The Caretaker

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    ScaryB @scaryb


    Sorry – was busy composing when  you posted, so apologies for overlapping. Interesting link to Campassion. (Not sure about Clara, but what about Missy…?)

    Serahni @serahni


    She then flew away towards the stars and has not been seen since, although it is strongly hinted that the character of Madame Xing of the planet Espero in Halflife by Mark Michalowski was Compassion in disguise. At the conclusion of The Gallifrey Chronicles by Lance Parkin, the Doctor sent K-9 on a secret mission to Espero, possibly to seek out “Xing”.

    Could be!

    Anonymous @

    Hello @lisa,

     River as Missy is very tough for me to like. I wish you didn’t make such a good case for Tasha Lem as River, because Tasha Lem as Missy is not bad to me. The Papal Mainframe would be a great place for Missy to be.

     Unlike Tasha Lem, I like Missy less the more I see her. It is becoming more difficult for me to think she is not a villain, so I am not sure she fits with caretaker, but maybe in a villainous sense. The Promised Land reminded me of a hospital this time, which scares me because I don’t like going to the hospital ever. So seeing her stroll down the empty hallway, perfectly at ease was her creepiest appearance yet!

     I wonder what the PC saw out of the window? But probably anything would have surprised him at that point, so that really doesn’t give any clues.

     How is she collecting the people? That is the main question. There are a few different ways she could be doing it now. I think Missy is using the same method of invisibility the monsters in Listen were using. But I can’t explain how she seems to be everywhere at the same time, which it seems like she had to be doing to collect the PC. That ruins my thoughts that she was staying close to the Doctor or Clara. I can only hope the PC talked to the Doctor to answer that. 🙂

     @Fivefaces – collecting stories fits good 💡

     @Whisht I should have put a special warning on that song for you and @phaseshift.  I hope it doesn’t pass up @devilishrobby‘s earwormyness tho.

    😆 😆 😆

    lisa @lisa

    @barnable- I was more intrigued by the paperwork on the round bulletin board out of focus- she didn’t greet the pc- one of her lieutenants did-so maybe the pc is lower down in the ranks – I didn’t think hospital but I do imagine that emptiness will be filling up – maybe we will see more bulletin boards with paperwork that we can see and read for clues- In the Silence in the Library episode they had all those children that looked alike- I wonder if they will make clones out of the people they collect to make an army ?? I would really like more clues !!!!
    Ugh !
    On other topic- really liked the way Clara swiped her nose in the way Tom Baker Doctor used to do – very nice

    lisa @lisa

    @barnable – 1 more thought- don’t forget that the papel mainframe was a military force!

    Anonymous @

    Never earwormyness @devilishrobby, sorry for the mistake.  I meant @pufferfish post 32728.

    @lisa – I like the thought of some huge Missy plan like making an army.  IMO it has to be something BIG to live up to the hype.  😉

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Second time through; still loved it.  🙂  I know people weren’t convinced by the threat, but the notion of what was basically a rogue piece of equipment that would destroy anything that came near it seemed like a reasonable threat to me. And I can’t over emphasize how much I love this theme music! It makes me happy the minute it kicks in.

    Truth and lies were definitely a theme here, as many have said. Interestingly, the Doctor lies first, and Clara says in effect, “I’m not stupid”. Then she immediately has almost the same conversation with Danny. Then after discovery, Clara lies (very stupidly) to Danny, and he says “How stupid do you think I am?” Then she sneaks Danny into the TARDIS, lying to the Doctor. Another title for this episode could have been “Lies and Stupidity” or as Al Franken would have it, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.”

    Excellence in dialogue:
    “Is there an alien?” “Yes, me.”
    “There’s a sinister puddle.”
    The Doctor’s whole conversation with Courtney.
    “There’s only room in my head for cross-country and the offside rule.”
    “You’re a space woman. You said you were from Blackpool.”
    “You’re her dad. Her space dad.”
    And Danny’s summary of the Doctor: “There’s an alien, who used to look like Adrian, who turned into a Scottish caretaker, and every now and then when I’m not looking, you elope with him.”

    Great moments:
    Clara’s glee at the Doctor’s invisibility.
    Even though he had it wrong, I thought it was a sweet moment when the Doctor expressed his “approval” of the boyfriend, and Clara was so pleased.
    The change in the Doctor’s expression and tone and behaviour the moment Clara says, “Because I love him.” And his look when she says to Danny, “He’s a time traveller.” He chooses to support Clara then, proving his identity to Danny by showing him the TARDIS.
    I loved the choice of music as Danny looks at the console room: Eleven to Twelve regeneration music.
    “You’ve explained me to him. You haven’t explained him to me.” This moment that says there is still much to be resolved. This isn’t just Mickey the Idiot, this feels fundamental.

    I wasn’t sure why the Doctor would ignore the suggestion to evacuate but listening again, it seems likely that if they did that, it would just attract the machine and people would be more likely to get hurt. Keeping them all contained in the hall would make it easier to trap it without anyone getting killed.

    I loved the very intense scene between Danny and the Doctor, loved it, and then the Doctor’s unexpected about face to Clara: “On balance, I thought that went quite well.” I suppose, in a way, he’s right!

    Danny does seem very fragile, very damaged, when he says he doesn’t know what Clara means by “not that way”. He is very stricken by the fact that she has lied to him, and asks “Why do you go with him?” I think most of us could probably imagine why you would travel in time and space with an alien, given the chance. But Danny can’t. I wonder what that says about him. I think that the level of hurt he obviously feels at what she has this hidden from him indicates that a good bit of time has gone by, they have been seeing each other long enough that he would expect to know important things about her. And yet, surely he has not yet shared the important thing about himself… whom did he kill?

    I wonder what the PC saw out the window?

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus – I really like this episode too, and it should get even better once it fits into the story arc completely.   I’m glad you stuck up for the monster, I keep forgetting to do that.  It was not the scariest looking monster, but I love the fire power it had.  We got to see it 3 times in the episode, and when it blew up the door and Clara dives in slow motion was enough for me to say, “Oh yeah!”

    The Doctor and Courtney dialog is my favorite. I love the “Keep Out Humans” sign.  😆

    I haven’t thought much about all the lying.  But your post put them all together, and more importantly how each character didn’t believe them anymore. 

    So maybe instead of a story about belief, it was more a story about disbelief?

    I wonder what was out the window too.  It would be great if he saw a giant dinosaur walking around. 🙂

    lasandrea @lasandrea

    Hi guys,
    I just watched this episode, and I’ve got a question. When doctor said “when this is all over you can finish the job. (…) You have explained me to him(Pink). You haven’t explained him to me” what does it mean? What job?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @cathannabel     with hindsight and without the distraction of his considerable charms     This made me laugh out loud. Well put.

    @oblique      I’d say the title “The Caretaker” was a callout to “The Lodger”!

    @idiotsavon     I like your comparison of Danny’s behaviour in the TARDIS to a recalcitrant student, very apt. And your Pride and Prejudice connection as well. And yes, we certainly have questions!

    @serahni     When we first met Clara (modern Clara), I believe she was twenty-four? She probably already had her degree by then, and was getting ready to go on her gap year when her life was interrupted, first by the death of a family friend, and then by the Doctor!

    Do you think Moffat gets his plot ideas from dreams? And that sometimes, he wakes up too soon, and that’s why some plot points are left hanging for so long?    🙂

    @handles     I guess we might learn what was outside the window when we eventually find out where Missy’s “heaven” actually is!

    @lasandrea     The “job” is explaining Pink to the Doctor. I suspect the Doctor has questions about him, and not necessarily just about his soldiering!

    Anonymous @

    hehehehe. Worst Evah Episode!!  Ah, just kidding. Taking the mickey from the early mor*** who hated it so much they couldn’t find a single, positive thing to discuss?  The dialogue? The connections with past Doctors? Anybody? I’m glad the usual sensible suspects noticed the wonderful irascible and contemptuous Doctor -although there was one Dalek on the site who didn’t like the Doctor’s almost ‘contemptuous’ behaviour?  You know what? Who the f*** cares? I’ve been on holiday and I feel like saying exactly what I want!

    This Doctor isn’t cuddly! He’s not there to please you or me. He thinks people are slow and oftentimes boring. I agree. He’s a bit rude to Danny but Danny was acting like a nasty shite thru some of this -I see double standards with Danny-some real immaturity; perhaps it’s his age but he’s full of “promise me this or else.”

    Frankly, I find men like this vaguely sociopathic but then in my business I meet a lot of sociopathic twats. Yep. I appear to have changed personality. 🙂

    That’s the thing with this Doctor -he isn’t necessarily “liberated” or “focussed” after DofD; to assume such changes also assumes he’s human (and cuddly) and that his own personality is going to track with ours, as we age and mellow. I think he’s raging into the night and he is very different. With each incarnation comes a completely different persona. I can see now why Clara found the new Doctor so disconcerting in Deep Breath-I recall feeling some animus about that and now I can see her position with a little more clarity.

    As @arbutus said: 10/10.The monster was clever and scary and the dialogue was racing and rollicking along with some wonderful jibes about PE teachers-then Danny does the 7.5 out of 10 gymnastic routine. It reminded me of how Eccleston met Mickey and yet repeatedly called him Ricky -and later we knew why…

    The issue with Danny’s length of service at Coal Hill could be that he met Courtney’s parent’s at the end of the previous year.  The new school year begins, Clara, who has been away, returns and is introduced to Danny who may himself have been on leave…doing who knows what? Charitable cadetships with annoying young sociopaths children? Mmm. I don’t think it’s an issue of great import but then it could be… greater minds than I etc…(at the mo my head is filled with water having avoided 3 sharks and a stingray but also having seen some spectacular black and white spotty parrot fish with yellow ‘edges’. Also, my favourite, a fluoro blue trout which swims extremely fast due to a spikey tail ‘fin’ which makes it zoom like a jet ski. Amazing)

    Yes, the Tardis on stage (was that you @whisht ?) was clever and possibly a little shout out to….??

    Loved Addison. Cameos work with the right people, don’t they?

    As to score -watched it on loomingly large hotel TV -but I didn’t like the sound -not set right so I couldn’t attend to the score or the theme. Well, due for a second watch and will switch some cords around

    @flirtingdinosaur – I think he meant 3 days to fix the situation after Danny had re-set the buttons. Or, it could be as per your suggestion. But. The other issue is why Danny didn’t go nutso upon finding the gizmos? He calmly collected them (perhaps thinking they were some kind of mini bomb planted by MI5 🙂  and left them in a circle around the chairs? Making a gesture about parent/teacher night? A metaphoric bomb waiting to explode?

    @phileasf  The Red Shoes comparison? Now we’re talking. She’s spinning out of control and it could kill her.

    Is there a Claricle at work here and does the Dr know it? He seems to be tense and rushing as @Handles pointed out and I wonder whether that’s an indicator of him running out of time or running from it? He’s fairly desperate to locate this ‘promised land’ business -though desperate isn’t a word for the Doctor, generally, and is quite likely the wrong one. Anyway, Boy and Mr Ilion loved it -which says something. But BoyIlion now has a problem with his PS which I now have to fix….



    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion     Wow. Did you regenerate whilst on holiday? Or were you actually on holiday, or were you… somewhere else? Off-planet, perhaps? And you’ve returned with an uncanny new ability– you can fix a Playstation.

    Anonymous @

    Oh, I hate it when people say “frankly” as I did. Personality…resuming….

    Probably not. I like the wink at the beginning and did I mention the dialogue?? “Did you wash?”; “If anybody needs me I’ll be in the storeroom getting the lie of the land. Nobody is taking any notice at all …absolutely good news as it means I must be coming across as an absolutely boring human being like YOU. Deep Cover. Deep Cover.”

    Cripes: that is ripping dialogue and so Tucker-ish that I am fallin’ for this Doctor utterly. God. I am fickle.  Six months ago it was “Smith is my Doctor. Always. Forever.” (That’s over!) And I was so poetic about it. It was like a love letter. My brain had totally varbled (new word)

    With this Doctor, it doesn’t stop: “The walls need sponging; I’m a caretaker, I have a brush”. Go and sing with the autons”

    “No, the kids are not safe but soon the answer will be yes…if you let me do my job….”  Oh, how many times do I want to say that?!

    Then the music as someone pointed out….as the PC walks into the ‘arms’ of de monster. Interesting that the PC is also a caretaker -of Coal Hill?.. and ends up in Missy -Land.


    janetteB @janetteb

    I re-watched again this morning and between clearing out and packing the car for hols tomorrow have been reading through the night, and morning shifts contributions.

    Firstly on rewatch I paid particular attention to Clara’s reflection in the window. We first the “dark Clara” reflection when Danny asks why she goes off with the Doctor and then when she replies possibly indicating a dark motive or suggestive of a dark outcome.

    I feel that his personal insults are in part to reinforce the “I am not your boyfriend” line. He is clearly in denial about the fact that in his previous regeneration he did fancy her, yet he is flattered when he thinks she had fallen for his previous regeneration look alike. The Doctor shows himself to be very posessive of Clara and I wondered if he was deliberately luring the monster to the school so as to have an excuse to spy on her. He does spy on Clara and Danny spies on him. Lies and deciets underly this story yet it is about faith, Clara must have faith in the Doctor and Danny must have faith in Clara.

    @handles good point re’ Clara as the caretaker of the Doctor. She is also Danny’s caretaker. When she helps him from the stage he is like a damaged child. There is a lot of baggage there methinks and not a chip on the shoulder but the full tree trunk.

    @idiotsavon Loved the P &P call. How could I have missed the Elizabeth/Darcy, Doctor/Danny reflection. Pride and prejudice certainly underlie their relationship.

    @arbutus I suspect the Doctor mostly ignores Danny’s urging to evacuate because it is Danny suggesting it. He wants to prove to Clara that he is the one in control and DAnny is superflous. The Doctor is being quite childish, but he always had that tendency. Also I have to say the new theme is growing on me. I meant to mention this last week but forgot. I like it now much more than I did.

    @sarahni I also dreamt about Dr Who last night. Something to do with Clara and Danny and I had a brilliant idea but of course, woke this morning and only remembered what I had forgotten.

    @Purofilion Good to have you back. Were you visiting the same fishpeople as the Doctor and Clara? You mention Danny rearranging the gizmos. I could not work out what he was up to there. Why would he do that?





    Anonymous @

    @arbutus I know 6th sense, right? Not at all. I’m still a dummy with technology. Yet, I do have a thing with Play Stations -I eer quite enjoy Fifa …

    I loved the theme (twitchy and just there) of 11 when The Doctor met Adrian the English Doctor, I mean Teacher. As for the rest of the score; the Bulgarian style tango mixed with thirties saxophone was rather unusual. I like Courtney too but I also enjoyed her vomit: “there’s been a spillage”.  Ah, charming. I’ve cleaned up many such technicolour spillages.

    “Permanent state of panic as humans have incredibly short life spans”. I repeat!!! What the bloomin heck is not to like about this episode? I want to shout that: I really do. “Can’t you read”; “never lose your temper in the middle of a door sign”. That applies to many, many things.

    And the shop lifting comment. What: did someone think that was racist? After all, The Doctor (after Courtney with her: “I am a Disruptive Influence”) takes her hand and shakes it sincerely, “Good to meet you”.

    So, get over it.

    “Just this once, I’m doing what I’m told. Oh, sing Hosannah”.

    Personality still resuming…

    Anonymous @

    @janetteb I believe I did see some fish peoples!  There was seaweed at least. The grabby kind. Eek. Have a good holiday (on the roads). There are a few nutters here and there. Mostly, here, though.

    Anonymous @

    One last thing. The brilliant acting of Capaldi not just when he says “you haven’t explained him to me” but the haughty expression  expressed through those words. Despite the caretaker garb, he couldn’t have been more Time Lord.

    (idiotsavon and the P & P metaphor -lovely. Also I think the Doctor said ‘go bother Dave’? Reminded me of Dave and Proper Dave In Silence in the Library. Who is who, here; or, which is which?)

    Anonymous @

    I have lost ‘me’. I actually wrote “parent’s”. I am ashamed. I shall hide. Yes, yes, don’t say “oh, good, go back to the sea”.

    geoffers @geoffers

    @purofilion @janettebYou mention Danny rearranging the gizmos. I could not work out what he was up to there. Why would he do that?

    i don’t think he did. the doctor was luring the blitzer into that circle of gizmos, and was alarmed that they were blinking red instead of green. danny had upset the plan by moving that first one (perhaps taking it “offline?”). he enters the room holding it (blinking red like the others), to confront the doctor, but when he is attacked by the blitzer, he jumps, and loses it. it hits the floor and re-sets (apparently), turning green again. then the doctor opens the temporal thingy using his sonic…

    i didn’t have a problem with all that, though it was fairly confusing. but, when clara enters the room, she runs over to danny while he’s actively trying not to get sucked into the temporal rift! my first thought was that her momentum should have carried her past him, straight into oblivion!! but that would have ended the episode pretty abruptly, i guess? lol

    so maybe the temporal rift is like a mini black hole, with an event horizon, and danny was on the edge of crossing over it? so clara was safe so long as she was behind him? makes just enough sense, now that i think about it!


    geoffers @geoffers

    @idiotsavon – thank you for the screen grab. i wonder if that’s an actual poster used in schools in britain, as part of an anti-bullying campaign? i would wager that there’s some similar federal effort here in the states… 🙂

    LordAllons-y @lordallons-y

    Honestly, I enjoyed this episode but Listen still remains my favorite of the series. There’s just something about this series though…I can’t put my finger on it but there’s just something it’s missing. I still don’t feel like I know the 12th Doctor yet. I knew the 10th by the second episode of his first series, I knew the 11th in the moments of his first appearance in End of Time part 2 and he really shined in the first episode of his first series. We are 4 episodes into this series and still I don’t know 12. I feel like Clara has gotten a lot more development than is needed right now. I’m growing tired of her. I don’t really care about her relationship with Soldier Dan I just want to understand who this new Doctor is.

    I want more scenes of him using the TARDIS as a study, I want to see him on an adventure in time in space, I want to see him manipulating the locals and being clever! I just want more Doctor Who and a little less Clara if that makes any sense. I was almost offended by the opening scene in which we rush through an entire year’s worth of adventures. I would’ve liked to see some of those adventures and mysteries.

    I like these types of episodes normally, but Clara isn’t as endearing as Craig was and if I want to watch a story about two people falling in love in spite of extreme circumstances, I can just listen to my 14 year old cousin tell me about her long distance relationship.

    Negativity aside…I LOVED 12’s interactions with Danny except for the part where the Doctor treats Danny like rubbish because of his past. I don’t think any of the previous Doctors would have done that especially considering one of the staples of the revived series is the Doctor’s remorse for committing genocide.

    LordAllons-y @lordallons-y

    P.S. John Hurt’s War Doctor was better developed in 1 hour than 12 has been developed in 4 in my opinion.

    LordAllons-y @lordallons-y

    I know I’m spamming now…but I just realized we’re even later in the series than I thought. There’s been 6 episodes and still I can only define the 12th Doctor as bitter and stoic.

    Anonymous @

    Hi @serahni,

     Your analysis of the Caretaker was very close to mine. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t immediately love the episode, but it really does grow on you the more you watch it. There is just so many great things packed into it that it is hard to catch everything in one viewing (so typical of DW greatness).

     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.

     I know what you mean. Especially with Clara’s possible demise on the horizon, what will he do if she gets hurt or worse? Very concerning!!!

     Your opinions always come close to mine (not that you always agree with my opinions, I agree with yours), so that’s why I was surprised you are sold on Danny joining Team Tardis already. I think he will be a pretty cool addition eventually, especially after his acrobatics, but I’m still not sure about his mental make up? I guess that is just his story, in which he will work through his problems while traveling. That could be interesting and cool to watch. But his relationship with the Doctor still makes me a little nervous right now.

     @Everyone should read your link on post 32723. TY very much for that @serahni. I don’t think it connects to Clara as much as Missy though. I seem to fall in love with a new Missy theory about every hour, but yours is really good.  🙂

     The Missy Tardis theory had me interested early on, but I never knew there was actually a another living Tardis already in DW canon. And she collected souls too!!! How perfect is that?  😯

     That is a definite contender!

     @Arbutus and @janetteb – I forget to update my thoughts on the new DW theme song all the time. It has definitely grown on me. It is perfect. No more complaints.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Here’s an interesting thought.

    • Danny is a soldier with regrets in his past
    • The Doctor is an officer/soldier with more than a few
    • The Doctor promised to do something in Gretchen’s (a soldier) name. Remembrance, if you like;
    • Remembrance of the Daleks was the last story to feature Coal Hill as a battleground;

    Knowing that Steven Moffat has forshadowed real world events on the Calendar in his tenure (Beast Below was the first – an episode on voting just before the 2010 general election) I’m wondering if it really is a happy accident that episode 12 (the last episode) is on 8th November. That’s the last Saturday before the 11th November, Remembrance or Armistice Day (Veterans Day in the US), and therefore the day before Remembrance Sunday which is the 9th November this year.

    A chance to remember the fallen (and in Missy’s case, to perhaps present them to the Doctor).

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Oh my finally had time to check my emails on my iPad and had 73 unreads with 80% being caretaker responses in less than 24 hrs.

    So sorry if I don’t credit all with thier respective addition when I mention them I am having a Doctor moment and being unable to retain all of them as they came so thick and fast.

    Loved the suggested in of Clara being “compassion” but I would go more with thT idea as someone else suggested that it is Missy rather than Clara. But aren’t all tardises “living” I thought that was established in the doctor’s wife episode.

    As to the doctors behaviour towards Danny doesn’t it smack of she’s my toy your not playing with her lol. Especially at towards the end of the episode and Clara points out that Danny helped save the world and the doctors response is a grudging ( wanted to say curmudgeonly) “its a start”. It almost felt like he was saying I’ll let you play with her but on my terms.

    My gut feeling is perhaps the Grand Moff is setting up a potential exit strategy for Jenna at a future date, but from the doctors aspect of it as has been stated the doctor realises his companions will always leave him at some point and is developing coping strategy to deal with it.

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift – I get teary eyes just thinking about it, but it could be nice.

    Anonymous @

    @geoffers  ah haa. The event horizon! I was thinking of one of those myself. Because yes, my family, were thinking the same thing. Of course, I had my head in a bottle of merlot at the time & missed that bit. On re-watch (and sober) I could see that might be possible. Great minds n’ all.

    On the point (by the poster above) on the War Doctor being developed in 90 mins and this Doctor ‘being developed poorly in four -or not’ (a paraphrase I know), I think this is interesting but IMO, incorrect.

    People mis-read this Doctor; he’s bolshie, difficult, an encumbrance occasionally, but he’s kindly, deep down, and very easy to describe and ‘work out’ -again, in my opinion.

    Yes @phaseshift we commemorate (though some mistakenly celebrate) November 11 in Oz, too. This is an interesting parallel.

    @devilishrobby when someone -usually from the UK (or individual counties even) says “It’s a start” it’s simply dry humour. He may well be thrilled as bits -as thrilled as 12 can get. Although I will keep repeating that I think 12 is generous in spirit -remember Deep Breath and the Dinosaur- but has a sense of the funnies that is different to many Australians and Americans. Definitely. Half my family is English. It’s taken 22 years or so to ‘get the humour’ . 🙂

    janetteB @janetteb

    I suspect the thawing of relations between Doctor and Danny is going to be very much a theme of the rest of the series.

    @Purofilion I agree re’ Capaldi’s take on the Doctor. The more I watch The Caretaker the more I sense that warmth hidden under the crusty exterior. He is certainly more like the first Doctor but all the early doctors up until Four had moments of irascibility. Re-watching the Baker stories it often seems as though he has very little compassion or empathy for mere humans and he can be quite arrogant. Nothing in Capaldi’s take on the character is new, it just seems that with each new regeneration certain aspects of the Doctor’s character are more pronounced than others. It is the quantity of the ingredient, not the essentials ingredients that change. “In essentials, I believe, he is very much what he ever was.” (I do love P&P)



    Serahni @serahni


    I suppose all I meant was that I am keen for Danny to be able to experience the time travel for himself, to see what else it brings out about him, but also because I just suspect that all this is leading somewhere big and I’m impatient to get there!  *lol*  I can certainly agree that it wouldn’t lead to very smooth sailing at the moment, probably; I don’t think he’s inclined to see The Doctor as a positive influence in Clara’s life.

    Now, onto my Type 102 theory!

    You’re right, of course, now that I’ve read further.  This is definitely a Missy theory rather than a Clara one, and delving further into links from Compassion’s wikipedia page, I found this:

    Sound familiar to anyone?

    For those of you who don’t want to read the entries, the basic premise is that, in the books of the Eighth Doctor, he travels with a woman who transforms into a ‘living’ TARDIS called Compassion.  These are later referred to as Type 102.  In the entry on the above link, it talks about a city in which humans are ‘saved’, “a secular, technological heaven in which all human dead have been resurrected”.

    It is revealed in Of the City of the Saved…that the City is actually the body of the sentient timeship, Compassion, who has resurrected humanity in its entirety to save it from a universe-spanning war.

    You can see why Barnable and I are starting to get quite excited!

    Rob @rob


    When you first arrived here you were ever so polite, now look at you swimming with fishes and whales and sharks with laser beam eyes and invented vocabulary mending gizmos. You need to go on holiday more often….. but not too much

    Next time check your aqua lungs just to make sure there’s not so much coffee in the gas mix :p

    I actually inhaled my last mug of coffee laughing at your post

    janetteB @janetteb

    Thanks for the link @serahni (Hope I got that right this time.) Interesting to note that Lawrence Miles was an editor. There is a bit of history there between him and S.M. if I recall correctly.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    @purofilion   Interesting that you describe the Skovox Blitzer as a clever and scary monster when the majority of us who have commented on it at thought otherwise.  I agree with @serahni that it could have been different if the monster had been the focus of the story; a robot soldier capable of destroying planets, whose apparent default was to identify everything animate as a threat to be destroyed, clearly has potential to be terrifying.  As it was, there was no sense of jeopardy; the Doctor had already identified the threat (no doubt he had encountered its like and worse during the time war) and had devised a means of eliminating it.  Even when Danny’s meddling foiled the original plan the Doctor remained in control and seemed to have no difficulty in devising an alternative.   I can see why people who like a strong SF element with lots of action and  pyrotechnics might be dissatisfied, but action and pyrotechnics have never been the core ingredient of Doctor Who.

    On the subject of Danny’s meddling, one would have thought that in a security conscious age the discovery of unfamiliar and unexplained devices would have set alarm bells ringing, especially in the mind of a former soldier, whereas Danny seemed simply curious and a bit puzzled.  Presumably he realised who had planted them, and perhaps the fact that Clara seemed to know the Doctor was enough to reassure him, but even so …


    FlirtingDinosaur @flirtingdinosaur

    @purofilion @janetteb I agree re Capaldi being the Doctor. And at some points he very much reminds me of Hartnell, i.e. his unforgiving honesty (harshly delivered). He seems more aware of being an alien than certainly 10 was, and he doesn’t mind. He’s miles faster & smarter than everyone else, and he doesn’t try to hide it with false modesty. And he certainly doesn’t give a f*** if he offends anyone by simply being himself. He’s very much the Doctor – and not a nurse. Between figuring out who he is after so many regenerations, wondering what the future might hold (with gallifrey possibly safe and sound but possibly also very much locked away for good) and saving people here and there he simply doesn’t have the time or energy to be friendly. But (as someone said above) he does it with lots of charm and wit.

    And in the end: someone with bookshelves in the TARDIS control room is always rated awesome in my eyes!


    PhileasF @phileasf

    @purofilion – I thought it was ‘sing with the orphans’. I hate to join the ranks of those who can’t understand accents outside New York/LA/received pronunciation/Australian capital cities… but I have to admit, a couple of times per episode I’m just guessing at what the Doctor’s saying. This isn’t unique to Doctor Who, though — when watching movies and TV shows on DVD I’m always rewinding and turning on the subtitles. When I watch a movie at the cinema I’m always thinking, ‘When I buy the DVD of this I’ll be able to turn on the subtitles to find out what that guy said.’ Probably I notice it more in Doctor Who because of the online discussion of the new Doctor’s accent.

    I really think TV and movie makers need to initiate a comprehensibility review, where someone with normal hearing points out all the dialogue that they can’t understand, so it can be re-recorded. I think comprehensibility reviewer would be a good job. I’d consider it.

    Also, now that you remind me of the dialogue in the episode, I realise my review should have mentioned how good it was. I think I’ve become so used to such good, funny dialogue in the new show (which is my term for everything since Rose) that I hardly notice how good it usually is. Hardly any episodes of the old show (i.e. the 20th century show) had such good dialogue. Mainly just City of Death.

    @lordallons-y – Hi. The War Doctor was a very well-developed character. But there’s a big difference between him and the 12th Doctor – the War Doctor was designed to be fully developed and done with in an hour or less of screen time, whereas the 12th Doctor has plenty of time to be developed, probably two seasons or longer. His story is still only beginning.

    @serahni – Hmmmm… re The City of the Saved, which I have heard about but haven’t read. You have reminded me of a real-world theory which fits with Missy’s world.

    There is a theory, the reputation of which stands somewhere between semi-respectable and totally mad, called the Omega Point. Google will explain much. In a nutshell, the theory is this:

    • Unless someone stops it, the universe will eventually collapse in a ‘big crunch’.
    • Our remote near-the-end-of-the-universe descendants will be much cleverer than us, and will use the energy of the collapsing universe to create a massive computer consisting of all the matter and energy in the universe.
    • This computer, called the ‘Omega Point’, will be designed to run a simulation of the universe which will be indistinguishable from the real thing.
    • It will seem, from the point of view of the simulated intelligences inside it, to last forever.
    • In this eternal ‘Omega Point’ simulation of the universe, every sentient being that ever lived will live again. And possibly every sentient being that ever could have lived. Because the ‘Omega point’ will last forever, the mathematics of infinity gets involved. Every possible permutation of possible intelligent beings gets to meet.
    • If you accept Omega Point theory, you must acknowledge this: the ‘real’ universe had a lifespan of perhaps 30 to 100 billion years. I made those numbers up, but basically the ‘real’ universe has a finite lifespan. The Omega Point has a lifespan of eternity. Therefore, any intelligent being that accepts the truth of Omega Point theory must conclude that they probably live in the Omega Point. If you look at a timeline of the time in which intelligent beings exist, the period that the ‘real’ universe exists is a literally infinitesimal fraction of the eternity that the Omega Point exists. Therefore you and I must live in the Omega Point. The world you and I live in is a computer-generated simulation designed to look and feel like the ‘real’ universe did, and you and I may or may not be perfect copies of people who actually lived in the real universe.

    I believe in Omega Point theory… for about three minutes every third Tuesday.

    It may or may not be a coincidence that Frank Tipler, the physicist who published this theory in his book The Physics of Immortality, is best known for designing a number of time machines that would work, according to the known laws of physics. (Building any of them requires a technological capability far beyond what we have at the moment or are likely to have for thousands of years.)

    @rob – I don’t think that’s coffee. Sounds like Merlot to me 🙂 I’m more of a shiraz man myself.

    @flirtingdinosaur – I always try hard to see what those books are, but I’ve never managed to see a title yet.

    janetteB @janetteb

    And in the end: someone with bookshelves in the TARDIS control room is always rated awesome in my eyes!

    @flirtingdinosaur And anyone who says that rates as awesome in my eyes. It was about time Doctor Who (the series) promoted the value and joy of reading.



    BadWulf @badwulf

    @mudlark @purofilion   Interesting that you describe the Skovox Blitzer as a clever and scary monster when the majority of us who have commented on it at thought otherwise.  I agree with @serahni that it could have been different if the monster had been the focus of the story; a robot soldier capable of destroying planets, whose apparent default was to identify everything animate as a threat to be destroyed, clearly has potential to be terrifying.  As it was, there was no sense of jeopardy;

    I found the Skovox Blitzer an odd sort of threat. On first viewing, I quite liked the idea of its design, although it did kind of remind me of the Trade Federation mechno-chair from The Phantom Menace with a little bit of a droideka and Davros added in.

    Trade Federation Mechno-chair

    Looking back, all that now sticks in my mind is that the weapons system on it seemed weirdly off-centre, and the voice was less threatening than it ought to have been.

    Mind you, an *army* of these things might have a little more impact!

    Still, I believe that it fulfilled its function as an unthinking robot soldier to act as a contrast to Danny as a human soldier who is quite capable of either regretting fulfilling his orders, or even disobeying them.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Re: the Skovox Blitzer – I don’t think there was to be a real sense of jepor… jeapor.. danger. As a few others have said: it wasn’t the focus of the story. It was simply the reason for the Doctor to come into Clara’s everyday life.

    Given that Missy delegated PC Plod to a subordinate, I do wonder who the Skovox was really supposed to collect. I haven’t got much time right now to rewatch this one, but it might be interesting to pay attention to the Skovox’s targeting skills. Who did it miss, who did it miss because they dodged, and who did it appear to miss-on-purpose?

    The Doctor, Danny, or Clara?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Following on from the above, Into The Dalek also has a feel of a trap specifically aimed at the Doctor. A ‘good’ Dalek. How could he resist?

    In Deep Breath, we’re in a place and time where there are known friends of the Doctor.

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @phileasf There is a theory, the reputation of which stands somewhere between semi-respectable and totally mad, called the Omega Point. Google will explain much. In a nutshell, the theory is this:

    • Unless someone stops it, the universe will eventually collapse in a ‘big crunch’.

    Alas for the Omega Point theory, current observations of the universe indicate that its expansion is accelerating, and that it is unlikely to collapse into a Big Crunch. Instead we will have a long slow drawn out winding-down of everything, until there is pretty much nothing left happening except proton decay, until the eventual heat-death of everything.

    (Unless of course Lister finds the jump cables on Starbug and gets a second Big-Bang going!)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Instead we will have a long slow drawn out winding-down of everything, until there is pretty much nothing left happening except proton decay, until the eventual heat-death of everything.

    Well, that’s physicists for you. If you want anything practical doing about the heat-death of everything, you’ll need to ask an engineer. 😉

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @bluesqueakpip Well, that’s physicists for you. If you want anything practical doing about the heat-death of everything, you’ll need to ask an engineer. 😉

    Perhaps an engineer will be able to reverse the polarity of the universe, and that will cause a Big Crunch?

    lisa @lisa

    @serahni — thanks very much for the info Re: matrix- compassion tardis etc. its obvious that SM is fully aware of all these references and has of course drawn upon them to create the Missy arc – all the computer and neverland/rasillon stuff and so on- I found it very enlightening !!!!

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @lisa I was just reading your link to Wikipedia regarding the matrix, and it mentioned Romana. That led me thinking into another bonkers direction: perhaps Missy is in E-space, and is a regeneration of Romana. True, we haven’t seen her with a tin dog, but her referring to the Doctor as her boyfriend is certainly suggestive.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @bluesqueakpip     Re: the Skovox Blitzer – I don’t think there was to be a real sense of jepor… jeapor.. danger. As a few others have said: it wasn’t the focus of the story. It was simply the reason for the Doctor to come into Clara’s everyday life.

    Well yes.  That was meant to be implicit in what I wrote, but since I could think of nothing to add to what others had already said concerning the actual focus of the episode I did not expand on it, so it looks as if the point got lost in the verbiage.

    All I intended to convey was that, in a different story, told in a different way, the Skovox Blitzer could have been developed into a much scarier monster.

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @mudlark All I intended to convey was that, in a different story, told in a different way, the Skovox Blitzer could have been developed into a much scarier monster.

    Agreed. As a maguffin it was perfectly adequate, but it does have the potential to have been more.

    For me, in terms of one-shot adversaries it is a bit like the Raston Warrior Robot – i.e. it would be cool to see it again with some context such as who built it, where it comes from, against whom was it originally designed.

    Oh, and can it slaughter cybermen?

    Raston Warrior Robot and friends

    thommck @thommck

    I finally managed to watch the episode last night. It felt very much like an episode of the Sarah Jane Adventures, whether that was because of the writer, location, ‘monster’ or the fact of watching sci-fi on a school night! This is a long post (which is becoming a habit of mine here), please let me know if you want me to be a little more concise!

    First of all Otter Who is a thing now!


    I’d suggest that everyone here goes to the official BBC Doctor Who website after each episode. It usually clears up a lot of facts and references for me. Here’s the one for The

    Was the Police Officer actaully a PCSO? He certainly had the right hat. It also fits in with the theme of a lower-rank/greater risk

    I found Danny really interesting in this episode. He seems completely ordinary most of the time but then he’ll give a look that implies an ulterior motive or subliminal thought. Notice how he thinks it is quite plausible that Clara and the Doctor are aliens. Considering how most humans in other episodes like to dismiss there existence I felt this slightly odd. There was also “UFO” in grafitti outside the old building where the Skovox Blitzer was hiding (note for @BadWulf The Blitzer was atracted to Arton energy in a nearby old building. It wasn’t actually in the school until the Doctor lured it there!).

    I had really high hopes for the Blitzer at the beginning of the episode. He seemed to be a mix of other monsters. Silurian head, Cyberman body, Dalek Eyes and lots of Auton mannequins lying around. At first I wondered if the Doctor had created it and planted it there as an excuse to spend more time with Clara and show him how exciting and wonderful he is. However, turns out it wasn’t nearly as creative as that! Just another “deadliest” robot that went to the Stormtrooper School of Shooting

    Clara mentions Orson Pink to the Doctor but no word of Rupert. I wish she would be a bit more upfront with both of them about this! When Danny asks Clara why she travels with the Doctor she says it was because of the awesome things she sees. I was expecting her to talk about how the Doctor is a Good Man and they need eachother, not just that time and space travel is cool.

    Danny also straight away calls out the Doctor as being Clara’s Dad. Is that too obvious?

    Danny spoiled the Doctor’s original plan but ended up being the inspiration for the successful plan, very loopy. He seems to have turned from Dan Dan the Soldier Man to Dan Dan the Action Man. What a jump!

    The Doctor kept referring to Danny as a P.E. teacher. This made me think he has actually been spying on Danny already. Danny does, after all, run a before-school Coal Hill Cadets club.

    You really get a sense of PTSD when Clara walks Danny down the steps after nearly being sucked into the time-hole/vortex thing. Almost like he was having some kind of flashback.

    The behaved just how I expected him to this whole episode. The only thing I didn’t get was why he didn’t evacuate the school?

    I loved the whole Adrian (Matt-Smith-a-like) confusion. Did you spot Adrain wanted to talk to Clara about The Tempest. I’m no expert but isn’t that a story of an exiled magician duke conjuring up a storm to give his daughter her rightful place of power?

    Most people here seem to like the Courtney Woods character yet I remember an outcry previously when we had kids in the TARDIS. I really don’t like her at the moment. I think that is because I knew too many nasty girls like her when I was in school! I’ll give her a chance to redeem herself now the Doctor has opened her eyes. “Courtney Woods” is an anagram of “Doctors New You”, a message for Clara perhaps?

    @nick1235 “The Doctor said : “I had one teacher EXACTLY like you” – another time travel event for Clara to the Gallifrey?”

    Great spot Nick, that’s a great idea for a Claricle

    My thoughts on “Heaven”

    @flirtingdinosaur “Missy is back. Although she pretty much kicks all of our theories in the gut.”

    My thoughts exactly! I was sure it would be the Blitzer ending up in heaven and instead we get the PCSO (including his hands). So presumably Heaven has nothing to do with robots but also, if the burnt hands where the PCSO’s and not a mannequin then they aren’t physically being teleported there, it’s a reconstruction or virtualistaion.
    The white room reminded me of a scene from another show, possibly a cartoon or maybe Bill & Ted 2. Is Heaven actually Hell? Is that what the PCSO saw when he looked out the window? Does every door in that long corridor lead to an individuals own personal hell? Similar to The God Complex too I suppose.

    The word Nether-sphere implies a bubble or orb where things are contained separate to everything else. A bubble universe perhaps?

    @fivefaces Congrats, you spotted a Roman link! The man in the Nethersphere was called Seb. A quick look at wikipedia reveals the name has roots in Ancient Rome and Greece. Deriving from the words for <span style=”color: #252525;”>”awe, reverence, dread, shame”.  It also sticks with this series’ religious theme thanks to Saint Sebastian</span>

    I’m guessing that every death means a trip to the Nethersphere/Heaven. In other words, it is really the same as the idea that Earthlings have of an Afterlife. I think the Doctor has already stated there is no such thing in a previous episode so he must be completely unaware of Missy’s antics. Missy only has tea with people that can tell her about the Doctor. Perhaps she wants to swap places with him and escape the Promised Land?

    A few other side notes

    @phileasf I haven’t quoted you in my post but I always enjoy reading your insights, you always seem to see something that I don’t

    @blenkinsopthebrave Now it is time for more coffee to ruminate on “the promised land”

    I read that as “Now it is time for more coffee to urinate on “the promised land”! A good place to finish 😉

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @thommck I finally managed to watch the episode last night. It felt very much like an episode of the Sarah Jane Adventures

    Exactly! I knew there was something about the episode that I couldn’t put my finger on. The Skovox Blitzer now reminds me of the robots from the SJA episodes The Empty Planet.

    Re: the Skovox Blitzer being attracted by artron energy – Yes, I remembered that from the episode, I was just wondering what was the source of the Artron energy in the area. If it was Clara, being a time traveller, then surely the Blitzer would have gone straight after *her*, unless there was some other source of artron energy that was confusing it, and could that source have been related to the Doctor’s previous activities thereabouts.

    DrBen @drben

    Excellent episode!  The music was too loud and madcap, but we turned on CCs halfway through, which helped immensely.  Here are my (largely disjointed) thoughts:

    First, as has been mentioned but bears repeating, the Skovox was a means to an end — a minimally believable danger to provide the structural framework for an episode primarily about character development and exploration.  If it were any more interesting or more obviously destructive, it would have detracted from the point of this episode.  (Indeed, I could put on my Bonkers hat and postulate that the Doctor made the whole thing up and created the robot himself in order to have an excuse to spy on Clara.)  (Or at least exaggerated the danger, because the Doctor wouldn’t purposely build something that kills a cop.  But I digress.)  Point is, there’s no point being disappointed in the Skovox because it wasn’t the focus of the episode.

    The Doctor.  Armchair psychology time.  I think this is a Doctor who is far more insecure than he has been in some time.  While I had originally gone with the assessment that Twelve is the “real” Doctor, in the sense that he is Eleven without the artificial mask of whimsy, I’m now thinking that there’s still a mask there — a mask of gruffness and grandiosity to cover his insecurity and uncertainty.  If I had to guess, I would say this arose out of everything the Doctor has done since Day of the Doctor.  He “rescued” Gallifrey, which should make him feel good, but it immediately becomes clear that this has not solved the larger issue — Gallifrey is now trapped in a bubble universe, and any attempt to return would mean a new and bloodier Time War.  Add to that the fact that the Time Lords (Rassilon and his gang from The End of Time) are problematic folks, so the Doctor may very well now regret what he did, or at least be pretty uncertain whether it was the right move.  I think this is evidenced by the fact that he has barely mentioned Gallifrey and the Time Lords (if at all) since regeneration.

    Plus, his interactions with Clara are seeming more and more insecure.  He berates her (part of the mask), but he needs her more than a Doctor has needed a companion in some time.  He needs her approval, her company, her respect, and seems to be terrified of losing it.  I think his hostility towards Danny is “she’s going to fall in love and leave me.”  This is all tied into the “am I a good man” question, which still seems to trouble him.

    This episode, in my opinion, shed some additional like on Twelve’s love/hate relationship with Eleven.  He is clearly distancing himself from his former self in that he has dropped all of Eleven’s Pinocchio-style whimsical affectations.  But at the same time, he was so pleased when he thought that Clara’s boyfriend was the Eleven lookalike.  I think a part of him misses being Eleven – perhaps it was easier to be the Man Who Forgets?

    The weary soldier comparison with Danny clearly applies (you hate in others what you see in yourself), but I think he was truly taken aback by Danny calling him out as aristocracy.  Forgive me, because my knowledge of BG Who is incomplete, but has there been much discussion of what the Doctor did in adulthood before fleeing Gallifrey?  I agree with whoever characterized him as an insurgency leader, but isn’t it possible that sometime in those first 400 years, he tried his hand at being a good soldier and taking orders from his superiors?  It wouldn’t surprise me if that went into his decision to run.

    Clara.  I’m more convinced than ever that Clara is not long for this world.  (All that talk about keeping her safe, etc.)  I’m sure this has been talked about before, but my guess is that Clara will die (or “die”) and turn up in the Nethersphere, and the Doctor and Danny will go after her.

    Danny.  I am particularly impressed with Samuel Anderson’s performance.  He brings a lot of nuance and depth to the character that goes above and beyond the writing.  His “officer” argument with the Doctor was spectacular.  Interested to see where that goes.


    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @purofilion lol What makes you think I am not English. I stand by my interpretation that he was only grudgingly admitting that Dan’s assistance saved the day. There was definitely an element of the green eyed monster there.

    On another note was the Doctor’s insistence that he didn’t want Clara’s help in this adventure in part an attempt of saying I can cope without you as well as being a case that he knew what Clara’s reaction would be to potentially endangering the pupils and staff.

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