On The Sofa (10)

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    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @mudlark   I sympathise with your historical misgivings.   As I said to devilishrobby, I’m a retired engineer, so my groans are usually elicited by mechanical absurdities.    I find I have to allow a moderate degree of leeway – so long as something looks ‘about right’ I let it pass.  For example, I approve of the East German ‘circus train’ in Octopussy (James Bond) which was hauled by a Norwegian steam engine which looks near-enough German – a British engine would have stuck out like a sore thumb.    (On the other hand, I can’t ever stand to watch McGyver, I have this theory that their lawyers ordered them to make every ‘clever’ trick as ludicrous as possible so that if some viewer tried it, it would never work in the slightest degree, thus giving them a defence in any lawsuits that ‘no reasonable person would believe it’).

    I do prefer it when historical stories are reasonably accurate (in conformity with my patchy knowledge of history), though obviously you as a historian would be more sensitive to that aspect.

    I believe the original premise of Who was to illustrate technology and history with the Doctor and companions as passive observers.   I don’t think that premise survived the Daleks.    In respect of Demons though, it almost achieved historical compatibility – aside from the tacked-on Doctor/aliens moments, the story itself could quite credibly have occurred in that place and time without altering any history, I think.

    The next episode I’ve just watched, The Witchfinders, is very much contra-historical in that the evil Becka drowns 36 alleged witches (whereas the notorious Pendle witch trials only involved 12 victims) so this would have been a huge black mark in history.  However, the writer ‘fixes’ it in time-honoured fashion by having King James decree that the village of Bilewood be abandoned and nobody ever speak of the events – a cover-up which has obviously been successful.    (I recall an episode of ‘Hercules’ set during Julius Caesar’s attempted invasion of Ireland – as the remains of the Roman fleet sailed away in defeat, Caesar said to his scribe, who had been industriously recording all the details of the disaster, “You were a good and faithful friend, Scribus – I shall miss you” [shouts and splash offscreen]    )

    But anyway, I’ve got some comments which I’ll post in the ‘Witchfinders’ thread, I was going to say “I’d be interested in your take on it” but I see you already made a long post in that thread, the sun is shining outside so I’d better go for my walk while I can, and when I get back I’ll have time to do justice to reading it all.   ‘Later’, as they say.    🙂

    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark I understand how you feel about the historical stories. There is always a problem with writing historical fiction. Most writers are only too happy to sacrifice fact for story or simply don’t do enough research.  I prefer stories set in the past or “other places” because I read/watch to escape my own reality. For that reason I will never ever ever watch Snowtown. I tend to view most historical fiction as “alternate history” though I would prefer for writers to just create alternative worlds if they want to mess with history, It still requires research though; a lot of research because it has to feel true. Years ago I started writing a early medieval novel set in an alternate world so that I could create my own history, and quickly realised that even if the events are “made up” the setting has to reflect an actual period in history. I am still researching it. Sometimes I suspect it has just become an excuse to keep buying books.

    Witchfinders is set in a period of English history that has yet to pique my interest. From the end of Wars of the Roses to the French Revolution is bit of an historical blind spot for me. (Though I am currently reading Wolf Hall. It is hard to avoid Tudor history) But the story of Witchfinders is so fantastical that it does not feel like an historical episode at all so I give it a pass as it is one of the more entertaining episodes in the series.

    I will pop over to the episode thread to read comments.

    Meanwhile I see that Martin Belam over on The Guardian has written an article about the 1995 film and there is another article about Yasmin Finney. I dispute Martin’s claim that it was the kiss that outraged viewers of the film. The film was rubbish. It felt glossy and Hollywood. It did not capture the feel of Dr Who.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Over the last few nights Mrs Blenkinsop and I have been catching up on stories from season 10, including “The Pilot”, “Knock, Knock”, “Empress of Mars”, “World Enough and Time” and “The Doctor Falls”. All of them were incredibly enjoyable, and in some ways I might even argue that the Capaldi tenure was at its best in his last season (of course the previous seasons had brilliant stories, but there was so much that was so good in season 10). And last night we watched “Twice Upon a Time”. I don’t think we had seen it since its original airing. What a fabulous story and send-off for Capaldi. The use of the 1st Doctor (and the brilliant performance of David Bradley) was just wonderful. And the way Moffat tied it all together, with flashbacks to the Hartnell Doctor at beginning and end, was like a love letter to the history of the show.

    After watching it, we both reflected on the subsequent stupidity of Chibnall’s idea of the Timeless Children/Child, whatever (even Chibnall didn’t seem to know) that relegated the importance of the first Doctor as the first Doctor to the rubbish bin. Time for a calming cup of tea.

    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave  I agree about season 10, it had some excellent episodes. The Doctor Falls is full of the feels and I think I get some dust in my eyes every time I watch it. Twice upon a Time was a satisfying send off for the 12th Doctor and I was happy he saw and remembered Clara at the end.

    I have to admit that although I watched all the Timeless Child episodes (some a few times) I still don’t get the point and have chosen to pretend it didn’t happen.

    stay safe.

    winston @winston

    We had an extremely bad storm here on Saturday with high winds, rain and hail. In one city they think it was a tornado that ripped off roofs and flipped cars.We were caught on the road to town when it got so dark then a bit of rain and suddenly a gust of wind that almost pushed our van over. We pulled off the road and sat silently and tensely for 15 minutes till it slowed down. Branches and dirt and debris flew past us and hit the van but we were OK. So scary!

    One son was on his motorcycle when it hit and had to go down into a ditch and hold the bike between him and the wind while the other son was walking and had to run and shelter under a bridge with another person until it passed but both were safe thank goodness. so far at least 10 people were killed mostly by trees. We have lost hundreds , thousands of trees, in our area.

    We were so lucky we only lost one big maple but it kindly fell away from the house and caused very little damage other than a lot of work cutting it up and moving it. We lost our power for a couple of days but some poor people may be in the dark for weeks because there is so much damage. So that was my weekend. I am so relieved that my family is safe but I feel so sad for those who lost people. The weather forecast was for rain and a bit of wind so we were totally surprised by the force of this storm. The news just confirmed it was a tornado.

    By the way we were all headed to the funeral of a family friend which is why we were all out in it at the same time.It will be awhile before we get over that day.

    Stay safe, we did!


    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston glad that you and your family survived the tornado. Must have been very frightening. Strong winds always put me on edge. A Tornado must feel like an full assault. Sad about the trees though. The loss of a single tree is sad, the loss of so many tragic.

    And @blenkinsopthebrave I like your description of Twice Upon a Time. It is a finely crafted episode, perfect in all respects and a fitting finale for both Capaldi and Moffat. (only I hope that RTD persuades the later to write the odd episode during his tenure.)

    Lets up hope that like Winston, RTD choses to forget the entire Timeless Child story and the destruction of Gallifrey. Jo Martin can be the Doctor from an alternative universe. No need to explain then why her Tardis is a police box as it is established that it was not in that form when Hartnell Doctor stole it.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston That sounds really scary. So glad those closest to you came through unscathed.  Sorry about the maple too. They are so lovely.


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @blenkinsopthebrave I’ve just watched through Season 10 and of course I agree about the brilliance of the Moff’s writing. Though for me, World Enough & Time was probably the highlight, even though it was so dark. I was very relieved that it had a ‘happy’ ending (so far as Bill was concerned) with Heather. (‘Happy’ being relative, of course). I think my favourite episode of all would be Hell Bent, or possibly The Day of the Doctor. Twice Upon a Time was okay, nice to see ‘Bill’ again, and like Winston, I did like that Testimony gave the Doctor his memories of Clara back. (Um, just watched ‘It Takes You Away’ and it occurs to me that the other-universe incarnations of Grace and Trina – who thought they were real – echoes ‘Bill’ in TuaT. And similarly the ‘demons’ in the Punjab were ‘witnessing’ peoples’ deaths very like Testimony. Do I see a pattern here? 😉

    @janetteb Well I’m almost through re-watching Season 11 so I’m about to encounter Season 12 (was that the Timeless Child season?) for the first time. It will be… interesting. If it’s as dire as I’ve read then I would agree that RTD should retcon it out of the timeline, but of course that’s me pre-judging it.

    @winston Glad your family’s safe. That sounds like a very large tornado you had, to cause such widespread damage, and I’m saddened about the trees, too. I’ve never been through a really damaging storm (I was in Rarotonga about four decades ago when a cyclone was imminent, but the centre just missed the island). And in the past we’ve had a couple of large trees come down in our garden but by a very fortunate fluke they just missed causing much damage. We did have a big 50′ wattle tree on our boundary – it was a lovely tree overhanging our lawn, but it would have significantly damaged our house or flattened the neighbours, depending which way it fell – I regretfully had it cut down a few years ago (and that really hurt because I’m an unashamed tree-hugger). Until then I used to feel slightly uneasy any time there was a storm warning.


    winston @winston

    @janetteb @blenkinsopthebrave  and @dentarthurdent     Thank you all for the good wishes. Our area has declared a state of emergency now due to all the damage and that should bring in some more help. It is really a big clean up job. Our neighbours  have another neighbours 50ft spruce tree resting on their roof waiting for removal. It was pushed right over, lifting its roots right out of the ground. Unfortunately like many places deforestation already left us with too few trees and this doesn’t help. Also those trees were filled with the nests of all kinds of birds and they were destroyed. We searched our tree and found no nests but there are a lot of upset birds around. Most will make new nests but space is becoming hard to find. Poor things.

    I hope I never have to go through such a storm again (and to bring it back to Doctor Who) unless I had a Tardis to escape in.

    Stay safe.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston You really have been through a lot. So sorry to hear about it, but so glad it is all over. The closest I have been to that was when we flew into Halifax about 10 or 12 years ago; the day after a huge storm had ripped up most of the trees in the city. It was chaos. The thing I do remember was that people took it in their stride, which was inspiring. Take care.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston   If the tree is just resting on your neighbours’ roof (not buried in it)  they’re lucky.  Possibly the roots were still hanging on grimly, absorbing masses of energy and slowing the fall for much of its descent.   A tree falling freely acquires huge momentum, as numerous Youtube ‘fail’ videos demonstrate.     Trees were ‘designed’ (by evolution or whatever) to stand in groups that gave each other mutual support against wind.   Unfortunately many trees in urban environments don’t enjoy that security.

    Anyway, best wisher for the tidy-up.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    I seem to be one of the few these days who post on old Hartnell stories which in this case, was “The Romans”, from 1965.

    SPOILER ALERT: I am going to give away some of the plot details, but I do so in the belief that so few people will ever get to see it. (Nonetheless, I am cutting in our wise time lord @jimthefish, who can make a decision on whether it should stay here.)

    The 4 part story has Ian and Barbara, along with Vicki, who had only recently replaced Susan, who the Doctor had left on a devastated Earth with her new love, at the very emotional end of “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”.

    Perhaps for this reason, “The Romans” was almost whimsical by comparison. The Tardis crashes on Earth in the first century AD in Italy. The Doctor and Vicki become separated from Ian and Barbara who are captured by a slave trader. After a series of adventures, all four (but still separated) find themselves in Rome, at the court of the emperor Nero (who is played as something of a comic buffoon). There is much intrigue involving Nero’s wife trying to poison everyone in sight, Ian fighting as a gladiator, Barbara turned into a glamorous maid-in-waiting, and the Doctor playing a game of double-bluff as he impersonates a visiting musician who is really supposed to be an assassin. It all ends up with the Doctor inadvertently putting into Nero’s mind the idea of burning down Rome (!)

    So yes, it is all rather silly, but actually quite enjoyable in a whimsical kind of way. The strange thing about it from my perspective was that, although I had watched all of Hartnell back in Australia in the mid 1960s at the age of 13 or so, I realised as I watched it, that I had never previously seen it. Why? I looked it up to discover that there was a lot of negative feedback when it was screened in reponse to a very funny, but rather risqué, sequence in one of the episodes of Nero chasing the delectable Barbara through the palace corridors like something out of a French farce. And Nero definitely had designs on her.  Apparently, this caused outrage among some offended English parents in 1965. Knowing what Australia was like at that time, I would not be at all surprised if the ABC had made a decision to ban it from impressionable minds such as mine.

    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave   I have never watched those episodes but your description makes me want to. I have a few DVDs of the first Doctor but that one is not on it. It is easier to find the old Who and watch on the internet so I will look for it. My library may have it.

    Years back we found a few old episodes of “Lost in Space” and had good giggles remembering watching it as kids. The mister wanted to travel in space with a robot and I was usually scared stiff watching it. When we put on and watched it we really laughed. How was I so scared by it?  The shows we watched in the 60s were pretty innocent compared to today and we children were “protected” from all the nasty things out there.  No sex! ever, but all the shoot em up westerns you can watch on Saturdays. No wonder I wanted to be a cowboy.

    stay safe.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    I do remember, when I was young, it was perfectly OK to show lots of people being shot on TV, Westerns revolved around little else, just not a trace of, errm, romance. But Doctor Who must have been very much a childrens’ show in those days. Because at the same time, we had Benny Hill, which was nothing but a comic character chasing delectable young women all over the place with only one purpose in mind. And his show ran for 15 years, apparently. Of course his single-minded pursuit was always foiled in some comically frustrating way. As, I presume, was Nero’s in The Romans.

    Nero’s wife – would that be Messalina? (Just, I’ve heard the name somewhere). Going off on a tangent, it’s probably just as well (for the keepers of public morality) that Doctor Who never visited the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt**, whose goings-on were spectacularly murderous and, um, unconventional. Made Messalina look like an amateur. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘family values’ 🙂 I remember watching ‘The Cleopatras’ on TV and wondering ‘did these people really do all that stuff?’ And, apparently, they did. Our history lessons used to portray Henry VIII as a bit of a suspect character. He had nothing on the Greeks and Romans.

    On reflection, maybe it’s as well Chibbers didn’t go further into the society of the Ux, or how their species perpetuated itself, I think ‘inbreeding’ would have been a euphemistic way to put it.

    (** Although I do seem to recall that Doc 12 mentioned having made the acquaintance of Cleopatra – presumably Cleopatra VII)


    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave  We bought a VHS of Dr Who and the Romans back in the nineties so it is one of the first Hartnell stories I ever saw maybe even before we saw Unearthly Child. It is a fun story, very hammy but fun. Ian and Barbara are really well established in their roles and this story brings to the fore the relationship of the respective characters. The Doctor is at his most “twinkly” in this story, being clever and mischievous and more than a tad arrogant all through. Vicky as a character, works well, better than Susan I think. This is one of the best Tardis teams.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Umm, so I just watched Orphan 55.   (For some reason I thought Orphan 55 was going to turn out to be the Timeless Child).    Bit of a drop from Spyfall.   It could have been a better episode with some good editing and an application of Occam’s Razor to the storyline, I think.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent Well I finally finished reading the Dirk Gently books, in the wrong order but that seems oddly appropriate. The first book is very clearly taken from the scripts for the cancelled “Shada”. There are so many Dr Who elements in it. Now I want to re watch Shada to look for more influences. It is understandable that D.A. would want to make use of the story he wrote and at that time looked as though it would never “see light of day.” BBC probably were not even interested in publishing it as a novelisation back then as it had not been aired. Obviously there are also some significant differences too to Dr Who though he sneaks in a story element from City of Death. Clearly Douglas wasn’t adverse to reusing a good idea.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    Well, a short while back I re-read the first Dirk Gently book (as I think I mentioned). I think it’s the most convoluted of Adams’ books (but also one of the best). I found it improved on re-reading, I think the first time through gives a rough idea of the lie of the land, the second time through one is better equipped to appreciate all the nuances. A bit like a good Moffat Who episode.

    Can’t help noticing that Professor Chronotis’ trick with the salt cellar in the ancient pot, was precisely copied by the Doctor to save the ‘fam’ in the crashing A320 in Spyfall. In fact, given the Doctor’s (and Tardis’s) powers, I’m surprised he doesn’t pull that trick more often – though if he did, it (like the fix-everything sonic screwdriver) would remove a lot of suspense.

    I don’t blame Doug Adams for re-using story elements. Of course the most noteworthy re-use has to be the various formats of Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy, which must easily hold the record for the number of different mediums it’s been produced in. (And also, each version was significantly different from its predecessors). But, given his legendary writers’ block, it must have helped him enormously to have a skeleton to start with.

    I’ve never watched ‘Shada’, I should probably do do. Maybe after I finish Season 12. Currently just watched Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror. It was watchable, though I have some geeky reservations in relation to the train, and also the story of AC vs DC current which was in reality more a battle between Westinghouse (who bought Tesla’s patents and made AC systems that worked) and Edison. And, with regard to radio, I tend to favour Marconi (I’m naturally biassed since my father was Cornish and Marconi built his first transmitter in Cornwall) over Tesla – Tesla took out some patents before Marconi though neither of them ‘discovered’ radio waves, and I tend to give precedence to whoever actually ‘made it work’ over someone who just jotted down an idea. Else we’d have to credit Leonardo for inventing almost everything. 😉

    Similarly, I’m okay with crediting the Wright Brothers as ‘first to fly’ although they certainly didn’t invent the aeroplane, everybody and his dog was trying it, and it’s possible that one or more others may have made slightly longer ‘hops’ before the Wrights’ first recorded ‘flight’. Also the Wrights weren’t particularly nice people. But they were way ahead in making and developing a flying machine that worked.

    Sorry for rambling on 🙂

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Both Mrs. Blenkinsop and I decided today that we needed a diversion and, on looking through the DVD collection, discovered something I had obviously ordered at some point but never watched. “Daleks – Invasion Earth, 2150 A.D.”, with Peter Cushing as the Doctor.

    Whoa! It was something…and not something good. It was made in 1966, alongside (but totally separate from) the Hartnell era shows, and (sort of) replicated the utterly brilliant “Dalek Invasion of Earth”, but…it turned a wonderfully dystopian story with an incredibly poignant conclusion (where Susan is left behind by the Doctor) into…a ridiculous paint-by-numbers sci-fi adventure with incredibly silly comedy sequences.

    And yet it was so silly that we found ourselves enjoying its ridiculousness.

    But, as I said, we were in need of a diversion.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Apparently that movie wasn’t the first.   It followed ‘Doctor Who and the Daleks’, which was based on the original TV serial ‘The Daleks’.   And was apparently no better than the second movie.   So why they made an unsuccessful sequel to the unsuccessful first attempt I don’t know.    I wasn’t aware there were two movies, though, and I must admit I haven’t seen either (or the original popular TV episodes).

    (Currently working my way through ‘Danger Man’, the Patrick McGoohan series that slightly pre-dated Doctor Who.   It has a distinct advantage over Who in not needing any sci-fi special effects.   It could almost be a modern series, until one suddenly realises the changes the digital age has made.   In Danger Man there are no cellphones, no digital cameras or CCTV.   I just watched an episode ‘The Battle of the Cameras’ where both sides are snapping each other with hidden cameras – except it takes place in a sort of slow motion, the film has to be retrieved and developed and couriered off to be identified…   the same episode could be made now, but all the action would take place in an afternoon.

    I still recall, in the sequel series The Prisoner, how high-tech and unsettling it felt to have CCTV cameras watching the inmates of The Village, and the door of Six’s cottage opening by itself.   This was futuristic stuff.   And now, I have, a couple of times, walked into shop doors because they *didn’t* open for me…  )

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @blenkinsopthebrave surely you and mrs blenkinsop have also seen the first “Dr Who” by Cushing Dr Who and the Daleks which much like the Dalek invasion of the earth reduced the original tv version to another formulaic 60’s sci-fi film with heavy comedy element. I always have thought it was a shame as I felt Cushing could have made an excellent Doctor oven the right script, but given the “Hollywood” treatment of  Who to make the Doctor appear more of a bumbling  scientist rather than the  brilliant Timelord we all love and know from the series it kind of made it more of a comedy sci-fi like you have said about the Dalek Invasion of Earth.

    Brewski @brewski

    A bit of trivia on this: the original script for Day of the Doctor called for a poster of the first Peter Cushing movie to be in the background in the Black Archives. But I guess they had copywrite issues with it.

    It was the joke for when Kate Stewart remarks on what would happen if Americans got hold of time travel. “You’ve seen their movies!”


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    I just put that Kate Stewart line down to a bit of snark about the way certain famous wartime exploits had changed nationalities in a transatlantic, westerly direction by the time they made it to the screen.   🙂

    Anyway, I just watched Fugitive of the Judoon and I quite liked it.   I had a few minor quibbles but nothing serious.   (I stuck my comments in the forum for the episode, as usual).    Leaves me wondering where Ruthdoc fits in the sequence, doubtless all will be revealed later.

    So, I guess Spyfall and Fugitive are the first two Chibnall era episodes I’ve unreservedly liked.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @brewski and @dentarthurdent The Dr Who movies are British. IT was a thing the Brits did back then, make movies of popular tv series, usually just an extended episode. They were cheap to make and I guess had a guaranteed audience. I don’t think Kate’s comment was a reference to the Dr Who movies, nice though that would be, but to Hollywood movies which notoriously re write history. The Brits have not forgiven Hollywood for U-571




    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @janetteb I think it was me who referred to the 2 60’s Dr Who movies as being Hollywood as I remember they were made at Elstree Studios under their banner so that was my mistake. My referencing to them being Hollywood was more in the style that Sci-fi films of the period even from Britain seemed to follow the U.S. model of what I would call B-Movie Hollywood style that the science fiction genera seemed to be treated. As you say they were essentially the tv series stories truncated into if I remember a right as 90 minute format. Also they tried to simplify the even then limited Who lore by not even referencing the fact that the Doctor wasn’t human but had Cushing portray him more as a brilliant if absentminded professor type . I  think it was a similar mistake that was made with 2000 Dr Who movie given that it had tried in part to re-write the Doctors history as being part human, as a lot  Who fans  took exception to this bit of non-cannonal history. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed McGanns portrayal of the Doctor and would have loved to see a series launched off the back of the movie.


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   Yes I think I had U571 in the back of my mind (was that the one where they captured the Enigma cipher machine / code books?)


    @devilishrobby    I haven’t seen the 2000 movie, but I have seen McGann in the short special episode written by Moffatt (I forget its title – was it The Night of the Doctor) and I thought he was very good in it.    I should probably try and pick up the movie at some point.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @devilishrobby Apologies for the error. I did not know they were made at Elstree. I lived just down the road for a few months, at Stirling Corner. Some of the “regulars” at the Pub had worked all their lives in the studios there.

    @dentarthurdent. That is the one. The Canadian movie was not good. It doesn’t have the feel of Dr Who. McGann was excellent though.



    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @janetteb It was a joint BBC/overseas venture not sure who the non Beeb studio was. It actually started out not too bad and as you say McGann actually made a good stab  at being the Doctor in the movie as I said it was some of the more non-cannonical story line that caused some fans to kick up a fuss that and the “love” interest and americanising that seemed to make it less than ideal. As you say when McGan reprised his role for the Night of the Doctor short he made an excellent Doctor. In part it’s a pity they can’t do a retrospective Who series with McGann reprising his role and filling in the ‘missing years’ , though depending on what the 60th anniversary special/s turns out to contain may be a past doctor will be able to come back

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb    @devilishrobby

    I’d certainly watch a retrospective ‘fill in the gaps’ episode(s) with McGann in it.

    While we’re messing with time, if I had a (real) time machine, it would be nice to go back and get McCoy and Ace for a couple of episodes (maybe written by the Moff? and with modern production values).   They had a good vibe going by the end of Survival.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @dentarthurdent hmm yes for me Survival always felt a bit incomplete I think in part because there was never a what happens next  as that was the last pre gap story before the  2000 Who  film and then Post Gap series start. But I agree McCoys final season did have a definite vibe with there being hints then that there was more to the Doctors past that we then knew. In part I think this may be where Chibbers got his idea for the timeless child as there were hints that the Doctor was much older or from a time in Gallifrey’s ancient past comparable to Rassilon’s and Omegas time making him some kind of 3rd Founding Timelord. I think this was expanded on in one or two of the inter gap years who books which are not necessarily considered canonical and referred to as the Trickster.

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