Hell Bent

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    Anonymous @


    Sorry, I didn’t get back to you on that one, but seriously?:

    a harder fixed point in time

    Could that be like saying “a very unique experience” or something else ….I’m going to the pub where I’ll post something that “I think you’ll like very very much”  -this reminds me of a line the First Lady says in The West Wing to Bartlett ‘for some reason’ during their second election! 🙂

    In fact this will be from West Wing!

    Enjoy and happy NY to you too.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @oswino  when the doctor and me where talking she suggested that clara and the doctor may have a kid?.He shuts this down

    Whoah, what?!  That must have flown right by me . . . I’m sure there’s fanfic on the subject, but you’d have to google it, I think.

    @puroandson  the music perhaps last year whilst sweet and gimmicky has been replaced with a gorgeous sonorous tone, rapid changes in pulse and most interestingly, changes, quite exorbitant, to time signature -we have 5/4, 6/8, 9/4 etc… The use of percussion has been elevated,

    Gods, yes!  A whole different order of musical experience, IMO, though I can’t pinpoint the changes so thanks for doing that here.

    Anonymous @


    Whilst I ‘said’ it ‘Son’ typed it and so “exorbitant” came out when I believe I said “exhilarating” which, might, just might, make more sense.

    Life with a hybrid. 🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Puro Solo, how about “exhilaratingly exorbitant”?  Wonderful, anyway.  I’ve watched Heaven Sent/Hell Bent enough times now to come away without that weird sick-gut feeling I got the first few times — I kept thinking, during HS, “God, this is just *horrible*!  How can they *do* this?”  And I wasn’t talking about the writing or the acting or the music . . . Crazy, I’m telling you.  Started when I realized that the bloody, crusted hands during those crawling-up-the-tower-stairs-to-the-transporter-room scenes were about bashing the diamond wall, not an effect of the scorch-attack hands of the Veil — because the Veil’s hands never touched the Doctor’s hands, only his face.

    So I got to watch  HS paying most attention to the music.  Wow.  Just — well.  There’s some kind of spectacularly beautiful structure in the score that I don’t follow or understand, but it makes itself known.

    I do have some questions though; in HS, I’m still not sure exactly *what* the Doctor remembers of the whole ordeal and at what points in the repeating story and after it.  In my head there’s an irreconcilable conflict between “He comes to it fresh each time, and has to discover and interpret each clue each time” and the fact that somehow the spade ends up in the upstairs corridor.  *When* did he first put it there?  I mean, when did he have *time* to, if he only remembers the full situation (?) each time he’s followed all the clues and reached the diamond wall?  I can’t get my head through this particular tangle.

    And in HB, doesn’t the 50% chance that the blocker will block *his* memory rather than hers mean that there’s a 50% chance that she’ll still have memories of him in her mind that the TLs can use to find her — and getting rid of those memories, *hers*, for her own safety, was the whole point of the blocker?  Yes, “One of us has to go”, but the effect of *her* forgetting is to increase her security re a pursuit by the TLs intent on returning her to face the Raven.  The effect of *him* forgetting *her* only cancels the possibility of him being unable to resist searching for her to keep trying to help her evade the TLs (so they could find her by tracking him).  Maybe that’s okay with him, as the best set of alternatives they’ve got?  Once she says she never wanted him over-protecting her . . . (a questionable assertion in itself, see KtM).

    Mulling stuff over . . . addictive.


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @ichabod: Clara did return to Gallifrey in an instant of time and then had herself put back in her body for her death at Trap Street, so the Time Lords were none the wiser.   Except this “instant of time” was relative to her stopped pulse, her one moment of time left.   Clara even alludes to this:

    Clara: Mind you… seeing as I’m not actually ageing, there’s a tiny little bit of wiggle room, isn’t there?

    But there is one thing about the ending that becomes more and more annoying to me the more I watch it:  When the Doctor enters his TARDIS, he casually leans his guitar against part of the ship that could not possibly restrain it from crashing to the ground if the TARDIS is subjected to its usual turbulence traveling.  I refuse to believe this Doctor would behave so casually towards his instrument.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  Clara did return to Gallifrey in an instant of time and then had herself put back in her body for her death at Trap Street, so the Time Lords were none the wiser.

    Ah — okay, yes, if she pops out of time at a point shortly after her escape with CapDoc, the TLs wouldn’t know that she’d been gallivanting about time and space with Ashildr in between, unless they did exactly what CapDoc feared and tracked her by means of her memories of *him*, which weren’t wiped.  If that’s a real thing, then they’re probably already on her trail — all the while being on the lookout for splits and cracks in the S/T continuum because she hasn’t *yet* occupied her proper fixed point in time, that is, her death in Trap Street.  They’d be in a hell of a hurry to find her, I think, so a pursuit is pretty much certain; hence, “Run like Hell!” he advises her.

    I worry about the guitar, too, propped where it is at take-off; but I can well believe that he would put it aside without a second glance, as he no doubt puts aside the dark coat to put on the burgundy one.  He’s putting aside that whole story, casually, because why not, with all the emotional punch bled out of it for him?  I think he’ll need some time before he returns to those remnants of sad things past and gone.  Her theme dies away for good when he enters the Tardis for a reason: she, that is the Clara-shaped absence, is not in his thoughts now.

    Those days aren’t even a memory at that point — they’re just a story, and he’s already told it in the diner.  Maybe later, with time and distance, he’ll go back to making that story into a song.  Meanwhile, he does remember what he learned from Clara about accepting unwelcome inevitabilities — his mention of endings in “Husbands” tells us so.  Could be the young punk rocker in the older man is gone forever, matured out by bitter experience.

    I kinda hope not, though . . . and I hope that in S10 we occasionally get just an echo of Clara’s music at moments harking back to his life with her, or moments when he steps into a street or a room or a field that Clara and Ashildr and their Tardis had occupied recently in their own hidden travels.


    Anonymous @


    “not behave so casually?’ Come off it. Have you seen Hendrix? McCartney? Bowie? Me? (yeah, ok, not that one!).

    He’s lost and confused. The guitar is ‘fliff”

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @jimthefish Why thank you kind Fish. And you, with yet another “in universe” mention and all!  🙂

    @pedant and @Puroandson (Puro half)

    Just catching up here… I will have to be (relatively) brief as a) I have a deadline and b) I am sure everyone else on site is starting to roll the whites of their eyes re said topic.

    I think you are mis-characterising post-structuralist thought, and conflating it with the entities of “po mo” and “lit crit”, when post-structuralism is simply one current in the field of literary criticism and post-modernism is a style built into some art, literature etc.

    Derrida does not propound an “any old reading of a text goes” approach. In fact, Derrida was a “details man” and a close reader of texts. What he suggested was, that there are more things in the heaven and earth of a text than are dreamt of in the philosophy of the author.  Simon Critchley’s writings on the ethics of deconstruction, and the influence of the philosopher Levinas on Derrida’s thought are enlightening. It is from Levinas that being open to the “Other” comes.

    Fundamentally, Puro, we do disagree. You say:

    So my issue with reading a text like Hell Bent in a “new” and “interesting” way is that some theorists and reviewers will re-evaluate a text, rather than discover it according to the writer’s prime intent and so will re-invent a “voice” or “interpretation” for their own purposes. That is bad.

    I don’t think this is “bad” at all. It is what happens to stories as they pass through the ages. Jack Zipes’ work on the transformation over time of fairy tales is wonderful on this. Little Red Riding Hood as an oral folk tale, likely intended to initiate girls into womanhood (the red cloak as a symbol of menstruation) and its gradual transformation, in the transition from peasant folklore to bourgeois nursery tale over more than two hundred years (17<sup>th</sup> to 19<sup>th</sup> C) being one example. Or, indeed take Shakespeare. Modern productions of The Taming of the Shrew are staged by theatre creatives and received by audiences in societies transformed by the impact of feminisms, such that, a purist insistence on the return to Shakespeare’s “prime intent” is in fact profoundly impossible. We cannot read The Taming of the Shrew in the way that Elizabethan audiences read it.  Scholars can research the reception of that play during Shakespeare’s time, and I am all for the importance of that branch of textual scholarship. But, you cannot put modern audiences back into a sixteenth century box.  Ten Things I Hate About You (1999) is actually a lovely movie adaptation of Shrew for us moderns.

    Are any readings of modern Doctor Who which are not Moffat’s intended meanings “bad”?

    I read a really interesting piece (which I think I’ve mentioned before) on neuro-atypical fan readings of the Eleventh Doctor by audience members on the autism spectrum, who see in that Doctor, characteristics which they identify with as also placing him on that spectrum. Did Moffat intend audiences to read Eleven as on the autism spectrum? We don’t know. Assuming not, is it “bad” that some readers read him that way? Ye gods – the audacity! No – it’s wonderful, and it enriches the text in the world.

    Moffat in fact knows all about those who insist that texts should stay “pure” – hence the entire “Moffat  sucks… oh the lost glory of The Horns of Nimon etc.” brigade.

    Texts change as the world changes, and as we live and breathe them, thanks to creatives and the creativity of audiences, and that’s beautiful.

    Anonymous @


    I’ll add my actual quote first:

    and so will re-invent a “voice” or “interpretation” for their own purposes. That is bad.

    And you disagree that it’s “bad”. It isn’t if it’s an interpretation or a statement: “I see that (idea, thought etc) in your writing. That’s interesting”.

    Those in the opposition field of post structuralist thought -and I do not believe I am conflating it, btw,  are not concerned about the re-interpretation of stories. It is when they do this for their own purposes –as originally highlighted.

    That is often the next step. My rather long précis included a slim but fairly spot on history of the nature of structuralism -in all its forms, I felt, at least. I also have a fairly staunch opinion of feminism as ideology which perhaps wouldn’t tally with yours. And that’s OK.

    As for the issues brought up by Althusser and others: their critics believe po-mo is definitely the evil cousin, one even believes that feminism isn’t an ideology but rather a species shaping calibration (that would be me in an old MA of mine). Althusser, Baudrillard and others travelled between prime intent and author degradation: I named a few others I think who evoked the latter concept -to the extent that their meaning (the intended meaning of the author) is “degraded” and “decided” by a group of elites -perhaps those at universities, perhaps those watching a version of Shakespeare and re-shaping entire quadruplets. For what it’s worth I believe it’s a problem. But that’s just me. It is a question of the elites -not so much one of individuals watching a show and saying ‘oh wow, I can see this picture or this feeling being ’emoted’ ‘ -from that to the next step and the one after that is the problem.

    It’s the “what are the next ten words and the ten after that?” argument. That’s the tricky point, as I wrote in my last post.

    I think we agree to disagree. Also, I wonder if that part of technocratic society, so underfunded now, is going to slip away in any case.

    Forgive me if I don’t engage on this any further-certainly it is no disrespect to you but rather the length and complexity of the argument -one I believe we’re coming to by avenues in agreement. As Robert Manne once asked, “let it be said, it’s the elites which have the ball now. The question is, what will they do with it now?”

    Kindest, Puro

    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish I never said it was “bad” -as in the interpretation itself. I would not be so “audacious” as you may have implied (“ye Gods”) and so I should be very clear on that: what I said was how those interpretations are used, for what purposes, how they are decided (rather than discovered) and finally: authors of post-modernist works claim that the author lacks ownership of the text, that his or her writing lacks primacy -in other words, it is degraded so that repeated re-interpretations exist only for the sake of the elites so they can create ‘readings’ such as these:

    Little Red Riding Hood as an oral folk tale, likely intended to initiate girls into womanhood (the red cloak as a symbol of menstruation) and its gradual transformation, in the transition from peasant folklore to bourgeois nursery tale over more than two hundred years…

    And I digress (haven’t we been?) Because again this is an issue of a different blend –because these tales are oral and are passed down -as many Czech tales are also. This is much like a song woven through time and eventually changed -as I stated with the Stockhausen approach (often used in music departments now) and that is perfectly acceptable. I may not like the reading, certainly, but it’s a tale and not a modern piece such as a Shakespearean play, a Dylan Thomas poem, an Indonesian percussive composition or a book by David Lodge. As a piece spoken through time, perhaps with an anonymous author, we are somewhat at a loss.

    Those who have re-written History thru the lense of cultural studies and have had recent novels or stories peeled away to create ‘new readings’ decided by elites is not beautiful (to my mind) and it certainly isn’t just.

    I suppose that is why I came back to this point one last time and my apologies for doing so: I have no problem with a suggestion that a ‘view’ is a ‘nice one’ but when it disavows the writer completely (and lit crit and most branches of structuralism and post structuralism did this -remember Derrida’s closest friends) and slots him or her below the reader in order to inflate their ‘voice’ or ‘reading,’ then again, it isn’t that beautiful -but incredibly frustrating to the author themselves. I have no issue how someone interprets Eleven. Certainly, that idea isn’t even up for grabs! It has no chapter headings amongst the anti- post modern ‘readings.’

    I can view, and do, Eleven, through any prism I wish, but if critics continue to ‘mark up’ and ‘change up’ famous and infamous published stories then the “knowledge written for the knowledge sake [as Tartt once stated] will be lost”. We cannot afford to lose that -yes, we can discuss ideas emerging from the writer’s original intent, we can play with the ‘text’ to Antarctica and back, we can compare Ten to Doctor Eleven any which way, but the original markings in the script, the author’s take, if you will, is a priority -like a Desert Island disc -otherwise when we ourselves eventually drink from the Waters of Lethe we will not forget quite so easily that which grew the idea.

    I believe -to a fulsome extent- we are supporting the same principle so let’s clink glasses my friend. Always a pleasure.

    Kindest always, PuroSolo


    @juniperfish @puroandson

    Are any readings of modern Doctor Who which are not Moffat’s intended meanings “bad”?

    Which part of nobody is disputing that there are different readings are you having trouble understanding? Misrepresenting what is said for the third time is not going to make it true, it just looks a little tawdry.

    Sophistry not being a “details man”. The logic you present is that, since hydrogen burns and oxygen supports combustion, is must be possible that water is the most lethally inflammable substance on Earth.

    And seeing a half second moment does not open the door for “it was all a cunning plan” when the other 2,490 seconds and their supporting material say something different. It is just confirmation bias in action.

    But since you will doubtless misrepresent again, I’m out.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @juniperfish, @pedant and @puroandson–

    I’m kind of swithering between the two camps on this one — and this too will be my last utterance on the matter (I think Puro is right that this is a deeply complex subject for the forum. Perhaps a blog at some time in the future…).

    I think @juniperfish is right that there is a tendency to conflate all of ‘po-mo’ into one all-encompassing entity. (Though not necessarily that anyone here has done that. The arguments on both sides are quite nuanced, which might be part of the issue.) And it’s not just it’s opponents who do this. I’ve seen Cultural Studies departments who seemed to want to sweep their English counterparts away and dismiss all that came before. That should be utterly be resisted. I tend to think of all the various — and distinct — theories as tools in a toolbox. Sometimes they’re useful for a certain job (text), sometimes they’re not. Gubar’s readings of Jane Eyre, to give a dated example, were highly useful and relevant and revitalised Bronte studies.

    I also think @juniperfish is dead right that works are constantly being reinterpreted and re-evaluated. It’s not possible to read Hamlet — or even The Time Monster — the way historical audiences did. We’re recreating it when we watch it now. And adding nuance and subtle reinterpretation with every rewatch. (These forums are all the proof of that you need.) The reason Shakespeare has been so enduring is that he has been constantly been reinterpreted and made relevant for generations of audiences. That the source material is so strong is of course part of the reason but it’s not the whole story. Some of the reinterpretations are bad (Bowdler), some great. But each generation is essentially taking what is useful and (re) making it their own.

    The problem is when people assume this to mean a disregard of the original text. But it obviously doesn’t but that doesn’t mean the core text should always be in some kind of untouchable privileged position. Yes, core authorial intent is important and it should be the ultimate arbiter of whether an interpretation stands or not. You have to be able to point to the script and say ‘this is why my interpretation holds water’. But it’s also more slippery than that when you’re talking about film/TV etc because an actor’s interpretation of a line (or a director’s or even a set dresser’s or anyone involved in the production) can subtly alter or create new and valid interpretations. It’s not enough to say ‘SM didn’t write it so it’s not valid’. Authorial intent therefore has significant weight but I’m not sure it should ultimately ‘trump’ any other interpretation, as long as it can be argued convincingly enough. Besides which I tend to feel that privileging authorial intention too much leads us down the murky road of biographical fallacy and all that bollocks.

    And works of art never exist in a vacuum. It’s almost never a case of ‘unassailable genius’ to be meekly mopped up by a passive audience. To take a contemporary example, look at Star Wars. The original film was not such a hit because of the innate genius of George Lucas (subsequent films have revealed that ‘genius’ to be basically not there). It was as much to do with Vietnam, Watergate, a jaded film culture that had all but forced out family movies and left kids hungry for a film that wasn’t under-resourced, cynically patronising bollocks. Another example might be Spooks Code Nine which crashed and burned spectacularly. Now, in terms of quality it wasn’t the worst thing out there. It pressed all the right buttons but in an utterly mechanical way. It was competent, if uninspiring. But its cynicism turned people off. The point being is that the ‘art’ is created by the audiences as much as the ‘creators’. It’s not ‘if you build it, they will come’, it’s more ‘if you build it and it resonates they will come’.

    Anonymous @


    The problem is when people assume this to mean a disregard of the original text.

    Absolutely: and I suspect that is why we are more in agreement than not. When literary critical authors claim that the writer is limited in his perception of the object he was attempting to create, we have a problem. Habermas believes truth in writing and indeed, everywhere, is a form of agreement reached by rational discussion: in other words, the truth of an artist’s oeuvre not only doesn’t exist but it’s not a relationship between an individual and the world -and I believe this de-levels the writer’s primacy.

    I guess that was what I was attempting to say. At no point is “interpretation of a piece of writing, bad”. To suggest this is to claim “we must never have differing opinions about what we read as script or  novel” and that’s not my position. That would be quite insane.

    As you stated yourself: I also think @juniperfish is dead right that works are constantly being reinterpreted and re-evaluated.

    The empirical po-mo gentlemen believed that truth wasn’t discovered, even “re-evaluated” (as Junefish said above and you tagged)  but decided -and that I have a small issue with together with the elites who like de Certeu believe that writers manufacture stories and we as ‘audience’, can – with the help of the elites, re-manufacture them (these treasured stories) to suit our ‘current context’ whilst different cultures create their own “truths”  and even deny the ability of human beings to gain direct contact with, or access, to, reality.

    I don’t have a problem with what you wrote Jim -my situation involves the points above. I do feel that the comments I’ve made about specific ‘name mentioned’ post modernists hasn’t really been discussed. And if junefish writes (and that happens  – it’s OK) “you conflate both types of post modernist thought” -it’s therefore important to name check the individuals behind the movement which we’ve concurred was quite complex. I believe I did that. We mustn’t be afraid of that complexity because without it, we may well render our individual disciplines extinct.

    Certainly in History and Music, anyway.

    I’m out too!

    This is like Poker. 🙂

    maybe a blog – but boy, do we have to? I think we’ve gained a lot already amongst friends here. 🙂

    Let’s just do Buffy again!


    Anonymous @


    Ah heck, I’m terrible with poker anyway. It’s possibly not “privileging of the author’s intention”  we should connote or focus on. I’m more concerned that we need to consider the author’s privilege. They have the first go at interpreting their own work. I believe we owe them that at least.

    I think Lizst would agree -in fact I know Beethoven did -via John Connor. So from a musicians point of view…

    mamablue @mamablue


    I am brand new to the forum and a nuWhovian as well.   My daughter’s friend suggested she check out the show and got me hooked in the process. We’ve only been watching for about a year and a half but thanks to Netflix are all caught up with the AG seasons. We’ve only watched a few of the original series but I’ve read a lot of the plots from the BG series.

    David Tennant is my favorite Doctor but I think Peter Capaldi is a brilliant Doctor and amazing actor. That being said I haven’t enjoyed these last two seasons as much as I enjoyed the storyline of Matt Smith’s Doctor. I just don’t think the stories have been that good. I read somewhere that the ratings have been down. I am sure there is some out there that were just watching because Matt Smith was ‘cute’ but honestly I just didn’t have the ‘I need to watch the next one right now’ feeling. I agree with the person who said that only Peter Capaldi’s Doctor could have carried the opening scenes of him on Gallifrey not saying anything but saying it all with his eyes and expressions; in my opinion the issue is definitely not Mr. Capaldi and Jenna Coleman has been a brilliant ‘second doctor’.

    Just one more comment…when the Doctor told the story of running away with the President’s daughter, my thought wasn’t Susan but the expression ‘running off & getting married’. Even in the new series he has mentioned being a dad and a grandfather. That would be a lot of Who history to rewrite by making Susan really someone else’s daughter.

    Happy New Year, everyone.

    Here’s to hoping that the January 2017 series 10 release predictions are wrong. 😉

    Anonymous @


    I read somewhere that the ratings have been down.

    If this Forum has taught me anything, it’s not to believe random ideas.

    The ratings? They’re not down at all. This is simply a yourube theory that sprouts.

    (I had to include a Christmas vegetable there somewhere).  🙂

    I personally have loved these last two years beyond anything I’ve ever seen on television -alongside Buffy, of course.

    Still, there’s plenty in it for everyone and we hope you enjoy next year and anticipate some ‘love’ towards it. Welcome to the Forum and the bonkerising theories we have.


    Puro and Son (The Hybrid)



    I read somewhere that the ratings have been down.

    Overnight ratings (people watching on the day of broadcast, before midnight) are down for all shows except those with a live element (Strictly, for instance). All shows, no exceptions. In 2005 everyone watched live because there was little real choice. The days of 28m people watching the Morecambe & Wide Xmas special are long gone.

    Consolidated ratings (Overnights and those watching on eg Sky+ , BTTV etc) are consistently in the 7-8m range, with occasional peaks. Overnights for this season were quite badly battered by the Rugby World Cup (major live sports are a ratings hoover) added to the BBC actively protecting Strictly’s schedule position.

    Plus, of course the viewership is now global.

    I think season 9 was the most powerful since Matt Smith’s first (which will always hold a special place for me) and the acting quite outstanding.

    I doubt they will re-write Susan’s relationship.

    Anonymous @

    OK, I have this (conspiracy 😉 ) theory which might be insane, but after I re-watched entire season 9 I nevertheless decided to share it with you here 😀 :

    We know that on Rassilon’s orders someone messed with Doctor’s confession dial. Doctor gave dial to Ohila and Ohila sent it to Missy. Lots of people believe Missy was the one who “designed” his torture chamber which is understandable, because, hey it is Missy 🙂

    However, after I found some (possibly?) unused scripts this caught my eye:

    CLARA: So. The Doctor gave you this?
    MISSY: Of course not. He isn’t vulgar. The sisterhood of Karn were his chosen messengers. If he’s relying on that demented knitting circle, he’s in a lot of trouble. 

    It seems to me that Missy does not like sisterhood at all and does not trust them. So, is it possible that sisterhood or even Ohila messed up confession dial, but not because they are afraid of Hybrid or devoted to Rassilon (:D ). I will clarify my reasons why would they want to do that later.

    I know that Doctor Who is not a soap opera (thank you God!) but lack of Ohila’s sympathy towards Doctor after he came out of confession dial seriously bothered me. It seems to me that Ohila came to Gallifrey just because she knew that when Doctor returns to Gallifrey it will lead to serious political changes and not because of care she feels for the Doctor. I mean, he got more sympathy and understanding from Ashildr and War General than from her. Moreover Ohila should be some authority/mother/mentor figure to Doctor. I do not say that she had to sit and mope with him, but we are talking about man who spent billions of years in torture chamber after he had lost Clara whom he did not even get a chance to grieve (we all know how grieving is terribly important part of healing). When Doctor got out of confession dial, he was half insane, sad and angry, and the first thing he did when he came back on Gallifrey was going to barn to grieve (and he could not do it properly because, yeah, Time Lords want him immediatly on their service 😀 ).

    And here the conspiracy part begins:

    As far as I remember sisterhood are “descedants” of Pythia, religion (or cult? something like that) who were kicked out of Gallifrey and sent to Karn. What if sisterhood trapped Doctor so he could come back to Gallifrey and become the president? And after he becomes the President, sisterhood would leave Karn and settle back again on Gallifrey and thus, indirectly rule Gallifrey?

    Whoa, this REALLY is a conspiracy theory 😉

    What do you think 🙂 ?

    Anonymous @


    Well wow, that’s pretty good.

    Isn’t the sisterhood wandering around Gallifrey whenever they want? In the Council Chamber, in the Cloisters? They seem to be pretty ‘set’ already?

    Still, well thought out. Awesome


    Son of Puro

    Anonymous @

    Hi there Mr @pedant

    Yes, thank you for the clarifying that for @mamablue. I think you’re right about the overnights. Mum said they were not down but they’re down as ‘overnights’ for every show? Ah hah. I get it now because we never watch stuff when it’s on anyway.

    I remember back in ’05 (well, I was 5 so not much) but Dad would go “hey Ecclestone’s on come and see”. I usually got scared and Mum put me to bed -those weird “I want my mummy kids”.

    Scared wittless. But you had to see it then -not later. Same with Midsomer Murders I guess.

    Son of Puro -Happy New   year to everyone.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant I think season 9 was the most powerful since Matt Smith’s first (which will always hold a special place for me) and the acting quite outstanding.

    Cheers! With on that.

    @timecahoot lack of Ohila’s sympathy towards Doctor after he came out of confession dial seriously bothered me. It seems to me that Ohila came to Gallifrey just because she knew that when Doctor returns to Gallifrey it will lead to serious political changes and not because of care she feels for the Doctor. I mean, he got more sympathy and understanding from Ashildr and War General

    Yes, Ohila’s peculiarly bitter anger struck me as odd. It would have been even more noticeable without the Lord President Hambone’s gallumphing about. Ohila’s reaction had the flavor, to me, of the disappointment of someone (the enemy inside the friend you don’t even like?) who has wheedled you into position to play a part in some scheme of theirs, and then gets gobsmacked by the fact that you’ve gone and done something entirely else instead. Higgins is very good: I wonder if that was a “motivation” she came up with for her character that never needs to be explained because, well, there’s nothing she can do to mend it (whatever her plan was) once CapDoc has irrevocably queered the pitch by being the person he is.

    When Doctor got out of confession dial, he was half insane, sad and angry, and the first thing he did when he came back on Gallifrey was going to barn to grieve

    I don’t think so.  I think he’s *done* his grieving inside the Confession Dial, full force — Moffat refers to it this way, and I believe it: “Everyone gets trapped in the Castle of Grief sometime.” So no, I don’t think he went to the barn to grieve. I think he went to the barn to lie in his old bed up in the hayloft and *think*, concentrating on how to take revenge in a way that will also rescue Clara. He’ll show the bastards — by reversing the collateral damage of Trap Street and saving her, a person clearly of no importance whatever to his enemies, but supremely important to him.

    This is what he’s doing when he goes back into the barn the first two times they come to meet him: thinking through his plan (does it include the use of the neural block, or is that an improvisation on the spot?).

    Oh, and thanks, upthread, for the link to the Heaven Sent script! It settled my question about how many years in the Dial he remembers. The direction on page 48 (page #’s are lower righthand corner), upper middle, “FLASHBACK — the word Bird” and following — this is where he remembers realizing what has to be done to escape, because this is where he remembers all of it: getting this far, to this realization and *memory*, each time.  Follow up on page 50, where he’s telling Tardis-Clara he doesn’t want to go further (start hammering the wall down) because the prospect is just too horrible, and he says outright, “But I can remember, Clara.  I can remember it all, every time!”  I take this to mean, he can remember the whole journey from the transporter room to this revelation at the wall (that he’s already come that far, over and over, for 7,000 yrs, and knows he’ll forget and start blank again at the beginning next time around, and all the times to come, up to that point of revelation).

    So when he finally steps out of the Dial in Hell Bent, he’s in the latest edition of his body built off the record of his first arrival in the transporter room.  But *mentally* he has had his latest revelation of remembering at the wall before attacking it again.  So he brings out with him the memory of all 4 and a half billion years of his repeating ordeal, plus this final iteration that ends with the escape he has won for himself by putting in that time, labor, pain, and sheer ferocious will.

    Hell.  At that point, anybody else would be *way* crazier than he is!  Especially since he was sent to the Dial not as his normal Doctor self but as *this* guy (to Ashildr): “The Doctor isn’t here!  You’re stuck with me!”

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    At least from The Rings of Akhaten, which was written by Neil Cross and not by Moffat, the Doctor’s knowledge of beginnings and endings may dwarf that of anyone who has ever lived in the universe:

    DOCTOR: I walked away from the last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time. No space. Just me. I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a mad man. I’ve watched universes freeze and creations burn. I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe. I have lost things you will never understand. And I know things. Secrets that must never be told. Knowledge that must never be spoken.

    Anonymous @


    thankyou for that beautiful speech you wrote out:  I have adored that so much. I still love Matt’s speeches written by whomever. Mum now loves Peter’s.

    Still, it’s powerful and very sad the way he delivers it.

    The new year: sad and also beautiful. Things are now a lot older but there is newness too.

    Happy new year.

    Son of Puro

    birdtomahawk @birdtomahawk

    Featuring Donald Trumper as Rassilon T Davies, Tom and Stephen ask some serious questions about Hell Bent. Questions like: Has Clara learned anything? Was the Doctor’s triumphant return to Gallifrey underwhelming? And who should play the Meddling Monk, now that the Time Lords are back? (we liked it, by the way)

    Anonymous @


    So I listened to your review and was stuck on a few things  -love the spot: Rassilion in other episodes (Pertwee, Sarah Jane) but —–>

    “Was that a homophobic slur? [Moffat] much like the way he despises women.”

    I must be a bit thick, I’m assuming this was a joke, right? Must be. Apologies if I got that wrong.

    To this: “the Doctor defeats Rassilion with peace, that is so the Doctor” -a little generalised, no? I have seen many episodes where the Doctor rails away at the antagonist also. He is just as much a man of action as not. He refers constantly to the method in which he defeats his enemies: “don’t ever let me talk” for example (Smith, Tennant, Capaldi)

    I agree with the man flu parallel and Tennant’s drama queen approach which I didn’t particularly like at the time and appears dated. I do like where you’ve added scenes which remind us of previous series.

    Is Moffat really saying to the audience, “I’ll shut you up” -re the General’s regen and the Master as you speculate? I would think this is more of a set up to the next Doctor as possibly a female actor, no?

    I would agree that some lines are “muttered away” -tonal problem but I do think everything is tied up nicely by the end. It needs several watches. And yes, “I guess they unfroze it” was a good statement. Clever and didn’t need further extension.

    The Billion Hearts were the Doctor’s own hearts in Heaven Sent, surely?

    Is it a prophecy only? I think if you read above posts you’ll pick up on the algorithim idea which is more than a prophecy -though the ‘label’ is certainly necessary for our understanding.

    Interesting review, thank you.



    birdtomahawk @birdtomahawk

    @puroandson Thank you very much for your response to our review, we’ve never had one quite so detailed before so we hugely appreciate it!

    I can confirm that the homophobic slur part was a joke from Stephen, he really disagrees with the popular view that Moffat despises women.

    With regards to defeating the villain with peace, I guess we see it as what the Doctor would like to always do rather than what he has always done. But you raise a good point.

    And also thank you for the clarification on the prophecy, makes much more sense now!


    Tom, Bird Gnomeahawk

    Anonymous @


    No problem at all -I thought the “despises women” was a joke but sadly these days when one reads the Graun, BTL, you get a sense that half the literate world believes this. I can appreciate a point of view but it leaves me vexed!

    Yes, quite so on the nature of the Doctor and peace. As you said, the thematic tie-ins were all present and accounted for -vis-à-vis Zygon Inversion etc as well as episodes from 2014.

    I enjoyed HS a lot – I felt that it may have benefitted from a further 10 mins -it did seem a tad rushed in places but on the other hand, the plot itself underwrote the lack of time the Doctor had to achieve his goal. Whether shooting the general or rushing into the Cloister he was aware that stealing a Tardis again was the only option together with the neural bloc. I think the latter has brought about quite a discussion up thread regarding whether the Doctor “knew all along” on whom it would work.

    Script identification may help clarify this as well as other points you’ve mentioned.

    If you have time to scan the above posts there’s quite the vivid and fierce conversation.



    Anonymous @


    I was just on your site which is great and then was astounded by some absolute clap trap by a MrTARDIS reviews -just complete “sack Moffat. Moffat stop it” etc etc.

    Frighteningly, BTL were even more “sack Moff” comments.

    The dreck is worrying to me. I had to respond didn’t I? It won’t garner anything because the words I use won’t be understood by many BTL users. Still. I checked the ‘like’ rating and 1/4 or more didn’t agree with MrTARDIS reviews. That’s something at least.

    The Graun isn’t good either -the BTL, I mean, but Dan Martin himself is a steady as you go reviewer.

    I must not punish myself with this stuff. Life is too short, no?

    Kindest, PuroSolo




    I may have chipped in…

    Missy @missy

    Can anyone come up with a new adjective for this episode?
    I cannot find any to fit, they all fall short.

    Did it get into your heads and stay for most of the day?
    It got into mine and it took an age to shake it out.

    Did any of you dream about it, after taking forever to fall asleep in the first place?
    I did!

    During Heaven Sent, I thought that the Hybrid might be the Doctor, half Time Lord, half human, I said so to my OH.
    Whether this is actually the case – who nose!

    The switch of making the Doctor forget Clara, was pure genius – in fact the whole episode was pure genius.
    I unashamedly bawled my eyes out.

    There, I’ve run out of things to say, what can I say. Perhaps that for me, this series has been the best yet.

    Steven Moffat is a force to be reckoned with.

    Now I shall watch the series all over again, it was well worth waiting for.

    Cheers – in awe,


    Anonymous @


    Oh LOL. I shall go and look.

    Christ isn’t he a dick!

    <broad smile>

    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy  Of “Heaven Sent” + adjectives –“Mind-blowing” just seems so, so weak somehow . . . but it was.  Also I found it viscerally painful, and that feeling lasted for a couple of days.  Like a . . . toothache?  The kind you keep poking back to your mental foreground with your tongue, because damn it.  Something.  Because, beautiful/horrible?

    I do wish, though, that they’d just left it at “Tell them I came the long way ’round,” instead of that rather silly ambiguity about Me being the hybrid.  There are reasons, naturally, for inserting a reminder there at the end about the hybrid; but it just doesn’t work for (small m) me, and detracts from the near-perfection of “Heaven Sent”.  It’s not as if the DW audience *needed* a “cliff hanger” to lure them into tuning in the next weekend for “Hell Bent”.

    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @ichabod I had exactly the same feeling after that episode as I did when I got to the end of the novel ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan. It just, well, had me in knots and stayed with me for several days afterwards. Even now my mind wanders back to it every so often.

    I actually think introducing ambiguity about the ‘hybrid’ had a greater purpose here, and was a set up for that discussion between him and Ashildr about why he’s so preoccupied with protecting Earth, i.e. because he’s half human, which I don’t think was just a throwaway discussion. He certainly wasn’t convincing when he denied it. I’m ok with Gallifrey being a bit of an anti-climax in this episode if we’re delving deeper into The Doctor’s past next series. Honestly, if you’re going to do that, there’s no better Doctor to do it with. An origin storyline would suit Capaldi down to the ground.

    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    I’m sorry guys, but I’m just not feeling it.

    Capaldi is the most irritating Doctor since Colin Baker (maybe worse).

    I like a multi-layered story but lately it’s getting ridiculous.

    Clara is a most forgettable companion (pun intended).  She started out with nuance and mystery only to end with confusion and broken storylines.

    She’s in love.  Oh, he dies.  But maybe he can come back.  Oh no, he can’t – hours wasted on a dead end story.  Oh yes, her Cyber-lover ends up saving the world, but that’s pretty tame compared to waiting a thousand years outside the Pandorica for your love or surrendering yourself to the Angels so you can live out your lives together.

    How does her story end?  Traveling around with another immortal woman, like two old spinsters on holiday (except for the fact that they both look about 15-years-old).  How anti-climatic.

    And it seems to me that the ratio of good stories to tolerable ones has slipped below the 50% mark.  But I’ll admit that Matt Smith/Amy Pond/River Song is a tough act to follow.

    Picking Doctors is not a science and I guess three-out-of-four is a pretty good scorecard, but to me Capaldi is a dud.

    It’s like they’re not doing Doctor Who anymore – they’re doing a “camp” version of Doctor Who (a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture) and Capaldi is Adam West.

    I’ll continue to cringe my way through the rest of his reign and wait for either better stories or a better Doctor.

    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @ob-wan Personally, I think that it’s Clara who was the deadwood and Jenna Coleman should have been allowed to go at the end of Series 8 when she wanted to after the Danny Pink debacle. That’s why a lot of the storylines have really dragged this year. For me, anyway.

    I don’t think you could be more wrong about Capaldi, however. Of course it always comes down to personal preference, but I believe he’s actually the most subtle, nuanced actor they’ve had on this run of the show.  Yeah, the writing has left a lot to be desired at times, but again that has loads to do with them tying themselves in knots over what to with Clara. I’d suggest you hang on for Series 10 and see what they do with a clean slate.

    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    “the most subtle, nuanced actor”

    Oh God, I don’t even know where to begin with that one.

    Does riding on a tank playing heavy metal guitar ring a bell?  I know, one example, but I don’t have time for more.

    So we’ll have to agree to disagree.


    Anonymous @


    you seem really familiar to me? Do I know you?

    Maybe you’re at school with me?

    Anyway, hallo and welcome to the site. It’s good to have new members all ways . So let me extend my welcomes.

    Still, I like what you said -interesting. I’d have two little things to say. I’m 14 and so you don’t need to define ‘camp’. Where did you get that definition?

    That was the first.

    The second: when an actor comes in on a tank, standing pretty still, then playing  guitar in style of calm folk hero, this is still ‘nuanced’.

    I start Year 9 in One Week.  Whoo -hoo.


    Son of Puro



    There are two ways you can prosper in this forum:

    1) Have something interesting and pertinent to say;

    Striiiike 1

    2) Root what you say in a theory of literature or at the very least a clear grasp of storytelling, its purpose and role;

    Striiiike 2.

    3) Be witty

    Striiike 3. Yer out!

    I realise that technically that three ways. So sue me.

    Seriously. If all you have is the ARSE-laden ramblings of a hormonal teenager, then prepare to get used to us pointing at you and laughing.

    Seriously. Read the thread and see the sort of standards we aspire to around here. ‘Cos this ain’t Youtube.


    PS You will have to search the forum to look up ARSE. Or, you know, look in a mirror. That might help.

    Anonymous @


    Settle down Son, it’s all good. People can disagree and you’ve seen me at my worst!

    Ah, where was I?

    Ichi: Yes, the “Me” at the end probably wasn’t necessary -to some. But honestly, some people do need a reason to tune in: I saw it more as an addendum (Son is helping type this as I’m a bit unwell and we’re having problems with addendum -but it auto corrects!!) than a cliffhanger.

    The episode was very visceral as you said (oh, he knows that one) but for the newbies we just might need to define visceral? No?

    I won’t. 🙂

    OK. @doctordani

    Spot on: he is a very nuanced actor and one must distinguish between scene setting and monologues in Hell Bent or Heaven Sent: if a director and show runner suggests “stand on this tank and later yell “dude” ” then if you’re Peter, you’re probably going to do it.

    If you’re a show runner who suggests “explain hybrid for me by reading the script” then you’re going to do it. I agree with you entirely.

    Welcome by the way @doctordani, I was elsewhere when you joined. When I wrote “newbie” I did not mean you at all -I meant our very recent newbie(s). We hope you enjoy this fantastic little place (growing bigger by the day)

    Ah, Son wants breakfast, have to give orders…..


    Puro and Son.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @ob-wan

    We do indeed aspire to the best. I was thinking of young Casey with a sneer across his face:

    “If only Casey could but get a whack at that.

    We’d put up even money now with Casey at the bat”

    And I’m not even from the States and I know that darn poem.

    This is our aspiration: we add to the sum of knowledge here, not take it away.

    Son is eating cake and smiling broadly. Beaming really. He loves it when Uncle and Mum do poetry time. Normally it’s a bit of Banjo Patterson but today it was Thayer.

    Kindest, PuroSolo.

    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @ob-wan Yeah, as others have pointed out, you’re confusing the script with the actor. I’m not even sure the tank thing is the best example. It was meant to be over the top and was a deliberate anachronism. My point about Capaldi is that he can do more in one look than most can, even when the writing is letting him down.

    @puroandson Thanks for the warm welcome!

    Anonymous @

    @doctordani @ob-wan

    Indeed DoctorD you’re right -it’s not the best example. Nuance and subtlety have their place as do deliberate literary and pop rock devices.

    With the tank people need to realise exactly where that came from. What does it remind people of?

    Once the viewers understand this, they’ll also comprehend what Moffat and co. were attempting to communicate in that scene.

    To somehow then state “Capaldi isn’t nuanced because of the tank scene” is getting it all upside down and wrong way up” (that’s also a reference, btw).

    It’s suggesting that the viewer believes nuance comes from quiet, sensitive scenes -like a particularly gentle dialogue with Davros -when it does not.

    It’s suggesting that the viewer doesn’t comprehend the nature of the tank scene and has difficulty recognising modernistic references leading to a belief that a loud entrance isn’t nuanced -when, actually, it is exactly that -if you understand the reference in the first place.

    To understand it means you must recognise both modernistic references and History (not just small ‘h’ history either)

    Kindest Puro Solo

    Anonymous @


    Ah I saw your post on the Sofa where you mentioned @ichabod

    Just put a @ in front of people and they should respond -though, busyness and life in general can make things difficult occasionally.

    I completely missed your post about the adjective for this particular episode.

    I agree, it was sensational as an episode despite what a member above said “oh God I don’t know where to begin with that one” in response to a lovely member’s post who was being very positive indeed. It’s not that we dislike criticism -it’s essential to have differing opinions but one must be incisive and kind. And you are.

    I digress.

    I don’t have an adjective for this? I have several words   🙂

    Refined, aesthetic, unburdened, dense, keen, lustrous, weighty.

    In short, “my green age” sums it up for me (Dylan). Or, “my burning youth”



    PS: I hope you are enjoying your first watch from your DVD

    ichabod @ichabod

    @doctordani  . . . introducing ambiguity about the ‘hybrid’ had a greater purpose here, and was a set up for that discussion between him and Ashildr about why he’s so preoccupied with protecting Earth, i.e. because he’s half human

    Well, it keeps that bit of kerfuffle alive, I suppose, and anything that maintains DW’s flexible backstory is worth keeping, if only to give future show-runners and writers maximum leeway to refresh the stories with material about unresolved issues.  Personally, I like my Doctor fully alien and so in need of the humanization he gets from his companions; which is really, I think, just reconnection with the natural inner reserves of empathy and compassion that a TL is *not* supposed to have.  That he does have such hidden depths is part of what makes him a “rebel” TL, IMO.  I would also love to see more attention to his past, by the way — but it’s a delicate balance.  We must always leave him his mystery.  If you want plain old human male + immortality, we got that with Capt. Jack.

    @missy   The switch of making the Doctor forget Clara, was pure genius – in fact the whole episode was pure genius.  I unashamedly bawled my eyes out.

    Yup.  It hit me when her painted image was left behind in bits by the departure of the Tardis: it’s over, and they’ve both moved on in the most definite ways.  Thank you, Steven Moffat, for an absolutely brilliant resolution of this quite amazingly varied and vibrant love story, or *whatever* the hell it was . . . and by the way, I think the writing has been, by and large, excellent: clever, efficient, and wide-enough ranging in tone to please the varied audience.

    @ob-wan  How does her story end? Traveling around with another immortal woman, like two old spinsters on holiday (except for the fact that they both look about 15-years-old). How anti-climatic.

    How nasty a remark about two physically young women off adventuring together.  What on earth made you think that this is a den of reactionary machismo-hounds here?  Personally, I’m delighted to see Clara fly off in her own Tardis, the closest thing to a female Doctor the BBC will (reportedly) allow Moffat to get, and with her own companion — a fitting reward for ambitious, bold, impulsive Clara.  As for subtlety and nuance, I think the lack is in the eye of the beholder in this case: what Capaldi brings is *range* — goofy comedy, affectionate satire, a dash of camp, scenery chomping where suitable, the stillness and poise of an ancient being, the intense psychological subtlety of, say “see me” in Deep Breath or the end of “Husbands” on Darillium.  And daring of a gifted, mature professional, who’ll take a crack at anything and make it work or die trying (a rare occurrence, because Capaldi *is* so gifted and so intelligent — see his comment in the Extra on Heaven Sent, re not knowing whether it really would work until they could see the whole thing done, so he throws himself into it with his best — which, it turns out, is very, very good).

    The limitations mentioned in your post are, IMO, all yours.  Please, don’t subject yourself to “cringing” your sour way through Capaldi’s run; nobody’s keeping you, and I doubt you’d be missed.  *Sigh*.  I’m not as tolerant as PuroSolo, nor as polite as Son of Puro (a true gent).  Tut.

    Actually, @pedant put it much more succinctly (thank you, p):   If all you have is the ARSE-laden ramblings of a hormonal teenager, then prepare to get used to us pointing at you and laughing.  Seriously. Read the thread and see the sort of standards we aspire to around here. ‘Cos this ain’t Youtube.

    Likewise PuroSolo (the kind one):  the viewer doesn’t comprehend the nature of the tank scene and has difficulty recognising modernistic references leading to a belief that a loud entrance isn’t nuanced -when, actually, it is exactly that -if you understand the reference in the first place.


    @puroandson  we just might need to define visceral? No? I won’t. 🙂  

    I will, or give a start, anyway: felt in the guts, which are your viscera; powerful feelings not bothering with the brain but rooted in the depths of the body: fear, pain, ecstasy, hunger, rage, love, et al.  Art that strikes that deep strikes home, and is not forgotten.  PuroSolo, modify?  And I like “lustrous” a lot, for Heaven Sent.  Yes; yes, it is.

    @craig   Um; can we ditch the dentist, please? (I know there’s a great joke about this lurking around here someplace, but I just can’t put me finger on it . . . )


    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan <– I put your comment in the TARDIS translation circuit and this is what came out…

    I do not like the pompous man; I do not wish him for a friend; he’s built on such a gorgeous plan, that he can only condescend; and when he bows his neck is sprained; he walks as though he owned the earth – as though his vest and shirt contained all that there is of Sterling Worth. With sacred joy I see him tread, upon a stray banana rind, and slide a furlong on his head and leave a trail of smoke behind. – Walt Mason

    Pertinent enough?  Literary enough?  Witty enough?

    Sorry, I was minding my own business and then you started with the name-calling.

    Missy @missy


    Glad that it wasn’t just me, and ‘mind blowing? Good adjective.

    Perhaps the reference to ‘the long way round’ was to get devotees wondering whether or not we’ll see Clara again and

    thinking up various scenarios?

    SM hinted that it wasn’t likely, but then he’s like the Doctor – he lies.



    Missy @missy


    Missy said: The switch of making the Doctor forget Clara, was pure genius – in fact the whole episode was pure genius. I unashamedly bawled my eyes out.

    @ichabod replied:Yup. It hit me when her painted image was left behind in bits by the departure of the Tardis: it’s over, and they’ve both moved on in the most definite ways. Thank you, Steven Moffat, for an absolutely brilliant resolution of this quite amazingly varied and vibrant love story, or *whatever* the hell it was . . . and by the way, I think the writing has been, by and large, excellent: clever, efficient, and wide-enough ranging in tone to please the varied audience.

    Now thatscene was particularly poignant, as was the two Tardis’s flying off in opposite dierections.



    Missy @missy


    All of those adjectives fit the bill. Of course we need citicism, but not necessarily that negative.

    Ta muchly for answering.



    Missy @missy


    Although i really enjoyed the first three Doctors (since 2005) each with their varied ways of potraying the Doctor.

    Peter Capaldi has brought something special to the part, in my opinion he is more ‘human’ than the other three.

    It’s interesting to read other points of view, but seriously (as clara would say) there is no need for you to carry

    on watching the programme if you detest it so mcuh – is there?




    Oh my God! You can Google!

    Now, do you have anything interesting to say?

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