Heaven Sent

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    RorySmith @rorysmith

    Two significant things help me on this episode: My clocks were synced to his finger taps and they are load clocks. And I am replaying Monument Valley; the shifting castle in the water was so cool.

    I fully expected this to be the inside of the confession dial from the beginning and it being a sort of spiritual prison in which he could redeem some of his wrongs. I felt a touch of the Island from Lost here. I did not get that he did not understand where he was since the dial isn’t a secret thing. I did like the deep metaphor of going the long way round though. The Valeyard is still in my mind though as being a player in the dial’s existence. I am blown away by what he said at the end and at the same time I just always knew it. He is destined to rule Gallifrey and has always been afraid. We get a lot of hints to this with Baker’s visits. I thought of the Queen of Years running from her destiny in Akahtan and it has been a theme many times before. I am assuming the Hybrid he refers to is part human? He has commented about this quite often but we never took it seriously. Cue Timmothy Dalton and his jealousy…….

    RorySmith @rorysmith

    After some deep thought and reading some of your ideas; this Doctor is also the Valeyard. When he got his reset, so did the Valeyard and they have not separated. The 2 billion years of hell were for him to purge and repent any darkness from him that occurred as the Doctor so that he would be the true hybrid of good and evil, yin and yang style. Now all those times he asked if he was a good man make sense; he was clarifying which one he was. This all goes way back as it has been mentioned and fits the cannon. So now we get a balanced Doctor with the past purged and Gallifrey no longer a burden of guilt, wow watch out. The teleport bit hints at a library visit…… 🙂

    geoffers @geoffers

    to bolster my conjecture that gallifrey was (unknowingly?) saved inside his confession dial (or, at least, a portal to it, where it is in its bubble universe), i noticed, and took note, this last time around…

    when the doctor reaches the wall (and the word “home” is there, then disappears) for the first time (our viewpoint), he clearly thinks that it’s the TARDIS waiting for him on the other side. his “home… away from home,” so to speak. he doesn’t realize he’s broken through to gallifrey until he’s on the other side. he looks around, sees the city, and then the boy runs up behind him…

    or am i missing something? 🙂

    RorySmith @rorysmith

    Oh and I foolishly forgot the “next time trailer” and just now saw this. What is going on there?

    lisa @lisa

    So can we agree that the Doctor would never create this confession dial for himself.

    So how did he come into possession of it?   The first time I can recall seeing it is when

    he handed it over in the prologue to the sister.   I’m curious about all of that part of the story.


    Thanks for the Bird explanation     🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    @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.

    I’m not sure what you refer to as apparently blameworthy actions by the Doctor in “Inversion”, partly because I’m having trouble thinking back to that episode and remembering it (my brain feels cauterized this morning), but one thing is for sure:  well, two.  The first is that he has also paid, and paid, and paid, for the guilt he must feel over Clara’s death — which means we *don’t* have to have such a struggle through grief and remorse over it again.  He’s done four billion years’ worth. This leaves the Doctor free to go get the bastards who set this up without being distracted (or distracting us) with the driving need for self-punishment.  He’s done it.  Nothing remains but to pay them back: to take on Gallifrey etc.  A brilliant stroke — four billion years of expiation clears the slate for “Hell Bent”, *and* for S10 going in a new direction.

    Second, we were just shown what he meant by “I’m coming to find you, and I will never, never stop.”  The Doctor announces this at the beginning of “Heaven Sent”, and then he show us what “never” means (despite faltering, thank gods — “it’s not fair!” — we needed that, too, to keep him “real”).  He is not a man of steel; he’s a man of flesh, blood, and bone who’s afraid of pain and death.  Like us.

    @avaris  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.

    Thanks, I hadn’t thought about it like this, although I’d say that it’s not the right thing for him to do so much as that it’s the *only* thing he can do in terms of acting (which implies forward movement toward the goal of a resolution and release, one way or another) instead of just suffering.  I note that the “Confession Dial” is not at all what the Doctor explained it as, twice now: his “last Will and Testament”.  Instead, it’s been altered to be an instrument for extracting confessions from its prisoner — not the same thing at all!   Who did this, I wonder . . . we’ll see.

    @puroandson  Lion of Puro: 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?”

    You’re very welcome.  Part of the problem is time (appropriate, given our subject matter): not enough of it for longer conversations, and so many great posts to keep up with and answer!  I think we get into discussion more once the series is over, and we have a long period in which to chat before S10 starts.  Still, I can try to do better.

    @juniperfish  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’d say yes, in some sense or other.

    @thanos  Moffat could be trying to be a bit too clever clever.

    Well, fact is he *is* clever — that’s why this show can be so wonderful.

    @janetteb  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.

    So glad to hear this!  As for science, that was the completion of the solution: finding an energy source.  Question is, did he use ordinary life energy for this, or also some store of regeneration energy?  I ask because that seemed to be a *lot* of energy, to get those great gears turning.  I think what he said just before each death-by-monster was the “Bird” fairy tale, over and over til he made it to the end.

    @juniperfish  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).

    But can they use it?  Or would that immediately start the Time War again, and destroy them via Dalek fleet?  Part of my question is when does the Doctor break through to, or rather into what point in time?  I’d say he escape the Dial into the time immediately after Clara’s death, since all the time he spends inside it is recursive, starting up again over and over as he steps out of the teleporter into the castle room.  Or is it some time specific to Gallifrey itself, existing in its pocket universe and scarcely changed (if at all) from when he put it there (frozen in time — but he’s unfrozen it now)?  I can only go so far with this — I told you: serious timey-wimey breaks my brain.

    @brainofmoffat  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?

    Yep, my major question, too.  I think only a few seconds passed — activity is very rapid inside the brain (so I guess that’s where I think this episode happens), and the Doctor’s brain must be lightning fast to cover all that grand-piano capacity.

    what was the first time through the castle like (e.g. someone mentioned that there wouldn’t be any drying clothes)?  

    It was a long time ago — he doesn’t remember.  He just has to go through the same process each time, making tiny advances toward breakthrough.  It was *brilliant* to reveal at the end that we’ve been dropped in medias res, after thousands of Doctor-skulls have already accumulated on the sea floor around the castle.  Wow.  This isn’t the first time, and it isn’t the last — we have to go 4 billion years around and around with him to get there.

    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?

    Big question, and thanks for putting it so clearly; I’ve been trying to and failing.

    @nerys  Best review I have read of “Heaven Sent”

    Excellent, thanks so much!  It was something in the comments below — about continuity and cloning — that made me think that the ending montage of those 4 billion loop-years may be what Moffat meant by saying that the end of S9 would make us re-think everything we think we know about TL regeneration.  Each Doctor really does die; each regeneration births a new Doctor, but who is he, really?  What SmithDoc said: “Some other bloke walks away . . .”  Carrying all of his memories, but still “some other bloke”.  The Doctor has obliterated himself how many times now in 4 billion years of Dial time in his determination to break free rather than give up the secrets of the hybrid, or disappoint an imaginary version of Clara?  Good gods!

    @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.

    Indeed; preach it!  Your post, magnificent too.  I’m so glad you didn’t break your neck . . . !  I’ll be giving that several readings, its so tightly packed with excellent observations and thoughts.

    @miapatrick  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.

    Precisely: on his own terms, damn it, with implications of somebody else’s Hell to come — action, not just reaction.

    @whisht  he 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 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.

    Oh, that’s wonderful!  I don’t know where the time would be, though, for him to work all that out and set it up between being teleported by Ashildr and stepping out into the castle room the first time.  Unless . . . well, what?  Beautiful bonkers, thank you.





    ichabod @ichabod

    In case it hasn’t been mentioned yet, another excellent review of “Heaven Sent” is here:  http://reviews.doctorwhonews.net

    ceejbot @ceejbot

    In re: the confession dial, I think the Time Lords tampered with it. It’s his bespoke torture castle, but he didn’t recognize the trap for what it was at first, which he would have done if this was how confession dials normally worked. I suspect he told it the truth earlier, before giving it to Missy, and that’s how the trap version knows when he’s telling the truth. The essential purpose is perverted, though.

    Time Lord tech all the way: bigger on the inside, closed loop, time passes inside without passing outside. I wonder when he figured out it was the Time Lords. Would he have recognized the teleport technology? How surprised was he to step out onto Gallifrey?

    I think we won’t know the full meaning of “rethink what you know about regeneration” until after next week– that trailer!

    lisa @lisa

    I’ve have decided that all of the events of this story occurred in the Doctor’s mind.

    Therefore there is no clone(s).   This was an abstract prison that the Time lords

    were hoping to capitalize on     Inside the Doctor’s mind it seemed like an eternity but

    the whole sequence of events could have been seconds. He alluded to that when diving into

    the water.  However,  he did  break out of the illusion and now we will be seeing  repercussions

    but I don’t think there will be many resolutions.  I always thought that the dial was going to be

    a pivotal point but truly didn’t imagine it would play out the way it did.  I wonder if he will

    put it in his box of useless things in the Tardis now or what becomes of it?



    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @whisht   Flammarion’s woodcut and moving between worlds. Now there’s a point to think about! Thanks so much for that. That image suggested another, the painting of Dante’s Inferno, with celestial spheres above to carry the planets and beyond the outer sphere of the stars is heaven, souls descending into hell, and the upward journey of a soul through purgatory, then conjuring up images of the Doctor endlessly crawling up to the teleporter room, `Heaven Sent’ indeed. Anyway, this might be a good prompt for bonkers theorising!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Oh, yes.

    I see there are a quite overwhelming number of comments to read through already. So I’ll just briefly say now that I loved this. I don’t know whether it will be universally loved or not, as it was so very different to anything we usually get. But I loved the slow build of tension and mystery, the little moments of sadness (“Which, let’s be honest, is what killed you”), of bravado (“Must be Christmas”), of honesty (his stark description of the process of loss, that no matter what you do and get through, the loved one is still dead). And of course, the last eight minutes or so of payoff, the more horrific echo of Ashildr’s passage down through the centuries, the dawning realization of the Doctor’s purpose, his triumph, and then, the sight of Gallifrey. Possibly the most event-packed eight minutes in the history of the show.

    I thought that the soundtrack was as unique within the show as the episode itself. There was one particular moment backdropped by a callout to Beethoven that I found especially moving, and also the lovely music that accompanied the Doctor’s endless journey through time. I loved creation of the TARDIS as the safe place in his mind, where he could speak to Clara, his teacher; it was moving that throughout, he only saw her from behind, until the end, when he needed that final push toward discovery and salvation.

    I will of course read everyone’s comments and watch it again, but at the moment, I can’t think of one single complaint. Overwhelming.

    ichabod @ichabod

    I’ve been thinking of “Heaven Sent” as a classic bull-fight, in which matador and bull are one and the bull is so brave and splendid that in the end, the crowd demands that the he be not just spared but honored.

    And I’m no fan of bull fighting, believe me.  Not in this life, anyway.

    @countscarlioni  the upward journey of a soul through purgatory, then conjuring up images of the Doctor endlessly crawling up to the teleporter room, `Heaven Sent’ indeed.

    Only he finds Hell at the end of purgatory, not Heaven — and then release into whatever Gallifrey is in that coda (more illusion?  Not war blasted Gallifrey, but no restored and rebuilt Gallifrey either, since it’s supposed to have frozen in the pocket universe.  Not Gallifrey 4 billion years in the future, since it seems to be inhabited by Gallifreyans known to the Doctor, long-lived maybe, but 4 billion years?).

    Magnificent is right — magnificent both in concept and in execution (though no doubt the nit-pickers are eagerly probing for nits to pick in it even as we speak, and will find some because nothing is perfect, ever, in a universe ruled by change).

    Just realized, we’ve watched a character reach his goal at long last not just by enduring a horrible ordeal over and over again, but by repeatedly committing suicide by self-electrocution.  “That’s okay; Hell is just Heaven for bad people.”  Not this one, buddy.  This one is Hell for just one guy, who went into it a good man always doubtful about his own goodness.  What he’s come out as, next time will tell.

    I can wait, this time.  I need a while to catch my breath . . . and watch again.


    Mersey @mersey

    That was stunning!

    The castle in which Doctor was locked reminds me Panopticon, the perfect prison designed in XVIII century by english philosopher Jeremy Bentham.

    lisa @lisa

    @countscarlioni                 @whisht               @mersey


    Thanks for all the prints and images!   It occurred to me that last week we had Diagon Alley

    and this week we saw Hogwarts when the stair cases move around.   I’m sure the Potter fans

    loved that!

    I’ve been also thinking about Clara being always in his head.   She is his conscience.



    Thanks!    Still not sure.   The point about whether R. can still regenerate ? so it maybe just be

    some new Lord Pres with his special toys?

    Mersey @mersey


    I’m sure they are! For me it was something like the clock from the Hunger games arena with each wedge holding a different threat.

    Anonymous @


    dear Sirclockface do you want to do my maths homework? That’s amazing. I can’t even read the numbers. My calculator would run out of space

    @mudlark dear Miss, that is amazing; your writing about crenellations. We learnt about those when we studied castles (which was for one miserable day! I wanted more)

    Thankyou  -thankyou @whisht too. Also for the music on the thread. I listened to that.

    This is much better than instagram. You are all very smart people.

    I’m going to school now (nooooooo!)

    Thank you. Mum is awake. Yay!


    Rhys Carden @rhyscarden

    He’s not a copy or a clone. As the Doctor says in the episode, teleporters ‘break down living matter and information, and transmit it. All you have to do is add energy’. ‘Transmit’ is the key word here. The energy to activate the teleporter comes from the Doctor burning his dying body, while the information and matter required to generate his ‘new’ body are always the original transmissions- what else could they be? The room resets to the state where the Doctor’s original body was an incoming transmission, and it’s in that state that he fires up the teleport. Confusingly, it’s always the original matter from his original body being used, over and over again. That’s an ‘energy loop’.

    Anonymous @

    kids and the word ‘amaaaazing’. He’ll get no pocket money if he keeps that up -that’s for sure. 🙂

    So, yes Puro diving alone here.

    @mudlark I’ll echo Son’s comments about your analysis: worthy of a place in our Quadrant review panel or in an Evan Williams review (Williams was our prime reviewer of things cinematic for many years).

    @mersey the panopticon. Wow! I haven’t seen that in ages. Come to think of it, why haven’t I used it when teaching in the last few years? I could do a whole lesson on prisons and eekey wheekey ways of getting out -or not. Marvellous. Thank you! I’ll take that and that!

    @pedant you’re asleep man? 🙂


    I’ll share this. When I watched this yesterday I did find it a bit scary -death ‘n’ all but my Blue Nurse (we have people called Blue Nurses in Oz who do visits for drips and wound infections etc) had lowered my pain relief which actually was a blessed relief but seriously the Doctor continually going back into ‘hell’ or purgatory was like some drug fuelled event. I had to ask her twice: “you dropped the dose, yes?” LOL (my first time saying this here, I believe!)

    Just Puro.

    AlexWho @alexwho

    Great Episode! Can’t wait til next week! And a good explanation of the energy loop.

    The prison reminded me a of the hotel from The God Complex. Only much more intense.  Am I the only one who thought that?

    Anonymous @

    @alexwho No I think there were a few others in previous posts who mentioned this too. But you’re quite right -the intensity was absolutely quadrupled. It almost makes the God Complex a kid’s ride in terms of scariness and intensity and I wonder frankly how it was PG? Doesn’t worry me but I imagine certain portions of American ‘BBC’  getting snitty! 🙂


    In recent times when we re-wrote the national curriculum in history (and that was a hellish job), I found that we concentrated on interesting pictures to help the children understand the process of thought back in the 1300s, for example. Then we would compare this with the Renaissance. Our Doctor is certainly a Renaissance man!


    hallo and welcome to you! Yes, I believe you’re right about cloning and its process. In Oz we have fierce arguments about cloning and its philosophical issues.

    Also, further up, someone else mentioned about the ashes or dust of the Doctor’s bodies. There wasn’t enough….But maybe it takes very little and some was blown away?

    Who nose? 🙂

    Prydonian Lady @prydonianlady

    Started out confused, mid-way thought I was getting a grasp on what was happening, then lost it only to be glued to the screen.  Then was excited when I saw he was back on Gallifrey.

    Mersey @mersey


    You are very welcome.

    Has anyone noticed that both Face the Raven and Heaven sent begins with the scene with the very, very bright light? If someone has mentioned that already sorry for repeating. I haven’t read all posts yet.

    lisa @lisa

    Previously in this season we had the Doctor using Beethoven to explain the boot strap

    paradox and here we are watching the Doctor in this time loop with Beethoven playing

    in the back round.  This just reinforces for me the idea that this was all happening as

    a time trap imposed inside his mind.  It was the same time looping over and over not

    extending thru out  centuries.  He was able to finally break thru by chipping away

    at the point that focused on bringing him ‘home’  albeit the long way round.  Just like

    the Bird in the Grimm story.

    Anonymous @

    good morning @arbutus

    And of course, the last eight minutes or so of payoff, the more horrific echo of Ashildr’s passage down through the centuries, the dawning realization of the Doctor’s purpose, his triumph, and then, the sight of Gallifrey. Possibly the most event-packed eight minutes in the history of the show.

    Beautifully said. Foolishly when I watched it, I didn’t connect Ashildr’s own passage of time -hers as a human to bear alone.

    Now, where are you on the whole ‘Me’ concept? Is the Doctor ‘me’ (the hybrid) or would it be Lady Me. I just can’t imagine her being this hybrid unless all along the hybrid is a positive thing which changes TL destiny forever. Now, they’ll be a ‘force’ for good -echoing Luke Skywalker (we cannot ever have enough of him!)

    Also this:

    There was one particular moment backdropped by a callout to Beethoven that I found especially moving, and also the lovely music that accompanied the Doctor’s endless journey through time

    I agree. And I must share my news. And to you @whisht and @mudlark The Dean of Music called me up (also a Who lover) to explain that the young lady who I mentored earlier this year in her post grad credentials (orchestral conducting) finally finished her viva voce and performance yesterday. She is also a lover of all things Doctor and presented a stunning interpretation of Murray Gold’s score in her encore. It brought the house down. She was asked to say a few words about it and it was lovely. The dean brought me a little recording of her explanation: in her country (Korea), the Doctor brings hope and infuses you with courage: “never give in and never give up. Her family were all in tears. I wish I’d been there. But still, I’m sure she’ll pop over for tea and biscuits and she’ll walk me through every moment of the score showing me her mad scrambles of blue and red pencils -the two tools a conductor uses other than the choice of baton: “The question is: to have a baton or not to have a baton”.

    Also, and this is fabulous news: the dean will purchase (at huge cost) the music to last night’s episode and utilize it for the Bachelor students with a major in conducting. Next year we’re hoping to increase the intake in that Major from a mere 3 to a dozen! I think advertising Doctor Who will help a lot. Many music students find Ben Foster’s orchestration absolutely stunning and versatile.

    Great news indeed. Can’t wait to see it!


    Just Puro

    Just Puro

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Well, that reading took awhile!  🙂  So much to comment on and think about. First of all, some wonderfully eloquent writing about the heights and depths to which we were taken with this episode. Succinctly summed up by @phaseshift:   I wish more TV could dare to be this different.   Yes, indeed. And yes, not only arc-heavy but mythology-heavy as well, and by that I mean, DW mythology as well as all the wonderful references people have been pointing out. (I especially liked the woodcut, @whisht, and @countscarlioni’s image of the Doctor climbing out of Purgatory!) Personally, I don’t think this is a problem; if every single episode has to be aimed at the casual viewer, then the show will get boring in a hurry!

    All the discussion of the Confession Dial has been interesting. The basic question, as stated by @thebrainofmoffat:   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 thought the second, but the first is intriguing, especially in light of @juniperfish and @mudlark’s comments. Also, I liked @avaris’s thought that Clara being “inside” the confession dial would explain why it gave her a shock when she touched it in The Magician’s Apprentice.

    As far as the crystal wall is concerned, I had assumed that it was not part of the construct, but the way out of the confession dial, so therefore didn’t reset itself when the rest of the rooms did. But @juniperfish’s idea:   I thought that the glass wall is actually the timelock (the veil) between the bubble universe Gallifrey is in and “this” universe   is also cool.

    I definitely agree that, whether because the dial is a bubble universe or because the events actually take place in the Doctor’s mind, billions of years have not actually passed.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod   Thank you very much for those appreciative comments. I can only return the compliment with regard to so many of your posts 🙂

    @puroandson  ditto.  One of the great joys of this forum is the convergence of so many different viewpoints, observations and insights, so well articulated.

    Son of puro  I’m  glad you liked reading what I wrote.  Castles are fascinating, not just in terms of medieval warfare and sieges, but for what they can reveal about the structure of medieval society and the way that the  great families and their extended households of very many retainers lived. My brothers and I were lucky in that we lived in an area where there are several castles which we used to have fun exploring, and not so long ago, as an adult, I was privileged to be able to investigate and write reports on most of them.  The interior scenes for this episode were mainly if not all of them filmed in real castles in Caerphilly and Cardiff, though some of the rooms with colourful painted walls were, I think, in a nineteenth century mansion built in the grounds of Cardiff Castle rather than the medieval castle itself.  The decoration is the Victorian idea of high medieval style – not entirely inaccurate, but perhaps a little exaggerated and romanticised.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson     Good morning to you, Puro. It’s well down the afternoon here, of course, and I’ve spent much of it reading all the comments on this board!

    What lovely news all round! I think it’s fantastic that this young woman, who made a choice of repertoire that was probably a little “outside the box” for some, was so well rewarded with success. And how forward-thinking of your dean. I thought that last night’s soundtrack was probably the best I’ve ever heard on DW, which is saying a lot. So suitable that for a unique episode, they had a unique soundtrack.

    I don’t think that he meant Mayor Me, if only because he has been resolute in calling her Ashildr up until now, it would feel very contrived to use that as a misdirect now, in my view. That being said, I don’t know if the Doctor is the hybrid or if he was making it up? We could have the “Doctor with Clara in his head” as a hybrid, I suppose. But whatever it proves to mean next week, I expect that I for one will be surprised by it!

    I must say, as others already have, how much fun it has been to hear some of Son of Ilion’s thoughts! What a personable and intelligent young man, direct, thoughtful, and confident. But I see you in a new light now– ironing socks? Personally, I iron as little as possible, with the exception of men’s dress shirts and the occasional napkin.  🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark

    So far I have not deigned to comment on the Doctor’s views on gardening and gardeners. If it were anyone other than he who had uttered those remarks I would be up in arms (it’s amazing what damage you can do with a gardening fork), but in the circumstances I will overlook his lapse in judgement  😎

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @puroandson  Puro, tremendous news regarding the student you mentored, and what a lovely story.

    I think I said once last year that I am often little more than subliminally conscious of the music in Doctor Who, though that may be due partly to the balance of the sound reproduction on my somewhat elderly TV set.  It is probably significant, therefore, that I was very much aware of the music throughout this episode, and it was indeed beautiful and evocative.

    Anonymous @

    Someone please explain to me how Clara could travel to Gallifrey and be the Doctor’s monster under the bed, if the planet was locked away in a pocket universe, and how he can find it now all of a sudden. How did Gallifrey return to the known universe? have googled like mad and still not found an answer. Please forgive me if this question has an easy ‘duh’ answer.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @nerys @puroandson   I also thought it was the same coat. How it got there the first time, however, is a bit puzzling. Maybe a second viewing will help me there.

    @miapatrick  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.    Well said indeed!  🙂

    @whisht  I like your thinking that the Doctor might have created the puzzle for himself.

    Like @countscarlioni, I also felt that it was something new in this episode to see the Capaldi Doctor properly, truly, deathly afraid. And it was lovely to see the Doctor back in full deductive mode, proposing hypotheses and working things out. I liked that the blackboard was part of his mind palace!

    lisa @lisa


    I don’t think the Doctor created the puzzle but he did create the clues that helped

    him eventually work his way to home.


    I also over looked the gardening  rant as he was a bit distraught at the time he made it  🙂



    Anonymous @


    I think (though I could be wrong -and it’s not a ‘duh’ thing -we don’t do that here! It’s a good question) that Clara and the Doctor travelled to a time before Gallifrey was locked. However, it was important that Clara not reveal that location to the Doctor nor for him to know that she saw him in  a position of  vulnerability which would make it difficult for both of them to go forward at that point in their relationship.

    Also, he wanted to travel the long way round -to gain some experience, have some more travels, be with Clara etc before finding it. However, in the Dark Water two-parter, he thought he was given the right coordinates. Of course, it could have still been there, but not visible like  Skaro in The Magician’s Apprentice.

    It strikes me @arbutus that the connection with the Doctor and a haunted house or palace of magic was Christmas to the Doctor -a nice touch and a connection with this season’s 1st episode.

    Thank you for your comments about young Son -and yes, I do iron pillow cases and socks. This reminds me, forthcoming holiday: he must learn to do washing and some basic ironing. As a child we learned with handkerchiefs first and yet most people don’t use them anymore? Do you?

    I’m told that tissues can make allergies worse. Who nose? 🙂

    @brainofmoffat  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 thought the second, but the first is intriguing, especially in light of @juniperfish and @mudlark’s comments   – I am as confused as heck about that now! We need Bluesqueakpip to complete the puzzle for us. Pleeze @bluesqueakpip?

    @mudlark looking at my poor dried up garden -I totally agree with you and @lisa! Still, grrr!

    mmcmonster @mmcmonster

    A little confused about the episode.

    From what I understand, throughout the episode he was imprisoned in his own confession dial.  When he broke through the crystal, he was essentially breaking out of the dial and end up on Gallifrey.


    How could he not recognize being trapped in his confession dial?  He should be able to recognize it the same way he can realize that he hasn’t time traveled or recognize a planet by looking up at the stars.


    How did he end up on Gallifrey?  Did Ashildr/Me send him there? If so, did she do it with the intent that he destroys it? (Why else would your enemy send you to a place you were searching for?  If it was to kill him, she could have dropped the confession dial off in a local star.)

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    And here is my most conservative theory given the next episode has barely over an hour to wrap things up this season for major changes.  There is only so much one can do.

    The Doctor is a hybrid Time Lord / human not by DNA and not even by souls per se but simply because all of the time and shared experiences he had with Clara Oswald.   As shown in Heaven Sent, Clara is almost literally in the Doctor’s head, first appearing only in writing on the chalkboard in his internal mind Tardis, then with her back to him, and finally a full fledged speaking to him from the front.  The memory of Clara Oswald and what she was as a person now make the Doctor a hybrid of Time Lord and human.

    The memory of Clara Oswald is so strong it was able to keep the Doctor going over 2 billion years.  I can’t think better proof of true bonding for a mental hybrid.



    Whoa! That is truly spectacular.

    (Not sleeping, just migrainey, so limiting screen time)

    Anonymous @


    Hallo and welcome to you.

    Yes it was confusing. I think that one thing to remember is that the TLs were wanting the Doctor -exactly for what, who knows? Probably to release them from their time lock. He would try to find them but only because they knew how he ‘works’ and thinks. He loves puzzles and a haunted house with things to ‘work out’ and puzzle through, he said himself: “this is Christmas”. He had no intention of finding the TLs straight away  -and yet. And yet! He was dreadfully disappointed when Missy’s coordinates didn’t assist him

    I don’t think Me ever wanted to kill the Doctor -she understood him at the end of the Girl Who Lived. Clearly she struck a bargain and so he had to be teleported. The Confession Dial was exactly that: firstly a dial which moves and secondly to get out of it, one has to confess. He chose, in his ‘infinite wisdom and infinite memory’ not to confess to something he felt he shouldn’t reveal. So he went the long way round: as to whether he spent a billion or more years in this purgatory: I think not. To understand that, is to understand the Grimm Brothers tale about the bird pecking through: and the nature of eternity. How long is a second, for example….these are the statements which tease us, I suppose.

    He knew it was a personal hell but he did not know, necessarily (although it wasn’t made clear actually) that he was to stay in this ‘version’ for such a long time. The stars indeed had passed and that was because he had been there for an eternity -the change was indicated in the positioning of the galaxies.

    Then again! The TLs could play with the stars as well -this implies another viewpoint: he wasn’t in the Dial or castle for as long as he thought. Mind you, I keep going from one idea to the next…

    To the last question again, I believe that Me did not send him there deliberately. It was simply a deal struck to keep the Trap Street and its inhabitants protected from humanity (after all, look what happened to the zygons). I hope this helps.


    Oh, Lord, I know about migraines: codeine to reduce the swelling blood vessels in the brain, water, a dark and cool room; and either a hot pack or a cold pack -depending on climates.

    Yes, that news was great. It will cost the earth  -or ‘heaven’ but it will be worth it. Just looking through the score will be exciting enough.


    Just Puro

    nerys @nerys


    As a child we learned with handkerchiefs first and yet most people don’t use them anymore? Do you?

    I can remember my father teaching me how to iron using his handkerchiefs. My mother wouldn’t get within 10 feet of an ironing board. She felt permanent press saved her from all of that. And, of course, facial tissues made handkerchiefs obsolete, by her way of thinking. Maybe bandannas or cloth napkins could substitute?

    lisa @lisa


    I also like how the Doctor communicated with Clara to find a resolution and

    how this episode gave a new meaning to ‘run you clever boy and remember me’.



    Anonymous @


    thank you! We do indeed have bandanas for the perspiration and the humidity. My lavender, so exquisite, is totally yellowing! Eek! I don’t want it to die yet. It’s the only thing blooming in the garden at the mo.

    Where are you on the ‘me’ question? Is Me the hybrid or is it the Doctor after all?

    Just Puro.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @lisa: Fantastic insight about the new twist on “run you clever boy and remember me.”  Thanks!

    And while Clara is dead, the story of Clara is kept alive in the Doctor’s heart and memories.  And we have been hearing from the Doctor for a while that what makes the being is the story.


    CheeseMaster5000 @cheesemaster5000

    i loved this episode soooo much!omg

    questions tho: (ps i know its a three parter)

    why didnt the crystal wall regenerate like the rooms

    why didnt the teleporter room do this

    why was there a random boy in the middle of nowhere, will he play a role in the future

    so whenever you get teleported you have a backup of yourself in the machine: the doctor surely has teleported before so how come no one has ever thought to copy him before now?

    when he busts out of the confession dial why does he say hes the hybrid if thats the info the gallifreans want to know?to scare them or something?


    CheeseMaster5000 @cheesemaster5000

    how old is the doctor now?

    Anonymous @


    I like the idea -but it’s dispersed too easily I think. A hybrid needs to be more practical an element in television drama rather than a ‘mental’ link. I think having seen Clara die and hearing the Doctor state this clearly in this episode suggests there’s no more Clara. Therefore, even if he were to see her later it would be in an earlier timestream when she may not even recognise him.

    So whilst “she’s in his head” I don’t especially think this is sufficient for an equal hybrid: it would need to be half of one thing and half of another and I’m not sure if this fits within a mental image or figurative element of Clara.

    jphamlore @jphamlore


    I think the crystal wall did not regenerate because it was an interface between Gallifrey and the castle, not strictly part of the castle.  Observe skulls that fell into the water were also not magically disappeared, they just accumulated.

    The random boy I think is a reference to the very first scene of this season, where the Doctor encounters another boy in another place, young Davros on Skaro.  But this time the Doctor will remember 2.47 billion children on Gallifrey the day he almost destroyed them all using the Moment, so at least for them, he will show mercy.

    Backup copies as part of teleporting has been debated forever in science fiction, such as Star Trek.  The Doctor appears to be asserting with enough energy one could pump out dozens or who knows how many perfect copies of the Doctor.

    Anonymous @


    you did it already. Thank you: I nearly wrote a response myself. And now I am anyway…..:)

    I’m not sure the Doctor is a copy -it’s a just a re-set, really, back to himself as he was. Not a clone, not a copy. The Doctor probably can’t be copied effectively -there would be TL tech preventing that I assume. Regneration is a type of copying in any case – and probably close to TL language than what our version of copying actually entails or describes.

    Also @cheesemaster5000 to add to @jphamlore‘s discussion and answers, the teleporter room was also an interface -there were two (the other was the ‘diamond +400’). And yet he could, and did, re-set himself in that room: hence the skull, the attachments to the skull and the dust of the Doctor. Effectively, one could state that the room reset itself exactly the way it should.

    Hope this helps you, too.

    Kindest, Puro

    lisa @lisa


    Well in my humble opinion this was something that all happened inside his mind

    and if that is the case the Doctor is still roughly the same age.   The crystal wall at the

    end of the puzzle wasn’t effected by the rest of his journey getting to it probably

    because   whoever it was that put this scheme together probably thought that

    wall was impermeable  enough which of course it turned out to be the weak link.


    I’m not suggesting that Clara in the Doctor’s head makes him the hybrid.  I think

    that goes back to the whole 8th Doctor half human thing. I put a post up on the

    spoilers page @Janette if you want to see that.


    Put some of your  lavender inside your socks after you have ironed them.  Just for fun 🙂


    I really like the 3 part concept and it feels a lot like the serial concepts of  before gap Who.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson     We don’t use handkerchiefs, but like @nerys, we do use cloth napkins, which I do iron. I taught Arbutus Jr. the washer and dryer a couple of years ago, and how to fold a dress shirt, but we haven’t tackled the ironing board yet. I guess that will be next. I’m still in shock over the girlfriend he brought to our house for dinner last night! The Rubicon has been crossed.  🙂

    @cheesemaster5000   Welcome! Being pretty fond of cheese, I like your user name.  🙂  I think that the crystal wall was not really part of the dial itself, but something like a portal. Not sure about the teleporter room, but I have to watch the episode again. Perhaps the boy had been set to keep watch on the confession dial (if indeed the confession dial was already present on Gallifrey before the Doctor emerged). I think we will find out more about what he said to the boy next week! 🙂

    Anonymous @


    The GF! How exciting! More exciting that Who, even. I hope it went well, although the word ‘shock’ bodes ill? I hope not. 🙂

    @cheesemaster5000 I think that there’s no point having two areas which reset when the TLs are the ones creating this room. Are they assuming he will never get out? Hence no reset. Was the Diamond + crystal the way they left the room after creating it and turning into a tardis type creation -bigger on the side: infinite in fact? So they sealed it with the hardest substance they could find not assuming the Doctor would come thru it?

    Personally I believe they know him well enough to think he would find a passage out. This because he calculated a way to place them in a pocket universe using the sonic which had been working on calculations for over 400 years.

    Lastly, he would be exactly the type of person to say what or who the hybrid is -but on his own terms – not when interrogated. This is very much a unique part of the Doctor’s Type A personality  and there’s much discussion of this above. Have a read.

    I also agree that the boy was a ‘watcher’ not just ‘playing’.


    Just Puro

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