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

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    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @scaryb and @juniperfish , it’s A89 /0989 First thing I wondered about was a cypher.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    why would being horribly burnt turn you homicidal?

    @haveyoufedthefish – I wondered that as well, but then I thought that maybe, in their ‘cooked brains’ (ie zombie) state, they thought they had to stop themselves from going into the Eye of Harmony? So if they killed themselves that would stop the time loop?

    I wonder how many times they’d gone round the time loop? Clara seemed to know the monsters were zombies, and the Doctor had tried throwing the reset button through before… plus it would explain how she could find the right page in that book so quickly. 🙂


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    ”I hate good Wizards in Fairy tales. They always turn out to be him.”

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    Is Clara the first companion he’s taught to ‘drive’ the TARDIS?? I remember Amy making a big deal about the Doctor never letting her ‘have a go.’

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ardaraith Question is, are these episodes in order? Last week we see Clara trying to drive the TARDIS, and this week the Doctor is showing her how.

    Which way round? He’s showing her how because he now knows that – in an emergency – she’ll damn well try, or she tried last week because she’d already had a few lessons?

    River was mainly taught by the TARDIS herself, as I recall, since she is in a sense the TARDIS’s ‘daughter’.


    ScaryB @scaryb

    @haveyoufedthefish Eye of Harmony… Maybe it was moved as a result of the Time War – or there was a backup version on the TL soundcloud? (new development post Master running out of regenerations?) Or the Doctor’s Tardis kidnapped it?

    Loved the library and the encyclopoedias as liquid. What happens when it gets spilt though?


    davemorris316 @davemorris316

    I didn’t think it was parchment, it was a duster the Doctor was using, them he flicked it at te console after talking to Clara. ….

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it, but thanks for confirming my original impression on Clara recognising the name.

    IF it is revealed, I can’t help but think it will be mythology OR a figure associated with learning and Doctors.

    I think that’s why I was drawn to the Hippocratic Oath, some of the wording “throughout time” and “swear falsely” just had echoes.

    It would be interesting if it was something like Hippocrates or Galen (@janneteB will love that being a Babylon 5 Univerise fan).

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @scaryb @bluesqueakpip Oh – fantastic on the numerology decoding – so the metanarrative by numbers continues apace!

    @haveyoufedthefish Huh – I didn’t register the name “Gregor” the first time around but now I see you mention it, it puts me in mind of Kafka’s story “Metamporphosis” (on which Cronenberg’s “The Fly” is based) – in which a person is slowly transformed into a monster……..  Doctor dalekisation parallel ahoy!

    Oh and the Doctor’s explanation for the two “realities” in the TARDIS console room whereby Clara is trapped in one and the Doctor is in the other (which riffs on the two time-streams of The Girl Who Waited)?

    “It’s like a light switch, two positions, flickering together at super-infinite speeds, running together for a brief second…”

    So perhaps the expanding universe (red shift) and contracting universe (blue shift) radiating out from The Big Bang of the TARDIS collisions are in  simultaneous inter-collision in the overall three season arc, which fits with the theme of death and rebirth, both on Osiris / Isis mythological and Dr. Who the show metanarrative levels?

    Seems as if the Time War and The Big Bang are connected somehow too…

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bluesqueakpip Re Clara flying the Tardis – I don’t think she did fly it last week. She appealed to the Tardis to let her in to go and rescue the Dr but I thought the Tardis was on auto-pilot or self drive then. You never see Clara pushing any buttons that I remember. Which is not to say that these episodes are in the “right” order – could this be the point of origin of the other Claras?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @scaryb – I think the TARDIS can’t fly without a pre-programmed course or a pilot on board (is that canon?). So the Doctor has a pre-programmed ‘take Companion home’ program if he dies and the Companion survives, and he can program the HADS – but the TARDIS can’t fly herself without somebody on board.

    Yes, Clara would have had difficulty pushing anything – she seemed to be upside down at one point. Rough ride. But it’s interesting that the TARDIS recognised her as someone allowed to pilot her, even if she doesn’t like her.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    “It’s like a light switch, two positions, flickering together at super-infinite speeds, running together for a brief second…”

    Yeah, I picked up on that line too.  Lots of lines in fact, need a rewatch.

    @htpbdet great to see you back in kick-ass form!

    @bluesqueakpip great numero analysis as ever (Tardis in the skip, LOL). Sorry you didn’t like it. I was on edge of sofa, chewing fingernails! At one point I was worried they were seriously going to ditch the Tardis (wasn’t worried about Clara, LOL!). Loved the design, tho there were some seriously daleky-looking doors and corridors.

    Paraphrasing the Dr’s line (when he gets to the heart and realises how serious it is – All these years, she’s always looked after me…

    Matt just brilliant throughout


    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    Continuity boo boo – “big friendly button” is written in a completely different way on the grenade and Claras hand – different justification, line spacing and alignment.

    Also worth pointing out that as a plot point it borrows from 2 different star trek tng episodes IMHO (albeit, both great ones)

    Also @wolfweed @pedant @scaryb – theres no parchment at the end, it’s just the rag the doctor was holding – he tosses it over his head and briefly out of shot then it falls on the console. Sorry!

    Also, again I noted that when the doc says “anything could happen (with me)” there’s more than a hint of flirting in her reply! Their relationship is absolutely bordering on romantic rather than familial, though to be fair, it could be Clara mistaking his obvious fascination with her as infatuation.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I see Clara as a sort of parallel of (The New) Eye of Harmony. A dying Star suspended at the point of collapse (to create energy to power the ship).

    I think I imbibed too much in the Library…

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    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

    If it’s any help, my thinking on this whole “Eye of Harmony” issue is that The TARDIS must have it’s own independent source of energy from Gallifrey. In “The Three Doctors” the Timelords energy is being drained. The only operative in play is The Doctor, with his TARDIS, which still works. After the movie, I just rationalised (ie “Made Up”) that the original Eye powered Gallifrey and gave them their first opportunity for Time Travel. The development of the TARDIS required each to have a similar core.

    The point of the Master attempting to nick the Eye on Gallifrey was to gain his regenerations AND kill the Doctor and Timelords in a massive act of revenge. Plus – using his own TARDIS core to do what he wanted would have left him a bit lost for transport.

    It works for me! 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bluesqueakpip Agree, it looked like a bumpy ride. Maybe teh Tardis has something like the translation circuit which transfers knowledge of how to fly her in emergencies. (It might be only a short term thing or something that can be switched off).

    And how much does the Dr remember? He knew what the fire monsters were, knew that they had all been through the scene in the engine room(?) at least once before.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Clara’s hand wound is interesting. It starts off as a deep cut (no blood). Only later does the lettering appear, and only gradually. How many Claras have been running about here/how many times do they fail to reset/turn back time?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @haveyoufedthefish – it might be a continuity boo-boo caused by the difficulty of copying the lettering exactly using make-up 🙂 Or it might be a hint that the message on Clara’s hand was from the first time the Doctor threw the remote through the crack, and the lettering we saw was from the second time – when he took it through himself.

    Two ghost control rooms, two brothers with the same surname – and hidden in plain sight; a third brother, a third (real) control room. Last week we had a ‘ghost’ and two ‘monsters’.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @bluesqueakpip – re the TARDIS liking Clara: If Clara is related to (or a *cough* child of *cough*) River, and River is, in a sense, the child of the TARDIS, wouldn’t the TARDIS like Clara? I wonder… She said the Doctor was like a guy who needed his Mother’s approval, and it is clearly Clara that the ‘Mother’ needs to approve of.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    As we had a book called “The History of the Time War”, I thought this might be interesting for our overseas or newer viewers. What Russel T. recorded of the TimeWar. I know @juniperfish enjoyed it in Series 5, and though it worth posting here (long, but scroll over if of no interest).

    Meet The Doctor

    When the Doctor came to Earth – to track down the Nestene Consciousness and its plastic servants, the Autons – he had no intention of finding a human companion. He’d had fellow travellers alongside him before, of course, and most of them human. His favourite species! But that was in the old days, when the universe seemed young and fresh and more inclined to friendly gestures.

    The universe, since then, had changed. At least for the Doctor.

    There had been a War, the Great Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords. There had been two Time Wars before this – the skirmish between the Halldons and the Eternals, and then the brutal slaughter of the Omnicraven Uprising – and on both occasions, the Doctor’s people had stepped in to settle the matter. The Time Lords had a policy of nin-interference in the affairs of the universe, but on a higher level, in affairs of the Time Vortex, they assumed discreetly the role of protectors. They were the self-appointed keepers of the peace. Until forced to fight.

    Now, the story of the Great (and final) Time War is hard to piece together, because so little survived. Certainly, both had been testing each others strength for many, many years. The Daleks had threatened the Time Lord High Council before, by trying to replace its members with Dalek duplicates. And one of the Dalek Puppet Emperors had openly declared his hostility. Though perhaps the Daleks’ wrath was justifiable – they had been provoked! At one point in their history, the Time Lords had actually sent the Doctor back in time, to prevent the creation of the Daleks. An act of genocide! The Time Lords fired the first shot – though in their defence, they took this course of action because they had foreseen a time when the Daleks would overrun all civilized life and become the dominant life-form in the universe.

    Some tried to find a peaceful solution. While it’s hard to find precise records of these events, it’s said that under the Act of Master Restitution, President Romana opened a peace treaty with the Daleks. Others claim that the Etra Prime Incident began the escalation of events. But whatever the cause – and its almost certain that the full story has yet to be uncovered – the terrible War began. The Time Lords reached back into their own history, to assemble a fleet of Bowships, Black Hole Carriers and N-Forms; the Daleks unleashed the full might of the Deathsmiths of Goth, and launched an awesome fleet into the Vortex, led by the Emperor himself.

    The War raged, but for most species in the universe, life continued as normal. The War was fought in the Vortex, and beyond that, in the Ultimate Void, beyond the eyes and ears of ordinary creatures. The Lesser Species lived in ignorance. If a planet found its history subtle changing – perhaps distorting and rewriting itself under the pressures of the rupturing Vortex – then its people were part of that change, and perceived nothing to be wrong. Only the Higher Species – those further up the evolutionary ladder – saw what was happening. The Forest of Cheem gazed upon the bloodshed, and wept. The Nestene Consciousness lost all of its planets, and found itself mutating under temporal stress. The Greater Animus perished and its Carsenome Walls fell into dust. And it is said that the Eternals themselves watched, and despaired of this reality, and fled their hallowed halls, never to be seen again…

    Years passed, as the mighty armies clashed. And then, silence. No one knows exactly what happened in the final battle. And no one knows how it came to end. All that is known is that one man strode from the wreckage, one man walked free from the ruins of Gallifrey and Skaro. The Time Lord called the Doctor. And his hearts were heavy as he boarded his ship once more, and took to the skies, to escape everything he had just seen; everything he had just done…
    He is alone and thinks, somehow, that he deserves this. And as he wanders on, he decides that no one should stand beside him. He’s got no room, on board his TARDIS. He is a traveler, and needs no other.

    But then he finds himself in the cellar of a London shop at closing time, and he grabs the hand of an Earthling called Rose Tyler, and looks into her eyes, and all those resolutions go out of the window! The journey goes on, with a human at his side, and who knows where it will end…

    And far away, across the universe, on the planet Crafe Tec Heydra, one side of a mountain carries carvings and hieroglyphs, crude representations of an invisible War. The artwork shows two races clashing, one metal, one flesh; a fearsome explosion; and a solitary survivor walking from the wreckage. Solitary? Perhaps not. Under this figure, a phrase has been scratched in the stone, which translates as: you are not alone…

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @scaryb , and when the Doctor says those brilliant things about the TARDIS always being there for him, and now that she needs him, he doesn’t know what to do, Clara reaches to hold his hand–thus revealing the message. Such a beautifully played scene.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @htpbdet – and great to see you back and on form.

    the salvage of a lifetime.

    The Doctor, I think, means Clara. But yes, I believe he’s unknowingly talking about himself.

    In the control room, when he says “Come on Clara, talk to me”, I think he does subconsciously know she’s a telepath.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hmmn – the Doctor tells Clara just before they jump that he has piloted the TARDIS for “over nine hundred years”.

    Remember we’ve been hearing his (fluctuating) age for a while now – “I’m 1103” says the older version of the Doctor in The Impossible Astronaut (the one who turns out to be Tesselector Doctor second time around). So wouldn’t he say “over 1000 years” to Clara, if this Doctor was the version who had lived through the events of The Wedding of River Song

    Which time-stream are we in? Red waterfall or Green anchor (The Girl Who Waited)?

    Perhaps, as hinted last week with the pocket universe where time moved differently, the issue has to do with two different time-speeds in collision?

    I also got a call-back to The Doctor’s Wife when Clara encountered a version of the Doctor who couldn’t see her in the corridors of the TARDIS – to Amy and Rory running around in the TARDIS interior away from House and time moving at different speeds then too – remember scary “old Rory”?


    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @juniperfish – not if he didn’t run off in the tardis till past 100 years old …

    Galactus @galactus

    This was posted on the Guardian blog:

    But I don’t see why the Dr would care if we did know his name. Maybe because he has some sort of terrible criminal record?

    I genuinely hadn’t thought of this. I’m so obsessed by his role in the Time War that it hadn’t occured to me that maybe his reticence to have his name revealed relates to something rather further in Gallifreyan past.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    ”In one corner of that tiny…”  WHAT?!?

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @phaseshift – I did say any tardis, not necessarily his own. The doctors would have been a sweet act of revenge…

    However – “massive act of revenge on the time lords” … Yeah, OK, I’d buy that for a dollar.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @wolfweed – cot?

    Which rather implies Clara can read Gallifreyan. She might not know she has that ability, but she can.

    Was ‘The History of the Time War’ even in English? And the Encyclopaedia bottle was speaking ‘English’ as well.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    Could the TARDIS be translating the Gallifreyan for Clara?

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @bluesqueakpip @ardraith – damn good point. We’ve already established in AGMGTW that the tardis will not translate high gallifreyan… Hmmmm.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I think the last “age” update we had was in “Town called Mercy”:

    The Doctor: We evacuate the town. Our ship’s just over the hills. Room for everyone. I’ll pop out, bring it back here. Robert’s your uncle!
    Amy: Really? Simple as that? No crazy schemes, no negotiations?
    The Doctor: I’ve matured. I’m twelve hundred years old now. Plus I don’t want to miss The Archers.

    I think one of Hartnell’s episodes with Vicky established he was “about 300”, but I am struggling to remember which one. So a nine-hundred year difference would be about right (although Pertwee claimed he was thousands of years old – but it really depends upon the Planet he was calculating that by).

    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    I must say I thought it was certain that we would find out why he originally left Gallifrey and I was not expecting  it to be pretty. It might be tied into the Time War, but maybe not.

    The speech in Rings about taking a precious bundle and running , protecting it – well, that seemed to be about Susan. So his past has loomed large.

    I suspect he does something reckless – perhaps an act which creates the Daleks – which would be a nice twist to the Genesis reboot. Imagine if some meddling of the Doctor caused the Daleks to evolve but he ran away from Gallifrey before he knew what his meddling had meant?

    Moffat says he will change the way we think of the Doctor. He is either lying or  telling the truth. He usually lies – but he might not be this time. If he establishes the Doctor as a coward or a traitor or the real creator of the Daleks, then he will have changed the character forever.

    Secrets protect us – Smith was talking about himself.

    Galactus @galactus

    Thank you for that information on the Time War, @phaseshift. I hadn’t read that. Now I have even more food for thought. I fear I may find myself muttering ‘Time War’ in my sleep.

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    And thanks for all the good wishes – its been a tough couple of days and the next week will be interesting…but at least I got released in time!

    Cheers to all.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    random point from the Guardian:
    MCourtney said:

    Note that Clara had just got out of the swimming pool in the last scene. Her hair was wet and she had a towel.
    Of course, it could have been a shower but that has never been seen before.
    She wasn’t wet at the start if the show, before the reset; if memory serves.
    So the Big Friendly Button didn’t erase her memory of the swimming pool.
    She knows what happened.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    not if he didn’t run off in the tardis till past 100 years old…

    Dammit! And yet, and yet… as @scaryb says there is something fishy going on with the lettering burned onto Clara’s hand.

    It appears slowly the first loop around and only becomes legible in the exploded heart of the TARDIS, but the second loop around, when future Doctor appears through the time-crack into the console room with the the time grenade/ big friendly button as solution, it burns Clara’s hand straight away.

    Clara says that she is tired at the end and the Doctor remarks as if she had lived two days at once. So again I wonder if there is a “slow path” and a “fast path” and a switch which keeps flipping between them, which echoes the slow road mentioned by Ten in The Girl in the Fireplace, as well as the red waterfall and green anchor time-streams of The Girl Who Waited, one slower than the other….

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @htpbdet – yes, I think the central exchange of this episode may well turn out to be:

    Doctor: Secrets protect us. Secrets make us safe.

    Clara: We’re not safe!


    Galactus @galactus

    @htpbdet You know, I’ve been called Galactacus so many times over the years I’m starting to wonder whether it’s my true name. It should never be spoken aloud, though. Otherwise silence may fall and your planet may be eaten by a giant cactus with a pointy helmet.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    Can I just marvel at the character work from JLC. After the Doctor pulls her from the echo control room, she turns her back on him and leans over the rail…pondering all she read about him, and her empathic reading of her own monster self?
    (pardon any short ramblings…I followed @wolfweed ‘s example and tried the Gallifreyan vintage)

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    Apologies @galactus. My bad.

    BESD1 @besd1

    Okay, so I haven’t had time to read all the responses yet so forgive me if I repeat anything but:

    Brilliant – just brilliant. taut, neatly plotted, superbly played, both humane and fantastical at the same time.
    A big button referenced as such at the start then tossed into the mix to save the day at the death and going by the name of the Big Friendly Button? I  don’t know about any of you but I really enjoy imagining the degree of anguished tooth gnashing and mental gear grinding that will have caused for the anti deus ex machina/magic button brigade (neither of which I’m a huge fan of by the way, but some people see them everywhere and get so red in the face). Hint: Its not deus ex machina if its an evident and integral apart of the machine from the start.
    Swimming pool? Red Dwarfy aspects to the salvage ship? Christopher Ecclestone name dropping Genghis Khan? Multiple fangasms? Of course.
    Question – just before the swimming pool – what did Clara pass in the previous corridor?
    And so to the main business – Clara. Honestly, I’ve struggled with her a little this series so far, not because she isn’t delightful (she is) and not because I haven’t enjoyed the stories (they’ve all been good at the least – Rings – and excellent at best – tonight, Cold War), but because I can’t get a handle on her. She seems uneven, not quite real and far too comfortable in time and space and in the Doctor’s slip stream, and I haven’t been able to work out if this is a deliberate ploy on the part of Moffatt, or a problem with the way the character has been developed by the actor and/or writers.

    However – tonight everything seemed to gel. Her performance was breath taking. So (given my previous concern about the uneven, fractured nature of the character) is it significant that this seemed to happen in the episode where she was accepted properly as herself, by the Doctor, by the Tardis and to a certain extent by herself (after all, this is the first time she hasn’t been able to fall back on the Doctor, or look to him for approval. She was alone in what she felt was a hostile environment and, memory loss not withstanding, she bore up).

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @juniperfish – actually if you rewatch Clara’s hand is quite readable (except they cut away too fast, so you need to freeze frame) when Clara is in the corridors on her own for the 2nd time seeing recent echoes.

    From the doctors “2days” remark, I assume he remembers the whole thing and was possibly testing if Clara remembered anything.

    Galactus @galactus

    Ha ha no worries @htpbdet. It gave me an excuse to mention planet eating cacti. Which I’m reliably informed will appear in the next Who series.

    BESD1 @besd1

    Oh and one other thing – did anyone else feel like Matt Smith was “doing Tom Baker” when he revealed to Gregor and Tricky that he’d fooled them?

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @besd1 – Clara passes the observatory just before the pool. You see it actually named later on the tardis map on the console room screen.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    As long as we have hope/secrets we are safe. As soon as we lose hope/secrets we are endangered…



    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @HaveYouFedTheFish Oh yeah – Wasn’t it the Observatory from Tooth & Claw?!?

    I see the Official site is doing a ‘Would you trust Clara?’ Poll.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Mmmmn – I’d have to rewatch – pretty sure we see Clara’s hand with the burn illegible and then it gets more legible as the journey continues first time around… <freeze frame indeed 🙂 >

    The re-set was a re-write however, and not a go-back-to-zero as @bluesqueakpip pointed out on the other place (the photo of the salvagers contains their father the second time around).

    I’m now wondering if the whole thing was the TARDIS testing Clara, because the first time around they are not getting on, which is why the Doctor turns off the protective shielding to make it easier for Clara to fly her, but the second time around this does not happen. Clara has been to the centre of the TARDIS in the interval and the TARDIS approves?

    Loved the Doctor asking Clara if she felt safe on a scale of One to Ten, Ten being “woo-hoo” and One being “aaargh”. Rather implies that Eleven is not safe at all, oh dear me no…

    Re the swimming pool and Clara’s wet hair at the end – that seemed a deliberate call-back to River in The Day of the Moon…

    @besd1 – Welcome! I like the idea Matt was “doing a Tom Baker”, although I didn’t catch that vibe myself – not sufficient toothy grin 🙂

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Feeling a bit naughty at the moment. Some may have seen some of my rants against nesting on the Guardian featured in articles. The former employee (and now contributer) MartinBellam is the one who featured the infamous one on his blog. He posted a comment and I have replied in a cheeky fashion(Page 2):

    @MartinBelam –

    Martin – as I’m sure you’re aware I’m a long time listener and occasional caller. The book you edited on Who for the Guardian did you proud. Who’s Who? is still available at a remarkably low rate, I notice.

    As you hijacked one of my comments on nesting for your own purposes, can I ask if you would mind returning the favour in some way? I don’t know – like suggesting “The Doctor Who Forum” is a bastion of convivial conversation for the enthusiastic Who Fan unsurpassed in the web. It helps that this is true.

    In the event you ever get to look at it, pop over, join us on the sofa, and have a virtual cuppa while talking Who.

    Resist the “Nesting Consciousness” (Joke (c) BlueSqueakPip, Dec 2012), You know it makes sense.

    It may not survive but for cheek it was worth it. Martin is actually great fun and is an enthusiast himself. I’d laugh my head off if he took me up on the offer.

    Really couldn’t resist it!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @phaseshift – you said it yourself – you’re a “shameless marketing whore”!


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