Home Forums Episodes The Twelfth Doctor Listen

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    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion    Yes, more circular time lines, paper and arrows definitely required! I am now picturing you at the kitchen table with pencil, Twelfth Doctor like, the polar opposite of @bluesqueakpip‘s bank of computer screens flashing arcane Who-knowledge (much more Eleven).  🙂  It all works. (I wonder if the Twelfth Doctor has an abacus somewhere in the control room?)

    Clara doesn’t seem to have explained any aspect of Danny to the Doctor, present or past. But I loved that the Doctor wanted to check out his “prospects”. I only hope that when he finally meets Danny, he won’t make any remarks about Danny taking on an aging woman, or anything of that sort! Not to mention an “egomaniac, needy game-player”!  😀

    TheBrainOfMoffat @thebrainofmoffat

    Hello, Moffat’s brain here. I know I should already know everything about everything in Series 8, but there are some things even I haven’t figured out yet (so why did I write the script that way…?).

    Ahem. Anyway, I didn’t find the episode all that complex. If you compare it to Matt Smith’s entire run, what with Big Bang 2.0, dead-Doctor-timeline Trenzalore, changing Gallifrey’s history, and the Silence-plus-regeneration-Trenzalore events all screwing with each other, this episode seems incredibly tame for one of Moffat’s timey wimey stories.

    For my part, I started my first rewatch of the episode and noticed something that prompted me to check this thread. Having not seen anyone mention or, if that, elaborate on this particular idea yet, I decided to sign up and write this post.

    Thesis: The Doctor’s memory is wibbly wobbly (and this is probably important for the remainder of this series).

    Evidence 1: When Clara says that the “LISTEN” on the chalkboard looks like it’s in the Doctor’s handwriting, he protests, claiming he couldn’t have written it and then have just forgotten.

    Evidence 2: When the Doctor tells Clara he’s going to ask her a question and she preempts him with that question, he tells her that he asked it of her first.

    Evidence 3: Despite the Doctor having seen Clara as a child during Matt Smith’s run — notably, accompanied by her biological father — the Doctor tells her when they arrive at the children’s home that she must have forgotten staying there as a kid. Question for the Doctor: Why would she have been at a children’s home when she has always had at least one biological parent raising her?

    There is also something else I’m suspicious of. Many people have already mentioned the sound of glass breaking when Danny’s true first name is mentioned during Clara’s second attempt at the date, but the waiter’s seemingly unnecessary interruption of their conversation reminded me very strongly of when Eccleston posed as a waiter and insisted that Rose and Auton Micky had ordered a bottle of wine, from the very first episode of New Who. Could this be a plot-related callback to that episode?

    @arbutus: Minecraft’s Nether is actually that world’s Hell. It used to be called that in prior builds of the game. If we can draw an analogy to Who’s Nethersphere (whatever that turns out to be), maybe Missy’s portrayal of her locale as Heaven is a deception — not only in that it isn’t really Heaven, but also in that it’s not a good place at all. Bad place or bad people, but with nice window dressing.

    PhileasF @phileasf

    I really enjoyed that. Even more the second time.

    It was also the season’s first episode with much scope for bonkers theorising.

    Do we all have a hidden companion? Or were the Doctor’s interpretations of events driven by a buried childhood memory and being too long alone, and he persuaded Clara and us to share his belief for a while? I don’t think there’s a definite answer to this question, and that’s OK.

    Personally, I like the psychological explanation — the Doctor wrote ‘LISTEN’ on the blackboard and then forgot; it was a kid under the bedspread; and the noises at the end of the universe were caused by temperature differentials — but there’s no reason this explanation must be the truth.

    Danny’s an orphan but has ‘family stuff’. I didn’t notice that during the episode – thanks @bluesqueakpip.

    As in days of old (i.e. when I used to regularly post here) my thoughts on this episode might strain readers’ patience. Hopefully headings will make them easier on the eye.

    Bonkers theory
    Danny’s ‘family stuff’ involves a time-travelling descendant who visits him and takes him on adventures. Perhaps Orson, perhaps a descendant of Orson. When Danny asks Clara who told her his real name, I think he suspects she’s met his time-traveller and that he told her. Possibly his time-traveller is the sort of person who might mess with him like that.

    Other bonkers theory
    Orson is Danny. He was proud of those wells, so he adopted the name Orson. As in Orson Welles. No… no I don’t really think so either. Or do I? Maybe a little. Sometimes Orson seems so sad when he looks at Clara. Rewatching some of their scenes together just now, I’ve almost convinced myself of this one. He’s Danny, and for some reason he’ll never see Clara again, due to death, time travel, being trapped in separate parallel universes, or something.

    So… Clara will tell Danny all about Orson. A hundred years later he becomes Orson, knowing that’s the only way he’ll ever see Clara again. But he must pretend he doesn’t know her, to avoid messing with her and his past.

    This might mean his life was foreshadowed or inspired by two of his childhood toys: Dan the soldier man, and the red robot that might be a red-suited spaceman. And Orson was afraid of the dark because as a child the Doctor communicated to him the idea that the thing under the bed was real. So, alone at the end of time, his interpretation of the spooky sounds he hears at night is influenced by his scrambled childhood memory of the Doctor’s visit. The Doctor told him he mustn’t ever look at the thing. By not unlocking the door to his time capsule, he’s keeping that promise. And he must want to open the door and look, or why does he need to write a note to himself to keep the door locked?

    Why did Orson wear his helmet in the restaurant?
    If Orson is Danny, this would make sense because he would be keen not to be seen by his earlier self. Because he remembers not seeing himself.

    But even if he isn’t Danny, there might be some sensible reasons:

    a) Danny would recognise him as a close relation and be freaked out and distracted, and this might alter the rest of his evening, which Orson knows is an important one;

    b) Danny would shout ‘Orson, what the hell are you doing here?’, revealing they’ve already met; or

    c) Orson knows, from his ancestor’s stories, that he’ll meet Danny, but not yet (in Orson’s personal time line), so he has to avoid meeting Danny in the wrong order and messing up his own future and past. Well, it made sense when I started writing it.

    Why did Danny phone Clara?
    When Clara first gets home from the restaurant and enters the TARDIS, Danny phones her. We think he wants to talk to her after she stormed out of the restaurant. Later, we discover that she returned moments later. So, was he calling after he himself had left the restaurant, which would have made it a very confusing conversation if Clara had answered the phone, as she hadn’t yet experienced that?

    Or was he calling from a parallel timeline in which she didn’t go back to the restaurant? It’s hard to say, without knowing how much time elapsed between Clara leaving the restaurant and her phone ringing, and without knowing how long she stayed at the restaurant after she went back. Given the way timey-wimey tends to work in a Moffat episode, I’d say the phone call is consistent with the ‘final’ version of events, and was not from a parallel world where some of the time-travelling didn’t happen.

    After taking Orson to the restaurant, how did the Doctor persuade him they needed to go back to the end of time before taking him home?
    The Doctor wanted to show Clara some strong evidence of his belief in the hidden creatures, and to see them himself. But how did he sell that idea to Orson? If Orson is Danny it would make perfect sense, as he’d want to meet Clara and spend as much time with her as possible. And he’d probably know all about what happens next, and be forced to say and do what he already knows he will.

    Random thoughts
    Orson, like Oswin, spent six months alone in a capsule, besieged by monsters that are (probably) in his own mind. Is he going to turn out to be scattered through space and time too?

    Clara and Danny’s ‘romance’ scenes are often non-linear — i.e. we see scenes out of order. (Often? Well, twice, in Deep Breath and Listen.) This works well dramatically and comedically, but might also be a foreshadowing of how their relationship will be affected by time travel.

    I didn’t see anyone answer the question about when the first Doctor said ‘Fear makes companions of us all’. (Apologies if this has been answered — I only skimmed some comments.) He says it to Barbara in ‘The Forest of Fear’, episode three of An Unearthly Child. The actual line is, ‘Fear makes companions of all of us.’

    The idea of creatures that have evolved the ability to hide from humans, and which we therefore don’t know about, has been around for a while. Philip K Dick speculated about it in some of his writings, and called it ‘Zebra’. He imagined it might be a flying creature that can change the colour of its underside to match the sky above. And the movie Wolfen is about intelligent wolves who live in our cities, eat humans who won’t be noticed missing, and have managed to remain hidden from us since the beginning of civilisation. The movie does a pretty good job of making it seem almost plausible.

    Anonymous @

    Hello @electrolyte,

    Nice Bonkers right out the gate.  We don’t know for sure what happened to the Almost People Doctor?   So your theory is possible, with some pretty good evidence to back it up too. However, one Doctor is enough for me I think, but who knows, two or three could be that much better. 🙂

    @Purofilion – I’m glad you like the episode now. It is very good. I need to readjust my expectations now though. I was so geared up to see the most terrifying monsters of all time, that it is a little disappointing now that I’m realizing we won’t be seeing the monsters this time, if they even existed at all.   But I can readjust and it should still be good, especially since the monster under the blanket scene is still scary even without seeing who is under it. And I still have hope there could be scary monsters yet to come from this story.  I agree with you that Listen on the chalk board was a clue from the real monster.    I’m leaning toward Silence right now, but something even cooler than them would make my S8.  😀

    Do you think Orson is the descendant of Clara and Danny? I think it is a certainty at this point. I don’t know how else the writers could have said it more clearly without giving the characters a paternity test. I do agree there is a bit of wiggle room still, but not very much (@JimmyP).

    @ardaraith – Interesting theory. I like it because it might give a good reason for a possible Tardis Missy or Evil Clara Missy.

    LordLord @lordlord

    Random Thought Time:

    Will we find out what was under Rupert’s sheets?

    or What was knocking at the end of the universe? (If they leave it a mystery, then that’s cool too)

    Clara realized that Orson is her great-grandson, will that affect her relationship with Danny when they get more intimate?

    Also, Orson said that that “time travel runs in the family”, and that there were some “stories” of his great-grandparent. Does that mean that Danny is going to find out what Clara does?

    Why was the child Doctor crying all the time? I don’t think its because of his exposure to The Untempered Schism because his “dad” (or some man) said he wouldn’t be accepted into the academy because of him crying, placing this before his enrollment and <span style=”color: #1f1e38;”>initiation. So why?                 (Dead parents? Was he a Gallifreyan Bruce Wayne?)</span>

    The male Time-Lord in the barn also said that “He doesn’t want the other boys see him crying”. Did the Doctor have brothers? Maybe foster brothers? (Following the thought that he’s a orphan.)

    Was that Missy I saw in the preview for the next episode?

    I think it would be interesting to have a episode were the Doctor travels to pre-war Gallifrey and feels all the sadness at the fact that a lot of his people will die and he can’t do or say anything about it (and get a little more background about the Doctor too).


    nick1235 @nick1235

    The things I got from this forums is just MIND BLOWING, Listen anagrams to Silent, Orson is Our son, that is good speculation, and I don’t think my mind can take this anymore lol, anyway, i’ve just watch the episode, once, earlier this morning and it is good, it left us with a lot of questions and it kept playing tricks on my mind.

    I don’t actually agree with those who starting to hate the series, @pirate52 bro, really, the doctor changes, there is no real doctor, they’re all the same doctor, the one we cheer for, the one we love, I hate on how the series keep changing doctor but that is one thing we have to live with, are you in it for the doctor or the story? if you’re in it for the doctor, just watch your favorite doctor over and over again, it won’t hurt, won’t it? You don’t have to love the new one, but just to accept it as the one doctor that is always been, all those new series reboot actors has a big names to carry up on their shoulder, to call them wimps after their hard work is just rude, the doctor changes form, and so should you, it’s a shame that you wants the doctor to be only as one as what your minds suggest, you just pure dalek or what not.

    @phileasf as far as we know it was a phone ringing and not danny calling, but suggesting it was the worst first date to Clara, her minds just constantly keep thinking about Danny, if it really is Danny calling, he storms out from Clara after the second encounter, which would make sense so he can apolomagize to her, in which then Clara comes coming to his home and have that kiss ( god dang it Danny! )

    Anonymous @

    @phileasf  -welcome back. Would it be simply that Orson wears his spacesuit to the restaurant because this was a test drive (as the Dr said) and he was being extra careful? Orson Welles. Look, that is super-lovely. Well done!

    Love the puns with ‘or son’ ‘or daughter’ or ‘Dr or Master’. The idea that this waiter is important -like the Woman in the Shop is getting to me. First the interruption then the glass breaking. Was it another splinter personality? As said above, why would the Dr not remember that Clara had a living father, having gone to Christmas Dinner -or arrived at it, in any case?

    He is wrong a lot, now. And yet so damn certain. As @arbutus has said following others, this Dr is drawing upon other Drs in BG Who.

    The more I read, the more confused I get and yet, when following it page- by- butcher -paper- page, it’s not hard to follow! I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Is Danny related to Clara? Not sure. It’s not necessarily so.

    Kindest, purodiddles.

    Anonymous @

    @phileasf also your Philip K Dick novels? Indeed, a fan am I. Wonderfully disturbing particularly when a bit…st….eer. well, um. Yep.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I give up!! I have been trying to catch up with all the posts between painting the laundry and I just can’t do it so I’ll comment and apologies if I repeat something that has already been said..

    Firstly to just to echo the general view that “Listen” is one of those Dr Who classics, up there with Moffat’s best and most brilliant. So far we are having such a great series. Each episode has been quite different, all strong in their own way but this episode was something very different again. Moffat at his best. Ok, enough of that onto some random thoughts,

    Firstly something I posted in the spoilers thread during the week about the name ORson.

    Orson is another name with an interesting, medieval, origin. The following is a quote from Wikipedia about the Tale of Valentine and Orson

    It is the story of twin brothers, abandoned in the woods in infancy. Valentine is brought up as a knight at the court of Pepin, while Orson grows up in a bear’s den to be a wild man of the woods, until he is overcome and tamed by Valentine, whose servant and comrade he becomes. The two eventually rescue their mother Bellisant, sister of Pepin and wife of the emperor of Greece, by whom she had been unjustly repudiated, from the power of a giant named Ferragus.

    This tale is roughly contemporary with the reign of Oswald in Northumbria. Fascinating. Methinks Moffat has a taste for Medieval history.

    Having now seen the episode I can see some connection between Orson, Rupert/Danny and the twins in the story. I don’t think that Orson and Danny are twins though ’tis possible. Danny is an orphan, Orson from a future period in which humans are experimenting with time travel. Orson would seem to the wild man from the end of the universe while Danny is raised in an orphange, an institution which seems to feature rather often in Moffat’s stories. He has a Dickensian fondness for orphans.

    A wild idea I have, which is 99 percent wishful thinking, is that this all involves Susan. Perhaps one of the mistakes he must fix is neglecting to return to Susan, leaving her on earth and forgetting about her. She would outlive David and have no reason to want to stay. What if it is Susan behind humanities development of time travel. This is only the second time we have ever encountered time travelling humans. I note somebody many posts back, (apology for forgetting whom) suggested that Susan might be the grandparent who was a time traveller. I suspect that Orson’s time travelling ancestor is Danny Pink, but I like the idea all the same. Family has always been featured in MOffat’s stories. This story shows us a glimpse of the Doctor’s childhood. He also implies that he has been a “Dad”. Moffat is reminding us that he had children on Gallifrey, maybe, just maybe, for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, I am a little to obsessed with finding Susan as I saw a possible Susan connection in “Into the Dalek”. A time travelling Susan might well be the woman in the shop. Clara might not have recognised her photo because she was either many years older or had regenerated or maybe Clara did recognise the photo, after all the camera did linger on it and maybe it was an image of Susan that she saw in the history in the Tardis library. And now, back to the painting…




    whofangirl73 @whofangirl-73

    Hmm, dumb queston, but are all galifreyans
    Timelords.? I got the impression Classic series ‘Invasion of time’, no they are not.So Susan may not have 12 regens? Interesting theory
    though. Btw, I always thought Susan adopted
    or fostered by Dr (my own tneory why he left
    her on Earth)

    Anonymous @

    Mindblown – didn’t Artie have the toy robot (The Crimson horror)?

    janetteB @janetteb

    @whofangirl-73 Not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords and it would seem that Susan is not a graduate of the Academy, presumably the criteria for a Time Lord so whether she can regenerate or not is an unknown and entirely up to the script writers. There was never any indication that she was adapted or fostered. Susan’s relationship was ambiguous in the old series. There was never any mention of parents/children to imply a biological connection leaving the issue up to  fan interpretation. AG Who has heavily implied that he had family on Gallifrey. In the Doctor’s Daughter he tells Donna that he has been a father before. It implies, (in my view anyway) that RTD and Moffat view Susan as the Doctor’s biological grandchild but I might well be wrong on this and as I said, it was a wild theory, more wishful thinking than a serious projection of what I think is going on. (Because I am always, always wrong.)





    whilst the Dr is possibly mad -for if he wrote “Listen”, then why didn’t he remember it?

    I think you are forgetting the Moffat Parsimony Principle. If you are very lucky you will get 4 words of explanation and if you miss them, then that will teach you not to Tweet during the show ;).

    “Have you met you?”

    It doesn’t even remotely surprise Clara that he forgot.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Anonymous @

    @pedant I shall neither tweet nor tweedle during any episode. I recall her words, wonderfully spitting (to us Ozzies it comes out ‘have yer met yer?”) to the Doctor. But with the missing chalk, the rolling chalk, the upward lift of Eyebrows and then the Look, I thought naturally there’s a Doctorical, which is really another name for The Doctor.

    Anonymous @

    apologies if this has been mentioned upthread but we’ve had Claricles whom we saw only in hindsight. Could Danny be Danny Prime and Orson and Kai or Journey be something like a Claricle who either saves Clara or saves the Doctor?

    So, in Listen, Orson managed to grab the Doctor’s be-ringed hand and draw him back in to the Tardis (where he was “out cold”). I assume Journey also helped the Doctor by assisting Clara to create a ‘good Dalek’. As to Sherwood Forest – an unreal world – where ‘all’ would survive?

    G’night.  I’m done cogitating. I have butcher’s paper @arbutus  – all spread out; about 14 pages of mini story boards trying to find the chicken or the egg: ‘Who did what to whom first?’


    wolfweed @wolfweed
    Rob @rob

    I’m a tad too young to remember the First Doctor 😛

    But I’m fairly convinced that 13 and 1 are very similar and during 13’s run his character will soften and that Susan/Clara will resolve into family

    Perhaps more coffee is required



    I should hope not!

    This story reminds me of a beautiful Fritz Leiber novella called A Case of Conscience – everything that happens could have a natural or a supernatural explanation, and the author remains agnostic.

    thommck @thommck

    Welcome along @thebrainofmoffat, your “Evidence 3” reminded me of something. Didn’t Doctor 11 go and look all over Clara’s timeline (or at least her past) to try and figure out why she was so impossible?
    Surely Doctor 12 should’ve known that the orphanage was somewhere she had never been? I guess that can be swept under the rug marked memory loss.

    @phileasf What a return! That is some great bonkerising there :D. Orson actually being a future Danny (he’s already changed his name once) is really clever and a possibility I can see panning out.

    Danny’s “Family Stuff” could just be an excuse to hide something from Clara (more lies)

    Orson was probably wearing his helmet in the restaurant because he didn’t trust where the Doctor was sending him, he didn’t know the atmosphere would be breathable.

    I also noticed (like @phileasf) that Clara and Danny’s ‘romance’ scenes are often non-linear on screen, comprised of lots of mini flashbacks. It makes me imagine someone going back in time to fix past mistakes but maybe that is the point? Clara doesn’t have access to her own time-machine 24/7, she is human and makes mistakes. This is maybe why she is so brave in coming back to Danny and pursuing/apologising to him. She doesn’t rely on the Doctor, she makes her own future by not letting herself regret anything.

    This is similar to how, at first, she walked away from the young Doctor in the barn but then turned back to him, thinking she was right to comfort him even though the Doctor would have told her not to interfere.

    @wolfweed Floofing ‘eck!

    HunterL @hunterl

    Amazing discussions here. You guys are seriously smart people when it comes to Dr. Who.

    The one simple thing I can’t wrap my head around is; If Clara gave the toy soldier to a young Doctor, how did it wind up in Rupert’s room. Since it’s been seemingly in the possession of the Doctor as he grew up.  Is this just a paradox?

    janetteB @janetteb

    I jumped in with my “paint fumes” theory  and forgot half of what I meant to say. As with the best Moffat stories so much is left ambiguous. We never know if there really is a monster under the quilt or anything lurking at the end of time. For once in Dr Who, there may not be a monster just our own fears which is the usual Moffat loop because it was Dr Who, (the TV series), that created our fears in the first place. (My childhood fear of the dark anyway,.) There are loops within loops. Orson is only there at the end of the world because Clara went back to the restaurant but she only returned because she met Orson. (Assuming, and I think we are meant to assume, that Clara is Orson’s ancestor or at least one of his ancestors, be it Clara or Danny, travels in time as a result of their relationship.)  Whew, that was worse than the paint fumes. I note that he is non gender specific when referring to his time travelling ancestor, (whom I doubt is Susan but that was fun and I am determined to fit Susan into things somehow.)

    I don’t think there is any question as to the identity of the child in the barn and it is clearly indicated that he returns to the barn with The Moment. I assumed that was on Gallifrey, other family members thought it a different planet. Interesting how differently we “read” scenes. The Moment was surely powerful enough to take out the planet and surrounding enemy forces but I would have expected it to be “released” in a central place and Hurt Doctor expected and fully intended to die in the “blast” or whatever the Moment was going to do. By the time of the Time War the barn is a ruin and the surrounding area has become desert, war, climate change, agricultural damage? During the Doctor’s life span much can and would change, part of the problem with living so long.

    I loved the insight into the Doctor’s childhood and the reminder that he had family on Gallifrey. It seems that he, like Danny Pink, was an orphan so when he talks of family he is referring not to parents etc but to partner and offspring. Susan again.

    So many wonderful posts and great ideas buzzing about. I liked the idea that Orson is Danny. (Sorry I have forgotten who posted that.) If Orson is Danny maybe he is time travelling in an attempt to return to his own time stream, perhaps because he is “lost” as a result of travel with the Doctor and Clara. Maybe he is a mistake that has not yet been made. I really need to rewatch and see his response when introduced to Clara.








    thommck @thommck


    The toy soldier moved through time like this

    1) Created in the 20th Century and ended up in Rupert Pink’s orphanage

    2) Kept in the Pink family as a good luck charm

    3) Orson Pink gives it to Clara

    4) Clara gives it to the young Doctor in the Barn

    What happens to it after step 4 is unknown. The Doctor could have it in his TARDIS but would have probably remembered it in that case. More likely, it got lost amongst the straw in the barn.

    Wouldn’t it be fun if we looked back at the Day of the Doctor and saw the little soldier figure in the background 🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @thebrainofmoffat  (love that!)   @thommck

    I don’t think the Doctor was thinking it through. Clara was trying to tell him that she got distracted, he didn’t want to hear it. If he was so uberfocused on his plan as to ignore her statement that she had never been to this place, he certainly wasn’t taking the time to think logically about what he knew about her.

    The “family stuff” could also have been about adoptive or foster relatives, or even blood relations who couldn’t look after young Danny during that period. We only saw one snippet of his life, he might not have been long in that children’s home.

    @phileasf    Orson as future Danny is a great idea.

    @hunterl   That’s easy! The soldier has two time streams.  😉

    thommck @thommck

    New Theory Alert!

    Danny is the a future regeneration of the Doctor!

    Young Rupert was found abandoned and taken in to care, the only thing he had in his possession was a little toy soldier.

    That could explain the similarities between him and Orson, it’s really the same man. He got stranded at the end of the universe because he wanted to be the last person to see it (as Doctor 12 himself admits).

    That also may explain Clara’s instant attraction to him.

    The more I think about it, the more similar Danny and the Doctor are, both ex-soldiers, both tried to help others while at war, both drawn to Coal Hill school, angry eyebrows!? I’m in danger of convincing even myself 😀

    On a side note, we now know that the Doctor can use old faces for new regenerations, so theoretically he may see Danny but then later regenerate into Orson.

    Or perhaps Danny is the Valeyard? (Just thought I might as well throw that into the mix too!)

    One other thing that sticks out, is that there was no obvious link to Missy or the Promised Land in this episode. Funny how Moffatt sticks his arc into everyone else’s stories but not his own! Or maybe we just weren’t looking hard enough …

    HunterL @hunterl

    Thanks  thommck and Arbutus.  Yea, I guess it all works out easily enough if you can just deflect stuff into multiple time streams. 😀 Those nasty lil’ paradoxes work out much better that way.

    Joehovah @joehovah

    Hey all i joined the forum solely to get this off my chest, maybe i’m reading too much into this…. maybe i’m not….so here goes, prepare for a novel:

    There is something missing on the spacecraft Orson lives in at the end of the universe, it took me a long time to actually see it (i was actually looking for shadows or reflections in the glass, hoping for a “Midnight” entity sighting; even convince myself of a face in the reflection of the glass Clara is looking into), but it finally hit like a truck: Where’s the 2nd crew mate?

    Crew mate? What crew mate?

    This ship (if indeed the whole ship) which was designed to put someone into the middle of next week, made with two lockers and two chairs (this also made me question how a ship designed to put someone into the next week could sustain someone for 6 months, however this could be an intended safety feature.), i would have liked to see more of the interior however the other shots didn’t show a great deal more of the ship.

    This seemed to answer my next question: Why would Orson write on the door in ink that is only visible at night?
    It would make sense if two people got stranded at the end of the universe, and there were strange noises coming from outside, for one crew member to remind the other (possibly on night watch) to not open the doors (could very well be for the “Listener” as he / they only seem to appear at night time).

    Orson also seems sketchy, he eludes to being related to Clara, however he heard the doctor talking about her possible relation to him earlier and the only video feed the doctor pulls up is the clip with the phrase “time travelling is in my blood” on the strip down the bottom. Now putting those together with Clara’s obvious expressions, an intelligent creature might choose to take advantage of the assumption to make statements like “it runs in the family” to create a false sense of security.

    The final piece (of relatively believable) evidence for me is when the doctor finally stands at the door and watches as the thing outside opens it up and the only thing to go on is the doctors reaction. Inside the TARDIS Clara and Orson are unable to watch the monitor due to “difficulties” (please note the position of Orson’s hand while the difficulties take place) and Orson decides to go save the doctor.

    The funny thing is that the hands of the rescuer are covered (orange gloves?) deliberately so that you cannot see who is saving the doctor and the next scene the doctor has been hit on the head and is unconscious. While Clara is in the barn Orson asks the Doctor “What was out there? What did you see?” with a slight earnestness to hear his answer, before Clara interjects.
    I cannot guess (with any substantiating evidence) who the second pilot is, if there is more to the ship than the part they are in, or is Orson is even the link that brought them to the time period in the first place.

    But as for Orson……something is seriously wrong with the situation and i would not be surprised if a “Midnight” Entity or a doppelganger like creature was posing as Orson, using Clara’s (and our own) assumptions to get back “home” undetected.

    Un-Answered questions for me:
    1. Who was calling clara? 2. When Clara said Dan’s real name in the restaurant, why did a glass in the background break? (possibly just emphasis Foley) 3. Does the doctor have enough psychic ability to create illusions due to his own fear, thus projecting the “Listener”? 4. How did the doctor get into the bedroom without being heard by Clara and Dan? 5. Who put the ad in the paper for the doctor and Clara in the first episode? 6. Missy and the Promised land? (Obviously)

    Questions, questions, questions…. Moffat i salute you.

    Brewski @brewski


    Why did Orson wear his helmet in the restaurant?

    Moffat does love his bizarre imagery. And seems to have a special affection for Space Men showing up in the strangest places. 🙂

    Why did Danny phone Clara?

    The second time, after Danny stormed out of the restaurant in anger because he perceived Clara as lying to him.  He then regretted storming out and so called her.

    BTW… you guys are freaking me out with the theories about multiple doctors! The persistent forgetfulness does begin to make a lot of sense.

    Not remembering that toy soldier has to be a big one! Considering it was left for him by the monster under the bed!

    Still peculating thoughts here…


    Anonymous @

    OK, so name Orson means bear…. I’m returning again to Artie (who again had similar robot toy as Rupert – coincidence?). Artie can be shorted form of Arthur – strong as bear. Also, Mrs Maitland died. Well, it doesn’t have to mean anything but still… Hmm….

    nick1235 @nick1235

    @thommck Your theory is very very convincing, but I don’t know if Clara knows Danny as a soldier when they first met, or maybe I just missed on when some of the teacher mentioning it, anyway, does this mean that Clara has a danger complex?

    @joehovah exactly, why would the ship has 2 seats and able to sustain living for 6 months, if it’s only were meant to be sent on to the day of next week.

    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Who put the ad in the paper for the doctor and Clara in the first episode?</p>

    Un-answered questions answer rants, I don’t suppose this is possible or maybe even make any sense, maybe Moffat is returning to the first season plot, the bad wolf, scattered around the universe, just so Rose can return to Chris E and save the day.

    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Who was calling clara?</p>

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Probably the same women/men/form that put the ads in the first epi in season 8? Just a blind speculation though.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Geez, the more I read through the forums, the more I get, and the more I want Danny to get  a bigger role and I can’t wait for mind-blowing, brain-melting, heart-pumping storyline!</p>

    Aurealis @aurealis

    Does anyone know what happened to my post I added about lunchtime?


    It was definitely there, as i selected email for notifications of more posts on thread, and have received those emails


    Also, for the life of me, I cannot find anywhere where you can start your own thread?


    just started on here today, thanks

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Ok, second watch completed and I’m veering from “Wonderful” to “Beautiful” in summation of this episode.

    The deep and lovely dark. You wouldn’t see the stars without it.

    Loving it more and more. I can’t help but feel that this episode is more important to the overall arc of this series than we can possibly see at the moment.

    Although there was no Missy, and I’ll echo the posters who have noted the second mention of Clara’s lifespan, I’d suggest the interlude in the future is really worth dwelling on.

    Fundamentally –

    What was the Doctor so eager (so desperate) to see as the spacecraft disintegrated after he ordered Clara back to the TARDIS? The dialogue is ripe with allusions to the afterlife.

    The end of the Universe. Some idiot took the Safeguards off (Wasn’t that The Eleventh when he went to Trenzilore in Name of the Doctor?)

    “I need to know.”

    Says the Doctor, but what does he need to know?

    Clara: “There’s nothing living out there.”
    Doctor: “That’s one way of looking at it.”
    Clara: “What’s the other.”
    Doctor: “An awful lot of ghosts.”

    Is this what he seeks? Confirmation of something he doesn’t know? He continues with the rhyme that has been preying on him.

    “Perhaps they’re all just waiting,
    Perhaps when we are dead,
    Perhaps they’ll come a slithering
    From underneath the bed. “

    The Doctor confronts his fears – abstractly defined as “the unknown”. Surely Death is that last great fear? The great leap into the unknown? I can’t help feeling that his desperation may be related to that. With the gift of another set of regenerations this Doctor is struggling with a missed opportunity in this episode. It certainly plays into the arc of Missy’s “afterlife”. The Doctor is living his, beyond the natural lifespan of his species. Something the Time Lords did consider dangerous.

    I can’t help but feel this will play into the series arc quite well.


    Loving the sideways slap to the head from Clara to the Doctor as he continues to terrify poor Rupert after the Blanket apparition is banished. No mention of it, like slapgate, but at this rate he’s going to steal Matt Smith’s “slap magnet” crown.

    “Her face is so wide.”

    Funny that the Doctor used that expression. Clara mentions a pupil used it to describe her when she’s having dinner with Danny in the beginning of the episode.

    TheatreGuy @theatreguy


    I can’t help but feel that this episode is more important to the overall arc of this series than we can possibly see at the moment.


    I was having this discussion with a friend this morning. Although I feel it’s important – I wouldn’t put it past Moffat to make Robot of Sherwood as the most important to the overall ark, just to really throw us all a curve ball 🙂


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    No idea on your post. I wasn’t around earlier.

    Also, for the life of me, I cannot find anywhere where you can start your own thread?

    We don’t do that. We’re not that eager for troll startups, not being driven by commercial interests and all. If you have an idea for a thread, or want to write a long blog post as a point of view, suggest it on the Web Suggestions thread or contact me (@phaseshift), @craig, @jimthefish or @fatmaninabox by PM to discuss it. We value contribution from anyone who isn’t time wasting and has original thoughts.

    This isn’t to say we don’t trust you in starting up your thread. We just don’t trust random people joining with that power. The alternative is something like Digital Spy, which has about a dozen competing threads on every conceivable topic, such as why Peter Capaldi is too old, too Scottish, etc. and gives rise to piss take threads such as:

    My opinion is very important, and deserves its own thread

    In short order: very entertaining for piss-takers and a nightmare to police for unpaid volunteer mods. If I’ve pointed you in the direction of what you’re after, buy me a virtual pint sometimes, and I’m sure DS will appreciate the reference. Being ad driven, they always need those pageloads.

    Don’t bother to thank me for this reply. It’s actually been very therapeutic to type and, as this question of starting threads has been asked often, I shall debate with others whether to add it to the Help or Etiquette sections for ease of reference.

    Glad to be of service, and I look forward to your future posts.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I wouldn’t put it past Moffat to make Robot of Sherwood as the most important to the overall ark, just to really throw us all a curve ball

    How we’ll all kick ourselves, as the secret of the series is revealed to lie beneath Friar Tuck’s robe! 😉

    I meant to mention actually – I watched that episode twice and didn’t recognise Trevor Cooper as Tuck. I felt so foolish, as I loved him as Colin Devis in StarCops and I remember @bluesqueakpip met him in her theatre work. D’oh!


    Lindalee (or Lindaee) speaks! Best review ever, watch right to the end.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Having now had time to ruminate on this episode, below is my first foray into bonkers theorising this series *tentatively lights pipe*.

    1) Last year was full of Claricles, is this year full of relatives of Danny Pink?

    2) Orson Pink states that time travel is in his blood, saying it was stories of his grandparents, then corrected to great grandparents.  This sounds as if he hasn’t met either.  Could his relatives be in a timey wimey Terminator stylee, and instead of Clara, his long distant relative is from the future – ie Journey Blue!  The dead brother who you can’t see will of course be the spit of Danny.  Journey Blue might still be a candidate to appear later in the series (after all she did want to come with the Doctor) hence the stories of time travel.

    3) I can’t help but agree with others that Clara is going to sacrifice herself in some way and therefore end up with Missy in the nethersphere.

    4) Danny mentioned on his first date that he had family issues to sort out.  As he is in a children’s home this may mean he is an orphan, but his sister could be in the home with him.  The blanket monster was taller than little Rupert but shorter than Clara.  Therefore the blanket monster is Danny’s older sister who was scared of both Clara & the Doctor hence why she scarpered.

    Brandeberger @brandeberger

    I was left kinda confused by this, was kinda expecting to see a child Silence under the cover. Any other theories? I’m assuming it will be explained in later episodes, or did I just miss the point of that episode entirely?

    sparrow @sparrow

    I think the thing under the blanket was a Sontaran 🙂

    FredVelvet @fredvelvet

    I think it was Adric under the blanket. Well seeing him in the series again would be scary for me at least.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Well. I have finally had another go at this, and yes, awesome. No bonkers theories, but a lot of random thoughts about things I loved.

    First, the Doctor. He really is the same Doctor in all the important ways. He keeps walking into Clara’s life, completely self-absorbed. “I need you, for a thing.” This is not new. He still exhibits that dangerous compulsion to explore the heart of a mystery, that is quintessentially the Doctor. He discusses his theory and his plan with scary intensity and a manic smile. And his expression when he unlocks the door says that he can’t wait to see what’s on the other side. Despite being terrified. “You’re an idiot.”  “I know.”

    Some people have said he is not funny, I don’t agree. He’s very dry, which I enjoy. “Have you seen the size of human brains? They’re hilarious!” And despite his sometimes unfortunate bluntness (he’s a big grey haired stick insect!!!!!!!), he still has, at heart, a great way with children. Wally isn’t in every book! “Well, that’s a few years of my life I’ll be needing back.”

    And Clara. We realize here that she can be every bit as socially inept as the Doctor. When she blurted out “Rupert Pink” I just … lost it. Really? You traveled back in time to fix this, and you blow it a second time? Seriously. I must say, though, I loved her dress. And she said this, to Rupert: “It’s not a plan, it’s a thing.”   Eleven said this! “It’s like a plan, but with more greatness!” I wish I could remember when he said it, whether it was to her, because I have the idea that it predated her, as a … thing.  🙂

    And the story. Brilliant. We are presented with an alternate explanation for everything that happens, and it is up to us to decide which is correct. There is no way of knowing what was under that blanket, we could only see a blurred, flesh-toned blob. I loved the flipping of the convention– if you are under the bed, then the scary thing must be on top!

    Whatever the truth is, Orson definitely believes Clara to be his ancestor… is this because he knows his great grandmother’s name was Clara, or because he has seen photos, or is he just guessing because she is a time traveler and because the Doctor thought they must be connected?

    When Clara comes back into the TARDIS to announce that the whole problem is just a time lord afraid of the dark, the Doctor’s response is wonderful. I think he guesses immediately where they are. It’s in his eyes, his voice, his intense expression. Her “do as you’re told” echoes his, and he understands that she is telling him something he must do, just as he told her earlier. Imagine knowing that he is home, on the Gallifrey of his youth, and he can’t go out. But there is a wonderful look on his face at the end, when Clara has gone back to Danny, and he seems to be remembering the words she spoke to him long ago, that he had (mostly) forgotten.

    I really like this Doctor. I don’t find him dark or unkind. To me, he feels old,  clever, capable of dry humour or silliness, arrogant and abrupt, impulsive and impatient… in short, the Doctor. Someone on the Guardian blog called him “amoral and uncaring” (meaning it as a good thing, to be fair). But I really can’t agree with that. I don’t think he is amoral at all, but the way in which he applies his morality to specific circumstances has certainly changed. Nor is he uncaring, he has demonstrated that already. He is brusque certainly, and emotionally distant (not a hugging person!). In that, he reminds me of earlier Doctors including Hartnell, Tom Baker, and Eccleston. He doesn’t waste time agonizing over things that can’t be changed, and to be honest, I don’t mind this in a two thousand-year-old alien time traveller!   🙂

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus, @theatreguy, @phaseshift, @nick1235, @purofilion, @lordlord, @mudlark

    Bonkers Theory – The Monsters are Real

     Imagine the light spectrum through a prism. It separates the different speeds of light into different colors. What if Time is the same with different speeds that can be separated?

     The words above the door were only visible in the dark, the same as the stars. I don’t know if that is the same principle as the light spectrum, but it is what helped me think about it.  💡

    “Scared is a superpower” it allows you to slow down time. So maybe you can only see the monsters when you are scared. The Doctor and Rupert were actually afraid of the dark, which made them scared, which made the monsters visible. So the monsters are always there, but they become visible when it gets dark (like the invisible writing and the stars).  Clara wasn’t afraid at the barn, so she didn’t see them that time.

     So my theory is that the monsters are always there (in a nether sphere?), that runs at a different speed of time. So these monsters and Missy might be similar to the weeping angles, in that they grab you and slow you down into their time speed (like the 2 streams facility).

    geoffers @geoffers

    @joehovah – welcome! and, excellent spot on the mystery of where the other crew member is! (if there was one.) it really opens up the possibilities for some darker stuff to be going on (such as, perhaps orson murdered the other, or he/she wandered out of the ship, to an uncertain fate). i don’t agree that orson’s hand is placed strangely, but i do agree that possibly more happened when he went to rescue the doctor than what was shown. we are led to believe he did the saving, but it isn’t explicitly shown…


    Anonymous @

    @joehovah – Thank you for noticing the possible extra passanger.  I think the monsters grabbed him.  @geoffers Thanks for reminding me about who said that. 😆

    geoffers @geoffers

    @handles – i, too, think the one on the bed was real, at least. i’ve paused to try to get a good look at it, and it has human-ish eyes. but also sort of doctor-ish…


    wcasey5 @wcasey5

    getting transported somewhere else via death beam has been touched on in the past in satellite 5 in series 1 where the daleks death beamed Rose to their ship.  OH! I just thought of something. Rose….Pink……. hmmm. And his blanket was red.

    Also, a big deal was made of Danny crying in front of the student. And the “doctor” (could be couldn’t be) was crying in bed. But most interesting, the leg that Clara grabbed from under the bed was a mature leg, not the leg of a child. Perhaps the person got back in bed to save Clara rather than Clara saving him?

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus – Great analysis of 12.  It is amazing how many peices of previous doctors he has managed to pull together into his Doctor.  It feels completely new somehow?  Capaldi could be the best doctor ever, and it is only the 4th episode.  What a ride this could be!  😀

    geoffers @geoffers

    @craig – (and other mods who might be “listen”ing!)

    would it be possible to start ‘doctor who extra’ threads, for each of the episodes? i just saw the one for this ep, and i know i shouldn’t mention anything from it, as it would certainly detract from all the great theorizing going on. but i don’t want to enter the ‘spoilers’ thread, either, for obvious reasons! the ‘extra’ stuff is great, but it makes it really difficult to not spoil everyone’s fun here in the actual thread…

    you guys do a great job of policing us here, and i don’t want to make your job harder! lol. but the only other way to keep my mouth shut would be to ignore the ‘extras’ altogether, and that might prove extremely hard to do!


    raeyeth04 @raeyeth04

    Hey Whovians, first post here for me! 🙂 I did read the first few pages of responses but not every one so I apologize if I’m repeating something already addressed, but am I the only one that did not assume that the adults in the barn were the Doctor’s parents? My reading of that scene, given the line about the ‘other boys’ (not other children, not OUR other boys, not ‘his siblings’, with no further discussion of how to help him, only that he needs to stop) was that this was a Gallifreyan ‘Boys’ Home’, like Rupert’s. Was the Doctor an orphan? Or is it customary that children were raised by someone other than their biological parents (ala The Giver or something like that) on Gallifrey?

    This episode was so very exciting! So much to digest!! Thanks for talking me through it!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Well met @geoffers! (possibly by moonlight, it’s waning here).

    No problems with discussing the Extras for the episode on this forum. It may close down some avenues for speculation, but it’s still official BBC material, so all good. @wolfweed posts them often as videos (and has done here) and notorious spoiler-o-phobe and bonkers theorist @bluesqueakpip has referenced them here. This makes it all official to me. 😀

    No problems with Extras at all.

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