S33 (7) 11 – Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

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    Craig @craig

    Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

    What secrets await the Doctor and Clara inside the TARDIS? It has crashed, Clara is lost, and the Doctor has 30 minutes before it explodes!

    P.S. Just posting this early as I’m flying to Florida on Saturday (for work though, unfortunately). Will be there in time to check it out on BBC America though! 😀

    Lula @lula

    @craig  Hope you’re able to watch tonight–you know, 5 hours after everyone else has seen it, aka WELCOME TO AMERICA! And Florida–which has a high of 86 degrees (or 30 C) today.

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    Yes, well….Outstanding. Cracking idea and, actually, fantastic on many levels. Exciting, surprising and chock full of clues…there are holes, but they scarcely matter. It’s thrilling from start to finish

    Clara – extraordinary. Utterly mesmerising. (Her dress reminded me of Victoria’s in Tomb of the Cybermen). The interactions now between Clara and the Doctor, the hand-holding and the hugs – they are starting to look like family, even if they don’t know it. Not lovers, family.

    Liked the three guest stars, particularly the one who thought he was an Android.

    I don’t think I have ever seen Smith better in the role than he is in this episode. Really an outstanding turn from him ( Don’t get excited you “add an S people”…)

    Much there deliberately to excite fans –  open the console and hear the TARDIS memories (Susan’s first explanation of TARDIS,  Pertwee’s voice, Leela’s wonderful “that’s silly” to Tom  Baker in Robots of Death and his outraged response,  Ecclestone, Tennant and Donna, Ian Chesterton’s  remarkable speech as he came to understand what he and Barbara had stumbled  on – there are more but these were all these aged ears could get), the swimming pool, the Library in which there is a History of the Time War ( and quite who wrote that? And this is where his real name is written? It’s such a secret but its written down?), the Eye of Harmony, Melody’s cot,  a toy TARDIS (an in-joke or a clue?), Tom Baker’s magnifying glass, another umbrella,  all good texture –  and fun.

    The Doctor is wearing a fob watch…

    So many extraordinary moments:

    “Right behind those doors is the salvage of a lifetime” – ” you meant the Ship, I meant Clara”. So he knows she is going to salvage (save) his lifetime?

    “Come on Clara…talk to me” The Doctor says this when he has just made the air in the TARDIS breathable again – does he expect her to contact him telepathically?

    “Whatever machine you require, this system will build it” – inside theTARDIS. Bet that power will come in handy before the Anniversary Special is over…

    “The TARDIS is leaking… recent history. But it’s not real, it’s a memory” seems pretty clear, then, that the TARDIS is capable of archiving the Doctor’s past and present and rebooting him when necessary, if necessary. And the TARDIS can create anything to serve a needed purpose. Like Clara?

    “You did this to me, just so you could be the captain of a piece of junk” – sounds like something which might be said to the Doctor…

    “Secrets protect us, secrets make us safe.” “We’re not safe!”

    “You won’t go looking for my name”. A chilling moment. What will the Doctor do to people who do go looking?

    The extraordinary “What are you?” scene – terrific work from them both. Clara does not know what she is and neither does the Doctor. It seems.

    I chuckled at ” Ten being “woo-hoo” and One being “aarrgghh “- foreshadowing a return of Tennant and the Hartnell Doctor? As I have said before, 1 plus 10 equals 11…

    A couple of niggles. How did the Doctor come to be outside the TARDIS at the beginning, after the crash? Why did the burn mark on Clara’s hand take time to appear? What, exactly, happened to the pole which pierced the body of the pretend Android? If it was removed,surely his blood loss would have been overwhelming? There are too many questions about him – seriously, how could a human really believe they were an Android just because someone says so? (Especially, if he is the smart one…) Anyway…

    Once again the idea for the ultimate solution was a gentle push from Clara: she was the one to first mention the need for a big red button. She planted the idea in the Doctor’s mind and the TARDIS and the Dr ran with it.

    Also interesting was Clara’s remark about the Doctor being the kind of man who needs his mother to approve of the girls he takes out – mothers again. Is that a reference to the Doctor’s mother approving of the TARDIS?

    But most interesting of all, change something in a person’s timeline and you can rewrite their history…

    And next week looks…everything Doctor Who should be. Can’t wait!

    Right, now to watch it again and read your posts and see what I have missed…

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I thought the TARDIS got caught in an unescapable contradiction & exploded…

    However it was just the electricity (& therefor my tv) going off. Grrrr! mad

    I can’t really comment until I see the middle!

    Wayne1357 @wayne1357

    Hi. New here. Loved this, fave of series thus far.

    “My ship my rules”

    Thought the time zombies were regeneration detritus at first.



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Glad you made it for the episode. I must admit I had a few distractions and so couldn’t pick up some of the audio references you managed. I did enjoy Ian’s voice in the mix. Lovely to tie in with the notion of an echo console room.

    I really enjoyed that. The B story of the brothers was slight, but it really did build on the Doctor/Clara relationship.

    I think I may need a thorough rewatch in a while when it’s a bit quieter.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Welcome @wayne1357, make yourself at home – we usually start off slow, but we gain momentum!

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    loved that.

    ‘Never follow a mad man onto a spaceship’ (or something like that). He really should get that tattooed on his forehead.

    @htpbdet, agree, both Clara and the Doctor were brilliantly played in this episode.

    I loved the ‘attic’ like room, incidentally filled with things that would work as currency at the market in TROA. Nice to know he’s a bit of a hoarder. And I loved the library. I want that library. Interesting that ‘The History of the Time War’ was written and printed in a book, but the ‘encyclopaedia Galifray’ (I think it was) was recorded in jars… does that mean the ‘history’ has a human origin?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @htpbdet wow I’m very impressed by all the Who call-backs you spotted! Lovely – I will listen out for those on a re-watch.

    I’ve just reviewed the ep over on Dan’s blog.

    I think my theory that Vincent’s painting showed three exploding TARDISes is still on the go – what if the almost exploding TARDIS of The Eleventh Hour, the exploding TARDIS of The Big Bang and the exploding/ not exploding TARDIS of Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS are all, somehow, folded together in the space-time continuum?

    As I said on Dan’s blog, the Doctor’s reach through a crack in the TARDIS with the reset grenade here called-back, at least for me, his reach through the crack in time in the Silurian two-parter (just before Rory died and was erased from time) when he pulled out… a piece of the exploded TARDIS.

    Cloister bell, mirrored realities/ time-streams/ darkening Doctor – all check!



    wolfweed @wolfweed

    The Dr tells Clara that the reset will make her forget (about) his name. However Gregor remembers about a bit of kindness because the Dr tells him to.

    (I’m sure it’s been theorised before but…)  Suppose the Dr will forget his name but Clara will remember it? 

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    However Gregor remembers about a bit of kindness because the Dr tells him to.

    It’s funny, because I got the feeling at the end that the Doctor asking her “if she felt safe” was to indicate he had some sort of memories of the events and was testing her. The Gregor scene then seemed to re-inforce that trace memories of those events had survived somehow.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Wow. Just. WOW!


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I have to say, I actually thought at one point that my theory that Clara was a construct of the Tardis was going to come true. First the explanation of the reconfiguration device (a machine that builds machines) and the scan of the “Zombie” reading “Lancashire, South”. I thought – partly built Clara’s!!!

    Unfortunately, I had to abandon “smug-face”. 😳

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Any (conspiracy theory) thoughts about the Doctor who couldn’t see or hear Clara? 

    (As in: He’s the Real Doctor imprisoned…)

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Oh and so music heads < ropes in @whisht in fishnet> what was the tune playing in the TARDIS towards the end? Another musical pass-key methinks.

    Bring it on Professor Song!

    Anonymous @

    That was great. Need a couple of rewatches for full cogitation (good word, cogitation), but first off:

    Welcome back, @htpbdet. Glad you’re back with us and hope you’re feeling well. Love your ‘salvage of a lifetime’ idea. I’m rapidly suspecting that the surprise regeneration of this year will actually be Clara with Eleven going to the dark side, but we’ll see how it goes…

    The general concept reminded me a lot of Firefly — with the Our Mrs Reynolds episode being a particular influence. It was a shame a little more time hadn’t been spent creating some snappier dialogue for the brothers. For siblings there wasn’t that much zing or banter between them and that would have given their story on board the TARDIS that much more of a punch. As it was, it ended up being more reminiscent of Whedon’s Alien Resurrection, which isn’t quite so praiseworthy.

    Loved the leaking voices from the console. Loved the library. It would have been nice to see some other kisses to the past though. Some past console rooms would have been nice — although I realise probably prohibitively expensive to realise. I had personally been hoping to see the old Hartnell food dispenser at the very least.

    @wolfweed — Looks like it is the actual Eye of Harmony after all then. Uncle Terrance will be spluttering with rage. I’m now inclined to think that ‘the Eye of Harmony’ is just a poncey, Time-Lord way of saying ‘a generator’.

    Anonymous @

    Also can we assume the TARDIS can build other TARDISes then? Or would it need to Eye of Harmonies to power them even if it could…

    Oh, and The Cult… uurghh….

    Galactus @galactus

    Going to have to watch that again. So much going on.

    So, can things learned be truly unlearned? Clara is the Impossible Girl who keeps reappearing in time. Will resetting time back one day really undo what she’s learned? At the end, she says ‘I’m exhausted’. The Doctor replies something like ‘well we have just lived through two days in one’. This implies that echoes of their time in the TARDIS’ innards remains. Why would you be physically exhausted if you haven’t actually been through that extra time?

    So we now have two people , Clara and River, who, at some point in possible timelines, know the Doctor’s true name and who will be there for the season closer. So who will reveal it? Will they even reveal it, or is The Name of the Doctor a big tease? Why, exactly, is it such an important secret (this, more than any other, is the question that has me thinking about this far more than is healthly). The ‘Silence will fall’ line about the revealing of the Doctor’s name makes me think that perhaps they had a role in the Time War. Something instigated by the Doctor, and this is why the revealing of the Doctor’s name is so bound up with their fate.


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    It was The Cult (I did explain the “Goth” thing didn’t I) although technically in their “Cock-rocker” phase. The track is called “Fire Woman” – links to phoenix?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Was it just me, or did Clara seem to recognise the name? Going back to the speculation on the last thread is his name ……… MERLIN!

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @jimthefish – All I know is this is An Eye of Harmony. Maybe the Dr made it? Ask uncle Tel… 

    Anonymous @

    So, can things learned be truly unlearned?

    @galactus — well, didn’t the Doctor in The Big Bang say that anything can be remembered and brought back — and this is essentially what saves him in that story. So, I’m guessing that there are going to be echoes of the events of this episode that are going to return to Clara.

    I still don’t get how the Doctor’s name is going to be such a big deal. After all this build-up it better do something like open a Time Lock or something, or reveal that he isn’t actually the Doctor or something. If it just turns out that he’s called Wilbraham then I’m going to sorely disappointed…

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @phaseshift and @jimthefish – ahhh thanks for the music ref – The Cult’s “Fire Woman” huh ? Yes, definite phoenix reference.

    The lyrics are about burning desire (presumably) but like @htpbdet I got a “Clara is family” vibe this week. Some of the lines do refer to a “little sister” (albeit in the song that’s a figure of speech):

    My heart’s a ball of burnin’ flame
    Oh, yes it is
    Trancing like a cat on a hot tin shack
    Lord, have mercy
    Come on little sister
    Come on and shake it


    Did anyone else think the salvage team with one supposed android was a call-out to Red Dwarf?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Did anyone else think the salvage team with one supposed android was a call-out to Red Dwarf?

    Twist my nipple-nuts and send me to Alasks (but not the starship) – you could be right! 🙂

    You know, I think MERLIN could work – perhaps that’s why John Hurt is in the 50th anniversary episode?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    As I’ve just pointed out on t’other place, the brothers didn’t just remember, time had in fact been changed. The photo changed to include all three brothers.

    Yes, @phaseshift, I thought Clara recognised the name as well. She started to say: ‘So that’s who he is.’ So either his name is known in Earth’s mythology or she somehow knows it already.

    Galactus @galactus

    <a title="@jimthefish” href=”http://www.thedoctorwhoforum.com/members/jimthefish/”>@jimthefish I’m not sure it’s the Doctor’s name per se that’s so important. I still don’t think we’re actually going to hear it. I think it’s what its revealing will say about his role in the Time War. Tonight’s epsiode suggests it’s something he really really doesn’t want anyone to find out. So what could possibly be worse than what we already know, that he was responsible for the genocide of two races to end the War? Dark Doctor, dark dark Doctor. Again, I think it’s something to do with The Silence. Mind you, I am a bit obsessed with the ‘Silence will fall’ line. And I’m sure there was a glimpse of them in the trailers for the series.

    Having said that, I’ve just read this.

    Galactus @galactus

    Whoops. That post didn’t go according to plan.

    Anonymous @

    Some initial thoughts from a Nu-bie (non-Classic Dr Who knowledgeable person):

    Scarier than Hide.  Much so.  And far too frantic to keep up with.  Thank goodness for iPlayer!

    But, after all the re-booted companions I’ve seen, I did so much want Clara to ask the ‘scary monster’ “But what do you want? Why are you here? How can I help you?”  Knowing later that it’s herself mitigates that somewhat, but still makes Clara quite different to everyone who came before her (post re-boot) as a companion.

    Anonymous @

    @galactus — yes, I can’t really imagine what was so awful that he’d want it covered up. We already knew he ended the Time War by ostensibly betraying his own people. Unless he also started the Time War. Could it be the end result of the long and bitter war that Madame Kovarian and Col Runaway were waging…

    Whisht @whisht

    y’know, if you have a Tardis that is ‘infinite’ then there might be a single Eye of Harmony that all Tardises can have ‘within’ them, in much the same way as different rooms having a window on the same sun.

    It being a Tardis its a bit more 4D and so appears ‘in’ the Tardis but is a single sun; a bit like the eye of the storm.

    ah well….

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    ‘And lo, using ‘The Moment’, Plutar the TARDIS Engineer (now called ‘The Doctor’, the current ‘Chronal Custodian’) trapped the Skaro Degredations, The Daleks, the Timelords, et all; into a looped death within the TimeLock… 

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    Oh, My! That was a feast. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. It was utterly …. science..and magic! A star burning inside the TARDIS. Mind. Blown.

    I know many here get a sibling vibe from these two, but I get newly “married” couple, who feel at ease with one another and don’t bicker (like the “old” married couple of River and the Doctor). However, I am happy to be proven wrong on that note, as long as they stay friends and travel together. I so enjoy watching them, and want to see them have many adventures together!

    Anonymous @

    @galactus — re. that link, I refer you to Rule 1. (Moffatt lies.)

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    OH!! What was that reference she made to stories…and how the good guys don’t have zombies?? Clara made an explicit reference that indicated, to me, her confusion in how the story was being written, as though she believes or views their time together as a ‘story’. Anyone else get that?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Alas, I didn’t like it. Much good material for theorising, good acting work by the two leads, crappy acting work by the three guests and WHO is that poor woman doing the voice overs for the computers? Because if it isn’t Jenna-Louise Coleman, there’s some poor voice-over artist who’s not getting credited.

    Plot good – I suspect its job was to remind small audience members that time can be rewritten. TARDIS interior good. Interesting that the encyclopaedia bottle was referring to ‘children’ and ‘child’ and that we saw the cot again.

    As a whole, however, it left me cold. 🙁

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @juniperfish– yes, I thought that from the start of the episode. (Though in Red Dwarf they would have played the whole ‘we told you you were an android cos we were bored’ more for laughs, I think, whereas here it was basically a guilty panicked lie to cover up the truth.)

    @galactus– interesting that she was exhausted. Reminded me of TBOSJ, when she asked him why they had gone to tomorrow and he said it was because ‘they’ had spent the whole night looking for them, and are you tried? and she said yes. Probably not significant.

    You’re right that the memory stuff probably is. There has been a lot about memory so far, not just in this series, but generally under the Moff.  The concept of The Silence, Amy remembering Rory, memories-stories-soul, the Doctor constantly saying something along the lines of ‘this is new’ in the first half of this series, the second half’s focus on ‘remember’.

    I keep thinking of the human memory as being like a computer. If you erase something, even if you remove it from the recycle bin it can be recovered.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Nice to see ‘Smiths’ written on that key…

    ‘Dammit!’  The Doctor swears!!!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @wolfweed – Yes, it’s clear that he’s finally managed to move the TARDIS translation circuit from ‘U’ rating to ‘PG’.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Nice one, @bluesqueakpip  


    I for one would like to imbibe the Gallifreyan Encyclopedia, then skim read ‘The History of the Time War’…

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Well a re-watch is proving exciting!

    @bluesqueakpip what do you make of the numbers 0989 which we see near the start of the episode as a sort of serial number inside the brothers’ salvage ship?

    Also, more dalekisation/ Dalek-Clara POV when we see through Tricky’s cyborg eye-implant (again near the start of the episode) – dalek eyestalk vision anyone?

    @htpbdet noted that in Clara’s tour of the damaged TARDIS we see the Doctor’s old Gallifreyan cot with its mobile, “the Doctor’s first stars”:

    Melody’s cot, a toy TARDIS (an in-joke or a clue?)

    The “toy TARDIS” is, in fact, the one we see in Let’s Kill Hitler which Amy made as a child and which Mels throws into the air in a lovely shot which then shifts into the actual TARDIS in-flight. So, this is a very strong suggestion that Clara is a Pond in my view – River and the Doctor’s child?

    Woo-hoo …

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Just think – If all those Circuit-Egg-Thingies can become any machine, then the Dr could make them into a fleet of Battle-TARDISes & take over the Multiverse…



    So what was the piece of paper/ parchment that fell onto the console right at the end?

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    Oh yeah – I wondered aboot that!

    Catnip or Goose-Chase?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @wolfweed – off topic, but what image are you using at the end of your paragraphs? (I’m guessing a smiley) It’s not showing up on my screen.

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    No no no! Ok even just “an” eye of harmony being in the tardis is hugely problematic. Otherwise the premise of a Deadly Assassin is trashed – anyone needing a new regeneration cycle just needs to take a wander down to the heart of any tardis, and the Master, as we know, has one of his very own. And the eye can hardly be lost in time to the point of being considered a myth if engineers are merrily fitting them on the tardis production line. And without deadly assassin you have no premise for keeper of traken, no logopolis, no destruction of most of the universe in heat death … and no 4th regeneration. These are not minor continuity problems! Argh!

    I was way off with my shada idea. I quite like the charred echos from their future – very macabre – but why would being horribly burnt turn you homicidal?

    Interestingly we’ve been wondering how Clara can seem to intuit solutions – well Gregor at the end implies the mechanism: a some point coming up, if time is majorly rewritten (I’ve suggested elsewhere right back 50 years) it will leave Clara with a vague feeling of what needs to be done when retreading her story again (And a feeling what the doc is called and presumably what he did in the time war, of course!).

    But what’s interesting is Gregor remembers because the doctor told him to, Clara says that she wants to remember as he steps into the rift and of course Clara pivotal instruction to the doctor is “remember” – this all lays the groundwork for it to be her last words to him before the upcoming reboot…

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Oh My!

    Just about recovered enough to string a sentence, or 2, together!

    That was DARK. Incredibly dark.

    The Tardis killing one of the brothers??! Or at least making him fall from a great height. She’s dangerous when cornered. I kept thinking this feels like rape the way the brothers clumped about and started stripping off the consul.  Worse than just burglars breaking in.

    The burning monsters were them! So they’ve all (inc the Dr) died horribly at least once – and the Dr implies that it may have been more than once, before Clara manages to catch the Big Friendly Button.

    “Android” brother – how evil a plan is that? As mentioned above, Red Dwarf could’ve used this but would have played it for laughs. But this was played for the horror that it is, the ultimate bullying. He’s had bits replaced – eyes, voice box, and has no memories – and his brothers exploit him for all they’re worth. Because they were jealous when he was the smart one and their father’s favourite. (And yes agree, Clara as almost-dalek who beleives she’s human vs real man who believes he’s a machine)

    Dark and deep

    And many many multiples and mirrors and echoes.

    And Clara’s wearing blue in the last scene.


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @bluesqueakpip  Thought I’d wangled the Smiley thing but I should probably give up! I can see them! They’re nice smileys – honest!  🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb



    Sep 89? Battlefield was screening throughout Sept. Back to Caliburn again?

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @pedant @wolfweed yes to the parchment – I nearly threw a cushion at the screen when he didn’t even seem to notice it!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    what do you make of the numbers 0989

    @juniperfish – A89//0989

    Battlefield, the first serial of the final series of Classic Who. Shown in September 1989, shortly after the production team had become aware that there wasn’t going to be another series.

    Its production code was actually 7N, but I’d take A89 as ‘first story of the 1989 season’. Dunno if it’s a meta-reference to the scrap ship coming in to scrap the TARDIS (no TARDIS, no show) or if it’s a reference to Battlefield’s Arthurian vibe and The-Doctor-As-Merlin.

    It was also the last Who story to feature Nicholas Courtney.

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