S33 (7) 12 – The Crimson Horror

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  • #7905
    Anonymous @

    Hello @omega!  Those pictures, and their provenance, are obviously going to be big clues to the remaining episodes.

    Some people have groused that having teenagers on-board the Tardis will RUIN EVERYTHING.  I’m the first person to argue the differential between Doctor Who (on BBC1) and Sarah Jane Adventures (on CBBC) is the average age group of the proposed viewer.  The latter has tweenies and teens, the former has the entire family at tea-time – but that having been said, there is obviously a huge amount of bleed-over between the two.

    After having been thoroughly assimilated into the dark side of bonkers theorising (!), my new POV is that SJA / Paternoster Gang Adventures will have smoother arc stories, more gentle humour and more how-to-survive-being-a-teenager lessons, and Doctor Who will remain the be-all-and-end-all of complicated, interwoven story arcs which challenge the parents and simultaneously delight the children.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @timeloop & @shazzbot

    “How exactly does the steam help Clara and the Doctor??”

    I think that may have been a joke about some Victorian attitudes to health. During that period a bath/health spa culture was established. Steam rooms became popular in the belief they “detoxified” the body (you sweated all the badness away).

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift – I live near(-ish) to Harrogate, and I didn’t get that steam bath detoxification reference!  After viewing all those Victorian pump room ruins in Valley Gardens, too.

    {hangs head in shame}

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    it was always part of mrs gillyflowers plan that the petrified people would be revived once the earth was cleansed, i think there was also a reference to an antidote when they talk about how ada got scarred, so i reckon the steam chamber thingy was a de-petrification chamber

    Anonymous @

    @bobbyfat – good point, there must have been a purpose for the steam chamber thingy.  Which the Doctor must have known, because he pointed Jenny at it.

    However … what was Clara doing inside the bell jar?  (with her ‘supermodel companion’)

    When I first saw that glass dome, I originally thought that was how Mrs G would keep her precious ‘pilgrims’ safe from Mr Sweet’s ultimate shower.  There was another couple inside a similar bell jar earlier in the episode; but then, all the rest of the ‘pilgrims’ were mobile and presumably inoculated against the rapture (as Mrs G said, they would sleep for a few months then awake in a new Eden).

    Was there a Victorian England propensity to displaying grotesques inside bell jars?  It can’t be a Sylvia Plath reference – at least, I don’t think so – but I’m ever so happy to be proved wrong!

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    @Shazzbot i think the pilgrims were all in jars, and the supermodel army were her henchmen rather than pilgrims. the victorians were great collectors of things, especially specimens, and glass jars feature very much in the current fad for steampunk / retro victoriana

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    Some thoughts/responses to all your great contributions.

    @timeloop.  #7734

    He is clearly undergoing conversion to Cyberman – but, no doubt, he will get out of it. But it looks exciting…although possibly too Borg like ( but then ST:NG stole the Cyberman idea for the Borg in the first place…)

    I thought we might get “Chairs are cool!”

    #7785.    I really do think the different photo in the eye was artistic licence. I think they wanted the “monster Doctor” reveal to be a surprise in the episode and not in the opening sequence.

    #7786.    But River specifically said it was a Nestene duplicate she dated.

    @scaryb.  #7736

    At first, I thought he went to talk to Vastra – but then he didn’t, so not that. Which left, to my mind, checking up on whether there was any trace of the GI or where it went?

    #7739.    No, Mr Sweet didn’t seem phallic, but that rocket…

    #7765.    What are you counting as the Davison episode? I was thinking that might be next week’s?

    #7807.    Like your Pinocchio postulation. It’s happened in story that way anyway, so maybe exactly what they plan…

    @juniperfish.  #7738

    I think the kids are there next week to let the kiddies at home relate specifically to the Cybermen threat. It’s a clever idea I think – and has the potential to ratchet up the scary meter!

    But, in the Mary Poppins vein, it would be a parallel to the trip into the chalk drawings that Mary takes the Banks children on…

    #7754.    Yes, am certain. My probably wrong thoughts are in Spoilers. 🙂

    #7759.      Yes, I think she is definitely the solution – her purpose is to ensure the Doctor survives.

    #7778.       Can’t see any basis for a timey-wimey non-monogamous deal between the Doctor and River. It’s a very strange marriage though, that’s for sure. I kind of wish we would see something lovely between them happen, but would it be too much? Not sure.

    #7801.   Ooh….the Doctor as genetic modifier…maybe his name will be Davros after all…

    @phaseshift.  #7744

    I think Vastra and Jenny should have their own time as companions first. I would love that.

    #7821.     Agreed. Loved Tegan in Snakedance and Kinda. Actually, quite often liked her. Fielding herself is quite the dinner guest…and when she is tipsy and talking about Tom Baker…hilarious!

    #7896.  Totally agree. Those three are gold!

    @ardaraith.  #7745

    I am willing to bet that Clara will be a surprise to River. I did not get any sense of the Doctor knowing who Clara was though…


    The Great Intelligence was, and I think still is, a disembodied space and time travelling powerful intelligence seeking corporeal manifestation. It needs power to fuel the manifestation – hence it wanted the Doctor’s mind in Web of Fear when it had started an invasion of London and was taking corporeal form in the shape of a very disquieting fungus-like foamy substance.

    I too wonder about the kids…there is something about them..

    #7806.   Sure – that’s possible. Horrific but possible.

    #7847.   Yes – quite right. That is the quote which is troubling – it does not sit with anything that the Doctor has done since. So…an aberration? Or does he know  – despite giving every indication he doesn’t : something he has not done before.

    @wolfweed. #7746

    Pretty sure Thomas Thomas was just a boy – and that sequence just a joke.

    I guess if you count Susan and Adric, children have travelled with the Doctor, but I think these two are the youngest.

    @bluesqueakpip.  #7748

    I think the photos are just a convenient plot point. I suspect the woman in the shop might be in that category too.

    #7780.    Could they not all be original Claras? If she is impossible, that might be the way she is impossible?

    #7809.    I really think they just used whatever music was free and appropriate for dramatic effect – cannot see that they would source an arrangement of the right time version of Jerusalem which they had to pay for if another was available. But, obviously, you may be right and it is a clue.

    But I don’t think we are in flashback. I think we are approaching another paradox.

    #7819.    Well, we are definitely in or about to be in another Moffat signature paradox I think.  And Clara is, it seems, there to save the Doctor, or at least help him out when he is in trouble. So, the paradox is likely to be about or involving Clara. I think.

    @jimthefish.  #7750

    Bloody right!

    #7754.  But is it right that the Doctor makes his enemies worse? They could reform, adopt peaceful viewpoints – but they don’t. The choice is theirs – the Doctor does not make them do anything. Does he? I always thought Davros’ line that the Doctor is culpable for the sins of the Daleks was rhetoric of the most fascist and unsupportable kind.  People who do things in fear of the Doctor are doing bad things otherwise they would not have to fear him.

    @thommck.   #7772

    Because that is what the 11th Doctor does – he leaves Clara for periods of time just as he left Amy and Rory. They don’t travel continuously.

    @badwulf.   #7799.   I think you will be disappointed. Love will, I think, be what dissipates Clara through time and space. Just not sure if it will be hers, or River’s or the TARDIS’ or someone else.

    #7816.    I hope your faith in Moffat is well placed and rewarded. Alas, I think that the loose ends will remain loose ends. I can’t see the exploding TARDIS being relevant to the mystery of Clara – but who knows really? Only SM.

    #7803.   I love Keeper of Traken. Bit clunky but such good ideas and the Master plot was great.
    And I always liked a crowded TARDIS – it started of with the Dr and 3 and I see no reason why it can’t work with more than one companion, even with 45 minute episodes. Rory showed, clearly, how a good actor can make a memorable character from very little, just as Harry Sullivan showed all those years ago.
    It’s just a question of getting the character of the companion right.
    I always thought Tegan would have worked best as a solo companion, whereas Nyssa was perfect for a team.

    @HolyMackeral.       #7802.   I think it means the production team is obsessed with the Doctor snogging and flirting.

    @shazzbot.        #7812.   Yes, you are absolutely right about the picture of the Doctor in the dead man’s eye being different when seen at the beginning and then when seen later in the episode.

    #7849.   Yes – think you are spot on there.

    #7822.      Great question. My preference is the Doctor with 2 companions. It does not matter who they are as long as they have defined characters and the possibility for good interaction with the Doctor is there. Steven and Vicki, Ben and Polly, Jamie and Victoria, Zoe and Jamie, Sarah and Harry, Amy and Rory – there have been a lot of successful double companion teams. Vastra and Jenny….that’s a series I would like to see, them as companions with the Doctor.

    #7904            I am probably just too simplistic for words – but I assumed the steam process ( whatever it was ) was removing the residue venom from their systems – much as you would boil a cloth to remove due?

    @osakahatter.   #7826

    Yes, you are right – the fall of the Eleventh could mean anything. But it seems more likely than not that it will mean the fall of the Eleventh Doctor. Don’t you think?

    @blenkinsopthebrave.  #7844

    Yes, agree about no dark Doctor. I too think, for the first time, this Doctor does not know what is going on and does not have a plan. The Impossible Girl is happening to him. It’s a good change I think.

    @haveyoufedthefish.  #7877.   I don’t think she can be Kovarian. Why would Kovarian want to save the Doctor?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Oh, so you mean the North is the most beautiful part of the country?  Where all the exceptional music is born?  The best eating in the country?  The friendliest people?   Gotcha.

    @ Lula _ Check to all of the above – except you missed out ‘best comedians’. 😀

    OsakaHatter @osakahatter

    @scaryb, @Shazzbot, @phaseshift – thanks!  Hopefully I can pad it out into a bonkers theory succinctly explaining the entire history and future of the doctor purely based on North/South relations.  And road signs.

    @lula – We’ve always wanted to do a fly drive and see the American South, mainly for the reasons you’ve listed – you’ve got me sold!

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    re the fall of the 11 th if its the same kind of fall as in he’ll rise higher than ever before and then fall so low then i wouldnt hold your breath for anything too significant

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    she was interpreting his double knock as agreement

    I thought it was a ‘no, you won’t’ response to Jenny’s ‘I’ll leave you to rot’. He knows she won’t leave him.

    Anonymous @

    @Bluesqueakpip – “I thought it was a ‘no, you won’t’ response to Jenny’s ‘I’ll leave you to rot’. He knows she won’t leave him.”

    That’s what is so comedic about that moment, and what’s so wonderful about the writing of this show.  Jenny says ‘any funny business, I’ll leave you to rot – understood?’.  The only ‘rap-rap’ [i.e., ‘no’] response we hear is to this question.  Ohhh …  The Doctor understood all right.  But it’s that tiny delicate moment that gets me, where Jenny should have heard a single rap of ‘OK’ [no funny business / I won’t hurt you], and she instead got a double-rap ‘no, I don’t understand’ — and her fleeting look of ‘hunh?’

    All the call-backs to Classic Who in these episodes; yet I’m stuck on what is essentially a ‘Who’s on First?’ comic misunderstanding moment.  🙂

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @htpbdet – she doesnt want to save him, she just needs to keep him alive long enough to get him to Trezidor.

    Also it’s completely counterintuitive and therefore must be true, in MoffattWorld.

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    @haveyoufedthefish i’m with you on that, but it doesnt mean she isnt innocent, i suspect she is has been placed around the doc by some other big bad that shes completely unaware of

    Anonymous @

    @bobbyfat – “i suspect she [Clara] has been placed around the doc by some other big bad that shes completely unaware of”

    I’m wary of subscribing to this theory, because it has been done with River.  I’m also wary of agreeing with any Clara theories because I’m totally rubbish at theories!  Before my regeneration into the dark rich world of theorising, I always took stories at face value.  I’m still feeling my way, Ada-like, into the seamy world of infinite possibilities.  🙂

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @bobbyfat @shazzbot – we seem to have eliminated any possibility she can be anything other than completely innocent. Therefore the laws of drama insist that she can’t be!

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    @Shazzbot i know what u mean about it being too close to river, but its my best guess at the moment 😉 i wouldn’t bet my house on it tho!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    she doesnt want to save him, she just needs to keep him alive and get him to Trezidor.

    @haveyoufedthefish – And the Silence are trying to stop the Doctor getting to Trenzalore – or at least stop him answering the Question. And we know the Silence are not nice. They killed Joy, kidnapped Amy for her baby Melody and electrocuted lots of people. If they’re on the side of the angels, it’s the Weeping Angels.

    Was it Moffat who said that the bad guys, the monsters, don’t believe that they’re the monsters? But the Doctor believes he’s a monster; in this episode, he accepts it as a name. Yet this is probably the least monstrous Doctor we’ve seen in this half of the series. He’s ecstatic to get out of jail, he’s extremely caring to Ada, he doesn’t leap in with an explanation of her mother’s experiments. Post rescue, he’s probably as empathic as he’s ever been.  If @juniperfish‘s light/dark Doctor theory is right, this was Light Doctor.

    What’s different? Basically, in this episode he had to drop the God Complex. He doesn’t rescue. He gets rescued. Most of the rescuers are the people he’s trained and encouraged – but Ada wasn’t. Ada didn’t even know him. Instead of being the Deus Ex Machina, the god who drops down in his machine and puts everything to rights, he spends the first half of the episode being the person who needs the Deus Ex Machina to do some dropping in. 🙂 Because there is nothing, absolutely nothing, he can do to rescue himself. Throughout this story, other people keep solving the problems and saving the day. Quite often, other people make the decisions or point out the solution.

    And the Doctor – whether it lasts beyond the episode or not – is changed for the better by the experience.



    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    @haveyoufedthefish but if she isn’t innocent its hard to see how see how she could stay as a companion beyond the big reveal of the final episode

    confuseus @confuseus

    Clara is innocent, that doesn’t mean she can’t be part of a carefully laid out plot. Many of the Doctor’s companions have been used to try and persuade him to do awful things; “we will kill Clara (again) and it will be your fault unless..” – she could be the key to opening the Timelock.

    I think there’s a bit more here than is obvious, that brilliant sequence where The Doctor and Clara go visiting, all the photographs taken, then the photographs appearing on the kids computer.. someone has been stalking Clara and the Doctor and have laid an insidious plot. Probably see it hatch in next weeks episode, though I’m not sure I will enjoy it with the two kids on board, unless they are part OF the plot.  Evil children, anyone?

    I liked this story, there was brilliant acting, directing, photography, plot, but the best thing of all were the costumes. The stories are getting better and better in this series, I hope the last two don’t fall down..

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @feralcat Oooh that’s such a good catch on the GK Chesterton reference and definitely the kind of period fiction detail I would expect from Gatiss.

    It’s a long time since I read that novel, but it is about a detective infiltrating a secret society of anarchists wherein it turns out the anarchists are, in fact, also undercover detectives. It’s therefore about how, when battling “monsters”, one takes on their form and it becomes impossible to tell which is which .

    I’m not personally a fan of equating anarchism with nefarious monstrosity, but there you go, that’s Chesterton’s take.

    I think we can see how this plot is applicable to the season long theme of dark / “monster” Doctor, the Doctor’s own view of himself as comparable to Khaler Jex in A Town Called Mercy being most telling perhaps.

    Also – nice detail – at the start of the novel one of the “anarchists” argues (being a deliberate contrarian) that the London underground is the epitomy of beauty – a tie-in with the Great Intelligence, is it not?

    Wow the levels on which Gatiss worked with this script!


    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    Why do you think Clara is not there to save the Doctor? Do you have a reason or is it just you think that can’t be it? Genuinely I am interested.

    It seems to me that we knew that Amy was crucial to the Doctor’s survival and that somehow remembering would be involved before we went into Big Bang.

    Equally, before we went into Wedding of River Song we knew that The Doctor knew he was going to be killed at the Lake and had a plan to avoid here.

    Here, it seems to me, we know the Doctor does not know who or what Clara is but she always saves him – so is it a stretch or a break from Moffat style to expect that The Name of the Doctor will show Clara saving the Doctor in a time paradoxical way? I don’t think so.

    With the help of the TARDIS, Clara, already the Impossible Girl, will become the Impossible Girl with the ability to be in any time stream the Doctor needs her. By a paradox of this sort, Clara will save the Doctor from falling at Trenzalore.

    It seems to me that is pure Moffat – which is why I think it’s the answer.

    Clara won’t be a villain because that will just be a repeat of season 6. Clara can’t just restore the Doctor through memories because that would just be a repeat of Season 5.

    No – it will be a variation on the common Moffat theme: a paradox we don’t quite expect which results in a solution we don’t quite expect.

    I think.


    @bobbyfat.   If she was placed there by the Big Bad, again it would just be a rehash of Season 6. Even I think Moffat is better than that! Surely?

    @bluesqueakpip.     Yes, I agree that the Doctor is benefiting from Clara’s input and the input of others. It is good for him.

    That’s another reason why I think that Clara being able to save him at Trenzalore when he does not know what is coming is likely to be the final solution and represent a complete new start for him.

    Can’t help wishing that Clara still turns out to be a regenerated fob-watched Susan though…

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @ Shazzbot Thank you so much for mentioning my huge post! I thought it would go unmentioned and all my quick thoughts would be against the etiquette or something and was about to step back into the shadow. -so really, thanks!-
    I came to the same conclusion as @phaseshift The steam “cleans” the body (cells) from the poison. Maybe there is a different effect on humans though, maybe not.

    A spin-off would be great, I’m completely with you. I can’t imagine it  though, because it would damage the “Doctor Who Brand”… overload so to say.

    @omega That might be exactly what is going to happen in TNOTD. Could be spot on – not too fantastic.

    @bobbyfat Nah, pure steam. What would Ms G need such a chamber for? She needed to know how much of the poison would make her immune. And she tested it on her daughter (which is absolutely sick)

    @htpbdet What a post!(again) unfortunately I have no idea what ST:NG or Borg is (sorry!)
    “#7785.    I really do think the different photo in the eye was artistic licence. I think they wanted the “monster Doctor” reveal to be a surprise in the episode and not in the opening sequence.”
    This slightly changed past…. maybe the Doctor freed himself earlier in retrospect so he would not need to spend weeks in that form. Dosen’t strike me that there is nothing special about it. You might be right though.
    #7786 My bad! *pull my hat*
    “#7778.       Can’t see any basis for a timey-wimey non-monogamous deal between the Doctor and River. It’s a very strange marriage though, that’s for sure. I kind of wish we would see something lovely between them happen, but would it be too much? Not sure.”
    The loveliest the two of them have are the miniepisodes ans TATM (he kisses her as a greeting and heals her wrist (which is a non plus ultra, because he only did that for her <3) )
    “#7754.  But is it right that the Doctor makes his enemies worse? They could reform, adopt peaceful viewpoints – but they don’t. The choice is theirs – the Doctor does not make them do anything. Does he? I always thought Davros’ line that the Doctor is culpable for the sins of the Daleks was rhetoric of the most fascist and unsupportable kind.  People who do things in fear of the Doctor are doing bad things otherwise they would not have to fear him.”
    I think JimTheFish refers especially to the dark Doctor theory (more to say his dark side)

    @YouFedTheFish So a trap as the Doctor suspected in TJitCotT?

    @ShazzbotI’m wary of subscribing to this theory, because it has been done with River.  I’m also wary of agreeing with any Clara theories because I’m totally rubbish at theories!  Before my regeneration into the dark rich world of theorising, I always took stories at face value.  I’m still feeling my way, Ada-like, into the seamy world of infinite possibilities.  :-)
    Nice picture you painted with Ada there!

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    @htpbdet i’m not sure how vigorously i should defend my speculation as i’m not sure i ever got to grips with river in series 6, but i think there are differences, most noticably that claras role is to save the doctor, not to kill him. maybe the big bad manipulaing clara is an enemy of the silence so the key is to get the dr to trenzalore so the silence will fall.

    but my preferred area of speculation is the link between clara, the tardis, paradoxes and cal from the library.

    lets face it, we dont have much to go on so far!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Can’t help wishing that Clara still turns out to be a regenerated fob-watched Susan though…

    @htpbdet – My money is still on Clara’s mother as a regenerated Susan. That date of death – the day the Doctor returns from the Time War – is a tad suspicious.

    And when Clara kicks the ball into the Doctor, there’s a moment when Ellie Oswald runs up to him – and just for a second, stops dead.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @bobbyfat So Clara is is an opposite blueprint of River? That would make her turn out bad , since she started good……

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    @timeloop following the great red v blue debate elsewhere on here, maybe she is a redprint! i’m not sure it follows that shes river inversed or that she is programmed to do anything other than be herself.

    going back to basics, there are 3 claras in different timezones. either that has happened as a consequence of something, eg river being in the exploding tardis, or a virus transmitted from cal to the tardis or whatever, or it has happened deliberately. if the latter, someone or thing has done it but we dont know if it is for fair or foul reasons, all we can say for certain, i think, is that her role seems to be to save the dr.

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    mind you, i’d quite like to see clara go bad, she’s a bit too goody goody, maybe too good to be true?

    Timeloop @timeloop

    It is just something that came to mind with that “but i think there are differences, most noticably that claras role is to save the doctor, not to kill him” so the complete opposite. Clara going bad could be a huge cliffhanger
    speaking of cliffhanger. Could be a reprise of TBB – Everything going wrong and being resolved in november. I am sure they want us to collect clues and solutions until then (november)

    Timeloop @timeloop

    *dont know how to delete a post*

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Just a quick post before beddie-byes….

    It was a fun episode, agreed the lobster was a bit of a let down but hey you can’t have everything.  Things which occur:

    1) I thought the petrified people in the jars reminded me of that Tales of the Unexpected story *spoiler* where the landlady bumps off her lodgers so they never leave [that episode gave me the creeps for weeks].

    2) Robots.  I’m thinking that it can’t be a coincidence that one of the rooms we are shown in JttCotT is a place where any ‘machine’ can be built.  I use the inverted commas as a bit later the Doctor is talking about genes.  Could Clara be built by the Tardis and in fact (using the imagery of mothers and daughters) be truly its offspring?

    Oh yes Diana Rigg & Rachel Stirling were great.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @timeloop – welcome! And you ask someone with moderator powers to delete posts – @craig, @phaseshift or @jimthefish.

    I reckon she’s a trap set by the Doctor for himself. Timey-wimey.

    River was a trap set by others for the Doctor – her purpose was to assassinate him. Clara is a trap set by the Doctor – her purpose is to save him. Mirror image.

    “Time can be rewritten.” The Doctor’s spent all this time thinking he has to save the universe; he finally realises that he has to let the universe – in the form of other people – save him.

    confuseus @confuseus

    Clara could be a trap, programmed by the GI when she partially uploaded and then downloaded with new abilities / memories.  Perhaps she isn’t aware of them (hidden triggers).  I think the GI also took her DNA and cloned her into the Doctors past so that he would be sure to try and hunt her down (the impossible girl that must never die at his hands again!).

    It is interesting that the Tardis allowed Clara to explore her in Journey, when she has and uses the ability to create a labyrinth around the Doctor and the brothers to prevent them from going where they wanted to, yet markedly failed to do so with Clara.

    ST:NG = Star Trek:Next Generation and Borg – evil cyborg monsters a bit like Cybermen but with more human/alien parts than metal

    OsakaHatter @osakahatter

    @htpbdet – Well, yes, I expect in all likelihood the Fall of the Eleventh will prove to refer to the Eleventh Doctor, but somethings been nagging at me about it, it’s almost too telegraphed.  Perhaps just because we were meant to assume fall meant end but it will be something more mundane  – a fall in the literal sense maybe (although that wouldn’t be mundane if he falls into a black hole or something).

    ‘Silence must fall when the question is asked’ I think the quote is?  Lots of people falling over in Trenzalore, so I’m guessing some literal, some metaphorical.  Maybe it’s not talking about the Silence (species) but about the Doc’s silence (I guess about either the Time War or his departure from Gallifrey, as they are the two key events overshadowing the start of the original series and then the new series).

    Was it ever definitely stated that Hartnell was the original doc?  I know it’s been inferred into canon by various flashbacks etc, but was there ever any mention after the regen into PT along the lines of ‘Well I’ve never done that before’?  If it turned out that there had been more versions prior to Hartnell, MS would fall further down the list, becoming 12th, 13th whatever. Just an odd thought that occurred to me.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

     yet markedly failed to do so with Clara.

    @confuseus – Hi! One last post before bed (honest!).

    No, the TARDIS knew precisely what she was doing with Clara; the only question is why? Quick trip to the junk room to see the Doctor’s name, quick trip to the Library to see the History of the Time War (and identify – someone), then shepherded back to the ghost control room. Once there, all corridors lead back to the control room. Clara’s seen what she was supposed to see;  she’s now kept exactly where the TARDIS wants her. 

    confuseus @confuseus


    Indeed you’re right, Clara looks like she is being guided by the Tardis.  But why?  Does the Tardis realise Clara is an innocent trap, but with free will to change the course of events if she sees the Doctor as he really is?  Was the entire event engineered by the Tardis to allow this to happen?

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @osakahatter.     No, it was never explicitly stated that Hartnell was the first but it always seemed that way.  Brain of Morbius is often quoted as evidence that Hartnell was not the first incarnation because the Fourth Doctor there has a mind wrestle with Morbius and faces appear on the screen which appear to be earlier incarnations of the Doctor. But, at best, that sequence is equivocal. The Doctor beats Morbius and so it may be that the images on the screen as earlier versions of Morbius, rather than the Doctor.

    No real evidence – but I will be very surprised indeed if Nu-Who takes the position that Hartnell was not the first.

    confuseus @confuseus

    Plots within plots.  In the Crimson Horror everyone asks about Clara, and initially the Doctor refuses to discuss, perhaps he doesn’t know yet, or doesn’t want to say?  But at the end, it appears as if he has finally figured it out.  Indeed, after he is released from his imprisonment, he refuses to believe Clara might be dead, and goes hunting for her as if he knew she would survive the toxin.  Sure enough, she did, but how could he be so sure unless he knew she had something important to do (and therefore most likely, what it is!) which means that she wouldn’t – couldn’t – die -yet!?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @htpbdet. #7912

    Actually, I am wondering if the Doctor is more in control than we think.

    In many ways, I think that Moffat has modelled the Doctor on…Moffat! They are both full of tremendous enthusiasm, they are both somewhat cocky, they both lie to achieve their own ends, and they both weave incredibly convoluted plots to achieve their ends. So, I am not sure that Moffat would write a scenario where the Doctor was not ultimately in control and behind it all.


    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @blenkinsopthebrave.      Well, if you are right about Moffat planning for the Doctor to be behind Clara then it is just a rehash of last season. I am trying to see a way that is better than that, assuming that Moffat would riff on his paradox obsession rather than just rerun one version of it.

    Perhaps I am being too optimistic?

    Anonymous @

    @confuseus  – “after he is released from his imprisonment, he refuses to believe Clara might be dead, and goes hunting for her as if he knew she would survive the toxin.  Sure enough, she did, but how could he be so sure”

    And THAT is the 64 dollar question.  Was it simply because he couldn’t believe that she would die for the 3rd time on his watch?  Or, was it a more devious (in terms of complicated arc plotting) acknowledgement that she MUST be there, because he’s been there at least once before (as the non-red Doctor adjusting his bow-tie in Edmund’s dying eyes)?

    I hope S Moffat explains how the dead-eye photography captured a lively version of the Doctor in the London photos of Edmund that the Paternoster Square Gang viewed, and yet we as viewers clearly saw an already-reddened Doctor reaching out with his surprised & manacled wrists at Edmund in his [Edmund’s] death throes.

    Is it important that both Edmund and his brother Mr Thursday were played by the same actor as per the credits?  And that the both bore a strong physical resemblance to Richard E Grant aka The Great Intelligence?

    Is it also important that Edmund temporarily survived ‘the process’, at least long enough to climb the circular stairway to ‘the monster’s lair’ before dying?  The Doctor would like to think he survived ‘the process’ because he’s not human, but that was one heckuva long jaunt by Edmund after being reddened.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @htpbdet. Nothing wrong with being optimistic. Surely, the capacity to be optimistic is why we are on this wonderful site, rather than with all the moaning minnies on the other (unnamed) sites!

    I don’t think he will repeat himself. Moffat is, I think, to clever for that. But when you think back on it, Moffat has this capacity to confound all of us at the resolution. Was there any one of us who predicted the tinkerbell solution in Season 5, or the Tessalector in Season 6? Maybe, but I have forgotten.

    And it may well be that the Doctor is not in control as we head to the fields at Trenzalore, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was, and had a plan.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Talking of moaning minnies, I wonder if any of the people on the Telegraph, Daily Mail, etc who go on and on about the “gay” agenda of nu Who, have picked up that one of the targets of S7 (and the Doctor) is “Victorian values”?

    That was one of the many things I liked about “The Crimson Horror” (And “The Snowmen”). They actually had a very nice critical take on Victorian values–and not just with reference to identity politics (Madame Vastra and Jenny) but also with reference to exploitation. In both, the workers and the poor are literally fodder to be devoured. And as Mr Simeon (and presumably the Daily Mail) says: “What’s wrong with Victorian values?”

    WhoHar @whohar

    The Doc calls Clara “The Boss”. Some men use this expression about their wives (some even mean it). If the Doc is using that phrase in that sense then, Ipso Facto, Clara is River.

    WhoHar @whohar

    An enjoyable ep but I struggled with it a bit.

    I think it was the mix of comedy and horror. Don’t get me wrong, I think it can work very well – the Cat and the Canary for example – it just didn’t work for me here.

    For me the moments of comedy need to punctuate the horror side and provide some relief to the tension before it is ratcheted up again. Those set ups and payoffs take time; time you’d have if this had been a two-parter.

    Really liked Ada though – get that woman in the Tardis, or in the Paternoster Gang spinoff.

    Oh, me and @Shazzbot have come up with a new twist on Fields of Trenzalor. Field as in computer programming, not as in a place.

    thedoctordude @thedoctordude

    @phileasf and @have you fed the fish

    I think there is several pieces of evidence that the doctor may have gone through these events several times. Firstly how would the doctor know where to go get rid of the red poison? He seems to know exactly where he needs to go.

    He also isn’t very afraid about Clara or about anything really. This would also explain the two different pictures in the dead Mr. Thursday’s eyes.

    I thought it could explain his use of the chair to break Clara free. In the scene where Clara disarms the rocket launcher, the doctor says that he has a sonic screwdriver, but Clara says she has a chair. The chair seems to work better in the situation. Therefore, on the final successful run, the doctor decides to use a chair to bust her out of her jar.

    In the next scene the doctor says that if Clara follows Mrs. G, Eva will get shot. How does he know unless he has been through it before??

    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    I am sorry, I don’t follow.

    How does the possibility that the Doctor has been there before account for the two different photos? Edmund only died once and could only have died once.

    It takes a lot to make the Doctor afraid ( Hide, surely, made that point?) so not sure that is a clue?

    His use of the chair to rescue Clara made sense – he just used the nearest object. Why do you think that choice is so strange it needs explanation?

    Having seen Mrs G in action, the Doctor feels sure she is insane and that she will kill Ada if they cross her. Is that so surprising?

    Sorry – I just don’t see any evidence the Doctor is retracing steps here.


    I am always optimistic – why I am still watching actually.

    But I don’t have the confidence in SM that you do. He sets things up spectacularly but I am yet to find a resolution to a story from his own era that he wrote which resolved in a way that, I thought anyway, lived up to the expectation or the hype. Truly, I hope he surprises me this year.

    You are right about the digs in the programme. I have not bothered to mention them to the slavering hordes, particularly those who lament the absence of polemics ( apparently a key ingredient of Doctor Who) – but actually, this part of the season at least is awash with subversive ideas:

    Bells warns against the modern obsession with the Internet, dwells on the innate horror of corporate rationalisation and a culture that condemns whistleblowers, not to mention post-Thatcher corporates using working class folk as fodder, to be changed or consumed at their whim;

    Rings can be seen as a searing indictment on dogma strangled religion, especially those where women are not valued;

    Cold War looks at racism at a time when there is growing hostility in the UK to those that were not born here and an unrelated but distressing lack of importance for studying the Humanities.

    Hide deals with a number of modern obsessions: love is for young people, no need to fund scientific research for the intrinsic value it represents, beauty is in the eye of the magazine editor not the beholder, the individual is as important, if not more so, than society;

    Journey is a straightforward attack on the idiocy of political correctness in drama ( only those who have an issue with black actors could possibly complain that there was racism at work in the casting of the brothers – they were interesting characters and their colour was utterly irrelevant; racists think they are enlightened when taking politically correct positions which actually merely entrench the racism, stop people being valued or judged for who they are not what they look like);

    Crimson Horror – well, as you say, there is so much there: skewering Victorian values, how foolish it is to underestimate women ( everyone important here is a woman bar the Doctor, the villain, the heroes, the brave ones, the clever ones – and, importantly, the two minor male characters demonstrate their failings clearly: the chronic fainter who cant help himself, the disgusting corrupt “coroner” who takes payments on the side to augment his standing but who cannot help his inner vulgarity coming to the fore ( he struck me as a parody of newspaper folk in the Leveson era)  the idea that blind people can be better than sighted ones crystallised loud and clear, and the valid notion that parents can be bad for their own children, without caring, in these “modern” times.

    Alas – some viewers can’t see the underlying messages unless they are shoved into their face a la Happiness Patrol…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @htpbdet. We are kindred souls, my friend.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @whohar “The Boss” made me think of “The Master”. Now I think about it, one of the lines in the song “To Be a Pilgrim” which Mrs. Gillflower sings as she launches the rocket is:

    “Let him in constancy, follow the Master…” !!

    @thedoctordude @phileasf @bluesqueakpip @haveyoufedthefish

    I like the idea that, as you say @phileasf “…the Doctor is now in the habit of going back again and again until he gets it right” as a possible explanation for why the photograph of the dead man’s eye at the start shows an image of an un-red Doctor and the version we see happen would produce an image of a red Doctor.

    Equally though, I like my two different realities “running together at super-infinite speeds” theory too…

    If the Doctor is running back over his time-line on a regular basis, fixing things to his liking, that surely can’t be a good. Mind wiping one’s companions in endless little time re-writes seems… distasteful – a Time Lord over-reaching himself in a god-monster fashion.


    The eye-image, now I think about it, recalls the time Amy got a Weeping Angel in her eye in Time of the Angels – “whatever holds the image of an Angel, becomes an Angel…”

    <laughs> I just do not know how Moff is going to tie-in all the little references to The Silence, the Angels, the Daleks, the Great Intelligence and now, possibly The Master in the finale/ 50th. However, these do make a rather delicious combination of “baddies”. There must be a “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” gag in there somewhere.  

    I also have great visions of confused Daleks wearing eye-stalk patches.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @Shazzbot the different picture could be explained by the doctor going back and getting his former self to where he needs to be with the tardis so he would not have to suffer for weeks.

    @confuseus The Doctor could be completely in the dark about Clara, even if he build her in the future. If she were a machine she would have not become a Dalek and the red poison would have burned her circuits.  He also said that about her in the Snowmen – she could not die because it could not be his fault. He simply cant bear it.

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