Mummy on the Orient Express

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    lisa @lisa

    HI all – I have lots of questions about the engineer – loved the Foxes rendition of the Queen song- loved the Jelly babies ‘cameo’ – loved the Agatha Christie homage – found the Mummy very impressive -two episodes in a row ending with the beach/ocean scene ? [not sure that’s anything] – liked this one a lot and another strong performance from Capdoc- no one saved this time around by Missy — another soldier[ the mummy]—-Clara’s should I stay or should I go is getting a bit weird but on the whole it just felt done nicely–

    lisa @lisa

    btw- Badwolf said it does have a feeling of Voyage of the Damned the GUS voice in particular and I wonder if that was the same actor used again ?
    There is a suspicious some odd sort of feeling about that engineer Perkins as if he isn’t really just a engineer so wonder if he will turn up in the future again ?
    That was a interesting conversation on the beach with Clara about saving people and also at the very end about ‘mission accomplished’ between Clara and Danny
    Cant wait to see everyone’s comments and detecting – [seen terrific detecting on this forum !]

    GothamCelt @gothamcelt

    @melloyello – Although I think you are perhaps a bit harsh with you choice of words, I tend to agree with your sentiment. I think Clara is dragging this series down and is only there because she is such a feast for the eyes. The whole Danny Pink thing is tedious and, like  you, I feel that Moffat’s attempts to pull me in to a long story arc has backfired.  I find the duality of the doctor being good/bad annoying and think Capaldi deserves better. I would like to see the end of Clara/Danny along with all daytime soap scenarios. Capaldi needs to put his foot down and say ‘this isn’t good enough’



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Sorry for the absence. I posted a quick comment on the G (lending moral support in amogst the hate watchers) and then lost my internet connection. Which is still a bit wiggy.

    It’s funny that we talked about potential successors to Moff once. I suggested that one of the benefits about Toby Whitehouse (whose name was oft mentioned) was that he had his own associated writing team from Being Human, and some of the were pretty good. I actually mentioned Jamie Mathieson in that context so it’s great to see him turn up with a stonking contribution.

    I think this fulfilled a long standing desire for me. The Doctor has often been asked (in the BG series) what he is a Doctor of. His usual response was “practicaly everything” but I’ve always thought it would be funny if he responded with something really obscure and faintly embarrassing. Intestinal parasites fulfils the dream!

    The Mummy was great visually. Far stronger than many interpretations have been in TV. Another soldier, and one who, from appearance, has gone “beyond death”. A bit of an echo of the Doctors condition.

    After all the shite that has been spoken about “celebrity casting gone too far”, I thought Frank Skinner was great. Foxes was great. That combo and the general bonkers feel of the episode. Orient Express. IN SPACE. WITH A MUMMY!! Made it feel like a Chrimble special in the best ways.

    What is it about the Egyptian mythos that captivates so much? In the confused interpretations of their pantheon of gods, the bonkers theorist will surely be rewarded by looking up Isis, who first came to our attention in Rings of Akhaten (which also featured a mummy).

    Then it was because one of her symbols was a sycamore leaf (Clara’s). The Sycamore being the tree that demarked the lands of the living and the dead. She was the protector of the Dead. In historic times the “Isis” canopic jar was used to preserve the Liver of the dead. Whether you liked the colour or not. There are a fair few other references that surround her which fit the current “mythos” and which I shall bore you with at a later date when I have both time and a more stable internet connection.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @phaseshift  You know perfectly well Egyptology is @juniperfish bait ! 🙂

    We’ve talked about Clara as Isis before, because she puts the Doctor back together when she jumps into his time stream (and remember she was also wearing that winged brooch in the rings of Akhaten), the way Isis put the scattered body parts of Osiris back together. Osiris comes back from death to be the Lord of Death and so it would seem has the Doctor. At least, he presently feels he is faced with choosing death everywhere in spite of his quest to save people.

    Of course, the only body part Isis couldn’t find was Osiris’ “little Osiris” so she made him a new one using magic. I did notice the Doctor’s screw-driver wasn’t working in this episode 🙂 So maybe Clara and the TARDIS need to make him a spiffy new one in order to lift his mood and restore him to a more optimistic view of the universe…

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I only mentioned it to set you off! 😀 I know you’re far more knowledgeable on that pantheon than I am and was surprised you hadn’t taken the opportunity. How I loved the Osiris parallels you pointed out throughout the last series. Please continue because I can’t get enough.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @geoffers yes I know the doctor is supposed to sense other Timelords but there have been occasions where he hasn’t sensed them before. My actual first thought on Perkins was that he was actually the controlling force behind GUS and the doc had him in the tardis to trap him as he just appeared a little too convenient.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Capaldi needs to put his foot down and say ‘this isn’t good enough’

    Putting aside your own displeasure for the moment, can you possibly live with the fact that you can’t speak for Capaldi? He looks like he’s having a whale of a time. He was a big fan of Matt Smith’s era He likes the type of storytelling that SM is doing. He’s living his dream. His dream may be your nightmare, but there you go.


    If Danny and Clara are in future episodes, I’m not going to watch them.

    Continuing characters. Ongoing story. So – Bye! Can I take this opportunity to thank you for resigning your viewership at us? It’s been very special.

    GothamCelt @gothamcelt

    @phaseshift – Putting aside you own displeasure for the moment, can you possibly live with the fact that you can’t speak for me?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @phaseshift You are sweet – cheering up a sick fish 🙂

    I have to say that I find the mythological undercurrents in Moffat’s Who somewhat frustrating because whilst they are clearly there (and I love your sycamore tree catch) it wouldn’t take much, and needn’t disturb the waters of the casual viewer, to sew a more consistent thread together.

    Certainly, we might think of “Missy’s place” as a kind of virtual underworld and I think maybe a judgement, a weighing of the Doctor’s hearts (as happens in the Egyptian underworld) by nefarious folk, by himself, and by those who love him, is coming.

    Missy could be setting up a gigantic reproach – as in “Look – here are all the people who have, just recently, died in your wake Doctor – you are a Lord of Death”. In his present state, the Doctor will probably agree and then, as @blenkinsopthebrave has predicted it will be up to (of course) love to save the day.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Poirot crossed with Hammer Horror indeed, but with added depth and layers.

    I approached this one with caution, hoping that it would at least be rattling good fun but fearing the worst. In the event it offered a good deal more than just that and I was completely won over.

    It looked gorgeous, of course, from the train interior and the costumes, to the views of the train snaking through a cosmos lit by all the colours of nebulae and star nurseries.  The Hubble photos have brought us a long way from old-style SF backdrops of black speckled with white dots.

    In many respects the story followed the mechanics of an Agatha Christie plot, with GUS in the role of Christie insofar as he/it set the scene and assembled all the pieces/players in position. And I do wonder whether he actually knew the nature of the mummy beforehand and therefore the solution to the puzzle.  He/it had made a point of trying to lure the Doctor into undertaking this, but maybe it was not a unique situation and he/it makes a practice of setting people puzzles which they have to risk their lives to solve; in which case, with what motive?

    As in a Christie whodunit, many of the characters were disposable; little more than puppets – in this case more literally than most, as we saw when it was revealed that most of the passengers were hard light holograms which vanished when the projector was switched off.  There were also clues, as for example in the ‘nice bit of kit’ which had kept Mrs Pitt alive and healthy and which so interested the Doctor earlier in the episode, which prefigured the rather more compact gadget which kept the mummy/ancient soldier alive. But at the centre there was more going on than the simple solving of a mystery, and in the interaction between the doomed passengers and the Doctor, and in the way in which their past experiences reflected his traumas, we learned more about this incarnation of the Doctor himself.  The relationship between the Doctor and Clara, though subsidiary to the main plot, was also explored further and in interesting ways.

    The exchange between the Doctor and Clara about addiction, which @geoffers has already noted,  struck me as significant also, and I agree that it probably applies more to Clara than the Doctor.  We might draw a parallel with gambling addiction, where the addictive factor is believed to be the adrenaline rush experienced by the gambler in taking a risk.  The Doctor does what he does because, at a fundamental level, that is his nature. He left Gallifrey because Time Lord society was too restrictive, too conservative, and he had a strong non-conformist streak; and ever since he has been taking risks to satisfy his curiosity, saving a few civilisations in the process but also leaving casualties in his wake. And from our first encounter with him he has often been willing to put others at risk in the process, even if he can usually find the means also to get them out of danger.  Clara has come to enjoy the risk, to the extent that she is willing to lie to Danny and to the Doctor in order to continue travelling in the Tardis, because that is what addicts do if it is necessary to get their fix: they lie to others and to themselves.

    Finally, by way of a few random observations, there were some lovely touches, most of which have already been noted.

    The jelly babies in the cigarette case, because of course someone travelling on a luxury train in the 1920s would have carried an elegant cigarette case.

    ‘Are you my mummy?’

    And, more subtly, as the Doctor and Clara enter the dining car and he explains:

    ‘A completely faithful recreation of the original Orient Express, except slightly bigger, and in space; but in every other respect identical.  Painstaking attention to detail’  and then he registers the song Foxes is singing – Don’t Stop Me Now –  dating from 50+ years after the period which has been recreated  ‘ – most of the time’.




    Mudlark @mudlark

    @juniperfish   The ‘mummy’ and other elements may be evocative of ancient Egypt and Egyptian mythology, but I am duty bound to point out that the symbols on the scroll which conjures the Foretold are cuneiform writing or facsimiles thereof, so Sumerian/Babylonian/Assyrian – make of that what you will 🙂

    Serahni @serahni

    Just watched it again and one thing stood out; anyone notice that Clara outlasted everyone when the cabin decompressed?  What is it with her and her impressive lung capacity!

    @gothamcelt  Nobody’s speaking for you, PhaseShift quoted the one thing he was responding to, which was your attempting to assert what Capaldi should be doing.  The rest of what you said wasn’t touched so nobody is trying to deny you an opinion.  I can honestly understand why elements of this series would grate with fans because if I have any qualms with it, it’s usually for the same reason.  I think you will find, in general, that people’s opinions are respected here if they are voiced in the spirit of the forums, which doesn’t exist as a place to vent.  I hope the series eventually delivers something that you can enjoy, life isn’t much fun without Who!

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Early on there was an exchange between the Doctor and Clara which seems highly significant.  He says  ‘You smile, but you’re sad; it’s confusing, it’s like two emotions at once, it’s like you’re malfunctioning’.   So despite his seemingly obtuse remarks about her appearance in previous episodes, and whether or not he is capable of true empathy with human beings, he is here acutely observant of and sensitive to the emotional signals that Clara is giving out.  Perhaps this is a sign that he is settling further into his new incarnation and becoming more closely attuned to Clara as a person, also evident in the fact that he can now tolerate her taking his arm and leaning her head on his shoulder.  He may be more obviously cerebral than Matt Smith’s Doctor in the way he deals with problems, and much less inclined to overt displays of emotion, but I don’t get any sense that he lacks feelings. It is just that in this Doctor the head most definitely rules the hearts.

    Coffeemonster @coffeemonster

    Hi everybody,

    Maybe I can add a bit to the general theorising, maybe not:
    Did anyone else find it strange that the mummy was called ‘The Foretold’? Because I did and I think it might be a sign that there’s a connection between GUS and Missy. Because Missy lives in what she also calls ‘The Promised Land’. Both the ‘Promised Land’ and the ‘Foretold’ are stuff of myths. So here’s my theory based on what I’ve seen in this episode: someone (Missy or GUS or…) has found a way to feed of myths! They’ve created a place that uses people’s believes. This place exists out of phase (like the mummy) and moves the believers out of phase as soon as they die, in order to maintain their believe so that the place can keep feeding of them.

    And on a different note: I hope this ‘Promised land’ has something to do with the place in ‘Silence in the libary’ where River went to, so that we get to see her again!

    Does anyone else has different (better :P) ideas about missy and/or GUS?


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    given the dialogue in today’s episode, between clara and the doctor, it’s clear that he has never tried to stop doing what he’s doing (she has the “addiction,” as she’s the one trying to quit).

    The dialogue was definitely about Clara. The Doctor can stop – he proved that with his 1000 year, to the death stay on Trenzalore. He’s a ‘professional gambler’ – but he’s not addicted. As long as someone needs him to stop, he can stop. And he’s quite prepared to remain stopped for the rest of his life

    and then the cybermen, the weeping angels, the sontarans, the atraxi, the master… and the blorgons! etc. etc.

    No, once the Time Lords are back, someone else can take care of them. The Doctor’s neverending war is the Time War, and it will only end when either the Daleks or the Time Lords surrender and let the other side win.

    And I’d say it has to be the Daleks – because, by surrendering, they’ll prove that they’ve changed. That was the whole point of Into The Dalek, after all, that Daleks can change.

    Since the Daleks are based originally on the Nazis, I’d say the Daleks need their ‘Stunde Null’, their zero hour of surrender, their moment of knowing that the past is shameful and that they can only start again, from the beginning, and try this time to get it right.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    A cracker of an episode I thought and as @phaseshift says highly reminiscent of a Christmas special, but I think better than most of them. Jamie Mathieson is to be commended — he’s managed to out-Gatiss Gatiss with this one with a superb piece of genre mashing. I was never a massive fan of Being Human, but this was a cracking little script.

    As well as the Christie and all the self-referential vibes, this also reminded me greatly of the 70s Spanish horror flick Horror Express, which I’d highly recommend and is indeed available in its entirety on You Tube:

    It also reminded me slightly in terms of plot and feel of a more malevolent version of Douglas Adams’ computer game from the 90s Starship Titanic. Especially in the idea of being at the mercy of the on-board computer.

    Capaldi was great in this episode. His Doc is certainly a slow burner but I think he’ll indelibly be the Doc by the end of this run and will be remembered as one of the greats. As he did with Smithy, SM has managed to bring us a Doc who clearly has an interior emotional life, who is a well-rounded 3D character in his own right rather than just some unknowable bloke in fancy dress who flounces around solving other people’s problems for them. RTD started this process of course but SM, Smith and now Capaldi have been bringing a greater subtlety to the process. He’s made this Doctor his own but there’s lots of lovely hints of previous Docs in here. The Baker ones were obvious this week, but I also saw a strain of Hartnellian intransigence and defiance here too (helped no doubt by his costume this week) and the confrontation with the Captain in his office was pure Pertwee.

    The mummy was nicely done and, yes, definite shades of b0th the War Doctor and Danny Pink in there. For my money, I think the whole Missy thing is a massive mis-steer and she’s going to be on the side of the angels in this one (I’m still favouring that she’s some kind of future version of Clara, or a Claricle that we haven’t seen yet). I’m going to go with Danny Pink being the Big Bad this year. With perhaps Orson Pink not being a descendant at all but the same guy. I’d dismissed the idea that the Master is returning but I’d say that it might be back on the table. Gus seemed to know rather a lot about how the Doctor worked and this sort of manipulation behind the scene approach is very reminiscent of the Master of old.

    And as I’ve said before, the only way the Master can work in this day and age is if he has more direct and intimate connections with the Doctor and his crew (kind of like Lex Luthor in Smallville, I suppose) and for him to spend a series as a ‘companion’ of sorts would be a good way to do this….

    Kaervekkun @kaervekkun

    There’s something knocking on the back of my mind… from last week’s episode, Moffat seemed to point that Missy is Clara (the “I don’t like to be called Miss” line makes me think that Missy could be a future version of Clara that is trying to safe the Doctor from a darker path, the one he’s going through now).

    On the other hand, Dannys relationship with the Doctor is quite antagonist (he seems to be trying to separate Clara from the Doctor, and it doesn’t feel that Clara’s safety is his main reason).  Could Danny be The Master (and Clara The Misstress/Missy).  All in all, Orson Pink said that “timetravelling was a family think”, but didn’t state which of their grandfathers was the time traveller, so they could be both.

    JimmyP @jimmyp

    @jimthefish @kaervekkun  Yes indeed, I’m starting to get back into the idea that Danny might well be the big-bad of the arc.  It’s something I speculated about before the series started, and then again when we met him properly in Into the Dalek (

    The Master returning and Missy being a nice piece of ‘miss’-direction would be very Moff in my opinion.

    I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Danny’s reaction to the fact that Clara is back telling fibs to the two men in her life again…

    Melloyello @melloyello

    @phaseshift Long time whovians know companions don’t last forever.
    And what I am seeing, my opinion of Clara and Danny isn’t in the
    minority. It is just a matter of time. But while Clara and Danny
    are in the show, I wont waste my time watching it. The science tech
    has become less than B-grade, and the plot line is a day time soap opera,
    and the Dr acts like a neutered house cat. This is NOT Dr Who acceptable.
    Dr. Who has provided higher standards in the past. If the people behind the
    scenes have lost the ability to produce at least B-grade or better shows, then they
    need to go, and that includes actors, writers, producers, etc… For me, I have come
    to accept higher, much higher standards, than what is being produced this season
    of Dr. Who. The moon as a giant egg? Come on now, it is more than just one issue.
    Its the whole season. This season has not been Dr. Who. People have given it a chance
    to take off, but it hasn’t and not showing any promise of ever doing it. I haven’t resigned
    anything. I’m standing up for the high standards of Dr. Who. I’ve been a fan since the
    Tom Baker days. A new doctor isn’t my first rodeo. But this season is just bad and shouldn’t
    be acceptable. Companions don’t last forever. From the opinions of Dr. Who fans, around the net,
    Clara and Danny’s plot line my get shortened up to keep from losing viewers, or dropped altogether.

    Spider @spider

    Loved this episode and mostly one the first watch as well. The only things that jarred for me was Clara suddenly deciding it was all back to fine and she wanted to continue travelling with the Doctor, lying to Danny, lying to the Doctor. But reading the thoughts on here exploring the addiction angle that makes a bit more sense.

    Is it just me or in the scene where the Doctor is talking to himself in his cabin he speaks some of the lines in a VERY Tom Baker way?

    PhileasF @phileasf

    Loved that.

    So, straight to the bullet points:

    – Apart from Gus the shipboard computer (a la Eddie the Shipboard Computer, in the Hitch-Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy), there were also ‘hard light holograms’, a term coined in Red Dwarf.

    – When the Doctor talks to himself I was reminded of that scene in Day of the Doctor where the Doctors argue, and Matt Smith says ‘This is what I’m like when I’m alone’. But note also that while he talks to himself he’s in bed, a la Listen.

    – There were two thousands-of-years-old soldiers who just can’t stop fighting on that train… one of them has worn better than the other.

    – Gus, or whoever was running Gus, was like the ‘Architect’ in Time Heist, except (s)he’s working hard to make sure no-one survives rather than that everyone does. The ‘Architect’ in Time Heist was trying to save a unique creature; the object in Mummy on the Orient Express was (maybe) to destroy a unique creature. Mind you, the Mummy probably wasn’t complaining, and might well consider this a rescue.

    – It’s been speculated by someone above that Gus (or whoever was running Gus) will turn out to be the Doctor. That’s reasonable, given the parallels with the Architect, but I don’t think the show would go down that road.

    – Unless… they were all holograms (except maybe Perkins) and the Doctor engineered the whole scenario to show Clara that he’s not such a bad fellow after all. (OK, this is pretty unlikely.)

    – All the ‘real’ people on the train are either staff, or experts who may contribute to defeating the Mummy. Except Mrs Pitt and Maisie. I suggest they were lured to the train as Mummy fodder. They could be killed without diminishing the team’s ability to solve the problem, so the experts would have some evidence to work with before the experts themselves started dying. Mrs Pitt was the most obviously vulnerable person on the train, and if grief would make you a target then Maisie would also be a likely early target.

    @lisa, I agree that Perkins seemed a little suspicious. His keenness to assist the Doctor’s investigation would be consistent with him running the operation. And who would be better placed than the chief engineer to manipulate the computer? The Doctor left him alone in the TARDIS – who knows what he might have got up to?

    – The final scenes are very odd. Everyone’s gone away except Perkins. Why is he still there? The Doctor tells Clara he let her sleep… but why is she on the beach? He teleported her, unconscious, into the TARDIS. Then he carried or teleported her out onto the beach? With a blanket, because it’s cold? I think there’s some lying going on here. Perhaps Perkins and the Doctor had a very interesting conversation related to the Missy arc, or to what really happened on the train, and Clara had to be memory-wormed so she’d forget it. Their final conversation in Clara’s presence may be stage-managed for her benefit.

    – Perhaps it just seemed nice to end another story on a beach, to create a parallel with the end of Kill the Moon. (This could apply to either the writers, or to the Doctor himself.)

    – This episode resembles several episodes of The Avengers, especially The Superlative Seven, which someone mentioned in these fora not long ago. In that episode someone sends false invitations to a number of experts in different fighting techniques, including Steed, to attend a party on a plane. They’re taken to a remote island where they’re pitted against a supposedly unbeatable opponent.

    The Superlative Seven was fairly similar to the earlier episode ‘Dressed to Kill’, where various people, including Steed, are lured by means of false invitations onto a train – the reasons are totally different, but the train makes it seem worth mentioning.

    – I was intrigued by the records Clara found. I think she said that on one ship where something similar occurred there were only four casualties, suggesting the passengers on that ship also figured out how to ‘deactivate’ the Mummy. Their progress was assessed as ‘Promising’. Was there any evidence those ships also encountered the Mummy? Might they have had their own different monsters to deal with? (I can’t be bothered checking.)

    – It seems a bit suspect that this information would happen to be on the train. It implies that whoever was running the operation, or an agent thereof, was present. This dangling thread, and the fact that the real villain of the story went undiscovered and unpunished, makes me think this must be part of the story arc.

    A few possible conclusions:

    a) The Mummy is a weapon that’s being tested. Can people figure out how to stop it? Assessing the passengers who presumably defeated the Mummy as ‘Promising’ would tend to contradict this conclusion. But it would explain why you’d keep trying the experiment after one ship has apparently solved the problem.


    b) It’s the people on the train who are being tested. Someone wants to find very clever people who are good at dealing with difficult problems, and kill them. This would make sense if the person looking for clever problem solvers has access to the dead. i.e. Missy. If this is true, assessing those passengers as ‘promising’ would make sense.


    c) The organiser was mainly interested in killing the Mummy. (Or disabling it, hence the sarcophagus). Either Missy is bothered that the Mummy is immortal, and therefore out of her control; or she’s bothered that it’s killing so many people and thus creating queues in ‘Heaven’. Perhaps the other ship’s passengers had only managed to protect themselves from the Mummy without actually killing it.

    – Missy’s associate ‘Seb’, in The Caretaker: his name is a diminutive of Sebastian, a popular saint.
    ‘Gus’ is also a diminutive of a famous saint’s name: Augustine.

    – Sebastian was a soldier in the Roman army. He is the patron saint of athletes, archers and soldiers. Possibly also of PE teachers.

    – Augustine’s ‘Confessions’ is probably the earliest autobiography that is still much read. He was, among other things, a teacher of grammar. He’s the patron saint of brewers, because he liked a drink before he got religious. Clara is an English teacher, and lately is often seen drinking. I suspect these seeming connections are meaningless noise.

    TheBrainOfMoffat @thebrainofmoffat

    Before I read anyone else’s posts on this thread, I just have to say that, whereas I had extreme disappointment for the last episode, this one was awesome! Looking forward to the next (and the “wall people” remind me of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, where you can merge with walls and move along them before emerging).



     I suspect these seeming connections are meaningless noise.

    Oh no – they are undoubtedly meaningful, in the same way the dream catchers were in series 6. In drama, a red herring has a very specific job to do!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Superb display of ARSE.

    From the opinions of Dr. Who fans, around the net,

    Which aren’t worth a thing unless you switch off in droves. The story of Danny and Clara is scripted, filmed, decided. IF both actors are booked for Series 9, they may possibly tell the writers to upgrade the characterisation a bit, just as they did for Clara this series. But since you don’t like Clara anyway, I doubt it would help.

    Last week I had the depressing feeling that maybe Capaldi was going to be so not ‘my’ Doctor that I might have to stop watching for a while. However, this week I realised last week was just an episode I didn’t like. Yay.

    But if I’d decided that I’d hated the current direction so much that I would drop out and come back at the next regeneration, I certainly wouldn’t go online and complain bitterly that Peter Capaldi/the current producers/the scriptwriters/ the production team/ the tin dog are ruining the show. Capaldi certainly isn’t – he’s very good at what he’s doing and he’s definitely ‘The Doctor’. I just find his Doctor extremely disconcerting.

    Likewise, Jenna Coleman is doing some really good acting. I’m sorry you dislike her character, but I suspect she is providing the producers with exactly the performance they want – and they ain’t gonna change that because a small section of the audience don’t like it. Not when the viewing figures are staying stable, they’re not.

    Incidentally, welcome to a forum where there is a fairly substantial proportion of long time Whovians (including @phaseshift). Personally, I’ll meet your Tom Baker and raise you a Jon Pertwee. 🙂

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @melloyello  From the opinions of Dr. Who fans, around the net, Clara and Danny’s plot line my get shortened up to keep from losing viewers, or dropped altogether.

    This isn’t coarse commercial television where providing eyeballs for advertisers is the purpose. This is thankfully the BBC, and it is for the creators to be able to tell the story that they want to tell, without having to worry about the short term opinions of casual viewers.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @phileasf  Regarding your (a) above, GUS says that:

    “Your goal is to ascertain the Foretold’s true nature, probe for weaknesses, with a view to capture, after which we will reverse engineer its abilities!”

    Of course, GUS might be lying about the true nature of the enterprise, but what would “reverse engineering” of the Foretold’s ability to kill actually mean? Enabling it to grant eternal life? Interesting for all those wondering about a Missy/ Gus connection as Missy has stored a bunch of apparently dead people in a virtual afterlife.

    Also interesting given that the dalek in Into the Dalek was also “reverse engineered” to hate dalek-kind instead of all other life-forms.

    Someone is messing with the basic nature of things. I smell (rogue) Time Lords.











    Spider @spider

    @melloyello I completely disagree with pretty much everything you’ve said, but you are of course entitled to your opinion and that’s absolutely fine.

    Sorry to hear the show isn’t living up to your high standards, but I do wonder what exactly are the ‘high standards’ and what is it you think that makes the current season ‘not Doctor Who’? (Doctor, Tardis, companion, crazy adventures…sounds like Doctor Who to me ;))  And while we’re at it, has Who ever done ‘science tech’ properly?(time travelling box bigger on the inside etc.).

    Daytime soap opera plot lines? Really? Bloody hell if a daytime soap opera have one tenth of the plot lines on ANY Who episode then I’d be watching every one! I can’t help but look at what you say there, think for a millisecond about say the plot lines in the episode ‘Listen’ and go, ‘soap opera? nope, just not getting it’.

    For me this season has been extremely high standard and is very, very Doctor Who. I like its moved away from a getting-too-human-touchy-feely-Doctor (and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored Tennant’s Doctor and to a lesser extent Matt Smiths). I like that Clara is not travelling full time with the Doctor and has a life (of sorts) outside the Tardis and, although still not sure about Danny, I like the relationship with Clara, it adds a different angle to the stories.  But that’s just my opinion.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are still some aspects that annoy me or I feel go over the edge into silliness (Robot of Sherwood. Golden Arrow – ARGH!) but nothing is ever perfect and nothing will ever be everyone’s cup of tea. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride…


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Well, that was an enjoyable romp! First impressions only, and I have not had a chance to read through all the previous comments, so apologies if I say something already said.

    I open with my mea culpa–the Doctor does lie.

    In some senses, the episode reminded me of “The God Complex”–the monster who isn’t really a monster, the victims whose demise is a reflection of their own frailties, the orchestration of the events (GUS, on the one hand, and the security camera point-of-view, on the other hand), the confined setting (hotel, train) in which they are trapped.

    If I saw the episode as building on established themes in this series, they were the Doctor being forced to re-evaluate his prejudice about soldiers (as the Mummy was not simply a soldier, but as much a victim as the rest of them) and Clara’s ongoing confusion about her attachment to this new iteration of the Doctor.

    Do I think this episode was part of a larger story (a la of Lake Silencio proprortions)? As with the previous episode, I suspect not.

    Does this mean I am running out of bonkers theories? I hope not, it is just that I have found the last two episodes, which I enjoyed, harder to attach bonkers theories to.

    The one character who remains a complete mystery to me is Danny. I am reminded of the scene in “Sherlock” where he is confronted by the naked Irene Adler. Instead of all his impressions appearing on the screen in text, there a simply a series of questions marks. Sherlock cannot read her, and that is my response to Danny. After a number of episodes, I still have no idea of how to interpret him. Now, while that might say a lot about me, I also suspect it says a lot about the ultimate importance of Danny.

    deadmeat3171 @deadmeat3171

    Not read all posts all the way through but is it just me or during the doctors conversation

    Did any body notice his tom baker impersonation almost as if he was having a conversation with the part of himself that was the fourth doctor

    Spider @spider

    @deadmeat3171  Yes. I noticed that – see post #33436 😉

    GothamCelt @gothamcelt

    @juniperfish – Interesting thoughts about all the reversing. Two ways of looking at it have crossed my mind .  First thought was that it reminded me of another science fiction programme from the 60s – Captain Scarlet. Didn’t he have some sort of ‘reverse metabolism’ that allowed him to regenerate?  Also a link to colours – Scarlet to Pink.  Then I thought it was just a McGuffin to explain things without resorting to ‘Reverse the polarity’

    lisa @lisa

    @phileasf –yes ! Seb-Gus and who else as abbreviations of ancient saints as part of this Faith/Belief arc ? we might have missed another abbreviated saint name in a previous episode ? So I will go back and check over some of that re: is this some hidden clue/meaning – might be maybe ??
    big longshot though – but I have as Clara said ‘the addiction’ 🙂

    Rob @rob

    @badwulf and @geoffers

    I think the monster wasn’t a monster at all and was a mirror of the Dr.

    Trapped as a mummy driven by programming to harvest energy the honorable soldier took those who were sick or suffering around the “flag/banner” no good choices only bad against worsererer choices

    When released from this eternal cycle by the Dr the mummy saluted as a thank you

    Hmmm sounded perfectly logical before I thought about it and wrote it down……. back to the cafetiere oops drawing board

    soundworld @soundworld

    I absolutely loved the episode.

    I continue to have extreme reservations re Danny – his character just doesn’t seem to fit, to me.  Whenever Danny and Clara are together, something inside is going ‘noooooooo!’

    @gothamcelt (and others) Is Missy perhaps attempting to reverse-engineer Time Lord abilities? Perhaps too the idea of being in-phase is important.  perhaps Missy’s world is in a different phase to our normal (Dr) world, and can thus be occupying the same place and time whilst being completely not-there.  All it takes is a momentary phase-shift to grab somebody otherwise about to die, into Missy’s clutches.  The teleporting may be a red herring – then again…

    Apart from that, I’m going bonkers trying to find good things for which GUS might be an acronym:
    Great Universal Soldier
    Grand Unified Solution
    Gah! Useless Soldiers (probably not!)
    Guaranteed Useful/Useless Software

    Maybe a theme for a competition?

    Apart from that (2) I wrote a long, long post to last week’s thread which completely disappeared into the void.  ??

    Spider @spider

    @soundworld  Oh you got me thinking about acronyms too!

    GUS:  Gallifreyan Using Stealth   😉



    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    I quite enjoyed this episode.

    Thought I’d have a say on some the issues that have come up in these discussions. Can’t remember who’s said what previously so apologies for that.

    Some have been complaining generally that the show is too ‘soap-opera-y’ now. While I’m not necessarily sure Doctor Who needs yet another love story subplot, I am glad that Clara has a ‘real’ life going on beside these adventures. It really grounds the adventures – people sometimes say that Doctor Who works best when set in the here and now, because it feels that bit much more believable, and because of Clara’s ‘set-up’ it often feels like even adventures in the past and future are simply an extension of that. It’s one of the reasons I am really enjoying season 8.

    Specifically regarding the Clara/Danny/Doctor ‘soap-opera’ triangle, I like the fact that the ‘arc plot’ is character-driven. This is the first time there’s really been a proper character-driven arc plot in Doctor Who, I think. The season 6 stuff with River and the Silence is a plot-driven arc plot, which means it felt odd between the ‘arc episodes’ when they just went back to having normal adventures. The point of Doctor Who is that it’s one adventure after another, so breaking one adventure up amongst others didn’t work brilliantly (particularly after Let’s Kill Hitler). But one thing that is consistent through the adventures is obviously the characters, and thus a character-driven arc plot makes a lot of sense. And it’s working. Most episodes develop the relationship between the Doctor and Clara, and sometimes Danny, without distracting from what are essentially all stand-alone adventures. I reckon you could watch these episodes out of sequence and still appreciate what’s going on, albeit maybe occasionally missing some of the references.

    Basically, I’m saying that the arc-plot (as opposed to the ‘arc-enigmas’ of Missy etc.) of this series is working really well – and for the first time in Doctor Who, as, previously, what has been referred to as ‘arc-plot’ has really just been a succession events which all feed into the season finale (ie Season 3 with the fobwatch, lazarus technology, Saxon’s goons and Martha’s mum) or hints/clues (Torchwood, Bad Wolf, Mr SAxon, Madame Kovarian-letterboxes, even Missy this year). This year there’s actually cause and effect narrative continuing throughout the season, ie the Clara/Doctor/Danny relations. I think this is really good, I think Moffat has cracked how to properly do series arc-plots for Doctor Who (character-driven, not plot-driven), and I hope, if arc plots are to continue through Doctor Who, that there are more of this ilk.

    I just thought I’d forward an interesting argument in favour of an aspect of what some mistakenly liken to ‘soap opera’ stuff. Not a massive fan of the Clara/Danny relationship specifically (though not against it) but I am enjoying this more subtle form of arc plot (as opposed to Series 6).

    Might be back later with more thoughts – time for some dinner now.



    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    Overall I liked it, but I do have some reservations. The ending was a bit of an anti-climax, and Clara’s wanting to leave then not wanting to leave was rushed and not very well handled. In fact I don’t know why they didn’t just have The Doctor on his own, and then have Clara return in the next episode. I know time has passed for the characters, but bit just seemed jarring that they are on fairly good terms considering the last time we saw them together she was going off at him. I don’t like the fact that she lied to Danny at the end.
    Also, am I the only one who felt that the story didn’t need to be in space? Why couldn’t it have just taken place on the actual Orient Express.

    MTGradwell @mtgradwell

    Really enjoyed this one. Makes up for the dubious handwavey technobabble of last week. As Arthur C Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, so if you want the science to appear far in advance of what we have today then it should be presented as magic. Attempting to explain the trick (midichlorians, anyone?) just spoils it. Especially when the presentation of current tech such as the Space Shuttle is just as dubious as that of the far future/mysterious alien stuff, as was the case last week. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, great episode. The mummy was well realised, lots of subtleties in the script, gorgeous set, etc.


    What did everyone think of the fact that Clara has changed her mind about travelling with the Doctor just because Danny has said it is OK?

    As the Doctor said, it’s about addiction. During the course of the episode Clara came to realised that she can’t give up the time-travelling, no matter how angry she might momentarily be with the Doctor (and she’s had an unspecified amount of time to calm down from last time). Travelling on the Orient Express. In Space! With more awesome coolness to come next week, and the week after. Who could turn that down? Certainly not Clara. When she says she changed her mind because of Danny, it’s just because she doesn’t want to admit that the Doctor was right.


    what would “reverse engineering” of the Foretold’s ability to kill actually mean? Enabling it to grant eternal life?

    “Reverse engineering” doesn’t usually mean “engineering to do the opposite”. It usually applies to when you have a device that you can’t take apart, because that would break it (e.g. a microprocessor) or because there are rules that say you can’t (e.g. when making Open Source software that resembles something proprietary). You can’t do that but you can study its external behaviour to your heart’s content. From this you can work out how it probably works internally, and build something that behaves the same way.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Why couldn’t it have just taken place on the actual Orient Express?

    Actual Orient Express a) requires a location shoot b) costs a fortune c) is a bugger to film on. Resulting in d) yet another Moffat Era Who Producer being discovered in a darkened room at the BBC muttering brokenly about “… the budget… the budget…”

    Orient Express IN SPACE a) can be shot in-studio b) can be built by the scenery dept. c) is IN SPACE so can be cheated to wide enough to film easily. Resulting in d) happy Moffat Era Who Producer being discovered in the Production Office saying ‘Special Effect of the Mummy coming through the Doctor’s eyesockets? Yeah, we can afford that.’

    Won’t somebody please think of the producers? 😉

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    I find the conversation at the end about addiction strange, because they both seem to have forgotten about the fact that the Doctor did give up traveling for ages and ages – in The Time of the Doctor (as @bluesqueakpip pointed out). But if you watch that scene, it’s as if the two of them have completely forgotten that. Unless the addiction being given up is specifically to the ‘making impossible choices’ thing that Clara refers to, then I suppose the Time of the Doctor decision to stay on Trenzalore was a bit of an ‘impossible choice’, and thus he was not giving it up. But I’m not convinced by that. It seems strange that they talk as if Trenzalore never happened.

    Just like to say that I’m happy that this episode (and this series) has dealt with the whole sometimes-you-have-to-do-bad-things-for-the-greater-good issue, which I think is ignored in earlier eras of the show. The kind of life the Doctor leads would require him to sometimes make these sorts of choices a lot more often than, say, the Russell T Davies era ever made him do (I don’t think there are any examples at all in Nine or Ten’s adventures, although admittedly the destroying-all-the-Time-Lords-thing is a good example of that sort of decision-making, albeit off-screen).

    I don’t think it should have required there to be a more pragmatic Doctor for him to have to sometimes make these pragmatic decisions (eg even if the Tenth Doctor found himself in the situation with Ross and the anti-bodies in ‘Into the Dalek’, surely the right thing to do would still be the same as with the Twelfth?), but this is better than nothing! I enjoy the three-dimensionalness of this attitude.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @mtgradwell Thanks for the reverse engineering explanation. So GUS wanted to build more killer Mummies…


    Interesting some people dislike Clara this season. I much prefer her. I remember when she first arrived as Oswin Dalek and I thought she was great, then she became a sort of blank canvas whose defining characteristic was fancying Eleven and being “impossible” and I was bored. But now, I can see that Jenna Coleman is a decent actress again (as when she first appeared).

    I don’t think Clara is behaving badly vacillating between leaving the Doctor and keeping going. He’s a difficult man in this incarnation. We would all be torn between our lives back here and our time travel adventures if the Doctor came a-calling.

    I very much enjoyed the Doctor’s softer underbelly this week – clearly sad about losing Clara but leaving the decision in her hands. The Doctor in Capaldi’s shoes feels very layered and slow burn. I love the slapstick quality Matt Smith brought to the role but I love the savagery Capaldi brings with those flashes of tenderness beneath.

    @bluesqueakpip Yes – who WOULDN’T want to go on the Orient Express in space!


    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    What’s all this about Clara lying at the end of this episode? Various posters here have said she lied to either the Doctor or Danny or both (can’t remember who said this though, sorry). Watching it back, I don’t see it that way.

    I think Danny had already said that he didn’t mind her traveling in the Tardis. If you look at Clara and Danny’s earlier conversation this episode, he describes her leaving the Doctor as ‘scorched earth’, saying ‘you still basically get on’. But she was still set on leaving. At the end, Danny asks ‘is it done?’ she says yes, but then, after she hangs up, changes her mind on the spot. At least, that’s the way I see it.

    There were two reasons she was going to stop: Danny was worried about her, and she was annoyed at the Doctor. At different points both reasons became nullified, and the thing that remained was only her intention to leave the Doctor. After her phone call with Danny at the end of this episode, she realises that the intention is all that remains, and thus that, in fact, she may as well change her mind and continue traveling with the Doctor. (Yay!)

    That’s my interpretation, perhaps others see it differently?

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Don’t really see why people generally find it easier to suspend disbelief for a teleporting mummy on the Orient Express (IN SPACE!!) than for the moon’s an egg scenario, but happy people are generally on board for this epi 🙂 (Especially @bluesqueakpip – we’d be lost without you!!)

    @jimbomcmaster The Doctor’s always had difficult decisions – from preventing Barbara trying to rewrite Aztec traditions (no sacrifices) to not saving anyone from St Bartholomew’s Eve Massacre to “have I the right…” in Genesis to Ten at Pompeii and in Waters of Mars. I agree – if it was 11 in Into the Dalek it would have been the same reaction but he might have got his PR agent on to the presentation of it!  12 is just as much of a good man at heart(s) as all the other incarnations.  Maybe I find it easier since I started with Hartnell. And Scottish (12’s banter sounds pretty normal to me!)

    I like the notion that the Doctor can multi-task with multiple thought processes at any given time – but only 1 emotion, LOL (His comment to Clara that she must be malfunctioning with happy/sad – he recognises how she’s feeling but can’t cope with conflicting emotions at the same time. And proceeds to talk about planets!)

    So, so far this series we’ve had 5 “broken” soldiers (HFM, the dalek, Danny, the skovox blitzer, the mummy) – just a mirror for the Doctor’s frame of mind, or something more? 3, maybe 4 of them, he’s fixed so far.




    ScaryB @scaryb


    As I’ve posted before, Clara has been lying her socks off to both Danny and the Doctor throughout this series. At the end of this episode she tells Danny (on the phone) – “mission accomplished” (implying she has told the Doctor that was the “lst hurrah” and she’s done with timetravel.  She then tells the Doctor that it’s OK, Danny’s said she can still travel with him.

    Call me cynical, but I don’t believe either of these! But she’s much much happier having decided she wants to keep travelling with the Doctor. I like how the Doctor kept following her lead – he didn’t want to influence her decision, didn’t want that responsibility. what’s worrying me is hat happened after Amy and Rory went through much the same process… Angels take Manhatten wasn’t far behind!

    I’m with @juniperfish – I like how Clara’s had a chance to develop this series. So, she’s conflicted – who wouldn’t be in the same situation!  2 impossible lives to weave together. But what a simple device to open up other possibilities – both the Doctor and Clara can have any amount of other things happen to them between episodes. Who knows what the Doctor gets up to (apart from sitting like buddha on top of the TARDIS and pndering his nightmares!)

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    @juniperfish Yes I very much prefer Clara this season too. In the first four episodes this season she became my favourite companion, I think for the same reasons that some people have complained about the show actually being too much about her now.

    I felt she had more scenes of her own that I was actually interested in because of what she was doing in them (in Deep Breath when facing interrogation by the Half-Faced Man, or talking to the Sheriff of Nottingham), rather than just cool scenes involving the companion (eg I really like the scene when Amy encounters the Silence in the White House, but not because of Amy). I didn’t feel, like some, that these scenes made her the centre of the show, because I was much more interested in Capaldi this season and still felt like I had plenty of his performances too.

    And as you say, Capaldi’s Doctor is well-layered. Notice his little smile when Clara tells Danny she loves him – he’s strongly opposed to Danny, but he’s still happy for Clara.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    I know Capaldi’s referencing a good bit of Tom in his portrayal, but I also love the refs to that other old curmudgeonly Doctor, #1 –


    (Sorry, not linking properly – it’s a photo of Hartnell in very similar dress (where’s @wolfweed when we need him?!))

    Edit: Occasionally, very occasionally, Craig is here to fix things.

    Craig @craig

    @scaryb I’m with you. I thought both stories were great. Had a conversation at work and we decided, basically, if last week’s episode had been set on an alien planet with 3 moons and one, or even all, had turned out to be an egg no one would have batted an eyelid. There was a bit of a problem with it being closer to home because of “known” science – which nobody can actually claim to know.

    Lack of imagination I think. But those who didn’t like it are entitled to their opinion. 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Oh, thanks @craig (I always have a prob with pics 🙁 )

    (And apologies for my over-reaction re possible spoilers last night – my Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses activated as soon as they saw the word “wiki”! )

    BESD1 @besd1

    Really enjoying having this series take me where it will, and watching the doctor awash with moral ambiguity (so much more interesting than moral certitude). A couple of convictions growing:

    1. The robot/ retooled human theme spells Cybermen
    2. Buoyed by growing wave of regal flotsam and jetsam I grow more sure that Missy/Gus/lady in the shop  is not a female Master but, in fact, the Rani
    3. In the words of Tom Waits: “Two dead ends but you still got to choose”. Not sure who but someone has some unpalatable choices coming up.
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