Part 4 – Village of the Angels

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  • #72479
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    Village of the Angels

    Here we are for part 4. My fingers are crossed once again, and I hope I don’t have any reason to blink (or go wash the dishes, or doodle, or have a nap or something).

    Once again, all I know is what the BBC has given us. It’s set in Devon, November 1967. A little girl has gone missing (so we’re maybe on more stable Chibnall ground – I hope so).

    Professor Eustacius Jericho is conducting psychic experiments. In the village graveyard there is one gravestone too many. Why is Medderton known as the Cursed Village? And what do the Weeping Angels want?

    Professor Jericho is played by Kevin McNally who has been in loads of stuff including all the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies and “Downton Abbey”. He was also in “The Twin Dilemma”, Colin Baker’s first story as The Doctor. So he’s another actor who has been in before gap Who and after gap Who.

    Once again it is directed by Jamie Magnus Stone. This is the first episode this series to be written by Chibnall and someone else – Maxine Alderton. She wrote “The Haunting of Villa Diodati” last season, probably the most spooky, so I hope she brings the scares again.

    #72486
    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    This season of Dr Who is like the Star Trek films – one bad, one good, one bad, one good…

    #72487
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    OK…just watched it. And then, after dinner, re-watched Chapter 1. I am going to make, what might seem, a rather strange comparison. And it with the most recent series of “Twin Peaks”. It was 19 episodes constructed as one long movie, rather than as self-contained episodes. I think this has a rather similar construction. Each story tells its own tale, but each story only gives us hints as to how it all connects together.

    As for tonight’s story, I thought it was a pretty great (and really creepy) Weeping Angels story. Wonderful actors (Kevin McNally as the Professor and Poppy Polivnick as the little girl Peggy) who were both excellent. I am not going to reveal the conclusion and (as many of you will not see the episode for some time) I hope others won’t reveal the conclusion. But it is stunning.

    But how does it work in relation to the unfolding story? Well, that is why I went back and rewatched Chapter One. That establishes a couple of things. Karnavista works/worked for the Division, so I am assuming the Division is not the Big Bad. Secondly, I get the sense that the Division is a sort of take-no-prisoners Time Lord operation. But I may be wrong.

    Finally, my bonkers theory (or maybe wish fulfillment hope) is that the resolution of Bel and Vinder’s story will be what saves the universe.

    Oh, and when you watch it, stick around for the mid final credits sequence with Bel and Vinder.

     

    #72488
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    I’ve liked this series so far, but I also think this was one of the best episodes. And I still think this series will work even better once binged, which isn’t ideal for a Who season. But we are, to be fair, being given much to speculate.

    The potential connection between the Angels and the TimeLords has been discussed, I think, since the Angels turned up. A rouge Angel kidnapping the rouge TimeLord for help is a pretty decent twist.

    @blenkinsopthebrave I’m in two minds about the Division being the big bad. the Angel fleeing for them calmly betrays the Doctor, but can we even judge Angels in human/TimeLord terms? One thing I do know is that I was quite happy at episode one to think that this was going to explore her lost time, and one thing I really liked in episode three was her incautious, reckless even, desire to discover it for herself. I think that possibly when people come to look back on Chibnalls run, there will be plenty to critique, but maybe a sense of a truly audatious expansion of the Doctor Who world. He’s got two episodes left to pull the whole thing together, but signs are promising so far.

    Regarding the companions, it’s a little odd. Yaz feels better executed now with a little more space in which to breath. Dan suffers from the opposite problem of the original companion dynamics, that was too slow and this was too quick. Dan has been signalled as just a lovely guy: works at a food bank, gives trick or treaters sweets, but his cupboard is empty, but the sometimes painfully slow burn of the establishment of Graham did give a better sense of him as a person.

    Claire was an amazing character here, but it doesn’t completely jibe with the impressions I got in chapter one. She approached them like she knew them, she seemed sad as she accepted they didn’t know her, didn’t she say something about taking the long way round? Not sure if misdirection, my own misinterpretation, or more to the story than we know yet.

     

    #72489
    MissRori @missrori

    Personally, for all the chatter about the cliffhanger, I think the Doctor’s in a pretty good place at this point.

    @blenkinsopthebrave, I don’t know about Bel and Vinder saving everything.  Hasn’t a major complaint about this era been that Thirteen’s been a bit on the ineffectual side?  She has to prove herself as A Hero at some point, and the scope of this story is too big for it to be a small victory for Good the way Twelve went out.

    #72490
    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    @blenkinsopthebrave thanks for the heads up about the extra scene

    #72492
    Mudlark @mudlark

    This, for me, was a definite improvement on last week, not least because it made maximum effective use of the scare potential of the Weeping Angels. The synopsis in the Radio Times made me think immediately of The Daemons from the Pertwee era and it did indeed have some elements in common with that story, but this was, of course, part of a much more complicated narrative and, whatever ones age, the Angels are an order of magnitude more frightening than those gargoyle look-alike Daemons* ever were.  As @blenkinsopthebrave has noted, there were also  some outstanding performances from the supporting cast.

    Now that we are more than half way through the story of The Flux it is becoming easier to see how at least some of the  multiple pieces of the puzzle which have been introduced in previous episodes fit together, and this certainly helped enjoyment of the episode. For one thing we now have an explanation of how Claire knew the Doctor in 21st century Liverpool, although the Doctor did not know her. It was for the same reason that when River Song encountered the Doctor for the last time it was, for him, the first time they had met: a temporal loop. The only mystery yet to be solved is how Claire gets back to the present day without ageing. @miapatrick When she sees the Doctor again in Liverpool  she may have been going home from work the long way round because it was Halloween, but she clearly didn’t come from 1967 the long way round, or she would have been in her late seventies or eighties. Presumably the Tardis will be involved.

    I’m still not sure how much Bel’s story contributes to the whole, unless it is that her viewpoint gives us an idea of what is going on elsewhere in the universe. So far I have found it a bit of a distraction. Maybe @blenkinsopthebrave is right, however, and it will turn out that she and Vinder are crucial in finally saving the day.

     

    *They looked a bit like a bookend I possess in the form of one of the devils ornamenting the gallery on the west front of Notre Dame cathedral. His name is Godfrey and he sits on a shelf in my study, and I’m rather fond of him.

    #72493
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @blenkinsopthebrave and @miapatrick

    As regards the Division, they clearly aren’t the Big Bad in this context, but I don’t get the impression that they were/are entirely a force for good.

    I’ve been doing some backtracking through previous episodes to refresh my memory on what we know of them so far. Our first encounter with them is in Fugitive of the Judoon, although they aren’t named and their wider significance isn’t apparent at this point. What we do learn is that Jo Martin’s Doctor, in the guise of Ruth, is being hunted across time and space by the Judoon, acting on behalf of an organisation represented by Gat. When Whittaker Doctor asks her who is Gat, Ruth replies, ‘I worked for her once’. The Doctor : You’ve got a job?  Ruth: ‘Oh, Sort of. Not one you apply for, and not one you can ever leave. Believe me, I tried’  So evidently the reason she has been on the run is because she has, if fact, gone AWOL from the people or organisation in question.

    Things become clearer in The Timeless Children. After the Master has finished his exposition of the Doctor’s origins and the origin of the Time Lords’ ability to regenerate, he shows her a recording from the Matrix archives. We see a person, identified in the cast list as Solpado, stating that ‘The Policy of the Time Lords is clear: strict non-intervention in other worlds and times. However, policy and reality sometimes diverge. There are times when it is necessary to intervene. That is the purpose of the Division.  She then goes on to warn, ‘The Division does not exist. The Division does not have operatives. We are not even here’.  After which the recording is redacted, although the Master says that the deleted data had taken up a large amount of space.  So, the Division is an ultra secret organisation and it is implied that the Doctor was a member because, in the Brendan allegory, as his memory is being wiped, the camera pans to the inscription on the clock which he has been given as a retirement present: For services to the Division. Joining the dots, presumably this is the job that Ruth Doctor had and from which she tried to abscond. I get the impression that she was the last of the pre-mind wipe Doctors.

    In The Halloween Apocalypse we learn that Karvanista is a member of the Division, so a) it is still operative, and b) it was not, or is no longer, a purely Time Lord affair since other species are involved; Maybe it wasn’t even a purely Time Lord initiative in the first place.

    In Once Upon a Time, the Doctor relives an episode in which she is the leader of a military style unit  tasked with re-taking the Temple of Atropos and capturing and incarcerating Swarm and Azure, the Ravagers. Because in her present life she has no memory of this, she visualises the other members of her team as the people she has been with most recently, namely Yaz, Dan and Vinder. But when she catches sight of her reflection what she sees is Ruth Doctor, who was presumably the former self who actually took part in the actual raid, which leads us to the conclusion that this was a Division operation. We also catch a brief glimpse of Karvanista, whom we know as a member of the Division,  and if he did indeed take part in that successful operation, must have done a great deal of time travelling in the interim – or else the Lupari are a phenomenally long-lived species, since this all took place something like 2000 years ago at least.

    So the Division isn’t wholly bad, in that it has fought against the Ravagers and temporal chaos, but the secretiveness has a sinister aspect, and the fact that Ruth Doctor, not to mention the Rogue Angel had sufficient doubts about it to want out suggests, at the very least, that it had/has been infected by the worst aspects of Time Lord arrogance and corruption. The Big Bad is/are presumably either those who unleashed Swarm and Azure to wreak havoc or those responsible for the Flux, assuming they are not one and the same. In that regard the role of Awsok, the character played by Barbara Flynn, remains an enigma.

     

    #72494
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @mudlark What excellent background research! The pieces really are starting to fall into place. Mind you, I am not sure Chibnall needed to hide the various clues quite as deeply as your research has revealed. That seems to me to be more like telling a story by way of embedding easter eggs, rather than via clear narrative flow.

    And yes, Awsock really is an enigma. I get the impression that her purpose is to reveal something rather than participate as a protagonist in the story. But we shall see on Sunday, as I believe she will appear again then.

    #72495
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @mudlark ah, re Clair, the impression got from the latest chapter was that they were saying she’d seen them in a vision, which is why she knew them, and then got sent back in time. Yet in Chapter one, it definitely felt as though she had met them, they just hadn’t met her yet. I may have misinterpreted in the last chapter, or it might be that she was fudging things because, spoilers.

    #72496
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @mudlark re the Division – excellent summery. I would say one thing we’ve seen with the Time Lords is despite how they present themselves, they’re not always the beneficent force they like to present themselves as (cough, British empire, cough), and their major flaws are arrogance and hubris.

    I wonder if all this can explain – in addition to essential doctor-ness, why the Doctor is so stuck on meddle mode. Ethical, slightly chaotic meddle mode, perhaps. Both a lingering trace of and a reaction against their time in the Division.

    I also like that division has (for me at least) two main associations. The ‘action of dividing’ or ‘process of it’ (OED I) and the product of the division, a part of what has been divided. So the Division is, well, a division, a part of – what – the overall Time Lord/Gallifrayan organisation? But also divisive, something that takes things about, to control or categorise them. And then I think about the history episodes from season one under Chibnal – Partition, the race laws in the USA. And that pesky cough comes back.

    #72497
    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    @mudlark – excellent background. That certainly unmuddies some of waters for me. [no pun intended!]

    #72507
    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Looking forward to reading the threads. I just caught up

    First episode: “Please, spare me the ridiculous dog-alien”

    Fourth episode: “Where’s the dog-alien?? We need him now!”

    #72509
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Well, I thought this was an absolute cracker. I don’t know what they’ve been putting in Chibs’s Weetabix but I heartily approve.

    As someone said above, it had definite Daemons vibes but I was also reminded of Hide in the first part of the episode. Certainly it has that distinctive English folk horror vibe that Who can tap into so well. And the 60s setting really worked for the Angels somehow, better than the futuristic wreck of the Byzantium or even of 40s New York. There’s something really quite singularly British about the Angels, I think.

    And because of this Chibs and Alderton have, for my money, produced the best Angels story since Blink. It’s something that happens only occasionally on Who, that another writer can enhance the returning villain of another creator. Both David Whittaker and Louis Marks did it with the Daleks, for example, and I think Alderton/Chibs have managed it with the Angels here. They’ve managed to exploit the unique horror of the Angels and explore the implications of their time travel ability. (He’s thankfully ditched the neck-snapping of the Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone version and even the direct communication in this episode is a lot more chilling than ‘Angel Bob’ of that story.)

    They also lend themselves to some fantastic imagery here. The Burning Angel and the Paper Angel being particular stand-outs. Both are vivid and terrifying images that wouldn’t have been out of place in Classic Who. And then, of course, there is THAT cliffhanger.

    The performances were uniformly good too. Kevin McNally redeems himself for the execrable Twin Dilemma and both Jericho and Claire filled the gap of proxy companions really well. Dan and Yaz work well together too and it seems to be becoming a trend this series to keep the Doctor and her regular companions apart for quite a lot of the time — to the benefit of all their characters. Jodie, once again, is really getting a chance to shine as the Doc now. If only they could get rid of that terrible costume. Even the reversed version seen last week is preferable.

    In terms of quibbles, there were maybe some pacing issues but these were made up for by the pretty effective jump scares. And again, Bel and Vinder did very little for me. They are really going to have to be integral to the finale or they’re going to be the absolute weakpoint of s13.

    Oh, and thanks to @mudlark for that useful and well researched guide. I personally have a feeling that The Division might indeed turn out to be the Big Bad — although I’d lay money on Sacha’s Master making an appearance in Episode Six. We’ve had just about every other familiar face returning so I’d be surprised if he doesn’t show up.

    #72510
    Whisht @whisht

    I liked this in parts. I did feel like there was a lot of explaining going on.
    But parts of it looked sumptuous.

    Thanks so much @mudlark as I wasn’t sure if we’d been told much about The Division.
    But from your detective work it seems clues have been dropped.

    One thing ‘the division’ made me think of was the ‘Division Bell’.
    No not the Pink Floyd album, but the bell within Parliament that signals a vote.
    The Cloister Bell can be heard when the Angel is expelled from the Tardis.
    And of course there’s a character called Bel….

    Could we be heading for a vote on the Doctor?
    A judgement?
    A {gulp} Trial of the Timelord??

    :¬o

    #72512
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @miapatrick

    re Clair, the impression got from the latest chapter was that they were saying she’d seen them in a vision, which is why she knew them, and then got sent back in time.

    Yes, you’re right; I’d missed that detail. She says that shortly before the night she met them in the street in Liverpool she had a premonition, a succession of disconnected images – stone angel statues, a blue box, etc. etc.

    On the other hand, as you say and I assumed, it makes more sense as a Moffat style temporal loop – unless, of course, she never makes it back to the present day. If the plot required that she has, or claims to have psychic abilities, in this case to account for her being with Professor Jericho at the moment of the Angels’ attack, I suspect that Moffat would probably have explained her ‘premonition’ as a partial break-through from memories which the Doctor had tried to erase . But this is Chibnall, so Who nose.

    @blenkinsopthebrave @jimthefish

    Research of one sort or another was what I did for a living, and sometimes I still get the urge 😉

    #72513
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Returning to the subject of Awsok, I’ve been looking again at what she actually said in that brief interlude. After saying in effect  that this universe is ending and there is nothing that the Doctor can do about it, so she might as well give up trying, she goes on to say, The Flux was not an accident. It wasn’t a naturally occurring event. It was made. It was placed ….  because of you’ . In next week’s edition of the Radio Times the brief introductory comments on Sunday’s TV shows include one on the next chapter of The Flux and the story so far, and it is critical of this tendency to ramp up the importance and singularity of the Doctor in the overall scheme of things, ‘as though she’s the Time Lord equivalent of Harry Potter’. As if it isn’t enough that she is the source of the Time Lords’ ability to regenerate, she is now the cause of the destruction of the universe. I confess that there is a part of me which agrees with this sentiment and is a bit uncomfortable with the direction in which Chibnall has taken things. What happened to ‘just a madman in a box’?

    #72514
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @mudlark

    What happened to ‘just a madman in a box’?

    I must admit that I have to agree and this Doc as Chosen One narrative runs a bit counter to the spirit of the show for me. I like to think of the Doc as an irritating, unremarkable yet vital dilettante within the context of Time Lord society but I look on this Captain Marvelfication of her as somewhat similar to the James Bondification of Pertwee (the show latching onto the cultural zeitgeist which is something I think it needs to do every so often).

    But my hope is that this Doctor/Division storyline will be wrapped up by the end of the Chibs era and can become something self-contained and that the show can move on from in much the same way as the Pertwee/UNIT years were.

    #72515
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
    1. @mudlark, @jimthefish Yes, I agree with you both. It sounds a bit like a version of the Cartmel Masterplan at the end of McCoy’s tenure, which was stopped in its tracks when the show was cancelled. Chibnall even references it with brief shot of what appears to be Lungbarrow at the beginning of the Halloween Apocalypse. I thought the Cartmel Masterplan was highly problematic by doing to the Doctor what Chibnall is obviously doing as well–making the Doctor some sort of Messianic (?) figure. Messianic probably isn’t the word I am after, but it is all too… Tolkien for me. As @jimthefish says, the Doctor is “an irritating, unremarkable yet vital dilettante within the context of Time Lord society” (an excellent description!).
    #72519
    nerys @nerys

    @mudlark I must thank you for your amazing synopsis and analysis of where this storyline has traveled so far. I had forgotten so much (particularly that mention of the Division in “The Timeless Children”), or failed to pull a lot of it together in my mind. This really helps me understand it so much better. Thank you!

    This was the first properly suspenseful Doctor Who episode in a long time. The Weeping Angels are always good for a scare, and they don’t disappoint here.

    #72520
    Mudlark @mudlark

    I’ve just been re-reading some of the comments on the previous three chapters and was reminded of this evilly bonkers theory proposed by @devilishrobby in the discussion of The Halloween Apocalypse

    What if it turns out the Doctor as the timeless child is in fact not only the progenitor of the Timelord race as the current past story seem indicate, but is in fact some kind of hyper evolved Gallifreyan who was sent back in time and this is all part of some kind of perverse  reaction of the universe to set things up.

    and realised that in the light of developments in the subsequent three chapters this idea, bonkers as it undoubtedly is, is looking all too plausible 😮

    #72521
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Chibnall even references it with brief shot of what appears to be Lungbarrow

    Yes, that struck me too. Chibs will have serious stones on him if he brings Lungbarrow into TV canon. But then he’s already shown himself capable of that with the whole Timeless Child thing anyway.

    @mudlark

    Well, bonkers is what we do here, so why not. @devilishrobby‘s theory kind of reminds me of Alan Moore’s strips about the Time Lords (which were clearly the influence for RTD’s Time War) and so I wouldn’t be surprised if Chibs is mining that surprisingly rich seam for inspiration. Certainly, the Division does make me think of some cross between Moore’s Special Executive and the Order of the Black Sun. And seeing Swarm as a reimagining of Fenris the Hellbringer isn’t that much of a stretch either.

    If anyone’s interested, there’s a nice summation of Moore’s Time Lord lore here….

    Actually, the other thing that this series is reminding me of is pretty much a BBC Books EDA. Am I the only one who isn’t seeing echoes of the Faction Paradox in Division? And someone on Twitter put forward the theory that the Passenger could turn out to be a TARDIS in humanoid form, which is a great idea and, if true, is very reminiscent of Compassion.

    #72522
    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Well I didn’t think my bonkerising would create such a reaction, but to be honest given how Chibnal has been willing to “alter” or perhaps that’s rewrite  Who cannon may be my bonkerising won’t end up being so far off the mark.
    To go further with my bonkerising if you will I had a further thought that I wondered if perhaps the Doctor actual set up the Division in his/her earlier past which is why they are so keen to get her back.

    What I pray we are not being setting up for is that we are going to see a second Valeyard type incarnation of the Doctor who is in charge of the Division,  Nah Chibbers wouldn’t have the brass b’s to pull that on us surely. The Valeyard was to be honest one of my least favourite villains PreGap as he was too close to effectively being a clone of the Master.

    As for your comment about Chibbers perhaps bringing  Lungbarrow cannon into the  tv cannon, in part it already had to a round about extent in that the book was an authorised BBC book during what I call the InterGap period. Though I do realise RTD and Moffat essentially ignored most of the interim BBC book lore as far as I could tell.

    #72524
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @jimthefish I think Chibnal has been, if nothing else, audacious and ambitious in his run, though it didn’t show as much in the first season (which I like, but I like mostly for the storylines that didn’t really depend on being in Who). I can imagine RTD dialling it down a bit and restoring the madman in a box, @mudlark. But I don’t know how much I’d put past Chibs right now. He’s got two episodes to pull it all off, he’s absolutely got my attention.

    What I didn’t think he’s done so well with overall has been the week by week, even season by season thing. I think his run will stand up better when it’s all completed and watched together. I’m not entirely sure why I feel this way, I know this season is a continuous story, he is providing individual stories within them, more so really than a lot of the MCU TV which I was happier with week by week. I do think he’ll be reassessed significantly in a decade or so.

    But this was a really good angels episode that had just about every fan chanting ‘the image of an angel becomes itself an angel’ at the TV. And that’s some good Doctor Who.

    #72525
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @mudlark oh I like your Moffart explanation, and it would fit with the overall theme of lost memories. But I agree, Chibnal might just leave it at ‘it was just the premonition’. But the premonition really doesn’t match how she responded to seeing them, in my book, so I will be a little irked, if so. I could have sworn she reacted particularly to seeing Yaz.

    #72543
    ScaryB @scaryb

    I agree with the concensus here that that was a great episode. And like @jimthefish I would tend to put a lot of the credit Maxine Alderton’s way. Proper behind the sofa stuff.

    Thanks to @mudlark for the excellent research into the Division. They definitely seem to be about the ends justifying the means. They don’t seem to be a good thing, but then, neither are Swarm and Azure. Did someone/thing help Swarm escape?

    @miapatrick I felt that too, about Claire – my immediate thought about her remark (in ep 1) about taking “the long way round” was to link it to Ten’s similar comment in Blink (when he came back from – was that the 60s again? – taking the slow road). Which set me off on a “Claire’s a Timelord” theory, but given that 13’s just had a mind meld with her that would seem to have been blown out the water. Unless she’s nurturing a pocket watch somewhere!

    I like Bel (and Vinder)… I came up with a middle of the night theory that they are somehow the Doctor’s parents (and then found out this is already a “thing”). Not my favourite theory tho. I think I should probably stop watching DW late at night, ‘specially Weeping Angels episodes, haha.

    Really not at all sure where this is all going, but I’m enjoying the ride so far. I agree that I would very much like it not to be heading in a Harry Potter direction, but maybe all the Division stuff is also a “planted story” that the Doctor has been dreaming, and she’s still locked up in Judoon prison!

    The other thing that’s intriguing me is Williamson’s tunnels, which I discovered are actually a thing, and a mysterious thing at that! Excavated over a period of 30 years (1810 – 1840) for no apparent reason. It’s a massive complex. Maybe they are the reason that the Earth has to be specially protected from the Flux. Info on Wikipedia.

    #72546
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @scaryb You’re back! How fantastic! Just tonight Mrs Blenkinsop and I rewatched  this and over a post-viewing glass of wine with Mrs Blenkinsop, the following bonkers theory came to me.

    This whole series is about Division. What is it and why doesn’t the Doctor know about it? Well, if we go back to the Judoon episode, where Doctor Ruth is introduced, the Whittaker Doctor discovers a buried TARDIS. It seems very similar to the Hartnell TARDIS. We subsequently discover Doctor Ruth has been hiding from Division but the Whittaker Doctor has no memory of Division.

    Here is the bonkers theory: what if Doctor Ruth was the immediate predecessor to Hartnell, and, as part of escaping from Division, somehow managed to regenerate (into Hartnell) while simultaneously escaping, but in a way that denied Hartnell the knowledge of Division.

    This would explain why every Doctor since Hartnell has no knowledge of Division.

    Of course, since talking about the episode with Mrs Blenkinsop more than that one glass of wine has been partaken…

     

    #72547
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Oh, and the sonic.

    Doctor Ruth clearly does not know about the sonic, and is contemptuous of it. And as we know, the sonic is not introduced until Troughton.

    That’s it…bedtime.

    #72548
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @scaryb oooh, Claire as Timelord! I like it, especially the idea of an Angel possessing a Timelord- either knowingly or unknowingly. I suppose it might be possible that she’s had a very through mind wipe of some kind, and the visions are being used to supply information she needs to know, memories hidden as visions – so that in some way she really does know them when she first meets them, but thinks it’s a vision in the latest episode.  Or maybe she’s talking about the first time she met them, which they haven’t experienced yet, and that point in the first episode hasn’t happened for her yet, timey whimey etc, it is an Angels episode after all…

    @blenkinsopthebrave – yes I like the Ruth Doctor as the pre-Hartnell Doctor theory. But then how does Susan turn up? Did Susan rescue her grandparent?

     

    #72557
    ScaryB @scaryb

    @miapatrick @blenkinsopthebrave

    Ruth Doctor as immediately pre Hartnell – I like this too. Fits in with @mudlark‘s theorising too. I think there’s strong suggestions that she is.  Listen suggests that Hartnell Doc started as a baby or at least a pre-schooler – maybe that was the “deal” (voluntary or otherwise) for leaving Division – mind wipe and start again as a child, with a whole new TL mythos implanted. (So no need for extra explanation re Susan – she turned up naturally as part of the Doctor’s new life). See the Brendan story parallel.

    There’s scope here for a complete re-set of the canon, which could be divisive 😉

    #72563
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Here is the bonkers theory: what if Doctor Ruth was the immediate predecessor to Hartnell, and, as part of escaping from Division, somehow managed to regenerate (into Hartnell) while simultaneously escaping, but in a way that denied Hartnell the knowledge of Division.

    I agree with you that Ruth Doctor is probably the immediate predecessor of Hartnell Doctor, but all the information we have to date points to something a bit more complicated than a direct transition. For one thing, as @scaryb points out, if the Brendan analogy is an exact reflection of the the Doctor’s experience, Ruth Doctor probably didn’t escape the Division, because she, or whoever was Hartnell Doctor’s immediate predecessor underwent a forcible and complete memory wipe and she or he regenerated as the child in the barn whom we saw in Listen and who, in later lives as the War Doctor and then Capaldi Doctor, remembered and returned to it.

    Going back to The Timeless Children, after the Master has told her that she is the Timeless Child, she protests,

    ‘I know my life. I know, I know who I am.  …  I remember my home. I remember growing up. I remember you and me at the Academy, together.

    The Master then confirms,

    ‘That happened. It just wasn’t your first life’.

    Then, when she sees Ruth Doctor in the Matrix, she asks,

    Where do you fit into all this? Were you me all that time ago? Were all my memories of you erased? Did they force back into becoming a child?

    As for Ruth Doctor’s Tardis taking the form of the police box, that was presumably so that the viewers could identify it immediately, because otherwise it doesn’t make sense. Unless my memory is at fault, it only took that form when Hartnell Doctor and Susan first visited Earth. We could, of course, explain that inconvenient fact by supposing that, by pure coincidence, Ruth Doctor’s Tardis assumed that form when she sought refuge on Earth, but it’s a bit of a stretch. Unless, maybe, the Tardis, being unconstrained by any concept of linear time, was remembering forwards.

    #72564
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @scaryb, @mudlark Yes, you are, of course, right about the Brendon story. I confess I have shuffled that one to the back of my mind, but, in light of what you say, I should revisit it.

    @mudlark

    Unless maybe, the Tardis, being unconstrained by any concept of linear time, was remembering forwards.

    Oooh, I like that!

     

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