Hell Bent

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  • #54513
    SeverusOswald @severusoswald

    @missrori

    I think that it’s just the Doctor coming to terms with the fact that Clara’s time had come to die and he had to move on and stop sulking and start being the Doctor. I agree, though, that the story arc wasn’t as good as in series 8, but I did enjoy the episode.

    #54514
    MissRori @missrori

    @severusoswald Well, yeah, I see where he needed to do that!  It’s just that he doesn’t have anything to move on to at the end, and no reason to keep being the Doctor.  The whole sad experience just goes to show why he shouldn’t be the Doctorbecause it will always leave him lonely, unappreciated, and unrewarded in the end.

    #54516

    @missrori

    In any case…after he gives up his chance at happiness and lets Clara go….why does he choose to keep being the Doctor in the end?  What he goes through in this story arc goes to show that nobody appreciates his work.  Nobody gives him a miracle when he needs it.

    The thing with good people is that they are good whether they are appreciated or not. It is part of the definition. Being ‘good’ for the prize of a pat on the back is just expedience, a mere business transaction.

    Being good when nobody even notices? That’s heroic.

    #54518
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @missrori

    The thing is, I don’t actually believe that we are “owed” happiness, and I don’t think that the Doctor would believe that, either. I think we have to earn happiness, and we do that, not be doing good things and being rewarded, but by choosing to be happy. We have to choose happiness, regardless of whatever we are dealt that might not make it easy. We have been left hanging for a very long time with the Doctor’s story, but we did have one little glimpse of his post-Clara life in the Christmas special, and it does seem to me that he has chosen happiness, once again. He has always chosen it, it’s how he has been able to let go of all those companions that he loved in the past. As for “being the Doctor”, I don’t think that’s something that he can choose. We saw Eleven try it after losing Amy and Rory, and it didn’t work out terribly well for him then. He certainly wasn’t happy. My two cents.

    #54520
    Anonymous @

    It’s all so Sisyphean

    I don’t think it is @missrori -imho.

    Sisyphus was pretty rotten and continually lied.

    That’s the first thing.

    Second thing, he (doctor) does choose happiness -and I think, compared with many TLs and many humans his life is pretty great: at 2000 years old and counting. Compare his misery with his joy and I think joy would win 1st prize.

     

    #54521
    Anonymous @

    The whole sad experience just goes to show why he shouldn’t be the Doctor…because it will always leave him lonely, unappreciated, and unrewarded in the end.

    Oh no @missrori that makes it sound depressing?  🙂

    But maybe so.  Is he unappreciated? unrewarded? I don’t have the knowledge about early Who that you do but from Eccleston I remember a fair bit and I thought his need for companions was partly so he could feel rewarded and feel loved in that he could show them amazing things. Through his eyes planets maybe ‘meh’ but in their eyes he could see beauty again. He chose great, fun mates to see the world with so he wouldn’t be lonely.

    I totally agree though: it was very sad and I think from this point on we’ll see a very different set of ‘doctor’ experiences.

    Doctors: get a bad rap 🙂

    #54526

    @thane15 @missrori

    You realise that new handle is going to get really confusing on your 16th right? 😉

    We actually know – because we have been shown in text, many times – that he is both appreciated and loved. The ordinary people of Gallifrey stood between him and many guns; and many other worlds have legends of The Doctor (a Gallifreyan word).

    But that isn’t why he does what he does.

     

     

    Oh! How awesome is this: the Mac dictionary has Gallifrey in it!

    #54528
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    except I’m still 14 so I thought that it would last for 13 months? 🙂

    Hey, you did a post splurge. That’s a first for you!

    Yes I think the Doctor is loved: he ought to know it from the Wedding of River Song when River spoke about how all the life forms in “all the universe responded to our call.”

    I’ve a soccer day today: 7 matches of 30 mins each with 10 mins break in between. And it’s over 31 degrees. But I love the heat. Mum doesn’t but I live for it. Working on my tackling as left back -most of the players are total fools. No clue how to send the ball to my feet? They just blast it in any direction as if they’re too scared to handle it? The idea being: get it and get rid of it. Fast.

    I weep with these people. Half of them play COD at night -no interest in acutally studying the game of soccer

    Anyway, thread steal. Apologies. Should be in the pub. But Uncle is wandering about the house about to say: “have you done your teeth?”

    Yes, thank you, I get dental hygiene and have for many years now and I can even wipe my rear end.

     

    #54529
    Anonymous @

    @pedant ‘Mac’ dictionary?

    I haven’t heard of that. We have the Collins dictionary in the house and the Macquarie -ah, the Mac-quarie!

    #54530

    @thane15

    Mac as in Macintosh, as in Apple Macintosh (see also iPhone, iPad etc).

    #54531
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    Oh.

    Ah.

    Great: either my mates will find out about this or my uncle, who is very strict, and is going to be “observing internet activity young man” will think i’m an even bigger idiot. Moreover I will have less time to spend ON the net if he figures out just how dumb I really am. He brought a microscope up from UNSW and this one’s bigger and more terrifying than the last one. He loves science. Love isn’t the word: he’s obsessed by it. Longs for it. Believes everyone should study anthropology and chemistry till they’re 30.

    I’m gonna be stuck in doors with my head up a microscope for hours a day. I’ll never see sunshine or soccer balls, never get to kiss Chrissie (don’t ask) and I have to eat all my tomato salad. Twice a day.

     

    #54532

    @thane15

    I’m warming to your Uncle already ;).

     

    PS Science is GOOD.

    #54533
    ichabod @ichabod

    @missrori  Nobody’s there for him in his dark time in the confession dial. Ergo, nobody truly loves him.  

    At that moment, nobody’s there to show him love, but remember those 24 yrs on Derillium (or however the heck you spell it) with River?  There are moments of love and gratitude all through the Doctor’s saga, and maybe more importantly, moments of true delight for him to experience for himself, like being able to tell (damn, name gone — ) the young dad and mum (and us) that their daughter is “brilliant”.  You don’t get to kutzi with other people’s infant children much when you are a Bad Guy, because you’re too busy killing them.  And there are the pleasures of taking on new passengers, showing them the universe, bringing out the hero in them (usually), and basking in their admiration and sometimes love.   Plus, you break free and are in Gallifrey, where the country folk *and* the official military look up to you as a legendary hero — hardly an unpleasant experience for the Doctor.

    And so on — there are *lots* of rewards for him in ranging round the universe being a hero/and a fool: lots of recognition and admiration, lots of fun, and triumph, and being tested and not (usually) found wanting.  Plus the inevitable failures and betrayals, of course, but when you come down to it, none of i is “lasting”.

    But this is DW: one subtext of the show is that *nothing* is lasting, not even the universe itself.  Sisyphean?  Yes, exactly — that is part of the existential dilemma: why move at all?  Why speak?  Why listen?  Entropy always wins; we always loose, each and every one of us, the Doctor included but on a larger scale and with a much longer “tail” of sorrow and regret trailing after because he lives so long.  The real reason that the Doctor is a hero is that he acts, and often acts without inhibition, in spite of the fact that nothing that anyone does, himself included, matters in the long run.  As we all do, which is why the animal body is so important to us: the spirit may give up, sink into terminal depression, want to run away at any cost, but the animal body is hardwired to never give up, not til it’s forced to.  So for the most part, we live until we have to die despite the fact that the game is rigged against us (and everything else).  This, IMO, is what religions are for: to sugar-coat the truth.  And what heroic action in the face of inevitable failure is there for too — to inspire us (all of us in the same predicament though on a shorter time scale, if we care to recognize the face) to keep going anyway.

    The Doctor, we know, has no religion (because he hasn’t found any that test out as more than trickery or error); so he tends to fall into depression and wild and manic thoughts when he’s alone too long.  Part of what his activities — however ultimately perishable their results — do for him is provide diversion and entertainment during his long, long TL life, so he doesn’t go just plain crazy and stay there, laughing and screaming to nobody, in the dark.  How do we know this?  Because, trapped in the Dial, instead of lying down and waiting to die, he gave himself a task, and a task-master (Clara-in-the-Tardis) to drive him into action.

    Well, those are some thoughts, anyway.  You did ask . . . <grin><skull-style>

     

     

     

     

     

    #54534
    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus   As for “being the Doctor”, I don’t think that’s something that he can choose. We saw Eleven try it after losing Amy and Rory, and it didn’t work out terribly well for him then.

    Mmm, yes; it’s that identity that he occasionally drops, so that we can see him pick it up again, like a sword and shield, and move into purposeful action again.  Purposeful inaction — to avoid more pain — just doesn’t seem like a long-term solution for him, pretty much ever.  But it is a choice, clearly; and every once in a while we see the Doctor  make that choice, reminding us to face up to our own choices, and don’t just stand there dithering or weeping.

    Come to think of it, what *is* that choice, in Hell Bent?  What else do you think he might have briefly considered, standing there in the lighted doorway of the Tardis with his guitar?  Staying on the road as a wandering minstrel with no $ in his pockets?  Walking out into the desert and letting the sun and thirst kill him?  Going back to Gallifrey to organize picking up the pieces as a proper, political sort of TL?

    There’s a sort of answer to the “why bother” question in Zen Buddhism, which requires a weird sort of double focus: you are advised to detach yourself from desiring things (less pain, more life, more joy, etc.), but also “chop wood, carry water” and run away screaming if a tiger is chasing you, because while you’re embodied bodily things are appropriate (even though embodiment is ultimately illusory like everything else).

    “Laugh, because it’s always funny.”  Well, you could put it that way . . .

     

    #54535
    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane  Might as well study anthropology (and sociology, and psychology); you’ll be living in it all your life anyway, unless you go off by yourself to study scorpions in the desert or something (maybe those weird little cats that hang out in the territory of snow leopards and look like bristly little chunks of granite when still — good show on cats on PBS here just now, “Nature”).  Or — the physics of soccer?

    #54552
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @missrori

    Others have beaten me to it and have covered almost all there is to say.  As @arbutus has said in different words, the Doctor is the Doctor because he can do no other; in essence that is who he is – or who he has become over the centuries.  Sometimes he yields to the force of circumstance and lapses – which is why he does not acknowledge the war doctor, but ultimately he cannot abdicate.  Even when he retired to Trenzalore he was active, protecting the inhabitants for hundreds of years. He has doubts as to whether he is a ‘good’ man – as he says in A Good Man Goes to War  ( I quote from memory) ‘Good men do not need rules; today is not the day to find out why I need so many’. Some appreciate what he does and love and respect him for it, others fear him, but I don’t think that he takes that into consideration when he intervenes.  As he passes through he tries to help by  doing what he thinks is right in the circumstances, using his knowledge and experience.  He is a mercurial character, sometimes playful – even a trifle irresponsible, sometimes deadly serious, but always and endlessly curious and open to the wonder of the universe, and that is satisfying in itself.  So long as he has companions to keep him grounded he will generally be a force for good, and that is reward enough.

    @thane15

    Compare his misery with his joy and I think joy would win 1st prize.

    You got it!  Joy is the ultimate prize and it is rare, and its antithesis, the downside of life, is necessary if it is to be fully experienced and appreciated.

     

    #54558
    Missy @missy

    Interesting comments from all of you.

    Unfortunately I have never been able to ‘analyse’ anything, it’s all gut feeling. So, for me, Hell Bent is the best script from Steven Moffat yet, apart from The Zygon Inversion and that superb speech, written by Moffat and acted brilliantly by Peter Capaldi. Talk about ‘gut wrenching.’

    Some may disagree with me and that’s fine, that’s what this forum is about.

    Missy

    #54559
    MissRori @missrori

    Thanks for all the comments!

    @ichabod, I was thinking that the choice the Doctor could make at the end of “Hell Bent” was to keep traveling the universe, but stop caring about what happens to the others he encounters.  Just enjoy life, and look out for himself, not others — if there’s trouble, just escape as soon as he can.  That’s the path to pain, every time.  Caring.

    @mudlark, if it’s so important he has companions to keep him grounded, why was it wrong for him to want Clara back?  Nobody on Gallifrey was stepping up to the plate, volunteering to travel with him.  That’s one of the oddest things about the arc — it shows how hard things get for him without a companion, and yet he doesn’t get Clara back or get a new one in the course of the story.  How hard would it have been for him to meet a new companion at the end?

    And as for the Doctor being loved and appreciated, then why was he stuck in the dial so long?  Didn’t anybody who knew he was in trouble, at least a captive, have the guts to do something, to raise an alarm, to get help?  The whole universe failed to be there for him.  Or, once he was out, why didn’t everyone band together to give him what he wanted, knowing he’d earned it?

    #54560

    @missrori

     could make at the end of “Hell Bent” was to keep traveling the universe, but stop caring

    No. He knows that a person called Clara, who meant a great deal to him, but who he can now not recognised when she is in front of him, told him to go and “be a Doctor”. And that means caring.

    why was it wrong for him to want Clara back?

    Because it put her in extreme danger, and he knew this. This was quite clearly explained in  the series.

    #54561
    Anonymous @

    @missrori

    I know it seems harsh. You’re saying “he does ALL this work for people, all this caring and look, he’s lonely.”

    I think that’s where the dice falls.

    Life’s tough. It’s not fair. Sometimes its a tragedy.

    But as I said up top: and, unlike me mum, I don’t leave large posts (!) “his misery is less than his joy”

    Big tick.

    @pedant

    What did I write about typing “no” or “you’re right” ?  🙂

     

    #54562

    @Thane15

    Away with your relativism, young man.

    #54563
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    OK,  I’ll pack it up and store it for now….

    #54571
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @missrori Re your last point, ‘why was he stuck in the dial so long?’ – I assumed that the time that passed for the Doctor in the dial was quite separate to the time that was passing for others outside it, so to all intents and purposes he might have just popped out for a moment, even whilst for him all of those millennia were passing.  I don’t know if this was addressed, or whether, having been raised on Narnia, I just took it for granted….

    #54575
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @cathannabel

    As regards the confession dial, my view is pretty close to yours.  As I think I outlined in comments I posted on Heaven Sent, the interpretation which makes the most sense to me is that what the Doctor experienced was in a virtual reality generated by the dial, and the time he experienced was subjective. The alternative, that the castle and sea were physical constructions in which he was physically present, and that the time was objectively real, raises far to many questions to be plausible – at least in my view.

    The intended purpose of a confession dial was as an intermediate stage in the uploading of a dying Time Lord’s mind to the virtual environment of the Matrix, giving him an opportunity to reflect on his or her life and come to terms with its ending in corporeal terms   It seems logical, therefore, to suppose that the dials worked on the same principle as the Matrix, or were even an extension of it, in the same way that the Nethersphere in Dark Water/Death in Heaven – described by the Doctor as a Matrix data slice – generated virtual afterlives for the minds uploaded to and stored in it.

    The Time Lords, having gained possession of the dial, tampered with it to create an ordeal designed to torment him and wear him down to the point of admitting what he knew of the Hybrid which – so it seemed – had caused him to flee Gallifrey.  They presumably understood enough about the Doctor to realise that the ordeal would need to be repeated, and I suggest that the dial, which may have been semi-sentient, was programed to make adjustments interactively, according to his specific response. Each re-set could have taken place over what, in the real world outside the dial, was the same period of time, and the changes in the position of the stars and the accumulation of skulls which marked the apparent passage of the centuries could easily have been a simulation.

    #54577
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @missrori

    Why was it wrong for the Doctor to want Clara back? @pedant said it: because it exposed Clara to danger both from others and from himself and, as he had observed more than once, he had a duty of care. To hang on to her in these circumstances would have been selfish on his part. Everything he did, even when pushed to his mental and emotional limits, was out of selfless regard for her, but the detail is complex.

    His attachment to her – obsession even – had become closer than was healthy, given the fact that he is an alien 2000 or more years old, with possibly thousands of years more of sequential lives, whereas she was a short lived human.  He was forced to confront this fact and that she, as a result of her association with him and their joint adventures, had become over confident in her own abilities to solve problems, Doctor style, and in his ability to save her in any situation if things went wrong. It led her into recklessness and, ultimately, into the mistake which led to her death.

    He, rightly or wrongly, felt that he had failed her and, in the aftermath of his ordeal in the confession dial, because his thinking was distorted, he tried to rectify that in an extreme way.  To go back in time and avert her death was not possible, but he calculated that by extracting her from her death between the penultimate heartbeat and the last, and then taking her to the end of the universe and to the end of time, so that time would not be disrupted, he could give her a second life.  It didn’t work out quite as he hoped and she remained an anomaly in space-time and so anathema to the Time Lords, and as long as her mental connection with the Doctor survived they – and possibly – others, would be able to track her down. He realised finally that he must let her go and so planned to sever the mental connection by using the neural block and thus free her, both from himself and from the danger from others.

    The conclusion of the episode was satisfying to me and, I think, to the majority of those who have commented here, precisely because it followed the logic of the story and was bitter-sweet, rather than a conventional and trite, happy-ever-after ending.  The Doctor, being unable any longer to *see* Clara is free of the emotional tie. and all that remains to him is the story and an elegiac sense of loss. We know that he will sooner or later find another companion because he always  has done, and in the interim he has the consolation of a 24 years’ night with River.  For this episode to have ended with him finding a new companion immediately would have been a bathetic resolution.

    As for why Ohila or the General did not offer him sympathy and hugs, they are simply not that kind of person. Ohila is effectively immortal and takes the long view;  she holds him sternly to his own highest standards and she is not by any stretch of the imagination a cuddly individual.  The General respects him as a fellow soldier and hero of the time war, but he is a Time Lord embedded in that culture, and the Doctor is a maverick.

    #54579
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @missrori

    Further to my post above:  You ask why the Doctor doesn’t just stop caring and travel the universe enjoying life and looking out for himself alone.  Yes, caring often entails pain along the way, it comes with the territory, but anybody who possesses even an ounce of empathy cannot help but care. People who don’t or can’t care, who think only of themselves and what benefits them, are sociopaths, and the Doctor, whatever his flaws and quirks of personality, is not a sociopath.

    As to why no one came to his rescue when he was in the confession dial, who knew where he was other than the Time Lords who put him there?  And if my theory is correct, he was transported far forward in time to Gallifrey, and the time he was in the dial, from the point of view of the outside universe, was only a few days.

    You seem to want stories with simple, happy conclusions, where everyone gets their just deserts, but that is seldom the case in real life and Doctor Who, although it is fantasy, acknowledges this fact. That is one of the reasons why, after all these years,  I still watch it

     

     

    #54580
    Anonymous @

    @missrori @cathannabel @mudlark

    Firstly (hallo to you Missrori) don’t worry if everyone has seemingly given you all this information and it seems like their telling you how to think.

    They’re not…and well, maybe they are!

    I’m young and when the good people on this Forum (my mum calls them the Wise Ones) go to the trouble of trying to convince you they’re not being “difficult”.  🙂 Not that you ever said that but I was hoping you wouldn’t, is all 🙂

    I personally think that life is really hard.

    I also think some telly needs to have the Happy Ever After Ending but Doctor Who isn’t it.

    It’s a mature show where reality seems twisted (timey whimey) but, in the end, the people and what happens to them is more reality than make believe.

    In the end, Clara DID get to live, see? The Doctor maybe knows her name and only a hint of memory is left but the thing is, he HAD those adventures with her even though he cant remember them.

    So, that could mean, if he doesn’t remember, that he never had them? Its like the tree in the forest thing: if it falls and we don’t hear it etc…..

    But we know, and we also know that River said that the “entire universe across space and time” loved the Doctor. I don’t know about you: but having all of the universe care enough to help me (tWORS) would give me enough evidence to know I was truly loved.

    I hope all this helps some and Mudlark? You need to write a book about Dr Who. Seriously. It would be awesome.

    The Trials and Time of Steven Moffat -or something.

    Cheers! Off to watch Class but no spoilers……

    PS: missrori its good you’re having doubts and asking questions. It means (according to me mum) that you’re  thinking and so she would say “God knows we need more of that!” 🙂

    #54581
    Anonymous @

    oh, I said up top  “no large posts from me”.

    And then I did.

    Oops 🙂  I blame timey whimey knot holes.

    #54587
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @thane15

    The Trials and Time of Steven Moffat -or something

    I wouldn’t dare 😮

    he HAD those adventures with her even though he cant remember them.

    I’m not sure it is entirely the case that he can’t remember them; after all, he remembered enough about the events on Gallifrey to be able to recount the story to Clara in the diner and, as I pointed out way back, he could even remember his motives in wanting to use the neural block on her. The key word, I think is ‘story’.  ‘Stories are where memories go when they are forgotten’ he says, as if the recollection of his adventures had somehow become detached from any sense of personal involvement.

    As for his forgetting of Clara, this seems to take the form of a mental blind spot so that, as I wrote above, he can no longer *see* her in either the literal or the metaphorical meaning of the word.  He does, however, seems to manifest a response to reminder’s of her, as if he retained a subliminal awareness.

    Speaking of which, when I watched the Blu-ray of Hell Bent I noticed a detail which I don’t recall from the episode when it was broadcast, and which doesn’t seem to be indicated in the script as published on line.  When the Doctor wakes in the desert the first thing he sees is the face of a man bending over him, but for a split second the man’s face becomes that of Clara as he would have seen her just before he lost consciousness in the stolen tardis. Make of that what you will.

    @missrori

    Following on from what thane wrote, I hope that you don’t feel that feel I was being didactic, telling you what you should think, because that was certainly not the intention. I was just responding to your queries and objections with my own thoughts on the subject; and I ought to acknowledge that in the course of discussion some of my thoughts have been modified or expanded as a result of ideas expressed by others.

    I apologise for the length of my posts; I’m afraid that once I start writing I have a tendency to get a bit carried away 🙂

    #54591
    Anonymous @

    @mudlark

    oops.

    You’re right: he can remember  ‘them’ but not Clara.

    Blu-ray, really?

    It’s still on our hard drive ….mmm must change that.  How interesting. I wonder what that means?

     

    #54602
    MissRori @missrori

    @mudlark, @thane15 : No, I don’t feel bothered by long posts or people expressing opinions contrary to mine.  I am asking questions, and I appreciate people putting real thought into their answers.

    It’s not that I don’t/can’t accept sad and bittersweet endings turning up in Doctor Who, but it might be easier to take them if there were more stories — at least in Twelve’s tenure — that truly ended happily for him on a personal level.  Both of his season finales so far (“Death in Heaven” and “Hell Bent”) end badly for him in that regard; he ends up lonely and bereft when there’s no reason he has to.  Certainly he does nothing to deserve loneliness.

    I think a flaw of the very fine Series 9 was that because it focused on multi-part stories, it didn’t allow for a lot of sunny outcomes or joy.  All along, the Doctor did his best to do the right thing whenever he could, even if it caused further problems down the line; to act with compassion.  He saved young Davros, saved the Viking village and then Ashildr, stopped the human-Zygon war.  But in the end his compassion was not returned to him when he needed it.  When he was sick and in prison, no one came to his aid; he was abandoned to suffer.  Compassion did almost destroy him.  If he had left the boy, the villagers, the girl, everyone to likely unhappy fates…he would have had his Clara, and they could have still had wonderful adventures together.  But because, even when ready to to toss his principles away, he always came back in the end to the side of right…he ended up lonely.

    Why didn’t he go back to Gallifrey and at least have his home again?  What could the people who will forever owe their lives to him hold against him, after his suffering thanks to their evil leaders?  It ruins the ending of “The Day of the Doctor” — Gallifrey was not worth saving and returning to after all.

    It’s nice to think that those who look out only for themselves are sociopathic and rare, @mudlark, but a glance at the sorry state our real world is in proves that truly compassionate people who cannot shut their ears and eyes to the suffering are few.  Plenty of people go through lives with cold hearts and minds.  And those who do care are borne down by the weight of all the good they can do that seems to do so little, and all the good they cannot do.

    I happen to be autistic, and I’m a rather empathetic person.  It is very hard to deal with a world that lacks in empathy and compassion.  One reason I love the character of the Doctor so much is because he is compassionate.

    So, while I know he can’t have happy endings all the time…it would help if he had them more often.

    (Deposits 2 cents)

    #54606
    Anonymous @

    @missrori @mudlark @pedant and others

    Certainly he does nothing to deserve loneliness.

    Agreed Miss Rori

    But. Life’s an up hill battle and it’s shit most of the time.  Sisyphus has a moment between the fallen rock and the need to push it back up. That flash is hope. That’s the moment that makes it all worth it.

    Gallifrey was not worth saving and returning to after all.

    Of course it was! F*ck the leaders: it was the women and children in the desert (listen to the Internationale: it’s for the workers and the ordinary blokes and chicks).  They were there and it was them he saved. As I said before, the WHOLE universe responded when River asked for help in The Wedding of River Song.

    That’s more than me or pretty much anyone would get! They love him (and some fear him) but in the end: life’s tough! The Doctor’s life is HARD but also very beautiful.  🙂

    I’d take it. Because I’d believe it: there are very few happy moments in life except television is designed that way and it’s not real. I like this coz it is.

    When he was sick and in prison, no one came to his aid; he was abandoned to suffer.  Compassion did almost destroy him.  If he had left the boy, the villagers, the girl, everyone to likely unhappy fates…he would have had his Clara…he ended up lonely.

    It’s not about the Doctor -or just Clara. Is his life more important than kids on Gallifrey? Is peppy pretty Clara more important than a withered tired lady on Gallifrey?

    I don’t think so, imo.

    The only reason he keeps going is that those things -being deserted, lonely, feeling sad, will pass. It’s small in my opinion and I think the Doctor would agree. It’s about endurance. It’s all we have.

    #54608
    winston @winston

    @thane15   You seem to have a good grip on the uphill battle that is life. We have to live for the flashes of joy we get or we would be mired in sadness. I also agree with @missrori that the world we live in is a cold hard place sometimes and could use a lot more compassion. The Doctor is compassionate and empathetic and he always tries to be fair and help the underdog but it doesn’t always work out well for him. That does not change who the Doctor is and he will try to right the wrongs he sees every time.Because of all the lives he has saved even if  he feels lonely  he is never unloved. And we all love him!

    #54651
    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  Oh, that’s a good summary of the Doctor/Clara dilemma and its resolution!  Concise, too, which I have to admire.

    for a split second the man’s face becomes that of Clara as he would have seen her just before he lost consciousness in the stolen tardis.

    I saw that, and assumed it was a momentary flash of what had just happened to him before the man in the pickup truck bent over him: Clara, having got him settled on the ground before leaving him there, looking down at him with, as I recall, fondness (but I may be just adding that in memory) — and then a fade to the immediate instant, where it’s the pickup driver bending over him to wake him.  I didn’t think of it as CapDoc’s last look at her in the Tardis because her expression here didn’t fit that moment — it was more wistful than grieving.  But nope, you did not imagine it.

    @missrori  I think a flaw of the very fine Series 9 was that because it focused on multi-part stories, it didn’t allow for a lot of sunny outcomes or joy.

    True — that was, I think, part of the slow build toward the ending, to heighten the feeling that both the Doctor and Clara seemed to have that doom was impending for one or both of them (as indeed it proved).  Very effective, too, not to interrupt that darkening trajectory with much in the way of sunshine.  But tragedy brings its own rewards and gratifications, so that didn’t bother me — I expect lots more ebullient fun in S10, now that those painfully (and wonderfully) turbulent two seasons are resolved.

    Gallifrey was not worth saving and returning to after all.

    I think it was — but he was too driven and distracted by his compulsion to rescue Clara from her death to notice, or take any joy in it.  Isn’t that a recurring theme, though?  You can’t go home again, but if you do arrive there, it’s not the home you recall any more (or it’s too much the home you recall but complete with the cruelty and injustice that you tend to forget when you’re away).  Doesn’t the Doctor always get into trouble at “home”?  Yes — because without trouble, there’s no story!  For the record, though — I think your 2 cents will get you some fine delights in S10.  And I agree that the world is far too full of people who ration what compassion they have, and only allot bits of it to people like themselves, not “those Others”.

    @thane15  It’s not about the Doctor -or just Clara. Is his life more important than kids on Gallifrey? Is peppy pretty Clara more important than a withered tired lady on Gallifrey?

    And that, IMO, is exactly why he realizes that he must part company with Clara: because his obsession with her is distracting him from all those others whom he needs, to be the “good man” he wants to be, to help if he can — not just Clara first, last, and always.

    @winston  A friend of mine says that those flashes, or even moments, of joy teach us just as much as moments and hours and years of misery and suffering do, but that it takes time for people to realize this and get beyond thinking that we — and everybody else — only really learn by pain (“that’ll teach you!”).

    Also the Doctor does have his moments of joy — the joy of victory, victory on *his* terms, without doing violence; the joy of discovery; and the joy of sharing the beauty and excitement of the universe with an admiring, wonder-struck companion.  Not too bad a selection of delights, IMO, for a very old alien space-wanderer.

     

    #54656
    Missy @missy

    @winston:  You have  said it all. We all love him, especially this Doctor.

    Missy

    #54662
    MissRori @missrori

    @ichabod  I see what you mean about tragedy having “its own rewards and gratifications”, but Twelve’s season finales thus far don’t have that.  He’s always lonely and sad at the end of them, getting nothing in return for his suffering and sacrifice.  He gives up what could make him happy — the chance to end all injustice in the universe, potentially-endless life with Clara — in exchange for…what?

    (sigh)  I’m sorry to be in such a glum mood, but I’m so frustrated by the disappointments of the real world on my best days, and with seemingly everybody online dour and grim of late about the state of things, it’s hard to take much hope from the Doctor’s recent struggles.

    Also @mudlark, I’m not sure the Doctor finding a new companion at the end of “Hell Bent” need have been bathetic.  Perhaps it could have been framed as the grateful universe stepping in to rectify the injustice of his recent suffering at last.  Guiding someone to the TARDIS door…  😉

    #54669
    Anonymous @

    @missrori

    getting nothing in return for his suffering and sacrifice

    1.  24 years with river –

    2. All his companions loved him including Clara

    3.  The whole universe supported him in TWoRS

    4. Rose was willing to sacrifice her life for him as was Martha who went to every person and every place on earth to tell stories about this incredible man

    Bathos doesn’t work well in stories -it looks corny unfortunately except we had a happy ending anyway. A greek comedy ending where Clara and Ashildr were saved thanks to the doctor and went on their own adventures.

    Life is about suffering and sadness. Always. Its not puppies and fairy floss not even in my still-childish world. But that’s OK. I feel for you as  these times are sad and difficult. This year has been a very sad year with the loss of some amazing people like David Bowie and the whole Brexit thing mixed in with TrumpMania.

    But we have to keep positive. Somehow. And I believe that this new series in 2017 will show us a much happier, funnier doctor with some more positive stories. We can only hope @missrori 🙂

    Thank you for reading,

    The Puricle.

    #54670
    Anonymous @

    Also, @missrori, one has to see this from Clara’s point of view. He can’t be with her. His relationship with her wasn’t good or healthy. It would have ruined her. It did, in fact. The choice was hers to take the tattoo off the young guy and then met her death in a noble way which I think was incredible.

    But I know students who have unhealthy obsessions with their teachers  Its not a sexual relationship but the need to be noticed; to be popular with them but they are years apart and it doesn’t work.

    I think @mudlark and @ichabod said it well: the doctor’s relationship with Clara was bordering on the unhealthy. He’s not human. He’s 200o years older than her. She’s 26. If he stayed with her and she with him, the whole point of the series would be lost. The companions always know they can continue on their travels without the Doctor. He sets them up for that success: -whether it was Sarah Jane or Martha.

    What they learn from the Doctor they apply to the rest of their human lives.  That’s fair: for to be always by the Doctor’s side and to have a “potentially- endless life with Clara” isn’t right. It’s plain wrong.  Could she have married him? Had a sexual relationship with him in this “endless life”? No. It would have held her back. She may have resented him and that would have been far worse for the both of them.

    #54671
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod

    Thanks for the compliment 🙂

    I have just re-watched the ending of Hell Bent to check that particular detail.  As the Doctor is losing consciousness he asks Clara to smile for him. ‘How could I smile” says Clara and he replies, ‘It’s OK, don’t you worry. I’ll remember.’ When he wakes we see the face of the man from his viewpoint and filling almost his whole field of vision, blurred at first and then coming into focus, and then for a fraction of a second the image of the man vanishes and we see the face of Clara against a blank white background.  She is clearly not present at this point but you are correct,  it isn’t the view he would have seen as he lost consciousness, because here her face is to the right in his view rather than directly facing him, and although her expression is concerned, she isn’t crying.  It seems as if, in his confused waking state the sight of the man has triggered an earlier memory of waking to see her face – and he must have had an earlier period of waking, long enough at any rate to learn that his Tardis was no longer in London and to acquire another guitar.

    In the final scene, when the diner vanishes from round him and he sees the Tardis, he pauses very briefly at the sight of Clara’s image in Rigsy’s memorial and then enters.  The directions in the script are slightly different and less subtle, in that he kneels and studies the image, touching it in a moment of recognition – so that’s who …  – before dismissing the thought and going through the door.

    As I have said, it is as if reminders of her bring the memory almost to the surface, and I hope that I am not guilty of revealing spoilers if I say that there is an incidental moment in the first episode of Class which also suggests this.

    @missrori

    I can understand how and why you feel as you do, but seen from my perspective it seems that you may be overstating the Doctor’s unhappiness.  In Heaven Sent and Hell Bent he is indeed suffering extremes of grief and anger, but by the end this is resolved; he has expended his anger on Rassilon and the High Council and given Gallifrey a chance at reform, he has enabled Clara to live again, after a fashion, and the anguish of parting from her has been erased by the neural block.

    He is glad to know that his home planet is still there and accessible, but it is highly unlikely that he would want to return to live there. He is a Time Lord who has little patience with his fellow Time Lords’ arrogance, cautiousness and policy of non-intervention, but neither does he have a great deal in common with the ordinary folk who are not Time Lords. He cares about them and they are grateful to him, honour him, even love him, but in a rigidly class-based society it is probable that neither he nor they would feel entirely comfortable if he lived among them permanently, even if he were not a restless soul, ever eager to roam all time and space seeking new adventures and new experiences.  And while it may not be good for him to travel for too long alone, he does not strike me as the kind of person who is necessarily unhappy when alone in his own company. We are all different, and for some of us being alone does not necessarily mean feeling lonely, let alone sad, so long as we have something to occupy our minds and our time.

    I’m not sure what you envisage with your notion of a grateful universe stepping in to guide a new companion to his door.   Missy did that with Clara, largely to  the benefit of the Doctor, although her motives were not entirely altruistic, but I think he would rather take his time and find companions for himself, than have them delivered by an abstraction 🙂

    This season was a little lacking in light relief, I agree, but I think it was made plain that in between the episodes which made up the narrative arc, the Doctor and Clara were having a rip-roaring time gallivanting round the universe and having more light hearted adventures.  Remember, for example, that Face the Raven opens with them tumbling into the Tardis, breathless and laughing about their latest escapade on a planet of sentient plants. It is significant, though, that Clara was claiming that it was she, through her own resourcefulness, who had rescued them from their latest predicament

    #54675
    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark   grateful universe stepping in to guide a new companion to his door. Missy did that with Clara, largely to the benefit of the Doctor, although her motives were not entirely altruistic, but I think he would rather take his time and find companions for himself

    As I think about it, I’m seeing it differently.  A grateful universe (or Fate, or, for all we know, the Tardis herself) is standing back and giving him the most important thing he needs after losing Clara: time on his own to get back to what it feels like to be on his own and how to do that and be that, after his being part of the CapDoc/Clara hybrid for untold stretches of time banging around the universe together.  He has to remember, not Clara, but how to be the Doctor, not Guardian Angel to Clara with a sideline in adventure.  And time to recover emotionally, even if he can’t remember why his emotions are still ragged (enough to drive him around the world looking for someone he knows almost nothing about).  I think he needs healing time, not the distraction of getting to know some stranger who needs to be familiarized with the Tardis and with him.

    And that leaves the way open for a colorful, striking, and enjoyable intro of a new companion in S10, separated from the S9 loss so he, and we, can be fully present for that new person and new beginning.  That certainly works for me as a fan; but I’m one of those people who’s content in their own company, so of course I imagine “my” Doctor to be that way too, even if he does go a bit neurotic if his solitude goes on too long.

    #54681
    MissRori @missrori

    @thane15, the four examples are valid…but all but “The Husbands of River Song” happen to previous Doctors, not Twelve.  Sure, Clara loves him, but as he’s had no other companions thus far*, no one else in the universe truly loves Twelve for himself aside from River.  Just about everybody was picking on him in Series 8 (Clara, Danny, et.al.), at a time when he was very vulnerable, and then he keeps getting chewed out by others (Bennett, Ashildr, Ohila, the General) in Series 9 too.  He saves people despite the odds, he gets picked on.  He doesn’t save people because his hands are tied, he gets picked on.  And despite saving the universe in both season finales by choosing to give up the easy path to happiness both times (his own army in 8, Clara forever in 9), he’s not rewarded.

    All his happy adventures take place offscreen, as @mudlark points out.  Maybe Series 9 would have been better had “Sleep No More” been put off for later, and the finale three-parter not actually been the finale.  Leave one episode over for airing after “Hell Bent”: A joyous story about him healing after his bad experiences.  Now THAT would have been a finale!  😉

    If he is loved by so many, if they would do anything for him, then where were they in his darkest hours?  Clara declared that no one would suffer when she died, but as the Doctor warned her, he did.  Rigsy, Anahson and her mum — none of them stopped him from being teleported away by the backstabber Ashildr.  No one was there for him in the dial, of course, not even his TARDIS.   And once he escaped, though he was appreciated by his fellow Gallifreyans and able to unseat Rassilon, no one even considered he was in great emotional pain in the wake of his horrible torture — except Clara, and she had to be brought back from the grave for that to happen!  Who stood by him and said, in response to his question to Ohila, “Yes, you ARE owed this and we will pay our terrible debt, amend our terrible failure to help you then, by helping you now”?  No one.

    I know it’s true the Doctor and Clara’s relationship had to end sometime, though I don’t think it “ruined” either of them.  It’s true that Clara’s doom came as a result of her becoming more like the Doctor, or perhaps just more herself, but she handled it well when it came.   As for the Doctor, had he been given a chance to heal himself and mourn, instead of being plunged into the cruel torture of the confession dial immediately, perhaps he would have not become so sick that he needed a virtual lobotomy to move on.  (Incidentally, I think a “better” fate for Ashildr would have been for the Doctor to leave her to die at the end of time, alone and unloved, as he was for so long.  Poetic justice, though she’ll only die once instead of billions of times over.  As it is, there’s no reason for him to let her follow him onto the second TARDIS.)

    Again though, there’s that sad question: “What’s the point of being a Doctor if I can’t cure you?”  She never did answer that, and the story never gives us a reason why he decides to be the Doctor again aside from “He must.”  His joys just seem too fleeting for the sorrow it takes to get them.  4 and 1/2 billion years of suffering is a long time…

    (sigh)  I’m sorry to be so cynical and questioning, but I’ve known, on a smaller scale, what it’s like to be emotionally abandoned by almost everyone who claims to care about me; I had a very bleak adolescence for a while as an autistic victim of bullies.  I strive to be a Doctor-y person myself, in my own small, cautious ways, but again and again my idealism comes up against the azbantium wall of reality, especially now.

    All that said though…@ichabod, I have tried to find other ways around this frustration, at least where the show is concerned.  You noted that the Doctor needed time to heal on his own before he could have more wacky adventures.  Well, last month I finished posting a fanfic to Tumblr, an ultimately happy fanfic, that is about his healing process, though he’s not exactly alone in it! It’s called “What You Hold in Your Hand”, and anyone who’d like to read it can see the first chapter (of sixteen) here:

    http://unknown-companion-poems.tumblr.com/post/149604003446/what-you-hold-in-your-hand-chapter-one

    Thanks for all your thoughtful comments, even though I’m stubborn as a mule when it comes to opinions!

    *At least in the televised continuity; he does go through several short-term companions in the various comics being published right now.

    #54683
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod

    I agree entirely that he needed time alone to adjust and come fully to terms to what had happened, and I suspect that by now he is old enough and wise enough to decide such things for himself.  I’m pretty sure, though, that he would not trust, let alone rely on Karma, Fate or an impersonal universe, grateful or otherwise, to deliver what he needed.  Once he is ready he will recognise when chance, possibly but not necessarily with a nudge from the Tardis, brings him potential new companions, and he’s had enough experience by now to know who to accept and who not to.

    @missrori

    I respect your opinions, and it’s always interesting to see the Doctor and the Whoniverse through the eyes of others, but clearly we differ in our view of what is and is not possible in that alternative reality.

    If he is loved by so many, if they would do anything for him, then where were they in his darkest hours?

    Where would they be but scattered across all space and time, completely ignorant of his whereabouts or what he has endured?  Most of the people in question are locked into their own time and place, with no means of tracking him or knowing what he is doing at any given time unless he actually turns up on their planet, space station or whatever and they happen to encounter him again.  Even if any of them had known and had possessed some insight into his state of mind, what could they have done, since very few of them, if any, would have any extraordinary powers or knowledge or any means of reaching him.  Those who do have such resources, assuming they can find him first, seem for the most part not well disposed towards him.

    In Face The Raven only Ashildr/Me was fully aware of what was going on, but her primary duty was to protect the sanctuary that was Trap Street, and she was being blackmailed by the Time Lords.  In any case, her feelings about the person who’s intervention had resulted in her having to endure immortality were bound to be somewhat ambivalent.  As for the others present, they had little or no understanding of what was happening until it was too late, and once Clara had made the fateful mistake of taking the chronoblock on herself and the teleport bracelet had locked round the Doctor’s wrist, it wasn’t in their power to change the course of events.

    When the Doctor emerged from his ordeal on Gallifrey, the ordinary people knew that he was under threat from the High Council and did all they could to help and protect him; but could they have been expected to have any precise knowledge of or insight into what he had been through?  If, after he had disposed of the High Council, he had gone back to them and confided in them, they might have offered him whatever was was in their power in the way of comfort, but he didn’t; in his distress he chose to try and rescue Clara from her death and whisked her off to the end of the Universe.  By these actions he forfeited whatever sympathy the General and Ohila might have felt, and Ohila is in any case the kind of friend who tells you what you need to hear, rather than what you would like to.  Maybe in the interval of travelling alone he did go back to Gallifrey for a bit of R & R among the ordinary population, it would be nice to think so but we will probably never know.  What we do know is, that by the time he encountered River, he had recovered much of his usual bounce.

    #54684
    MissRori @missrori

    @mudlark  I wouldn’t say the Doctor forfeited any sympathy from the General and Ohila in his actions.  It is not inherently wrong, after all, to fight injustice and evil and the cold hand of the grave.  “Do not go gentle into that good night”, remember.  Desperate times, desperate measures.  Also, there’s the whole fact that he’s pretty much legitimately mentally ill by this point…so he deserves some sympathy.

    Also — the Doctor goes into things with the assumption that he’ll win, and more often than not he does.  If everybody, Clara included, had just given him the time he needed, shown trust and faith in his abilities, he would have won in a way that would make everybody happy.  He’s rebooted the universe and saved Gallifrey, after all.  It’s just a matter of having faith, hope, and love in the end.  And he certainly had all of those.   Perhaps it was just a matter of waiting on the miracle and willing it to be.  It would have been a wonderful conclusion to the story arc — the Doctor wins in the end, just as Clara knew all along in “Face the Raven”; her death was just a dark night needed to make the dawn brighter. But he didn’t get his miracle because no one else had faith.

    Ah, when will the Twelfth Doctor have his Day?  😉

    #54685
    MissRori @missrori

    By the by — since I can’t seem to edit my previous post — I was pretty happy with “Hell Bent”‘s ending when I first saw it; having it be followed by “The Husbands of River Song” helped.  I understood why the Doctor couldn’t have what he wanted and how things would be better for him now.  It was about a month-and-a-half later that I started having my doubts about how the Doctor made out in the end.  I was having a bad day, thinking about all the crumminess in the world, and I tried looking to the Doctor’s trials in Series 9 for inspiration in these dark days.  And suddenly I started finding weak spots to poke at.  Autistic people are very good at spotting logic holes, etc., and wondering why things work out one way when they could easily work out another, especially if people could just act with compassion.  The ending didn’t have him experiencing catharsis for everything he suffered through, and the time skip between this and THORS means I didn’t get to see that at a later date.   Some kind of additional episode or scene (i.e., the Doctor returning to Karn to hash things out with Ohila, who admits that she was wrong too by not acknowledging his pain and suffering and trying to help him) could have allowed for catharsis.  Maybe they’ll do a flashback episode in Series 10 to fill in the holes?  😉

    Phew, I am rambling today!  Trying to keep my mind off other things, I guess… 😉

    #54688
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @missrori

    I wouldn’t say the Doctor forfeited any sympathy from the General and Ohila in his actions.  It is not inherently wrong, after all, to fight injustice and evil and the cold hand of the grave

    From their point of view, though, he was very wrong. It wasn’t so much that his actions against the High Council, though warranted on several levels, were driven by a personal desire for vengeance rather than a sense of justice, but that in trying to give Clara an extra lease of life he had broken all the rules including, as Ohila angrily pointed out, those he set himself; ‘You have broken every code you ever lived by’. In any case, all the previous interactions between her and the Doctor suggest that their relationship is decidedly prickly, even she means well by him and he trusts her – up to a point. He might very well turn to her for help, but I don’t think she is someone he would think of if he wanted comfort or reassurance.

    Though characters in a long running series may over time develop in complexity and acquire greater depth, they have to remain  true to their essential selves as the writer or writers conceived them. To make them act in a way inconsistent with that established character does serious damage to a story, as I am sure you would agree, and Ohila as depicted so far does not strike me as anybody’s idea of a cosy auntie.

    P.S.  I know what you mean about trying to keep ones mind off other things; I suppose that is what I have been doing, too 🙂

    #54689
    Anonymous @

    @missrori

    “These examples happened to other doctors”

    Newsflash: they’re all him.

    Incidentally, I think a “better” fate for Ashildr would have been for the Doctor to leave her to die at the end of time, alone and unloved, as he was for so long.  Poetic justice, though she’ll only die once instead of billions of times over.  As it is, there’s no reason for him to let her follow him onto the second TARDIS.)

    If he is loved by so many, if they would do anything for him, then where were they in his darkest hours?

    In the first example, this show is Doctor Who so it’s good to check your anger at the door a tad. The Doctor wouldn’t ever do what you said. He gave her immortality so who’s really to blame?

    In the 2nd, this show is about time and space: they aren’t all gonna know.

    He’s a got a great life so I wouldn’t worry about him too much. You could be putting your personal emotions onto him. He wouldn’t have that and doesn’t need it but I do hope you’re feeling better @missrori. Times are hard. Spot on there.

    Puricle.

    #54690
    Anonymous @

    @missrori

    He’s rebooted the universe and saved Gallifrey, after all

    You said to me that those things happened to OTHER doctors, if so, you can’t have your cake and eat it or have it both ways. This Doctor didn’t reboot the universe – that was 10 and 11 and sort of 12 with his eyebrows (but in terms of reboot that was definitely 11 only).

    But you see, I’d agree: the Doctor is 2000 years old or more. He’s not 4 or 5 years old (since the regen) therefore all these things DID happen to him. The show is about one Doctor. The same one

    #54693
    MissRori @missrori

    @thane15 and @mudlark, touche to your points.  🙂

    #54710
    ichabod @ichabod

    @missrori  Thanks for the fanfic; it does illustrate your opinion, and in an imaginative and moving way.  As commentary, let me pull back a bit to a different perspective, a writer’s perspective, a story-teller’s (and eager reader’s and viewer’s) perspective.  The impulse to make it up to the Doctor for all he’s gone through and all he’s lost by the end of S9 makes sense to me: we need ways to do this.

    Because life doesn’t, or maybe rarely permits it to happen.  We invent gods and Gods to try to explain injustice  away, and stories to right the wrongs of goodness and heroism denied, unnoticed, or dismissed and forgotten.  That’s what heroic poetry is about, isn’t it — “This happened, these great deeds were done at great cost!  Remember it, celebrate it, honor the best of us by reciting their stories over and over forever!”

    Or — for a while, maybe a long while, but “forever” isn’t for us mayflies and our blink-of-an-eye species. [The dinosaurs dominated the Earth for, what, 4 million years?  At the rate we’re going, we’ll be lucky to make it to four thousand.]  This is part of what persuades me that in this cold universe of mathematical rules, inescapable causes and effects, unbendable trajectories millennia long, we — sentient, sapient, emotional beings in any physical form — are the soul of this place, of this plane of existence (assuming, as I do, that there are other, non-physical planes).  We are “God” in the making; our function is to witness, endure, and lament the suffering, acknowledge the rage (as in your story), and expand our compassion to its utmost, which I think is acceptance.

    I don’t mean that we learn to stand back and just let suffering happen even though we could intervene, but that we do what we can to ameliorate it without railing against it, because it’s part of the bedrock nature of physicality (so  are contentment, laughter, joy, and love).  The greatest of our sages (I’m thinking of Buddhists now) react as any compassionate soul would, while being fully aware that suffering as a condition of physical life can’t be “cured” or abolished because it’s built into physicality per se (read about predators and parasites in Nature — I don’t much, any more, because I can only take so much ongoing, irremediable horror).

    Souls are invulnerable and immortal (I think) by definition; bodies feel pain and fear.  Where else can souls learn compassion except in vulnerable bodies?  I think that is our project, our education, and eventually the enlightenment that frees us from physicality permanently.

    The Doctor is still struggling with this; he is not (thank goodness) presented to us as having resolved the predicament of being both triumphant soul and doomed body, even though he’s so old and experienced.  Part of his perennial youthfulness is his furious protest against suffering, loss, injustice, and oppression.  This is, I think, the reality of maturing souls, which is why he speaks so strongly to us: we feel that way too.  He’s the hero in us that we could express if we were braver, more foolish, more angry (and sometimes we do express it, because we are those things for a while at least).  And that’s why the Doctor erroneously, as it happens, says he will take and hold all that pain and rage so others won’t have to — no.  Sooner or later, we all have to.  The ways in which we try to shield ourselves must, in the end, be discarded.  Then we’re ready to get the hell out of here for good.

    I remember saying to a spiritual-type friend of mine, “Nobody gets out of here unscathed.”  She answered, “No; we *come* here to be scathed.”  I wanted to punch her out, but damn it, I think she’s right.  Scathed, and exhilarated as only the sentient body can be exhilarated (scent, taste, luscious color, momentarily perfect gesture, ravishing sounds, etc.).  Our anger is justified.  Our compassion is *earned*, and it takes (I believe) a long damned time.

    Agh.  Enough!  It’s 3:15 a.m. and I am somewhat drunk (Trump has made drunks of so many of us . . . !).  Apologies for the ramble; thanks for the story; companions are a convention.  We are the Doctor, and the Doctor is us.

    #54714
    MissRori @missrori

    @ichabod, Thank you for your compliments and insightful commentary.  Yes, pain is a part of life but it sets off the joys and can be used constructively, to make something better.  It took me a while to come up with a title for my fanfic but the amending of the Doctor’s speech in the late going, much the way he amended his credo in “Hell Bent”, wound up suggesting the best one.

    (Also, I’m sorry to hear you’re down about the Powers That Be.  I’ve never had anything drive me to drink, but I understand the gloom right now.)

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