyone else as this is the thread for the episode –
    When I realised that the monster was called the Veil I thought of the thing that separates this world from the next/other. And cogs and dials etc always remind me of this famous woodcut.


    Mudlark @mudlark

    @whisht  Oh, brilliant catch re the Flammarion engraving!. The old idea of a clockwork universe of concentric spheres.

    The recurrent clockwork imagery in connection with the Time Lords is intriguing. In the Day of the Doctor, what we could see of the inner workings of the Moment, as it appeared when the War Doctor originally uncovered it in the barn, resembled clockwork, and then there were the Chameleon arch watches: symbols of time to us, but clearly masking a much more complex reality.

    Re-reading my post #48206, I realise that my reasons for doubting that two billion years had passed in reality, at least for Gallifrey and the Time Lords, were not very clear.  One of those reasons is that the Time Lords, having engineered the entrapment of the Doctor, would have been unlikely to hang around for that length of time waiting for him to break out, and if they hadn’t intended him to get out, everything, even in their stagnant world, would probably have changed radically after the passage of that much time; the other possibly reason is more than a little spoilery, so not to be discussed here.


    Rob @rob

    Well I pop out for a wander in the mud, get stuck there for 3 weeks with no tinternet and no telly-o-vision and what happens????

    Genius happens, wipes sleep form eyes, counts steps and checks flies still moving

    Firstly I see we have our own hybrid @puroandson (I expect someone has already done that … apologies but I’ve only read the last 3 pages here)

    Well the Veil chased the Doctor into the yard several billion times, running from becoming the Valeyard?

    Clara (Claricle/Hybrid Clara) still with him (I’m in 12 ???)

    Harry Potter resonated through the episode Diagon Alley where (Mini-)Me was holed up and Azkaban as the fortress

    Clara (they always run from the Raven) not running, being exceptionally brave and willingly taking on the tatoo, she took on the sins of trap street, her final plae/order to the Doctor not to become once more the War-Doctor or the Valeyard. She died, publicly, for them all. (She may not of course be dead but that would be a great ending too as  long as she keeps a very low profile after resurrection).

    Keep up the fantastic bonkerising off for more coffee

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    One bit that was simply brilliant which has not been picked up yet =

    “I’m not scared of Hell. Hell is just heaven for bad people.”

    Just to add to bonkers theorizing:

    2 billion years = 2000000000000

    Lets assume each doctor lasted 24 hours

    2000000000000 x 365= 730000000000000

    Each Doctor had 3 punches

    730000000000000 x 3 =  2190000000000000

    It took 730000000000000 Doctors and 2190000000000000 punches on the wall to escape!

    Also @puroandson your comments about the music score in the episode have been really interesting to read 🙂


    Pbjackb @pbjackb

    Sorry if I missed it but how long was each loop?

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    Wait it would take 2 days for each loop so:

    2190000000000000 / 2 = 1095000000000000 punches

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