Robot of Sherwood

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    UltimateCompanion @ultimatecompanion

    @geoffers, that still doesn’t explain what happened to the sonic screwdriver. I also realized this morning after I had some coffee that he used the 11th Doctor’s sonic, but in Deep Breath, he had a brand new sonic screwdriver with a ivory handle. So wondering if the wonkiness with the sonics are part of the plot or an oversight by the prop department.



    They have established in the first two episodes that people who the doctor have manipulated into killing/sacrificing themselves will end up in Missy’s heaven. He even admits he’s manipulated people into to this at some point during the episode. So it seems this Doctor is grumpy, cynical, darker, and probably burntout from caring about people all the time. Plus with the all black outfit, this one is practically emo/goth. LOL I’m looking forward to seeing him question his morals and his character as the series progresses.  The 10th and 11th were  against genocide and murder, especially after having fought in the time war, and this one might think the bigger (universal/dimensional) picture is more important than one species or one person.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @whisht    I felt that the Doctor was mostly the straight man to other people so it worked for me. Capaldi played it very straight for the most part, and that may be more his personal style. I found it quite amusing, but a very different way than Matt Smith would likely have handled it.

    @verbal      I agree about the TARDIS, I have noticed that as well, because I always liked the comfy library style of Movie control room. If I was living there I would definitely want an armchair!

    @phaseshift    Yes, they seem to be retooling Clara as a slightly older, more educated Lucie Miller, don’t they? I’m liking her too. I expect that the Doctor and Robin were the only ones who hadn’t twigged that the “leader” the Sheriff wanted to see was Clara!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @fivefaces   My favourite bit of the Sheriff’s monologue was actually the first part: “After Nottingham… Darby.”  A bit anticlimactic. But he got there in the end.

    I wonder if all these callouts to BG Who that people are finding are going to end up part of the Missy/Promised Land arc in some way? Or if they are more related to the Doctor’s personal journey?

    If I’m not mistaken, Robin’s “all property is theft” line is a pre-quote from someone much later in history. Not a medieval thinker, certainly, but maybe someone 18th or 19th century? I certainly recognized the line. Any of the smart people around here remember it?

    Regarding the “six months to live” line, I read that as part of the Doctor’s fit of snark. He was pretty sulky because he firmly believed himself to be right about Robin Hood, but couldn’t prove it! (And perhaps more importantly, couldn’t convince Clara.)

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @purofilion Yes, ‘All property is theft’ is Proudhon. And we had the idea of the ‘opiate of the masses’ from Marx. Perhaps the ‘Promised Land’ is a reference to utopian socialists like Robert Owen. I like the idea of using Doctor Who as a forum for carrying on old debates on the left. Maybe the grand finale will be a rehearsal of the Bolshevik/Menshevik schism. Missy is Lenin!

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @arbutus Sorry, I think we posted at the same time. And yes, I agree my absolute favourite was ‘After Nottingham, Derby’. I thought Ben Miller did that line brilliantly.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @juniperfish    (Sorry you’re still sick, that is nasty!)  On first watch, I actually paused and went back to try and spot the importance of what the Doctor was suddenly eating with that spoon. It kind of jumped out at me right away. Later I realized that it was only included there to set up the duel with Robin. (Which, silly though it was, I really enjoyed!) I also wonder whether the black glove represented anything or was just there for extra flamboyance.

    @purofilion     A kid’s episode.  I’m with Boyilion, quite possibly my favourite so far, where does that leave me????   🙂  Never mind, I know the answer already and I have long ago come to terms with myself (unlike the poor Doctor).

    Ah, yes, ‘all property is theft was Proudhon’s line ?     See, I knew I could rely on someone to know this. (And yes, Puro, you were one of the smart people I had in mind!)

    @jimbomcmaster     Yes, this is pretty much what I think about regeneration as well. Although I hadn’t associated with the physical appearance before now, more the personalities.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @janetteb     The Doctor likes to play the mythical hero and does not appreciate competition.  This is interesting! I read that competition as more of a general “two big egos meetup”, because as I said earlier, I am definitely getting the feeling here that the Doctor is not at all comfortable in the hero role (although he seems to burst into it in moments of crisis, nonetheless– you can’t take the hero out of the Doctor, I guess!). I had the same thought about Clara’s dress, it reminded me of a Halloween costume I wore a few years ago! Loved it.

    @wolfweed     I think that’s Clara in the spoon.

    @whisht    Yes, and what would “the promised land” mean to a robot?

    Two great new theories: @janetteb‘s Missy as an infection in Clara’s mind, and @fivefaces  “Missy as Lenin” (can we take that to mean “Missy as the architect of revolution”? Keep ’em coming, Boys and Girls!

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Far from the obligatory Red Dwarf/Hitch Hikers references from me this week, the episode kept reminding me of something else – Shrek.  My evidence below:

     (Surly Scottish hero)

     (Forest where it is always sunny)

     (Princess Clara/Fiona)


    (Sheriff of Nottingham)

     (Faceless goons/robots to do the Sheriff of Nottingham’s bidding)


    I’m not sure if I enjoyed it or not.  For me there was far too much Clara, not enough Doctor – especially as Capaldi’s subtle characterisation has yet to fully gel with me yet.  He’s not playing it as ‘big’ as Tennant or Smith so seems to get a bit drowned out by all the other stuff going on.  I don’t mind Clara, but conversely I don’t find she actually has much character to speak of – unlike her predecessor Amy.

    On a bonkers theorising side note, if we include the cut scene which showed the Sheriff of Nottingham as a robot, then this is the third episode in a row which depicted a robot with human characteristics/or part human.

     (Shrek as a human)

    Not sure where this gets us yet, but probably indicating Cybermen turning up at one point or other.

    TheatreGuy @theatreguy

    I enjoyed it – not nearly as much as Deep Breath and Into the Dalek but still a solid romp of an episode.

    Something about Capaldi didn’t gel will me in this episode (and I hate saying that) – not sure if it was due to the fact this was the first script Moffat was hands off, but something felt amiss. The bickering between the Doctor and Robin became a little grating. I also felt it was his most Malcolm Tuckeresq performance to date). Perhaps Gatiss just needs more time to find this Doctor . Ben Miller also felt a little underused.

    Thought the promised land inclusion/Missy exclusion was clever – more to ponder and think about.

    Another great performance from Jenna though – really feel Clara is shining this series.

    6/10 for me

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @chickenelly   I like your Shrek analogies, especially the Robin Hood one. I had forgotten that scene, but that RH is exactly the one this RH reminded me of. They had the same bright, camp, over-the-top quality.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Gah! It all went wrong so I re-edited and put it back up again then forgot to add Robin Hood.  Here he is:

     (Robin Hood)

    Oh and this:

     (Sheriff of Nottingham questioning Clara)

     (Archery tournament)

     (Sheriff of Nottingham’s Castle)


    geoffers @geoffers

    @wolfweed – thanks for the screengrab. i confess, i still don’t see a person. maybe a ghostly figure of some sort? i still wonder if there was someone there to hand him the spoon (and not as a prop, but in story, in the tardis)? maybe he has a robot butler, now?! 🙂

    geoffers @geoffers

    @ultimatecompanion – one other option, i’ve read that the sheriff’s original demise was changed to the falling into gold version. if the original had been kept, maybe they get the sonic off his dead body? i don’t know…

    but as with the tardis door being open/shut/open/shut, it looks to be a continuity error. i hope not, as that’s a pretty big error! i hope, instead, there’s some timey-wimey reason behind it, that we find out later…

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @geoffers – Yes – It’s a haunted spoon!


    I tried to see if there were hidden runes in the laserbeam sequence but to no avail…

    I suppose I’d better go back to the blackboard…

    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    Clara is reading minds a lot so far.  But its always portrayed as something that can be read as something else, like with Robin Hood she knows the story very well, with Danny Pink she was joking that a moral dimension to soldiering means crying after killing people.  (Did she do a mind-reading in Deep Breath?)  Theres the psychic link to River Song which may (or may not) still be open, is Clara getting nudges from someone to say the right thing in a situation?

    Hello @ultimatecompanion (Im learning this @ thing!).  I was thinking about the sonic screwdriver too.  But I skip the Coming Next Time bits at the ends of eps so I didnt know it shows up next week.  Yes it was great that the sonic was removed from the plot but it might as well not have been.  Maid Marion got the Doctor out of his chains with a key but where did she get the key from?  That was kind of DeM like the sonic can be.

    Is there a reason why theres a landline telephone receiver on the blackboard in the beginning, going from the circles to the quadrant that the Doctor is filling in as he talks to Clara?  To me it means communication, that wherever Clara wants to go she will still be in touch. (with who?)

    Hello @arbutus  Hello @fivefaces

    Its nice for me (in UK) that Derby & Lincoln were named.  We know how ridiculous the Sherrifs nefarious world domination plans are by the Midlandish towns named.  Does this translate to America / Australia / Europe?

    One last question, is The Promised Land Gallifrey?  We know this Doctor is looking for the rest of the Time Lords now.  We know that Half Face Man and the Sherwood robots are both looking for it, HFM from the distant past of Earth (but he got there presumedly from the future somewhere else) and Sherwood robots are from interstellar future, 29th century.  (There was a lot of 51st century in 10s storylines, is 29 the new 51?)

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Enjoyed the episode – it felt a bit like a little light relief (although with hints and echoes of the darker themes).  But the badinage between Doc and Hoody also reminded me a lot of the ‘banter’ between the various doctors in DotD, even down to the bit where they’re in a cell not working together to come up with a coherent plan… Significant?  Who knows…

    geoffers @geoffers

    @chickenelly – even without the cut scene, the sheriff remarks (during the final duel) that he is “the first of a new breed… half man, half engine.” maybe the robots were converting him, bit by bit?

    this whole ep reminds me of a BG-who ep, but i can’t put my finger on which one. (maybe one of five’s?) it also featured a crashed ship, a castle, and a human helper to the aliens, who was patched up after being injured…

    geoffers @geoffers

    @cathannabel – oooh, good point!! clara even calls him “last of the timelords” (which i thought of as odd, at the time) when they’re chained up! perhaps he’s still the “lonely god,” as he hasn’t gone to help save gallifrey yet, in his own timeline?

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @janetteb and @whisht (and @others?) The idea of the ‘promised land’ as a robot heaven is very interesting, especially bearing in mind that the original notion of a ‘robot’ in SF literature is rooted in socialist thought: I may have this wrong, but I remember that robot was a Czech word to do with land rent, or something? – must google. Anyway, it’s to do with an oppressed and exploited class, striving to achieve their emancipation. Is this what Missy is up to? This episode had lots of examples of socialist thought, and of course there’s Robin’s final speech to the Doctor, where the Doctor is (sort of) presented as the vanguard of the proletariat. There have often been political themes in Doctor Who before, but might there be a whole series arc about the concept of class conflict and revolutionary struggle? That would really be something.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @apopheniac – it’s not knowing the story that’s yet another example of Clara’s mind reading abilities. It’s when she looks at Robin and says ‘Why are you so sad’.

    Hmm… it seems to be played as when she looks into people’s eyes. And in Deep Breath the Half Faced Man took someone’s eyes, and in Into The Dalek, they went in through the eyestalk.

    What’s that old saying? The eyes are the windows to the soul.

    Whisht @whisht

    @bluesqueakpip – Clara also looked into the Doctor’s eyes (from various angles) before ‘recognising’ him.

    Anyway, just rewatched and enjoyed it much more. I just sat back and said ‘hah hah!” and slapped my thigh a bit.

    So far we’ve had the Doctor wrong throughout an episode (wrong about the Dalek being able to be good, wrong about Robin being real) and Clara being right.

    Agree with a few here, that this Doctor has rebooted and is almost back to ‘factory settings’. The settings he had before he ran away with the Tardis and became a hero (helping the oppressed as Robin says).
    Maid Marion’s enormous gratitude (the kiss on his cheek) stuns and reminds him of what being a hero means.

    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    Hello @fivefaces

    Robot is from the root verb “to work” in both Czech and Russian.

    Im not sure about a socialist bent to the series so far.  Moffat is milking Scottish independence though, and thats being written about as a more left-leaning ideal north of the border.


    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    Hello @bluesqueakpip (thats hard to type, had to do it several times!  Thank goodness I found the edit feature.)

    Thats another example though where it can plausibly be said that Claras not mind-reading, she interprets the excessive laughing as a cover for general sadness.  I like “windows to the soul” and the eyestalk entry reference.  Perhaps we are all being sent on a wild goose chase about mind-reading (or Claras psychic connection to someone who can feed her the correct feelings / words) when its really all about looking at someones soul through their eyes?

    … [edit / add]

    However, I just looked at Into The Dalek starting about 7:30 when Claras talking to Danny.  Shes looking directly into his eyes for the whole conversation up until 7:38 when she looks down at her paperwork for the entire line “Ah, you shoot people then cry about it afterwards” and only after that line does she look up into his eyes again.  Curious.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    Hello @apopheniac (your’s isn’t so easy to type either! Hope I’ve got it right.)

    Thanks for the info on the etymology of robot. Still fits, I think, with a general oppressed working class idea, since we have had an awful lot of robots — and self-improving assertive robots too, heading for the ‘promised land’ — in the show. I’m not saying it’s all been socialist. In fact, for me, last week felt more like it was keyed into moral philosophical questions, and this week was more political.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @fivefaces – ype as @apopheniac says ‘Robot’ is from ‘worker’.

    I have heard of Carel Kapek but never read anything by him – it was he (or his brother) who first used the word as the name of sentient automatons (R.U.R – Rossum’s Universal Robots stageplay – the robits of which are a bit closer to being part-organic-part-mechanical; hmm….).

    Reading his wikipedia entry just now, I wonder if this political (as opposed to philosophical) angle is less bonkers than I first thought (perhaps reading “Missy as Lenin” was just the right side of bonkers!).
    And Robin’s final piece to the Doctor:

    “That a man born into wealth and privilege can find the lot of the oppressed and weak too much to bear?
    Until one night he is moved to steal a Tardis, fly amongst the stars, fighting the good fight.”

    Hero in deed.

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    Thats another example though where it can plausibly be said that Claras not mind-reading

    I think it more likely that being a teacher who has had to learn to control a roomful of teenagers, spot troubled pupils etc, AND who knocks around with an eccentric,  she has simply become rather good at reading people.

    Shes looking directly into his eyes for the whole conversation up until 7:38 when she looks down at her paperwork for the entire line “Ah, you shoot people then cry about it afterwards” and only after that line does she look up into his eyes again.  Curious.

    I think that is the gaze of “My God! You’re hot!”-ness.

    @bluesqueakpip will confirm that you have yet to master Advanced @thingying. 🙂 I, basically, am that test!

    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    I think it more likely that being a teacher who has had to learn to control a roomful of teenagers, spot troubled pupils etc, AND who knocks around with an eccentric,  she has simply become rather good at reading people.

    [found the quote feature.  Im learning  🙂 ]

    Hello @IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan @pedant (the wonders of hovering and taskbar looking)

    Yes, but its also a major contrast from the Doctor so far in these 3 eps who is blatantly not able to read people, or at least can’t read people in a way to improve his situation.  I said I liked the “eyes are the windows of the soul” concept, but its equally valid that Claras character is being set up to explicitly fill the bits where the Doctor is lacking.  Its a bit zipperish if so.  A companion should complement the Doctor but this is a tad heavy handed.  Oooh, hes so ASD he doesnt see why its wrong to keep telling a creature (human or not) that hes just diagnosed 6 months til death, and heres Clara able to read the underlying sadness behind a groups incessant laughter.

    Totally off topic, but I didn’t see anywhere in the Into The Dalek thread that anyone thought the antibodies looked like the Toclaphane [spelling?] from The Sound of Drums.  There was talk about a resemblance to the eyes on Clara’s shirt but their movement and size were very Toclish to me.

    (apologies for apostrophisation or lack thereof.  an explanation is on the Sofa thread in my multiple introductions  🙂 )

    Anonymous @

    I like how the companion is featured as not only strong but older -more vintage. In Vincent, the painter asks Amy “why are you crying then?” and she says “I don’t know, I’m not” but in this episode it is Clara asking Robin why he is sad -now we and Clara have that dramatic knowledge about Marion but Clara is beginning to show the compassion and kindness which Rose & Amy developed.

    I’m not convinced that the Doctor is fully cooked  -I don’t see it as poor writing or poor jokes or Capaldi not being able to find his feet or hearts, I believe he’s either getting stronger and finding his way or else, this IS  the way of the Doctor now.

    He’s bitterly impatient, exasperated and quite resolved to be concentrating on other, more rarefied ambitions. Hence the (what we perceive to be) mad scribbling

    As for the spoon…he’s in a corner of the Tardis and appears to look to his right as if to exchange a glance. ‘Cheating’ with bows and arrows is not the behaviour of the ‘decent’ AG Doctors but then this is a different incarnation: one who withers about ‘bantering and being silly’ leading to blowing shit up! Cool

    @janetteb the Wickham from Lost in Austen is an interesting timey whimey issue as when Robin murmurs “you know her” [ to Clara regarding Marion], she says “I’ve always known her”‘; so similar to Amanda Price when describing Darcy…anyway, rather off-topic!

    Robots heads looked like Oz’ Ned Kelly!

    Kindest, puro.

    Anonymous @

    So we have Proudhon but also the feel and desires of Orwell; They sleep safely in their beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do them harm” and the “existing order [social?] is a swindle and its cherished beliefs mostly delusions.” Very Robert of Loxley…

    Is the Doctor deluded? Are we all deluded about the existence of some metaphoric or extant Promised Land?

    Anonymous @

    ooh sorry 🙂  but Robert is ‘bright fame’ in Czech or Hroderbert (in keeping with the Czech link!).  Seems that ‘bright fame’ ties in rather nicely with Robin’s statement, in the final scene, that they are both heroes and/or legend.


    Incidentally, the Golden Arrow was a bona fide Chekhov’s Gun (not a duck in sight).

    midnyt @midnyt

    Just got finished with my first watch.

    I’m warming up to Clara more.  I think her “reading” of other people is just her looking into their eyes and seeing what most don’t, it might have something to do with her being a teacher (or maybe the reason she is a teacher).

    She’s been doing that since Day of the Doctor.

    CLARA: You wouldn’t. Because you haven’t done it yet. It’s still in your future.

    WARRIOR: You’re very sure of yourself.

    CLARA: He regrets it. I see it in his eyes every day. He’d do anything to change it.

    WARRIOR: Including saving all these people. How many worlds has his regret saved, do you think? Look over there. Humans and Zygons working together in peace. How did you know?

    CLARA: Your eyes. You’re so much younger.


    CLARA: Need a moment alone with your painting?

    DOCTOR: How did you know?

    CLARA: Those big sad eyes.


    As soon as she asked Robin why he was sad, that’s what I thought of.

    midnyt @midnyt

    Someone earlier mentioned the TARDIS console room was reminiscent of the Eighth Doctor’s, so I thought I’d dig up a couple of screenshots.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Well just managed to watch the episode on holiday at the mo worth no internet and shock horror no mobile signal at the cottage.

    My first Impressions of this episode a much lighter in tone then I thought hmm maybe not so much we definitively saw maybe just a tad bit of jelousy from the doctor that Clara might just have some kind of interest in another man.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I have not had time for a second watch but have had plenty of time to reflect. I think that this episode is maybe deceptively light. I was interested to hear that Moffat asked Gatiss to do the Doctor meets Robin Hood story. I wonder just how much of a “brief” he gave him and how much was purely Gatiss having fun. (It is certainly clear that he had fun with this story.)

    I was reflecting last night that Tom Riley might be an interesting choice for Doctor in the future and it occurred to me that it is important to establish now, purely for pragmatic production reasons, that the Doctor can use faces he had encountered before, otherwise it will become increasingly hard to find a good actor for the part, all the good actors having featured at some time or other in the series.

    I keep thinking about the miniaturisation thing and realised also that there have been references to miniaturisation in every episode. In Deep Breath the impossibly large Dinosaur swallows the Tardis, in this story the Doctor speculates that they are in a miniscope. IT is either significant or a red herring and knowing Moffat it is more likely to be the later.

    @Purofilion I am not entirely sure that the Lost In Austen comment is off topic. This episode had a definite stepping into a story feel ot it. (In this case it was more a “stepping in a 50s Hollywood movie feel) and now I feel that a Lost in Austen rewatch is required, after rewatching Robin of Sherwood of course.



    thommck @thommck

    Posting from a train so this may come out a bit garbled.

    You get the idea straight away that this is going to be one of “those” episodes. I usually can’t stand them but this seemed just on the right side of panto and knowingness to just enjoy the ride.

    That last bit with the arrow boosting the ship into orbit was really terrible, I’m sure they could have thought of a better solution that could have still involved using the arrow without all of the cheesiness.

    My 10 year old was smiling his head off through most of it so that somewhat made up for the loss of drama. Did it remind anyone else of the, usually naff, comic strips in the doctor who adventures magazine?

    I thought this episode may try to sneak some wider themes or clues part us and I want disappointed in that respect.

    It seems the link between all 3 episodes so far is sabotage. The crack in the Dalek, and the castle-ship both had radiation leaks. Do we know what caused the ship from Deep Breath to crash? I’m thinking these have been purposefully damaged by an external influence to draw in the Doctor (though I’m not sure why!?)

    I think Clara’s “telepathy” is more likely normal human empathy rather than anything supernatural.

    The bit with the Doctor licking the spoon at the beginning seemed to jump out of nowhere, did I miss a bit where he was supposed to be mid-supper. I wondered if Clara is still trying to cook souflés and the doctor is growing quite fond of them! @wolfweed The person in the reflection is very creepy but I’m going to chicken out and claim it was a crew member on set.

    Would someone mind detailing the cut scene? Was it shown in one of the leaked episodes? Did it change the story in any way? I wonder if it will be on the DVD?

    Gold always makes me think of Cybermen, and this episode also seemed to link to humans being transformed into robots. Did it remind anyone else of nightmare in silver? The gold plated Sherriff would be an ideal display piece in that episode. I wouldn’t mind seeing him come back again. In fact, someone upstream mentioned the Bat symbol on the chalk board & the Sherrif’s death was very reminiscent of the Joker falling into a vat of acid from the original Batman film and he got out ok 😉

    I didn’t spot any links to Rome in this episode, unless you count all of the religious symbolism as roman catholic? It was very symbolic, wasn’t it. Those holy cross death rays were quite something! King Richard was off fighting his holy war, so is the Doctor also on a religious crusade?

    By the end of the episode, are we meant to think Robin Hood was real or was he and his merry men a creation of the alien robots landing. I must admit, I found that whole part of the story rather confusing?

    The Doctor seemed quite angry that Clara had told Robin his backstory. Is that just because he never trusted Robin or is he trying to hide/deny his past?

    Ok, now about to press submit just before I head into a tunnel… Wish me luck and see you on the other side!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Very late to this – lots of good posts (of course!). Not a lot to add, except that I enjoyed it much more than I expected to.  Good series pacing I think, light before next week’s very dark-looking story.

    @thommck – I thought the robo-knights were pretty scary, and agree with you about the holy cross death rays. I thought they were a crusades reference. I think Robin’s wound in the the fight with the Sheriff shows that he’s human (tho it’s possibly left deliberately ambiguous).  I found the callous killing of Quayle quite shocking (even if the Sheriff’s sword looked remarkably clean and shiny straight after) in the context of this being a “light” episode.

    (@Craig @bluesqueakpip – can we talk about the cut scene here? (and does the cut scene mean this counts as a 2-streams story?!!)

    And yes the golden arrow stuff was a bit naff – especially when they had a whole cauldron of the stuff bubbling away in the castle (nice touch with the gold hands just not quite getting out (as someone else mentioned, neat Terminator 2 ref))

    @wolfweed – awestruck as ever by your spotting and freeze framing skills. But is that not just Clara’s reflection on the spoon? Curvy surfaces are notoriously tricky in what and how they reflect. Although given the amount of reflection and mirror-y things so far I wouldn’t rule out something else.

    Some general thoughts – lots of things in this series are reminding me of early BG Who – in the scene in the prison for example, I kept thinking of  Hartnell in playful mood or Troughton having a strop.  The pacing as well is much slower than in Smith’s or Tennant’s series, and much “smaller” stories, albeit against a (possibly) bigger arc.  The Doctor not being happy about Clara telling his backstory seems like a callout to the early days too, when the Doctor liked to keep a low profile.



    wolfweed @wolfweed

    If you don’t want to know, don’t read it…
    The cut scene occurs before the duel ‘continues’ on the beam..

    If you want to see it, you might want to try dailymotion…

    zeitgeis @zeitgeis

    I have a deep-seated prejudice against ostensibly serious/dark shows that drop in a comedy episode from time to time.  X-Files used to aggravate me by doing that at least once a season. So, I really didn’t like this episode, at least the Sherwood Forest bits where there was all that “bantering” going on that the Doctor rightly objected to. Happily the episode turned dark or, at least, darkish once our heroes escaped from captivity and began to work together.

    The real up-side of the episode for me is that my granddaughter loved it.  I had previously shown her the Day of the Doctor as an introduction to Doctor Who and then the first episode of the current season.  Since she can’t keep her mouth shut, I figured I would find myself in a bit of trouble with her parents for showing her scary stuff but it turned out they were happy to have a Whovian child.

    Nightmare @nightmare

    Pretty good episode, not one of the best so far but still pretty good though.

    I did enjoy the banter between the Doc and Hoody and Clara getting annoyed with it, I thought that was very funny.

    Was nice to have a ‘lighter’ sort of episode although I am really really looking forward to next weeks episode that looks, well as the Ninth Doctor would say “Fantastic”

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Forgot to click on notify me to follow the thread in emails 🙁

    Brewski @brewski


    “That a man born into wealth and privilege can find the lot of the oppressed and weak too much to bear?

    Until one night he is moved to steal a Tardis, fly amongst the stars, fighting the good fight.”

    I watched the ep twice, and both times something at that moment tickled my brain. But it wasn’t until reading it here that I got it.


    We (as an audience) have not, to my knowledge, been privy to the Doctor’s status in life on Galifrey. If Clara can tell Robin about him being “a man born into wealth and privilege” then she really knows more about him than we do. I wonder how much more about his past she knows.



    I’m not convinced that the Doctor is fully cooked -I don’t see it as poor writing or poor jokes or Capaldi not being able to find his feet or hearts, I believe he’s either getting stronger and finding his way or else, this IS the way of the Doctor now.

    I think I remember reading an interview with Capaldi about how the character developed over the course of filming the series. As I understand it, it is a very organic process during which the actors and writers discover each other. From our perspective, it is a newly regenerated Doctor “cooking”, which is pretty cool to me. So I agree, its not a matter of poor writing, and my bet is we’ll see the dialog shift subtly over the next few episodes.


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    We (as an audience) have not, to my knowledge, been privy to the Doctor’s status in life on Galifrey. If Clara can tell Robin about him being “a man born into wealth and privilege” then she really knows more about him than we do. I wonder how much more about his past she knows.

    It’s worth watching The Deadly Assassin for a lot of the context to that. It’s established the Doctor is of the Prydonian Chapter of Time Lords, and spelled out that they are the most powerful force on Gallifrey, producing the most Presidents (The Castellan, Spandrell, is horrified by the very concept of a Prydonian Rebel). In conjunction with Invasion of Time, it’s spelt out that the Doctor could have had a secure position of power if he had not run away. He would have found it pretty boring though.

    I can’t remember when I made the comment, but it was about the “Cartmel Masterplan”. I confessed I really didn’t like the idea of the Doctor being this “reincarnation of one of the founders of the TimeLords” business. I thought it robbed the Doctors story of its power. He was a “normal” Time Lord who ran away to join the circus of the Universe. That concept of rebel – to not conform to your societies expectations, I found a better role model than the idea he was the reincarnation of a near godlike being.

    Brewski @brewski


    It’s worth watching The Deadly Assassin for a lot of the context to that. It’s established the Doctor is of the Prydonian Chapter of Time Lords, and spelled out that they are the most powerful force on Gallifrey

    Ach! Yes! I should have remembered that. Sorry. I am officially claiming senility. 🙂 Thanks.

    I agree with your assessment about the development of the character, too, btw.  Not only because it makes him more relate-able as a character, but maintains the mystery around him.


    geoffers @geoffers

    @wolfweed – thanks, as always, for the extra info. i guess i could have found that on my own, but it’s easier just to rely on you! 🙂

    i haven’t seen that scene (!), but knowing how and where it would have fit into the episode is enough for me. i gleaned enough info from the broadcast version to be satisfied that the sheriff was (at least) partially mechanical, either way…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @brewski – while it’s not technically the Doctor, the Master in The End of Time mentions (well, yells) that his own father had estates. The Lord President also refers to the Doctor as ‘Lord Doctor’.

    Since there’s also a brother mentioned (in the Third Doctor’s era), I think we can presume that the Master was the heir for his family – whereas the Doctor was the ‘spare’, not the heir. But still probably someone who grew up thinking washing up was for other people. 😉

    Serahni @serahni

    All this talk about The Doctor’s status on Gallifrey brings me back to my questions about the book I owned as a teenager!  I need to ask my mother if it’s still on her bookshelf, I want to read back over the part that suggests Timelords are “loomed”.  (Not sure I’ve recalled that correctly but I definitely remember the term.)  I’ve not seen a lot of the very early Doctor Who, I picked up mostly towards the end of Pertwee’s era.  I shall have to rectify that.

    Also regarding Clara’s intuitiveness; I think, at least in this episode, it’s nothing very profound.  In the first instance, The Doctor was the one to first point out that they were behaving in an uncharacteristically ‘merry’ way, which would have got me thinking about it too.  But more than that, she obviously knows the story inside out and I merely interpreted her question to Robin as a way to draw out references to Marian, who was clearly her favourite character.  She was testing the story to see if it matched the one she loved.  No real telepathy there!

    She does appear, overall, to be quite an empathetic thing though.  With all the speculation surrounding her very existence and what her psyche now looks like given she scattered herself across The Doctor’s timeline, it’s probably not a stretch to say that she’s just very observant and good at decoding behaviour.  In her own right, she’s very clever, (so says Miss Kizlet), is an avid reader, filled with wanderlust and enters The Doctor’s life this time around already proven to be someone who can self-sacrifice for the benefit of others.  There may be a larger purpose at work behind all that or she may just be a brilliant, talented human being.  They do exist. 😉

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I’m loving – ‘The spare who didn’t want to wash up’… Very topical what with today’s news of a royal understudy on the way…



    As to the Shrek thing (thanks @chickenelly ), I’m surprised that Disney don’t own Robin Hood along with everything else…

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus not at all (sorry for the late mention -but marking and reporting has been my only task during waking hours!). Of course, I loved the ep too and by loving it, you aren’t a child at all; just a person who can appreciate a rollicking ride presented well. It had some really deep undercurrents (now I sound like a 15 year old!) and a Doctor who loved to argue and to be right without being polite about it!

    @janetteb also said that she felt that Tom Riley (Robin the Hood) in Lost in Austen played the role very well. For a good 15 mins I was trying to place Riley and then recalled Monroe -a fairly average drama which also contained the character who played the Spider in the Donna Noble Christmas Special -great! I’ve forgotten the name of the spider, the name of the character and the title of the episode.

    Anywaaaay, I thought that the fight scene -especially a shot from 15 metres away made the Dr look like ‘bag od bones’ but also like Pertwee, quite dangerous….with a spoon.

    Was it silver? A sign of his wealth, which @serahni makes reference to up-thread. As for the opening and closing of the Tardis door; well, continuity errors are bound to happen. I saw a few in Sherlock to which my friends said “ooooh, you need to confess to a big sin there”.

    The spoon itself and the reflection -it could be Clara, I suppose but maybe a claricle wandering around and noticed by the Dr but not seen by Clara herself. Now the claricles should be cooked and eaten by this point but I wonder about the Moment and its direct involvement and its continuation. Was it ever put back? Left on that sandy planet? Or would the Dr lock it up and keep it from prying hands or sink plungers much like the characters in Family of Blood (remembered the name of an ep. Yaaay!)

    Kindest, puro

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