Home Forums Episodes The Twelfth Doctor Listen

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    Craig @craig


    This one could blow the bloody doors off and melt the internet.

    The Doctor asks the question, “What’s that in the mirror, and the corner of your eye? What’s the footstep following, but never passing by?” What will he find at the end of the universe?

    Ghosts of the past and future crowd into the lives of the Doctor and Clara: a terrified caretaker in a children’s home, the last man standing in the universe and a little boy who doesn’t want to join the army.

    Moffat returns to one of his favourite tropes, the thing you can’t see but still think may be there…

    Timeloop @timeloop

    What the actual f*ck.


    All I can up with right now. This episode will be ranked in importance in line with the Doctors wife.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I’m burning my bedspread (and my bed)….. Genuine chills!


    Anonymous @

    @timeloop – ditto 😯


    thommck @thommck

    Wow, loved that episode, 5 stars.

    So, if it was all Clara’s timeline then she is related to the Doctor!

    Also, reminded me a lot of the episode Hide, which also had a time traveller with a family link and monsters that hid in the dark.

    I did have to smile at the return of the space barn 😀

    Off to re-solidify my brain now

    Whisht @whisht

    @timeloop – absolutely!

    So glad I see that others can only saywhat I was about to say which was


    I’ll need to rewatch this but wow.

    And no idea if jenna is loved or loathed (or both) by people but she was amazing (imho).

    but will rewatch and offer something better than wow!

    Rob @rob


    The soldier without a gun, a family heirloom

    Family name Pink

    Tardis is blue

    Did I say Fantastic yet,

    And and and……

    The Doctor drinks coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    TheatreGuy @theatreguy

    Ok I’m really convinced Clara is related to the Doctor now. She gives the toy soldier to a young Danny, Orson then gives it to Clara saying it’s been passed down as a family heirloom, then Clara gives it to the young doctor.

    Has to be something there

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @thommck – not necessarily. Thoughts of Danny distracted her and she went to Danny’s timeline, thoughts of the Doctor distracted her (when he gasped) and she went to the Doctor’s timeline.

    Playing Devil’s Advocate here, because I did think – when the Doctor joked about wanting to know Danny’s prospects – that he was acting very like Clara’s Dad.

    [Umm, and yeah, I’m like – what the fcuk? That was stunning. I am stunned.]

    Mattie @mattie

    still don’t understand what was under the bed or what was knocking on the door?

    Mattie @mattie

    under the blanket*


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @mattie – you’ll never know, mattie. That’s the point. You’ll never know. 😉

    Mattie @mattie

    oh 🙁 haha


    Timeloop @timeloop

    @whisht @fatmaninabox Glad I’m not alone……

    It’s like… And they did… And the Doctor….. And Clara…. And the child… and crying! …. And just….. awesome. No coherent thought. I am not even sure if I should watch it again or let it sink in first…. such a huge difference in what we know about the Doctor!

    And I had 2 surprises (The helmet and the barn and what she said there).

    @wolfweed And they said it’s for children ;D

    @thommck You forgot that Clara has been in that barn before. No relation necessary.

    @whisht Probably both but I think more loathed. The trolls…. so many trolls who can feast on that. I personally am glad that I watched it unspoiled because it will be everywhere soon. And I think Moffat did what he is supposed to do. Think bold, give the show new directions. Good job Moffat for creating so much to talk and argue about. Just imagine him writing that. He must have not been able to stop giggling (as in laugh up one’s sleeve).

    Also I couldn’t help but think of those who did not want Danny/Denny/Danni/Denni/Dani/Deni (are there more possibilities?) Pink to become what is now certain to happen.

    Anonymous @

    Oh… my… God… I LOVED it. Loved the vibe, but again I’m confused: so, it was Clara who grabbed the young Doctor’s foot, but I don’t understand how the same thing happened to the little girl, the little boy and the old lady in the beginning. Is it because they were somehow connected to Doctor’s timeline? Any theories on that 😀 ?

    Lazarus @lazarus

    Whatever was on the bed must be something from a later episode.


    This is the first one of Capaldis ive enjoyed.

    markymoomoo @markymoomoo

    Well, that was all kinds of splendid. I found my attention drifting a little about 15 minutes in – but I’m glad I stuck with it.

    Mattie @mattie

    its quite obvious that clara has a child or children with mr pink because he gave her a family heirloom and i think the reason they went to the old barn was because she was split into the doctors timeline.


    ABXY @abxy

    I’m do confused, but amazed at the same time. I spent most of the episode waiting for a jumpscare, but it never came, so that scared me all the more… But still, wow… That was amazing and confusing… I’m going to rewatch it tomorrow without hiding and see if I can understand it more.

    Little theory I came up with as I was watching though, what survives where nothing can survive? What knocks when there can be nothing knocking? The Midnight Monster prehaps? But probably not.

    Mattie @mattie

    that scene reminded me of when the 10th doctor was stuck in the tram thing where they said outside was inhabitable but then there were the knocks and then sky got possessed.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    That’s the first episode in a while I’ve wanted to watch immediately again. Fantastic! Maybe the Moff should get his budget cut more often if this is the result.

    The knocking on the spaceship reminded me of ‘Midnight’ which is another one of my favourites.

    Anonymous @

    @danmartinuk reviews ‘Listen’ on The Guardian

    I’ve had my second shock of the night. The BTL comments are all positive 😯 (at time of typing – things may change 😉 ).

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Listen reminds me of ‘The Edge of Destruction’…

    I think some will start to moan about the Dr being a cry-baby…


    Just seen the Dr Who theme performed at Glasgow Green Prom on the red button.

    I’ll post the vid if I can find it…

    I don’t know if it’s live or on a loop… Why no warning about this? I only caught most of it by accident…

    Nice to see some prom action with Capaldi visuals…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Was it just me, or did the Doctor wake up from a dream of Doctor Who Legacy? ‘The Sontarans are destroying the time line!’

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi everyone, swimming in from sick bed – did the Doctor say “Dad skills” when he put young Pink to sleep with a Time Lord finger? Methinks he did. Definite Dad vibes.

    I know we’re going to see the Doctor’s cot again at some point.

    I like Jenna Coleman so much better with Capaldi than with Smithy – she’s stepped up her acting game and is permitted more of a range than just flirting with the Doc – hurrah.

    Ah ha – and the return of the War Doctor – so Twelve is haunted by his two time-streams (Pink and Blue) indeed.

    Definitely needs a re-watch – that was fun and I really love Capaldi in the role (although of course Smithy and the bow-ties are still very much in my heart still x)



    Tetropolis @tetropolis

    I dont know if im going mad but todays episode seemed to confirm something for me, there is a theme of ‘breath’ mentioned in every episode in this series to date, the first episode is called ‘deep breath’ thereby seeming to point us in that direction. More specifically its mentioned when Clara holds her breath to not be found out, episode 2 there is a reference to not holding your breath during the miniaturisation process before entering the Dalek, episode 3 and Robin hood mentions that the guard has terrible breath (the most tenuous link, i know) and in tonight’s episode the doctor mentions that at the end of everything there  is not a breath to be heard. Id be interested to know if anyone else had noticed this or maybe i am just over thinking. there seems to be only one mention in each episode like its been deliberately placed there. would be good to see if others have noticed this or have any theories or even just to say im looking into it too much

    Radox @radox

    I have to say, I’ve been pretty cynical about this series so far, but this episode has done a hell of a lot to win me over. I thought the episode itself was great. It seemed focused (despite moving about quite a lot) and the pacing was good. Twelve seems a lot more comfortably defined in this than in the past episodes and I’m loving it. I may yet come around to Capaldi. I even liked Clara in this episode. The teaser for next week’s ep looks nice as well. Kinda makes me wonder if they’ve just got the rubbish eps out of the way. If so, then we should be in for a hell of a series.

    thommck @thommck

    @timeloop I know she’s been to the barn before but I think they made the whole psychic link ambiguous on purpose.

    If Clara does have children with Danny then his childhood becomes party of her history, or if she is related to the Doctor then Danny could be her descendant! Ooh-er missus!

    There was definitely a non-human under the blanket as it was shown on screen, so although we know the Doctors original bed bug was just Clara, there still could be something lurking in the shadows (or spoon reflections!). @timecahoot, I think the other people getting their legs grabbed was just a visualisation of their dreams.

    Also more talk of eyes today, particularly Clara’s but Danny also said he can tell when people are lying (psychicly?)

    I love how the Doctor constantly insults Clara like a sibling might but then she gave him a very motherly telling of near the end.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I agree about the ‘breath’ motif, @tetropolis.

    And we can still champion the ‘eye’ motif too, @thommck


    BanjoFiddler @banjofiddler

    That was back to its best. I enjoyed last week, couldn’t help thinking it was a bit of a series filler though.

    I was always likely to be anyway, but I’m completely won over now.

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    Generally agree with everyone else – didn’t quite know what to think about that at first – other then it was bloody good. But here are some thoughts that have now developed in my brain.

    The episode took a strange u-turn at the end, where instead of giving us any more answers to the questions being asked by the Doctor, it simply told us why the question was being asked. I suppose that’s obvious, but I just thought it was very unusual for Doctor Who. Seems more like an arty-film-thing-to-do. But that’s no bad thing.

    @TimeCahoot I actually think there is no direct connection between the hands grabbing the kids and old lady’s feet, and Clara grabbing the Doctor’s – other than: it is a common fear we all have (something under the bed), but to the Doctor it actually happened, hence why he’s so much more interested in it as a concept than most (especially now, when he’s perhaps (controversially) at his most vulnerable he’s ever been, personality-wise (apart from maybe the Fifth Doctor, although the Twelfth has had more time to worry about things on his own in the Tardis)). But then it’s a bit timey-wimey because he only felt a hand on his foot because of the chain of events that came from his asking the question ‘What’s under the bed?’ in the first place, which was because of the hand on his foot. Oh, Moffat. I think the other hands-under-the-bed were more about what we fear the Thing-that-we-sense-is-always-there might do. And this hand-under-the-bed idea went into Clara’s head during the episode, and made her subconsciously grab babby-Doctor’s foot. (Can’t quite explain that, but the human subconscious does weird things sometimes, so maybe.)

    But, regarding the fact that the story took a bit of a u-turn: wouldn’t the Doctor still want to find out the answer to the questions ‘Are we ever alone?’ ‘What’s that under the bed?’ etc.? He was clearly bothered by them – why stop asking now? Or am I mistaken?

    Anyway, back with some more thoughts soon.

    BanjoFiddler @banjofiddler

    @juniperfish – I agree, her best performance so far. I like the new dynamic rather than flirting again.

    BanjoFiddler @banjofiddler

    @jimbomcmaster – Here’s me trying to think of a reason why the doctor’s dream is passed on to all humanity. I think you are probably right, he is just interested in it because it happened to him. Hmmmm….

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    @ Juniperfish Yes, I believe the Doctor said ‘dad skills’. I like the idea that Time Lords have evolved the ability to just put their children to sleep when need be. Makes life a bit easier (although doesn’t stop them waking up again!) This of course confirms definitely without doubt that the Doctor is Danny Pink’s dad.

    @whisht @timeloop re: the like-ability of Clara. I very much like Clara, particularly this series, as she seems to just have more to do than before, possibly even than other companions (eg her face-off with the Half-Faced Man was actually possibly the best scene in Deep Breath).

    Still realising the significance of seeing the Doctor’s childhood. So was he an orphan? I’ve not read any of the novels that deal with the Doctor’s childhood. Sad, but perhaps appropriate, that he didn’t want to be with the other Time Lord boys.


    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @abxy @mattie @chickenelly I’m another who was reminded of Midnight. I felt that there were some unresolved questions from that episode, and for a moment I was excited by the thought that they might be answered; but maybe that was a red herring?

    So much to think about, and will need to watch again, but one thing that struck me very powerfully was how important this must have been to the Doctor in explaining why, at his moment of greatest crisis as the ‘War Doctor’, he returned to that barn where he had his ‘nightmare’. For it was there that he learned so much of his sense of being the Doctor: never cruel or cowardly. Perhaps Capaldi’s fascination with this particular nightmare suggests his recovery of both of these moments: Clara speaking to him as a frightened boy, and his attempt to end the Time War.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Hmmm… I think we’re being thrown for a loop on the idea that Orson is Clara’s grandson or great-grandson. The fact that they used Samuel Anderson makes it obvious he’s Danny’s grandson/great grandson.

    Now consider: we meet young Rupert in a Children’s Home. In Gloucester. Yet later on, in London, he talks about ‘family stuff’. He’s in his early thirties – ‘family stuff’ could easily refer to a son or daughter he doesn’t want to mention on a first date.

    Time travel runs in the family? The plastic soldier brave enough to not carry a gun is a family heirloom? I dunno – maybe we’re looking at the wrong candidate for child and grandchild. The ‘family heirloom’, after all, is given to the Doctor.

    And Colonel Orson Pink says ‘grandparent’ and then corrects it to ‘great-grandparent’. As if the stories were told by his grandparent, but his great-grandparent was the time traveller. Not just along for the ride; his great-grandparent was a time traveller.

    Final comment: Rupert is named after Clara. Clara is Latin for ‘Clear, Bright, Famous’. Rupert is German for – Bright, Famous, Shining.

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    @banjofiddler I think maybe that because we still don’t know what exactly the Thing is, the Doctor may go on investigating – maybe the story is not yet over, and in the course of investigating somehow he encounters something/someone that causes his dream to be spread to us all telepathically or something. Just a thought…

    Although, in answer to my own question above, are we meant to assume that the Doctor did get an answer to his questions in the end-of-the-universe-timeship-thing, ie he met the monster when the door opened, but while the scanner was not properly working? Seems obvious now I think about it like that. Makes it even spookier. Although, why didn’t Clara just walk out to have a look?


    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip I somehow agree. We still do not know if Clara is Orson’s ancestor. After all, she was distracted and thus not in her but in Danny’s timeline. Also, Danny may become part-time/full-time companion.

    BanjoFiddler @banjofiddler

    @jimbomcmaster – Agreed, we will see if the theme continues.

    Pufferfish @pufferfish

    Really enjoyed that – sitting cross-legged in the armchair, naturally. Thankful that anything living under my bed would get confused amongst all the shoes.

    Hmm, I thought the path of the toy gunless soldier went like so:

    Box in care home->Clara putting it under Rupert’s bed, when it’s named Dan Dan the Soldier Man->Eventually inherited by Orson Pink->Taken from end of Universe and given to young lad Doctor by Clara.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Why does Orson wear a Sanctuary Base 6 suit? (see TIP/TSP)
    We know that Clara didn’t tell all to the to the Doctor. But what if the Doctor is keeping things from Clara?

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    Why did Clara not want the Doctor to know where they had been at the end? I might just be being stupid, but I couldn’t work it out. Wouldn’t telling him what happened there ease his anxiety over the under-the-bed things? Help him understand why he is so bothered by the idea of them?

    Also, doesn’t this mean that Clara just went to Gallifrey? The real one? Did the TARDIS therefore go into the bubble universe where Gallifrey is now hidden? Surely Clara appreciates that the Doctor would want to at least know the coordinates of it then ie how to return there?

    I’m confused as to why Clara doesn’t want to tell the Doctor what happened and where she was. Can somebody help a confused simpleton?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Everyone – could we leave off the acronyms, please? Pretty please? Especially since half of them start with T. It can’t take you half as long to type Satan Pit as it takes me to work out TSP is ‘Satan Pit’ and not a popular brand of disinfectant. Or possibly a bank. Time Sensory Perception? 🙂

    Could be Sanctuary Base was researching into time travel, amongst other things. If you watch the Brian Cox talk that’s in the 50th Anniversary box set, he discusses the applicability to time travel of the event horizon of a black hole. Orson would be travelling in the right direction (the future) to use the event horizon method.

    Serahni @serahni

    Well, that was a twist I didn’t anticipate!  How bold of Moffat to show even a minor smattering of Gallifreyan culture, though we know he draws heavily on previous canon because The Doctor has already mentioned going to the Academy.  I think it’s Romana’s first episode, right, where they compare the size of their graduation scores?  *lol*  But I like the implication that only graduates become Time Lords, that’s veering more towards what I was banging on about regarding the book I had as a kid.

    As for all the rest….bonkers theorising by the bucketload!  I can’t wrap my head around Danny/Rupert/Orson (I swear, I thought he said his name was Awesome), and how he’s related to Clara.  I feel like I know we’re being lead to believe one thing and yet I don’t trust that tricksy Moffat one bit.  And, as someone pointed out, the little toy soldier was given to The Doctor, and then it ended up in Rupert’s room.  And what was that thing on Rupert’s bed?  I don’t believe any kid would have hidden that quietly for that long, their impulsiveness and own fear at these weird people talking about spooky stuff would have given them away.  Could it have been The Doctor?  The toy soldier had to get there somehow and there was a big emphasis in the episode about not meeting yourself.

    Another thing niggling in the back of my head is that we don’t know the little boy in the barn was The Doctor.  I agree it probably was, it fits that Clara would find him and be linked to him since that’s kind of her modus operandi, and clearly there was no way to identify the child without revealing The Doctor’s real name, but it still struck me as an assumption.  Moffat has made me paranoid enough to question those!

    Overall, I loved this and am now going to watch it again!

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @bluesqueakpip – That’s a really good explanation. I like it. (TIP/TSP clearly stands for tip teaspoon…!)

    So fear is a superpower (it can bring you home) – and the Doctor is afraid of the dark.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    we don’t know the little boy in the barn was The Doctor.

    No, we don’t. There’s already some speculation on the Graun that it could be a small Master. However:

    • the little boy is a lonely little boy. We know the Doctor was a lonely little boy.
    • the little boy is described as ‘not going to get into the Academy’ and ‘he’ll never be a Time Lord.’ We know the Doctor scraped through the Academy, passing on his second attempt.
    • the barn is connected with an important point in the Doctor’s life.
    • Clara has been inside the Doctor’s time-line, so it’s a reasonable guess that she may still have a psychic link to the Doctor’s time-line.

    Basically, all the clues point to it being the Doctor-as-a-little boy. We’ve seen the Master as a child, we’ve seen the Doctor’s cot, now we see the Doctor as a child.

    Anonymous @


    we don’t know the little boy in the barn was The Doctor.


    Firstly, it doesn’t look like the same barn from The Day of The Doctor. That barn only had one level but the barn in Listen has an upper level. I think the clip of the War Doctor was to indicate that it’s Clara who’s jumping to conclusions that the boy is the young Doctor.

    Then there’s the indication from the boys parents ( or guardians ) that he seems to be constantly crying. It could be because the boy is afraid of something but it could also be the first signs of a boy being driven slowly mad by a constant drumming noise in his head.

    Oh yeah, I’m going there. I think the boy is The Master as a child.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @fatmaninabox – okay. Now explain how Clara has a link to the Master’s time line, and we’re all set! 😀

    I agree the barn in Day of the Doctor doesn’t have an upper level. It also has ivy growing inside it, rather a lot of holes, and is in the middle of a desert (which is, frankly, an odd place to put a barn full of rusty farming gear).

    All of this, however, could be explained by ‘Don’t you know there’s a Time War on?’ 😉

    Clara may be jumping to conclusions – but the conclusion that the Hurt Doctor instinctively went back to the place where he used to hide when he wanted to hide what he was doing from everyone is thematically rather nice.


    Couple of things:

    This of course confirms definitely without doubt that the Doctor is Danny Pink’s dad.

    We know nothing of the sort – yet.

    But more significantly this is the second time (at least) that Clara has very specifically stated that she does  want to know when she dies (and to a Sontaran 12 years is a good innings).

    So either something very bad is going to happen to Clara or Moffat is going “LOOK OVER THERE!! LOOK OVER THERE!! LOOK OVER THERE!! LOOK OVER THERE!!” before blindsiding us.

    Wild stab in the dark: what happens to Clara is the reason the Doc runs off with Susan.


     I think the clip of the War Doctor was to indicate that it’s Clara who’s jumping to conclusions that the boy is the young Doctor.

    I think that would be considered a massive cheat. I really can’t think of a precedent in serial drama for that kind of thing (other than the huge retcon of Cordy in Angel S4 and that sucked beyond belief) – it strikes me as very unlikely that we are being blindsided in that way.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @pedant and @fatmaninabox – if you watch the documentary, they say quite definitively who the child is.

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