S33 (7) 8 – The Rings of Akhaten

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    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Perhaps Clara’s (Mum’s) ring is a bio-dampener (as seen in the Runaway Bride & in SJA the Empty Planet).

    Maybe Clara’s biological Dad is a Tharil! (Don’t quote me!)

    Also – has anyone noticed the giant chicken feet in next week’s ad? Presumably they’re what’s inside the armour of the Ice Warrior (3 digits per hand).

    WhoHar @whohar


    You’ll have to forgive my slightly insolent whimsy. I wouldn’t dream of asking you to change your name for one instant – think of the paperwork for a start.

    Here’s what I don’t quite understand though. You don’t like Smith as the Doctor – but is it the acting or the writing that is at fault would you say?  IMHO, I’d say Smith’s performances are extraordinary – especially given some of the material he has been given. It’s not that the writing is necessarily bad in and of itself, just that it’s inconsistent. I think back to The Doctor’s Wife and the moment that the Ood was crushed and the way the Doc shrugged it off. It rankled, I have to say, and tarnished an otherwise excellent ep. The Doc I know would never have casually dismissed the loss of life in this way – especially at his own hand. Think back to Genesis and how Baker agonised over killing the nascent Daleks and compare that to the 11th’s reaction to the Ood. So, so different.

    I think you said it best over on the Guardian blog – watching Smith’s performance is like watching different faces of a spinning cube (that was you right?). I loved that actually and it helped crystallise my own reservations about some of the eps. It’s allowed me to enjoy the more recent episodes more, so many thanks.

    That said, I think the reason the Snowmen worked well was because we knew who the Doc was at that point – in pain, mourning the Ponds. His emotional arc was well defined and described.

    I suspect the change in the Doc’s character is just a function of different writers putting their own slant on things and Moffat (?) not being aware enough to impose a level of consistency. Or perhaps he didn’t feel the need. Or perhaps it’s all part of a massive three-season arc and the reason for the change in character will become apparent in the 50th anniversary story – in which case it is genius.  I live in hope…



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @whohar – in fact, I get HTPBDET’s point. I love Matt Smith to bits as an actor – he’s probably the most alien Doctor since Tom Baker – but there are moments when I look at him and think: is this really the Doctor?

    Of course, it may be tied up with the fish-shoal doppleganger theories. We might not always be watching the Doctor. If so, Mr Smith is doing some really superb acting and I hope he goes on to a glorious career post-Who. But if he is regenerating in 2013, I won’t be feeling as miserable about it as I was with Mr Tennant. I like the Eleventh, I’ve enjoyed his tenure – but I’m definitely getting the feeling that it’s time to move on.

    WhoHar @whohar

    @bluesqueakpip still not sure if it’s the writing or the acting that’s the “problem”. I admit to being rather grumpy about the early Smith eps but personally feel he’s grown into the role. I’d be sorry to see him go at this point and, although a regen would be great from a story point of view, I would feel a bit cheated. It’s a bit like getting to know a favourite Uncle once you’re an adult, only for him to die on you.

    I don’t think there will be a regen this year. In fact I have serious reservations about whether Tennant is going to be in the 50th anniversary show at all. Why? Because Moffat has made such a song and dance in the past about plots being given away and yet, here we have a press release giving us a major clue to the 50th show. It seems odd to me. Also: Rule 0 and all that…

    WhoHar @whohar

    @haveyoufedthefish another loose end: the proto-Tardis in the lodger. Maybe a way for Susan to get to the 21st Century? Or possiblyshe just lived that long?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @whohar – I think the reason Tennant and Piper have been very publicly announced is simple: they’re impossible to hide. They both have paparazzi dogging their steps – I’ve even seen newspapers print photos of Sandra Dickinson (Georgia Moffet’s mother) taking Tennant’s baby daughter for a walk. It would be utterly impossible for both those actors to drop out of sight for the duration of the filming of the 50th Anniversary  – and not have people connect the dots and speculate whether it’s because they’re working on the 50th. There’s probably a similar reason behind announcing John Hurt, as well – he’s another actor who can’t easily ‘drop out of sight’ for secret filming.

    I mean, heck, I even speculated why John Simm’s grown a bloody beard. 😀

    So if there’s stuff you can’t hide, make that the publicity. Then you sneak in the other stuff (quick example that occurred to me: it would be perfectly understandable if Mrs McDonald chose to visit her husband down in Cardiff, or even stay with him for a few days).

    Though I do wonder how much of the 50th is going to be filmed in the middle of an aircraft hangar on an RAF base …

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – “I like the theory simply because it fits my sense of neatness; if we’re to go forward in a new cycle then I like the idea that we’ll restart as we began. The Doctor (Doctor Who?) travelling with his granddaughter, exiled from some unspecified world.”

    I too like this idea.  It goes back to my frustration about the [deep voice] MEANING of each companion in Nu Who.   Rose absorbed so much Tardis energy she stopped being normal and became ultra-special.  Donna started normal but then became a ‘human-TL metacrisis’.  Amy was of course never normal and now Clara is anything but normal.  I think Martha was the only normal one who stayed pretty normal (unless you count travelling the devastated earth for a year, getting the whole planet to say ‘Doctor’ at the same time).  I’m leaving out Mickey, Rory, and that smart kid who got that thingy in his forehead, as the companion has really been all about the girl.

    The companion is supposed to represent us, the audience – yet with one exception they are not normal people.  My personal hope is that, post 50th, we get a normal person or persons – no crack-in-yer-wall, no bring-people-back-to-life stuff, just ordinary people having extraordinary adventures.

    Anonymous @


    ps Who’s Mrs McDonald?

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @whohar – Insolent whimsy is fine with me. 🙂

    Yes, the “faces of a spinning cube” was my thought. Still is, although now there are even more faces.

    I’m afraid I don’t like his acting at all. It is far too self-indulgent and over-stated a lot of the time for my liking. He is “acting” rather than “being”. I find the moments of honesty to be rare. But I enjoy them when they occur.

    I do blame the writing. I think he has not had any consistency in the character as written – Moffat appears to regard that as adding to the programme, but to me it is detracting. He is not helped, in my view, by the overarching mysteries – the mystery of Amy and the cracks in time, the mystery of River Song and who she is and how and why, the mystery of the Silence, the mystery of prophecies and now the mystery of Clara. There is not enough about the mystery of the Doctor himself and, so at least it seems to me, Smith tries to compensate for that with his performance style.

    For me, his best scenes have been the quiet ones with Rory, or Iain Glen’s death, or his conversations with Vastra or the Brigadier’s daughter and his wonderful wonderful moments with the little Amelia Pond or Idris. The over-the-top bellicose in-your-face grandstanding, whether it be in Pandorica Opens or destroying a Cyberfleet in Good Man Goes To War or the challenge to the vampiric sun-creature in Rings I find wholly unconvincing – precisely because I cannot see what character trait that is consistent in him sets it up. He just seems smug.

    Moffat writes spectacular moments: things to remember, explosive situations, masterstroke plot twists – but I dont think he is very good at writing whole coherent continuing characters in Doctor Who (Rory is the one exception thus far and Clara does seem to be on that road too) or properly finishing a story. When I think of the other Doctors, I think of who they were, what kind of Doctor, how they approached mysteries and solved puzzles and fought evil, what the points of consistency were. With Smith, it seems the consistency is the inconsistency – which is fine if you like that, but I don’t. I can’t sum up his Doctor in any meaningful way, can’t say what he stands for or believes in, what he is capable of doing – although, to be fair, his testing of Clara in Rings and his speech to her about running from the shadows and not leaving people in the lurch does make a new point of departure, and if this develops into something concrete, then things might be different.

    Decades after its first screening, I can still, quite clearly, remember the joy, the thrill, the excitement of, to randomly pick some, Dalek invasion of Earth, Galaxy Four, The Chase, Power of the Daleks, Web of Fear or Terror of the Autons or Pyramids of Mars or Stones of Blood or Kinda or Caves of Androzani or Curse of Fenric (even!) and pretty much all of Eccleston and Tennant. Because of the Doctors themselves. I think about them, I re-watch them or listen to them, I enjoy them – because the stories were involving (not perfect), the companions were mostly great, there was a real sense of unique adventure and you knew where you stood with the Doctor – you knew what to expect from each different incarnation after they settled in.

    Except for the purposes of trying to undrstand the arguments very clever people raise on this and the Guardian blog, I never am even slightly tempted to revisit Smith episodes. Amy was not for me and Rory was not enough. River started well but she has been over and under used at the same time (tricky but there it is) I think and not in the ways that might have served her best. Clara is fabulous – and I did hope that, absent the Ponds, Smith’s Dr would anchor himself with Clara, settle and establish his take. But, No…the cube keeps spinning.

    Also, I confess to being put off him by the constant carping in the press and on the blogs about how like Troughton’s is his performance when, as I have said over and over again, his performance is not like Troughton’s at all – and wearing a bow tie and occassionally standing as Troughton can be seen to stand in extant episodes or photos does not make it so.

    I want Smith to be Smith’s Doctor – I just don’t feel he is or can be, both because of how the role is written and how he is allowed to play it. But I accept, as I must, that what he is doing is what Moffat wants and thinks is right – as incomprensible as that is to me, as incomprehensible as was Colin Baker’s portrayal to me.

    Actually, truth is, I feel sad for him. Rather like Sylvester McCoy, I think he has not been given the right material and the way to shine as brightly as he might have.

    I hope he gets a better series of final adventures than Tennant did.

    So that I am clear, I don’t hate the 11th Doctor. I loathe the 6th Doctor. I just don’t understand or have any empathy with the 11th Doctor; I don’t care what happens to him and I don’t look forward to seeing what will happen with him next. On the other hand, I am very keen on seeing what happens with Clara – it is she who is propelling my interest now.

    Sorry if that offends anyone.

    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    My personal hope is that, post 50th, we get a normal person or persons – no crack-in-yer-wall, no bring-people-back-to-life stuff, just ordinary people having extraordinary adventures.

    Me too!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – ‘David Tennant’ is the Equity name of David John McDonald; for reasons largely to do with making sure the right payment goes to the right actor, professional actors have to have a unique stage name.

    Unless David Tennant also changed his legal name to his stage name, Georgia Moffet is now Mrs McDonald.

    Anonymous @

    @HTPBDET – that was me, glad someone else wants a normal companion!  I’m thinking Sarah Jane – she was normal, never became a metacrisis, and went back to her time on earth to live a normal life.  (sort of.  she still fought bad aliens but that seems entirely reasonable – was she really going to start selling insurance or making jam for the WI?)

    P.s. I’ve forgotten what your acronym stands for.  I’ll get the joke about adding an ‘s’ if you remind me!

    @bluesqueakpip – aha, I didn’t know David Tennant’s real name. thanks for that.

    WhoHar @whohar


    Great post – there’s lots I agree with, some things I don’t, although I can empathise. Totally with you on the 6th Doc for example.  And don’t apologise for your well-thought out opinions.  As Elwood P Dowd says in Harvey : “Well, an element of conflict in any discussion’s a very good thing. It means everybody is taking part and nobody is left out.”


    Anonymous @

    @htpbdet — no offence at all. Needless to say I don’t agree in the slightest but that’s all good grist to the mill I reckon. I personally find Smith’s Doctor more convincing and involving than Eccleston’s take, which seemed to me constantly awkward, gurning and his constant grinning seemed forced and unnatural. Plus he was just too un-Doctorish for my liking. I genuinely thought that no one could improve on Tennant but I think Smith blew him out of the water, or he certainly supplanted him in my affections within a couple of episodes.

    But I do hear what you’re saying about the Troughton comparisons and I think the similarities to Troughton’s Doc are largely superficial. Character-wise I think he’s much closer to McCoy, with dashes of Hartnell and Davison thrown in. I love your spinning cube analogy and I have to say that’s one of the things I quite like about him. I’m not sure you really should be able to get a proper handle on the character of a 900-year-old alien.

    And I’m afraid I disagree on Clara as well. She seems lovely and quirky in a slightly Zooey Deschanel kind of way but so far I’m finding her a bit shallow and one-notey. I’m fascinated to find out her story a bit more but I’m afraid I want to see her suffer a bit more first before I’ll really take to her. Nothing seems to faze her and I find that a bit annoying — unless there’s a good reason for it later on. For instance, despite the heartbreak of her mum’s death when the Doctor asks her where she’d like to go anywhere in time and space, she doesn’t even think to bring up going back to see her mum? Really? And in keeping with the Blade Runner theme of this episode, that makes me think that the memory of her mum is more of an implanted thing rather than a genuine experience.

    But it’s highly possible I’m still grieving the loss of Amy. She was, to me, the best of the nu-Who assistants by a large margin. I’m wondering why I haven’t really loved the last two episodes because they have an Amy-shaped hole in them for me.

    Kudos on your posts on this episode though, by the way. Really well thought out, intelligent and considered. Very much enjoyed reading them.

    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    Its the first initial of the surname of certain actors who have protrayed the Doctor over the years…

    When the companion is normal, the Doctor gets to shine.


    Thanks. 🙂

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @jimthefish – very kind, thanks. I actually agree – entirely – with your assessment of 11 drawing from 7, 1 and 5 – I think that is a very fair and insightful way to look at 11. But there is an extra element – the physical comedy stuff which goes well beyond anything Mccoy attempted.

    Interesting, your point about Clara not asking to go back to meet or see her mother. Isn’t that the sort of thing you would ask when you felt more secure about the whole time travel thing? It took Rose some time for instance. I’m not sure that Clara not asking to go back and see her mother discounts her feelings about her family. But, equally, I feel certain that Clara’s happy family background is not real. Where is her “father”? No mention of him at all by Clara – why? And, like you, I am distrustful of her “memories” – partly because she keeps saying “run you clever boy and remember”. She is exhorting him to remember something – a kind of reverse Dr/Amy remembering storyline – but, at the same time, she seems to have her own memory issues – not the least because each incaration of her being knows nothing about the others (which discounts the Scaroth notion) or the Dr – at least before she first meets him.

    Actually, when I was thinking about this last night, I realised that I had been quite struck by the appearance of the father at the graveside when Clara is so upset over death of her mother. And wondered if he was, actually, a spoonhead…

    Of course, and forgive me, I was ecstatic when Amy left and no doubt I have given Clara more leeway because I so disliked Karen Gillan’s companion. Martha was boring but Amy…for me, only Rory and sometimes River saved those episodes. I loved Rose (still do) and for me Donna was a perfect companion, especially for Tennant. JLC looks like she could be just as good for Smith – curiously, I liked her better in Asylum and Snowmen than in the last two – but perhaps that is to be expected, because of the story arc? The two stand alone characters had complete arcs and are part of a larger arc – this Clara seems to be the larger arc and until its told, we wont be able to properly judge her.

    Still, I find her subtle, skilful, enormously attractive as a character and warm – with just that touch that something is not quite right. To me, she fascinates.

    But I totally get how anyone who loved Amy – and many did – would be resistant to Clara – as I was to Liz Shaw, to Leela (but only for a little bit) and to Mary Tamm’s Romana and then Lalla Ward’s Romana. When you love a companion, you generally grieve and the newcomer takes time to grow on you. I never really forgave Martha for replacing Rose…and Liz Shaw never had a chance after Jamie and Zoe…


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Oh, just a thought – more connected with Bells of St John, really. Or rather the prequel.

    Clara’s mother has warned her ‘don’t talk to strange men.’ Now this is a perfectly normal (nowadays) thing for a mother to say to a small daughter. But it’s repeated consistently throughout a very short prequel; by Clara to the Doctor, by the Doctor saying he’s so strange he’s extraordinary, and then by Clara’s mum at the end.

    So – normal motherly warning to small girl? Of the ‘don’t go off with any strangers’ type?

    Or – don’t talk to strange men. Because certain strange men are looking for you.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I wouldn’t say Clara’s childhood is ‘fake’ in the sense that it didn’t happen – I think that’s why we saw the Doctor going back and visiting her childhood, to establish that she really, really had one. She has grown up on Earth, late 20th to early 21st century.

    But I think it may be ‘fake’ in the sense that there is something the Doctor didn’t pick up, which changes it completely. Either she’s the Oswald’s adopted daughter, or alternatively, Ellie Ravenswood was already pregnant when she rescued Mr Oswald. And that last might explain the rather odd pause at the graveside before he puts his arm around Clara; he’s her stepfather who’s lost his beloved wife, and she’s his wife’s daughter who’s lost her beloved mother. And possibly he also knows – something – about Clara.

    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    I think I am more wondering whether the Doctor was checking up on Clara’s past or making Clara happen…it looks like he is checking up, investigating, but maybe he is not…maybe he is up to something else altogether…???

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Have recovered a bit from being completely awe-struck by recent posts – numbers, Clara theories etc. I’ve read through them and pondered, and realised there is only 1 possible conclusion.

    Clara’s mum promises – and a GREAT deal is made of that scene –  to “always come and find her.”  Now clearly she’s not going to be able to do that as she’s now dead. So either the show is pushing a “don’t trust your mum” message, which seems unlikely, or… the Doctor is Clara’s mum!

    Anonymous @

    @scaryb – hmmm, verrrrry eeenteresting.

    Or, Clara’s mum is guiding the Doctor.  Remember, it was a ‘mum’ who got the Doctor into the Dalek’s clutches for the trip to the Asylum.  Deffo not Clara’s mum, but someone’s.

    I think I’m leaning toward her not being really dead, and somehow ensuring that the Doctor always finds Clara.  There are already two other dead mums in Clara’s stories so far, perhaps this one is really still alive.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @nekko, thank you for sharing the bit about (os)Wald being the German for forest.  It is yet another connection to River;  I rather like the theory that Clara is connected, via CAL, to River.   Which doesn’t really fit with Sexy locking her out, but there have been too many references to leaves, forests, paper, books, etc.

    I have also been wondering whether the Doctor is the one sleeping.  Is the Doctor we are witnessing in the episodes really  his double encountering crafty stories of remembrance woven into the tale–namely, by River.  This was prompted by the repetition of the Clara-code “RYCBAR.”  I know several here promote the doppelgänger theory, and I wonder whether those of you thinking that way envision a scenario like Amy, where her actual ‘self’ was kept asleep in some other location, while her double moved about in time and space?

    Since I have now dipped my toe in (as it were), can I say how delighted I am to read the theories and brainstorming here!  So pleased to have found these forums via the Guardian.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @ardaraith A warm welcome from the “other place”! I like the idea of a sort of “sleeping beauty” actual Doctor and a ganger Doctor running about as a misdirection.

    If Matt has been playing two versions of himself all along (I keep squeezing my eyes shut really tight and hoping this is true) that would be beyond awesome. 

    Yes @nekko ‘s os Wald is interesting. I remember that someone, a way back, also said that Oswin Oswald meant “God’s friend”? As we’ve had the Doctor compared to a vampire sun-god in this latest episode, that’s interesting too…

    Clara seems to have both River, Rose and Susan connections hinted at. Moffat likes to bluff and feint too, of course, so we shall see.

    @scaryb – if the Doctor turned out to be Clara’s Mum that would be gr9 (as they say on younger parts of the interwebs). It would give us a gender swap regeneration finally, at least in some shape or form.

    Like @bluesqueakpip the symmetry of Clara being the Doctor’s granddaughter is very appealing.

    It’s probably safe to say that love is going to save the day, one way or another – and I’m not even sorry 🙂

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    This episode was promised within some article a while ago. I think it was an interview with the Moff & he spoke about something along the lines of ‘Dr Who the Musical’ coming soon. Like many ‘spoilers’, I forgot all about having read it – even after having watched the show. But it just popped back in my head.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @juniperfish – yes, Oswin means ‘God’s friend’ and Oswald means ‘Divine ruler’. Both names are from 7th Century Northern English kings. So Clara is the friend of a god – and a god’s queen. Given that ‘Clara’ may be a tribute to Elizabeth Sladen, its meaning possibly isn’t so important – but it means ‘clear, bright, famous’. 

    So she’s a god’s queen – the connection in this episode is clearly to the little Queen of Years, the repository of her culture’s ‘soul’. The one who ends the story singing live, ‘wake up – and let the cloak of life cling to your bones’.

    Which reminds me; did we ever have that weird clip of a skeleton clutching a sonic screwdriver explained? Because when I was discovering the connection to Pathfinders in Space, the few reviews mention a skeleton, or a body found on the moon. Which turns out to be thousands of years old.

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @bluesqueakpip – interesting you mention the skeleton just after a scene where the doc made quiet clear that nothing could separate him from his screwdriver (implying the skeleton must be him, not someone he just leant his screwdriver to)

    An interesting thought – the Vashta nerada spring to mind when seeing his (maybe) flesh stripped skeleton and the doc said (slightly awkwardly) “run till your out from under the shadow” … The Vashta of course live in shadows…

    Also though I love your idea for Clara being not Oswalds biological daughter, ghost town (and the car) suggest he was rescued from a leafy death in 1981, but Clara was born in 1989, so theres no way Ellie was pregnant before they met. Doesn’t mean that they weren’t (Rachael sn Ross style) “on a break” though in feb 1989…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Also though I love your idea for Clara being not Oswalds biological daughter, ghost town (and the car) suggest he was rescued from a leafy death in 1981, but Clara was born in 1989, so theres no way Ellie was pregnant before they met.

    Ah. I hadn’t twigged the date of ‘Ghost Town’. Yes, that’s an eight year gap. Though, even allowing for dating and engagement, an eight year gap before the birth of their one-and-only child is quite a gap. Which may suggest that the ‘adoption’ part of my theory is the right one.

    It’s just that generally, when you do these montages, directors/scriptwriters go for ‘Dad gazing at proud mum who’s just given birth’ and instead we got ‘Dad cradling baby in lounge while Mum sneaks a look’. Bit non-standard.

    WhoHar @whohar

    Putting two things together here. The Tardis lock out of Clara and her comment at the end about her house feeling different.

    Maybe the Doc’s absence during part of that ep was him going back to her house to look around and he (inadvertantly) changed something. The Tardis Clara hid behind was actually the Doc 1’s. Would need to go back and see if the Tardis was different.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @HTPBET I really enjoyed your post even though I don’t entirely agree. Like @jimthefish, Smith won me over within a couple of episodes. I agree there are some inconsistencies in his characterisation but  I think the actor pulls those off brilliantly. He is meant to be inconsistent, just as he can be so clumsy and innocent yet brilliant and clever at the same time. The Lodger exemplifies his character I think.

    I love the story archs and the spun out plotting. Without them how could we spend so much time devising and discussing bonkers theories? I like the complicated companion around which the story revolves though I am not sure that I would want Clara to be sole companion for too long, not unless she “normalises” at the end of the series or maybe she will turn out to be just a “normal” girl to whom extroadinary things happen.

    I wonder if the Doctor is going to investigate the backgrounds of Victorian Clara and Dalek Clara too? It appears that there is another episode set in Victorian London coming up. I suspect he will and find that all three have “organic” human origins. Or appear to. I think her origins are more likely linked to the G.I than to Susan though I’m still clinging to the theory that she is a password or key of some kind and hoping that it involves the Time Lock on Gallifrey. I doubt she is connected to Susan but it is possible that somebody such as Omega, wanting to unlock the Time War had located Susan or her daughter and scattered her through time in order to trap the Doctor.

    thedoctordude @thedoctordude

    Hello Everyone,
    I am just new here and discovered this forum recently. So, here it goes…
    I rewatched Asylum of the Daleks and noticed a few things.
    In the introduction to Clara, we find out two things: that it is her mom’s birthday and that it is 363 days after they crashed. I couldn’t find anything indicating the day they crashed, but it was interesting to see her mom popping up again.

    Another interesting thing is that despite being made into a dalek she seems to have not completely been converted. She shows to have a certain amount of a free will e.g. she manages to wipe the dalek memory of the doctor despite being a dalek herself. She also doesn’t appear to have acquired their knowledge of him. I don’t know what it would take to for this to happen, but it seemed like the conversion was some how incomplete.

    Also she states that she’d “know a dalek when she saw one.” I wonder how?

    Maybe somebody has already mentioned these things before, but I hadn’t seen anything on it so I thought I’d bring it up…

    janetteB @janetteb

    Good points @thedoctordude I assumed that the conversion had failed hence locking her up in the Asylum, though there is certainly something that distinguishes her from the remainder of the crew. I’m not convinced that the current incarnation is a “screaming genius” despite last week’s little tangle with the wi fi.

    New thought. Maybe the Clara Doctor meets in the Maitland house is not the real item. The actual Clara could easily have been substituted after the death of her mother. This clone/Clara has the memories or at least some of them.



    Bobbingbird @bobbingbird

    Big greetings to new members! This site is really growing.

    I enjoyed @htpbdet and @jimthefish discussion re the merits (or otherwise) of Smith’s portrayal. I think his inconsistencies are quite deliberate. Not because there’s two or more versions of the Doctor running around (which I really don’t buy), but because he is – basically – bonkers. I think the inconsistencies – mood swings, anxiety (to me he often appears anxious),  overconfidence, almost delusional behaviour are expressions of someone barely holding on to their sanity. Which is where the danger comes in.

    Considering  all he’s been through, seen and done, he would be a mad man, wouldn’t he? Smith – for me- portrays this excellently.

    I for one will miss him when he goes.


    Bobbingbird @bobbingbird

    Ah, @juniperfish is showing her age: Gr9 indeed

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @thedoctordude, yes, it’s interesting the reference to her mother. I’m tempted, after this last episode to think that the Clara of The Bells of St John is the original- she takes the name Oswin, comes up with ‘Run You Clever Boy And Remember’ to remember the wireless password, and gets uploaded with crazy hacking skills. The fact she knows Daleks when she sees them might just be that people in Earths future are once again familiar with them, but again, it might be a residual memory of her previous existence. But the mother dying does seem significant. In Asylum, she think’s she is literally nailing planks of wood to her door to keep them out, but really it’s a psychological process to keep them out of her head, and she does this in part by baking soufflés, and leaving chatty messages to her mother, as though in some ways it’s her bond with her mother that is keeping her ‘human’. So even though Darlek Clara knows her mother can’t literally come and find her, she is still protecting her, keeping her from being lost.

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @bluesqueakpip – If I had to summarise what it is about who i love in 3 words, “bit non standard” would just about do it.

    Anyone for a “doctor who – it’s a bit non standard” t-shirt?

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @janetteb @thedoctordude

    I think Clara’s processing as a dalek was recognised as being incomplete due to her huge strength of will. But as @Bluequeakpip pointed out, although she has the computing skills that she acquires in BoSJ, she doesn’t recognise the Doctor (or does she?!), suggesting either a memory wipe or that she is not quite the same.

    On the other hand the Tardis runs through all 3 versions when the Doctor asks “who is she”, strongly suggesting that she is 3 aspects of the same person (And I love @bluesqueakpip‘s meta-theory reasoning (3 parts to Dr Who the programme – classic, film, Nu-Who. So which is which?).  Add into that the fact that she loves kids and kids love her. Parents think she’s a  great person to look after kids).

    @bobbingbird – agree, great to get lots of new faces and minds to chew over bonkers and bobbins speculations

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Someone upthread did a detailed list of all the “ghost” references in last few episodes. There’s a lot. Combine that with the concept of body/mind separation in the uploading of “souls”, eating of memories (again called souls, or stories) suggests that they are pointing to that sort of a resolution.

    Question then could be – is the Doctor also separated from his body?

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Anyone for a “doctor who – it’s a bit non standard” t-shirt?

    Yes please 😀

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @thedoctordude – by the point asylum occurs, earth has been invaded by daleks (and sent packing) and humans have had many skirmishes the doc name checks exxilon, spiridon and Kembel alone in the ep. It’s probably safe to say every human by this point in human history knows what a Dalek looks like from the history books.

    More numerology: Episode one of “Destiny Of The Daleks” was broadcast on exactly the same day and date as asylum in 1979. Is 34 a significant number too?

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    My spelling auto correct keeps changing asylum of the daleks to asylum of the dales.

    I now can’t get out of my head a scene where every significant dale in history – dale winton, Jim dale etc – is gathered in a single room to scream “help us” menacingly (and slightly campily) at the doctor in unison. I may not be able to sleep tonight…

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    Oh just one quick thought – time lords upload their mind/souls/memories to the Matrix just before they die and once there – just like the repository in silence in the library – its hard to tell its not reality… could these various mind repositories all be connected?

    Could the GI actually be the Matrix, escaped somehow from gallifrey, now starved of new minds no longer fed by the TLs and gone rogue? Is the library repository also the GI, meaning River, the love of the doctors life – is actually a hostage of the GI (but it doesn’t realise who she is yet?)

    As a twist, maybe the matrix isn’t something the TL’s manufactured but a lifeform like the grandfather the TLs captured, enslaved and like the eye of harmony forgot the origins of, over the aeons?

    Maybe if rassilon created the eye of harmony, omega the hand of omega and time travel , the matrix/GI was originally enslaved (just like the beast below) by a third TL guilty of feeding it a million souls … a TL who tried to forget his crime and pay penitence for his guilt…

    I wonder … Who?

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    Ok that is quite enough coffee I think …
    Oh just one more cup …

    Anonymous @

    @haveyoufedthefish — interesting ideas re. The Matrix. Maybe after the Time Lords went it developed sentience (I quite like the idea that it might in fact be the Great Intelligence). Maybe the Matrix gaining sentience was actually the cause of the Time War.

    Also like the idea that the library repository might be connected also. Bearing in mind the rumoured title of the final episode of 7.2, I keep wondering if we’re going to be heading back there. And I’ve wondered more than once if The Silence in the title of The Silence in the Library might turn out to be in fact more literal than we’d previously thought.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @haveyoufedthefish Matrix as the ultimate problem… Ooooh, I like 🙂 (Could tie in with lots of things, not least @juniperfish‘s hope for return of the Timelords). What could be bigger foe than their own tech turned against them, subtext of be careful of the consequences of using scientific developments before you fully understand them.

    <goes off to have a caffeine-fuelled lunchtime ponder 🙂 >

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @jimthefish – well of course if the silence were in the library all along … of course no-one would ever know/remember. Might be worth re-watching to see if there’s any indication of lost time or disconnected events …

    Hmmmm if the above isn’t actually the plot, maybe I should be pitching it to Moffatt … 😀

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    I love the Matrix theory@haveyoufedthefish

    I think you should post that one back on The Guardian, don’t you, it’s so great? After all, it’s our main recruitment ground at the moment (not that we want to get so big over here that we give @craig and you a headache!). Still, I’m also kind of attached to Dan’s goofy blog, despite the inevitable guff.

    Anyway – the Matrix!!!

    I’d forgotten that the consciousness of Time Lords was uploaded to the Matrix after they died, as standard, on Gallifrey. You do realise <massive sob> this means the Doctor gave River the closest thing to a Time Lord funeral he was able to give her in a post-Gallifreyan world <sails the mother of all ships – take note @pedant

    Now who loves time paradoxes and time loops more than Moffat?

    So what if the Doctor and River are, in a massive time loop, the Adam and Eve of the Time Lords? The leaf in Clara’s book (she’s got to be his granddaughter) refers to the Fall and the Garden of Eden.

    River, created in part in the Time Vortex, is the first Time Lord – a proto-Time Lord. 

    We’ve had Garden of Eden symbology before, right at the start of Moff’s reign. Remember that little Amelia gives the Doctor an apple and the first adversary is a big snake (Prisoner Zero)?

    If even half of the threads running through Moffat’s tenure turn out to be as beautiful as we have theorised them to be…

    @juniperfish loses cool completely and runs excitedly down the street looking for a blue box in the sky (but is sadly not as lucky as @chickenelly was earlier!)

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @scarybhttp://goo.gl/XeRzs … instant t-shirt.

    stevethewhistle @steve-thorp

    Re: The Tardis Lock-out

    The Tardis might have locked the doors to keep out The Queen Of Ages so that she couldn’t avoid singing her song.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Waves at @stevethewhistle Yes, could be. The TARDIS always takes the Doctor where he needs to be, so we know she does interfere!

    (<a href="mailto:I@craig“>@craig do you know why @stevethewhistle ‘s moniker is not going blue?)

    Meanwhile, I continue to freak out about Moffat and Christian symbology. The Doctor, as we know died and was resurrected at Easter on the shores of Lake Silencio and we’ve had the whole Easter theme kept alive with the eggs references in 7 Part 1. All this, combined with the very heavy parallel made between the Doctor and a slumbering “Old God”.

    Also, the leaf references vegetation deities, who were being worshipped as the God dying and reborn, long before Christianity – in particular Osiris, vegetation deity and Lord of the Underworld.

    Dr Who the show has of course, also died and been reborn.

    This ties back in with @bluesqueakpip ‘s recall of the skeleton holding the sonic… (another “in my time of dying”)

    <screams Moffat! ILU> <then hides behind the sofa whistling fishily>

    <what? that fan geek-out was nothing to do with me>

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    NB – I meant to say that the Osiris/ vegetation deity reference ties us back into all the Egyptology, of course…

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