Home Forums Episodes The Twelfth Doctor Listen

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    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Great link, @pedant

    Notes from a 2nd watch:
    Courtney & the Dr both conclude that Clara’s face is too wide.
    The waiter’s face is unseen. Sparks instant conspiracy theory…

    Favourite line: ‘ You said you had a date. I thought I’d better hide in the bedroom incase you brought him home.’

    Clara’s entire timeline has been extrapolated.
    The TARDIS bites!
    Dr on Rupert: ‘So alert you can slow down time.’
    Capaldi should definitely do the Dalek voices…
    ET is under the blanket…
    Another slap to the Grey haired stick-insect (not so hard this week)
    ‘This is your army.’ ‘Plastic army.’
    Looks like the Dr is still checking for Wally – many books line the TARDIS staircase…
    A competitive & curious Dr, you say, hmmm?

    Why oh why does the Dr cry?

    JimmyP @jimmyp

    Absolutely phenomenal episode, up there with the very best of the new batch in my opinion.

    I’ve watched it twice now (and rewound bits too) and I think the overall implication is that Orson is related to Clara.  There’s a red herring or two in there, and we know Moff is tricksy with stuff like this, but I’m leaning towards it.  Here’s why.

    So Orson starts by not recognising Clara at all, after he’s collected her from the restaurant.  The Doctor even asks if he has any old family photos of her, and Orson says he doesn’t. We can also assume he doesn’t recognise her name, otherwise he’d be likely to say “I had a great grandma clara” (or something similar).

    However very shortly afterwards he appears to have been thinking about it, and isn’t quite so sure.  At 29.43 Orson asks Clara directly if he knows her. She denies it.

    Then finally the scene where I think it’s clear that Orson has worked out who Clara is happens when she brings him in to the Tardis, ostensibly to stay the night whilst she and the Doctor wait outside (go to 31 mins in, if you want to skip to it).  It leads to a conversation that goes (paraphrased):

    Clara: When you get home, stay away from time travel.

    Orson: It runs in the family… just silly stories a great grandparent used to tell

    Clara: What is it? Tell me? You asked if you knew me…

    (Orson hands her Dan the Soldier Man)

    Clara: It’s a family heirloom

    Orson: Yeah

    The next we see, Clara has the toy soldier in her possession (and gives it to the young Doctor). Orson kept it for luck, and he still wasn’t home safe. It was a family heirloom that clearly meant a lot to him and his relatives (they’d even had a box made for it). Yet he took it out and handed it to someone he met not even an hour previously.

    Or rather, he passed it on to another member of the family (maybe to bring her good luck).

    I can’t say I’m 100% convinced that Clara’s related to Orson, it could be a massive swerve.  If they’re unrelated that’s against some pretty solid evidence to the contrary in my opinion, and it will need a very strong twist to make it worth the trick played on the audience here.  Of course Moff is exactly the writer to create such a twist, should he so desire.

    And I suppose that kind of trick is what we love about it really, isn’t it?

    Brewski @brewski

    Ow my head.  So much to process and need a re-watch first.

    One (somewhat anticlimactic) note: “Time travel running in the family” may just be a reference to the fact that Danny (if he is Orson’s great or grand father) traveled in the Tardis as a companion….


    thommck @thommck

    One part I don’t really understand is why Clara is lying so much. To Danny, Orson and the Doctor. Is she just scared of the timey wimey repercussions our does she not really trust the Doctor anymore?

    If the Doctor finds out, he may just kick her out of the TARDIS for good

    Anonymous @

    Loved this episode, even if it wasn’t the Doctor Clara was talking to. This makes me think that maybe somehow its Danny Pink who’s the person Clara is talking to somehow, and the war he was in was the time war. Probably not but just speculation. I think that the thing on the bed was The Doctor, and he just did it because he had to keep his timeline the same. Or its something we’ll learn about later I don’t know. You might wanna check out this you tuber emergency awesome who does weekly reviews of Doctor who and some other shows.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Brain melted – in a good way. And lots of great comments on here as ever.

    The idea of the Doctor as a scared and lonely child – the literal outsider (as @phaseshift says) – that works for me. It’s also consistent with  the whole history of the Doctor and his affinity with lost and lonely children in particular.  He recognises it – he’s been that child.

    Agree it’s very timeywimey – Clara repeats to the child Doctor the words she’s already heard his adult self say. Interesting thought that the Doctor’s paranoia about the “thing under the bed” actually comes from this. ie As a small child he has his fears confirmed – there really is a thing under his bed!! Even if it’s benign and not evil. The Doctor asks the question at the beginning – what if we’re not really ever alone? What if his viewpoint is skewed – from the memory of all those Claricles bumping around his life…?

    Presumably this could be the definitive moment in the young Doctor’s life – where he decides he doesn’t want to be in the army and will study to be a timelord instead.  Why doesn’t he remember this moment? We forget huge amounts in our lives. Like the nightmare monsters of our dreams. Things that were hugely significant when we were 8 get lost in the piles of later adult memories. They can be triggered though – like my memories of the under-bed things which came back in force after watching this episode (it was always a yeti or a cybermat for me!)

    I especially liked how on several occasions Clara, and the Doctor, were the “under the bed things”.

    And yes, lots of references to previous episodes, especially Hide and Midnight (where the monster’s identity was never resolved. Its motivations are also not revealed).

    Agree with @pedant and @bluesqueakpip – all these references to the date of Clara’s death do not augur well for her long term future 🙁

    It’s certainly heavily hinted that Orson is Clara’s descendant, but I agree that could easily be misdirection. The family history is unclear and I think Orson replies that a grand(great grand)parent (singular) was a timetraveller.  He’s clearly related to Danny but he’s not necessarily related to Clara.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    One part I don’t really understand is why Clara is lying so much. To Danny, Orson and the Doctor. Is she just scared of the timey wimey repercussions our does she not really trust the Doctor anymore?

    I think it’s because she’s just started dating Danny – it’s not even going that well. She’s not ready at this stage to open up to the Doctor about what her feelings for Danny might be. (Look what happens when the Doctor finds out she’s on a date – he pitches up in her bedroom and offers to check out his prospects! Talk about overprotective!).

    This is big stuff for Clara – imagine finding yourself in the childhood of the person you’ve just been on a 1st date with! And having not fessed up to that connection it becomes more difficult to explain when the next person you meet just might be your own great grandchild!

    I think it’s partly the timeywimey implications as you say (and she’s clearly terrified about the implications of landing so early in the Doctor’s own timeline and interacting with him as a child – but it’s her empathy and kindness which take over – this is a deeply unhappy child – her instinct is to reach out and comfort).  And she is unsure about this Doctor – she’s not worked out the relationship yet.  He was a pseudo boyfriend-substitute as Eleven, but Twelve is different.  I suspect Twelve wouldn’t be up for using the TARDIS as a substitute turkey-cooker.

    I like that Clara could have been the key influence in both the Doctor’s and Danny’s lives. She’s the “monster” under both their beds.

    (Creepy children’s homes are a bit of a Who speciality – so the caretaker(?) just shrugs off that there’s been a complete stranger (albeit with psychic paper credentials) walking thro the home to do an inspection at 2am! Reminded me a bit of the home in Day of the Moon).

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Okay. I will have to watch again before I can sensibly comment. I enjoyed every moment of this, and yet, when it had ended, my first thought was that I was afraid to read any comments, because I wondered if other people would feel the same. Because nothing really happens, and yet… so much happens. I was relieved to see the first few comments here and realize that my fears were unnecessary!

    It was such a simple story, and yet, so much there… it reminds me of what people liked so much about pre-“Moffat Era” Moffat.

    One thought, before I go off and read all your thoughts, and try and watch again… Does anyone else think that the Doctor must have been an orphan?

    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    Ive watched this ep twice now and hesitated to comment here.  Because I did not have the same overwhelmingly positive reaction to it that almost everyone else here has.  I can say, the many posts about Listen have made me alter (slightly) my thoughts.  But only slightly.  Its nothing like Blink, an episode with such overwhelming tension of imminent danger and which still scares the pants off me even though I know exactly what happens.  Ditto Midnight.

    From the moments in the introduction where the same hand leapt out from under the bed in 3 different situations – a young and female hand – I knew there was a Clara element to be uncovered.  So that reveal wasn’t very interesting to me.  (Although I have to say that the look on Jennas face when she realised just exactly what she had done in that instinctive instant in the barn, was exactly right.)

    The call-back to Hide in meeting a future descendant of current protagonists was unimaginative to me.  And Im sorely disappointed to have travelled back and forth in Danny Pinks timeline.  Why can’t an additional (putative) companion just be, a regular person?  Even after all the guff about Clara being The Impossible Girl, why cant she now just be a Companion, rather than someone who has set alight in the young Doctors mind a theory which he will carry for two thousand years?

    The ep Midnight did the knocking on the door horror so much better.  Why bring it back in such a diluted form?

    The scary childrens home was so much more scary with Eleven and Amy.  Why bring it back in such a diluted form?

    Bringing the families of the companions straight to the fore has been a strong element of post 2005 Doctor Who.  After so much of Steven Moffat’s reign at the top, we seem to be narrowing the focus to children who have lost their family.  Is this supposed to mean that we will discover that the Doctor was an orphan, or otherwise lost his family at a young age?

    Im not dismissive of Listen entirely.  Although I was shocked at Twelves “do what you are told!” command to Clara, it was nicely rounded off by her telling him the same thing later.  And both of them did what they were commanded to do.  That speaks of an underlying, fundamental trust between the characters.  When you really need someone to do something important, theyll do it because they trust you implicitly.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    One small thing that struck me is that the ‘LISTEN’ that is written on the blackboard in the TARDIS really doesn’t look like the Doctor’s handwriting to me. Who wrote it?

    SaraOswald101 @saraoswald101


    I am Sorry I broke your brain x.x

    But, I pick Clara’s ”quote” eventough we heard the Doctor say it first because it’s more important that Clara said it to him than him saying it to Rupert. You know what I mean? Clara changed the Doctor in a way we’re not sure yet.  Because, timey-wimey, u know, she didn’t changed him, she made him who he are based on who he are…a soldier so brave he doesn’t need a gun.


    I am pretty sure it WAS on Gallifrey that the TARDIS landed, because if not how to explain Clara’s resistance to tell the Doctor where they landed. She knows that if he knew, he would try to change things, prevent the war and everything. (Added later on, after reflection: yes but maybe it wasn’t and she doesn’t know it yet. Yes. I admitt it. My theory lack in évidences. I know. But somehow, I feel it was on Gallifrey. Remember the 50th anniversary, there’s definitly something there.)

    It’s the lack of answers that confuses me more than the actual episode. It brought more questions than answers and  as a new whovian (it’s the first season I have to wait between épisodes) it’s really annoying -.- Gotta get use to it. My brain is in surcharge.




    geoffers @geoffers

    @hisdreamer – welcome!

    i took the cloister bell going off to be a general warning, that the integrity of the tardis itself was in danger from the atmospheric pressures and such becoming too great to withstand. they were at the end of everything, after all, perhaps that sun had just gone super nova, and the planet was about to be vapourized? i’m of the opinion at the moment that there was nothing “real” out there (except the very real death of all time and space), only the doctor’s fears (and hopes?).

    but i’ll gladly be proven wrong on any of these ideas!!

    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    The ep Midnight did the knocking on the door horror so much better.  Why bring it back in such a diluted form?

    Im quoting myself here.  Re-watching Midnight reminds me of the full horror of that ep.  Yes, the knocking on the door was frightening because there wasnt supposed to be anyone out there.  (but it still got in)  Repeated here in Listen, although this time the Doctor made it easier by unlocking the door.

    But Midnight told much greater truths about the human condition.  Namely how we as people are likely to turn on each other when confused and frightened.  Listen kept to a single and much narrower truth, that we are all afraid of whats under the bed.

    Having written that, I think that Listen is still the more child-friendly story of the two.  Midnight was probably too “adult” in its concepts for children.  Seeing adults flail and blame each other and be totally unable to deal with a fright that is beyond their ken would be horrible for children, who still think adults know more and rely on them being capable of dealing with monsters.

    Or Listen, which teaches children that turning your back on your fears (leaving the space to acknowledge that the monsters might be more frightened of you than you are of them, like spiders) is better.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    Posting a whack of thoughts now even though I may well have to contradict or backtrack shortly, as I haven’t yet read all your thoughts. But I can’t read three whole pages of comments and still keep track of my own!

    @juniperfish   Yes, definitely “dad skills”, and believe me, as the mother of a boy who never did fall asleep easily, I was instantly envious of that ability!

    @jimbomcmaster   And, well, the Doctor is the Doctor, so he might obsess on his own nightmare in a way that most of us might not, after childhood, when we say, “Oh, yes, I used to be afraid of the dark, but I was just a kid.” And this Doctor has resolutely removed the “childlike” from his personality (not the “childish”, of course, but that tends not to be a way we behave on purpose!). But the Doctor might well view his own nightmares as more important than just another dream.

    Regarding the similarity to Midnight, I’m inclined to think that it’s mainly a theme that’s similar, rather than an actually plot connection: things are scariest when you can’t see them. Midnight was possibly my favourite of the RTD-penned stories.

    @bluesqueakpip    I agree that Orson is clearly Danny’s descendent. But Orson seemed to imply that he believed Clara to be his great grandmother, when he gave her the toy soldier. Good spot on the Rupert-Clara connection, I didn’t know the meaning of “Rupert”. Very cool, actually.

    @serahni,  Yes, I would think a certain education would have been required to become a Time Lord. And I like your idea that the thing on the bed was the Doctor bringing Dan the Soldier Man full circle!

    @bluesqueakpip   @fatmaninabox    However, if this boy is an orphan (which I think is suggested, but certainly not stated), we do know that the Master was not one, because he mentioned his father’s lands in The End of Time. Interestingly, it was strongly implied there that he and the Doctor played together on the Master’s father’s lands, but nothing was said about the Doctor’s home or family.

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    @timeloop – Thanks, Clara’s decision makes a little more sense now. I wonder if she didn’t realise the significance of her having been on Gallifrey though – or maybe her assumption is that it can’t be Gallifrey (cos it is in the pocket universe), therefore it definitely isn’t – much like how Serahni has pointed out it needn’t actually be Gallifrey, as maybe some of the Doctor’s childhood was spent elsewhere.

    Also, I wasn’t seriously suggesting that the Doctor is Danny’s father. Just a terrible joke on my part – apologies for the confusion.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Right just caught up as of the time I started to write this all the comments, though I am sure more may be added whilst I write.

    @scaryb and @brewski and others I agree orson does not necessarily have to be directly related to Clara though this may be an option I think it more probable he is a direct descendent to Danny who has been a companion of the doctor.

    As to the young boy in the barn I am fairly sure that this is the doctor and who says the barn has to be the barn in Day of the Doctor it just may have triggered a memory in Clara and set a precedence of the doctor liking barns as hiding places. My impression was that the DOTD barn was away from gallifrey in order to be able to destroy it and the Dalek’s.

    The next bit is more of speculation dependant on what has been accepted into the production teams cannon. If some of the official books like Lungbarrow have been included, I think that high ranking timelord “families” are born from something called I think it was called the genetic loom. My apologies if I have the name wrong and those more wholore knowledgable will be able to correct me.

    Anyway back to the original speculation Lungbarrow was the name of the “group” house the doctor was born into as I remember, so the boy in the barn could from this house which in part sounded much like this … Yes I know I’ve probably made a right hash at what I am trying to say.

    Another thought that has occurred to me at the end of the DOTD it wasn’t established what exactly happened to the Moment.(raises eyebrow in querulous speculation)

    Right better go before this becomes more confusing that it already probably is.. :devil:

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Tom Baker’s first (albeit obscured) line in ‘Robot’…


    pirate52 @pirate1952

    I have been a rabid fan of the Doctor since the Baker years but this new version comes off like a total wimp with Clara solving the problems.  Clara in both episodes of this series seems to be taking center stage in both.  I thought this was Doctor Who (but who is the Doctor). And when will the Doctor start correcting the mistakes of his past like he said he would do?  The Doctor should not be over shadowed by his companion.  Maybe the new writers have not figured out what to do with this Doctor–I hope they start writing Doctor Who stories and not Clara Who and what’s his name? Let us get back to the essence of the Doctor and not one which is upstaged by the person getting second billing. So far I miss the real Doctor–and I feel the new writers have gotten the message and make Doctor Who, Doctor Who

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion       I have to stay off the DWF from late Saturday morning (my time) until I can get to watching the episode, usually not until Sunday morning, and occasionally later than that. It’s particularly hard if I’m having a quiet Saturday afternoon or evening, to avoid spoilers! When my son used to follow the Formula One, we could get up at the horrific hour of 5:30 am to watch the race, or we could watch the re broadcast later in the morning. If we chose the latter, I then had to avoid any place on the internet that might have posted a race result. The perils of following European culture from western Canada!

    @fletchthe2nd     The Doctor must have written it; Clara said it was his handwriting.

    @serahni (and someone else who mentioned this): I think the key to the TARDIS landing on Gallifrey is that she wasn’t being piloted in the normal manner, but via Clara’s subconscious mind. So even the TARDIS might not know where she was or how to get to and from the pocket universe. @rangerdave makes a good point that Gallifrey was technically not in a pocket universe during the Doctor’s childhood, but during the Time War it was timelocked, which I have always understood to mean that no one can access Gallifrey at any point in its timeline. Otherwise, the Doctor could have gone back there at any point, to a time prior to the War. I would expect that the pocket universe would work in much the same way. Otherwise the War would not really have ended.

    I think that Clara wouldn’t let the Doctor leave the TARDIS because she didn’t want him to meet himself (in the same way he earlier said that to her).

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Oh one other thing I also caught what I interpreted as a nod to the doctor who legacy game 🙂 but then it is in part co made by the BEEB

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @fletchthe2nd and @arbutus But it really doesn’t look like his handwriting. It’s written in an extremely odd manner, that made me wonder if it’s meant to be viewed in a mirror (or maybe a spoon?) to reveal a hidden message. Since ‘listen’ is an anagram of ‘silent’ maybe that is who wrote it. They would be pretty well evolved to be perfect hiders.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @wolfweed I bow to your obvious superior knowledge lol that that will teach me to re back read any entries made after my last post b4 adding any flash pan enteritis 🙂 🙁

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @saraoswald101 The Doctor would not try to prevent the war. He knows that he couldn’t because of the Destiny trap. Think of Madam Kovarian.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mudlark   Yes. There was a year when I would waken in the night, absolutely convinced that the floor around my bed was covered in spiders. It was terrifying. I was six. Eventually, the fear of the dark went away. Nowadays, I only fear tripping on something in our rather cluttered little house (but I still don’t like to get too close to a spider!).

    I was actually expecting Clara to tell him that he could (or even would) be a Time Lord, and not to give up. What she did say was better, though.  🙂

    @skywalkerwho     Despite the TARDIS having gone there, I don’t think that it would be possible for the Daleks or anyone else to do it the same way. The TARDIS is nothing like any other space craft or time machine. She is sentient, for one thing, and psychic, for another.

    @phaseshift    You have nailed my feelings about this episode. Agree, agree, agree.

    (BTW, when I first read the word “nethersphere” I immediately thought of my son’s world of Minecraft, where “The Nether” refers to a sort of underground parallel world where a great deal of action seems to take place!)

    @cathannabel    I hadn’t thought of school, good idea, but definitely a children’s institution of some kind. They didn’t feel like parents to me.

    Rob @rob


    Our Son

    Triple espresso please

    herisson @herisson

    @arbutus: I also believe he’s an orphan.

    As for the monster in Rupert’s room, my guess is that in each mperson’s mind, it is the thing the fear most – either in dreams or in waking life. That makes Clara’s being a literal “monster under the bed” more ironic and poignant.

    As to the monitor going off in the aTardis when the Doctor opens the door of Orson’s ship, either he really does see something/someone, or it’s a massive red herring. Personally, I think he does see either Missy or something/someone else, but we might never know.

    I’m still struck by the Doctor’s lines about shadows and doubles – doppelgangers, maybe? That’s a very old “scare” trope in folk tales and books like The Tales of Hoffman, and I think Moffat drew on those concepts for the fright factor, but possibly for other reasons as well. This Doctor seems very haunted – almost like he’s got mild PTSD from the Time War.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @bluesqueakpip     I really hope that Clara doesn’t die. But this:      However, merely being dead doesn’t suggest Clara won’t be taking any further part in events. Rory died more times than Kenny, and River was living a busy and active post-death life. Donna got saved.      Hilariously put, and a good point!

    @hisdreamer   Welcome!  The cloister bell certainly means significant danger. I guess we are supposed to decide what we think the danger is!

    @wolfweed    If I end up watching one more vid review saying this story has a bad plot I shall provide them with a plot – a burial plot…    Hee hee! I hope you post this on the Guardian.   🙂

    @fredvelvet   Welcome to you!  Actually, the time lock is mentioned more than once, but I forget the first time. Certainly in the Tennant era and possibly even by Nine, back when the Doctor is talking about the Time War. But what used to bother me was the assumption by many people that the Doctor himself had placed the lock, when that was never stated. I always assumed the the Time Lords themselves placed the lock. But I don’t think that was stated either, to be honest. But the implication was definitely that the Time Lock prevented anyone from accessing Gallifrey’s history and changing things.

    @fivefaces   Good point about the bed in The Girl in the Fireplace, and we’ve already had a reference to that story in Deep Breath, so maybe some of the earlier speculation is coming about!

    herisson @herisson

    @arbutus again: I’ve got the impression that the Nethersphere might be some kind of distorted, fun house mirror version of waking life – more specifically, the Doctor’s wakingn life (and possibly his dreams as well). Which fits with his mentions of doubles, shadows and ghosts.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Having just watched it for a second time, my conclusion is that the thing under the bedcovers was another child. It was just distorted through being very unfocused.  The knocking sounds were indeed what the doctor said they were, the hull shrinking as it got cooler at night.

    Some observations:

    1) When the Doctor is first in Rupert’s room, he’s playing with something resembling a red robot or it could have been a red spaceman

    2) The time-traveller in Hide was also rescued by a link with a distant relative.

    3) Who is the family which Danny Pink refers to in the first part of the date with Clara? We’ve just seen him in a children’s home which would seem to flag up that this statement is a bit odd.

    geoffers @geoffers

    thank you @arbutus – i was just about to say this, too…

    @skywalkerwho     “Despite the TARDIS having gone there, I don’t think that it would be possible for the Daleks or anyone else to do it the same way. The TARDIS is nothing like any other space craft or time machine. She is sentient, for one thing, and psychic, for another.”

    also, the doctor has travelled more than any other timelord, by far (as told in ‘the name of the doctor’). what dalek, or dalek ship, has that track record? they may have time travel capability, but they certainly aren’t “time lords.”

    another example, river’s wrist thingy. it’s a cheap, unpleasant way to time travel, but would it get her to the end of the universe (and back)? or past the timelock of gallifrey? i doubt it.

    as for the timelock, i have always assumed the doctor did that. and if so, he would surely be the one person who could “easily” remove and/or modify it, if need or opportunity arose? but, as well, the moment could get around the timelock, and it was timelord tech, so why not the tardis?


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @scaryb   I like your thoughts about Clara’s relationships with the two new men in her life.  ☺  Definitely no more turkey cooking for this Doctor! And I too can completely understand her reluctance to be more open with either of them just yet.

    @apopheniac    I agree that the really scary moments in this didn’t lead to the same kind of climactic payback as in Midnight and Blink. But I felt that the psychological payback in the “He’ll never make a Time Lord” line more than made up for that. It went a different place than the earlier episodes, and I was okay with that. I really like your comment about Clara and the Doctor (reluctantly) following each other’s orders because of trust, because that felt very true to me. I really liked the moment where the Doctor shouted at Clara, because to me it said that there is a limit to the depth of danger into which he is willing to take her. This felt responsible and admirable to me, and she has shown such a willingness to risk her life in the past, that it would have taken an extreme reaction to tell her that he is no longer willing to let her do that for him. Perhaps this is one of the “mistakes” he wishes to fix?

    @saraoswald101   I also believe that it was Gallifrey, and that it was the Doctor that Clara met, because I think that’s why she wouldn’t tell the Doctor what she had seen. And I too have been wondering whether the hidden Gallifrey would enter into this series at any point!

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Immediately after watching this, I had to walk out of a house, up a dark country lane, open and lock a gate (no light from the sky, no street lights, pitch black) across a courtyard, into a barn, to turn on the light in my campervan/ex disability bus with an airmattress in the back.

    Anyway. I don’t think any episode that comes after Blink will every be widely accepted as being as good as Blink. Even if it’s as good, it wouldn’t be as unexpected… Because this was post blink, I’m glad this wasn’t a new monster. I think this episode relates to the Angels and the Silence in a way because it relates to how Moffat might come to create them.

    I loved the Doctor in this. A bit of a bastard. I like that. Did Orsan seem to realise Clara was his grandmother? At one point I thought that something was going to be changed in Danny’s life, but then it seemed to be a time when they didn’t change the past, they had always done this.

    I need to watch it again. Um, in daylight. It’s a very creepy barn I’m parked in.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @geoffers    Well, Doctor Ten did say in DotD that they shouldn’t have been able to get through the time lock, so obviously he didn’t know that it could be done, even by the TARDIS. Eleven (I think) said, “Someone let us through.” (Which also tells us that the War Doctor’s barn was indeed on Gallifrey!) It makes sense to me as well that the TARDIS would be able to do it using Clara’s mind as a steering wheel, but interesting that Doctor didn’t think it was possible!

    FredVelvet @fredvelvet

    @arbutus Thanks for that info. Now you mention it I vaguely recall that from the early AG years.  The extent of the lock would also reinforce the point that the Doctor was the last of his people. That would diminish if he could go back to before the Time War, even if it was just to meet up with friends and family for a cup of tea.  Fair enough that people are asking how the Tardis got back there then.

    Serahni @serahni

    I managed to sleep!  Just.

    All this movement through timelines still makes my head spin, but I am eager to find out how Clara was able to guide the TARDIS to a timelocked world.  It’s always been the assumption that Gallifrey is gone, completely taken out of the timeline, but then I suppose something like that would have catastrophic implications.  Look what Clara had to do in order to preserve The Doctor’s timeline to prevent stars going out and then imagine what would happen if a powerful race like the Timelords was taken out of the picture.  There is still room for that scene not taking place on Gallifrey but even that seems like a long-shot.  And though we don’t know for sure it’s The Doctor in the bed, I do tend to agree with everyone who thinks it probably is.  I have to admit that wrapping my head around the non-linear aspects of the show has always been my downpoint; I guess I’m a very point-and-shoot thinker!

    I also wonder, can the TARDIS materialise inside someone’s memories?  *lol*  We have a weird pseudo-reality with a Gatekeeper dangled in front of us, and we’ve had CAL and the Papal Mainframe and all sorts of twisty-turny ‘other reality’ type devices.  I have no reason for asking other than it being another possibility for why that scene doesn’t take place on Gallifrey itself, just a version of it.

    Spider @spider

    Wow. Just Wow!

    For me, that episode was  just great. I did not see the 2nd of it half coming at all. I thought it was a good, oh look, there’s the link with the Doctor, Clara and Danny and oh we are setting up something to come..and, then…the OTHER stuff happens.

    Yes, yes there are plot holes and what?!bits, and believe me I am one of the people who will usually pick up on this stuff VERY quickly and pedantically..but the overall i love where this is going!

    I really think that there is no ‘tricks’ being played here… it was the same place the Doctor went to with the ‘Moment’, that was to the same place to run away to when he was young and scared, and that was on Gallifrey.

    Always remember Occums razor…


    Electrolyte @electrolyte

    Hi all… long time lurker, first time poster here  😉

    Absolutely loved this episode, watched it twice in a row… totally surprised by the drop-in to see the very young Doctor.

    Now, as to what happened there, I feel like there is some BG Who precedent for this (hear me out on this)… I’m referring to the 6th Doctor story “Trial of a Timelord” We now know that The Valeyard is from somewhen post-Timewar, and is very obviously hanging around in pre-Timewar Gallifrey. Now I’m not saying that the events of “Listen” are in anyway related to The Valeyard or ToaT [note, I’m also not saying they AREN’T related], but I think this very much points to a mechanism that allows the Doctor to visit pre-Timewar Gallifrey.

    Random observation from Listen: The Doctor was wearing all black the entire episode, not sure if this is important, or simply 12’s version of 10’s brown suit/blue suit…

    Ok, and now time for some bonkers… I think there may be more than one Doctor floating around right now, and not multiple points in time Doctors, but more Star Trek transporter accident multiple Doctors (or Rudy from Misfits). What really made me think about this was the scene in Clara’s bedroom where he’s being reflected in three different mirrors. We’ve seen some things that indicate he may not be alone in the Tardis (a spoon reflection comes to mind). There has been some theorising that Missy may be a different aspect of The Doctor. Also the Doctor has been really dwelling on what kind of person he is, maybe this is different Doctors wondering about what parts of the personality they represent.  Think about it, when the Timelords gave him a LOT of regeneration energy this could have caused him to tear into multiple Doctors (this could explain the quick pop of Smith to Capaldi, because somewhere else in the Tardis one or two or more new Doctors have already popped out).

    Anyways, that’s all the crazy I feel like tossing out in one post… probably more to come later!

    Anonymous @


    Since ‘listen’ is an anagram of ‘silent’ maybe that is who wrote it. They would be pretty well evolved to be perfect hiders.

    Oh that is brilliant.  I am with you.  I laughed at the spoon as a decoder, but the reflection makes perfect sense to me.  Way to go @wolfweed it is a Silence in the spoon!

    Anonymous @

    @timeloop I’m responding to your question! A little late. We had brother Ilion here, who, unlike Father and Master Ilion liked Listen.

    I myself was not enamoured of it at all -at first!  Bearing in mind I haven’t had a second watch, I’m wondering whether I’m at the WTF moment (!). I am confused and not scared to say it. I felt that the episode was beyond my cogitation. I also felt it was introspective, inner-dwelling, made me very worried that the Dr had lost his mind, made me concerned as to the dating patterns of tweens- as Danny seemed totally at a loss- and led me to believe that the Dr was having the same issues during The Robots of Sherwood (and I’m with @bluesqueakpip here that “pretty please” try to spell out most of the older episodes as I’ve no idea what the acronyms are!) as he was looking around and to our left which then led to the picture/image seen in the spoon.

    There were other episodes, my brother informs me, during the very early BG Who years, when the Dr became  introspective and introverted and would prattle at the moon, ‘monologuing’ about his latest fears and discoveries. I just haven’t seen an episode like that since New Who. So I expected something with more pace, ‘jumps’ and ‘scares’.

    That I expected such a Hollywoodesque/Paranormal style development, says a lot about me (which is a worry) and more about Moffat’s invitation to open our minds to the Doctor’s inner world and his experiments regarding the heart of the Tardis and Clara’s connection to it (via the ‘foot dream’). So perhaps The Doctor’s chalk boarding, has been less about locating Gallifrey and more about Hiding and Breathing, Stopping and Watching.

    I find this interesting as most series and films are about Moving, Doing and Being.

    I now will read the other posts (lots to keep me occupied and educate me as to what I was supposed to be picking up!) and then another re-watch. I just hope Danny’s not a ninny the second time around.

    Kindest, Confused.

    Whoville @whoville

    @arbutus I always took Ten’s comment that they shouldn’t have gotten through to mean that the time and place where the Doctor pulled the trigger was a fixed point. Not that they were on timelocked Gallifrey.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion     (or confusedilion?) I’m interested that you felt Danny was behaving like a “ninny” here, as my irritation was largely directed at Clara! I thought her soldier “joke” was horribly insensitive (I felt the same way about the one in Into the Dalek as well), and didn’t blame him at all for getting shirty with her. But she absolutely redeemed herself with me when she told him afterward that she gets nervous and speaks without thinking (or words to that effect; haven’t had my re-watch yet). Because that bit of self-awareness, honesty, and sincere “mea culpa” defined her as an admirable person in my eyes. There’s very little as difficult as a sincere apology (we mostly seem to get the insincere kind!).

    I’m glad Brother Ilion enjoyed that one, sorry that the other Ilions didn’t, but it just shows how this show usually has an episode for every taste! I loved it, but I realized immediately that the relative lack of “moving and doing” would be a problem for some, which is perfectly fair, to be honest.

    I am really loving the many ways that this series is channeling BG Who. Someone earlier mentioned the connection between Twelve and Four with the line about Sontarans, which I would never have remembered. And, as Brother Ilion said, the tone of this was in some ways very “old school” Who. I wonder if it’s because Moffat and the other writers are perceiving Capaldi’s doctor as a more “old school” doctor? Because he certainly feels that way to me. And I must admit, I’m loving it!

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus I’m on a re-watch and funnily enough as soon as I heard Clara say the comment about Danny as soldier, I immediately thought: “insensitive Clara”! Then, I came back on and read your post! I’m now also thinking that when we watch things, what we’ve eaten, what time it is (night or day) and specifically who we’re with, has a huge impact on our understanding and comprehension of any episode:

    I think, this time, Clara was the ‘ninny’ but redeemed herself as you said. That the Dr has been wrong about a lot of things in every episode so far. Hence turning up at Rupert’s home as Clara was definitely distracted. This makes sense.*

    Clara is very interesting now? She’s compassionate and incredibly wise -she reminds me of 11 in so many ways (“fear is a superpower” -coming from Clara but who heard it first from the Dr). She’s still carrying 11s legacy whilst the Dr is possibly mad -for if he wrote “Listen”, then why didn’t he remember it? This makes me think there’s more than one Dr -now, a very clever person upstream (who I have forgotten -my apologies) mentioned this and it’s a hypothesis that shouldn’t be dismissed.

    As for the red blanket monster; I also turned up the sound in the movie room and boy, was that thing breathing deeply. Children with high adrenaline, when playing a game, could easily be sucking in air and nervously waiting for their friend to ‘pull off the blanket’ and say ‘boo’! This, though, was different. Did you catch the quick bit of the ‘monster’ as the blanket fell down?

    *So far, apart from the back and forth to the restaurant, you can plot this episode within a linear framework, shall we say?

    I don’t think that Danny Pink’s ancestor was necessarily related to Clara -just that Dan the soldier, became an heirloom. And that shouldn’t be too complex for my brain and yet it is….

    Kindest, purofilion -brain back in place. Sort of.

    Anonymous @

    OK, bloody marvellous this episode. I’ve turned right around: the pun on the word “listen: there’s nothing to hear anywhere, not a breath not a slither not a click…”.

    Then the funny lines delivered by the Dr: “I thought I’d be the last man standing at the end of the universe”; ” her face is so wide she needs three mirrors”; “you’re all eyes, get them under control”; “It’s too late you’ve taken your make-up off” (“no, I haven’t taken my make-up off!”);  “I thought I’d hide in the bedroom in case you brought him’re home early but that’s normal for you” and on and on.

    Great lines and so perfect for Capaldi. He’s really toned down the heavy accent compared with Deep Breath.

    Why is he so interested in predators particularly those who have perfected hiding? “perhaps when we’re all dead, Out they’ll come a- slithering from underneath the bed”.

    I love Moffat’s lines; his rhythm and tense. His handling of dark and light; how he twists from a couple having a perfectly (almost) innocent conversation into confusion and fear: “Rupert, how did you know that? I haven’t told anyone that.”

    A wonder: how lucky we are. Kindest, puro.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    I was chatting to my daughter tonight and she proposed the most bonkers theory of all…….


    Clara is the TARDIS!!

    Clara was able to go to Gallifrey, even though its time-locked and outside the universe.  Clara wears an infinity loop on her cardi.  She went into the Doctor’s time-stream inside the TARDIS.  There have been several recent references to when she will die, but she doesn’t really – Clara lives forever (claricles, etc).  She has a unique relationship with the TARDIS and recently made a comment about how embarrassing it is to meet yourself, but she never has? We don’t know how the beings that the Time Lords constrain to ‘be’ TARDIS are created or where they’re from, but perhaps it’s “jumping into a time-stream”, like the untempered schism?  (has more been said elsewhere about the origin of these beings?)  Perhaps that is why it’s so terrifying to look into it?

    Perhaps Clara is a TARDIS being born?

    Clara is the impossible girl, born to save the Doctor.  The TARDIS is always with the Doctor, and always takes him where he needs to go.

    may be reaching, but it sure was fun!

    Anonymous @

    @ardaraith I love it! Your daughter is very smart…I on the other hand…well, I have a question and it may have been mentioned but perhaps I’ve utterly missed the point.

    So, the Dr believes that he and humans on earth all have this nightmare. We discover that years before Earth is ‘civilised’, Clara meets the young Dr in the barn and thus begins  the so-called nightmare stemming from this incident.

    If this happened to an alien -the Doctor- why are humans dreaming of it?  Or is  it the point, that humans aren’t dreaming of it? That only the Doctor himself believed it, due to his experience in the barn roughly at age 8 caused by Clara?

    @arbutus what do you think? If the Doctor dreamed it, why is it in the human psyche? Or isn’t it (in the human psyche)?

    Anonymous @

    @scaryb my apologies – I should have read your illuminating post more clearly. Whilst I understand the Dr’s fears stem from the benign Clara under the bed, how does this transcend his own child mythology and become a ‘human typical’ dream?

    Also, whilst Clara was under the Drs bed, as Clara Prime, it’s interesting that she had such a corporeal connection to him as Clara -not just as the saviour- Claricle.

    (apologies to the mods for my 5 or so contiguous postings!!). Kindest, chatteringIlion


    SkywalkerWho @skywalkerwho

    Just to clear things up a bit. Pre-End of Time War Gallifrey was time-locked, Post-Time War Gallifrey was in a pocket universe. However, the effect should still be the same in either of the scenario, that Gallifrey should be physically inaccessible.

    I’ve rewatched the episode and this statement was repeated a couple of times: that the TARDIS is slaved to Clara’s timeline. I think that right there is the solution to the Gallifrey problem: Clara’s timeline. Thanks to most of the posters here because I almost forgot that Clara, or at least one of her selves, was able to travel to a time-locked Gallifrey when she enters The Doctor’s time scar. I don’t know why I didn’t complain when that happened, probably because there wasn’t too much emphasis at Gallifrey being inaccessible during that time. So the answer is once again, God (aka Moffat)-given Clara’s specialness to the Doctor’s life.

    Though, a question still remains by that solution alone: if it’s that easy to gain access to a lost Gallifrey, why won’t the Daleks kidnap a Time Lord, kill him and go inside that Time Lord’s time scar? There many possible solutions to that question, answers in which I am satisfied, and they are the following:

    1. The Daleks don’t know that they can travel through a Time Lord’s time scar; but if they do…
    2. A Time Lord’s tomb can be rarely found. The G.I. was able to find The Doctor’s because he is too popular to most of the Time Lord’s enemies. And if the G.I. do share the information about The Doctor’s tomb to the Daleks, the Daleks don’t have the capability to time travel to an alternate timeline.
    3. But if the Daleks do find a Time Lord’s tomb besides the Doctor’s, it probably don’t have a time scar the same as the Doctor’s because a regular, non-renegade Time Lord unlike the Doctor probably don’t travel as much like him and they probably even don’t time travel at all.

    Plus with the fact that the Daleks don’t even knew Clara has that ability to travel inside the Doctor’s timeline and the TARDIS safety was turned off during this trip. I’m pretty satisfied with this solution unless Moffat and other future showrunners five years, ten years into the future introduced a plot point into the show’s mythology that would contradict these.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @ardaraith    Very cool theory. Those points would also support what a few people have suggested, that Clara was somehow created by or is a manifestation of the TARDIS. But a TARDIS connection seems perfectly believable to me.

    @purofilion     I think Capaldi’s accent thickens up at certain times. Definitely he played it up in the alley scene when it first dawned on him: “I’m Scottish!!!” Like he was practising.  🙂  And in moments of high drama, when he is declaiming (so to speak) more, it seems to come across more strongly.

    I’m not sure that the Doctor’s experience necessarily engendered the dreams of humans. It seems likely that the young Doctor was already afraid of what might be under the bed, and then Clara came and reinforced it. (I forget who commented that her expression as she realized what she had done was wonderful!) So in that sense, the Doctor shared what is a typical fear of many children– fear of the dark spaces and what might be hiding there. What triggered him to start remembering this fear now, I couldn’t say, but it is clearly an introspective time for him, and maybe more than usually intense. As Eleven said, a whopper?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @skywalkerwho    God (aka Moffat)    Love this!  🙂

    I agree that it isn’t especially difficult to explain both how the TARDIS could get to Gallifrey and how the Daleks could not. The  Doctor himself doesn’t seem to have realized that it was possible, so why would the Daleks or anyone else?

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus yet at the beginning when the Doctor first drags Clara into the Tardis and on his quest, he says “stories of this dream have been written down thru all of human history for…[ages]” -or something like that.. Strangely, what was first ‘meh’ has me pulling forth 10 large butcher sheets and scrawling the basics on all so that I can find  out exactly when Clara told the Doctor what he later told Rupert.

    No wonder, he/they became part of the military. I imagine that Clara is hesitant about explaining Danny’s ‘other’ or past job to the Dr considering the Dr’s attitude toward soldiers…This butcher paper task is proving a fascinating  exercise and one @bluesqueakpip should definitely undertake in a blog! ?? Kindest, Less Confused

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