Robot of Sherwood

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    Anonymous @

    also like Smith’s cool bow tie, the cool fez: does he have a ‘cool spoon’ now? Doesn’t quite do the Dr justice, but it does the spoon…

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Very, very, very late to the party (I’ve brought wine though)

    Usually by the time I get online after reading a thread, I realise I’ve passed the point where I could have said something relevant, so don’t say anything at all.

    But sod it…

    For what it’s worth, I thought this was a very well-timed bit of fun, after a couple of quite intense episodes (both of which I liked, but was ready for something lighter.)

    I enjoyed the overplayed merriment, and the way that it aroused suspicion in the doctor. (No matter what the situation, location, millennium, world, universe or indeed dimension… how can anybody possibly be this happy? …… And more to the point, why won’t they stop?!) I liked all that.

    At times I did feel a bit like the Doctor was competing with Robin for Clara, and not sure that’s a subtext that I like – but perhaps he was competing more generally to be alpha male, or just refused to believe Robin was even real (“He’s a legend” overheard by Robin himself was one of my favourite moments by the way.)
    More to say, but feel like I ought to make the effort and look back so that I can address my thoughts to the people that made me think them.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @idiotsavon – he was competing with Robin for Clara, but not in a romantic way. More a ‘hey, hang on, I’m the centre of attention around here!’

    I think a few people were complaining that the Doctor didn’t seem to be in this episode that much – Clara and Robin were doing the heavy lifting. But that may have been the point; essentially the Doctor arrives in the story of Robin Hood and His Merry Men, a story where he can only ever be the guest star. He’s not even the main guest star – Clara’s playing that role.

    And he is miffed. 😉 Throughout. 😀 Especially since he didn’t even think Robin Hood was real.

    At least he managed to salve his pride by working out how to stage a revolt against the robots.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @bluesqueakpip – yes, that makes a lot more sense. I didn’t think of it that way. He’s not competing for her, but for her attention – and for everybody’s attention really… It puts in a new light the intial “take a punt” conversation. She asks for Robin Hood, but he offers her Ice Warriors on Mars – or the Other-People-in-the-Other-Place. Places he knows, and where he can show off and be in charge.

    I really enjoyed the line “At last, something real” (upon walking into an utterly fantastical futuristic spaceship control room!) Perhaps, then, not just relief because this feels more real to him – but also “This is really my area. I can shine here” 🙂

    Yet he’s still very self-effacing when it comes to any talk of him being a hero.

    Radox @radox

    I thought this was alright. I certainly haven’t had my ‘moment’ with Capaldi yet, and this series as a whole as felt underwhelming, but this episode had some nice moments.

    The humour was a bit hit-and-miss for me. I hated the “I’m the Doctor and this is my Spoon” comment. In the hands of another Doctor it might’ve worked, but it was a bit cringey with Capaldi. However, I thought the ‘banter’ in the prison scenes was quite funny. Twelve seems to be particularly good at the sort of acerbic attacking humour that he uses on Robin in the episode. A good romp to be sure, but perhaps a bit too early in Capaldi’s run.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @bluesqueakpip (again)

    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.

    Definitely an eye-related visual theme: Dalek antibodies look like eyes; some memorable close-ups of eyes in Deep Breath; Dalek bodywork looks like eyes (see my new avatar); Clara’s blouse is covered in them. Into the Dalek has as its climax the Dr talking to an eye (which is fair enough, since there’s not much else for him to talk to except pink squidge) and while he’s talking to the Dalek eye, behind him is the projected image of a star being born – which mirrors visually the Dalek eye that he’s talking to (I liked that touch a lot). Lots of close-ups in Deep Breath of HFM’s weird eye, and it’s the optic nerve that he steals from the dinosaur before burning it.
    How bad do puns have to be before people get permanently banned from this site? (I want to say “the eyes have it” but will edit as required…)

    midnyt @midnyt

    At least the Doctor was able to get himself and Robin out of the chains without Clara’s help. I’d still like to see him a little more self-sufficient. I would have really liked it if he was that good of an archer. I’d love to see the Doctor have some hidden talents.

    As for the reflection in the spoon, I don’t see anything there. There are some frames earlier than the one posted where you might be seeing a cameraman (I honestly doubt they worried too much about what might be reflected in a spoon), but the shot that was captioned earlier, the dark shape looks like one of the arches going around the second level of the TARDIS. The reflection warps as the spoon is turned away from the camera. I think the only reason the spoon is so obvious is so we’re not asking later “Where did he get that spoon?” It was the setup needed for the Doctor to have it for the spoon/swordfight.

    Did we spend this much time following around Amy when she wandered away from the Doctor? If so, it sure didn’t feel like it.

    UltimateCompanion @ultimatecompanion

    I’m still stuck on what happened to the sonic screwdriver. Gonna have to google the missing scene.

    Anonymous @

    Hello everyone, It’s me Barnable with a new name. I finally made it to the party, please excuse the long post but I keep getting new ideas after reading everyone else’s posts which makes me add something else.


    I’m finding @timeloop, @Purofilion, @arbutus, @apopheniac discussions about Gretchenfrage, robots, and Timey Wimey evolution interesting to read and more proof that this forum has the most brilliant people. I hope @wolfweed ’s reflection in spoon and the Tardis door problems really do turn out to be something cool latter on (but if not, it won’t bother since I still didn’t notice them). Always interesting and entertaining @phaseshift has to get mentioned here too.

     The exploding target is my favorite part of the episode. Very funny! @geoffers is right, that when the doctor explodes the target using his sonic, he was exploding his homing device arrows. The Tardis getting damaged by an arrow is probably because the shields were not up.

     I didn’t notice that the Doctor actually punches in coordinates now (sorry I forgot who mentioned that).   That worries me a little. There are many shows with ships that are understandable to fly, it’s great that the Tardis is different. I liked 11’s explanation of the controls when he said “and that does wiz-bang-way-to-complicated-to-explain”. @fatmaninabox. I did notice the reappearance of Venusian Aikido that scares me too! 😆  BTW, Congratz on your achievement and thanks for the theme song to match

     I agree with everyone that the confiscated sonic screwdriver would have been the perfect time for a character to demonstrate their cleverness while getting it back for the doctor. A missed opportunity for Clara I think, she could have easily got it but maybe they just didn’t show it. The Tardis can make him a new one, but that is a boring solution to the problem.

     My biggest complaint was the arrow shot at the end. It would have been a fine ending, if only the arrow had not stuck into the outside of the ship. If it had just entered a crack of some kind, and simply disappeared within the ship, it would be much more believable that it fixed some problem with the ships engines. A very simple change that I can’t understand why they didn’t do, much like the solution to the missing screwdriver could have been better. I guess that is what is to be expected from Mark Gatiss episodes (see NiS).

     But don’t get me wrong, even with all the mistakes, I loved this episode. 🙂  The pace was perfect from the beginning. One hilarious scene after another, spoon sword fight to awkward introductions to archery contest to locked in the dungeon to escape from dungeon. It flowed from one scene into the next seamlessly. The robot knights were very cool looking, I would have liked to see a little more combat with them against possibly the marry men but I understand time limits won’t allow everything in one episode.

     The plot was also good. I thought it was a little strange that the main point was hoarding gold, but the sheriff was giving away a golden arrow for winning the archery contest? Although the arrow did provide a good ending for the story, IF ONLY the arrow had gone into the ship. :angry:

     The banter between the Doctor and Robin Hood could not have been better. It made me think the Doctor hasn’t completely lost his ego, by the way he resented Robin’s carefree attitude while he is trying to remain serious and responsible all the time. Twelve’s personality is very close to the one I wished for in a post on “The Next Doctor” thread (25127).

      I would like Capaldi to be different now.  I want him to have an aversion to excitement and disdain for adventure and fun.

     Not bragging. Only hoping for more, because I think Capaldi has been perfect.



    Holy balls, I’m already checking under the bed!  😆 😆 😆

     Next week’s episode could be the most terrifying DW ever, ooh it’s gonna be good.  It might be time for the VastaNerada and Silence to move over for the new baddie.

     @Bluesqueakpip – Promised Land a real place? The episode did make it seem that is the case, but I’m still not 100% convinced. I am uncertain that the Doctor/Clara were at the real 12<sup>th</sup> century England. Like @fivefaces mentioned about Land of Fiction, I think it maybe another Dreamlord type of episode.

     @JanetteB – Cool theory about Clara and the GI. We don’t know how or if Clara destroyed the GI. Maybe he is just trapped someplace? Exactly the same with House and Idris, did Idris destroy House or just trap him? Inside Tardis 2.0 possibly? @fatmaninabox hinted that Tardis 2.0 could be a possible location for the Promised Land, which could mean there is House Missy?  

     @Whisht – Very interesting questions you asked… Why and Who is promising the Promised Land to all of these robots? It makes me wonder if Gretchen was a robot too and we just didn’t know about it?

     @Thommck, @scaryb – A golden sheriff cyberman!!! Yes from me 🙂

     I think it was very unusual the sheriff saying “half man, half engine”. I have never heard anything like that before. I don’t know what that means, but I think it has more meaning to it. Like Missy is assembling parts of a ship.

    geoffers @geoffers

    @handles – welcome back, barnable (from wherever you’ve been!)

    good point about gretchen! maybe she was a “duplicate,” and we just haven’t found out yet?

    the “half man, half engine” thing makes much more sense once you’ve researched the deleted scene, but basically the crashing ship hurt him a bit, and the robots patched him up, to do their bidding. it’s more a subtle reveal, now, than the big reveal it was originally intended to be…


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @arbutus and @bluesqueakpip (I’m catching up) Thanks for the kind wishes – appreciated – being sick sucks!

    @Purofilion and @Serahani re the silver spoon from our friend Wikipedia (“silver spoon”):


    The phrase “born with a silver spoon in his mouth” appeared in print in English as early as 1719, in Peter Anthony Motteux’s translation of the novel <i>Don Quixote</i>: “Mum, Teresa, quoth Sancho, ’tis not all Gold that glisters [sic], and every Man was not born with a Silver Spoon in his Mouth.”<sup id=”cite_ref-2″ class=”reference”><span style=”font-size: small;”>[2]</span></sup> Because the phrase is used as a translation of a Spanish proverb with a different literal meaning (“muchas veces donde hay estacas no hay tocinos,” literally: “often where there are hooks [for hanging hams] there are no hams”), it seems that the phrase was already considered proverbial in English at the time. In fact, the phrase next appears in a book of Scottish proverbs published in 1721, in the form “Every Man is no born with a Silver Spoon in his Mouth.”<sup id=”cite_ref-3″ class=”reference”><span style=”font-size: small;”>[3]</span></sup>

    Because it’s a Mark Gatiss episode and he loves his literary allusions, I’ll bet the gold and silver references actually come from here.

    Serahni @serahni

    @idiotsavon @bluesqueakpip  I agree.  I think he was competing but not in a romantic sense.  There will be residual feelings, he’s already admitted his previous incarnation probably had them, but what I think we’re seeing from this Doctor is a dependence on Clara to be his moral compass.  Just off the top of my head, a couple of notable instances of this are:

    1.  The obvious, the Doctor asking her if he’s a good man.  This is a blatant and literal attempt by him to use her opinion of his character to answer an inner-conflict.

    2.  “She cares so I don’t have to.”  A line that amused so many but it’s quite chilling if you think about it.  Here we have The Doctor practically telling us that Clara’s going to be the one worrying about the morality of things.  What is less certain is whether or not he’s actually pleased by that.  His agonising at times seems to suggest The Doctor is rather worried and, as he admits in “Deep Breath”, scared.  Timelords are a terrifying race in many ways.  Magnificent, yes, but still terrifying.  The havoc he alone could wreck if he wasn’t his own fiercest watchdog cannot be underestimated.  How frightening it must be to feel as if that watchdog has disappeared, it makes sense that he’d try to replace it with someone who knows him, someone he trusts.

    3.  He goes back to get her in “Into the Dalek” because he ‘needs’ her.  He was certainly more than capable of acting on his own, but he went back to get her before he made any sort of choice.  Another sign that he doesn’t trust his own judgement.

    4.  “Well, there is a bright side; Clara didn’t see that.”  Perhaps he was only pleased to have avoided more of her complaining, or perhaps he genuinely was pleased she wasn’t there to witness him still behaving like a school-boy.  Her opinion seems to matter to him.

    There are probably others but my exhausted brain refuses to think.

    The last reference I’ll make is the comments The Doctor and Robin share at the end, where Robin tells him of the stories Clara told and suggests that he is her hero.  The Doctor is very quick to rebuff the idea that he’s a hero, which corresponds to his previous mention of going into darkness to ‘fix’ things he’s done before.  What exactly does he mean by that?  Are we sure, with this Doctor, that he is talking about matters that he would traditionally worry over or is his darker side urging him to act on behalf of decisions that may be a little on the shady side?  The Doctor had the opportunity once to alter the Dalek’s history and was, in fact, sent by the Timelords to do just that in Genesis of the Daleks, I believe.  Back then, even knowing what they would become, he wasn’t happy with the thought of committing genocide.  He wasn’t happy with being the one to assume that kind of responsibility and power over something as enormous as wiping a race from the history books.

    What if he’s changed his mind.

    In the Waters of Mars, Tennant’s Doctor loses his grip on his non-interference rule.  Hurt’s Doctor was able to wipe out his entire race.  Both times, The Doctor was still able to feel the burden of responsibility and suffer remorse for his choice.  What if he’s losing that fight?  He is in a regeneration he shouldn’t have had, he’s been reset in a way that most are not, who is to say that the psychological strain of an additional regeneration isn’t having an impact?  Can a Timelord suffer from a variation of dementia?  What happens when a Timelord loses control over his own mind?

    This is why I think he needs Clara.  He might deny being eligible to be her hero, but there is a strong theme so far in this series that it’s not what you are but what you try to be, or what you influence others to become, that matters.  He might not think he’s her hero, he might not think he’s deserving, but I still wonder if he doesn’t desperately need her to keep thinking that he is.  That would be enough to make a scared man panicked and jealous, without need for any romantic inclination at all.

    Anonymous @

    well I’m sh** out of any more ideas now. Seems like they’ve all been covered 🙂 🙂  Next week….

    Anonymous @

    @pedant  yes I think Moffat saw the trouble made with ‘ducks’ and ‘kittens’ and went a bit nuts on the arrow -make sure they see the arrow; hear the arrow; it must be part of the plot; hold the arrow (as in ‘hold the phone’) and then shoot it -as per Chekhov.

    Anonymous @

    @serahni interesting point there. I think we mentioned something along the lines of this during The Christmas Special? The idea of an extra re-set causing a type of actual ‘old-age’ and confusion. I think, on the other point, that whilst he appears to want to impress Clara and not seem like a fool (maybe), I’m not really sure that he cares -just yet. Getting thru each day with the ‘banter’ & the ‘laughter’ might send him over the edge  & into the pool. Kindest, puro.

    Brewski @brewski

    Ok, so I originally posted this in “Spoilers” only because I didn’t think it was specific enough to “Robot”. There is nothing actually spoilery in it. Just whacky theorizing. Thanks to @janetteb for suggesting I repeat it here inasmuch as a lot of people won’t venture into Spoilers. (Usually myself included)

    Anyway, getting past my tongue-in-cheek Missy thoughts, here’s what I came up with.

    1) “Nethersphere”

    equals Lowest, or Inner-most Sphere (smaller spheres inside larger ones)

    equals miniature universe

    (Ties to themes of miniaturization.)

    2) “Promised Land”

    equals Paradise

    equals Arcadia

    (A well-known area of Gallifrey.)

    ~ Miniature universe (or perhaps Stasis Cube?) containing at least PART of Gallifrey. ~~

    3) “Guardian of the Nethersphere”

    equals Protector of…

    But is she protecting something FROM the Nethersphere? Or is she protecting the Nethersphere from something else? The surreal-ness of her location suggests she’s working from WITHIN. Therefore she is protecting it.

    Generally speaking, it’s the bad guys you need protection from.

    ~ Therefore, Missy is a Good Guy. Collecting not foes of the Doctor, but allies. Her demented-looking behavior makes us ASSUME she’s a Bad Guy. But that is just Missy-direction.~~

    4) “Boyfriend”? And liking the “new” accent? And “I think I’ll keep it”.

    What if Missy is not real? What if she is an interface to the pocket universe? She takes on a corporeal form in order to communicate. (And mis-translates Arcadia to “Promised Land”)

    Note: The Doctor had several centuries on Trenzalor to try to communicate with the pocket universe through the crack. Missy was the channel. She formed a bond with him then. (She translates as “boyfriend”. And takes on some of his characteristics.)

    ~ To the Doctor, she is the “Missing Gallifrey”. Which he eventually shortened to “Missy”. ~~


    Anonymous @

    @Handles I believe, though I could be very wrong that NiS  to which you referenced in your post…was Nightmare in Silver? I think you said this was a Gattis write? I thought it was Gaiman? Could be wrong. Kindest, puro.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I can see my spoon theory is mostly disliked….. So I’m not going to put a stupid bet on like: ‘I’ll eat a spoon if that’s not a person!’
    I’m sure people are more concerned with what that is the Dr’s eating (looks like Polyfilla)…

    2+2=5… Come on. It’s Uri Geller, isn’t it?
    ‘Let’s all concentrate together. The spoon will begin to bend… Did you know I was very good friends with Michael Jackson? I still talk to him… on the other side…’


    Now – Is this image a clue or not…? (i.e. the Dr is Jesus, Clara is Mary…therefore…)

    Anonymous @

    You are right @Purofilion.   I thought it was the same writer because both episodes are so similar to me.  Both great stories, with some unexplainable mistakes that subtract from them or they would be near the top of my favorites list.  NiS was a great story, with my favorite version of the cybermen, the children getting invited onto the Tardis wasn’t explained.  Which is the same as the sonic and the arrow shot in RoS.   So I have to take it back about being a trend.  Sorry Mark Gatiss if you are reading my posts. 🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark

    In the end resistance has proved useless; or, to put it another way, after lurking here since the early days of this forum I have finally succumbed to the urge to comment.

    I will introduce myself properly in the appropriate place, but first, rather late in the day,  a few thoughts on RoS.

    On the whole I enjoyed this episode more than I expected to; it was daft and funny and well paced, with just enough going on beneath the surface to keep the mind focussed, though on second viewing it required a rather more strenuous effort to keep critical faculties suspended.

    Of course Robin Hood is as real as the Doctor, in a Hollywood fantasy of medieval England in which maidens are fair, buckles are swashed, and people swan around in colourful, generic ‘medieval’ costumes which appear to be inspired more by the styles of clothing worn in the 14th century than anything people in the late 12th century would have recognised. But the corollary is that the Doctor is as real as Robin Hood, and I am not sure I wish to be reminded of that while I am actually watching.

    On the subject of the golden arrow, its aerodynamic qualities or lack thereof, and the probability of such a missile being capable of piercing or even lodging in the hull of a spaceship, I will refrain from further comment.

    On a more general note, Peter Capaldi is so far fulfilling all my expectations and, insofar as I rank the incarnations in order of preference, he may well oust Patrick Troughton in my estimation.





    zeitgeis @zeitgeis

    @Handles, @barnable.  You write  The plot was also good. I thought it was a little strange that the main point was hoarding gold, but the sheriff was giving away a golden arrow for winning the archery contest? Although the arrow did provide a good ending for the story, IF ONLY the arrow had gone into the ship. :angry:

    The point of the arrow shot was not to add to the gold content of the ship.  That would hardly have worked since the gold comprised the circuitry of the ship.  I believe that they were trying to add additional momentum to the upward trajectory of the ship to put it out of range of Earth when it exploded, which Robin Hood, Clara, and the Doctor wanted to happen. Hence the arrow hit the ship and bounced off.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @brewski   Re: Clara knowing about the Doctor’s life on Gallifrey: One thought is that the Doctor could easily have made a random remark at some point that might have allowed Clara to guess that he came from a privileged background. The other possibility is that Robin could have interpreted her story about the Doctor’s identity in a medieval way. Certainly someone coming from a society like Gallifrey could be seen by a medieval human as “coming from wealth and power”.

    And I like your Missy theories.

    @zeitgeis    If asked, I would never categorize Dr. Who as a serious or dark show. It has serious and sometimes dark themes, but fundamentally it’s meant to entertain. Or maybe that’s just my perspective, coming to the new show as a BG fan, the show always moved back and forth between being more serious and more silly.

    @idiotsavon (and others)   I think the Doctor was competing, not for Clara, but to be right. He said there is no Robin Hood, dammit, there will be no Robin Hood! Also, this: perhaps he was competing more generally to be alpha male. Well, we have seen that the Doctor will even vie with himself for alpha male status, so yes, definitely, I would think. We have also seen past doctors sulking when things didn’t go their way (Four, Six, even Three as I recall). I too enjoyed the line “At last, something real.” His relief that there was something he could finally get to grips with.

    Lots of interesting stuff being said here about the Doctor’s relationship with Clara, and the Doctor’s moral centre, and so on. I think I will finally be able to get in a rewatch today, yay! So I will likely have more thoughts after that.

    tichborne @tichborne

    This doctor needs to see a doctor and i do believe i do to, as i have never been so bored in fact i thought i was dead when i started to watch this new series and as for mr capaldi at the helm and his companion it does not make for good television…infact its an insult to all who fans..listen to the masses bbc and get rid of these 2 before everyone switches off and you have to cancel the series yet again….

    Brewski @brewski


    Re: Clara knowing about the Doctor’s life on Gallifrey: One thought is that the Doctor could easily have made a random remark at some point that might have allowed Clara to guess that he came from a privileged background.

    Yes. And they make it clear that she was privy to a lot of stories (either directly from him or in some way from her experience in the time stream). Moreover, @phaseshift and @bluesqueakpip were both correct in that previous episodes have mentioned or at least hinted at a privileged background for the Doctor. Particularly in The Deadly Assassin, which I feel a little silly about because I actually just re-watched that episode just before the Christmas special. (I wanted to see if I remembered the dialog about the regeneration limit correctly.)

    And I like your Missy theories.

    Lol. Thanks. I was going for as out-there as possible. But I do think she may turn out to be good instead of bad. Just a gut feeling.



    Brewski @brewski

    Was just looking back and thinking over some of the vehemence in the feelings expressed about the golden arrow and the resolution with the ship. Not just here but in other fora.

    And honestly, I think it needs a little step-back-and-chill. We suspend our disbelief all the time, and never more so than in a light-hearted romp. So yes, I admit I did roll my eyes a bit when the arrow flew into the ship and quickly saved the day. But I am willing to bet I rolled them so little even Clara wouldn’t have noticed.

    And too, consider this: it is at least somewhat ambiguous about the exact reality in which these events took place. What if it WAS a miniscope, for instance? Or a Land of Fiction? Or the Matrix? Or…? The arguments about the science of the arrow will kind of fall apart.

    Or, to put it another way: “Cold Burning Star?! Give me a break!” 🙂


    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @serahni – I haven’t read it, and like @phaseshift have reservations as to whether the plotline actually helps anything, but I think the book you’re trying to remember reading is Lungbarrow by Marc Platt.

    It was part (or became part) of the Cartmel Masterplan.

    Now – after this attempt-to-be-heroic-whilst-feeling-that-I’ve-muddied-the-waters-as-lots-of-people-here-know-far-more-about-all-this-than-I-do, I’ll try and remember which bit of bonkers hasn’t already been covered (and I’ve agreed/nodded with so much here including your own!).

    Serahni @serahni

    @whisht  The book I’m talking about was a non-fiction, A3-sized hardback about Timelords.  🙂  It had a chapter on Susan, Romana I, Romana II, The Rani, The Master, Rassilon etc.  It will still exist at my parents’ house, it’s just a matter of whether it’s still on a bookshelf or out packed in a case in their shed.

    Serahni @serahni

    @brewski   Whilst I don’t begrudge them their version of fandom and I do realise that the show is lucky to have attracted the huge numbers it has, we do seem to have a new generation of fans who are expecting things of the show that they would find in others.  I am hugely, hugely tired of reading comments about which character should come back and how Tennant should play the Doctor again because, whilst I’m sure a lot of it is wishful thinking, some of it clearly isn’t.  They really do think that it ought to be feasible for things to be reset.  It also gets tiresome to read comments that are stereotypically negative without really offering any sort of logical attempt to justify.  I believe it is possible not to like elements of the show, of course it is.  There’s been a lot about the show over the years that I haven’t enjoyed.  But one thing I’ve always appreciated about these forums is that, for the most part, people are polite, respectful and informed.  If they don’t like something, it’s not because of some emotional dependency on a storyline that’s had its day that they try to dress up as valid criticism.  I know I’m being a bit grumpy about this but it irks me.  The very essence of Who is that the lead changes, that characters come and go.  If people want The Simpsons-style stagnation where characters exist in a bubble and carry on with very little change or development to their situation, then they should…well, watch The Simpsons.  (Which I also enjoy, I’m just pointing out the very different premises.)

    As for the remarks about the ending of this episode, they’ve either not seen a lot of Classic Who or they’re conveniently forgetting how often cheesy resolutions have been employed to wrap up a storyline.  Again, I feel this episode was really a very family-oriented one and a great addition for our younger fanbase, who deserve every bit as much enjoyment from the show as the adults who want it to meet their specific expectations week after week.  In their world, a golden arrow shot into the sky and miraculously saving the world sounds completely feasible, and why not?  It’s silly but I never got a sense that it was trying to be anything else.

    Whisht @whisht


    @serahni – I knew I’d be no help at all!
    ah well….

    I guess one observation (to make this comment rather more than “doh” 🙂 ) is that I’ve never seen the Doctor being ‘wrong’ so much (Dalek never being ‘good’ and especially in Robot of Sherwood in that lovely scene talking about how the radiation and the Robots ‘obviously’ created Robin as an opiate to quell the masses as the Sheriff is telling him how bad such an idea would be! Lovely scene!)

    Anonymous @

    @zeitgeis –  I never said that I thought the arrow shot was impossible, I just think it would have been easier to explain and more believable if it went inside the ship. Now based on the meaning of your name, I think (or hope I assume correctly) that you already know that I have to disagree with the upward momentum theory, which is clearly wrong.  But true to your name you have made me think on the subject longer to find an explanation.

     The point of the arrow shot was not to add to the gold content of the ship.  

    1.  The Doctor says, as the ship is taking off, “there’s not enough gold it will never make it into orbit.”
    2. Then the Doctor asks for the golden arrow specifically 
    3. Then he says “it might just be enough gold content to get the ship into orbit.”

     IMO, that is the Doctor talking about adding gold content to the ship.

     That would hardly have worked since the gold comprised the circuitry of the ship.

     I agreed with you on this point and that is why I wished the arrow had at least entered the ship through some opening. At least then it could have hit some circuitry.  But after thinking about it, that is not absolutely necessary.  Since, just getting the gold content within a certain proximity to the circuitry might have been all that was required.

     The arrow hit the ship and bounced off.

    I have watched it in slow motion and the arrow sticks into the bulls-eye of one of the engines, and that might have been close enough proximity to the circuitry, especially if the circuitry is located in the hull of the ship.

    After the arrow sticks, then a robot knight says “maximum power serge”. Then following a short delay the engines are shown firing up, to propel the rocket into orbit.

    My proficiency in physics in not high enough to calculate exactly what affect the arrow would have on the ship’s upward momentum. But I’m pretty sure it is much more unbelievable than the gold content proximity theory. I still would have preferred the arrow to enter the ship, but I can live with this explanation now.  No more complaint  🙂

    @mudlark – You saw the arrow stick in the hull of the ship.  I have to agree with you that would not really happen.  But they did set that possibility up earlier in the episode, when Robin hit the TARDIS with an arrow.  So I think it is fair to believe it happened to the ship too.

    Anonymous @

    eer people I don’t think it matters that the arrow added gold or…didn’t. It propelled the ‘star ship’ above the atmosphere? It exploded. Thinking more about this is a little passé? I’d reckon that theorising about plot arcs is entirely different from worrying about whether the arrow would go in, or stay out, of the ship. 🙂  This was for fandom & family viewing. It did that job brilliantly.

    Neither was it a (really) silly plot point -as per @pedant statement about Chekhov’s Gun. For a long time, I’ve been waiting for a hero who matches the Doctor: Riley and Ben Miller (latter as anti-hero) both did that.

    Kindest, puro.

    Anonymous @

    aah I forgot about the Dr Who Forum’s main guideline -bonkers theories. So, OK, then….

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Purofilion – I think there’s some kind of joke we’re not getting. One thought that vaguely occurs to me is that Gatiss was punning on computer power supply units – they’re often ‘Gold’ rated.

    The arrow’s a Gold PSU. Hence the power surge.

    Yes, I’ll get my coat. 🙂

    Brewski @brewski


    Whilst I don’t begrudge them their version of fandom and I do realise that the show is lucky to have attracted the huge numbers it has, we do seem to have a new generation of fans who are expecting things of the show that they would find in others.

    Sure. It is like you said, they’re still new-2-Who and haven’t gotten into the spirit of a show that is constantly evolving. (And has its ups and downs.)

    And I realize that bickering over little plot details is half the fun and admittedly do it myself. To a point. Particularly if it is a plot point that potentially makes or breaks the show.  And you get to hear such wonder, bonkers theories! 🙂  But, like in the case of RoS, the episode itself was just too fun and enjoyable for me too, to let it be “ruined” but a silly bit of fun at the end. Hence my vote for step-back-and-chill.

    I am hugely, hugely tired of reading comments about which character should come back and how Tennant should play the Doctor again because, whilst I’m sure a lot of it is wishful thinking, some of it clearly isn’t.

    Lol. Yes, it gets a little repetitious. But I have to plead guilty to some of it myself. Of course, for me I was just out of high school and there was (and had been) no other Doctor but Tom Baker. I passionately resented Peter Davison for not only stealing the role but for having the effrontery to destroy The Scarf!

    I recall only watching next week so I could get to the end of the episode and yell at the tv how much I hated him.

    Well… and then watch that next episode just in case it was all a dream and Tom was coming back.

    Then the next one to see how THAT story ended.

    And then another because…. well, even though I still refused to like Peter Davison, he was kind of funny and clever in a very different way.

    And the next one because… and the next… Well you get the point.

    I doubt my experience is very different from most fans. For a while you pick favorites. Then you lose count of your favorites and misplace your scorecard. And today I look back to the decision to have 5 unravel 4’s scarf and think: that was such a brilliant idea!

    Brewski @brewski

    Lol at @bluesqueakpip

    Gatiss was punning on computer power supply units – they’re often ‘Gold’ rated.

    The arrow’s a Gold PSU. Hence the power surge.

    Yes, I’ll get my coat

    Love it!

    Ok, I’m putting on my Bonkers Gloves now! :p

    The ship, being run by robots, was actually built on Cyberman Technology. The gold from the arrow got into the ventilation system and caused the power surge!

    Timeloop @timeloop

    Concerning the screwdriver (and also the arrow a bit):

    I think I remember that they (someone in the big DW machine) said not everything the Doctor does happens on screen. It helps with your imagination if you keep wondering what happened, making up solutions/stories. They (whoever they were) said it has been those stories that kept DW alive during the gap. So if missing bits/better solutions were just an production error or not, they surely made everyone think about it, inventing bits and pieces.

    I think I like that about DW, as do we all – the theorising that comes along with it. All I’m trying to say – Even though the arrow might be silly and the screwdriver should be returned, it makes DW in some ways what it is (I think I remember that the community found the giant wasp in 10’s time a bit awful too….).

    @wolfweed I can see that too. Might be due to production though? Poor chaps had no idea you would freeze the frame and analyze it. How did you see it in the first place? They would have pointed it out more clearly for the kids if it were important, don’t you think? Have there ever been so miniscule hints to a future story?

    Anonymous @

    @radox – Hello and welcome to the DWForum. I think your post might have got berried and over looked. Everyone here is real good about welcoming new arrivals. Just your luck you got me instead. 🙂

     I agreed with some of you opinions on the new doctor. I am really liking Capaldi as the Doctor so far, but it sounds like you are still warming up. Until that happens, you can always post on individual episodes for your favorite doctor. It is located under forums on the home page. And it helps sort out your ideas about specifics that you liked about one doctor that you wish Capaldi might also demonstrate. That is a good way to post on the Capaldi episodes without sounding like you are just bashing him (not that you sound like that now). It was a good first post.

     I can understand your cringe at the “here is my spoon” line. I didn’t cringe at that one, but I can definitely see 11 delivering that line much better (even 10 possibly). But it is a tough line to deliver and sound cool at the same time, I think. 🙂

     I cringed at the part where, Robin puts his arms out to do the trick move the Doctor did on him. I wish it didn’t switch to 12 at that moment, and he gives a nod as if to say “yeh I taught him that”. That’s my moment, so I can see your point.

     I also think that Capaldi is very good at his style of humor. Much funnier than I ever thought he would be. I think I laugh just as much for his doctor as for 11’s, but for different reasons. It is really good, IMO. You liked the prison banter (me too), but I also liked the banter between him and Clara from the previous episodes as well, which I think is similar banter (not quite as hard hitting though, except for Clara’s slap…Ha!).

     Hope you enjoy bonkers theorizing. Read through some of the posts and maybe you have one to add to the forum. Can’t wait to read it.


    @timeloop – great points about unexplained peices.  There would be nothing to bonkerize about if everything was already explained, like most shows.  Also, I’m glad you asked @wolfweed that question about the spoon, I keep forgetting to do it.  😆

    I do like you spoon theory @wolfweed, don’t know if it is true yet or not though.  I have an answer for what the Doctor was licking too – Pudding Brains  🙂

    Anonymous @

    @geoffers – I am in your camp on liking this episode.  I am down to one slight imperfection now, which is the sonic screwdriver.  But that has an explaination, since the Tardis can make a new one.  It is boring, but that’s not a deal breaker.  So, I definitely like this episode a lot. 

    I am not getting many new theory ideas from it yet though.  So I am waiting for more info from the next episode for that.

    I have a feeling that this episode was not a real place though.  The Doctor kept talking about the light being too bright and things like that.  So even though they made it seem like the Promised Land was a real place.  I am not sure yet.  So Missy Dino Theory still alive.   Apologies I haven’t done one of those this week.  🙂

    I wish I had your BG knowledge, it would help with theories if the SoN reminded me of the Master like he does for you.

    I will be watching to see if another robot gets captured by Missy, in that case Gretchen would almost have to be a robot too.  Like you said. 

    I’m all out of ideas for now, cheers…


    Arbutus @arbutus

    Thoughts after second viewing.

    I loved the humour in this. I think a lot of the dislike is down to people simply wanting a “serious” episode and this was not that. You could see the direction things were heading from Robin’s first appearance, with the little wink he gave the doctor just before the opening theme. Unlike some viewers, I never felt uncomfortable with Capaldi’s delivery of the humour, or with the positioning of this story so early in the series. There were some lines that I felt were flawlessly delivered.

    Robin, after Clara emerges from the TARDIS: “By all the saints… Are there any more in there?”
    The Doctor has had enough when his button is sliced off, and after he disposes of the irritation: “Like I said. My box.”
    The Doctor again: “I am totally against bantering.” (A judgement on some of his previous selves?)
    I loved him getting fed up and blowing up the target!
    The Doctor’s face when the arm came off: “Robot!… Now we’re getting somewhere!”
    The Doctor’s face when Robin uses his trick against the Sherriff. (@Barnable, I read this as more of an “Oh, well, maybe this guy isn’t so bad” kind of moment.)

    Regarding the Sheriff as robot, that was hard to catch. I think it was a mistake to leave it in after removing the critical scene that originally revealed it. Without knowing about the deleted scene I don’t think I would have understood the one brief line, and it actually didn’t matter to the story whether the Sheriff was part robot or not!

    “Perhaps others will be heroes in our name.” I loved this line. I have read that there were examples of later rebels or outlaws taking the name “Robin Hood” in order to tie themselves to the myth.

    @brewski, I had a similar thought about the arrow, and in general, the irritation that people often feel when the story isn’t scientifically accurate. This story was set in a perfectly lovely middle ages, in which as @mudlark pointed out, the costumes are completely wrong for the 12th century (nice first post, btw), and Alan a Dale played an instrument that would not have been seen in northern Europe for a couple hundred more years. I’m a medievalist and in a serious historical film this would certainly bug me. But I loved this. It wasn’t going for realism, it was meant to be a fairytale. As @serahni said, “It’s silly but I never got a sense that it was trying to be anything else.” And while I love medieval history, art, and music with a deep love, you just can’t beat a good sword fight and some swinging around on ropes!

    Regarding some general criticism to the effect that the Doctor has been “sidelined”, to me this is just part of the whole “Old Who” feel to this series. In the past, the Doctor wasn’t always front and centre the whole time. There were times when the companion(s) carried a lot of the action. This rarely felt like a problem to me then, and it doesn’t now.

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus  totally agree with you about ..everything. Can I be a wee bit irritated?? I generally get annoyed when people take things too seriously. I sort of imagine the producers and writers saying (upon reading screwy reviews): “heavens, that wasn’t the point: it was supposed to be funny”.

    I mean Clara and all the others wore what people assume was worn in this period; what people assume was played in this period of time (as you and I know) was not played. This was a fun story. Knowing Gattis and Moffat, if tried and true and absolutely accurate was needed -they’d do it. This wasn’t a serious film about Hennery the Eighth or about…. Cromwell. It wasn’t a doco about 11th century lute players and whether they wore buttons or hooks and eyes!  Jeepers. Anyway, I also loved those lines you picked: I’ve watched it 3 times now and I don’t know why! I just love it: I love the ropes, the tumbling Sherrif, the spoon and glove play and Marion’s kiss with Robin (sweeeet). Yes, her hair should be filthy and uncurled …but it’s a ..

    Kindest, puro.

    geoffers @geoffers

    @serahni – re: post 31376…

    beautifully said! and i agree with everything therein. might i add, to your final point, that the doctor and robin hood are co-heroes in this episode. so, how else would robin hood defeat a spaceship flying up into the air… than by shooting an arrow at it?! sure, the doctor might have come up with something completely different, on his own, or with more time, but what else could robin hood have done? 🙂

    @wolfweed – re: post 31361…

    it took a long, long time… but, i’ve finally seen a figure in that darned spoon! and it occurred to me while i was thinking about how this episode might fit into the overall timeline for twelve and clara. could it be… the war doctor?! i commented upstream that it was strange to me that clara addressed the doctor, specifically (when asking about his plan), as “last of the timelords.” we don’t know when twelve is drawn into the events of ‘the day of the doctor,” so perhaps this episode is before that? when he still believes he’s destroyed gallifrey?

    yes, it makes my brain hurt, in a timey-wimey way, but i get that frequently with this show!! but that silhouette is strikingly similar to the war doctor’s profile…

    Serahni @serahni

    @brewski  Don’t get me wrong!  As a kid and even a teenager, (and even a tiny bit now), I would get hugely attached to characters that I liked in anything I watched.  I remember watching Star Trek and being impatient for the episodes that featured my favourite characters more than others, and though my experience with Doctor Who growing up was disjointed because of the way it was aired when I finally got into it, I remember having favourites there too.  I do understand the feeling of disappointment and the longing for more.

    I was mostly referencing some of the comments I’ve been reading through other forums and social media where people seem to be honestly trying to suggest that the best thing for the show is for it to become something it isn’t.  I can’t help but draw a correlation between that attitude and the breed of fans who still seem to be stuck on Rose and the space romance aspect of her series.  I have even spoken one-on-one to someone, in their mid-20s, who openly admitted she’d like the show so much more if it just kept on being Tennant and Rose. That drives me bonkers.  So I suppose I should clarify that it’s not everyone with a heart full of wishful thinking that I was talking about; nostalgia gets us all!  It’s a very specific sub-section of the fandom that seem to have missed the point.

    I will also never speak out against bonkers theorising because I love it!


    geoffers @geoffers

    @handles – all you need to do to acquire my BG who knowledge is to binge watch the adventures of five, six, and seven, like i did this past summer!

    i’m still working my way through four, bit by bit. since his is the biggest to catch up on, in terms of sheer volume, i saved him for “last.” i may watch episodes, here and there, of one through three, but i don’t know if i can make it through all that older stuff. it seems more of a chore than a pleasure, most of the time…

    y’know… different era, different production values! maybe i should just read the synopses over on the tardis wiki? 🙂

    midnyt @midnyt


    There is a hand clearly visible a few frames earlier, but I maintain that that shadow is the arches.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    It’s the hand of the chair of Sutekh!

    (unless it’s a Dalek mutant from the 60s… or a snack-passing facehugger…)


    Thanks, @barnable for explaining that the Dr eats ‘pudding brains’…

    Anonymous @

    Just going back to the Christmas Special for the moment, I’m finding a few .. things. At the very end, Number 11 says “I’ll remember everything, every single day”. I’m noticing that in this new series, Clara is sounding very much like Doctor 11. At the end of our romp in Sherwood, she says to Robin: “Don’t give up, not ever, not for one single day”. It sort of echoes what she may have heard from the Dr with whom she travelled for so long.

    Also, I recall Doctor Smith riffing on the theme of “always being better than before; being the best you can be; be amazing.” Then Clara, before she leaves Robin says: “Always be amazing”. Interesting. Probably nothing in it but there’s a resonance from the past, at least.

    Kindest, puro.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I have just re-watched the story too and enjoyed it as much on second viewing as on the first. I suspect that this is one of those episodes that will merit many a re-watch in this household. I think a lightweight story was ideal at this point. It gave us more insight into the character of this new regeneration and made some meta comments upon his status as a Robin Hood style hero. There were enough hints and illusions to keep us bonkers theorisers busy for the week.

    This could not by any stretch been considered a Historical story. Merry England here is purely of the Hollywood kind, and I’m guessing that those who disliked the Errol Flynn Movie also disliked this episode. What I am really unsure is whether this means anything, ie it is a “fake world” or if it was just Mark Gattiss writing a fun story purely for entertainment purposes. I confess that, like the Doctor, I would prefer to find out later that Robin Hood is not real afterall.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    I get the impression that I may have come across as a trifle blue/gold boringers in my first post 🙁   if so, my apologies, it was not my intention. @handles @brewski @purofilion  I certainly did not mean to make a big deal of the golden arrow. Where Doctor Who is concerned I am and always have been perfectly prepared and able to believe any number of impossible things both before and after breakfast. But just occasionally there is something so counterfactual that it joggles the cable by which my disbelief is suspended, and this was one such moment. My first reaction was that gold, especially pure gold, is a very heavy, soft and malleable  metal, so an arrow made of it would be totally impractical as compared with a functional arrow with a wooden shaft, fletched with feathers and with a steel head, and if it could be made to fly any distance, would deform on impact and drop like a brick. But it is a very minor point, certainly not enough to spoil my enjoyment, and we can always postulate that the hasty application of a little timelord technology, plus the combined efforts of Robin Hood, the Doctor and Clara, rendered it aerodynamic and hardened the tip 🙂

    @arbutus  I agree with you entirely regarding the irrelevance of historical accuracy in the setting of this medieval romp; that was in part the point that I was trying to make. Like you, though, I find anachronisms and inaccuracies intensely irritating in historical dramas e.g. The Tudors,  The White Queen (shudder). I am an archaeologist with a sideline in social history rather than a medievalist per se, but the medieval period is one of my particular fields of interest.

    So no more nitpicking from me, I promise.

    Like many here I have been pondering the question of the robots’ Promised Land and the enigma that is Missy.  I get the feeling that robots might have a  culture and legendarium of their own, hidden from their designers and makers, and that the Promised Land, whether real or mythical, is a part of this – a sort of homeland where they will be free from control and their programmed imperatives.   Missy’s Promised Land/Paradise/Heaven is a virtual reality constructed on the basis of this tradition and its human -and perhaps other? – equivalents.  If it is a virtual reality then within it Missy could be presenting herself in her own image, like Vastra in the setting of the conference call in Name of the Doctor, or an avatar concealing her real identity.  My assumption at the moment is that she is ‘saving’ people/mostly-human-rubbish-robots just before the moment of their death, in the way that CAL saved people in the Library.

    Whatever or whoever she is she is not so much stalking the Doctor as present in his life, looking over his shoulder, and appears to have been so for some time. I don’t think that the choice of the garden from The Girl Who Waited as a setting in her ‘heaven’ is coincidental, and she would have to be very close indeed to the action to have ‘saved’ half-faced man and the girl whose name escapes me at present (temporary attack of nominal aphasia aka senior moment).  My best guess at the moment is that she represents some aspect of the Tardis who has, after all, experienced temporary incorporation in the body of a woman. If so she might well be mischievous and her motives obscure, but certainly not evil.  I can, however, see the flaws in this hypothesis.






    So no more nitpicking from me, I promise.

    This promise will be broken in 3,2,1……   (Don’t fight it – resistance is futile)

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @pedant  How dare you, sir, doubt my word as a gentlewoman. Name your friends and it’s spoons at dawn!

    I should make it clear, however, that the promise only holds good for this thread, but if I do pick nits in future I will try to restrict myself to gigantic nits, on the scale of the dinosaur in Deep Breath in relation to a normal T Rex.

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