Hell Bent

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    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Is it possible that Moffat has throughout the season been portraying the Doctor as a victim of PTSD since he was a student held captive in the Cloister by the Sliders for up to 4 days?

    Look at this checklist of symptoms for PTSD:


    As for intrusive memories, Ashildr somehow knows that the Doctor sometimes remembers about the hybrid, often not:

    The Doctor (O.C.): I don’t know. I don’t remember it.

    Ashildr: Sometimes you do. It’s always the way with things we’d rather forget. You remember now, though, don’t you? Tell me, Doctor, who is…the Hybrid? Who threatens all of time and space?

    As for avoidance, the Doctor refuses to discuss what actually happened to him, and could his flight from Gallifrey to run throughout be the ultimate avoidance?  He does return to the Cloister in Hell Bent but that was only after billions of years of torture keeping his secrets which might have hardened his resolve.

    As for negative changes in feeling and mood, consider how terrible the Doctor has been portrayed this season interacting with normal people, all the way from how he treated Bors and his people to the Doctor needing flashcards to communicate.  And as for maintaining close relationships, the Doctor may bemoan how short are the lives of the human mayflies, but see how he has this season no close relationships other than with Clara.  And Clara was specifically constructed by Missy to be the Doctor’s earworm of a companion.

    As for changes in emotional reactions, observe how even Missy was admiring the Doctor for how rapidly he could assess and escape from a seemingly impossible predicament.  What if the Doctor seems to always be hyped up at maximum readiness because he is, because he’s always scared, always fearful, always in a fight or flight mode.  And in Sleep No More the Doctor seems to be claiming to Clara he can somehow sleep while appearing to be awake, but how does that explain what appears to be an ordinary looking bed in the barn in Gallifrey.  What if the Doctor is in fact not sleeping in the ordinary manner that a Gallifreyan would use, but that he is instead suffering from extreme insomnia?

    This may explain why regeneration appears different for the Doctor as opposed to the General.  What if the Doctor’s regenerations are so traumatic because he somehow has to first crash from his previous extremely agitated state and then build himself back up into a new agitated but functional state?

    Could this realization of how profoundly the Doctor is suffering from PTSD be Missy’s final victory over Clara, because for all she’s been through with the Doctor, Clara just does not see it.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  That all makes good sense, thanks.  The query aptly symbolizes my usual state of mind, so it’s fine.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  Is it possible that Moffat has throughout the season been portraying the Doctor as a victim of PTSD

    Interesting; it would be no surprise if the Doctor *were* subject to PTSD for a long succession of highly traumatic events, but some core elements seem not to apply (suicidal thoughts and impulses?  Flashbacks?  Uncontrollable outbursts of violence?).  Certainly not on a regular basis.  Of course it could be more easily moderated for a TL, but still — the major one, nervous agitation, seems fitting for Deep Breath.

    Mind you, someone struggling with PTSD as a constant state is probably not what anyone wants for a “family viewing” show, where lightness and playfulness and a certain amount of wish fulfillment are part of the recipe (which is why the Doctor doesn’t return to Gallifrey and just blow the Citadel to kingdom come, instead of bloodlessly removing some jerks from high office and killing a soldier [also bloodlessly, and not before making sure he still has some regenerations to go] for demanding to shove Clara back in front of the Raven with a “Sorry my dear”.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    I decided a rewatch was in order to clear up a few things in my mind, and I found I enjoyed it rather more the second time- freed from the expectation of what it could have been, I was free to appreciate it better for what it was. Plus I knew a few of the things that would rankle me, so didn’t get the internal cries of “What?” drowning out what was going on.

    However there were a couple of things that bothered me on first watching that I didn’t feel were cleared up for me on the repeat watching and I haven’t seen much discussion on:

    I didn’t care for the Doctor’s time in the confession dial ending up being for so little. The crucial information that he was protecting turns out to be that he doesn’t know anything (or at least nothing he can remember at present). And he was hanging on to that as a potential bargaining chip he claims, but gives that information away basically as soon as he’s in the citadel anyway. And then it proves advantageous for him not to know, since it gives him an excuse to need to use an extraction chamber. Just doesn’t seem this bargaining chip was worth much, so it seems it was more sheer stubbornness and/or an exercise in self-flagellation that stopped him giving what little information he had away, rather than any significant consequences if he did, as we were led to believe.

    And in the end I’m just not sure why the random memory wipe could be any sort of logical solution. The Doctor was prepared to live his with memory intact but to let go of Clara and return her to Earth, memory wiped for her protection (doesn’t seem like that would offer much protection, since it wouldn’t be that hard to find her by conventional means – I assume it would take Missy about 10 minutes – but I’ll accept that for the moment). And Clara definitely preferred letting go of the Doctor and carrying on with her memory intact. So each of them seems to be able to soldier on, memory intact. So is it really essential for someone’s memory to go? Plus, as the Doctor said, the neural block would do “something to one of us”, so results could potentially have been worse (e.g. total memory wipe for one of them). I’m inclined to agree with them though- if this is their standard of collective decision-making on issues that potentially affect the fate of the universe, this does seem to be another fairly rash one, so maybe it is better they go their separate ways.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @tardigrade: I think it is possible that at certain times the Doctor knows more about the hybrid and at certain times he doesn’t, because

    The Doctor(O.C.): I don’t know.

    Ashildr: Sometimes you do. It’s always the way with things we’d rather forget. You remember now, though, don’t you? Tell me, Doctor, who is…the Hybrid? Who threatens all of time and space?

    I think it is telling that at the end of time this is the question Ashildr is still asking.  Because I think Gallifrey is eventually laid in ruins by something the Doctor does, or helps, such as the Matrix obtaining godhood.

    I believe the Matrix captured the Doctor as a student, tortured him for 4 days, brainwashed him, and implanted post-hypnotic suggestions and memories that would be activated only on certain triggers.  The Matrix was able to do this because in conjunction with its future self it is going to create its own time loop to achieve godhood by sending information back in time to help it achieve something in the future, similar to what the advanced human civilization of the future does in the movie Interstellar.

    As for the memory wipe, I think this was foreshadowed in Before the Flood where the Doctor remarked removing the Fisher King’s earworm from their minds would possibly result in severe loss of memories and functionality.  The earworm of Clara created by Missy had to be removed from the Doctor.


    Whisht @whisht

    So, I’m away with work and on a tablet so can’t go back and check, but…..

    Am I right in that @bluesqueakpip totally called it months ago??

    Though in my fuzzy memory was it also @blenkinsopthebrave ?

    Basically the Confession Dial really does seem to have come from Rassilon.

    It truly is “The CD of Rassilon”


    Anonymous @


    Whee-heey I wondered when you’ d mention Interstellar again! It’s your favourite movie I speculate 🙂


    Anonymous @


    Well, I think we’ve discussed this at length  -this being the “bargaining” part of the chip. The bargain was the issue -it was the argument or the point rather than the ‘chip’ 🙂

    He would speak whatever they may have needed to hear (I don’t think he cared less by then) when he was ready -and in his own time under his own conditions. If he told them what they wanted under their steam….well, that’s not the Doctor (knowing Rassilon he may have found a way to remove the Doctor altogether!)

    Clara’s a very special companion -an apprentice and I’m not surprised he’d do anything for her, including grabbing the use of  an extraction chamber once he’s on Gallifrey. If he realises that same thing in his ‘mind tardis’ in HS “every time”, it’s possible, knowing that she’ll “still be gone” as he says, that once arriving on Gallifrey a plan forms. It’s foreshadowed in the Magician’s Apprentice And TWF that he plays a very long game with anyone -with Davros in particular and so I imagine the Doctor lying in the barn with a complicated plan afoot that requires the General’s services.

    So, having achieved the desired result at the end of the series/episode he travels beyond the extraction chamber’s life length, so Clara’s pulse can re-start (when nothing ‘is’ or nothing matters anymore: the last dying embers of the universe is all that’s left). I think it almost doesn’t matter what the answer is to the question of the Hybrid: it’s most probably strong human (Clara) and the War-y Doctor returning -himself (which very nearly happened ) and thru the neural bloc he could begin to understand the point about making amends. The fact he believes the prophecy is one thing and it’s not necessarily provided as a sturdy answer isn’t the point  (to me anyway) -it is a theory of the Doctor’s and then there’s the one of Ashildr’s.

    Such theorising I believe was the point -as some things can never be known for sure: a little like people wanting every dangling thread to be explained when some issues stay dangling for further thought. The Hybrid is one of them I believe.

    There’s also his failure to realise that some things which are sad and even truly terrible can also be beautiful – which is one of his faults -he doesn’t recognise that and he must learn to.

    I presume the Doctor is now released from his increasingly heavy duty of care. This is significant. Therefore Missy has no power over him and other species who want the Doctor will not ‘read’ his memories and locate his “thing of greatest weakness.”

    I believe that’s extremely important and it was successfully initiated. As others may have mentioned (ahem “:cough cough:) the neural bloc was both a continuous bloc but it could also contain a perception filter (that last part is pure assumption but it makes perfect sense) to ensure conventional means could not be utilised for ‘Claralocation’ -but the bloc takes care of that anyway. The Doctor’s weakness (stated in The Girl Who Lived) was always his companion. Something by the 17th century, Me has cottoned onto.

    I think Missy would be less interested in the Doctor’s pup because she’s redundant: she’s free now. There’s nothing but a Clara shaped hole -hence the extraction chamber coupled with the importance of the Bloc.


    Puro Solo

    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  Wow, you have an amazing imagination — wonderful bonkerizing, rich and strange!

    if this is their standard of collective decision-making on issues that potentially affect the fate of the universe, this does seem to be another fairly rash one, so maybe it is better they go their separate ways.

    Yes.  They don’t even know for certain what the blocker will do, but hey, we gotta do *something*, so — let’s jump off the cliff together, each of us with equal agency, neither of us knowing where we’ll fall!

    @tardigrade  So each of them seems to be able to soldier on, memory intact. So is it really essential for someone’s memory to go?

    Yes, it is — *his* memory of *her*.  He’s not getting it, it’s too close.  But what I see is that the Doctor has been obsessed with Clara from the get-go; she, IMO, has never been obsessed with him (cherchez le Danny, for instance . . . ), although she became delightedly dependent on him for thrills and adventures to make her life feel worthwhile and significant, and happy for him to serve as a model of how to successfully cope with all those extraordinarily challenging adventures.  His addiction has been to her; hers has been to action and exploration, a hero’s life — with herself as a hero.  She knows she has it in her to be that: traveling in the TARDIS, she’s found out by experience.

    So, sad as she is to part ways, she’s ready to strike out on her own taking nothing from her times with him but her memories.  He’s ready too, he says, even though she reminds him that he can’t make her safe.  But with his obsessive “duty of care” intact, how long before he’d feel compelled to find her and follow her, keeping close by, ready to leap in at any moment and help or rescue her at any cost, always hovering on the brink of getting back together and bang, they’re the hybrid peril again.  I see him becoming a fiercely obsessive, increasingly crazy, and dangerously powerful guardian angel — to someone who *doesn’t want one*.  What sane and strong young adult really wants that?  Some kids leave home to escape such suffocating hovering, and rightly so.

    And he would be ignoring his wider duty of care — passing through, helping out, all over space and time.  IOW, he would cease to be the Doctor.  Really he already has, since he’s willing to bring space and time to ruin just to get her this far from a death that *must* finish happening anyway.

    I just did my first re-watch of Hell Bent, and I have to say, much as I enjoy bonkerizing in such good company, I think Moffat didn’t lie when he said he’s not nearly as complicated a storyteller as people think.  I think he wrote it, and they played it, straight — no devious plans and loving but patronizing manipulations, just this pair’s normal free-wheeling improvisation as events continually blow their previous improv to hell so that they have to come up with another one, stat!  Until they turn to chance to make the final decision for them.

    And it works; my, how it works — breath-taking, really.

    @whisht  Let’s hear it for the CD of Rassilon!  That’s going to stay in *my* memory, or there will be hell to pay.

    And I reserve the right, of course, to change my mind about everything.



    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @tardigrade

    Our posts crossed ichi but yes, the Doctor was no longer just the idiot in box. He wanted to go to the ends of the earth to keep her (I’m reminded a bit of Rochester here) and I remember in Hell Bent when he explains just how close he is to Clara -that I felt a touch uncomfortable -that something had gone too far in the Doctor’s mind (Zygon Inversion: 400+ calls?) . It was beautifully played, IMO:  he was restrained, nervous, embarrassed, shifty-eyed and concerned. Beautiful. But also sad.

    You’re right ichi, the Bloc was the only way through which he could ever be just the Doctor otherwise his obsession of Clara could grow. He’s re-set himself so to speak.

    I remember (Son speaking) in Deep Breath when Clara said “I never saw you as a boyfriend, it was never like that” and he said (and this hit me like a wallop) “I never said it was your mistake”.

    He still hadn’t solved that part of the ‘problem that was Maria’ (wrong film!) by the end of Death in Heaven -that season was Clara’s, this season 9, belonged to the Doctor. By the end of this two year ‘season’ both ‘issues’ have been solved (and one in its way, deleted -but sorted nonetheless)

    Kindest, Puro and Son (with his input)

    Anonymous @


    I think I agree with your first criticism: Heaven Sent/Hell Bent seemed a bit muddled over the significance of the hybrid. But then, perhaps, the story isn’t over…

    On your second point, I think we’ve seen what happens when either the Doctor or Clara choose to call it quits. It never, ever pans out. Even after a memory wipe, he’s still looking for her. The other thing of course is that what Clara chooses to do at the end was not what he had in mind: his plan was for her to live a peaceful life out of the way on Earth.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    The truth about the hybrid was, I think, far less important than the fact that the prophecy had seriously worried the Time Lords. Their fear would have been compounded by the knowledge that whatever the Doctor had learned when he ventured into the Cloister as a young man had scared him so badly that he ran. We were told that the predictions of the Matrix were accurate, but clearly they were not necessarily complete, and like the utterances of the Oracle at Delphi, could be sufficiently ambiguous to be open to different readings. In this instance everyone had opted for the worst possible interpretation.

    As it turned out, if the hybrid was truly the Doctor+Clara, then the conditions could be said to have been fulfilled, since the Doctor did conquer Gallifrey, at least to the extent of ousting its rulers, and he and Clara did stand in its ruins, not while it was still populated, but during the last moments of the universe

    Whether or not the Doctor had really forgotten what he had learned, or even if he knew that the truth was far less dreadful than people feared, he realised that so long as he refused to answer the question he held the advantage. As he said ‘The first rule of being interrogated is that you are the only irreplaceable person in the torture chamber. The room is yours, so work it.’  What fuelled his determination to hold out against the interrogation, even to the extent of enduring repeated torment over billions of subjective years, was above all his hatred of and rage against the Time Lords, or at least Rassilon and the others of the High Council.  They could at least have tried asking him nicely first, but instead they decided to lay a trap which resulted in Clara’s death and then to try and torture the truth out of him. Add that to the fact that he laid the blame for horrors of the Time War at their door, not to mention the fact that they had planned to save their own skins at the expense of the rest of the universe, and it isn’t really surprising that, as @puroandson said, he was absolutely resolved to escape on his own terms or not at all. That inhuman stubbornness in the face of his perceived enemies is one of the characteristics that make him the Doctor;  ‘Never give up, never give in.’

    Anonymous @

    @mudlark @tardigrade

    yes, wonderful, ‘Lark, I recall the “never be cruel never give in” mantra in our earlier posts when it first aired. Those things still hold now a week later  -only that long?  🙂

    @morpho yes I like that. He wasn’t concocting a plan in the barn about the neural bloc on himself then =just Clara. But who nose? Things occurred perhaps in a more simpler fashion -as we saw them. When the Doctor walks out of the Diner, he really doesn’t know to whom he’s been speaking: someone lovely and engaging and that’s it. So sad but beautiful too. Both are carrying on with a life they chose: Clara no longer the apprentice -I think many ppl called it; the idea that Clara was the apprentice to her Doctor. Adventures notwithstanding.

    @mudlark yes, the predictions weren’t prophecies so much as organised algorithms which, when you think about the TL race, their skills of mathematics, prediction and hypothesising would be beyond anything we could comprehend so I can understand that as a control freak race, the TLs would be very restless when a man like the Doctor “runs and runs away” carrying a ‘prophecy’. They must know what it is and how to stop it. Stat!

    I’m glad it worked that way. The Doctor needs to be healed (I really don’t want to say that phrase “move on”. Be healed: “be a part of your healing” works better for me)  🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark


    a control freak race

    What a wonderfully apt description of the Time Lords!  It is no wonder that the thought of a maverick like the Doctor roaming loose around the universe so worries and exasperates them, even without their suspicion that he is withholding vital information.

    And yes, the experience may have pushed him into a kind of temporary madness, causing him to abandon the code he has tried to live by, but it was in the end cathartic, and he has emerged from it healed.

    Anonymous @


    Awesome post again, thanks!

    As I said in comments on Heaven Sent, there are indications that Me may have had contact with Missy as early as the 17th century, if not before.

    Yes, I think that’s dead on. In The Woman Who Lived, I assumed it was Missy who was tipping off Me about the Doctor’s habits, but in Face the Raven I tipped more toward representatives of the High Council. But I think you’re absolutely right. If it were the High Council, then they’d have had contact with Viking-Mire hybrid over the course of centuries. Even under the assumption that the hybrid was half time lord half dalek, Rassilon would have to have been pretty dim indeed to have not thought “Hang on, that’s a bit of a coincidence: the woman who’s helping us find the hybrid is a hybrid. Should we, like, ask?”

    Which suggests that not only was Missy nominally working on behalf of the High Council, but she must surely have known that Me was at least a hybrid. (I agree with the others that this was unlikely a straightforward alliance: Missy would certainly have had plans for Rassilon and vice versa, but everything went a bit wonky when Missy ended up trapped on Skaro and Rassilon was booted off Gallifrey.)

    Speaking of which, where are we on who the hybrid is?

    The Hybrid will stand in the ruins of Gallifrey, and destroy a billion hearts to heal his own

    The billion hearts destroyed were the Doctor’s, I’m pretty sure (someone undoubtedly has said this already, sorry I don’t know who). The Doctor stood in the ruins of Gallifrey with Me, who trapped the Doctor in the dial where his hearts were burned. Sentence structure wise, it does appear to be the Doctor rather than Me or the pairing of the Doctor and Clara, plus Clara did not leave the Tardis at the end of the universe, and her heart was stopped, not destroyed.

    she devises the barrier so that the word HOME appears briefly each time he arrives there

    I totally agree with your (or BSP’s) appraisal of Missy’s motivations re the Doctor. Having watched most of the series again, it’s pretty hard to deny that, while she might be happy to destroy worlds and everything he holds dear, Missy definitely has the Doctor’s back. And he seems to know it too. He went into that trap in The Witch’s Familiar pretty confident that someone was going to get him out of it, and that someone had to be Missy.

    I think I semi-bonkerised last week that HOME may not be that brief, it might just be that it can only be seen with the sonic sunglasses, which Missy would have known about. It’s difficult to say because him taking the glasses off and the word disappearing aren’t shown in the same shot, but rather consecutive shots.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    where are we on who the hybrid is?

    Moffat is on record as saying that what he writes is a lot simpler and more straightforward than some people choose to see it (people like us, for instance), and what he wrote here certainly pointed to it being the Doctor+Clara, even though he trailed other possibilities and he has been known to lie or mislead.  At the very least the terms of the prediction are technically fulfilled and, since Gallifrey is now positioned towards the end of universe, it doesn’t leave much room for an alternative to arise – unless, of course, the Time Lords are capable of moving the whole planet back in time again.

    That being the case, it would appear that the hybrid was not a hybrid in the normal sense, but the synergistic convergence of two beings of similar temperament and complementary character, one Time Lord, one human


    Anonymous @

    @puroandson, @mudlark

    Yes, the simuluation hypothesis is quite scary, mostly because unless we can dismiss the possibility of simulating reality, it is statistically likely we are in a simulation right now. What can be done by humans will be done, be it travelling as far as the Moon or cloning animals. So if reality simulators can be built, they will be built, and whereas there is only one real universe, there will be many simulators, making it very unlikely we’re in the real universe.

    What’s particularly frightening is that, since any simulation must be smaller than what it is simulating, even a proof that no such technology is possible in this universe is not a proof that we are not in a simulation. We would have to prove it for all possible universes in case the real universe is different to ours in some crucial respect, which it will be. Scary!


    @mudlark @Morpho

    As I said in comments on Heaven Sent, there are indications that Me may have had contact with Missy as early as the 17th century, if not before.

    Well, there’s one way to be sure 🙂

    Anonymous @


    Thanks for that viewpoint. Because it’s always tempting to take the first or last explanation as the most credible, it could be that Moffat buried the truth in a list of alternatives. I think the first thing to establish is that, whatever the hybrid is, it is unlikely to be the only hybrid in the universe. (Otherwise we only have to establish who is a hybrid rather than the hybrid, and there are good arguments against Ashildr being a hybrid at all.)

    We have four posited contenders (who knows, there may be others):

    • half time lord, half dalek (likely a survivor of the Skaro degradations);
    • half Viking, half Mire (Ashildr);
    • half time lord, half human (the Doctor);
    • a virtual hybrid: one time lord, one human (the Doctor and Clara).

    What makes a hybrid the hybrid of the prophecy is the prophecy itself. The hybrid must:

    1. conquer Gallifrey;
    2. stand in its ruins;
    3. destroy a billion hearts.

    Pending more information in series 10 (e.g. the advent of a half time lord, half dalek hybrid) and sticking to what we have, Ashildr ticks (2) and arguably is culpable for (3) since it was she who got the teleport bracelet on the Doctor, but we see no evidence of (1).  The Doctor and Clara together don’t seem to tick any of the boxes, since Clara did not leave the Tardis at the ruins of Gallifrey, wasn’t present at the conquering of Gallifrey, and was even less directly responsible for destroying a billion hearts than Ashildr.

    The Doctor does tick all three: he conquered Gallifrey by regime change, booting out the dictator Rassilon and his High Council; he stood with Ashildr in the ruins of Gallifrey at the end of the universe; he burned his own heart a billion times.

    Everything may change by series 10 episode 1 of course, but I don’t see how the Doctor+Clara can be the hybrid, except poetically perhaps, since everything in the prophecy that the Doctor did he did for her.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yup. I (and @blenkinsopthebrave) totally called the CD of Rassilon – in fact, I’m pretty sure I also called its status as a Chekhov’s CD of Rassilon.

    So the I Totally Called It Award 2015 (Mysterious Devices Category) will now join the I Totally Called It Award 2013 (Plot Arc Category) on my bookshelf. The 2013 award was for spotting that it was indeed all about the children of Gallifrey. 😀

    Well, for six months of the year, anyway, because it’ll spend the other six months chez Blenkinsop.

    django @django


    As you say, we have 3 groups. However, if the [Doctor] covers (3) of the requirements on his own, then the [Doctor & Clara] also cover (3) of the requirements. This is because the [Doctor] is a subset of the [Doctor & Clara]. This of course means that the [Doctor & @Morpho] could also be considered the hybrid!  😉

    It all depends on whether you accept the Doctors “Half human” bit as canon. One of the things I like is that the solution was constructed so you have a successful answer regardless of whether you personally think he is half human or not.

    Anonymous @


    This of course means that the [Doctor & @Morpho] could also be considered the hybrid!

    Dammit, they’re onto me! 😀

    One of the things I like is that the solution was constructed so you have a successful answer regardless of whether you personally think he is half human or not.

    Yes, there’s certainly an out. As one of the many who headbutted the table when McGann uttered that particular line, I would like an out. I think Moffat either tends to be very dismissive of past continuity he finds tricky (the Tardis being in a state of temporal grace, for instance) or else dedicates quite a lot of effort to it. This looks like the latter, which suggests to me he might be taking the line seriously, but also might be coming up with an unexpected take on it. Fingers crossed…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    While I played some small part, the CD of Rassilon was, in fact, called by@Bluesqueakpip.

    My contribution was to come up with a rather silly theory based on seeing the Prologue and being stuck on a long and rather boring train trip. The theory went something like this:

    OK, I have watched it a couple of more times, and here is my theory: “He wants to see you.” This is a reference to one of the most powerful entities in the cosmos–the Great Librarian” who wants to see the Doctor because the last time the Doctor was in the Galactic Library, he borrowed a Big Finish audio recording and has failed to return it. It is now hundreds of years overdue and the fine is, well, really rather large. As a result, the Great Librarian has sent out his servants (the Vashta Nerada, of course) to find the Doctor. The Great Librarian is not to be trifled with. But the High Priestess of Karn realises that something is wrong. It is “that creature”, who is, of course the Meddling Monk, who stole the Big Finish CD from the Doctor and was going to attempt to change history by leaving it in a record shop in 1963, before the invention of CDs. But the Doctor has stolen it back from the Meddling Monk and is now being chased by both the Great Librarian, who wants the late fine paid and the Meddling Monk, who is now mad as a cut snake. As the High Priestess of Karn realises, this situation is likely to lead to the Doctor’s destruction, or at the very least being refused access to all other lending libraries. Chastened, the Doctor hands the High Priestess his portable CD player containing the Big Picture audio CD as he contemplates his next move in this dangerous game of library ethics.

    Well, it went exactly like that, given that I just cut-and-pasted it from post #42534.

    It was subsequent to this that @bluesqueakpip memorably named it it the CD of Rassilon in post #42567. So all kudos and the I Totally Called It Award 2015 (Mysterious Devices Category) should remain on the bookshelf of @bluesqueakpip for the entire 12 months of the year.

    Which is not to deny, of course, that it might have been rather fun to see the dangerous game of library ethics unfold over the course of series 9…

    Mudlark @mudlark


    As it happens I had to go into the city to get some more paper for my printer, so I took the opportunity to pop into one of the local bookshops and do a bit of browsing.

    The legends include aliens and some travellers in time and space (not Time Lords) who have rather peculiar ideas about what constitutes an entertaining reality show, but unless I blinked and missed her, Missy did not make herself known in any of them, nor was there anything to explain the anachronisms in The Woman Who Lived. The latest of the stories appears to be set at the beginning of the 17th century, though, so there is still time  🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    Damn — the CD player of Rassilon, wasn’t it, playing that stressful modernistic piece, “Torture the Doctor, He Needs it”.

    @puroandson  I remember (Son speaking) in Deep Breath when Clara said “I never saw you as a boyfriend, it was never like that” and he said (and this hit me like a wallop) “I never said it was your mistake”.

    @morpho   we’ve seen what happens when either the Doctor or Clara choose to call it quits. It never, ever pans out. Even after a memory wipe, he’s still looking for her.

    It was right there at the start, along with the determination to resolve his part — the only *real* part, I suspect — in the “not your boyfriend” issue (only he couldn’t, not til Hell Bent).  And again in The Girl Who Died, reviving Ashildr in order to show (whoever’s watching) that he *can* do that and he *will* do that, or something like it, if Clara dies.  He won’t let go.  But by the end of Hell Bent, when he comes up with his final plan to wipe her memory as he did Donna’s, and she refuses — her refusal stops him cold, thank goodness.  If you think of her as the person he’s obsessed with, it’s a positively creepy idea to take her memories of their time together from her *while keeping his own*.

    “What am I doing?” he says.  Yet the consequences of doing nothing are unacceptable, now that he sees them clearly.  So he yields to necessity.  Which is why when they use the blocker together, for that moment they really are equals. He’s given up control, and so has she, and each gets what they need out of it: freedom.  [Obsession is a form of slavery, after all, especially after you’ve realized how it limits both you and your obsessee.  Er.  Beg’r’pardon, all.  There’s a reason for the phrase, “the object of his/her obsession” — at some crucial level, the obsessee is in fact reduced to an object.  This — per @morpho, . . .  what Clara chooses to do at the end was not what he had in mind: his plan was for her to live a peaceful life out of the way on Earth — makes this perfectly clear, and is the core of what he must give up via memory wipe so they can carry on their separate lives.

    That moment of using the blocker seemed so small and quiet; it looks much bigger to me now.  (It’s also a kind of response, isn’t it, to the Fisher King, who callously stole people’s deaths for his own use.)

    @mudlark  . . . it would appear that the hybrid was not a hybrid in the normal sense, but the synergistic convergence of two beings of similar temperament and complementary character, one Time Lord, one human

    You put that in clearer focus for me, so thanks.  Now, can we all pass the hat and take up a collection to pay the Meddling Monk’s library fines?  As @blenkinsopthebrave relates it, that brouhaha has gone on long enough.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    It’s the Doctor’s library fine – and the damn thing is now 4.5 billion years overdue.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  Oh!  Thanks!  See, the ins and outs of these things can *only* be understood via Library Science.

    lisa @lisa

    Quite honestly,  I’ve been wondering about whether the Clara ‘thing’ will bleed into

    season 10?  In fact, to my mind it might continue to be an influence until this Doctor

    regenerates.    I’m  willing to bet that Jenna and Maisie might take time to insert

    themselves again into this arc. . I  expect more of several other characters  like

    Missy, Ohila and/or  possibly Rassilon  too?  My thinking is that if SM isn’t completely

    done with this arc.  He gets season 10 to keep playing around with it but also transitions

    us into new territory.  That’s the way he introduced us all  into the Clara story.   Lots of side

    stories until she became the main event.

    soundworld @soundworld

    @morpho @puroandson @mudlark

    Re the simulation hypothesis.  You may notice that I’ve referred to Lem several times now on this board – as I feel his writing is so ‘Doctorish’ and tackles many of these issues, esp the question ‘what is reality?’

    You may enjoy a read of his short stories in ‘Memoirs of a Space Traveller‘ especially the story of Professor Corcoran who builds a roomful of boxes, each containing an artificial universe, see here for Wiki on Lem’s mad scientists.

    Remarkable given these stories were written I believe in the late 1950s.

    Another of his mad scientists is Doctor Diagoras – apparently honoured by a Dr Who character ‘Mr Diagoras’ who became the human part of Dalek Hybrid Dalek Sec.  Thus, returning us nicely to the thread!


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The only experience that we have to go on is Steven Moffat’s treatment of Amy and Rory. Yes, the after effects were felt (deeply) in The Snowmen. But the actors were gone, and stayed gone.

    The characters have been referenced occasionally. But there seems to be a firm distinction between the semi-regular continuing characters (River Song, The Paternoster Gang, Missy, now Ohila) and the regular companions. The semi-regulars are fitting Who into an ongoing acting career and can crop up again whenever availability and a good script idea coincide; a regular companion has to establish or re-establish their non-Who careers.

    This is a rather long-winded way of saying that Steven Moffat may well feel that a complete break is the best thing both for the programme and for Jenna Coleman. She’s had a very long run as Clara; not only was she the longest running AG Who companion, she had a period between Doctors where she basically had to be the headline actor for the programme.

    I’m really glad her agent found her a very different kind of role for her next high profile telly; she needs to very quickly re-establish herself as ‘Jenna Coleman the ‘name’ actor’ rather than ‘Jenna Coleman the ex-Who Companion’.

    lisa @lisa



    I was also thinking about Asylum of the Daleks too.  I remember in some forum

    both SM and Capdoc were asked which companion they would bring back and

    both of them simultaneously said Clara.  Still totally agree that there will be a build

    up going in some new direction.        At the same time will Capdoc  still be feeling

    consequences?  Was it @jphamlore that memtioned PTSD?   Well if the mindwipe

    worked on only the emotions and not the memories that may have resolved ? So yes,

    I’m expecting a different temperament from the Doctor  however  is he  thru with all

    broader politics of what has  happened to him?


    But you could be totally right.   🙂


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I remember in some forum both SM and Capdoc were asked which companion they would bring back and both of them simultaneously said Clara.

    Which is exactly why they might have a definite break. 😉 Especially since Clara has been Peter Capaldi’s only companion.

    Though it wouldn’t surprise me terribly if Jenna Coleman has a guest spot (subject to work) in Peter Capaldi’s regeneration story, or if Big Finish are even now negotiating the Clara and Ashildr spin off audio series. 😀

    soundworld @soundworld


    I agree wih your call on the Doctor being most likely candidate for the hybrid.  Also, he says at the end of Heaven Sent after breaking out of the dial ‘I am the hybrid’  (he can of course be lying).

    Which would mean that he created the fulfillment of the prophecy himself  during his castle ordeal.  Another bootstrap?

    – And, maybe he realises this, that he has just fulfilled the prophecy, as he steps out?

    winston @winston

    This episode will always be special to me and not just because it is brilliant. This was the first time I was able to watch DW with my daughter. She lives on the other side of Canada on Vancouver Island ,and has been here for a 2 week visit. While both huge fans , we had to content ourselves to talking on the phone about each new episode.  I have watched for a long time, but she is fairly new to Who so it was fantastic to watch a totally new story together. The fact that it was so good was icing on the cake. She goes home in a few days but it was a nice family visit.


    Anonymous @

    dear @winston

    Hello Miss. That is lovely and Mum would be pleased you shared that with us and that not only was the episode so brilliant but watching it with your daughter tops it!


    Son of Puro x

    Anonymous @

    dear @bluesqueakpip

    Miss, what role is Jenna Coleman doing now?

    I agree with you that she has been the longest companion (um, yes, that’s fact -but mum said that and I wasn’t sure. But I forgot the 50th anniversary 2 years ago when I was 11 and a bit) who has seen Amy too.

    Mum’s question last night was “who the ‘eck will tolerate this sometime crabby sometime annoyed Doctor who doesn’t twirl and whirl and gets peeved really quickly with pudding brains?” Still, he won’t be comparing them to Clara! which will help. If he really had remembered her and circumvented (Im typing what mum scribbled -no idea what that word is!) the neural block then he would always be comparing any new companion to Clara. Also, if he took someone on board like Os good and they asked about Clara then it would awful for them to realise that hes forgotten her. There is a board in the Archive place with pictures of companions and important people. Mum reckons there was a clear picture there of Clara too. If he returns to the Tower (Unit’s office?) then he’s gonna see that picture but mum thinks all pictures will tap into the ongoing bloc which may have some kind of a protective ‘film’ around them to stop him ‘really’ seeing her?

    I still wonder what sort of companion will suit the Doctor and how he;s going to have to change or compromise to suit her….or him? I’d like a him but then I don’t want some big macho “I’ve got to prove myself bigger and cleverer than him” thing.

    On the Doctor and his spoon…that was clever in the last episode. I didn’t notice that till someone really clever pointed that out to me (well, mum did, but I had no idea what she meant because I had forgotten Robin Hood – shouldn’t have as it was my almost favourite episode of last year next to Listen and the Mummy one with the Oncoming or the Fore–told?).

    Also, I adored how everytime someone arrived, the Doctor drew a line in the sand (I didn’t get the elusion to that until dad mentioned his favourite genres, which embarrinsly, is Westerns!) and went back inside. He did it even when the council came and didn’t go out until the bad Rassilon came out and then when he reached out to shake his hand I was going: “shake it shake it”.

    I thought it was rude he didn’t shake it but Mum said I was being too tolerant and too nice. Also I don’t remember the episode when Rassilon arrived with the women crying and hiding their faces -when he tried to come to earth with the Masters help.

    I understand he blames Rassilon for all the Time War and the loss of people so dropping that Dial ( a very special thing for the TLs before they die -it’s not a Will like leaving money to people or jewels which happens on earth. Or people leaving all their millions to cats or dogs ) on that ravaged land/sand (which I assume once was green and very beautiful with green grass and growing wheat and  vegetables) was probably all he could do. I don’t even think they had a conversation except the Doctor saying “get off MY planet” and then when the Rassilon said “I have one thing here and that is no witnesses. Out here nobody matters (what a horrible thing to say)” the Doctor says “they do”.

    After that, the Doctor’s reinforcements arrive and I thought that was quite undoctorish but possibly necessary.

    This season we saw the most complicated Doctor ever -playing with Davros as if he was food!! he was so good at outwitting him. ALso, his relationship with Missy and Clara, his relationship with Ohila (“hey boy, boy”), his killing of the General (who regenerated), his partying with guitars and glasses and teaching people ‘dude’ as well as living with the consequences of saving Ashildr and realising what his face was actually for, at last.

    I thought he was the most complex doctor we have ever had -bar the first one maybe?

    I wonder what others think about that?

    Thankyou for reading,

    from Son of Puro.  (Mum is in hospital and won’t be posting as she’s in the medical and surgical word and won’t have any strength but she’s OK and sends her love and is letting me post on my own. I hope I don’t say anything silly or too wrong. x)



    @mudlark @Mocho @puroandson et al

    The script (pdf). Looks like the last writers draft (so just before it is given over to be turned into a shooting script).

    Page 59 is very interesting. It would be fair to say that Jenna Coleman utterly nailed it. And the scene action pretty much settles the “did he pull a double switcheroo” debate. (tl;dr: no).

    Which, to my mind, is as it should be. Beautiful and sad.

    (As I said up thread to me it defied belief that there was any other interpretation: I now recognise it as the denial stage of grief 😉 )

    @son of Puro

     I hope I don’t say anything silly or too wrong. x)

    Whereas we are hoping for it 😉 Silly and wrong is good!)

    Anonymous @

    @morpho this is what myself, Mum (puro) and  Miss @mudlark also said

    and what he wrote here certainly pointed to it being the Doctor+Clara

    I think that Mum said last night in probably a long post and these are not often read  but scanned and that’s because they’re long -but it’s good to read them all because you get the answers to your questions -if not answers, you get something even better which @ichabod hinted at too – and this is the Wonderful and Great Conversation and Debate.

    I’m in the camp which states that the Dr and Clara are the dangerous hybrid -together they could do damage. He will go the ends of the earth and even kill (against his own creed: “Good men don’t need rules. but today is not the day to ask why I have so many”) like he did the General and Clara was firmly against that. It didn’t matter that the General had ‘man flu” but that he did something Clara wouldn’t countenance (?) because her life is not more important than anyone elses.

    She said clearly “I didn’t ask to be safe. Nobody is safe” (looking at Danny here) and he said (the Doctor) that he took his duty of care seriously but really she never wanted that. She wanted the adventures and to see things blow up -she was losing control. And then she died. She had been reckless and foolish and so I can see why the Hybrid is this big thing =an issue which frightens the Council and concerned the Doctor when he was ‘younger’ and escaped.

    Thankyou for reading (this is long too!)

    Son of P x

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    She’s playing Queen Victoria in, uh, Queen Victoria. So she’s got a) a period drama rather than SF and b) the title role.

    Still, he won’t be comparing them to Clara! which will help.

    Oh, boy, will it help. You’re probably too young to really remember David Tennant’s Doctor in Series 3, spending what seemed like an incredibly long series missing his previous companion, Rose. Then Captain Jack turned up – and asked about Rose. The only person who didn’t ask about Rose was the Simm Master, and that was because he’d never met Rose…

    … anything but that. Really. I genuinely liked the character of Rose, but by The Shakespeare Code I was starting to go ‘get over Rose, already’, and by Utopia it was ‘Can we shut up about flippin’ Rose?’

    No. Do not shake the hand of Rassilon (or even the Hand of Rassilon). Rassilon is not a nice President. More El Presidente, in fact.

    As @pedant says, silly and wrong is fine. Love to your Mum. 🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    @lisa  I’ve been wondering about whether the Clara ‘thing’ will bleed into season 10? In fact, to my mind it might continue to be an influence until this Doctor regenerates.

    My question, too.  I think probably yes, but only in a harkening back to CapDoc as he was in S8 — he might well revert to being more prickly, more guarded, more aloof, as a reaction to what happened when he fell into such close involvement with Clara.  New viewers wouldn’t know what’s behind that, but fans would without a word being said about it on-screen.  If S10 CapDoc has some leftover messes to deal with from S9, such as, say especially vindictive misbehavior from Rassilon and his crew, there might be some mention of Clara, but I wouldn’t expect to see her, or Ashildr either, for a while if ever.

    @puroandson  Son of Puro, first, best regards to your mum and hopes that she’s home again soon!  As for this,

    This season we saw the most complicated Doctor ever

    We sure did!  I absolutely agree — this is why we need actors like Peter Capaldi in this role, who have a great range of expression (literally, with expressive faces, and figuratively, the shades of meaning he can get across with his voice, gestures, the whole presentation), which allows their performance of the Doctor to be so *real*-feeling.  This encourages the writers to write more interesting scripts and take more chances, IMO, because they know the actor can carry it in performance.

    Of course, some people prefer the Doctor to be simpler, more like a Superhero or something; so I like it very much when things get complex on Doctor Who in terms of character, not just twisty stories and secret arcs.

    Seconding @pedant above; we *come* here for the delights of silly and wrong as well as those of mental fireworks that make us go, “Ah!  Of course!  Why didn’t *I* see that?”  But now we do because somebody else spotted it for us,  so it’s fine.

    Anonymous @


    Mr P; I agree, or mum was baffled too. She thought it pretty obvious that the Dr would not remember Clara -that there was a Clara shaped hole there. The Dr lies sure, but in the face of Clara there’s no way he could. Any why have that scene in the diner to only have the whole thing be a fakery designed for us the viewers?

    I think it would be self indulgent for Moffat to do this and I’m glad he didn’t. Mum reckons that people hold on to the idea tha t the doctor remembers clara because it makes them feel better -it’s a safe ending because the alternative is so sad. But then it’s beautiful and sad as we said. At least one of them can hold onto the memories and things are kept alive if the memories are kept alive even if only one of those people can keep them. It’s still like  a soul going on living -we remember the people and that is like the soul. So no-one should fear, Clara will remember and that matters to me. At least he remembers the song and the name Clara. That is not a small thing: now, there is no obsession.

    winston @winston

    @puroandson     Thanks for the kind remarks. you are a ” chip off the old block!’

    Anonymous @

    @winston @bluesqueakpip @ichabod

    thankyou I shall pass that on to d’mama

    Son 🙂



    winston @winston

    I think of the Clara/Doctor hybrid sort of like  Bonnie and Clyde -seperately maybe not so bad , but put them together and they were very bad indeed. Or Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burtin -fine apart but fireworks when they were together.  We all know those couples that shouldn’t be together , or the pals who do stupid things whenever they are together.With the Doctor and Clara it was the way they urged and pushed each other into more daring and dangerous acts that could only lead to someone dying(which it did). They are too dangerous together and the Doctor has to forget her. (which he does).

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  Thanks for that link to the HB script — interesting, that they omitted the bit at the end where the Doctor *does* recognize Clara’s face, in Rigsy’s painting on the Tardis, and touch it to indicate that *now* he puts two and two together and knows who he was talking to just now.  I bet there were some some discussions about that!

    Glad they chose to drop it, because a) it would be awfully sentimental, and b) it would make no sense.  Better that he stays blocked.  As it is, as I see it, he barely registers the whooshing of Clara’s TARDIS departing.  He looks like an exhausted, rather bewildered old man staring at something he barely recognizes — there was no painting on the TARDIS the last time he saw it, so — is this it?  (Ow, so much!  He could hardly wait to see what Rigsy’s next art work would do — and now he does, and he has no idea of who painted it or why, or what it meant).

    When puts his hand to the door, it’s almost a tentative gesture; and inside, dead space.  Then the power comes on, the place comes to life (as the Doctor’s powerful mind comes to life, now that the distraction of searching for a person he doesn’t remember is gone), and he returns to himself, to take up his true Doctor-life again.

    Damn it.  Reading that script brought it all back, and it’s still both thrilling and painful.  What a fantastic way to end the arc of S8-S9!

    Anonymous @

    dear @ichabod   you have nailed it there:

    It’s also a kind of response, isn’t it, to the Fisher King, who callously stole people’s deaths for his own use.)

    Now I understand the Fisher King’s role and how it all fitted together. It was never about how silly that King looked wandering about all ‘monstery’ it was about how it all fit together given the last 2 eps. even the flood eps make more sense out of dying and death. All those characters saying the names of the dead in order all the time -again and again and again.

    Which is what the  Doctor is obsessing on and what the Indian dude said to the doctor in Under the Lake -“you’ll save her. You’ll save Clara  but no-one else matters the same.”


    Maybe for a moment, he was right! And so the Doctor made amends. Ah, light bulb moment for me 🙂

    @mudlark  I looked up synergestic and yes, that was what the Hybrid was -the closest thing anyway. It did not have to be one person with two areas like someone with a personality disorder or a metacrisis -after all, when you think about it, the Tennant doctor was  a Hybrid too. Could he have run away from Gallifrey as Hartnell when he heard that prophecy? Coz that makes sense too. He became two  -in fact Donna was also a Hybrid. Could be any number of prophecies. Sorry if others have said this before -in case.

    From Son.

    Anonymous @


    in regards ticking the boxes: at the end Clara says “you are hated” to me that ruined the idea of Gallifrey (Gallifrey was always an idea as well as a place to the companions and the Doctor I think -but not always. Not during the time war) so that it’s no more an “amazing place”. A bad planet (not all its people but those who think they are the only ones who count) therefore by Clara stating this I believe she can be the hybrid or part of the hybrid. If she has all those memories and possibly will live for a very long time she will become a Doctor in herself -a doctor-y person therefore she could go on to destroy a billion hearts -although I tend to think that part was the Doctor’s ‘role’ -to me, anyway, but you raise some good points. They are logical points and perfect logic in story always worries me. 🙂

    Also yes, I think Clara’ s story needs to be over as @bluesqueakpip suggested with Rose and how she was ‘everywhere’ in everything and all the time!  I think the Hybrid does have to do all three but one person of the two could complete one part of the prophecy and the other person, maybe the two remaining parts? Not sure -it’s confusing. I think the Hybrid issue should now be over. the Doctor is running from Gallifrey still because he must protect Clara but she’s on her own now so will he ever come back and will he need to?



    Anonymous @


    Mr P, thank you for the link: I read the bits near the end. The Dr clearly says “I became the hybrid”

    So, that’s ticked. Then in the actual episode, he doesn’t recognise the picture of Clara on his Tardis except in the final cut (which had other things changed I saw) -I’m glad he didn’t recognise her. In the Diner, she realises, finally he doesn’t. So it was the way we thought. I guess there’s no way getting round that -no ambiguity after all.


    Tegan @tegan

    I must say I really enjoyed the episode but I do have a question…

    Ok so the doctor has now forgotten Clara completely right? Including all of their adventures etc. But then how does he know anything about himself? He met her as the 11th and regenerated while with her, she has been his companion since the start so how does he know anything about himself if he has forgotten her and what they did together? (I suppose he had a few adventures while she was at home since she wasn’t always a full time traveler, but still).

    Either way a great episode but it does leave some questions unanswered, including what on earth is up with the timelords and Gallifrey?

    Anonymous @


    OK, so I’m 14, but if my mum disappeared or died, right? I’d still remember myself. I mean I am living right? I am alive and I do things: I eat, I go on adventures, I play soccer and I go to school. If she vanished and I forgot her I’d still do those same things. I’d still be a person just as the Doctor is going to be a Doctor. Right at the beginning of Deep Breath he forgets things -details, but he’s still the Doctor. Also he remembers Clara in a way -he knows the name and he can play a song. It’s shown he can play the Clara theme and knows her name even though he forgets their conversations. he’s not some creature than can only live if she lives. That would be weird. he would be no doctor then. He would be a robot.

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