Spyfall part 2

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    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I think the ‘timeless child’ picture is a flash from the Doctor’s own buried memory – but we might have to agree to differ on that one until we both have more information.

    Welcome to the forum and to our bonkers theorising!

    I think that Daniel Barton was watching when the Master banged his head against the console.

    or that the Time Lord species was built or somehow genetically engineered.

    This is something I’ve felt for a long time, so it’s not really surprising a life-long fan like Chibbers might decide to use the same idea as a series (multi-series?) arc. The end-effect of all those producers and writers adding on Time Lord attributes so that the Doctor doesn’t die this week, plus the frequent use of Time Lord characters as ‘meglomaniac of the week’ is that they seem – designed. Designed to – not die. To be super-intelligent. To want to win wars, and not care about any other races that might get in the way.

    They just don’t feel like a ‘naturally evolved’ species. They’re mirrors of the Daleks.

    The other odd point about them is that they don’t seem to be arsed about the Master. More than not arsed, in fact. It’s as if he generates this massive ‘ignore me’ field for everyone on Gallifrey (despite his assassination of some rather important people) and even the Doctor seems to struggle to actually – kill him.

    Now, for the Doctor this may be because the Master is a childhood friend and he/she simply has the same difficulty any of us would face if your best friend was suffering from mental problems that meant they were a danger to others. We could say that the Pertwee Doctor put a good face on things, and the later Doctors have been a bit more willing to try and push him in the direction of the people he’s hurt (and hope they do the actual killing).

    But – could Chibbers be about to ‘explain’ the Doctor’s inability to kill the Master by having it programmed in? He can’t kill the Master because the Master is … what? The timeless child himself? This generation’s incarnation of Chaos? An eternal incarnation who simply doesn’t remember all his incarnations and periodically regenerates as a child?

    Like, possibly, the Doctor…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    it was the recycling in this episode that really stopped me getting into it and grading it higher.

    Agreed that there was a lot of recycling, most of which seemed to be the Master recycling previous ‘greatest hits’. It’s whether it’s, y’know, recycling created by the BBC saying ‘we don’t like the direction of the last series, having told you we want something different we now don’t.’

    Or, whether the recycling is a plot point. This series arc is going to be one that uses stuff from all (well, hopefully not all) the previous series, including BG. Did you notice there were at least two references to going ‘Classic’? But if one of the biggest complaints against both Moffat and RTD was that they presumed everyone watching had a detailed knowledge of the last fifty odd years including spin off media, then maybe Chibbers has decided that the casual viewer needs a recap of the important stuff before we set off on our viewing journey through the series arc.

    As well as the things you mentioned, other recaps were: the Master’s tissue compressor, that Time Lords are telepathic, who, what and where the Doctor is from. I’d also include the ‘Moffat loop’, which makes re-using one of the most famous scenes from Moffat’s most famous Doctor Who script more an acknowledgement than a retread.

    Has anyone else spotted other ‘recap’ items?

    Spider @spider

    Just had a thought: 5 planets, 5 days …

    5 stages of grief perhaps?


    lisa @lisa


    YES !   Lots of ‘child’ stuff and all of them weapons?   Like the Moment?

    The Moment was a sort of ‘interface’ .   I supposed both the Master and Doctor are that too.

    There were lots of devices created by the ancients of Galifrey to change outcomes

    which is what both the Master and the Doctor do. They were also eyes to see through too.

    Personally for me the Doctor is the Eye of Harmony and the Master is the Eye of Discord.


    Or a virus,  Empty child.  A killing machine the Nightmare child.

    Also the Unearthly child was the very first  Hartnell episode.

    So the Master is tossing a tantrum because he is being used by the Timelords who

    keep manipulating him over and over and he cant do anything about it except destroy

    the source of the manipulation?

    Interestingly the Doctor has also sought Galifrey’s  end to meddling in his/her lives from the

    beginning when he stole a Tardis.

    GalaxyMage @galaxymage

    I know it’s a while after the episode ended, but there are still some thoughts I’d like to add. I was somewhat rushed on my last post, so there’s still some things I haven’t said.

    Ada Lovelace is amazing! They did an episode with Ada Lovelace, and that alone would probably make it good in my opinion. I’ve known about her since I was 8, did my fourth grade essay on her, and did a scout project on her, because she’s absolutely awesome. I kind of wish she could do more computer-related stuff in the episode, or calculate a mathematical equation or something like that. But she did do some cool things in the episode, including shooting The Master, which probably saved The Doctor’s life! Although we didn’t exactly get a chance to see her academic intelligence, we did see her being incredibly brave and able to think quickly.

    The memory wipe at the end was disturbing, but I’m not really sure that wiping her memory is a sign of The Doctor going dark. After all, she could do a lot of damage to the timeline after seeing what she saw. It’s one thing to erase the companions memories of him/her (going with him for this since it’s in the past) — they’re his friends, and he’s chosen to show them the universe. They don’t often have good places in the ordinary world, and they aren’t normally geniuses. If they saw future technology, they think “oh, cool, that’s really amazing”. On the other hand, Ada Lovelace is really important. Ada Lovelace is in a position to change things. And Ada Lovelace may be smart enough to reverse-engineer some of what she saw and create a very unfortunate timeline. Earth is a mess in Doctor Who, but at least it’s an existant mess. Who knows what Ada Lovelace inventing something she saw could do to it; it could affect any number of the alien invasions on Earth.

    But, while I think a mind-wipe was necessary, it was kind of weird that The Doctor did it in that way. She could have explained (some of) the situation to Ada and let her say goodbye first, but (if I remember correctly) she basically said “I have to wipe your memory” and then did so while Ada pleaded with her to stop. The way she did it was the somewhat disturbing part, not the fact that she did so.

    Thanks, @syzygy, for the explanation of The Master’s confusing behavior! That does make sense, and I agree that none of his versions that I’ve seen would plan like that, although the “in case I die” thing kind of reminds me of when (I think, got this off the wiki and don’t really remember the episode) the Harold Saxon version arranged to get resurrected. He did plan for his death, but never planned for a way to continue the truth should he be unable to return. The Harold Saxon version always thought he could and would come back if he died; this version seems to want the truth to continue should The Doctor win and he dies…Thank you for explaining some of this to me!

    As to how/when The Master will escape from the strange dimension, I have absolutely no clue. The only reason The Doctor escaped was because of Ada Lovelace, so that options out. I guess it comes down to the question of how exactly Yas escaped and whether she’s still really Yas. (I think she is, although it would be cooler if she was replaced or had 93% human DNA.) While the Kasaavin was trapped in The Master’s TARDIS, it, if I remember correctly, seemed to turn into Yas and then she was transported there. (This actually makes me think that Yas is herself but her body’s not her own — perhaps it’s made out of the Kasaavin and then her mind was transported/psychically grafted into/onto her new body.) So, how does The Master use this to get out? Was Yas able to escape because The Master told the Kasaavin to let her go? Because then, now that he’s not in charge anymore, that option is gone. Did she escape because of the disappearance of the Kasaavin that was trapped? It may be possible to escape then without controlling the Kasaavin. But the idea that she escaped because the Kasaavin were ordered to let her go seems more likely. Which means that someone would need to control the Kasaavin and let him out.

    There’s been speculation that The Doctor will let him out due to the mystery of the Timeless Child, but I doubt she will. I think the Twelfth Doctor allowed Missy to stay out of the vault for something, and tested her redemption by sending her on a mission? She still thinks that Missy betrayed her (well, him then) and so it would be strange for her to do that again after how she thinks it ended last time. Still, I think someone has to let him out. Who could it be?

    A past/future version of himself. Another enemy of The Doctor who wants him to fight. A companion who stops trusting The Doctor or just barely escapes a mind wipe and then decides that they want to know the truth. This actually seems possible. There’s a lot more distrust between the companions and The Doctor right now, and I think the brevity of her “I’m a Time Lord from Gallifrey, you can’t visit right now” speech is just going to add fuel to the fire. As much as The Doctor will want to know what’s going on, she’s not going to let somebody dangerous out to do so (I think). It’s much more likely that one of the companions will let him out. They didn’t see him as himself other than in two scenes — one in which he blew up the plane but he didn’t succeed, and one in which The Doctor explained precisely how she fixed the situation and then makes the Kasaavin turn on him. They’re not going to be nearly as terrified of The Master as they should be — nearly dying loses some of its trauma when you’re constantly in peril.

    But which one? Gram seems too loyal to The Doctor, but O’s offer of information may be too much. After all, he knows nearly nothing about her. He might even think he’s helping her. We saw a picture of him in the trailer with him in what appeared to be a white TARDIS, so that could be related. But Gram really doesn’t seem like the type to ever betray The Doctor, even if he really wants to know more than what was basically “I’m a Time Lord from Gallifrey. He is too. He’s evil. No, you can’t visit my home and stop asking questions.” (She wasn’t that abrupt, but she did shut down their attempts to discover more.)

    I also doubt Ryan would do that. We don’t really know much about his personality, and he seems kind of blank to me. He’s supposed to be a brave and determined character who works hard to overcome his Dyspraxia, but he doesn’t end up feeling like anything other than someone who tags along. This is probably the result of 3 companions, but it leaves me with very little knowledge about his motivations. And yet, he also seems to be too loyal to ever help The Master with anything. Unless, of course, he does it for someone who he’s even more loyal to. Perhaps Gram and Ryan’s relationship wasn’t built up last season for nothing. If Gram’s cancer comes back, I could see Ryan helping The Master escape if he thinks it would help him. The trouble is, I can’t think of a situation where The Master would actually be more help to him than The Doctor. This also doesn’t feel that Doctor Who like of a scenario.

    Finally, there’s Yas, who I’m worried might do it because she thinks it will save the day. Perhaps the big foe (the one who’s coming for The Doctor in the season 12 trailer) is incredibly difficult to beat and the secret of the Timeless Child is the only way to win. Even then, even when the fate of the universe depends on it, I don’t think this Doctor will help The Master escape. She might not even realize that the fate of the universe depends on it. The fate of the universe might not even actually depend on it. (I think it will, though.) What matters is that Yas thinks it does. I could see Yas thinking about it, realizing that they will lose without his help, and weighing her choices. And I could see her making the difficult decision to let him out, even though he’s evil, even though he might just make it worse, and even though it would be the end of her travels with The Doctor. I’m probably wrong about this, but I think that if one of the companions helps The Master escape, it will be Yasmin, and she’ll do it because she honestly thinks it’s the best choice. She won’t believe she’s betraying The Doctor; she’ll think she’s helping her even though The Doctor thinks she’s sided with evil. I hope it doesn’t come to this, though. I like Yas.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @miapatrick  I felt as though the 7% not human DNA was a big part of Barton’s coldness here.

    Yes, true. But there was a bit of an odd discrepancy there, as Barton seemed fully intellectually functioning with his 7% alien DNA (if not morally) but others “infected” with the alien DNA became simply “shells” and “memory sticks”, like his poor old Mum. His grudge against his Mum seemed life-long, so I don’t think we can blame the aliens for that!

    @missrori Frankly, this episode is coming off as rather bitterly timed.  A lot of people here in the U.S. are wondering if we’re heading towards WWIII, Australia’s burning down, and there’s nothing left for good people to do.  Sorry Doctor.  Darkness Always Wins.

    It feels like that here too in the UK (at least for some of us). I have been following scholars of fascism who are making some very clear parallels (Jason Stanley in particular is good on this). So, in that sense, a recycled return to WW2 (again) actually makes sense. I’d have preferred the entire episode to be set there, in that case, to give the parallels time to breathe, particularly more of Noor Inayat Khan’s story.

    The strength of Chibnall’s Who, despite its several flaws, in my view, has been its clear insistence that the Doctor is anti-fascist, hence why Rosa and Demons of the Punjab were such stand-outs.

    S/he has always been anti-fascist. The entire War Doctor story – the decision to destroy Gallifrey, to stop an endless war, was so horrifyingly anti-Doctor, which is why the Doctor initially refused to acknowledge the War Doctor as a legitimate regeneration.

    Your comment has actually talked me into the Master’s (recycled) destruction of Gallifrey (or apparent destruction).

    What is the difference between the Master and the Doctor? Both destroyed Gallifrey (in one timeline). We’ve just been told the Master is happy to masquerade as the “master-race” on Earth, and we’ve just had a story about alien DNA… So whatever the Timeless Child story is, it might be about racial “purity” (and what BS that is).

    @lisa and @bluesqueakpip

    What fish picture? How could I miss a fish picture?!?!?!

    You know, all this talk about The Timeless Child, and children, makes we wonder whether the Master and the Doctor had a child together, somewhere deep in their history. We do know the Doctor had at least one child, because of Susan (granddaughter). Wouldn’t that be a kicker? On the other hand, in view of the DNA and racial “purity” (as BS) themes – perhaps we will find out that Susan was the child of the Doctor and River’s child, by means of timey-wimeyness, in which case part-human.


    Re your feelings about S11. I’ve wanted to see a female Doctor for so long, so I’ve been struggling with the fact that I just don’t think Chibnall is as good a writer or showrunner as RTD or Moffat. At least to my mind, WhitDoc hasn’t been as well served as she should have been.

    However, I like @bluesqueakpip ‘s theory that all the “recycling” we both found annoying in Spyfall is part of a larger point, perhaps about the Master’s inability to let go of the past.

    It’s certainly good to see more bonkers theorising on here already than we squeezed out of last season.

    lisa @lisa


    Yeah Ms. Fish !    My goodness.    The purported fish was on the smart phone inside C’s office.

    The Doctor contacted O for assistance on it and a picture of a fish was on the screen display..

    Missy once told Clara she had a daughter.  I forget which episode. But interestingly I read a

    thing about Moffatt thinking up a cliff hanger end to his run of the show but it didn’t happen..

    In it Missy tells the Doctor that she’s pregnant.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @thane16 @bluesqueakpip @juniperfish and anyone else who has been speculating about the Timeless Child and whom I may have overlooked.

    Given the context of the references and the hints dropped, and after mulling over the question in what passes for my mind these days, I have ended up with a strong sense that the Timeless Child is/was  some kind of foundational myth in Time Lord society; the myth of a child, perhaps born in extraordinary circumstances, who had extraordinary powers. Such powers might have been an innate ability to manipulate time, or simply to pass through time unaffected by it, and so the Child, or the myth of such a child, became in some fashion the inspiration for Rassilon and Omega (and perhaps other ‘Founding Fathers’) to create the technology which made the Time Lords possible.

    At the very least it seems to be something which must lie at the base and origin of Time Lord society rather than something relating to the Doctor and/or the Master alone; something which cuts away the very roots of their sense of identity.  The Master has never in our acquaintance with him been exactly sane, and the abuse and trauma which sent him over the edge means that he has always tended to overreact, but even so it would have to be a pretty horrific discovery to result in him destroying Gallifrey and thus his ultimate home.  The Doctor’s reaction to his revelations, whether true or based on misinformation, suggest that she, also, was profoundly disturbed.

    Come to that, has he incinerated the whole planet (and if so, how?), or just the Time Lord citadel?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    When I rewatched I noticed that Barton’s anger against his mother was planted in his very first scene. Yaz and Ryan, he thinks, have been granted an interview because it means there’ll be an article about him in the paper his mum reads. At the time you think it’s ‘legacy media’ he dislikes, later you realise it was his mum.

    Have you read Eatwell and Goodwin’s National Populism: the Revolt Against Liberal Democracy?

    Yup, as @lisa said, there was a fish picture. ‘What is image steganography?’ is currently trending. 🙂

    Again, there is that running fan theory that Susan is the granddaughter of both the Doctor and the Master, but for some reason I’ve got it in my head that the ‘Timeless Child’ is more akin to the LeGuin Omelas story. I agree that the Nazi scene has more significance than just an opportunity to make the Master look really evil, but as I argued on T’Other Place, I think we’re deliberately being led down the rabbit hole of Nazi’s = racists. So we’re thinking the arc plot is about racism and murderous racial purity (which was the major topic of last series) and forgetting that the Nazi’s also had a eugenics programme that included breeding more little Ayrans.

    If there’s one thing that might make the Master flip so badly that he burns Gallifrey to ashes, it’s the discovery that he and his entire people have been deliberately made. Designed. That he is the way he is because that’s what his designers wanted.

    With regard to Chibnall as showrunner, RTD’s first series was very rocky indeed and we’re only two episodes into Chibber’s second one. Maybe by the end of this series we’ll know whether he’s taking the bronze or the silver. 🙂

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @craig I’m having trouble posting as the website thinks I’ve ghost-posted already?!

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    OK I’ll have to try and say this in a different way!

    @lisa and @bluesqueakpip

    Many thanks re the fish!

    I just Googled “CO fish” (combining “C” and “O” code-names) and found this on Wikipedia



    Perhaps there is a DNA “joke” going on here on the Master’s part.


    The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas – I read Le Guin’s story when I was young and still remember how much it affected me. She is one of my favourite writers.

    Some kind of Time Lord eugenics programme would be fascinating.

    It’s always been a very hierarchical society. Perhaps there is more to getting into the Time Lord academy than acing your grades? A breeding programme for “time sensitivites”?

    I will add Eatwell and Goodwin to my reading list

    @mudlark This does seem like a Time Lord origin story and the child is at the heart of that.

    But that doesn’t mean the Doctor’s own children won’t come into the storyline. Perhaps they are “hybrid” (part human) and would be considered “impure” by a Time Lord eugenics programme.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    The lie. When the Master tells the Doctor that everything is a lie, this could, of course, refer to anything. Through his/her various iterations, the Doctor has had little time or patience for the Timelords. To discover, for example, that the Timelords were the result of eugenic breeding wouldn’t necessarily be something The Doctor would be all that surprised by. It strikes me that when the Master refers to everything being a lie it seems to evoke something so terrible that it would make the Doctor question the whole purpose and point of being the Doctor. Similarly, for the Master to decimate Galifrey (still not sure about that one: a. it means the Master is surprisingly more powerful and successful that he/she has ever been in the past, and b. it seemed, well, too easy) the “lie” would have to be something that confronted the beliefs and values of the Master as well as the Doctor. That means we have to think of what they have in common that they could be equally emotionally and philosophically shattered by, to discover that “it” was all based on a lie. (Sorry, “shattered” was the best word I could think of.)

    And the answer is…no, I can’t think of what it might be.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Hold on…I have it! The answer to: what is the lie?  Something so terrible that the Master destroys Gallifrey, and shares his anguish with the Doctor. (Revelations like the following often come with the second glass of Shiraz…)

    The Master has discovered that he, the Doctor and the entire universe are all part of a holodeck programme like the one that Moriarty and the Countess find themselves on at the end of the “Star Trek Next Generation” episode “Ship in a Bottle”, destined never to know that their reality takes place in “a little box, sitting on someone’s table”.

    And the reason that the Master is so upset is his discovery that it wasn’t even the result of someone with the intelligence of Data, but that it was designed by Lt. Reginald Barclay.

    “Computer, End Program.”


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    P.S. To anyone who has never seen the “Star Trek NG” episode “Ship in a Bottle”, it is absolutely brilliant–funny and outrageously clever (in other words, it has quite a lot in common with “Doctor Who”).

    Highly recommended (and easy to find).

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @juniperfishI would say he was an early, voluntary? experiment, and changed just enough to make him do what they wanted him to do – lose just enough of his humanity. And to show him what they could do. They went on to completely change the DNA of other humans, working towards the stage where they could upload themselves inside him.

    If the idea was that some humans would remain to supervise things, as he said (though just because they told him that doesn’t mean it was true!) probably best that they not be entirely human. They might try to save friends and family…

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @blenkinsopthebrave at the moment the Doctor believes the Time Lords are they way they are because of exposure to the time vortex, isn’t it?  There has to be some kind of truth to that because that’s how River ended up with regenerations. Direct mutation of a human embryo.

    Could this be more about how the Time Vortex came to be in the first place? Could the Timeless Child be the source?

    It’s difficult to think of something so bad it would make the Master so furious, traumatised, and angry. It’s difficult to think of something that would create this kind of reaction in both him and the Doctor. The Master could get incredibly upset if he found something out like: The Time Lords are actually just normal humanoid creatures, even humans, kidnapped and made into Time Lords through the vortex (although if that was really going to upset him, Missy would not have been so sympathetic to the Doctor over River’s death. She was the only ‘human’ who’s relationship with the Doctor the Master has shown any respect for). The Master knows the Doctor well enough, it has to be something he is sure would shock the Doctor as much as it shocked him. That’s really hard to think of.


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @lisa and @bluesqueakpip

    Ahhhh – thanks re the fish!

    I just Googled “CO fish” (combining “C” and “O” code-names) and found this on Wikipedia


    <b>”Fluorescence <i>in situ</i> hybridization </b>(<b>FISH</b>) is a molecular cytogenetic technique that uses fluorescent probes that bind to only those parts of a nucleic acid sequence with a high degree of sequence complementarity. It was developed by biomedical researchers in the early 1980s<sup id=”cite_ref-1″ class=”reference”>[1]</sup> to detect and localize the presence or absence of specific DNA sequences on chromosomes.
    <h3><span id=”CO-FISH_(chromosome_orientation-FISH)” class=”mw-headline”>CO-FISH (chromosome orientation-FISH)</span></h3>
    Another adaptation that utilizes PNAs and FISH is known as CO-FISH (Chromosome Orientation-FISH) which allows for the labelling of chromosomes with PNAs in a strand specific manner. This method involves the selective removal of newly replicated strands of DNA (through the use of BrdU incorporation), resulting in only single stranded target DNA. By using different colored unidirectional PNA probes, it becomes possible to uniquely label sister chromatids.”


    So maybe there is a DNA “joke” going on here on the Master’s part.

    @bluesqueakpip re The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas – I read that story when I was quite young and still remember the chills it gave me. She remains one of my favourite writers.

    Yes, eugenics is the other side of the fascist extermination of the “unfit”, of course, so some kind of Time Lord eugenics programme would be fascinating.

    The Time Lords have already been depicted as highly hierarchical, and we’ve never learned why “ordinary Gallifreyeans” lived outside the city-dome whilst all the Time Lords lived inside. Is there more to going to the Time Lord academy than acing your grades? A “time sensitivity” breeding programme?

    I haven’t read Eatwell and Goodwin, but it looks interesting so I will add it to my list.

    @mudlark I agree, I don’t think the “Timeless Child” will turn out to be the Master and the Doctor’s child – this does seem like a Time Lord origin story.

    But that doesn’t mean the Doctor’s own children won’t come into the storyline, particularly if they are “hybrid” (part human, through River) and might be considered “impure” by a Time Lord eugenics programme.



    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish I’ve released all your posts and kept the first one (I think the others were more or less duplicates). Hopefully you won’t have any more problems. I think if you post too many links the system thinks you’re possibly a spammer so it puts them in “pending”.

    Thanks for letting me know. And hopefully won’t happen again.

    syzygy @thane16

    @blenkinsopthebrave @miapatrick

    Yes, this is going in a good direction…. An existential “shattering” which corrupts the very basis of what the Doctor has chosen to be: so that he/she is not really a Doctor... But as you say, something to do with the vortex & the child who is timeless, also empty, who is buried deep in nightmares?

    What if the Child is effectively physically harnessed to all Time Lords  -their very ability to be TLs contingent upon the role of the Child to exist across all dimensions & eternally?

    A slave, perhaps. The Doctor who saves the children of Gallifrey discovers her ability coexists only with the imprisonment of the Timeless Child.

    I also like a termination programme whereupon at a certain age TLs must deliver their remaining regenerations to the Child which causes the latter to re-breed uniquely intelligent, but possibly depraved TLs.

    Then:  the idea of the Dalek’s extermination code & how this fits with our history in Russia, with pogroms, in the Ukraine, Germany, the Khmer Rouge etc

    Syzygy the Old 🙂

    syzygy @thane16


    I agree on the mind-wipe. My son, didn’t. However, Lovelace saw some truly shattering images & despite her obvious curiosity & later work with Babbage, I would think that exposing her to the Doctor’s world, though briefly, could change Lovelace’s time line. She’s made a considered decision to have Lovelace’s life play out without the Doctor’s assistance or involvement.

    Nonetheless, she is controlling another -the very thing the Doctor does not like occurring to her. Her answers to the ‘fam’s’ questions (fams tend to know a lot & love you anyway) come across as irritated: “OK, whaddaya want to know?”

    The Doctor also knows her travel companions sometimes have catastrophic experiences. Perhaps another reason why the Doctor wipes Lovelace’s mind: her very real concept of a world on fire;  Armageddon.

    mensabrains @mensabrains

    ok. first post, here. i’m the sort who asks the intricate questions, as my netname might warn you. at the end of spyfall, i was asking my roommate these questions: so can the Doctor take a Tardis back to Gallifrey, view the ruins as it is ” now”, then set the Tardis to do a ” rewind” back thru time and the Doc stay inside the Tardis and watch time go backwards, the way we can watch a video or a movie play backwards? could she witness what happened that way? further questions: could s/he rewind Time all the way back to when the Time Lords first became able to time travel? and to regenerate? is there an implied impassable wall at that point because previous to that, they could NOT move thru Time, therefore cannot go back to the time before they could do that? all this is in pursuit of whether the present Doctor can use the Tardis to go far enough back to witness what it was in Time Lord history that involved this Timeless Child, and this Lie the master says he uncovered. can a Time Lord go back in time to before the time lords gained their power to time travel??? i understand being able to go forward, to the end of the universe, because they have the ability from the start of time traveling, on. but what about going BACKWARDS? is there a point beyond which they can not go back? because they didnt have the ability before that?…i’m thinking of how would i approach this if i could do what the Doctor can. i would want to use my Tardis to go as far back as i needed to witness what happened with this Timeless Child and what the founding fathers did, that led to this Lie the Master says has been perpetrated upon all of them. but is that even possible, if there was a Time before Time Lords were time lords? is that time off limits to their race? arre there laws of time that even they are not able to break?

    Vervain @vervain

    So anyone else think the kasavins gaffe looked similar to the Matrix cloister?

    or that the Master when transported there seemed to be wearing a clerical collar a la Rev. Magister?

    Vervain @vervain

    We know the Timelords use renegades to maintain plausible deniability- Celestial Intervention Agency for example. Or promising the Master a new regeneration cycle in the 5 Doctors.

    Using other dimensions to hide their dirty secrets be it the Great Vampires or Omega. The diamond at the centre of The Sound of Drums – the sound which we heard when Me knocked on the Tardis doors in Hellbent, aa part of Saxon’s psychic field and used again in the most recent episode


    the big assumption here is the Master is that telling the truth about being responsible for Gallifrey as is now.

    FatManInABox @fatmaninabox


    Prof. Brian Cox did a televised lecture to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who which dealt with the scientific aspects of the programme.

    Current thinking is that if it were possible to travel through time, although the traveler could could go to any future time, the furthest they could travel back is the point at which their journey first began. So for example, you and I both have time machines. You begin your journey on February 1st 2020 but I don’t set off until September 12th 2021. You can return to 1st Feb 2020 but I can’t.

    The Doctor, in his monologue in ‘The Rings of Akhaten’ says “I’ve seen the birth of creation and watched as time ran out” so I’m assuming a Time Lord, or any one else with access to a time machine can travel as far into the past or future as they like.

    Rob @rob

    Hi all

    My bonkerising has led me through a convoluted path to the caffeine inspired fact that the Sascha Dhawan Master will become Professor Yana

    Hidden (by Jodie Whittaker Doctor as she knows he’ll spend years trying to save the last of humanity) to atone for the crimes against the children of Gallifrey all 2.47 billion

    Ohh well it sounded better before I wrote it


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    the big assumption here

    Yes, for some reason I am skeptical about the Master’s claim to have destroyed Gallifrey. It seems too monumental to have happened off-screen. For a similar reason, I am skeptical that Gallifrey really has been destroyed (or even that the Doctor saw what she thinks she saw). I sense a slight of hand in all of this.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Or, indeed, “sleight of hand”.

    (When in doubt, always blame spell check…)

    Mudlark @mudlark


    What if the Child is effectively physically harnessed to all Time Lords  -their very ability to be TLs contingent upon the role of the Child to exist across all dimensions & eternally?

    I really like that idea, not least because it is compatible with my theory and also with the idea that the Time Lords are the result of radical genetic manipulation. The question remains, though, whether this is part of  what the Time Lords have always believed about their origins, or whether it is part of a lie which undermines their very sense of identity, and I’m inclined to think the latter. I’m less sure of whether Le Guin’s fable is a relevant analogy other than it involves a child. The happiness and well-being of the people of Omelas depends on the child being utterly isolated and neglected from birth; fed and kept alive but imprisoned in squalor and deprived of any human contact, stimulus or material comfort. If the glimpse we had in the images triggered by the reference in the Doctor’s mind is anything to go by, the Child appeared to be richly, even ceremonially dressed and situated in the open beside a monumental building.


    Welcome to the forum and the world of bonkers and sometimes not-quite-so-bonkers theories.

    As far as I am aware there has never been any indication that a traveller in a Tardis can watch the acceleration of time into the future, like the traveller in Wells’s Time Machine, or watch it unravelling into the past. As @fatmaninabox has said, the theory of relativity and the laws of physics as understood so far would allow us  to travel forward in time but not back, but the Doctor by his/her own account has witnessed the beginning and the end of the universe, and we have been shown something of that in various episodes.

    In the original concept, travel in time and space was simply a convenient device to further the aims of the show in engaging a prospective young teenage audience with historical and scientific topics in an entertaining way, without any regard for what was scientifically plausible.  Fifty six years down the line we just have to accept that the Time Lords found some way to circumvent the currently known laws of the physical universe. In The Doctor’s Wife the Tardis, as embodied in Idris, made it clear that she didn’t really understand the human concept of time*. She appeared to see the three spatial dimensions and the dimension(s) of time as a single four dimensional environment, a sea in which she could navigate in any direction.

    The First Doctor was adamant that the past could not and should not be interfered with or altered in the slightest particular by any time traveller, but Moffat had a ball playing with the whole concept of time travel in his looping narratives. In his scenarios Gallifrey, thanks to the Doctor, could be simultaneously destroyed and not destroyed in the Time War, and both concepts remain true as far as the external universe was concerned. This could turn out to be another case of a Schroedinger’s Gallifrey, assuming that Chibnall is able to conceive and carry off such a convoluted arc.


    *In The Day of the Doctor, the Moment had the same  problem.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Spellcheck or autocorrupt.  Sometimes it is best just to disable them and resort to an old fashioned dictionary printed on dead trees 🙂

    Vervain @vervain

    @syzygy with regards shattering of psyche I’ve an even more bonkers theory than that which ties the Timelords to the Weeping angels via the Pythia and the Sisterhood of Karn…


    so here goes:

    I’ve been thinking and here are some jottings – please give me your views – not sure it’s all consistent but anyway:

    So there is a theory about Weeping Angels being related to Timelords:


    I think they could be the unknown (and totally unintended) consequence of a Timelord looking into the Untempered Schism (a natural opening in the space/time continuum, “a gap in the fabric of reality from which can be seen the whole of the Vortex”. ).

    In prehistoric Gallifrey, when the superstitious magic wielding Pythia ruled- time sensitives were “fed” to the schism.

    Well that was a long time ago and in order to keep itself open without the regular ritual lobbings in of proto-timelords a new approach was needed. When a Timelord looks at it, it is looking back, seeking to protect itself (and/or all of time and space!) from what could be.

    What if “Untempered Schism” is both form and function. In the Whoniverse potentiality is somewhat quantifiable – indeed Temporal subjunctive potential is what the Angels apparently feed on. At the moment of engagement- perceiving all of the vortex the
    Tinelord’s very being is untempered by undergoing a schism that holds true through all of space and time and every potential iteration/part of multiverse.

    We know that there are (at least) three recognised consequences of (or a least reactions to) the ritual – inspiration, running (which could be from something or to something, theoretically due to fear or anger but could be other reasons) and madness. Whatever their reaction it In effect galvanises the Timelord and is a defining if not literally the thing that defines them for all and through all time both potential and actual.

    Mechanically it’s like a distillation /purification- but what if that is itself the by-product of misusing the schism.

    The placement of the Seal of Rassilon at the gateway was presumably placed when the transition from a ritual of sacrifice to a rite of passage was effected. So plenty of potential there for strange things on (maybe you have to use the tooth brush whilst having the buttplug of Rassilon inserted and a minimum of 2 other parts of the set to get the right stat bonus?)

    The value of Temporal subjunctive potential from the sacrifice of an entire time sensitive (mind/body/soul) I posit is several orders of magnitude less than the splinters of Temporal subjunctive potential from a single timelord undergoing the rite of passage because of regeneration but at the time of sacrifice the Pythia didn’t go around travelling the vortex, changing things in person, there was a balance to the amount of potentiality given and the amount they used when psychically blasting a planet or looking forward or backwards in time.

    When Rassilon and the Timelords started out they treated time as a play thing (see 5 doctors, games of Rassilon/dark times) imposing their will over time and space and space – in order to keep this in check and maintain the vortex with all of the added stress points the Schism had to find other ways of “feeding”.

    The angels are made from the scraps of potential excised from the minds of generations of Timelords. The parts that were not sufficiently internally consistent or which would be moderating internal influence – but that potentiality has been reconfigured – often maintaining a parallel theme but with an ironic twist.

    The act of gazing into the Schism solidifies the personality of the timelord – “quantum locking” some fundamental aspect of them that persists throughout their regenerations – that specialisation/distillation of self enhances their uniqueness and maximises them to reach their potential by paradoxically removing certain personality aspects/life paths that would sow doubt/when summed up could lead to limiting potential

    Beings whose potential is simply not there when seen – limited concept of individuation & personality – unity of purpose.

    There seem to be 3 types of angel loosely analogous to the three reactions – the standard- the cherubs (who run…) and the ones that appear as other statues but through a weeping angel lens (mad right?!)

    I had other ideas but I’ve forgotten them right now

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @blenkinsopthebrave and @vervain

    I’m kind of inclined to a sleight-of-hand that involves a Moffat loop. Mainly because Chibnall was so careful to re-establish that the Doctor can solve a current problem after the solution to the problem has already happened.

    I’d say the Capitol is in shreds, Gallifrey is burning – but ask if the Gallifreyans themselves were there at the time?

    “Okay, kids, the Master’s on his way. Now, follow the Doctor, because we’re all going to go one hundred years into the future…”

    Remember Missy lied, the first time she told the Capaldi Doctor she’d been on Gallifrey. But she lied by omission. She told the Capaldi Doctor that Gallifrey was where it always was. But she mentioned it wasn’t when it always was.

    Likewise, it would be very Master-ish for him to truthfully say that he’d burnt Gallifrey to the ground, nuked it, jumped up and down on it till he got blisters – but never mention that he didn’t kill anyone, because they’d all left. He’d leave little titbits like that for the Doctor to work out. 😉

    syzygy @thane16

    Good morning & welcome to the …brains! Holy schmeck, my ol’ brain is a hurting now. @rob I prepared my beverage before attempting to read the thoroughly wonderful posts. Happy NY to you & good to see you out back (or front, or transactionally eternal, no yesterdays, todays, tomorrows, all time pre-existent…!)

    @vervain @mensabrain.  Welcome to you! You might like to visit the Sofa & share how/why/when you stumbled onto the series as a child, or recently. We hope you have a wonderful time here.

    Yup, I thought the Kasaavin could be cloister apparitions. The drum sound from the Saxon era used a slightly different rhythmic pattern, I thought?


    The question remains, though, whether this is part of what the Time Lords have always believed about their origins, or whether it is part of a lie which undermines their very sense of identity, and I’m inclined to think the latter.

    Yes! I failed to test that element: sure, the Child could be harnessed in such a way but to what extent is that a known origin story for the TLs or is it part of a still larger Lie as you’ve stated.

    @mensabrain Indeed, that’s a convincing argument. I recall The Satan Pit where the so-called Big Evil claimed to be “before Time” & thus the Tardis interface couldn’t translate the language

    @vervain I love it!

    there are… three recognised consequences of (or a least reactions to) the ritual – inspiration, running … madness. Whatever their reaction it In effect galvanises the Timelord….

    Further, you’re suggesting the Schism effects the TL;  distils it, but like any distillation there’s chemical ‘junk’ or refuse/waste. The refuse must go somewhere or be ‘some-thing.

    …When Rassilon and the Timelords started out…

    The “when” and “started” is key. What came before? Indeed they used Time as play. After all, the TL Victorious as described by Adelaide in TennantDoc was unpleasant, sowing the seeds of his own psychic discord. This leads to the greatest quest of all, perhaps not ‘what’ or ‘why’ but ‘me?’ And the words “run, you clever boy & remember me” and “am I a good man?”

    @bluesqueakpip yes, where are the people? Gone? Hidden?

    @syzygy the Old (feeling old today, that’s for sure!)

    syzygy @thane16

    that’s @mensabrains above. Clearly @rob my morning beverage isn’t as strong by half



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    where are the people?

    Yes, good point. Would the Doctor have gone to the devastated Gallifey (supposedly) and not noticed any dead bodies? No, I think the sleight of hand (is spellcheck working?) takes a different form.


    nerys @nerys

    @juniperfish Well, Spyfall was a romp I grant you, and I wish I didn’t feel this way, but it left me kind of cold, sadly.

    I admit that throughout most of it, that’s how I felt. However, at the end, when the Master appeared in the hologram with the “it’s all a lie”/destruction of Gallifrey/Timeless Child message, suddenly it all came together for me. It’s like I needed that emotional linchpin to give everything else a purpose. And now this season seems to have a driving theme on which to move forward, something that was missing last season.

    Hubby and I both found ourselves missing Missy. But, as others have speculated, we don’t know which regeneration this Master comes from. If he’s pre-Missy, that would explain a lot. Perhaps that’s to be revealed later on. And, by the way, it’s wonderful to see folks bonkerizing again!

    @juniperfish You know, all this talk about The Timeless Child, and children, makes we wonder whether the Master and the Doctor had a child together, somewhere deep in their history.

    And, might that be the big lie? Was something done to that child to steal him/her away?

    Sadly, I have to go to work earlier than I thought, so I don’t have time to write much now. But I will later.

    Vervain @vervain


    what’s left of what came before is the sisterhood of karn who barged in and stomped about like they owned the place in hellbent – revelling each time Rassilon’s authority was further undermined

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @juniperfish  @nerys

    You know, all this talk about The Timeless Child, and children, makes we wonder whether the Master and the Doctor had a child together, somewhere deep in their history.

    And, might that be the big lie? Was something done to that child to steal him/her away?

    I still very much doubt whether this has anything to do with any child the Doctor may have had, with or without the Master, even if it relates tangentially to the Doctor. But today I did something which maybe I should have done before I first contributed my ha’p’orth to the discussion; I looked up the transcript of the relevant exchange in The Ghost Monument, rather than relying on my memory alone.

    Remnant: We see deeper, though, further back. The Timeless Child.

    The Doctor: What are you talking about? What can you see?

    Remnant: We see what’s hidden even from yourself, the outcast, abandoned and unknown.

    The Doctor: Get out of my head.

    To me that reads as ambiguous. The outcast referred to could be the Doctor as a child, the solitary child who cried himself to sleep in the barn; either an orphan or sent away from home to be trained as a soldier or initiated as a Time Lord. And the training and initiation of a child as a Time Lord seems to have been pretty abusive, even if not normally to the extent of the abuse the Master suffered. The Doctor’s reaction certainly suggests that it may have hit a very personal nerve.

    On the other hand the outcast could be the Timeless Child and refer to the kind of myth that I suggested previously, and that is more consistent with what the Master says in his hologram message; the implication being that the truth underlying the myth was not as the Doctor and the Master at least, and perhaps all Time Lords, were taught or conditioned to believe. In which case, I agree, the parallel with the child in Omelas could stand up to a point. It is perhaps significant that the Master’s words evoked a flash of visual memory for the Doctor, suggesting some kind of embedded, perhaps racial memory, and we know that the Doctor was exposed at a fairly early age to the Matix, which is/was in part the collective memory of the Time Lords.

    Claire54 @claire54

    Hello! Brand new to the site and thank goodness I found you.

    my take on Spyfall is …fun, but a bit drawn out and an unsatisfactory ending.  The aliens were taken care off screen.  After lol that build up it was weak.  Love the return of the master.

    maybe I’ve been sleeping through some episodes, but this seemed to be the first extensive view of the redecorated TARDIS.  “Oh, you‘ve redecorated. Don’t like it.”   Jodie’s TARDIS looks cold and way too phallic.

    Also, it’s a sonic screwdriver, not Harry Potter’s wand.  Stop pointing it like your expelling Snape.

    My overall take is, now that we have a female doctor, the writers don’t know what to do with her.

    syzygy @thane16


    maybe I’ve been sleeping through some episodes,

    I think probably so. 😉


    It is perhaps significant that the Master’s words evoked a flash of visual memory for the Doctor, suggesting some kind of embedded, perhaps racial memory…

    Agreed. I think as @blenkinsopthebrave suggested that there’s a deep seated memory, hidden from successive regenerations, but embedded in a way no other alien/UNIT/person could ‘unlock.’ Even the memory causes a reactive pain, enough, perhaps, that the TL is ‘virtually’ forced to “not think about it.” Something the Doctor has caused others to do or strongly suggested others do -whether with the Face Huggers or the ‘thing in the corner of your eye.’

    @nerys and others. I’m seriously worried about this meme being chucked about the place -partly because I  disagree but also because it takes just one person (grant you a person seemingly well respected)to say “it leaves me cold.”

    To a friend, I spoke pretty honestly here. I said amongst many other things ‘why do people feel like this?’ We have Yaz filled with bounce & enthusiasm who then falls apart -in a subtle way. Her tears at the ‘hut’ & her conversation with others as well as her family spoke of a deep well of need, fear, longing -and love. I think Yaz grew the most in this 2 parter. Sure, it lacked the warmth we usually have at Christmas but I think it moved away from that, set its heart on the young things & speaking of someone with plenty of young things, they really loved it.

    Still, just an opinion, but I can see where you’re coming from. I think it was very different. But the Doctor? She blew me away. I felt she’d been given a very wide accumulation of emotions and intellect to demonstrate & not since Mat Smith, did I see that in 120 minutes.

    Syzygy the Old.

    winston @winston

    I liked it on first watch but it needs a re-watch so I can figure stuff out. I have been wracking my brain searching for a reason ,a reason so bad that the Master would or could destroy Gallifrey and I am drawing a blank. So I think maybe the Master is lying but I don’t know why except that he always lies. I hope to watch them back to back in the morning so maybe some of my questions will get answered.

    The cast was great as usual and that is about all I can say till I watch it again.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    there’s a deep seated memory, hidden from successive generations, but embedded in a way…

    Did I suggest that?…It’s always nice to acknowledged, but I suspect someone else deserves the credit for that one.


    I have been wracking my brain searching for a reason ,a reason so bad that the Master would or could destroy Gallifrey and I am drawing a blank.

    Then I am in good company, for neither can I. (Of course, I am not even convinced that he has destroyed Gallifrey.)


    Also, it’s a sonic screwdriver, not Harry Potter’s wand. Stop pointing it like your expelling Snape.

    I confess I have been having the same response. I know each Doctor should have their own mannerisms, but it does seem so reminiscent of Harry Potter to be a bit off-putting. For me, anyway.

    I think a few people here have their reservations about the Chibnall’s writing, but the introduction (hopefully) of an arc has begun to pique my interest.

    syzygy @thane16


    Them other brains -the newbies!  And @mudlark too.

    I’m re- watching Who -the 3rd run now – as a desperate way to avoid comments on the thread to do with the… Dead One (I aint looking, no spoilers: I’m up to episode 3).

    Syzygy the Old

    Vervain @vervain

    Well as the War Doctor said to 10 & 11

    “They’re screwdrivers. What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?”

    Vervain @vervain


    The dr’s tardis phallic? With all the yellow crystals? Same as on her sonic – it reminds me of the substance created by the Ux

    MissRori @missrori

    @bluesqueakpip Glad I’m not the only one wondering if there aren’t any live Gallifreyans still out there, possibly because the Doctor got them out/will get them out before it was/is too late.

    nerys @nerys

    @mudlark I agree with you. That was a too-quick bonkerization on my part. I should’ve given it more thought before posting. I watched Part 2 again last night and realized this likely has a much broader meaning, and has something to do specifically with the Doctor, the Master and Gallifreyans. What, we don’t know yet. But if the lie was enough to get the (admittedly mad) Master to destroy Gallifrey (or at least appear to us and the Doctor that he did), then it must have been something significant.

    @thane16 We feel what we feel, right? One of the ongoing problems we have in Canada is the disruption of the episode’s flow, due to commercials. That has always interfered with my enjoyment of Doctor Who, and I believe that’s probably the case with these two episodes. When I can watch them all the way through, sans interruptions, my appreciation for the work as a whole may grow.

    Until then: My immediate feeling, on first viewing, was (as @juniperfish described it) that it was a nice romp. On second viewing, it came together a bit better for me because of the impact of the ending, which I felt gave Jodie Whittaker her first opportunity to show her impressive range. That hadn’t quite happened for me yet, though last season there were some episodes that came close. So I am hoping that future episodes build on this momentum.

    I agree with those who say the three companions feels, at times, a bit much, with too little given to each for me to really get into their respective characters. That may be a direct response to those who complained that Clara was placed on too even a footing with the Doctor. I never agreed with that. And, I also recall that it took me a while to get into Clara’s character. It really wasn’t until Capaldi arrived that, other than “The Day of the Doctor,” Clara and the Doctor developed what felt like that special bond between the Doctor and the various companions. So it could be that this “family” vibe is just taking a while to grow on me.

    The note that doesn’t feel quite “hit” yet (at least, not for me) is that intangible joie de vivre that I felt in the post-gap/pre-Capaldi Doctors.  Now, remember that I loved Peter Capaldi in the role, and I understand that there were narrative reasons for his darker take on the character. Still, we feel what we feel, and I miss that. At least for me, Whittaker hasn’t quite reclaimed it, even though her Doctor seems, on the surface, more lighthearted than Capaldi’s. Again, that may be due more to my growing pains than anything else.

    To recap: What really pulled these two episodes together for me was the ending. So if this season continues to build on that, then I will be a deeply satisfied viewer.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    One of the ongoing problems we have in Canada is the disruption of the episode’s flow, due to commercials. That has always interfered with my enjoyment of Doctor Who, and I believe that’s probably the case with these two episodes. When I can watch them all the way through, sans interruptions, my appreciation for the work as a whole may grow.

    Totally agree. The solution in the Blenkinsop household is to purchase the episodes on iTunes. A small price to pay for the opportunity to view them sans the awful commercial interruptions.

    p.s. Pretty much agree with your overall response to the Chibnall era so far.

    nerys @nerys

    @blenkinsopthebrave I guess I’m cheap. We get Doctor Who in our cable lineup, and can view it on demand … but it still has commercial interruptions until it goes to Crave. So I don’t feel like paying more for something I’m already getting (even though what I have cheapens my enjoyment). Ack!

    It’s strange. Last season was, for me, very similar to how I felt about David Tennant’s first season; sometimes good, but so uneven that it took me a long time to get into it. I went through a similar feeling when Clara was brought in as Matt Smith’s companion. Part of my problem had to do with being so invested in the predecessors, but also, to me, the chemistry (that inexplicable thing) seemed off, somehow. I experienced some of that last season, though there were were very good episodes. I also realize that my reactions are highly subjective, as I think they are for us all. The things I complain about are probably things that make some others shake their head in bafflement. But I also know that, at some point, I have always come around. Something happens to reel me in and make me love Doctor Who all over again. So I am optimistic that it will happen again.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Television viewing habits confession:

    We have never subscribed to cable. This means we watch very little TV. Technically, we watch no TV, only shows or movies that we have on DVD (and we are lucky enough to have one of the few remaining DVD rental shops left in Canada; one that specializes in quality stuff).  Occasionally, I hear of a show I might like to watch that requires cable and is never released on DVD. Well, that’s where a good book kicks in.

    Agree on early Tennant and early Clara (and would add early Capaldi). By comparison, that’s what makes Season 5 with early Matt Smith and Amy (both young and adult) feel uniformly dazzling (to me, anyway). But I have the feeling that Sacha Dwhan’s Master will change my impression of this iteration of Who considerably. For the better.



    nerys @nerys

    @blenkinsopthebrave We probably shouldn’t have cable. We are the opposite of you and watch too much TV. But we try to let good taste dictate our choices. We do watch Doctor Who, after all!

    I agree with you about the different Doctors/companions/seasons. I confess that initially I avoided Matt Smith’s Doctor, because I was so enamored of Tennant’s Doctor. I soon realized my mistake when I began watching. That era hit the ground running, and at least for me never missed a step till Clara was brought in (which was an unhappy surprise, because Oswin was so dazzling in “Asylum of the Daleks). I thought they’d figured out the chemistry  For whatever reason, the Doctor seems to need a strong antagonist, and the Master always provides (though in different ways, depending on the iteration). While I was watching this two-parter, I greatly feared that we were seeing yet another return to the Cybermen or the Daleks. When it turned out to be the Master, I groaned inwardly, but then decided to be patient and let it play out. What reeled me in was Sacha Dhawan’s performance in the hologram segment. So I am feeling very hopeful about this.

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