Heaven Sent

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  • #48355
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @serahni

    Glad I could help! Google has a reverse image search function which is really handy so you can put images into it and it will search for the origin:

    https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/1325808?hl=en

    @ozitenor Welcome back and good luck with the tour!

    I think the reason the Doctor interprets the word “home” as meaning the TARDIS is beyond the glass wall, although he cannot see it, is an emotional (and a telling) one. He thinks of the TARDIS as home first and foremost, before he thinks of his origin planet Gallifrey. He is now, truly, a nomad, at home in his blue box in the universe, after all that wandering since the first Doctor stole a type 40 (and she stole him).

     

    #48356
    Anonymous @

    @mersey

    it’s all very confusing in the world of credits and performances and even composition. Foster does the orchestration -but to do that one has to have a handy grasp of composition down to basic facts at least. Foster will get 2nd credits as that’s his contract. He’ll conduct the orchestra -but to an orchestration of his own and to the specifics of Gold’s compositional choices.

    Yep, it’s confusing, the world of music and credits. There was a Davies comp -either he’s American or Canadian and not a Quaker but writing for a Christian religion with similar ethics and with a much longer name. I can’t access google or my compatriots at work and they’d know. Actually I should know -that’s dreadful that it’s slipped my mind. It’s not Maxwell Davies, someone much less ‘significant’ in the overall scheme of things but I liked his Concerto. Concerto for Piano for the ______. Yeah, I get zero marks there!

    Eek., it’s on the tip of my ‘mind’!

    #48357
    Anonymous @

    @mersey

    *doing a fancy jump for joy*

    VICTOR Davies: the Concerto for the Mennonites: it’s in there too. Davies is Canadian and not particularly famous. My memory came back. Yip yip 🙂

    😈

    #48358
    Hillforest @hillforest

    Just a quick note…everyone seems (elsewhere) to be focusing on the death / rebirth / repeating nature of the doctors story, how many times, is it continuity now, how old is he etc…but that is surely missing the point entirely…the point being HE DID NOT BACK DOWN!!!! What would have happened if he did?? If he confessed and let *them* know what he knew…would they have killed him?? Given up the last will and testament and the information they needed…he would have been gone and the information extracted (so to squeak)

     

    the doctor fought the trap and won…it took a billion deaths , but he escaped on his own terms. Who knows who set it all up but I wouldn’t want to be them now!!!

     

    #48359
    Anonymous @

    @ozitenor

    brilliant post -it helped Son and I clear up some points and move the discussion

    @frobisher absolutely echo that with @pedant -time zones for a TL are a concept different to ours just as ‘soul’ would be a word used differently and referenced well by @ozitenor and also @tardigrade (love that avatar name!)

    @frobisher the rooms re-set as a result of a closed energy loop -constantly recycling. This happens when the castle moves. I think the important issue of the clothes is the same as the lilies: they could be there ‘twice’  -in two different places (worn and simultaneously by the fire) but I think they’re placed there in the objective knowledge that this is one thing the Doctor might choose to do -considering his perilous position. After all, there have been numerous watery themes this season.

    The skulls: yes, I think it was @mudlark and several others who also pointed that out. Could it be that TL skulls don’t deteriorate like ours? I recall the end of Smith’s second season -the room where the FatMan in his blue ‘box’ sat with wifi 🙂 (Dorium?) and there were an enormous amount of skulls: I thought the jaw had been displaced in that scene, but perhaps not? Perhaps it makes for better telly?

    Who nose?

    #48360
    Ozitenor @ozitenor

    Cheers all, I appreciate the kind words.

    W.R.T the skulls, my instinct is as @puroandson says that it simply makes for better television to have a complete skull, but perhaps we can theorize that the process of burning his body to fuel the teleport machine fused the skull into one piece? … it is interesting that all the bones and flesh disintegrate but not the skull – which makes little sense other than for poetic purposes. I am just going to roll with this being a storytelling/television device and not fuss myself too much with the physics of it.

    #48361
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @thetardiscoatrack

    Maybe “me” and “Me” are both right (in a sense).

    I was just thinking the same thing. Perhaps it is both of them that form the “hybrid” in some sense – two warrior races together, either figuratively or even literally in some way, with the hybrid yet to be realised.

    #48362

    @tardigrade

    Love your monicker. Sound SO Who, yet isn’t!

    #48364
    Anonymous @

    @hillforest Just Puro here without the Son assisting but yes, I fully agree: the issue is one of the Doctor not telling the interrogator what he/they wanted.

    The Doctor is strong and aware of other’s constraints -and his own. He won’t tell lies (at the moment, and in this situation -at others, he will tell lies out of necessity -possibly also for amusement!) but he chooses when to tell the ‘truth’ and frankly, as I said above somewhere, the issue is one of useability.

    If you tell your interrogator what they want then: you lose and they win. Also, there’s a pretty big risk of dying once you give in** and tell them what they need. Your usefulness is questionable. First rule of  offence. Be a step ahead. Don’t act the captive but always turn the tables on them when possible.

    I worked as an analyst for the Defence Dept for a time (obviously this is no big secret for people to keep -or for me to keep) but I would sit in on many a lecture about defence/offence for field officers and it was incredibly interesting. Mostly, the focus was on the psychological rather than the physical aspects which surprised me at the time I recall. But this was many years ago. I don’t believe things have changed all that much.

    ** I think if people elsewhere are complaining the Doctor should just have told the ‘truth’ at the beginning I believe they are forgetting his motto: Never give in, never give up, never be cruel or cowardly.

    Also, if others believe that it is so easy to just give in like that, I wonder, sadly, about the nature of humanity: of those needing to keep good secrets well.

    It’s about honour. This reminded me a little of The Princess Bride: technically it was Son of Puro who said that first and it primed me to watch that terrific little movie again. The children (even the 16 year olds) love it too 🙂

    Kindest, Just Puro.

    #48368
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @hillforest: In my opinion, one reason the Doctor never broke and even started dissembling as soon as he was free of the confession dial is the confession dial is a mini-Tardis with a  link between Earth and Gallifrey is the only physical link Gallifrey has left to this universe.  If the Doctor gave up all his answers, the Time Lords would be able to use the confession dial to get back to this universe.  And that I believe the Doctor is willing to do anything to prevent.  Some secrets must never be revealed.

    I suspect that the Doctor will revisit the events of The Day of the Doctor when he reappeared with the other 12 Doctors and add his input to their calculations.  Only he is going to randomize his input and throw it away so that Gallifrey can never be found.  Gallifrey falls no more.

    #48372
    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore

    that’s an interesting point -about giving in and at any time, the ‘crack’ reopening, as it were. However, if they assembled this entire ‘castle’ -a mind palace of their own, then couldn’t they simply pluck him  out of it randomly?

    The question I was asked was: if they created it (the TLs) and knew his dreams, then they might well know most of his answers to certain questions (that can’t be revealed). Why go to all this trouble? How much of this was super-created by the Doctor and how much by the TLs? Did they simply have a question: ‘who is the hybrid?’ He refused to answer and so placed himself inside his confessional? Like all confessionals, the room is bigger on the inside. It contains, according to Catholic liturgical belief, your sins (magnified and eternal) and your forgiveness  -which is also eternal, continuous and based on atonement and future redemption. The rest is faith.

    This is why I saw The Confession Dial as a confessional in the Catholic sense -brought up a Catholic, baptised (eventually) something else and now a recovering Christian in the ‘traditional’ sense. 🙂

    Still, there’s room for more faith based discussion in my world – particularly these days and within and around this beautiful episode. Hell is heaven for bad people. Indeed!

    Kindest,

    Just Puro.

    #48374
    teddybear @teddybear

    Another inconsistency: He throws the stool into the water each time, but though there are billions of skulls, there are not billions of rotting stools in the water.

    #48375
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @teddybear The skulls are all CapDoc so do not reset, as they are not part of any room. The stool does because it is a part of that room

    #48377
    Anonymous @

    @bendubz11 @teddybear

    that’s correct yes -also, the wood would root. Wood it not? 🙂

    @mudlark: in your professional opinion you could add a lot to that idea? Maybe, considering the amount of vessels at the bottom of the sea, that’s not true at all!

    The skulls, not so much? Also, the entire thing is designed to scare him -skulls ‘n’ all.

    The Son of Puro, using his new phone,  brought to my attention the all important Theseus Paradox or  Ship of Theseus which accurately depicts the concept of the Doctor ‘copied’ if that’s how people are understanding this molecular transfer or 3D ‘photocopying’.

    Apparently his English teacher spent some time explaining this -obviously a Who fan also which is very convenient and helpful. 🙂

    Just Puro

    #48378
    Ericam @ericam

    @teddybear    I never would have thought of that. LOL that’s awesome!

    @bendubz11   That makes since though, but the stool was no longer in the room so would the stool disappear even if it was no longer in the room. I guess we will never know….

    #48379
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @teddybear

    Another inconsistency: He throws the stool into the water each time, but though there are billions of skulls, there are not billions of rotting stools in the water.

    I’d think the stools would rot away to effectively nothing in hundreds of years if they aren’t reset as part of the room. So I wouldn’t expect to see billions, but there would certainly be plenty in the top layer. So I guess they do reset as @teddybear suggests. Would probably have been too big a clue to what was going on to have them showing up at that point in the narrative anyway.

    Actually a (minor) concern I had was that the pile of skulls shouldn’t have been so close to the surface after thousands of year, or the Doctor is going to die prematurely hitting a pile of skulls under shallow water long before he racks up billions of years. I guess you can rationalise that the confession dial does clean them up over time- perhaps the layer of water near the surface resets like a room and cleans up any foreign matter (like the corridors remove the Doctor’s blood).

    #48380
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @puroandson: In my opinion, the confession dial follows a strategy of Steven Moffat to deliberately rewrite parts of the classic series, a precedent so that his successors can also make each run as showrunner their own.

    Thus the confession dial is a rewrite of the classic series message box shown in the Second Doctor final serial The War Games.  That message box could find its way back to Gallifrey.  That to me is a hidden property of the confession dial:  It is a mini-tardis with the ability to find its way back to Gallifrey even through different dimensions.  The confession dial is bigger on the inside than outside.

    Because it is a mini-tardis with the teleporting room as its entrance, there has to be safeguards.  That safeguard is to ask the person entering the confession dial to repeat what the answers were that the confession dial was programmed with.  In addition, the tortures inside the confession dial are customized to the person recording on the confession dial.  Thus if one is the one who made the recording, eventually it will sink in at least what to do to stay alive to give the answers.  And as another safeguard from Gallifrey’s perspective, if one is about to use the confession day to escape back to Gallifrey, they can monitor the answers inside.

    So in my opinion the Veil in another Time Lord’s confession dial might take a totally different form.

    #48382
    winston @winston

    I watched this again and it seems that the Doctor is experiencing the classic five stages of death as he fights his way through the castle to the impossible wall. I feel the wall itself represents that black veil of grief that settles on us when a loved one dies. We are not sure we can get through it.

     

    1. Denial – he forgets shes gone and sees her and talks to her as if she were there.

    2. Anger – there is certainly anger as he seeks revenge for Clara and later  rants in the Tardis about losing her.Lots of anger in the Doctor.

    3. Bargaining-  Maybe when he asks why he can’t just lose ? Why does he have to fight anymore? Why not just drown?

    4. Depression- Many signs of depression including breaking down and crying, feeling helpless and hopeless and questioning how he can go on without Clara. How can he get through all those days of her staying dead?

    5. Acceptance- This happens slowly as the Doctor reallizes that he wants to live and fight.When he finally sees Clara’s face and she tells him to get off his ass and get on with living without her, he accepts that she is truly gone. He decides to go on living.

    Anyway that is my first bonkers theory.

    #48386
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    What did I just see….

    …and who’s been poking around in my nightmares… stairways to nowhere, doors that open onto walls (or more doors), buzzing flies, creepy lurching veiled thingies (why do they always creak and lurch and move reallllly slooooow?!?!?).

    Capaldi… capaldicapaldicapaldi…omg.

    Love the conversations with Clara, how she is always back turned, sort of a strange “spirit visitation” or memory, wonderfully eerie until that last scene with her.

    I must say something about the brilliant cinematography; the slanting orange light, the heavy light and shadow, the elegant framing of Capaldi in just the right bits of light and shadow… augh! Perfect!

    Capaldi has marvelous sea-grey eyes.

    Now, if I read enough comments from the Whovian experts, I may make some sense of this amazing (and somewhat befuddling) episode.

    Well, I can’t wait for next week!

    #48387
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    There’s an overall sense of the tangulation of time being discussed here… that the episodes themselves aren’t necessarily in a linear order. If that is indeed the case, it would be an interesting concept.

    I mean, time lords don’t travel in straight lines either. Why should their stories?

    #48388
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    wait…waht?

    what was that about the Star Spangled Banner?????

    (Embarassed American slinks off to adjust eardrums)

    Why is the Doctor doing the SSB???

    #48389
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Irreverent thought of the day:  If the Doctor only had his classic sonic screwdriver with him, he might have been able to tune a frequency to more easily break through the crystal wall.  Or he could have at least used the screwdriver as the tip of the beak on a bird and chipped away using that.

    #48391
    Anonymous @

    @swordwhale Puro and Son saying hello and welcome to you if you’re new? We love your input! 🙂 Great stuff!

    @ericam I think that people have a tendency to over-analyse the nature of things like stools and skulls. However, and it’s a big however, analysis is really important and is what makes this site and S Moffat so intriguing in his writing, imo? This is Son of Puro speaking not Puro herself. I would think that the stool could rot but maybe not? (howzat for rhyme?). I think that the room re-sets and that means everything in it resets.

    That’s why the spade goes back to the places where he finds it. If the spade moves, then the stool can move and so also the window can be re-covered. I think that if this is a personal torture chamber and things re-set then the stool comes back and isn’t in the water? That’s probably my conclusion -I could be wrong and am happy to be corrected (mum does this every 12.5 seconds to me).

    @winston wonderful info abt depression – really spot on when mum read out to me.

    thankyou, Son of Puro

     

    #48392
    Anonymous @

    @swordwhale

    sorry, this is my own ‘silly musician’ awareness -there was simply a few bars taken from a Beethoven theme and crossed with Ben Foster and M. Gold- it was just me being silly but it is in there for a few bars only  -easily mixed up, aurally, with other motifs though.

    Seriously, don’t worry! 🙂

    Puro (only)

    #48394
    Arbutus @arbutus

    Well, I have had my second viewing and I honestly think that I could watch this over and over. There were a few things that stood out this time around.

    The idea of the cameras, showing what the Veil sees, was very interesting (and a deliberate connection to Sleep No More?). The Doctor said the cameras were there to scare him, but maybe they were also there to help? He was able to use them to figure out how long he had before the Veil caught up with him again. Others have probably mentioned it, but I thought that the line, “Finally run out of corridor… Now there’s a life summed up,” was really great. It could have come across as just a bit too clever, but in Capaldi’s wry delivery it felt gently self-deprecating.

    The Doctor’s arrested look when he spots the painting, followed by the little smile as he looks at Clara’s face, made me want to weep. The whole scene when we first see his “mind palace” in the TARDIS, and he explains that he survives by bragging to Clara, felt incredible moving. He needs someone to talk to. I remembered Ten, at the beginning of Series 4, talking to his companion in the TARDIS, only to suddenly realize that there was no one else there. That was a moment that I found similarly poignant.

    He speaks of the legend of the hybrid, and says he knows it’s real, where and what it is, and that he is afraid– of what is he afraid? If he is the hybrid, is he afraid of what he will do? Or is he lying, and not the hybrid at all?

    I was hit more strongly this time by the moment when he remembers everything: when he sees the wall, remembers the bird message, and understands what he has to do. “I can’t keep doing this… I can remember it all, every time… and you’ll still be gone.” The agony of those lines, the anger of his rebellion, his rejection of his task– this is the true moment of torture, self inflicted, when he can actually remember the worst part of the journey, and has to face it again. And Clara says, “You’re not the only person to have lost someone. Get over it.” What a moment. It was too painful even for tears.

    And then, the Doctor leaves his mind palace and faces up to the wall. It was agonizing to watch him hitting that wall, the pain at each contact, the feverish light in his eyes between times. I said before that I thought that the Time Lords, knowing his cleverness and determination, must have known that he would find a way to survive. And yet, how can they have believed that he would torture himself so horribly, simply to survive with his secret intact? It’s beyond imagining.

    Next week is going to be a barn burner, but I’m not it will top this for me. I have a lot of thoughts about the music, but I think yet another viewing will be required for me to sort them out. I can say for sure, that I’m envious of @puroandson getting a look at those scores!

    #48395
    ichabod @ichabod

    @juniperfish  #48303  thanks for the link to the artist’s page on tumblr; a beautiful piece, IMO, so thanks for that too, @serahni.

    @puroandson  #48296 (I’m trying to catch up here, using post numbers) Both of you — “fixity of purpose”, yes.  Perfect.

    @mudlark  #38304  This is a great summary of the situation.  The Dial could be of the Doctor’s own making and could originally had different contents, but it’s been tampered with to change it from a Will to an interrogation device.

    The environment may not have been objectively real, but it was designed to register realistic and internally consistent evidence of the passage of time in a way which he would notice.

    This is crucial, I think: it’s obviously *not* objectively real (how would they have shrunk the Doctor down to a size at which he’d fit inside the thing?  Lots of skulls but no other bones from the dead Doctors’ skeleton? etc.), and the mechanical faults that some fans are all in a tizzy over (I mean about timing, some rooms re-setting and others not, etc.) are simply immaterial — it’s *all* subjective, in the Doctor’s mind (which is being used against him at the moment), IMO.  Nothing has happened in reality except that he has been transported to Gallifrey while being forced to imagine an almost endless repetition of a truly awful session of torture and suicide.

    @ozitenor  during the great sequence at the end when CapDoc dies over and over again pecking away at the diamond, although my son said nothing nor made a whimper, I turned to look at his face and a single furtive tear was falling from his eye. Seeing this kind of empathy from my boys fulfill me more than I imagined it ever could. Una furtiva lagrima.

    I am so glad you got back here to bring us that: thank you.

     

     

    #48396
    Carrieanne @carrieanne

    Just wanted to pop in for a minute and throw something out that came into my mind earlier regarding Clara’s death.  What about the possibility that Clara was teleported when the raven hit her?  Remember the glowing light, what if that light ported her to Gallifrey?

    #48397
    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  If the Doctor gave up all his answers, the Time Lords would be able to use the confession dial to get back to this universe. And that I believe the Doctor is willing to do anything to prevent . . . I suspect that the Doctor will revisit the events of The Day of the Doctor when he reappeared with the other 12 Doctors and add his input to their calculations. Only he is going to randomize his input and throw it away so that Gallifrey can never be found. Gallifrey falls no more.

    I absolutely love this idea, and hope you are right!

    @winston  #48382  Your stages make sense to me, especially Acceptance — he would need to shift his attention from trying to cope with his inner turmoil to purposeful action, to focus on his revenge, and I think for that, he’d need to feed his revenge with the finality of her death — burning his emotions this time to get a Hell Raining Down result, as he burned his body to re-set the Dial events.

    @arbutus  . . . the Time Lords, knowing his cleverness and determination, must have known that he would find a way to survive. And yet, how can they have believed that he would torture himself so horribly, simply to survive with his secret intact? It’s beyond imagining.

    I don’t think it’s that simple, though, and the TLs wouldn’t understand enough to foresee his reaction.  Keeping the secret is, IMO, a hook to hang the reality on: his deeper, subconscious (?) motive.  He’s accepting what he feels is just punishment for Clara’s death; and it’s hardly enough, because he needs absolute *masses* of expiation if he’s to move beyond the enormity that she’s gone for good — because of him, however indirectly.  He fell into a trap that had been set for him (surely he should have caught this earlier, what with that piano-sized brain and all!) and which also, accidentally, killed her.  He’s the one who trust Ashildr’s promise of protection as stated, though it turned out to be conditional.  Clara was only in the Trap Street because he was there, and because his influence on her over so long a period had made her eager to help Rigsy (her own “companion” in Flatline), not to mention confident in her own quick judgments and ability to accomplish Doctor-like tasks and come out all right herself.

    “This is my fault,” he says in Face the Raven.  I think he believes that and feels that there can’t be too much punishment for it — not in however many billion years it takes for him to punch through a wall of diamond with his bare fist.  Subjectively, when the Clara-in-his-head urges him to get on with it she’s giving him the go-ahead, assuring him that this will be enough.  This horrifying ordeal of repeated suicide can take the place of objective self-destruction, discharging his self-imposed sentence.

    In this respect, Heaven Sent is a heart-wrenching demonstration of how much she, and her death, means to 12 — and also a way for him to get through all the grieving he needs to do without taking 2 billion objective years to do it. He needs to drive through it as hard as he can, to be fully focused on revenge when the time comes — focused on it enough to not be held back by Clara’s command to be a healer, not a killer.

    Well, we’ll see about that . . . !  Next weekend.

     

    #48398
    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @mudlark   It seems that the Time Lords were able somehow to contact Ashildr/Me and persuade her to trap the Doctor so that he could be brought, if not to Gallifrey itself, to a point where our universe touched the pocket universe to which it was transferred by the 13 Doctors in Day of the Doctor. 

    Let me take an opposite position to see if this bonkers theory works to any degree….What if things are the other way round? What if Ashildr/Me had contacted the Time Lords (via Missy?) and is the one driving all of this rather than being an innocent victim of a protection racket who was protecting the street inhabitants? She set the trap for the Doctor. I  watched Face the Raven again and assumed Ashildr/Me was lying her socks off. It then makes lots of sense (it readily disposes on the nonsense she spouted about the contract, e.g.). I wonder if Ashildr/Lady Me has been hugely underestimated (including by the Doctor) and that the ripple the Doctor worried about in The Girl Who Died might turn into a tidal wave has indeed already turned into a truly catastrophic tidal wave. Ashildr/Lady Me has form in this area with her willingness to open up the portal with Lennie the Lion but time has moved on and she has acquired additional powers and has dreamt far bigger schemes. Why are we assuming the Time Lords are the evil ones here?

    @ichabod  on the dramatic arc for Clara in posting 48279: this looks on the money to me!

     

    @arbutus  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! 

    Agreed! I thought he was just not himself in Face the Raven and fatally slow on the uptake.

     

    @puroandson  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!

    That seems an excellent idea! To explain, say, the main ideas of the medieval cosmos, take your pick: look at a picture with a few words or try frantically waving your arms around with large amounts of no doubt very confusing words…
     

    #48400
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @ozitenor      Nice post!  I like your point about the first 7,000 years of the Doctor’s journey. Of course, he wouldn’t have to do everything exactly the same way each time, as long he made it back to the teleport room and completed the cycle there. That solves a lot of dilemmas. It is also borne out by the fact that the story he tells the Veil changes from time to time; so we know that he is not repeating events in exactly the same way.

    I had the same thought about the grave (but not until my second viewing!): that he must have needed to bury the message to avoid it being reset.

    I am quite sure that he saw the word “home” and thought of the TARDIS. When I saw it the first time, I thought immediately of Gallifrey. And that was right in fact; but not to the Doctor. “Home” to the Doctor is definitely the TARDIS!

    Happy ozi-tenoring!

    #48401
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @ichabod    I agree absolutely about the Doctor’s motivations. I was thinking here of what the Time Lords were trying to achieve. But I have come round from thinking that they were trying to help him through, somehow, or there was some motive other than the obvious, and have now reverted back to the obvious– that they were trying to get information from him about the Hybrid. And I am assuming that the Time Lords were responsible here; it’s still possible, of course, that that is wrong!  🙂

    @countscarlioni   I like your thoughts about Ashildr. It would be nice in many ways if the true solution weren’t the apparently obvious one.

    #48404
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @ichabod

    This is crucial, I think: it’s obviously *not* objectively real (how would they have shrunk the Doctor down to a size at which he’d fit inside the thing?  Lots of skulls but no other bones from the dead Doctors’ skeleton? etc.), and the mechanical faults that some fans are all in a tizzy over (I mean about timing, some rooms re-setting and others not, etc.) are simply immaterial — it’s *all* subjective, in the Doctor’s mind (which is being used against him at the moment), IMO.  Nothing has happened in reality except that he has been transported to Gallifrey while being forced to imagine an almost endless repetition of a truly awful session of torture and suicide.

    Sorry- laughed at “how would they have shrunk the Doctor down to fit inside the thing?”. It’s Time Lord tech – it’s bigger on the inside, so that’s actually the plausible bit 🙂 Having said that, yes, I think there’s a strong chance that it was purely subjective, though I suspect that will never be firmly established. What I think is objectively real though is the passage of time- once free of the device, the Doctor says he’s come “the long way around”, so he recognises that a lot of time has passed. So I don’t think it’s been used purely for psychological effect.

    I suspect the passage of time served a purpose, so that he could be transported to Gallifrey prior to the time lock and wait a significant fraction of the age of the universe until the time of the Time War or afterwards- if the confession dial was there when Gallifrey was moved into its pocket universe, then that’s a plausible way of getting the Doctor into the pocket universe and for the Time Lords to get their hands on him. Ashildr is immortal, so she can go the long way around also, albeit in more comfort.

    #48405
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Ozitenor- great comments. I agree about the dust and the extra suit of clothes especially, and the re-sets. Thinking about it, I don’t know why I was assuming that his death would trigger a re-set in the same way as his confessions.

    Re the Tardis- I wonder if we are supposed to think he means the tardis is behind the- yeah, lets just call it diamond- wall. But I hadn’t remembered exactly what it was he said. If it was something like ‘the final piece of the puzzle’ the could he have actually meant the whole bigger on the inside, Timelord tec?

    #48407
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @hillforest and @puroandson- you’ve both made me realise how this scene relates right back to the Doctor’s first episode- Clara in the room with the clockwork man ‘I’ll stand a lot of torture before I give up the one thing that’s keeping me alive’. That was when he, seemingly, left Clara to look after herself. She really is in his head.

    #48408
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @jphamlore- yup, that’s what you get for wearing sunglasses indoors…

    #48412
    Anonymous @

    @ichabod

    Ah, this is better on this site: here we have Real Conversations says Mum. (Son of Puro typing-for myself -and also  Mum.)

    Subjectively, when the Clara-in-his-head urges him to get on with it she’s giving him the go-ahead, assuring him that this will be enough.  This horrifying ordeal of repeated suicide can take the place of objective self-destruction, discharging his self-imposed sentence.

    That is very interesting: because to her, what is ‘winning’. It killed her, did it not? Now, we know this is the Clara in his head. His remembering backwards [er, the normal way of remembering mum!] to the Zygon Inversion where he states off the cuff that Clara is continually in his head was said in a rather poignant if not tart manner of expression -again something that might fail to enthuse fans for various reasons. So, if Clara is giving him the go-ahead then we must ask ourselves is this a good idea? This continual pain of punching through the glass, that dragging of his body up the stairs of a cold, hard tower only to extinguish that strong flame of existence -his double hearts, over and over and realise, in the Tardis, at the “exact same time” that this is where he remembers the absolute loss of Clara -that doing this, despite winning, will never bring her back. And that  “forever” is partly punishment for failing his duty of care: “come on, I was amazing, wasn’t I” says Clara, “I stopped you from having to marry that giant sentient plant thing! Come on admit it!”

    “The second most beautiful garden in all of time and space and we can’t go back because you had to…..” And what did she do? We never found out exactly what  reckless, vainglorious Clarativity  happened and for which, no doubt, the Doctor blames himself. What did he think about when he crawled up those stairs millions of times, febrile, cold, shivering and in agony. Did he think of yet another way he might have saved her? Did he wonder how he would kill Missy (surely, he’d allow himself to ponder the delicious and evil ways of killing Missy, outside of Clara’s promise.

    It was Clara who said in Death In Heaven,  “if you ever let her live one day and it led to this….” Yes, I can imagine his mind, mad with grief, rage and guilt, determined to track her down together with every time lord who might have had a  hand in her bathos. I think he’d surrender to those thoughts to distract him every time the pain of his dying body became too difficult to bear.

    @arbutus Oh I loved your expression. I could see the tears within your letter, written with abundant love and yet without the vacancy and confusion on other sites where some argue meaninglessly over the wrong thing. Instead of concentrating on the Doctor’s shell shock, or the dozens of spectacularly crafted metaphors, they complain about the size and misplacement of rooms, about the similarity to Hogwart’s castle, about the second set of clothing. This causes ire and judgement: yours was an embodiment of the understanding of the Doctor’s entire experience. The portrait’s age, the quantity of wooden stools -this is the tat of school room’s arrogance rather than the empathy and wisdom of one who has lived and suffered as all true grown ups have.

    Whilst the following is @ichabod‘s statement, I feel this could also be the way you might view the Doctor’s imperative? Certainly it sums up with clarity how I feel about the Doctor’s almost-impairment (for he is impaired at times, impaired by the mayflies self confidence, our fear and infatuations, hunger, greed and vanity exhibited in our “two year old tantrums” and he’s worn down by the obsessive, ordeal- focussed Daleks, so vile and destructive that their place of burial is their own collaborative, sentient waste [Mum insisted on “collaborative sentient shit” but I’m writing it both ways so no-one thinks I would write that with swearing!}

    …objective self-destruction, discharging his self-imposed sentence.

    That was spot -on Ichi.

     

    This is Son of Puro writing now: I suppose this is the best way to view this story within a story within a closed energy loop -bursting with static and energy at the turn of every corridor. I’ve always loved the corridors in Doctor who too -like Mum always has @arbutus

    To me it doesn’t matter what Gallifrey looks like and whether the Doctor has aged: how a person feels inside is not something we notice on the outside. How many times do we say to a person who is ill, “gee, you look really well?” and how many times do we not notice someone wearing the same clothes twice in a row? How many times, when people ask us, “how are you?” do we simply respond, “good thanks.” What’s important is how we feel and how we act not what we look like or what we sometimes say. Our actions speak to others and should because they define us. Our interactions with people and our fears and grief matter. They will define us in the end. At the last, they will be first.  If the Doctor thought it was a billion year struggle then it was.

    I think we can judge this episode by Steven Moffat’s intent. It was true and spoke from his heart about a Doctor who  felt grief and guilt in his own hearts. If he has two hearts isn’t the agony of endurance twice as bad? If any part of us feels emotional because of even five minutes of that episode then I think Mr Moffat succeeded. He had a large audience to be convincing to and he convinced me. By the looks of it he convinced many people here and I am glad of this.

    Thankyou.

    Son of Puro.

    #48414
    Mersey @mersey

    @puroandson

    Do you remember our conversation about the 5th symphony? Do you remember what did I say and what did you say? How did you know that?! How could you guess that?! The wall! You are amazing!

    Thanks for that recommendation. I’ll try to listen to that concert today and I’ll tell you if I like it or not.

    #48418
    Anonymous @

    @mersey the 5th symphony is so very beautiful  (this is Puro speaking) – I believe it to be his best. I know ppl feel differently -that if people know it then it must be a cliché -but no, not in my opinion.

    I hope you like the Mennonite Concerto -it’s very American in style and in its ‘yee-haa-ness’ -but I like that actually. The American composers are astonishing in my opinion. We are very stuck on European composers but the Pacific areas has tremendous output of late and the Canadians and Americans have been in the forefront of composition. A wonderful American immigrant by the name of Mompou composed a piece about a never ending cycle -how very perfect for this episode!

    Your knowledge about the stars totally amazed Young Puro! He wishes they’d teach astronomy in science.

    If we lived in the country I’d get a good telescope but the city of Brisbane lives in a valley of fog. I should just drive with Sir Ilion, if we can, to the country. It’s one and a half hours away and it would be helpful to see some constellations. I know very little about them Mersey and need to actually learn something!

    Kindest,

    Puro

    #48421
    Anonymous @

    @tardigrade

    yes, that’s very good indeed:

    Having said that, yes, I think there’s a strong chance that it was purely subjective, though I suspect that will never be firmly established. What I think is objectively real though is the passage of time- once free of the device, the Doctor says he’s come “the long way around

    I guess we’ll find out how long Gallifrey has been waiting for their most important person?

    #48422
    Mudlark @mudlark

    It has taken me most of the morning to refresh my memory of yesterday’s discussions and to catch up with all the posts from the night shift. So much food for thought!

    @ichabod

    He’s accepting what he feels is just punishment for Clara’s death; and it’s hardly enough, because he needs absolute *masses* of expiation if he’s to move beyond the enormity that she’s gone for good

    I find @puroandson ‘s concept of the Confession Dial as confessional apt in the sense that, if I am right in my conjecture, it contains an analogue of his conscious and subconscious mind and soul, with a complete record of all he is and has been. Within it he is being forced to confront truths of his life that he might have wanted to remain unexamined.

    On the other hand, maybe because of the Quaker influence on my upbringing, I am not comfortable with the idea of penance to expiate the guilt he feels for his failure to protect Clara, especially such a protracted penance.  I think, rather, that he feels persistence and ultimate survival are what he owes her, who has so often prompted him to live up to his name and be his better self.

    @jphamlore  #4368  and #48380 I like the idea of the Confession Dial as being akin in part to the message boxes – something which can be used as a means of communication between Time Lords and Gallifrey, even across different dimensions, though clearly it is a good deal more than that.

    I’m not so sure about the idea of it as a mini Tardis, bigger on the inside and able to contain the Doctor physically.  @tardigrade agrees with this idea, but it seems to me to have a major flaw.  As @ichabod says, if that is the case, how does the Doctor enter it?  When the external dimensions of the Tardis shrank in Flatline, the Doctor couldn’t get out of it, and by the same token, nobody could get in.

    As I conceive the Confession Dial, it is something like the slice of Gallifreyan ‘hard drive’ in which the uploaded minds/souls of the dead were stored, and which generated the virtual environment of the Nethersphere in which the dead had a virtual existence which felt real.  The Confession Dial is on a much smaller scale; a sliver rather than a slice, big enough accommodate just one mind/soul rather than multitudes, but capable of generating a completely convincing virtual environment.

    On that level, the question of whether the Doctor is being reconstituted as a copy or a clone billions of times doesn’t seem relevant.  The Doctor immersed in the virtual environment of the Confession Disc is, in effect, an uploaded version of himself within his own mind, or rather a landscape constructed from parts of his subconscious mind; his ordeal, including the repeated reconstitution in the teleport chamber has no physical counterpart. This raises the question of what is happening to his physical body, and the best I have come up with so far is that he is somehow suspended in the portal of the real (as opposed to virtual) teleport chamber, and the point when his virtual self finally breaks through the wall to Gallifrey is the point at which he completes his physical journey.

     

    #48423
    tommo @tommo

    @jphamlore – did he have his sonic sunglasses on him at all? i seem to remember a shot of him in a corridor putting them on or am i mistaken?

    #48424
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @countscarlioni

    What if Ashildr/Me had contacted the Time Lords (via Missy?) and is the one driving all of this

    Oh yes! I can see how that would work very well, though I suspect that it would be Missy’s idea, with her as the driving force and Ashildr/Me acting at her instigation.

    The anachronisms in The Woman Who Lived suggested that by the seventeenth century, if not before, Ashildr/Me had been in contact with someone who time travelled and perhaps even done some time-travelling her self, and if so, Missy is by far the most likely contact.  Missy, poking around in the Doctor’s time line, would certainly have sniffed her out and seen a use for her.

    Ashildr/Me on her own presumably knew of the existence of the Time Lords, but it is hardly likely that she knew their whereabouts or how to contact them.  On the other hand Missy, if she escaped from Gallifrey via the crack in the universe at Trenzalore and not during the final days of the Time War,  would know at least its location and, assuming @jphamlore is right, could have used her own Confession Dial (assuming she has one), or the Doctor’s while it was in her possession, as a means of contacting them. It might be significant that when she showed the Doctor’s Confession Dial to Clara in The Magician’s Apprentice it was partially open. She may even at this point have extracted the information which the Time Lords used to create the Doctor’s personal hell.

    If this is the case, then my guess is that she conspired with Ashildr/Me, using her in effect as a catspaw so that her own involvement remained hidden.  She provided Me with the necessary information, and Me made the contact, effectively offering to deliver the Doctor and his Confession Dial on a plate.

    #48425
    Mudlark @mudlark

    Nit-pick corner.

    @puroandson  @teddybear  You were discussing the survival properties of organic materials such as wood, and my professional opinion was sought.

    In the very long term, of course, on a geologically active planet with an atmosphere, nothing would survive in its original form.  In the course of several billion years mountains could be upheaved, eroded down again to sand and silt, the sand and silt compacted into rock, and the rock either subducted into the mantle of the planet and recycled or upheaved again to form more mountains; and repeat, several times over.

    In the short term, when it comes to the preservation of organic materials and bone, it depends very much on the physical properties of the context.  Bone doesn’t survive very long at all in highly acidic soils. Nothing survived of the bodies buried at Sutton Hoo but stains in the sand.  In alkaline soils on limestone or chalk they can survive several thousand years, at least; and in the right circumstances, of course, they can become fossilised.  Under water it would depend on conditions. Exposed to currents and shifting sands bone would erode fairly quickly; buried, it could survive quite a long time.  In  real world conditions, the skulls and hypothetical remains of the chair(s) exposed on the sea bed would certainly not have lasted very long; the apparent number of the skulls could be put down to the rapid rate of accumulation rather than long term preservation.

    Organic materials such as wood and leather will normally decay fairly rapidly, but in waterlogged, anaerobic conditions can be preserved for a long time in good condition, though once they are removed from those conditions, conserving them from rapid decay can be a tricky and lengthy process.  Suitable conditions for preservation could be waterlogged, compacted deposits as at the Viking settlement site excavated in York, or fine silts on a lake or sea bed, in which prehistoric boats have been known to survive in good condition.  In the case of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship which sank in the Solent and ended up on its side on the sea floor, the half which was rapidly buried in silts survived in excellent condition, together with its contents; the half which was exposed had gone completely.  Since the wreck was raised, though, the process of conservation of the ship’s timbers has taken decades.

    The acidic, anaerobic conditions of peat bogs are also good for preserving wood and leather. In Irish bogs and the Cambridgeshire/Lincolnshire Fens, the stumps and roots, and sometimes whole trunks of prehistoric trees are fairly common finds, as well as prehistoric timber causeways and wooden artefacts.  Then there are bog bodies – the remains of Bronze age and Iron Age people who often appear to have been deliberately sacrificed and deposited as offerings.  The skin, hair and soft tissues are often extremely well preserved, although the bones have been completely dissolved by the acidic condition.

    But since most of this is off topic and probably more than you wanted to know,  I’ll stop there 🙂

    #48428
    Josh @josh

    I wasn’t quite sure where my first post on the forum would go, as I’ve been a longtime observer, but after Heaven Sent, I had to share my sheer awe.

    I joined the Whoverse in the midst of the Matt Smith Era and, after the emotional journey that was losing Amy & Rory and the epic Name of the DoctorDay of the DoctorTime of the Doctor run, I didn’t think I could invest in a new Doctor.

    Try anything once though, right?  Series 8 was good enough (it made me love Clara more than anything, if I’m being honest) and I liked Capaldi well enough to stick around for Series 9.  And I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did.  The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar blew me away.  Face the Raven crippled me with grief.  But Heaven Sent?  To paraphrase, that was a hell of an episode.  Not only was it the best Capaldi Era episode, but I’d be so bold as to put it in my top five of all time.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I thought now would be as good a time as any to join in.  I’m looking forward to next week and absolutely cannot wait for the Christmas Special!

    -Au Revoir

    #48433
    lisa @lisa

    @mudlark

    Read your recent post and I agree with you on  the notion that Missy’s ‘very clever idea’

    was to manipulate the dial and configure it into a trap for the Doctor.   A mini version of

    her Matrix made solely for him.  Possibly came from trapping Clara in the Dalek? She had to have

    known about ME since she has been travelling along the Doctor’s timeline so she forced

    Me to be her confederate in the ‘trap’.

    If Missy is  the TL’s confederate then  I’m trying to work out the why she would create

    the trap in such a way to make it so difficult.  But then in the past she hasn’t been very nice to

    the Doctor either.

     

    #48435
    Brewski @brewski

    Nothing I can add to these wonderful comments about a wonderful episode!

    But, oh! It is time to put the Bonkers Hat on. And I mean the seriously Tin-Foil-Bonkers Hat!

    About The Hybrid.  (And don’t put too much stock in the wording of the prophecy because “they got it wrong.”

    1. We learned that Asildr/Me has an issue of an infinite experience with a finite brain. An issue which The Doctor  pointedly does NOT have.

    2. We learned from Missy that The Doctor can calculate billions of equations in nano seconds.

    3. We now know how he does it. He goes into his Mind Place and works it all out there. (Incidentally we now know “where he’s been during those fourth-wall-breaking monologues and how the “Li
    <p style=”display: inline !important;”>sten” got on the chalk board)</p>
    4. Conclusion 1: The Doctor’s brain is “bigger on the inside”.

    5. The Doctor says “the hybrid is me”, but he does NOT mean half Time Lord half human.

    6. The great secret experiment that he has been running from his whole life is: Conclusion 2 – he is half Time Lord half TARDIS.

     

     

    #48436
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson        My son also loves astronomy. He is currently taking Physics 12 and there is very little astrophysics there, mostly a lot of trigonometry to do with force and motion, which of course you need to know, but like Son of Puro, he yearns for the “good stuff”. Have you seen the any of the BBC series with Brian Cox? We’ve watched Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe, both are very good. He even helps me to understand it and I’m pretty poor at physics! But it’s still deep enough for the other Arbutuses, who are much much better at it, to learn and enjoy.

    Yes, I fully agree with @ichabod’s ideas about what the Doctor is accomplishing over those billions of years. I also agree with Son that it’s the Doctor’s subjective experience that counts. I am personally convinced that in “our” universe, very little time passed while he was inside the confession dial. But he will always remember living through those billions of years of continuous torture and death, and his future actions will be coloured by them. He has done his penance, as @ichabod says, but will also remember them vividly in his interactions with the Time Lords (and anyone else who bears responsibility for them).

    Son of Puro, I thought that that five or so minutes showing us the “first second of eternity” was absolutely the most heart-wrenching Doctor Who that has ever been– more than the death of Clara, more than the last moments of Eleven, far more than Ten’s farewell to Rose. (I won’t even mention the departure of Ten, which I felt was badly mishandled in its attempt to manipulate our emotions; I was really glad that Ten got a “do-over” at the end of Day of the Doctor!) This, on the other hand, was so heartbreaking that I didn’t even really cry (and I’m a terribly watering pot normally!). Rather than weepy, I was choked and aghast. It was horrible.

    #48437
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mudlark   I am not comfortable with the idea of penance to expiate the guilt he feels for his failure to protect Clara, especially such a protracted penance.  I think, rather, that he feels persistence and ultimate survival are what he owes her, who has so often prompted him to live up to his name and be his better self.

    I think in a way that both are right. Rather than consciously torturing himself to expiate his guilt, perhaps he is trying to do as Clara-in-his-mind has instructed, to get off his arse and win. But she has also told him to “get over it”. And I do think that @ichabod is correct that one of the ultimate results of his experience will be a cleansing of his guilt over Clara, so that he can remember and honour her in the way that she deserves. A soul-cleansing, in fact.

    Having watched again the last scene where the Doctor emerged onto Gallifrey, I am now inclined to think of the dial as more of a portal than a container. Although we did see the miniature of the castle before it closed up, but that could have been an image of the pocket universe, rather than a real place, couldn’t it? However, I also like your idea of confession dial as hard drive, and the teleporter holding his body in some kind of limbo while his mind went through its experiences there. But I wonder what would have happened to that body had he failed? Would it have been dispersed somehow, or dumped out dead and burnt onto the sands of Gallifrey?

    #48438
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @josh    Welcome! If you think that post was long, then you haven’t been paying attention here.  🙂

    @brewski    Oh, yes. Half Time Lord, half TARDIS, all Doctor.   🙂

    #48439
    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  In my opinion, the confession dial follows a strategy of Steven Moffat to deliberately rewrite parts of the classic series, a precedent so that his successors can also make each run as showrunner their own.

    What a lovely, generous idea . . .

    @swordwhale  Love the conversations with Clara, how she is always back turned, sort of a strange “spirit visitation” or memory, wonderfully eerie until that last scene with her.

    That last bit, when he actually sees her — it’s like, “Keep going, don’t quit — you’ve won your way this far, here’s a bit of a reward beforehand — look, see me — now, go and win!”  I recall a winter day in Venice (speaking of complicated puzzle boxes!) when a tall thin African man walked quickly past, huddled against the cold, and I heard him mutter under his breath, “Corragio, Mustapha!”  The Doctor is lucky enough (!) to have his lost companion to encourage him; so good.

    @arbutus  he wouldn’t have to do everything exactly the same way each time, as long he made it back to the teleport room and completed the cycle there. That solves a lot of dilemmas. It is also borne out by the fact that the story he tells the Veil changes from time to time; so we know that he is not repeating events in exactly the same way.

    Ooh, yes — It has to be a bit different each time, and we got our clues to this (“seven thousand years,” he says.  “Two billion years”), as he did.  It increases the horror of it, that becomes as aware of this as we are (as he must, for him to be able to progress a little further now and then before dying).  I wonder how long it took him to realize he didn’t *need* to set that tipped over boot straight in front of the fire for an adequately accurate repeat next time.

    You think the time-passage is objectively real — make the Doctor two billion years and a bit old at the end?!  Whoo.  I have trouble with that.  I’ll stick with it being entirely subjective, occupying exactly the time it takes for the teleport thing to get him from the trap street to Gallifrey — until we know *when* he’s arrived there, definitely an open question if we get, as Moffat promised, something about how he showed up at the big battle to make up “all 13!”

    @puroandson  the Zygon Inversion where he states off the cuff that Clara is continually in his head was said in a rather poignant if not tart manner of expression -again something that might fail to enthuse fans for various reasons.

    It was a wry comment, I agree.  Have any of them noticed that, as far as you know?  As you said, they complain about the size and misplacement of rooms, about the similarity to Hogwart’s castle, about the second set of clothing. 

    I wouldn’t worry;  @arbutus is right, the vast majority of fandom (I think) isn’t experienced enough to “get” all of this episode, let alone resonate to it.

    “if you ever let her live one day and it led to this….” Yes, I can imagine his mind, mad with grief, rage and guilt, determined to track her [Missy] down

    Missy, Ashildr — who else is on his (as yet provisional) hit list now?  He hasn’t forgotten Missy’s attempt to lure him into killing the Dalek-suited Clara, I think we can depend on that.

    Son of Puro  If he has two hearts isn’t the agony of endurance twice as bad? If any part of us feels emotional because of even five minutes of that episode then I think Mr Moffat succeeded.

    Two hearts for sufficient pain, two hearts for sufficient courage, yes.  Moffat succeeded all right.

    @mudlark  I am not comfortable with the idea of penance to expiate the guilt he feels for his failure to protect Clara, especially such a protracted penance. I think, rather, that he feels persistence and ultimate survival are what he owes her, who has so often prompted him to live up to his name and be his better self.

    Another great way to look at it — thanks!

    I suspect that it would be Missy’s idea, with her as the driving force and Ashildr/Me acting at her instigation.

    Good grief — if this is Missy’s doing, what is she after?  She has made him quite capable now of being the one who “stands in the ruins of Gallifrey and destroys a billion hearts . . . ”  Is she after obliterating the TLs once and for all, so that only she and the Doctor will remain, to travel together at last, each as crazy as the other?!

    @josh  sorry for the long post

    Welcome, Josh, but as for your post being long enough to apologize for — gads, look around!  There’s a ton of energy roaring around this place after Heaven Sent, and we can’t get everything out there fast enough!

    @brewski  he is half Time Lord half TARDIS.

    That does it; you win the internet today!

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