Hell Bent

Home Forums Episodes The Twelfth Doctor Hell Bent

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  • #49177
    tommo @tommo

    @notime – i second that entirely. welcome also.

    #49179

    @notime

    I wonder if Ashildr looked on with envy since she would never know what it feels like to be memorialized.

    Interesting point, I wouldn’t bet on it. It’s worth noting that, when the Doctor was making his cruel/cowardly/amends speech, Clara was not the only other person in the room. I think Ashildr is written as genuinely mortified at what she had done and if they decide to continue her story, it could easily be one of amends.

    #49180
    ichabod @ichabod

    A bit more on “making amends” (my post #49171, above) (this just won’t leave me alone).  I thought that at the end of S8, the Doctor was ready to go out and attend to those “many mistakes” he spoke of in Deep Breath; now I think I was very wrong about that.  He still had to get past something first: his obsession with Clara, a total distraction into which he plunged head first with little thought for anything else (“What’s his catch phrase?” fans said; “‘Clara!'”).  He found a true soulmate, the Impossible Girl and the more real and more difficult young woman she became in S8), a personal lodestar in a troubled time, and he couldn’t tear himself away.

    He couldn’t help but realize that it was all going to end in tears, floods of ’em, in S9, and more or less said so, warning her, drawing attention to how a human isn’t armed to take on the perils a TL might choose to rush into (“showing off” as he puts it himself).  But he still can’t tear himself away — that is, do something about it.  It’s too rewarding for him (and for her, and he wants to see her happy), too exhilarating.  He indulges himself, and her, because he can’t help it.

    And then they hit a terrific skid of bad luck, death for her and massive (largely self-inflicted) anguish for himself, that drives him to break his own rules, a betrayal of what he says he stands for (although “never give up, never give in” worked pretty well for him inside the Confession Dial) that he does not recognize until it’s pointed out to him by Ohila and Clara — the quick young woman, and the wise older one.  Ohila calls him “boy” in a scathing tone, because she sees so clearly how he’s regressed to the rules of childhood: “I WANT, and if I can’t HAVE I will trash this place” — see “I’m barely getting started”).

    So this is a growth spurt, right in front of our eyes, and it’s a doozie.  Recalled to himself and his ideals, he returns to himself by expelling the cherished soulmate (who is now ready to go, her apprenticeship done) from his own mind through the stratagem with the neural blocker.  He explains to her what he’s just done and why in the most tightly compressed message of mature social morality I’ve ever seen*, and later returns for a last look at the results of his handiwork: Clara, free and clear and on her way.

    Time then to step into the next phase of his life — as an adult, his mad Rumpspringe (as it were) behind him, and his strength and intelligence marshaled for what comes next.  Maybe attending to some of those old “mistakes”, now that he’s grown up and clear headed enough to do it right.  In S10.

    *He *could* have said, instead of “never give up, never give in”, “and mercy, always mercy.”  But he knows better now.  You can’t always live up to your ideals, and you need a fall back position for those times when, for whatever reason, you fail to be kind, brave, and determined.  You need to figure out how to make amends, and then go do it and forgive yourself and move on.  And he’s not trying to *teach* that to Clara, advise her, instruct her — he’s not her teacher any more, and she’s not his.  He’s just telling her what *he* is doing with this mind wipe thing, because “People like us [complicated people with complicated inner lives] — we need to *say* things to each other.”  Maybe the last lesson he’s learned from her, since you can’t go on learning from what you’ve forgotten.

    I’m sorry if I’ve been repetitious and burbly about this — I’m just still just bowled over by the scope and depth of what I think they did here, and how long Moffat’s long game has really been . . .

    #49181
    Anonymous @

    @swordswhale

    you are a very classy guy. Mum says you may not be a guy! Now she’s sighing.

    Love the egg lightly grilled and gently nestled in a slice of toast.

    Mum, can I have that now?

    Well, I’m not having those cage eggs. They’re not good for anyone.

    I’m not walking to shop in 33 degree heat neither. no way. Uh uh.

    I love grilled mushrooms though . I like how they’re a bit hard on the outside and then soft when you bite thru them. I learned that in Home Ec. Mum says I shouldn’t be telling anyone about Home Ec but I say ‘why not?’ I can and have to learn to cook.

    And I’m opretty useless at ovens  -too hot.

    Give it baaack mum.

    Right, you made us look a right silly in front of people with your questions. You read pedant’s list of reasons explaining how the Tardis got to the Nevada desert which we now know is not Nevada after all. Read better young Son, OK?

    OK, you’re not that ‘young’ after all!

    kindest

    hybrid ( computer is over heating)

    Press ‘send’ quick….

     

     

     

     

    #49182
    Anonymous @

    that was dear @swordwhale above not the other wrong thing

    Also, thank you to @notime

    also that was great @ichabod. Where did you get that from?

    Hybrid (overheating overheating over heati

    #49183
    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  What was great?  Do you mean the quote (which I forgot to put quotation marks around) in #49171, from another discussion board?  If so, thanks very much — I put that on that board myself, in response to an unhappy post by someone there that set off some explosions in my brain, which is I guess “where I got it from” in the first place.  Something in that person’s post made me remember that what the Doctor said in passing out was *not* “Never cruel, never cowardly; never give up, never give in”, but the crucial emendation, “make amends”.  Brain blew up, poured brain soup out through chattering fingers on the keyboard.  And you know what?  I feel so much better now!  I mean, I’m still busted up by the conclusion, but now the satisfaction level is about 400 times higher for me (mind you, that just happens to be where I am these days, where this could speak to me — or where I could see this pattern in the story for my own reasons).  Mileage, as always varies with the individual . . .

    The place is the whole discussion of “Hell Bent”, at

    http://www.doctorwhotv.co.uk/12-great-moments-from-hell-bent-part-2-78875.htm?hubRefSrc=email&utm_source=lfemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=lfnotification#lf_comment=426439573

    Amazing fireworks have been going on over there — people just flashing great perceptions at each other and off each other’s posts, thick and fast and spectacular — never seen anything like it in that location, but I do often check in there because most of the whinging and snarling has abated significantly lately.

     

    #49184
    ichabod @ichabod

    @notime  I presume Clara must have been very moved to see the tribute left on the outside of the tardis. She no doubt would have known exactly who did it. I wonder if Ashildr looked on with envy since she would never know what it feels like to be memorialized.

    Seeing the proof of Rigsy’s admiration for Clara could be very inspiring to Ashildr as Apprentice, who already has said she admired Clara.

    And hi!  I’ve found discussions on this forum indispensable for getting to grips with what these shows have to offer, too.  Moffat has a *very* convoluted mind, I think, and that coupled with the need for a story that kids can get good stuff from too makes for pretty amazing richness, sometimes.  This is where I learned how very, very important re-watching is, when the material is so densely layered and scattered with hidden gems.

    #49187
    Anonymous @

    dear Miss @ichabod

    That was so beautifully written -what you posted on the other site and re-posted here . I imagine that other users of those sites would be rude about the whole series and Mum has simply said it’s because many of them are ‘stoopid’ and that’s why she stays here. She’s too scared what she’d say to these stoopid people -probably lots of “fs” and worse maybe!

    But that post you wrote was incredible. And I think that the only way to respond to bad writing and bad people (well, people who are just behaving badly) is to write really well, really help explain and remain positive and optimistic all the time. I think that is the best way to be and I think most people would respond really well to a good post coming from the heart and the brain. You are very intellectual and great with words. Mum says you are proper writer. I’m talking to a writer! I’ve never done that before. There are other writers here like @pedant and that’s awesome. He writes very concisely and I wish to could do that. @bluesqueakpip writes really well too and is an actor. I know writers and actors and geologists and urban planners and amazing people here.

    That’s why we the hybrid really like it here and don’t want to go anywhere else at all.

    It’s why I convinced Mum (puro) to come back and be ‘firey’ on site but happy. @notime and @swordwhale who said it was a great place and a rare place is right -spot on the money in my opinion.

    I think I will look up convoluted and what it is but I agree SM has a terrific mind and he isn’t worried about what others think. He must be very confident and strong to avoid the haters because I do read on the other sites people saying that they will have a ‘toast’ when Moffat finally leaves and there’s like 300 likes!

    How can people hate him or Hell Bent and the magician’s apprentice and even the mummy on the train thing. I liked Kill th e moon more on 2nd watching which I like to do. Personally I only like to watch things twice (unless it’s the film The Usual Suspects which I’m obsessed  by. “Kaiser Sose and who is HE?”)

    Thankyou for reading.

    Son of puro

    #49188
    Notime @notime

    Wow, was finally able to read all the comments on all the pages.  Great discussion.

    I still can’t help but think the Doctor realized that Clara failed to reverse the polarity and in fact rendered the neural block useless so he decided to fake his memory wipe.  It just seemed that way to me when I re-watched the episode.  His mannerisms seem to show that he was working though the remaining moves in a game of chess and found a stalemate scenario each time.  So he had to improvise and decided to play the “Lets press the button and see what happens” game.  He knew that Clara would steal the Tardis and also knew Ahildr would not stop her…..especially since she has been hoping to tardis trek for ages.

     

    On the other hand, the Doctor realizes he is addicted to his duty of care and it causing harm so he must stop.  Consider this a form of rehab.  Sometimes people retreat to the simplest of times when  the need to start over comes about.  Crazy theory I know……just keep coming back to that thought when I think about it some more….

    Looking forward to the Christmas episode!  🙂

    #49190

    @puroandson

    mushrooms

    Bah! Satan’s fungus!

    (My all time worst morning wqs after a night quaffing Amaretto (very alcoholic liqueur, very sugary), and the ensuing brutal hangover, garnished with the stench of one flatmate frying mushrooms and the sound of another playing the Smiths very. If I ever meet Morrissey I will beat him to death for a shovel. Why did Ian Curtis top himself and that posing tosser didn’t?)

    #49192
    winston @winston

    @puroandson   You won’t hear me dissing Moffat , I think he is a genius.  I enjoy his writing and the direction he has taken the Doctor as show runner.

    @notime   Your theory about the doctor pretending to forget , in order to release them both from his duty of care is good . I haven’t decided how much he remembered so I still need a rewatch or two.

    @ichabod   Your insight into the Doctors last words of advice have helped me understand it all alot better. He was making amends for his mistakes and telling Clara to do the same. It is far easier to make the mistakes than to atone for them. Admit  your mistakes and make amends- that is a good life lesson.

    #49197
    Anonymous @

    dear

    @pedant

    Satan’s fungus . Vert funny sir.

    @winston @notime

    I am firmly in the camp the Dr doesn’t remember Clara-he has a huge hole in his head about who she is. He knows the name but as he said, he can’t remember what she said, or how she said it and even the obsession with her has gone.

    That’s the way it has to be -otherwise what was the point of the neural bloc. He might have gotten around it but he really knew that it was essential to protect them both. Also, it was part of him making amends. If he remembers or gets around it then the power of the episode is lost I think =considering that Clara came back from death, I believe. If he does remember then making amends hasn’t really happened. It would be nice to think they both remember but isn’t this supposed to be a tragedy for them both? If he recalls things then the tragedy part of gone and I can’t bear that. It would need to be rounded out now. The claricles were often people the Dr didn’t even know were there -when he saw the Impossible Girl. Now we get full circle which is necessary for the story to proceed. otherwise how can the Dr fake forgetting her when he’s with another companion. He’d likely keep watch on Clara and we need closure on this companion. I’m not sure if @bluesqueakpip is in this camp -it’s not sides, byt the way, it’s just opinion. I hope that’s OK? 🙂

    But that’s just my opinion -I’m not sure what Mum, the other hybrid thinks.  🙂

    Thankyou for reading.

    Son of P. x

     

    #49198
    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Dear Son of Puro — thank you!  I’m just glad it made sense — I was still a bit jet-lagged at the time from a trip last weekend.  The best way I know of to get a good vocabulary and a good command of ways to use them for different purposes is, first — to read.  Lots.  And I don’t mean, read what passes for words on Twitter et al.  I think part of the “stoopid” that thrashes itself about on some DW sites is due to lack of reading books, good books full of good stories.  One thing I’ve found among my colleagues is that almost all of them were read to by their parents when they were little.  Wish more people “had time” to do that now.  We’re getting a lot of stoopidifcation these days for the lack of it, IMO.  This is certainly a special site, with so many very articulate posters here!  I think knowing how to articulate ideas effectively helps us think more clearly and further into even complicated subjects.

    People do hate anything that makes them feel stupid, though (Moffat’s Doctor Who stories, I think).  Tough, says I (although that’s not always the most constructive response . . . ).

    Nothing wrong with watching an episode only twice — Some of us here are a little extreme with re-watches, maybe.  I like to space them out, and see what rises to the surface of my memory when I think back on it later.  That tends to be the important stuff (for me).  Then I can look at those parts more closely the next time around.

    I’m very very glad that you convinced your mom to stay with us; thank you.

     

     

    #49199
    ichabod @ichabod

    @notime  I still can’t help but think the Doctor realized that Clara failed to reverse the polarity and in fact rendered the neural block useless so he decided to fake his memory wipe. It just seemed that way to me when I re-watched the episode. His mannerisms seem to show that he was working though the remaining moves in a game of chess and found a stalemate scenario each time. So he had to improvise

    That could well be; although it would be even more painful, in some ways — but also *stronger*, since then he would have to move Clara out of his mental foreground and into the background by sheer will, in order to resume and stick to his Doctor role, coat and sonic and all.  I must look again!

    @winston  Glad that helped.  With an ending as ambiguous as this one, we need all the help we can get.  Luckily, there’s no need to reach a consensus — only for civility, and we are rich in that here.

    @puroandson   It would be nice to think they both remember but isn’t this supposed to be a tragedy for them both? If he recalls things then the tragedy part of gone and I can’t bear that.

    That’s the beauty of how Moffat has done this: it’s ambiguous enough that you can decide on the interpretation that is most satisfying for *you*, and find evidence to support it!  Brilliant, I must say, and brilliantly acted besides.

     

    #49201
    Anonymous @

    @notime @winston

    Yes, I agree that it is definitely a question of ambiguity and we can each approach the ending as we see fit. As the Tardis disappears, as the ‘leaves’ of Clara’s painting blow off on the breeze, it is hard to believe that the Doctor doesn’t recognise her. I like the idea, personally, that Clara blew in on a leaf and blew out again in the same way: it’s not tragic or sad but rather beautiful. Maybe though, and Ashildr pointed this out, “it’s sad and it’s beautiful.”

    We know the Doctor is an expert in tragedy from “time to time.” It’s one of the perils of being a virtual immortal.  I wonder how Ashildr will develop or continue to develop as a person: she has the ability to do anything.

    She could  check on the village where she was born and encountered the Doctor. Hiding behind the boat shed and those electric eels, she could even find her mother, before she bore Ashildr; give closure to that part of her life. Or visit the grave of the one man who once loved her and died of old age thinking Ashildr was merely a dream: “beautiful and sad.” A life lost but a life led -it is indeed both. And both not in the normal way of things: out of kilter and out of time. I think it would be very difficult to be an immortal and to diarise one’s memories in order to access them. As Ashildr said to Clara (and I think Clara acted her discomfort beautifully there): “oh don’t look like that Clara. I loved our conversations very much. I still read them. They give me great pleasure.”

    A normal response would be: “O-kaaay”

    @winston: I agree absolutely. It was a good lesson and wisely taught to young children eager to take lessons from their favourite Doctor who has humanised himself over the past two seasons: “Admit  your mistakes and make amends- that is a good life lesson.”

    @notime I love your phrase below. You should Trade Mark it (TM) for future reference   🙂

    “especially since she has been hoping to tardis trek for ages.”  To go on a quick TT (Tardis Trek).

    Kindest,

    Puro Solo

    #49202
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @ichabod: It is an interesting take that the Doctor’s shooting the General to allow Clara to leave the room is a sign of how unhinged the Doctor is, but unfortunately for me perhaps, I am completely comfortable with the idea of an enraged Doctor doing this as a result of having seen the Fourth Doctor serial The Invasion of Time.  There the Doctor acts as a double agent against the Vardans, assumes the Presidency, exiles Leela to the wastelands for her own protection, destroys the transduction barrier protecting Gallifrey, traps an entire species the Vardans in a time loop, and constructs a forbidden weapon to erase a Sontaran invader from time itself.  So my version of the Doctor when it comes to Gallifrey is very much a means justifies the ends assessment.  I was not in the slightest surprised when the Doctor shot the General; instead, I just thought it was a cool moment.

    #49203
    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  Wow, that’s a great hunk of background — if I ever knew it, I’ve forgotten it completely, and that’s *without* a neural blocker, mind!  Well, what you’re describing seems to be the War Doctor.  CapDoc, in our time, has shown great distaste for soldiering and soldiers (despite having hung in there for quite a bit of it on WhatsitPlanet, as SmithDoc.  I think the War Doctor is exactly what he does *not* want to be again (this is the guy advocating mercy, which is not usually typical of a war zone), having gone so far as to once have blown his own planet to kingdom come and then suffered miles of guilt and horror for that after — *and* Clara’s reaction at the end of, say, MotOE, to what she takes to be his heartless efficiency has re-enforced that.  He’s just given a speech against war because of his own awful memories of doing terrible things when he was engulfed in that situation.

    So yes, he’s certainly *capable* of atrocities; but he’s been trying, as they say, to put all that behind him (me, I’d rather keep it up front where I could keep an eye on it).  So I think that in his own eyes in a quieter time, having shot the general just for getting in his way (instead of doing a clever thing to get round him) would look like serious backsliding into exactly what he *doesn’t* want to be.  Because that way lies the Valeyard (a version of the fully corrupted and power-mad Rassilon, in a way).

    So, not “unhinged” exactly; more like throwing all his weight on only one hinge of a three-hinged door, and it’s the one that when it fails would fail most spectacularly.  In the real world, these judgments do tend to hang on how you feel about the outcome, though, so . . . different viewpoints do make a difference.

     

    #49204
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @ichabod: Another thing that I just remembered, what I had been arguing earlier this season, is that, because of the Doctor’s hatred of war, if you put on a soldier’s uniform, with the possible exception of someone who is a Gallifreyan foot soldier, the Doctor is almost going to go out of his way to make sure you die for your country for your sin.  Look what happened to O’Donnell in Before the Flood. and look how completely unaffected the Doctor was by the deaths of all the UNIT personnel in The Zygon Inversion, including those who had been on his plane before it was shot down.

    The Doctor should have known something was wrong at the ending of Sleep No More because he hadn’t succeeded in killing off Nagata.

    #49205
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    I used to love Amaretto . Haven’t thought of it in ages.

    “beat to death for a shovel” ?? Beautiful.

    Morrissey is a Moron -hardly poetic but anyway. I think the Son read that post and did a “huh? I don’t understand anything except “stench” and “mushrooms” and “satan” and “shovel”. ”

    I said “that’s OK son -Mr P is right -Amaretto is indeed a sweet concoction which I could no more drink than a cheap scotch -both would wreak considerable havoc on my tum.”

    He understood that alright!

    Morrissey has a horrible hair thing going on and that’s not the worst thing -it’s the leather shoes and the posing “I am a vegetarian and support rights for all of God’s animal kingdom. We must not eat them”.

    He was seen enjoying a very expensive seafood basket at a restaurant which contained all sorts of fishy/meaty things like bugs, oysters, white and oily fish as well as shark etc. Mind you, this was many a year ago.

    Anywaaaay way off topic mods.      Oops  <ducks behind fridge>

    <^_^>

    Puro

    #49206
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @morpho- I wonder if the party was to highlight the extent of his care for Clara- on discovering that he will, most likely die, he has the dial sent to the appropriate (odd way though that is to refer to Missy) person and throws a big party. When Clara dies he smashes his way out of the confession dial, stages a coup on Gallifray, betrays the people who joined his side and risks the all of time and space he has spent so much of his life protecting. As we saw in The Wedding Of River Song (I think) he would never make that deal for his own life.

    That said, he didn’t seem surprised to see either Missy or Clara there. And Clara turning up meant he had to win when he was otherwise resigned to losing.

    #49207
    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore

    I’m not sure we can say he’s necessarily unaffected.

    and look how completely unaffected the Doctor was by the deaths of all the UNIT personnel in The Zygon Inversion, including those who had been on his plane before it was shot down.

    Well, I guess I wouldn’t say that. 🙂     It’s possible that there are parts of his character that are unlikeable and that’s one of them. But then I’m not sure he was altogether unaffected by O’Donnel’s death. Certainly, he gave her a way out -said “stay here”. The fella who turned out to be in love with her also agreed with the Doctor. But if he’s unlikeable when it comes to this new dislike of all soldiers then it should extent to UNIT -and it doesn’t.

    He likes Kate, respected the Brig (eventually) and adored Osgood (either one) but certainly we didn’t hear anything about Jaq’s death and I’m wondering how deliberate that is on the part of writers and showrunner -people give up their lives when they serve their country and remain nameless -at least to us, and perhaps that’s Harness’s intention in the Zygon 2 parter.

    The Doctor certainly asked the General  -to whom he was mostly polite: “what regeneration?” and when hearing “10th” said “good luck”. The General seemed to salute when replying “and to you, Sir.”

    Still, the Doctor may dislike soldiers and yet is happy to “ponce” about on the plane. I wondered about the plane too, in that episode. Was the pilot part of the terrorist splinter group? Maybe they all were!

    That’s one reason for the lack of mention unless it really is a Doctor-y fault. He aint no saint. He be an idiot in a box with prejudice at times. But I understand that the Time War ‘broke’ certain parts of him. In this iteration his intense dislike of soldiers comes to the fore. When Eleven was dealing with the clerics and their Bishop he was incredibly respectful and jocular and it was noticeable (Weeping Angels 2 parter -Crash of the Byzantium)

    Kindest, Puro Solo

    #49208
    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick

    Thanks. But why does he think he’s going to die? He doesn’t enter the dial because he’s dying; he’s forced into it to be interrogated.

    #49209
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Morpho- I think there is a difference between the proposed use of the dial in the first and last episodes. Originally, when Missy had it, he did think he was going to die. He then got out of that for Clara’s sake. Later he was forced into the dial when he was nowhere near dying.

     

    #49210
    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  if you put on a soldier’s uniform, with the possible exception of someone who is a Gallifreyan foot soldier, the Doctor is almost going to go out of his way to make sure you die for your country for your sin. 

    Oh, hardly; he didn’t blow up the plane or insist on a military patrol to go to the church.  But he seems to feel that if you sign off your killing capacity to the control of some higher military power, then you are also waiving your natural right to not be killed by somebody else.  The people in uniform sign on for risk and off for personal responsibility (“I was only following orders, Sir!”), so whatever happens to them is a matter of indifference to him.  He reserves his concern for those caught, against their will, in the crossfire.  Soldiers, being official agents of violence, can supposedly fend for themselves, while civilians can’t, so the latter command his attention.

    The Doctor should have known something was wrong at the ending of Sleep No More because he hadn’t succeeded in killing off Nagata

    He does know; he hustles them off to the TARDIS fretting aloud that he still doesn’t understand what the hell is going on, which is why they have to beat a retreat instead of outwitting the bad guys.  I think Clara should have noticed, and taken the warning that the Doctor can often help, but ultimately she needs to depend on herself.

    @morpho  why does he think he’s going to die? He doesn’t enter the dial because he’s dying; he’s forced into it to be interrogated.

    No, he doesn’t.  I think he foresees this increasingly dangerous course that he and Clara are dancing along together as a death spiral: one or the other of them will “show off” by taking a badly secured risk (as it happens, both, in the trap street, he by accepting Ashildr’s assurances, she by counting on his fix-anything skills), and then one or both of them will likely die in an attempted rescue because they can’t NOT try to rescue each other.  And it’s all about to be set off faster on this course, he suspects, because Davros is looking for him, and it’s not to invite him to a tea dance.  So the Confession Dial is a just-in-case measure.  We still have no idea what format it originally had, because Missy or Rassilon or both have turned it into a trap for him.

    @miapatrick  he didn’t seem surprised to see either Missy or Clara there. And Clara turning up meant he had to win when he was otherwise resigned to losing.

    Missy showed up in the Confession Dial?  I missed that; or you meant to write a different name?

    #49211
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Ichabod- I meant he didn’t seem surprised when Missy and Clara turned up at his going out party. I was saying that I thought the big party was to show the difference in his reaction to his own and to Clara’s death, then pointing out that his lack of surprise when Clara and Missy turned up might seem to contradict the idea that he was resigned to dying, since he must have known that Clara would insist on coming with him. Then, thinking back, he wasn’t expecting to be taken by force, was he?

    #49212
    Anonymous @

    @ichabod

    I think, if it’s true, the “just-in-case” explanation would rely a little too heavily on coincidence, but I think you’ve nailed it with the Davros explanation. He knew, because of his meeting with the child Davros, he could not avoid facing him and presumed that would likely be his own demise. Since that demise was not on Gallifrey, he had to trust his confession dial to a fellow renegade Time Lord, one he could at least trust to collect his body: his arch-friend, the Master. This might even be the bargaining chip Rassilon gave Missy to secure her release, on condition that she bring the dial to Rassilon. Missy then gave the tampered dial back to the Doctor and the trap is set.

    That seems pretty consistent with what we’ve seen and the facts we can safely deduce. Phew! Thanks, that pretty much ties it all up for me. 🙂

    #49213
    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @jphamlore

    go out of his way to make sure you die for your country for your sin

    Yeah, I didn’t highlight the above because I don’t think you meant it. You may have meant the other interesting posits but that? Nope, that just aint the Doctor: well, you’d have to be a monster to act that way   🙂

    I suggest a) the people on the plane in Inversion were terrorists and b) Jac and others died without mention because that’s what happens and it’s a cautionary tale isn’t it? It’s what you sign up for -and yet it doesn’t mean they should die or they should die without commemoration. Here, we commemorate those whose names we do not know. This goes toward some understanding of their family’s pain -but probably very little. It is the nature of war. It is the nature of the Doctor to detest soldiers (though not all of them and not when he gets to know them very well)  because of the Time War. He’s not so stupid that he doesn’t think that some soldiers are forced into war through threats and demands of ‘obedience’: “come here you” said Rassilion the Redeemer (Rassilion the Receeder, the Under-achiever, the ….whatever)  to the soldier outside the barn.

    At the same time, he’d know his History and the trials at Nuremberg. He was probably there.

    Then again, he’d know about the Velvet Revolution too. He was probably there.

    Kindest, puro

    #49214
    Anonymous @

    @morpho

    that’s a great tie in actually -it works very neatly. I could never really understand to what extent Missy was involved or how. I need someone with a set of cards to write:  – –

    1. this happened.

    2. then this

    (you get my meaning!). Also a timey whimey chart would be very welcome ah…erm.@Bluesqueakpip I said a timey-whimey chart would be very welcome!!!

    <^-_-^>

    #49215
    Anonymous @

    @puroandson (Regeneration unknown)

    Haha yes, a timey-wimey approach was how I tried to (and failed) to figure it out: I was looking at it from the point of view of the confession dial and trying to work out what it’s journey was, suspecting a bootstrap paradox, which might still apply.

    Here goes (I think this is my first official bonkerisation):

    Rassilon and Missy tamper with the dial to turn it into an interrogation chamber. Mayor Me and the Time Lords accidentally kill Clara to trap the Doctor in the dial. Because of this, the Doctor uses the dial to force the Time Lords to save Clara. To ensure that he can do this in the past, he gives his dial to Missy in the future so she and Rassilon will tamper with it.

    That way, the Doctor is only trapped in the dial because he gave it to Missy and he only gave it to Missy so he could trap himself in it. Likewise, he traps himself in it to save Clara, but Clara only dies because of his plan to trap himself in the dial. A pair of bootstraps! 😀

    #49216
    Anonymous @

    @morpho

    That. Is. Amazing.

    So, when we see the Doctor on Karn is it possible that at that point it’s known that he’s going to be in the ‘dial’ so to speak? Or does that not have  a bearing? I always thought there was something fishy about him on Karn -he looked miserable as if something horrible was happening or ‘is’ happening.

    Later, of course, Missy talks to Clara and teleports her to the party. His last send off  -or so he thinks -because he knows Davros and ‘that time’ is approaching. He told Ohila who said “you owe him nothing.” And to Sarff, she says “Davros should have been dust years ago!”

    I guess that he heads off to Davros knowing it’s going to be on Skaro (with the Skaro degradations of course) and that he might well die despite best laid plans. And Clara showing up on Skaro was a worry -I guess he wouldn’t have wanted Missy and Clara to be there as prisoners. From what I recall not even the Dr knew they were on Skaro, but rather a “space hospital”.

    Anyway, I’m rambling (which iteration did a lot of that? Eleven? 🙂

    Your theory is unbelievably good for a first bonkerising. A gold medal to you.

    Son of Puro here: I agree too. So good it blows my mind. Usually I love layered stuff-most telly doesn’t do that. I t can be boring or it can confuse me to death like the Matrix stuff which I found was all style anyway rather than substance. Also I was way too young I think to get it. But I get most of the Dr’s time stuff. You need diagrams

    Thankyou

    Puro and Son

     

    #49217
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Morpho

    I think my main problem with your bonkers theory is a characterisation one: it just strains my suspension of disbelief that Missy would (post End of Time) do any deals with Rassillon that didn’t involve a lovely big knife to stick in his back. Frankly, I think the only reason Rassillon’s not dead is that Missy wants him to die very slowly, knowing that he’s lost everything. 😈

    So, to hand you the ‘knife’ –

    – when Missy tampers with the Confession disc, she creates a ‘back door’ escape route.

    Since it would take 4.5 billion years to punch through that wall, she knows the Time Lords won’t realise it’s an escape route. Since she knows her bezzy mate pretty well, she knows he’s stubborn enough to take 4.5 billion years to punch through the wall. Especially if it’s a ‘rescue Clara’ situation.

    Which means the Doctor is going to arrive on Gallifrey in a state of being both slightly nuts and very, very, very pissed off. 😀

    #49219
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Bluesqueakpip- I like that idea. She gives him a way out, which is bound to make him arrive on Gallifrey exactly as pissed off as she wants him to be.

    @morpho- it’s a nice theory, and in terms of events I like it. But I also don’t think there is any way in hell Rassillion would ever trust her. Last time he tried to use the Master for something, he discovered that they’d done too good a job at driving the Master mad to ever safely use them, and that, at the end of the day, the Master felt more loyalty towards the Doctor than to the rest of the time lords.

    #49222

    @puroandson

    Crikey, you can tell the hour that was posted at. Even by my standards the typos are comedy gold.

    #49225
    Anonymous @

    @puroandson

    (Magician) Haha thank you for your kindness about my first bit of bonkers. Yes, he definitely had a plan on Karn, which leads me to think it might have been a future version laying the path for his past self (and those plotting against him) to follow. That does seem to be his style this season. I suspect the first we see of the Doctor is either just before or just after he gives Missy the dial.

    It could be rubbish, of course, but it’s fun to bonkerise even if you don’t believe it! 🙂

    (Apprentice) I only saw the first Matrix once, so I never got to hear all the craziness that followed. But it was an interesting idea that could be perfect for Who (without all the kung-fu and superhero stuff). Have you come across the Simulation Hypothesis? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis

    @bluesqueakpip

    it just strains my suspension of disbelief that Missy would (post End of Time) do any deals with Rassillon that didn’t involve a lovely big knife to stick in his back.

    At what cost freedom? The Master has worked with the Time Lords, the Valeyard, the Daleks, the Cyberman, and the Doctor. (S)he doesn’t strike me as the type to take umbrage (except maybe Simm’s incarnation). And killing people is whimsical to her: I think she’d have a more overcomplicated plan for Rassilon. Who knows what her end game was…

    #49226
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Morpho

    The Master has worked with the Time Lords, the Valeyard, the Daleks, the Cyberman, and the Doctor.

    Yes, but they are not the person who tortured him by using him as a living transmitter since age seven.

    I can easily see Missy doing a deal with the General, the Gallifreyan army, the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Doctor’s mum – and the Doctor, frankly, is her bezzy mate/bezzy enemy, so doing a deal with the Doctor has never been one of her problems. I just have huge problems with a deal between her and Rassillon when, the last time we saw them, the Master was doing his damndest to at least cause Rassillon an awful lot of pain and definitely to ruin his plans.

    Basically, it needs a) Missy to a ‘let bygones be bygones’ sort of person – and as a highly talented escape artist, I’m doubtful that ‘deal with Rassillon’ is her only route to freedom.

    And b) Rassillon needs to be really, really stupid. 🙂

    #49228
    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick

    Thanks! 🙂 I’m not wedded to the bootstrap theory btw, that was just for fun. As for Missy and Rassilon, it’s difficult to see how they haven’t worked in some common interest at some point unless, perhaps, the Time Lords have some remote control over the dials, which I’d have thought would have been mentioned. My thinking was that the timeline of the dial was: Doctor (established), Missy (established), Rassilon (for tinkering), Missy, then Doctor, Davros, Doctor, Me, ???, some bit of dirt on Gallifrey, Doctor. I suppose if Rassilon can do what he needed to do to the dial from anywhere in time and space, there is no reason why Missy should ever know what he’s up to, which addresses @bluesqueakpip ‘s concern too.

    #49229
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    Thanks to all the fine folks who analyzed “Nevada” and trucks. Silly me for not recognizing a Ford Bronco… but then, I’m better at recognizing real “broncos” (various equines). >D

    The bonkers theories are nearly more fun than the show.

    Did I mention that I love the way they play with time and the timelines of stories? And how much space they leave for fanfiction.

    OK, now I had to look up the Canary Isles… yes, very Nevada-ish. But then parts of Spain and Italy have stood in for the Wild West for decades.

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    OK, I need to know what a Bex is… I’m all for the cup of tea and the lie down some days!

    #49230
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @puroandson  @morpho

    Re the trajectory of the confession dial.

    Let us assume, as a reasonable hypothesis, that Missy was indeed involved in the plot to entrap the Doctor. Rather than escaping from Gallifrey, she was allowed to do so by Rassilon and the High Council after Gallifrey had returned to the normal universe, the condition of her release being that she helped them to get their hands on the Doctor using any opportunity which presented itself. She agreed, but in the expectation that she would be able to find a way of doing so which served her own ends and, if possible, rebounded on Rassilon.  Presumably neither she nor they could have foreseen the events of The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar, but when the Doctor sent her his confession dial she immediately saw it as a way of achieving the both the Time Lord’s ends and her own, in the way that @Bluesqueakpip has proposed above – and I very much like that theory; it fits perfectly with everything we have been shown.

    Missy wants revenge on Rassilon, and she wants a Doctor who has been pushed beyond his self-imposed rules and who might be brought to see the universe as she sees it.  What she couldn’t have foreseen is Ohila, present at the show-down to act as a stern moral arbiter, shocking him back into a recollection of his better self.

    As for the confession dial, my reading of the sequence of events is this:

    The Doctor encounters the child Davros and abandons him in the hand-mine field.  Zipping forward again in time he learns that the now ancient Davros is said to be dying and his agents are looking for him.  He realises that this is almost certainly a trap but feels, in the light of his recent experience, that he has a moral duty to respond. In order to buy a little time he seeks temporary sanctuary with the Sisters of Karn, and his arrival is closely followed by that of Colony Sarff.  Ohila sends Sarff packing and then turns to address the Doctor, who emerges from the shadow of the nearby rock where he has been concealed.  It is at this point, I think, that the conversation in the prologue takes place. Ohila questions the Doctor, who looks uncomfortable and prevaricates.  ‘Did something happen?’ she asks, and then, ‘Was it recent?’  The Doctor admits it, and it seems fairly obvious that he is referring to his encounter with child. Knowing that he may be going to his death, he then hands over the confession dial, to be given to Missy as the only fellow Time Lord he knows to be accessible (Missy’s claim that it was given to her because she was his best friend was probably coloured by a good deal of wishful thinking on her part), and Missy tampers with it in the manner proposed by @bluesqueakpip.

    At some point subsequently the Doctor regains possession of it and has it with him in Trap Street when Mayor Me demands that he hands it over. She passes it on to the Time Lords, who trap him in it, and he reacts as Missy intended.  I think that it was made fairly clear in this episode that the estimated four and a half billion years which he took to break out was subjective within the virtual environment of the dial, and bore no relation to the passage of time in the universe outside it.

    The simpler alternative is, of course, that all the tampering was done by the Time Lords, but that would not explain the ‘back door’ represented by the diamond wall.

    #49232
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    wait….

    Donna’s Diner…

    huh?

    #49234
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @swordwhale

    Since it is sort of off-topic, I have answered your question about Bex over on the “Fox Inn” page here

    #49236
    Anonymous @

    @mudlark

    Excellent summary, thanks! A couple of comments…

    I think I’ve said before that the azbantium wall isn’t likely a back door. Just because the Doctor was very clever and determined, no-one (not even him) was likely to expect him to take that route. A substance harder than diamand is a very, very strong barrier rather than an escape route. The Doctor has escaped from many prisons; we don’t presume the doors and cages and handcuffs were designed to be broken out of every time. That said, I’m still suspicious about HOME…

    You’ve prompted me to think exactly what the relationship between Mayor Me and the Time Lords was. Were they visiting Earth, or was she visiting Gallifrey? Because the only other Time Lord (“Time Lady, please!”) we’ve seen gallavanting about the universe with a time machine (“wearable technology”) is… ahem!

    #49237
    ichabod @ichabod

    @miapatrick   I meant he didn’t seem surprised when Missy and Clara turned up at his going out party.

    Oh, right — for some reason I thought you meant that Missy and Clara turned up in the Confession Dial (well, Clara did . . . sort of).

    he wasn’t expecting to be taken by force, was he?

    Maybe not, but he *should* have been (I mean, Davros!  Even Davros dying . . . !).

    @morpho  You’re welcome.  Your #49215 — very neat!  I’m still unable to get a mental grip on the matter of the Dial, though.

    #49238
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @Morpho

    As regards the relationship between Mayor Me and the Time Lords, I think that Missy, with her access to a means of time travel and her knowledge of the whereabouts of Gallifrey, was probably acting as go between in the events leading up to Trap Street.  As I said in comments on Heaven Sent, there are indications that Me may have had contact with Missy as early as the 17th century, if not before.  Even at the best of times Time Lords, with a few notable exceptions, are not known for the willingness to go roaming the universe in time and space, and they are currently protecting themselves by cowering near the end of the universe. In the circumstances Missy is well placed to be their errand girl – even if Missy might view her role rather differently.

    From the point of view of the Time Lords, the wall of azbantium and the tantalising appearance of the word HOME would appear to be just another means of frustrating and tormenting the Doctor in their efforts to force him to give them the information they wanted. They fully expected that he would break under torture and according to the General, once they had that information he would have been released*. As far as they were concerned there was no need to provide even a potential, if highly improbable way for him to escape.  The fact that wall was in fact barring a way out seems to me to point to Missy and the scenario which @bluesqueakpip outlined.

    Missy has known the Doctor since childhood and, as Blue said, she understands him very well, well enough at any rate to foresee how he would react to being trapped in this way and to push all the right buttons. So she ensures that there is a way out for someone very, very, very determined, stubborn and persistent, and to give him a bit of incentive she devises the barrier so that the word HOME appears briefly each time he arrives there.

    As I have argued before (though I know you disagree), I think that the experience within the confession dial is that of a mind within a completely immersive virtual environment, and we already have the example of the Nethersphere in the last series to support such a theory.  It follows that the wall of azbantium, rather than being the real, physical barrier it appeared to be, was a metaphor for an obstacle which could only be overcome by innumerable repeated attacks on it over several billion years.

     

    *Rassilon, knowing him, may have had other plans

    #49239
    Mudlark @mudlark

    Further to my post above and earlier post #49230, I think that the events of Face the Raven/Heaven Sent/Hell Bent could be seen as the culmination of the very long game which Missy has been playing, starting with her ‘matchmaking’ between the Doctor and Clara; her dual object being to induce the Doctor to abandon the code by which he has always tried to live and to get her revenge on Rassilon.  Her first attempt to do this  was by presenting the Doctor with an invincible army of millions of cybermen, and when this failed she rethought her strategy, adopted a plan more in keeping with her instructions from the Time Lords.  She could hardly have planned the death of Clara in Trap Street, though she might have hoped that Clara would act as she did, and the result was certainly all she could have wished for.

    Going off at a tangent, I’ve been meaning to say that I found Capaldi as the Doctor in icy, vengeful mode utterly, spine-tinglingly  compelling, and though it may be reprehensible of me, I do enjoy it when we see the dark side of the Doctor.  Not a role model, to be sure, but as others have said, he has always had that side to him, and that is what makes the character so endlessly fascinating.  As he said to Kovarian in A Good Man Goes to War, ‘Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.’

     

    #49241
    Anonymous @

    @morpho

    Well, thank you for the simulation theory: son of Puro ran out of room screaming: I don’t think he understood a single word.

    Neither, ahem, did I? Are we all living in a simulation? Wait. Nothing is real? This is freaking me out!

    Freaked out Puro and Son.

    #49245
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @puroandson  @morpho

    Simulation theory of the universe, yup.  We could be figments in a universe which is just a vast and complex computer simulation being run by … what?  😮   Fun idea, no?

    Which is what I have been suggesting the castle in the confession dial was on a small scale – except that the Doctor in the dial wasn’t a figment.  He was just mentally plugged into it or, to put it another way, his consciousness was embedded within an avatar of himself in the simulation, so  the experience felt completely real in every detail.

    #49246
    tommo @tommo

    very interesting discussions indeed. it would certainly put missy’s final words in episode 2 into some context.

    #49248
    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark   I think that the experience within the confession dial is that of a mind within a completely immersive virtual environment . . .  the wall of azbantium, rather than being the real, physical barrier it appeared to be, was a metaphor for an obstacle which could only be overcome by innumerable repeated attacks on it over several billion years.

    Works for me — the wall is just as real as the 4 billion + years — only inside the VR immersion of the Dial, which also tells us how the Doctor comes out of it without a scratch on him.  But — there is one real thing in there with him: when the Veil steps outside after him, it collapses into empty cloth and cog-wheels.

    Going off at a tangent, I’ve been meaning to say that I found Capaldi as the Doctor in icy, vengeful mode utterly, spine-tinglingly compelling, and though it may be reprehensible of me, I do enjoy it when we see the dark side of the Doctor.  

    Me, too — very bracing, like a plunge in the cold North sea (look what this guy *could* be . . . !).

    his consciousness was embedded within an avatar of himself in the simulation, so the experience felt completely real in every detail.

    That’s very clear; thank you.  But it does raise the question — so where was he, his physical self, while all this was going on inside the Dial + his consciousness?  Disassembled in Trap Street and transported to Gallifrey, where the Dial ejects him to be reconstituted whole as he steps out onto the sand?  Never mind “hell of a bird” — that’s a hell of a gadget!  And nothing like any concept I know of a “Last Will and Testament”.

    #49250
    Mudlark @mudlark

    ?@ichabod

    there is one real thing in there with him: when the Veil steps outside after him, it collapses into empty cloth and cog-wheels.

    I’ll have to watch that again to be sure, but I think that it then faded and disappeared, just as the shimmering outline of the wall persisted for a few moments and then shrank to nothing.  I took this to be the lingering after effects of his mental submersion.

    where was he, his physical self, while all this was going on inside the Dial + his consciousness

    My theory, as outlined in comments in the Heaven Sent thread, was that his physical self might have remained  in potentia in the hard drive of the transporter, the ‘transporter’ in the dial being an analogue of the real thing.  His release or, as it turned out, his escape from the virtual reality of the confession dial was the trigger for his physical re-materialisation.  I accept that this may not be at all what SM envisaged, but it makes a lot more sense to me than his being physically present in a real clockwork castle.

    As for the Last Will and Testament reference, I can’t remember whether it was the Doctor or Missy who said something to the effect that it wasn’t a very accurate analogy.  According to what the Doctor said in this episode, it was meant to be something that a dying Time Lord, or his/her mind, entered to undergo a form of ritual purification, ‘facing their demons’ before their mind was uploaded into the Matrix – which isn’t far off my original suggestion that the dials were a kind of life record/review with which a dying Time Lord would be confronted before entering the Matrix.

    As you can probably tell, I have read a great deal of science fiction  in the course of my life  🙂

     

    #49251
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod    I’m not sure where that query before your tag came from, but things were shifting about rather oddly when I was doing the formatting.

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