Home Forums Episodes The Twelfth Doctor Listen

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    Missy @missy

    Explain Clara prime and claricle please? You’ve lost me.

    Interesting discussion.


    Anonymous @

    @missy if you’ve seen last season -or the one before that you’d know that Clara was born to be the Impossible Girl: C. Oswald was the original Clara whereas the ‘Claras’ who jumped into the Doctor’s timestream were ‘claricles’: they saved the Dr just as the GI tried to interfere negatively in the Dr’s future.

    Missy @missy


    Thank you puro. I’ve never been able to work out who Clara actually was. What really confused me – even though we are talking about ‘time’ here – is her being outside the Tardis on Gallifrey and persuading the Doctor to take that one?


    Anonymous @


    this is one of the basic areas of Who 2 seasons ago. I’m assuming you just started watching last year, though? 🙂

    Have a look at the DVD of The Name of the Doctor:  find the thread and from there, read the comments -they’ll enlighten you quite a bit as to what’s been going on that far back. It’s a little late here for me, I’m afraid. But the comments are helpful and there’s a blurb at the front -a synopsis which outlines the main elements. The various posts should give you more detail than I probably can.

    I think you’ve worked your way around the site by now? 🙂 It’s fairly easy.


    Anonymous @


    due to avoiding spoilers I’ll be off line (maybe -if I can!) till the airing of TMA on Sunday. Knowing me, I’ll find it difficult though 🙂

    DoctorRiverSong @doctorriversong

    I think everyone might be overthinking this a bit much, but if she is at all in relation to the Doctor it’d have to be because she’s Jenny (The Doctor’s Daughter). If you think about it River and Jenny are the only two besides Missy/The Master who are somewhat Time lord or full on Time lord. However with Clara’s beginning during Matt Smith’s run it shows that’s clearly not the case. But I do think that Clara is one of one the best companions he’s had so far (Besides River & Amy). And if you pay more attention to that scene where Clara gives the young child (You totally know Who!) the toy solider its more of to give him confidence, which in result could have led the Doctor to become the Doctor in the first place. So basic summary, I don’t think they are related but I do think Clara influenced the Doctors life almost more than anyone else.

    DoctorRiverSong @doctorriversong

    Also would like to add that if you remember correctly from the Day of The Doctor not only was the time locked lifted but it was also stowed away safely. (“Like a painting.”) So yes its a total possibility it wasn’t a dream and they were in Gallifrey. Well that’s my theory anyhow, just something for you all to think on.

    GallifreyanGoldfish @thecleverzygon

    @doctorriversong Seems like you’ve put alot of thought into this?



    Anonymous @

    @thecleverzygon LOL.


    Did you say “overthinking?”

    Are you new?   The headline of this Forum is “theories more insane than is actually happening.” 🙂

    This is gives us license to bonkerise at great length and boy, do we!

    I might add that there’s no such thing as overthinking. Thinking is very much the point. If Moffat didn’t want us to overthink this, there’d be no Moffat and no show. 🙂

    And if you pay more attention to that scene

    I think we have. Paid attention that is!

    Welcome, by the way.

    Kindest, Purofilion


    DoctorRiverSong @doctorriversong

    I’m just a bit way to logical when thinking of the Doctor, sorry if I dissed anyone, I am new though, and ya all I do with my free time is think ethier Doctor or River lol. Sorry though if I offended anyone.


    Anonymous @


    No, not at all! I was just saying that crazy and bizarre theories (ie: over thinking) is exactly what we do here. Over thinking is just one of those hazards which are part of being Who-obsessives. Who me? No, not obsessive, just …maybe, a little bit.  🙂

    On the logic of Who, I think it has internal logic: it fits when the puzzle pieces come neatly together and they absolutely do -most of the time.

    On the other thread, we were discussing how difficult it is to speculate as to which genre these episodes fit. Sometimes, they are genre-unfriendly and simply refuse to be branded.

    Anyway, as I said before, welcome. If you pop to the Memory Thread or the Companions thread you can write how you first came to enjoy the show, who your favourite Doctor and companion is/was.

    I hope you’re looking forward to the new show: if you’re in the UK (I think you’re from the US) then it’s sooner than for us….@JanetteB and I are preparing with Jammy Dodgers, custard, fish fingers and jelly babies -but we’re in Oz and therefore wait a further day.

    Worth the wait 🙂

    GallifreyanGoldfish @thecleverzygon

    @doctorriversong Another One! What I mean by that if you see my tag, It’s @thecleverzygon. Thank You. You know, perhaps I’ll change my name back?

    Anonymous @

    @thecleverzygon No, no, stick with it -we have a few members whose tag is different to their user name so that’s fine. Also, your present one, purely from a typing sense, is simpler!

    Kindest, P.

    Kharis @kharis

    @bluesqueakpip The journey of the soldier toy never bothered me because I saw it exactly the way you do.  It’s simply ends up with the Doctor.  My thoughts are more preoccupied with the two Clara characters in the episode.  When Clara enters the restaurant for the second time, and sees herself walk away, is this the moment original Clara disappears?  No, because that Clara goes home and goes traveling with the Doctor, so she can be in that exact spot.  What happened to the Clara walking away?  Does she have her own alternative time line?  ‘Listen’ is so jam packed with questions like these that it has become one of my favourite episodes.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    No, the Clara walking away walks back sadly to her flat. Only to discover that she can’t get into her bedroom because the nightmare date now has 50% more added nightmare – Space Dad hiding in her bedroom to make absolutely sure she doesn’t get up to anything. 😉

    In other words, Clara Walking Away is walking back to the beginning of the episode.

    Kharis @kharis

    @bluesqueakpip Thank you.  Another question, why doesn’t Danny have any recognition of her at all when she goes back to the restaurant a second time?  Especially when she mentioned the name Rupert?  How come he doesn’t remember that?  And my problem with the two Clara’s at the same time is I thought that would cause horrible things to occur, like in Father’s Day.  Is it just that her time in the restaurant was so short that it didn’t cause any issues?  I guess that simple explanation is the best I can come up.  Still don’t understand why Danny by the second trip to the restaurant didn’t recognise her.

    Also, I wonder about how the word “listen”<span style=”line-height: 1.5;”> got on the chalkboard.  Did the Doctor go back in time and write it or was it someone else?  </span>

    Anonymous @


    to take your last question first, I think that how and who wrote the word ‘listen’ is still unresolved -to some extent. However, Clara was fairly sure of this adequate explanation -that it was the Doctor’s handwriting & that he was confused.  I think she says “have you met you?” 🙂

    With Clara in the restaurant and the general time travelling part – it was quick ‘meddling’ in time & so possibly didn’t constitute a major ‘timey whimey’ problem. I realise that’s a pretty half-assed answer, but still…..perhaps others would have more to offer on that point.

    I honestly hadn’t thought of your question about why Danny (as Rupert) doesn’t remember Clara. That there’s not something in the back of his mind saying “gee, you’re familiar to me, it’s just that I don’t know why. Do you remember?”

    It’s a good question. We’ve established it was Danny/Rupert, but I wonder if a female stranger in the middle of the night in his room under ambient lighting (read: bad light!) appeared as indistinct or blurry. A face all “wide” with huge brown eyes. How old, I wonder, was Danny when he met Clara and the Doctor? These two rather weird strangers showing up in the night and wandering in unannounced, might be relegated to its own dream state.

    Having said that, with the blanket monster behind them and the Doctor yelling, “don’t turn around, don’t look. DON’T. LOOK” I can’t imagine Rupert forgetting this event instantly -it was so startling, vivid and filled with colour and movement. A beautiful and exciting young lady with an older male companion speaking of super powers? Leaving behind a soldier toy to guard against his fears (of course the parallel is, which child and what fear?  🙂   )

    I don’t think I’d forget, myself. But would he necessarily then connect that event with this particular woman, now that he’s a man of similar age? A rational person, a brave soldier, to whom dreams might be something he rarely considers? And to be attracted to this woman, the same person -perhaps he’s wiped his mind!

    Ah, but is there a possibility of a mind wipe? When the Doctor was asked by Rupert to tell a story he said, “Once upon a time. The end,” aaaand, ‘plop,’ the child falls instantly to sleep. He might remember the soldier and its importance but would he recall all the circumstances around which he received it?

    Would the Doctor ensure he would not? 🙂


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @kharis  @purofilion

    I’m pretty sure that after little Rupert falls asleep, Clara asks the Doctor if he will remember, and the Doctor says no, something about a memory wipe or perception filter. And that he’s replaced the true memory with a dream of Dan the Soldier Man. So Danny would never remember any of those events.

    Kharis @kharis

    @purofilion I guess we have to assume he wiped his memory, which he has done before.  The whole episode begs to be studied by crazy Whovians like ourselves.  The fact Clara was only there for a moment in the restaurant was how I accepted it until then, but then I started thinking about a few crazy theories.  What if the Doctor came back to help Clara somehow, that night as she’s talking away, maybe even a different regeneration of the Doctor.  What if he steers her away right then on another path?  I know I’ve gone crazy now splitting hairs.  But what has been getting to me even more is that Danny doesn’t actually own up to the name Rupert.  He just said he hasn’t used that name in years.  Now I’m really splitting hairs.  Maybe the kid is related to Danny Pink.  Maybe the Tardis took Clara where it wanted, I remember being surprised to see the TARDIS doing Clara’s bidding on any level but then dismissed my shock as the episode progressed.  Maybe the Time Lord relation is Donna, Martha and Mikey, or any other companion known to be able to have children.

    I know this is bonkers, and most likely it is grandchild never to have been born.

    Okay, less bonkers is who wrote “listen” on the chalkboard?  It was someone aboard the TARDIS.  Outside of he just forgot that he ran upstairs wrote it and forgot, that leaves us with someone wrote it.  Could someone be in the TARDIS invisible?  Could it be River?  The TARDIS wouldn’t just let anyone on board.  Just some fun thoughts.



    Kharis @kharis

    @arbutus I remember that now. Thanks, that does help clarify.  🙂

    gr20 @gr20

    I didn’t put much thought into this episode and pow! this whole forum post is just stuffing all this information in my head ;o;

    Can someone please explain to me in baby smol easy-to-understand words? >.<

    MissRori @missrori

    @kharis I like your theories on who might have written on the chalkboard.

    During Series 8 I wrote a poem playing with this sort of thing, in which the Doctor — having lost Clara for good — is alone in the TARDIS and brooding but then senses an invisible presence.  He believes it must be the “Hider”, though it could just be his imagination again, and decides to tell it the story of him and Clara…

    Kharis @kharis


    I’d like to read that poem. (:

    Okay, for various reasons tonight I’m back on my extra crazy theories regarding ‘Listen’ but can’t get into all of them without spoilers for the new season.


    syzygy @thane16

    OK. Don’t roll your eyes people. I’m re-doing the Peter Capaldi years.

    It’s like a Christmas gift.

    I’m pretty sure LISTEN is SILENT (s) so the monster’s an actual monster. The Doctor says: “don’t look in the reflection.” But, during the escapade to the end of the universe, it’s just the ship settling, & its pipes, dry & unused, start knocking. I think Gold’s music helps with this understanding -he’s using a sweeping Beethoven like motif (with a late Romantic style) reaching a climax during Clara’s speech to the young Doctor. So, the Doctor really has based his initial conjecture on experience, but being very clever, can hear his dreams too. The music is re-created, it sounds very much like several famous symphonies but it’s not, it’s Murray’s own,  which led me to think that the music, the romance if you like, is the back drop to reality. It’s ‘balanced out’ that way & co-joined.

    There’s no monster at the end of the universe unless it’s the Hybrid….

    My question, coming well after Danny’s death is “how did Orson have Pink relatives?”  Did Danny have a brother? But at what point did Dan (Rupert) pass on the toy soldier? Did Clara go back in the moments between her heart beats to find Danny?

    janetteB @janetteb

    @thane16 nooooo Don’t go there. I spent months trying to work out how the Toy Soldier  got around and came up with an entire swag of absurd theories. I even had it getting from the Doctor back to Danny through Susan or something. I don’t recall the full details now.  Listen generated so many loose narrative threads which, I suspect, S.M, did not resolve himself. It is still one of my favourite episodes. I watched it too, just a few weeks ago when I was going through the Christmas Specials.



    syzygy @thane16


    Ah, bangs head 😉

    No, you’re right. Danny dies & yes, he’s in a children’s home but chatting with one who was also in a kid’s home -you have mates, brothers & others you don’t always tell things about. Some mad dudette arrives in your room with a great big grey stick insect & you’re not going to open up fully. So, I deduce the idea of who had it was always there. But Moffy, being him, says “pay bloomin’ attention” and therefore in Listen, you hear two words: Family Stuff.” Also, in other eps, “I know when you’re lying. I know the truth. I know when people or others [ie me, Danny] lie.”

    So yes maybe the Doctor puts it in the box first.

    Clara finds it by rummaging, and pulls it out.

    It’s in Danny’s home (back of a cupboard, as you do)

    After he dies, a person (who isn’t Clara) claims it, they have grand-kids and one of ’em, Orson, has it in his bag & Clara nicks it &

    gives it to the young Doctor who ……puts  it in Rupert’s box.

    We know this Doc is pretty old & can’t remember everything -Kill the Moon & Deep Breath.


    On all the bonkerising. In the end, Clara is talking to Danny about telling him the truth. No call from the ‘future.’ He himself wrote Listen because he laughed & chalk falls….He did say “I’ll be there in a …few minutes” so she knew  where to run.  No pregnancy though there was a lot of debate on that. Likely, she’s been with Danny for 3 months & also travelling with the Doctor. The whole “I can cope with this. I’m in control” set that up.  There was no mini- suction or miniaturisation either as @arbutus  listed the dialogue.

    But I read all 11 pages of the thread & it was orsome!  The complexity. Only after watching Buffy did I conclude that, for me, a lot of that doesn’t matter all the time? I’m not saying it’s not fun! It’s huuge fun & the Forum’s <i>traction</i>. For me, it’s relationships. The broad strokes of lives. As Whedon said “it’s not the monsters, it’s the love, folks.” Or the Doctor’s “you don’t really see me.”

    But it’s brilliant to watch great telly. In Listen there’s a section? Where the Doctor’s on Orson’s ship. Something like “they prey on the very young, the very old, or the very ill…” and it breaks my heart. Those words are what Moffat’s getting at too, and it’s Capaldi’s pleading which opens up the idea.

    Gosh, rambling post. typed by Thane {ahem mother, about time}

    winston @winston

    @thane16 and @janetteb   I liked that episode a lot but I have not watched in awhile and now I want to again! So many questions and mysteries in that episode. Like who or what if anything is under the blanket on the bed. That actually gives me the creeps and I hate not knowing.I better read the thread again in case someone had some answers. I will watch tomorrow when I make and bake pies so I can comment.


    nerys @nerys

    I love “Listen” … but I admit it doesn’t quite come together, given all that transpired later, in a satisfactory way. There are lots of loose ends, and no matter how I try to make it work in my mind, the realization that Orson Pink cannot be a direct descendant of Clara and Danny leaves me feeling like there was a missed opportunity. Granted, Steven Moffat doesn’t owe me a thing, and he has produced such a brilliant body of work, in Doctor Who alone, that I am reluctant to complain. I do love how we learn that it is Clara under the Doctor’s bed. But the difficulty in trying to work out exactly who Orson Pink is descended from (and knowing that there is no way, except for some timey-wimey twist, that it could be Clara and Danny) leaves me feeling a bit frustrated. Maybe if I watch it again, after so much time has passed, I will feel less frustrated.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    OK, my thoughts in passing, on Listen.

    After the very conventional Robot of Sherwood, we have an episode that is startlingly different.

    This episode is… different. And it keeps playing mind games on us, we never know what is real and what is imaginary. It manages to be truly scary at times, yet we never find out if it really was a horrifying unknown Thing or just our imagination.

    The Doctor’s un-earthliness continues to be weirdly amusing – “You said you had a date. I thought I’d better hide in the bedroom in case you brought him home.” And, much as I love Clara, I laugh every time he manages to be mildly disparaging without apparently meaning to.

    Clara has doubts about the Doc’s mental stability: “How long have you been travelling alone?” “Perhaps I never have.”

    But the Doc is a dab hand at playing mind games too. Caretaker: How did you get in? Doc: Your door must be faulty.
    “What about your coffee? Sometimes, you put it down, and look round, and it’s not there.” Caretaker: “Everybody does that.” And moments later the caretaker looks and – his coffee has disappeared. Cut to – the Doctor prowling down a corridor, drinking the caretaker’s coffee.

    I like the moment in young Danny’s room where the Doctor says “Once upon a time – the end” and Danny promptly goes to sleep. Is this the first time since The Day in the Fireplace that the Doc has used his telepathic skills?

    Never has a shape under a bedspread been more scary. And, it stayed scary for the entire scene, which is quite an achievement. Kudos to the director for perfect timing.

    But then, the empty base at the end of the world is an order of magnitude more scary. When the banging on the door started, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up – this is not a figure of speech, I felt them.

    Quite seriously, this is not an episode I would ever watch alone in the house at night. The Moff has just created the most frightening monsters ever with just a bedspread and disembodied noises.

    What an episode!

    (Now, off to read the rest of this thread)

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent Listen is one of my favourite of favourites. It has a good claim to the be the best episode of AGWho for just the reasons you mention in your post. The dialogue crackles, there is humour, pathos and a real sense of threat generated by the most basic story telling techniques and we never know if there is anything there. I love ambiguous ghost stories where it can all be explained away but can it? This is Moffat at his best.

    AS for Orson, I have spent many hours devising timey wimey explanations, most of which I have forgotten now. I tried to account for the toy soldier, the fact that Danny dies childless, the remarkable resemblance between them and Danny’s lack of family. I also threw Susan in becasue she must be out there in the future somewhere. I love that this episodes leaves so much open ended, plenty of inspiration for fan fic.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb Yes, Orson is a bit of a problem. If it was a different writer, I would have said he was just a loose end, or the writer creating a plot twist that later on got forgotten about. But Moffat is famous for setting up things that pay off months later, so that seems unlikely to me.

    Of course sometimes these long-distance plots have to be modified for production reasons, such as, an actor is unavailable, or a projected episode gets cancelled or changed. I guess that’s my best guess – that Moffat was setting something up, but in the long term it didn’t work out, and Face The Raven / Hell Bent just cut it off. (Would I want to change/lose Face The Raven / Hell Bent for the sake of consistency – absolutely not!) Has anybody ever asked Steven Moffat his explanation?

    ‘Listen’ does very strongly imply that Orson is descended from Clara + Danny. The thread that’s most difficult to rationalise away is the fact that the Tardis found Orson, which implies a direct connection with either Clara or Rupert-Danny. Of course Orson doesn’t need to have any direct connection with Clara, the Tardis could have found him just following the ‘Danny’ trail. But then Danny got exploded in Death in Heaven, which makes that kinda difficult.

    Personally, I just don’t worry about it. It’s not a problem which is apparent watching the episode, and by the time of Death in Heaven, ‘Listen’ is sufficiently far in the past that I can overlook the implication. Even more so with Face the Raven. The plot needs to be sufficiently coherent to frame the situation, without creating distracting questions in the moment of ‘how did that happen?’ As between strong emotional scenes and crackling dialogue, or absolute consistency in the plot, I’ll take the former every time.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    And here I am again. Kind of embarrassing to find the last post was me, saying much the same things. I cut a few repetitous comments and just left the rest.

    The intro makes me realise just how spooky the Tardis must be when one person is alone in it. Just you, in all those miles of corridors, with no other living thing within light years – except for – what?

    This is the episode where Clara’s relationship with Danny really gets fraught. They say the course of true love never runs smooth and in this couples’ case it’s more like negotiating an obstacle course. It starts off with the sort of excruciating small talk that nobody can ever get right. And Danny really should learn to lighten up and not take his PTSD out on everybody else. Not if he ever wants to score.

    Just when we were starting to forget the Doctor’s alienness he comes out with a bit of non-human logic – “You said you had a date. I thought I’d better hide in the bedroom in case you brought him home.”

    The Doctor is in full spooky mode tonight. “What if the prickle on the back of your neck is the breath of something close behind you?” I love Clara’s rejoinder, “How long have you been travelling alone?” of which the Doctor completely misses the intended implication and takes literally, “Perhaps I never have.” You can tell the Moff’s dialogue anywhere.

    The doctor’s account of the someone-under-the-bed dream is enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck. I actually take some comfort from the fact that my bed only has a 2″ gap under it.

    The silent *thing* under the bedspread is scaring the daylights out of me. It’s all in how it’s photographed plus the spooky music. The Moff knows well that hidden terrors are far more scary than the ones we can see.

    Cheeky though the Doctor is, he’s no match for Clara when she takes control. “Sit!” as if the Doctor is a dog. And we find out that Danny Pink had his whole life determined by Clara (and the Doctor) visiting him and impressing Dan the Soldier Man on his juvenile self.

    “Is that what I look like from the back?” “It’s fine.” “I was thinking it was *good*.” Yay Clara!

    So she tries again with Danny and this one goes off the rails too. Danny is just too sensitive and suspicious for my liking. If I was having tea with a chick as gorgeous as Clara I’d cut her some slack, well several miles of slack. I have to sympathise with Clara’s desperate attempt to insist that there’s ‘nothing weird’ while a man in an astronaut suit is beckoning her from the back of the restaurant. So she follows him into the Tardis and is just going off on him – “Is there any other way you can make this any more surreal than it already is?” And the suit takes his helmet off and it’s a Danny lookalike. Moff was definitely enjoying himself with this one.

    And so we’re at the end of the Universe (again?) “Last man standing in the Universe (I always thought that would be me).” Nice little aside from the Doctor. Question: Is that a veiled forward reference to Me (aka Ashildr?) You can read so much into a Moff dialogue.

    “She’s doing the all eyes thing. It’s because her face is so wide. She needs three mirrors.” It’s a measure of the Doctor’s weirdness that he can get away with saying things like that.

    The night in Orson’s time capsule is the spookiest yet. With bedspread thing part of its scariness was its silence, here we have disembodied noises with no source where no living thing has any right to be. This is truly frightening. What, if anything, is knocking on the door?

    So Orson rescues the Doctor and Clara rescues them all by engaging the Tardis telepathic circuits and ends up – in the barn on Gallifrey where the War Doctor took The Moment? Clara has been there (in Day of the Doctor). (In fact since Clara has been right throughout the Doctor’s timeline too, who knows where they might end up. Did the Doctor ever consider that before introducing Clara to the telepathic circuits? Nope, thought not.)

    So the speech the Doctor gave to Rupert Pink was an echo of the speech Clara gave the Doctor in the barn and dammit, Moff just made it quite clear which barn it was with a flashback.

    For a structurally very simple episode, there’s a lot in it. And if ever an episode qualified for hide-behind-the-sofa status, it’s this one.   A classic.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent. Another enjoyable review. Thank you.

    One of the best episodes of AGWho and I can’t think of an old Who episode that was better. It is one of my “go to” episodes.



    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  Listen is one the best but also one of the creepiest. It has all the things I am scared of, the monster under the bed, the dark, being alone and unknown sounds. yikes!

    By the way I store things under my bed so there is no room for monsters.

    stay safe

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