The Caretaker

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    Serahni @serahni

    Well, I just watched it for the first time.  I actually forgot it was Sunday, (shock, horror!), so I’m a little late to the table.  I will watch it again before I post any real response, other than to say that I found plenty of interest as per usual but I do think it’s probably my least favourite of this series so far.  That’s not to say I hated it, I’m just not sure what the payout was for such a very contained, basic little action plot.  Maybe a second watching will help.

    Though I do wonder just how angry Danny is going to be when he finds out, if he ever does, just HOW much Clara’s given of herself in the name of the Doctor. XD

    BadWulf @badwulf

    I was wondering just precisely why the Blitzer thingie was attracted to the Coal Hill School area…

    Might it have something to do with the fact that the Hand of Omega was located in the area for many years? Perhaps some Imperial Dalek tech was still around in the school’s basement?

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi all – been a tad busy recently at work (the other part of my real life – this is real life too y’know, tapping on my keyboard!).

    Anyway, just watched The Caretaker and was a bit ‘meh’ about it at first, but may give it another watch as I think I may enjoy it more on a second viewing.

    I guess my ‘meh’-ness was mainly around the alien robot (in comparison to the incredible Teller) and feeling we were simply being set up for a meeting between Danny and the Doctor. However, there was fun stuff in there and it could just be that watching with a hangover may be colouring my thoughts! 🙂

    And Danny – first there was family business and now he has a ‘thing’ that he has to do rather than go on the date with Clara… hm…

    Sorry to hear you’re ill @juniperfish – but glad you’re still able to share the glitter!

    FlirtingDinosaur @flirtingdinosaur

    oh wow you’ve already been bussy here. looking forward to reading all of this, but first my impression after 1 watch:

    I liked it. Made me LOL (as they say) a few times. Again as in Deep Breath the moster of the episode was more a background noise then an adventure, but (again) I didn’t mind having more insight in the character.

    What I thought was stunning is the cold and clear view Danny gets of the Doctor. After almost getting sucked into the void he recovers pretty quickly and sees the Doctor and his personality with a clearness not many have shown before. It’s a bit like Rory was, not just shocked by it all, still thinking.

    Also what’s been very clear is that the Doctor had hoped for Clara to have a boyfried more similar to his own 11th version. Light, happy, funny. He’s not at all pleased to find him to be more like his 12th version. He doesn’t seem to see that Danny is very much like himself (and that’s probably why Clara fell in love with him).

    What else? There where lot’s of mirrors again in this one.

    Also Missy is back. Although she pretty much kicks all of our theories in the gut. Why did she save the policeman? He didn’t sacrifice himself. He was just unlucky. Obviously she doesn’t interrogate him herselfe, because he’s never met the Doctor, not even heard of him. But then why save him? Does she need ‘people’ (human/machine) as some kind of resource? What for, an army maybe?

    Well, it’s all still very wibbly-wobbly in my head, so I will have to watch it again.

    Oh and @jupiterfish I would love to see River with 12!!

    that’s it for now.


    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift – TY for the comic strip links and @wolfweed’s blog.  I am still going through it all; it is an amazing amount of information. I do like comics, so I probably will start a DW collection eventually. I am so glad that DW broke ties with Marvel comics, because I never want to see Spiderman in the Tardis. 😆

     The confrontation Rory had with the Doctor is very similar to the one with Danny and that never worried me. The main difference is that I never thought Rory would win.  🙂

    Danny seems like he is winning. I think that is the main reason this feels different. But, once the story develops more I think it will turn out fine.

     Re Missy: The police officer’s arrival raised more questions than answers for me, so back to the chalkboard. That was more pieces to put together than Humpty’s hat. I think Missy’s paradise has to be a virtual place now (but it almost has to be a mainframe located at a real place, so it could be both at the same time). It really set me back on every other question, so I’m completely lost. Unless the Doctor asked for the officer’s assistance, and we just didn’t see it? That is what I’m going with.

     Favorite Line: “Sinister Puddles” 😆

     The monsters in listen could not have been using the invisibility watch tech, since the Doctor would have detected them.

    nick1235 @nick1235

    Love today’s episode, more interaction from my man Danny the Squadie. A bit of a slope down from the Doctor series, not as intense as last week’s but it’s a good one. Not as much as mindblowing though, the last bit were to expect, as Soldier man didn’t give in the watch after their first encounter, A lot of questions though (as we encounter another Missy),

    1. Why was the Blitzer has some Japanese writings on it’s body?

    2. The Doctor said : “I had one teacher EXACTLY like you” – another time travel event for Clara to the Gallifrey?

    3. Will Danny join in as the companion? ( Unseen in the end of episode where it shows, next time )

    4. Woods joins in as companion too?!


    The one that gives me chill and all is the afterlife, the nether sphere, the promised land. What is it outside? Who is she? How did he get there? Why was there many rooms in the afterlife?


    -Juniperfish –  get well soon mate.



    This season is drawing a parallel between reluctant fighter Danny Pink, who wanted to dig wells and save people, and reluctant fighter the Doctor, who wanted anything except to use the Moment, but went there [in time stream 1 :-)], don’t you think?

    Indeed, but there seems to be an assumption at large that only the Doctor can jump to erroneous conclusions.

    The Doctor is Tony Benn (probably sans the labour theory of value) – born into privilege, but rejecting it for a ‘greater’ cause.

    TheBrainOfMoffat @thebrainofmoffat

    Definitely enjoyed the episode, but the greater emphasis on drama over sci-fi made this probably my least favorite of Series 8 so far. That’s not to say it wasn’t necessary, though. In fact, it was a very humorous way for the Doctor and Danny to meet, and it got their relationship dynamic rolling.

    I picked up on the Day of the Doctor fire-lighting reference! Every reference made to a pre-12th Doctor era is ok in my book! More mentions of River and the Doc’s adventures, please! “Auton” or “otter”? I thought it was the former at first. And now I’m wondering where my reasoning skills were when the 11-alike teacher first showed up, because I didn’t grasp his intentional resemblance to 11 until it was alluded to with the comment about the bow tie (even then, I wasn’t thinking of his facial structure and hair). Color me slow!

    I can’t say for sure yet whether I like where Clara’s relationship with Danny is going, as far as its implications for future episodes is concerned. This episode makes it seem, to me, a stark contrast to the mania of previous Doctors’ episodes and the relationships therein. Series 8 in general seems quite a bit darker in tone, or it at least gives me a sense of foreboding for the finale that past seasons didn’t. Something is looming on the horizon, and however her departure happens, I’m now made to think that this may be Clara’s last season.

    PhileasF @phileasf

    This might be obvious, but I felt a need to spell it out, if only for my own benefit, to crystallise my thoughts about the show: the Doctor’s sudden distaste for soldiers (since Into the Dalek), seems hypocritical and inconsistent with his friendships with soldiers in the original series. Clearly it’s part of his new self-hatred thing. He doesn’t like soldiers, or ex-soldiers, because he’s an ex-soldier and he doesn’t like himself. (This, I think, is also why he couldn’t believe in Robin Hood: because he doesn’t believe in himself any more.)

    Clara: I hate you!
    The Doctor: That’s fine, it’s a perfectly normal reaction.

    This has no doubt been mentioned before, but just in case: Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, one of the Doctor’s most enduring friends, became a maths teacher when he left UNIT.

    The Doctor’s insults against Clara: his heavy-handed attempt to pretend he has no idea about humans any more, or is he working hard to convince Clara that he no longer imagines himself to be her boyfriend? Does he protest too much? Or does he really have no idea about humans any more?

    Danny’s somersault: with skills like that, maybe he could be a PE teacher, if the maths thing doesn’t work out. Perhaps this is a skill he’s learned in his time travelling adventures (assuming my theory that he has his own time-traveller who takes him on adventures pans out).

    Courtney’s parents seem to have met Danny at last year’s parent-teacher night. (‘Yeah, but last year you said she was a very disruptive influence’.) But we saw Danny’s first day at the school in Into the Dalek. So, has more than a year elapsed in Clara’s ‘real’ life since then? Was Courtney previously at a different school where Danny was also a teacher? Did Danny travel back in time, meet Courtney’s parents and… oh forget it, that’s too silly. Probably.

    The policeman investigating the derelict building echoes the opening scene of the original series, where a policeman takes a brief interest in the junkyard where the TARDIS is parked, and then moves off.

    The policeman dies because of the Doctor, like everyone else we’ve seen going to the nethersphere. If the Doctor didn’t keep visiting Coal Hill school and its surroundings, presumably the Skovox Blitzer wouldn’t have been drawn to Earth and the area around the school.

    Could the derelict building actually be the junkyard? It’s within walking distance of Coal Hill school. It has creepy mannequins, as did the original junkyard. Since the TARDIS was parked there for a time, and the Doctor’s visited it a number of times since, it’s likely to be a major source of the artron energy that attracted the Skovox Blitzer to Earth. When the Doctor arrives at the building he says, ‘Home sweet home.’ Because it’s the home of the Skovox Blitzer, or his own old home?

    Re Clara and the mirrors. This may have been suggested before, but I think this is a stylistic device reflecting (ahem) her attempt to live two separate lives, one as a normal person and one as a time-travelling adventurer. The mirrors seem to appear when she’s finding it difficult to juggle her two lives.

    I like the idea that the tesselator (or something very like it) is bringing people to the nethersphere; and that maybe the people who ran the tesselator also run the nethersphere.

    Davros @davros

    I didn’t really love this story: the alien element was perfunctory and I really didn’t like the snobby dismissive vibe from The Doctor. The anti-soldier vibe is too over the top. He was a soldier: he basically _is_ a soldier whether he likes it or not.

    Can’t imagine any of the previous Doctors being so contemptuous: well, maybe the 6th. Didn’t even like that crack about shoplifting.

    There’s something not quite right about the show since TDOTD: individual episodes have been good but in terms of development, it’s awry. In TDOTD he found out that he was not after all (probably) guilty of the genocide of his own people: this should have been liberating, revolutionary, focussing.

    Instead he got involved in an intrigue that kept him tied up for hundreds of years expecting not to the regenerate, finally does regenerate, but the new man is bitter, still full of self-loathing, still very dark on himself because of his time as the War Doctor.


    Davros @davros

    Also, is it really possible The Doctor doesn’t realise Rupert=Danny and Orson is near identical to Danny? If he doesn’t, he really must be getting old…if he does, then what is his game?

    Anonymous @

    I find it interesting that when Clara’s boss introduced Doctor as a caretaker to the teachers, Danny was the only one who  handshaked with him. As far as I remember, Mr Pink had a somehow cautious look on his face when he did that – or maybe I’m just being paranoid 😀

    BadWulf @badwulf

    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned this before, but could the references to “Mr. Pink” be an homage to Reservoir Dogs? And if so, could that give us a window into his character history, as the sole survivor of a mission that was compromised by a traitor?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Okay, loved that. 10/10 for me. “What kind of man am I?” Danny Pink’s answer: “An officer.” Danny is fabulous, but I’m not quite sure that Clara really, really gets the truth of what he said to her at the end. Interesting that he made the same point about the Doctor that Rory did, once upon a time. There should be a support group for “men that love Companions”!

    It was actually not a bad guess on the Doctor’s part, thinking that Clara might be dating the teacher that reminded him of Eleven. I love how he underplayed the scene where Danny said “I have to be good enough.”

    The Doctor took a shine to Courtney because she is a “disruptive influence”. “There’s been a spillage.”

    Missy’s heaven adjusts itself to look like someplace familiar to the “saved” person, someplace they are comfortable. And it’s not just for people who deliberately sacrifice themselves. Dying in the line of duty will also get you there. And too many people are arriving for Missy to greet them all herself.

    I must say that this series has not missed a beat for me so far.   🙂     🙂     🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    First batch of replies!  I hadn’t made the connection to The Lodger. One of my favourite episodes for Eleven.

    @Marconi     I disagree that this story doesn’t fit into the arc, it very much fit in. If the only “arc” issue you are concerned about is Missy, then some episodes have had less to do with that than this one. But that’s not the only arc we have been given. What kind of a man is the Doctor? Clara’s future with the Doctor? These are also key themes of the series, and both of them were addressed here. I also have no problem with how we are being shown the Clara/Danny relationship. We know that time has passed, and they have been seeing each other. Clearly the tension isn’t supposed to be found in whether they will fall in love, but in how that relationship will affect Clara’s with the Doctor.

    @badwulf     @pedant     I didn’t have any problem with Danny’s feelings at the end. He loves Clara, and doesn’t want to be shut out. Feeling that he recognizes the Doctor’s type of leader, he fears she might get in over her head, and wants to be able to help her if she does. It felt a little like the hand you might offer to a fellow officer in a support group. He’s probably been in one of those. And there’s still the death that we don’t know about, that haunts him. Maybe it occurred because of a commander with those traits that he sees in the Doctor?

    @juniperfish     the irony at the heart of this episode is, of course, that the Doctor fails to recognise that Clara actually has chosen someone like him – not superficially a la bow-tie, but a scientist (mathematician) and fighter who has renounced war…    Nice! (And I’m sorry that you still aren’t better, it’s really been nasty for you!)

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Only just watched it, and just the once, so lacking in any terribly coherent thoughts.

    @thebrainofmoffat – Auton or otter – I heard auton, my son definitely went with otter, and his hearing is likely to be better than mine what with being young and all.

    @phileasf – The parents’ evening comment – I didn’t register it at the time, but (and without winding back to get the exact words) I’d be inclined to read ‘you’ as ‘the school’, rather than Mr Pink personally.   I don’t think the derelict building can be the junk yard – didn’t we see the junk yard a while back (during 11’s tenure I think) looking pretty much as it used to?

    Once again the monster was a McGuffin, hard to believe it was a real threat to the entire world, but it did what it was intended to do, and I don’t think it will prove to be part of any arc.

    Re Courtney, time travel could introduce all sorts of new ways for her to live up to her name (Disruptive Influence) – just remembering why Barbara and Ian were looking for the Doc in the first place, because they were concerned about Susan’s behaviour, claiming the teachers had their facts wrong etc…


    zeitgeis @zeitgeis

    I think Courtney will become a companion, if only an accidental one. In the preview of next week’s episode I caught a glimpse (out of the corner of me eye :-)) of someone I took to be her. Recall that she went out of sight to have her spillage incident. Perhaps the Doctor takes off without checking to see where she is. He seems to be fond of her or he wouldn’t have let her onto the Tardis to have a look.


    Whisht @whisht

    right – gonna watch it again, and this time (as I have foreknowledge!) I’m gonna watch out for:

    PC’s burnt hand (I did think was a bit grisly for the kids to be honest, and unnecessary – unless of course its a mannikin’s hand and he was teleported to the Promised Land and it was necessary for us to be missydirected).

    Clara’s age again – is she a Claricle I keep wondering…? will a denoument happen with her and the ‘original’ Clara?

    Is Danny River-esque in that he’s actually from the future and has already met (and -eek- killed??!!?) Clara? Did he say he’d killed a woman? Did he awkwardly greet the Doctor?? What is his ‘thing’?

    Will “Disruptive Influence” Courtney grow up to be a D.I. Courtney in a future episode?

    I need an extreme closeup of Chris Addison’s gold lapel-pin (clue???)

    And finally – the Tardis on stage. If no one else does, I certainly remember someone here who built a Tardis for the stage (can’t find the bloomin’ posts!). Though I don’t remember pics of the final design… @shazzbot might be able to though…

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Lots to like in this, and I’m completely sold on Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor. Lots of callbacks to previous incarnations, Hartnell in particular for me, in this one.  He’s irascible, curmudgeonly and he’s not trying to fit in or “pass for human” any more.  As Vastra says in Deep Breath – this is the Doctor with the mask off, this Doctor doesn’t need to be liked. But every now and then there’s a brilliant flash of why he is very definitely still the Doctor – the recognition (in the middle of his own regeneration trauma) in Deep Breath that Vastra has set the dino-trapping gizmos to the wrong frequency and it’s causing pain, the very early empathy with the Teller in Time Heist – “it must be very noisy in there”, the encounter with Courtney this week – initially sees her as an interruption then when Clara and Danny aren’t available to play with he takes her on a trip to see the stars – a belated recognition of a fellow “disruptive influence” and of seeing under the surface of her behaviour (which no-one else seems to get beyond).

    So – we are back at Coal Hill School (I thought the Doctor made a reference to its timey-wimeyness – something about Artron(?) energy and ley lines(?) which made it a pull for “monsters” (much like Sunnydale over the hellmouth in Buffyverse)). We have 2 teachers who may or may not both end up travelling in the TARDIS, and a “troubling” school pupil who has just had her first trip.

    I did chuckle at Danny’s warning to Clara about not letting the Doctor push her too far – this to the Impossible Girl who “was born to save the Doctor” and who  jumped into the Doctor’s timeline, as far as she knew at the time, probably committing suicide!  May be just a bit late Danny! (But sweet!)

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Good to see you back.

    re Clara’s age – I was wondering that. She’s been mentioned this series as being 27, which is, I think, several years older than she was when we first met her (in Bells… rather than as a Claricle). Has she been travelling with this Doctor for that long? Their relationship maybe suggests that she has. Danny notices that not only does she do what the Doctor instructs her to do, she also does it with complete confidence in her own abilities, which suggests that she’s not a rookie.  This is a side of his girlfriend he’s not seen, that she’s not let him see – no wonder he’s feeling less than confident about the whole situation.

    Wait till he finds out that she dabbled in his childhood!   Just struck me that in Listen Clara is possibly the definitive influence in the development of both the men in her life, but that influence worked in different ways.  Danny becomes a soldier but the Doctor (presumably) goes to the Academy instead of becoming a soldier.

    I liked the conflict between the Doctor and Danny.  They’re apparently well matched.  Like Rory, Danny isn’t afraid to call the Doctor out. But both are judging the other according to their own prejudices ie the Doctor’s aversion to Danny because he can’t get past the fact that he was once a soldier,  and we know from the hints that there is much more to Danny than that.  Danny can’t get past his identification of the Doctor as an “officer” and all his own experiences of officers.  But we know there is much more to the Doctor than that. Yes, he acts like an officer sometimes in that he’s the one who takes charge, and expects to (as he knows that mostly he is actually the most intelligent/informed/experienced person in the room), he is the one who lights the fire (nice callout on that @timeloop). But he’s also the (often reluctant) hero who saves people. Just don’t expect a gentle bedside manner with this Doctor.

    I also liked the undercurrent of the monster as metaphor for the rumbling conflict between Danny and the Doctor. It’s temporarily hidden under the floor/in the time vortex but it resurfaces sooner than expected and has to be dealt with! Danny’s spectacular leap rather redeemed him – up till that point he’s a liability – he’s the one who scuppered the Doctor’s plan to kill the monster, albeit unintentionally. (I did love his comment about the Doctor being a Time Lord – dripping with sarcasm – well you would really, wouldn’t you?!)

    As @juniperfish so brilliantly put it –

    the irony at the heart of this episode is, of course, that the Doctor fails to recognise that Clara actually has chosen someone like him – not superficially a la bow-tie, but a scientist (mathematician) and fighter who has renounced war…

    (And yes, hope your fins feel better very soon fishy friend, the glitter supplies are getting sparse 😉 )



    ScaryB @scaryb

    Meanwhile I’m ripping up all my previous theories about Missy and teleports 🙁  The PC doesn’t fit any of the previous patterns – not a sacrifice, and no possibility that he was physically transported in the instant before death.

    The nethersphere is seriously creepy – “she’s very busy” then cut to Missy in very long, very empty, very sterile corridor. (Who needs a complicated set and props when you can have lots of white light and overexposure 😉  )

    *Considers possibility of reviving VERY old dusty theory that the Doctor is actually a patient in a mental hospital and all of this is just in his head, LOL… ooops been done, wrong show*

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Is it remotely possible that in Clara’s rant about Jane Austen she referred to Blorgons?  Because that would be – whilst completely arc-irrelevant – rather nice.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Random thought – the “monster” – was essentially a soldier following orders – it checked in (to a superior, or to instructions in its databank) for orders in how to deal with a new threat, and you could argue it was defeated because it couldn’t think for itself.

    And I thought “otter” rather than “auton” – there again I was probably overexcited about the River ref just before 🙂

    Whisht @whisht

    so, after a rewatch and nothing new in terms of thoughts.
    I liked it a bit more, but just finding this episode’s Doctor to be a bit too irascible, but hey ho, some great dialogue!

    so, some dialogue that might mean something:
    “humans have such short life spans, tick-tock, tick-tock”
    There’s ticking in the background of Danny’s flat when he’s with Clara (probably only noticeable with headphones).

    “Why do I keep you around?”
    “Because otherwise you’d develop a conscience of your own”
    [so when he does develop one, he won’t need her anymore… and she can live her life with Danny?]
    “and when this is all over you can finish the job – you’ve explained me to him, you haven’t explained him to me” – explained on Clara’s exit?
    [not that I want her to go, but it does seem a thing at the moment]

    “My god”
    “I’m sorry she’s a bit busy today”
    Missy… well someone’s bound to have said Missy as God but… nah!
    [still don’t think this is the afterlife/heaven – now thinking even more that that grisly hand of the PC will be a dummy’s hand and he was ‘saved’ by teleporting].

    However I think my thought that Danny was from the future was rubbish – if Danny was from the future and had met Clara and the Doctor, why would he screw up the trap?

    I wonder if the “5 years” of experience for sergeant Pink will be meaningful. The character is old enough to have made sergeant (if he’d joined at ~18 and is late 20’s-early 30’s now). Was it Corporal (awesome) Orson?
    hm, probably just a blind alley.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @scaryb did you also pick up on the man interviewing the PC response to him saying “oh god” and the responds she’s a bit busy and it then cuts to a view of Missy looking on disapprovingly, and I am paraphrasing the exact wording. So does this intimate that Missy is some kind of “deity” maybe even one of the pre timelord old gods.

    Arrgh my brain is hurting on that one…..

    On another note why didn’t Danny recognise the doctor and Clara if he is Rupert me thinks there is definitely more to him. One thought was maybe Danny is a twin or brother to Rupert which would explain his reaction to Clara’s mention of Rupert on thier first date.

    Another thing I’ve been wondering about, I know there is speculation that Clara Has empathic/telepathic abilities, but I’m wondering if Danny also has some kind of empathic ability. Danny has previously stated that he always knows when he’s being lied to, I fact wasn’t that part of the reason thier ‘first’ date was a near disaster.

    I am sure some of our more bonkerising members will be able to either shoot holes or expand on these thoughts.

    lisa @lisa

    Also in the white room – there is a round bulletin board behind the pc’s head- curious what all the paperwork on that board says —- that scene reminded me a bit of when Harry Potter dies and goes to the “white place’ and
    meets Dumbledore

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @scaryb I checked again with my son who is (a) a fount of knowledge on a great many topics, including (but not restricted to) football, American history and politics, the Spanish civil war, Marvel superheroes, AG Who, and otters.  He is very certain about the otters, so otters it is.

    The Guardian blog comments this week appear to have been taken over by someone ranting about atheist subtexts and it’s all a bit tedious.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Just rewatching the episode and the doctor definitely says otters

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @Cath Annabel I just read through the Guardian blog, and the ranting about atheist subtexts was getting rather tedious. The worst of it all was the fact that I couldn’t understand what point the poster was trying to make. It was all about nihilism leading to series cancellation or somesuch.

    Anyway – new bonkers theory: Missy is Rassilon regenerated from Timothy Dalton, and is using a timescoop to capture combat veterans from all over time and space to begin a new league of the Game of Rassilon.

    That would mean that Missy’s heaven is in fact…


    The Death Zone! 

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @whisht    When he said it, I thought that there was no actual “thing”. Danny thought Clara was about to cancel on him, and he was beating her to the punch. Except that, then, he came back to the school to spy on the caretaker. So that was probably the thing.

    @phileasf   I noticed that too, with Courtney’s parents. But I thought they meant “you” as in “you people” ie. the teachers, the school, etc. But you could actually be right, possibly a year has gone by.

    Rob @rob


    I think you have seen a different aspect in the Doctor v Danny argument and I have to disagree with you, with a smile though not a growl 🙂

    The start of the adventure shows Clara living two lives whilst her two men fight over her time, one knowingly and one seeking the knowledge of what else is going on. Both love her but in far far different ways. The Doctor as her “Space (grand)Father” and Danny as her boyfriend.

    Danny identifies the Doctor as as Patrician officer not a rupert but more of great leader, that makes him dangerous as his troops will attempt the impossible for him, and that is what worries him so much for Clara.

    Davros stated the exact same thing to 10 too

    @nearly everyone else great episode will not have another chance to re-watch…….

    (casts envious looks at those who get the chance, murmours darkly about bloomin’ 3G coverage or lack of it whilst working away from home 6 days a week, grumble grumble mutter mutter)

    ….. i thought he said Auton Otters 😛

    HF & PN off to the Sofa

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @whisht – Did you mean NOT old enough to make sergeant?

    From the information you linked to:

    Sergeant is a senior role of responsibility, promotion to which typically takes place after 12 years depending on ability

    There really is something odd about Danny. I was originally okay about the ‘maths teacher’ bit, because the hints dropped suggest Royal Engineers or REME – and it’s not uncommon for them to do an Open University degree in Engineering. That would certainly qualify him for ‘maths teacher’.

    But when you look at him: first he’s apparently got a different name from when he was a kid, then he’s got an Identical Grandchild, then he’s a sergeant when he shouldn’t be a sergeant, then the Doctor insists he’s a PE teacher – following which, he does a flying somersault that probably needed a stuntman who’s an ex-Olympic gymnast.

    Then he was living in a Children’s Home but has a family, then he’s new at school but everyone knows his background in detail (except Clara).

    Dunno. Clones? Is Orson Rupert’s clone? Or son? Is Danny a clone of Rupert?

    Answers on a postcard…

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @cathannabel Your son’s ears are good enough for me! Well until I came across @rob‘s comment – Auton otters indeed – I like 🙂

    (And sympathies about your lack of wifi Rob – are you away playing in mud again…?!  Hope you at least have a surfeit of caffeine )

    @badwulf – haha – I like your Missy is Rassilon theory (unless she’s @Handles’ dino-Missy).

    1 thing I’m confident of – Nethersphere/Heaven isn’t anything to do with a spiritual/conventional religious afterlife (despite all the religious imagery that has been scattered through this series).  Probably!!  But I’m currently (temporarily!) stumped for a theory of my own as to how people get there.

    @devilishrobby – I did notice that little exchange – didn’t comment on it cos someone upboard also picked it out neatly.

    General – it looks to me as if Clara’s been leading her double life and travelling with this Doctor for some time now – look at all the refs at the beginning of this. Reminded me of Amy and Rory describing their “Doctor life” at the beginning of Power of Three.  I suspect it might be a bit like trying to sustain going out late night clubbing every night with a day job and (other) relationship. At least Amy and Rory had each other to keep themselves a bit grounded. Note their comments in that episode about how they were starting to age a bit faster than their friends.

    (@CathAnnabel @badwulf  Re the “other place” – ” It was all about nihilism leading to series cancellation or somesuch” Isn’t it always??!  It’s a shame, I used to like playing over there but it feels like hard work a lot of the time now))

    Whisht @whisht

    ah – hi @bluesqueakpip – I’m kinda with you on the not-quite-what-he-appears-ness of Danny Pink.

    I actually meant that he could have been Sergeant if he’d joined at 18 and had had a good career in the army. Its the “5 years” which jars (as you say, 5 years is about right for the US army to be sergeant).

    It just seems like such an oversight for this show, that they would either facepalm massively or its a plot point.

    But maybe its just a gaff and I won’t let that take me to its logical conclusion

    Whisht @whisht

    ah @cathannabel – I tried looking for the commenters as I thought itd be fun trolling the trolls (as it were) but just got bored by stuff beforehand.

    which is a shame as it seemed like a fun thing at the time!

    ah well, my mischievousness needs to go elsewhere it seems (thank god (missy??!?) for spellchecker on that word!)


    lisa @lisa

    Re-watching the Missy land bit at the end- I wonder if Missy didn’t greet the pc cause he didn’t qualify for her conditions. Maybe she came into the room to just get a glance at him – perhaps he was ‘acquired’ not because he has any particular skill but then why? Really wish the paperwork on the wall behind the pc wasn’t so out of focus

    zeitgeis @zeitgeis

    @whisht, Danny’s enlisting at 18 might give him the time to earn his sergeants  stripes, but not also perhaps to gain sufficient education to qualify him as a maths teacher. Joining up at 18 and then spending 8 years in the military to get his stripes puts him at 26. Adding 4 more years of university study to qualify him as a maths teacher puts him at 30 years old. Of course he could do some of his maths study while in the military. Indeed getting a degree while digging wells as a soldier might have facilitated his promotions. Manipulating these variables would allow us to make him whatever age we like.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    re the TARDIS on stage – I think you mean this one – and yes a mighty effort! (sadly both Shazz and Scout seem to have withdrawn from here but hope they’re both well) –


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Finally caught up with it in the wilds of Ontario, courtesy of iPlayer.

    Well, I agree entirely with @arbutus, this was a 10/10 for me. I loved every minute of it, and every line of dialogue. Indeed, I am sort of surprised by some of the criticism (too much ‘soap’). This was classic Who, and not just in the way it returned to Coal Hill and set up a set of companions including two school teachers and a student. It was also classic Who in that the reason the show captured the imaginations 50 years ago was that it was as much about the relationship between Ian, Barbara, Susan and the Doctor, as it was about flying through space and time, and this episode brilliantly captured why we should care about these new companions, and why we should care about this new Doctor. For me, this was the episode where I really believed in Capaldi as the Doctor. Perhaps even more so than “Listen”, which was also fabulous.

    So many people have said so much already about the episode, that I do not want to repeat–although it was “otters”!

    @cathannabel I loved your pick up on the Blorgons. I think that it just the type of meta joke Moffat would make.

    @badwulf Intrigued by your idea about Mr Pink from “Reservoir Dogs”. There is clearly more to Danny than we (or even he) are aware. When I think about it, the Doctor is usually correct in his first impressions, so his refusal to see Danny as a Math teacher isn’t just irritation, I think.

    On the question of Danny as a Sergeant, correct me if I am wrong, but is it not the Doctor only who refers to Danny as a Sergeant (I assumed in a generically dismissive way)? Does Danny identify himself as a former Sergeant, or only as formerly being in the military?

    But the one thing that I couldn’t help thinking about in this story, was the whole “Promised Land” thing. Perhaps it was the setting of the long, white corridor, where he was welcomed to “heaven”, but it reminded me very much of Powell and Pressburger’s fabulous fantasy film from 1946, “A Matter of Life and Death”. I am now wondering if Moffat is using that illusion to set up something for the finale. The movie was about a second world war airman (played by David Niven) who is shot down, but due to a bureaucratic error in heaven, survives. By the time the error is discovered, he has fallen in love, and a trial is held in heaven to determine if he should die or be given a second chance.

    Here is a clip, where the new arrivals are given their heavenly wings (note the first screen appearance of Richard Attenborough as the Sergeant and the always gorgeous Kathleen Byron):



    ScaryB @scaryb


    I agree with you, there’s something very odd about Danny’s background tho I leave it to others more knowledgeable than me to work out the details of his soldiering history. (I liked the ref that others picked up on that the Brig became a maths teacher post UNIT)

    As I said in a (very long) post above – it would seem that as a result of Clara’s interference in their respective timelines that Danny became a soldier, and the Doctor didn’t.  Their respective futures may have played out that way anyway, but we don’t know that.  They are also linked by the little toy soldier without a gun.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Agree with you about Capaldi really taking ownership of the role in this episode. He’s enigmatic, he’s grumpy, he’s witty… he’s the Doctor! (See my earlier post about him reminding me of Hartnell.  Esp in 1 particular shot, towards the end – the camera angle is low, it’s just the Doctor, centre screen, in his TARDIS, and he looks completely at home. Also that we now have a couple of teachers and a recalcitrant teenager (all from Coal Hill School) as possible fellow-travellers).

    Brilliant call on the comparison with the Powell & Pressberger film (tho I think there will be a more “real world” explanation).

    lisa @lisa

    @Blenkinsopthebrave— I recall that flick somewhat- but the receptionist greeting the pc never referred to where they were as heaven- only Nethersphere/afterlife/promised land – and I have a hunch that the pc may have
    not been acquired by Missy for the same reason as the others in her plan – she doesn’t speak with him- only gives him a casual glance -I still think its more like a Cal/papal mainframe kind of saving
    For me it also took me back to when Harry dies and meets Dumbledore in the big white replica of the train station — this Missy mystery has a tight grip on me !!

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    (tho I think there will be a more “real world” explanation).

    But, if you remember, there is a more “real world” explanation in “A Matter of Life and Death” as well. The film is not actually set in “heaven” as all those sequences take place in the mind and imagination of David Niven’s character, who is suffering a neurological disorder. The film doesn’t actually accept the existence of heaven, just as Doctor Who doesn’t either. But what they both believe in is the power of love. I just re-watched the Powell and Pressburger film again (one of the greatest films of all British cinema) and am more than ever convinced that Moffat may be drawing on it.

    What makes me think this is just how deep Danny’s and Clara’s feelings for each other were established in this episode. In the Matt Smith years there was also the theme of the love between Amy and Rory and Rory died over and over, but was brought back to life. Moffat isn’t going to do that again. But the whole notion of deep love, and the willingness of both partners to sacrifice themselves so that the other might live (as in “A Matter of Life and Death”) is very much like the sort of thing Moffat does.

    In fact, since there is a week before the next episode, may this is the time to see if there is anything left in the Blenkinsop cellar and do a Powell and Pressburger retrospective.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    I’ve just been reading some of the comments on the Guardian and I must say it’s a real slog. I used to enjoy that blog a lot more. But for every thoughtful comment or criticism, there are three “It sucks because it’s about ***, and I don’t want to see ***”. It’s rather depressing.

    I keep seeing the word “controlling” in regard to Danny, but I really don’t see it myself. I would say he’s assertive. And thankfully so, given Clara’s personality. I can’t imagine anyone surviving long in a relationship with her if they weren’t. People were very bothered by their scene at the end. But honestly, if you love someone, and they are regularly putting themselves in harm’s way as Clara is, wouldn’t you want to speak up? Especially if you have your own experience with being in harm’s way? I felt the aggressive tone to his “You have to promise to tell me” line came because it felt a bit like she was blowing him off. He was trying to make her see that it was important to him, and that he could accept the double life as long as she was always honest about what it was doing to her. I’m still not sure that she gets it.
    I’m looking forward to my second viewing tomorrow.   🙂

    PhileasF @phileasf

    @blenkinsopthebrave – thanks for the clip, I really need to watch that movie again. As I recall, the question of what’s really going on is left ambiguous – the ‘heaven’ we see might be real, or a result of the airman’s neurological condition.

    You’ve set me thinking about a possible Powell/Pressberger influence on this season… The Life and Death of Colonel Pink? Danny’s concerns about the Doctor’s ability to make Clara take risks bears comparison to The Red Shoes. That movie’s heroine also has to choose between love and an all-consuming career.

    Anonymous @

    @blenkinsopthebrave, @rob, and @arbutus – This episode was at 6/10 at first, but I give it 8/10 now. It is not one of my all time favorites so I have to leave some room for improvement. There is nothing wrong with the episode. I don’t mind the confrontation in the Tardis, it was just a little unexpected at first. It actually was a completely normal thing to happen. I wouldn’t change it a bit. Especially since it was resolved pretty nicely when Danny saved the world, and the Doctor gave him some credit. So I don’t think there was too much drama anymore.

     However, the ending still has me worried. But I think the writers intend it to be worrying, because Clara looks a bit worried at the end too. That just leaves me feeling uncertain at the end of the episode.

     These aren’t complaints about the episode though. More like questions about where I think the plot is going. So I think they will get cleared up after more of the story gets told.

     When I say I’m not sure if I like Danny Pink right now: Are we suppose to be completely sold on him at this point? His final dialog with Clara sounded like a showdown is still brewing between Danny and the Doctor to me. But I doubt that because I think that had just been resolved when they defeated the monster.

     So maybe Danny was just talking like a boyfriend wanting to be cool and let his girl know he wants to protect her? I would expect Clara to say, “I’ve been hanging with the Doctor a long time and I can take care of myself!” But what do I know, maybe she has her reasons we don’t know yet? Possibly she knows Danny is right about the Doctor and is thinking about leaving?

     But she could also be unsure about Danny’s past. He always wants her to tell him the truth, but he still hasn’t told her everything about his past. There seems to be something about Danny that we don’t know yet?

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @geoffers Was there a ‘Break the Silence’ poster in this one as well? I missed it, if there was.

    On the ‘nethersphere’: this is all very confusing, and I’m not sure that anything I had thought before now makes sense. But one thought that struck me is that Chris Addison’s character is called ‘Seb’. Could that be short for Sebastian, which would perhaps tie in with the theme about the Doctor’s hostile attitude towards soldiers, since St Sebastian was a Roman soldier. Or maybe Missy is a Carrionite, and he’s some sort of literary creation through the magical power of words (Sebastian from Twelfth Night)?

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    Just following on from the ‘Missy is a Carrionite’ idea: maybe what they are collecting in the Nethersphere is not souls but stories. The policeman was ‘downgraded’ to being met by a functionary, rather than Missy herself, because his story just isn’t very interesting. (‘I proceeded into the room, and saw a robot. Then I was blown up.’) Whereas the clockwork android and Gretchen had much more dramatic stories to tell, so Missy was more inclined to interview them herself upon arrival. And presumably the Doctor has the best story of them all…

    FlirtingDinosaur @flirtingdinosaur

    @lisa Missy as Dubledore! Now that’d be a spin I didn’t expect ;D


    @rob good point about Davros “you take ordinary people and you fashion them into weapons”


    1 more thing: after the alien robot disappears the first time round & the whole Clara/Doctor/Danny-explanation thing happens, Clara follows Danny out and the Doctor says to himself “two (3?) days. I can do it.” in a rather uncertain tone. My question: is he talking about the alien? I think not. Initially he viewed the getting-rid-of-alien-part rather easy and boring. Yes, it got lots more complicated now with Danny destroying his plan and the Doctor being scanned by the alien and all, but still, it doesn’t seem like he’s immensely scared. I think he’s talking of fixing things with Clara. And he has until the alien problem is solved to do so because after that he won’t have any reason to stay and if he doesn’t fix things, Clara might not have any reason to fly away with him again.

    So apart from being angry because Pink might not good enough for Clara, the Doctor is also scared that he actually might be and that, because of Pink, he might lose Clara as a companion. Makes me think Clara might really leave at the end of the season…

    Though I wouldn’t want that. If I’d get a vote, I’d put Pink inside that blue box with the other two. Maybe the kid aswell? (-> preview to next episode: I thought I saw the kid run around in one of those sexy orange suits (spoilers? Sorry!))



    FlirtingDinosaur @flirtingdinosaur

    @devilishrobby nice theory with the twin brother. I, too, think there must be more to Danny than we know yet. But didn’t the Doctor give young Rupert a “big dream about being Dan the Soldier man”? So he would have forgotten all about the Doctor and Clara.  Another thing: when Clara mentions the name Rupert on the date he says “I haven’t used that name in years” so it does sound like it was his, he just changed it (like he said he would)

    About his empathic ability: I’ve wondered about that. He knows when people are lying to him. He notices when the Doctor sensed him in the TARDIS even though he is invisible. I wonder if he could tell when the Doctor is lying?!



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