The Caretaker

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    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    I was wondering about the significance of the Tempest as well. I was thinking along the links of Tempest/Storm. The Doctor is occasionally referred to as the Oncoming Storm – so possibly the play’s “not-finished-ness” mirrors the Doctor’s “not-finished-ness”, whatever that might mean!

    I saw the Tempest once many years ago, and don’t think I can remember anything especially pertinent to the episode (or indeed, anything much!) But yes, Prospero is the usurped and exiled Duke and magician. The tempest brings to the island the men who plotted against him.



    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    A couple of references in recent episode threads to The Doctor

    suddenly treating people like chess pieces


    and the possibility of Missy

    setting up the board for a cosmic game of chess, and gretchen and humpty are two of her pawns


    A game of chess is central (quite literally) in the final scene of The Tempest, as well.

    And now a rather difficult-to-ignore chessboard in the school quad-thingy, to which our attention is drawn both visually and in the script. So perhaps chess references are another thing to watch out for now? But who is the King and who is trying to capture him? The Doctor might be a Lord of Time, but he disowned the title “King of OK” 🙂


    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @arbutus @purofilion     I just learned that the title Austen originally had in mind was “First Impressions”. Very apt.  (Or not, as the case may be…)   🙂


    Rob @rob


    I think the ” it’s a start” comment was exactly the same as “I thought that went well” which is an acceptance that Dan did well but I’ll admit that in a real geezer way, in my work this is exactly how we communicate ( usually with more post watershed language) Both Clara and the Doctor having worked together for so long will naturally use a sarcastic begrudging statement to show approval and understand it as so. Also in all probability Dan would too.

    @Bluesqeakpip there’s a rude joke about the difference between theorist scientists and engineers explaining why engineers actually are more positive and get things done 🙂

    @scaryb (I think) the mud is dry and rather powdery/dusty at the moment and the 50 tonne ADT’s (articulated dump trucks) send gurt clouds of it everywhere,  even with dust suppression measures………. but the coffee is good 😀

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 7 months ago by  Craig. Reason: Removed code
    geoffers @geoffers

    @drbenI’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.

    indeed, perhaps clara is already in the nethersphere, from her jumping into the doctor’s decaying timestream?

    oooh, this makes me wonder, for “how long” has the nethersphere been accepting dead people, or more specifically, how long has missy been collecting people who died as a result of their association with the doctor? this could explain “ghost” river showing up in ‘the name of the doctor,’ outside her limbo in the CAL mainframe! and now that twelve has referenced her in-show, i’m hoping for another guest appearance later in the series…

    it also makes it quite possible that other people/creatures could be brought back from previous seasons!

    geoffers @geoffers

    @idiotsavon – i tried to find some significance in the positions of the chess pieces, but had no luck. in the first scene, when the kids are playing football on the board, the white king has the black king and queen on either side, but logically, that can’t happen (or wouldn’t?) in a real game of chess. whether it’s a “clue” of some sort remains to be seen, but i’m not clever enough to figure it out beforehand…

    lisa @lisa

    @geoffers — I like the way you are thinking re: Missy ! I cant recall the last time Ive been so gripped by a Doctor Who story arc
    Ive been reading about the Galifrey Cronicles novel on Wiki and learned about another Timelord called Compassion that apparently survived the time war- Idiotsavon pointed out to me that another name for Compassion is ‘Mercy’ which is sort of close to Missy – it also spoke about the Matrix on Galifrey – again like Cal/papel mainframe the matrix is also a vast supercomputer – Im wondering if all these bits and pieces are being woven together by SM ?
    At this point I am on the same page as you re: Clara – and I am also sure the chess board has to be a clue just because of the size of the thing = sort of ‘don’t miss this’

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @lisa compassion as far as I am aware is a living TARDIS not a timelord, but I am willing to be corrected on that point. in the wiki article I read it speculated that compassion was a prototype type 102 which I took for a model of tardis

    lisa @lisa

    @geoffers 1 more thought – this was one of the last 8th Doctor novels — SM brought back the 8th in Night of the Doctor — hmmm ??

    Whisht @whisht

    ooh apologies for slightly rubbish posting (its late where I am and I’m kinda knackered!).

    Someone mentioned Tempest – didn’t the play revolve around a ‘magician’ and his daughter, stranded on an island (with a monster) and a ‘hero’ comes along and whisks her off her feet (not words Shakespeare would have resorted to I’m sure).

    But that’s merely part of the surface – gawd only knows subtexts etc etc.

    Still think the PC’s death could be felt by the Doctor as being his fault (artron energy that lured it there in the first place is his) but Missy’s indifference could be that they never met (so no good tales!).

    Therefore teleporting is still viable (the burnt hand being a manikin).

    Its funny – if I think of the episode as a series of parts that interest me, then its a good episode (as I can ignore the parts that don’t interest me!).

    [sigh – really too tired to make sense – apologies, will stick to weekends!]

    lisa @lisa

    @devilisrobby – yes !! in wiki it did say an alien that become a ‘tardis’ — im trying to figure it out
    thanks for fixing me 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @badwulf – a very old joke I’m quite sure is much cleaner than @rob‘s:

    Engineers know that equations only approximate the real world.
    Physicists believe that the real world is an approximation to the equations.

    But mathematicians don’t see the connection.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @lisa no problem I hadn’t heard of Compassion before it was mentioned in an earlier post so I had to go look it up on wiki 🙂 . It also mentions there that Compassion rescues several people…… Now why does that sound familiar lol, not exactly sure if all the gap who book storylines and characters have been included in the official who cannon but the way I read what was there on wiki the compassion stories haven’t been “disavowed” so given that SM is known to include gap info into the history anything may be possible and certainly adds additional possibilities as to our Missy bonkerising..

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Someone mentioned Tempest

    The Wikipedia page is here.

    Links to Doctor Who? Well, it’s about a magician with a daughter, one servant who’s a spirit of the air (Ariel) and another who’s a monster (of the week?). The magician is really a wrongfully-deposed Duke (i.e. he’s an exiled lord). The daughter is wooed by young Ferdinand, son of the King of Naples.

    The Tempest itself has been deliberately created in order to wreck the ship that carries Prospero’s enemies. He starts the play wanting revenge, badly. He ends it forgiving all who wronged him. They all sail off into the sunset, sorry, Naples.

    It’s fairly easy to match Doctor = Prospero, Clara = Miranda and Ariel = TARDIS, especially with the ‘Space Dad’ comment by Danny. Question I’d ask is whether Danny is playing Caliban (who tried to rape Miranda before the play opens) or Ferdinand (a nice young man who marries her). There’s a Sebastian – he’s a bit of a git.

    There’s a film version with Helen Mirren playing Prospera – so it could also be a bit of a leg-pull about Mirren’s preference for a female Doctor.

    Brewski @brewski

    Bonkers Hat Time

    Going on the Missy=CAL/Promised Land=Mainframe theory…

    Missy (older CAL) therefore should be good (appearances to the contrary).  Amassing an army to help the Doctor with a terrible threat she has uncovered.

    So who is the Bad Guy?

    CAL only knew one.

    The Big Bad is The Vashta Nerada.  And they have a new and terrifying ability.

    Building on what they learned when they controlled the space suits in the library —  Now when they take a victim, they eat them from the inside out, leaving only the shell.  Which they then control.

    ANYONE could be a Vashta Nerada swarm!  And we wouldn’t know it.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip due to the inhalation of a particular brand of bean on holidays I wasn’t clear about why I thought the monster was “scary and clever”. Your post (32772) identified Skovox as a monster which perhaps wasn’t (s0)  frightening in the moment. The scare was in its motivation and the ‘why’ as you suggested. The target was the issue which remained unidentified or at least without clarity.

    Skovox scripted the nightmare that caused the Doctor and Danny to meet amidst the lying and deceit through which Clara has managed her relationship. I suspect, without significant available evidence, that Danny is equally timorous about the ‘truth’. Clara’s gruelling ping-ponging about the universe has turned her slightly peevish at times if not downright foolish believing that the Doctor wouldn’t notice a ‘spare part’ like Danny in the Tardis.

    @phileasf I totally get the need for subtitles. It’s habitual for me to turn them on as soon as I press ‘play’ for a DVD. I found the first ‘upisode’ difficult to understand -primarily, as someone on the Deep Breath discussion, pointed out that the Doctor, realising he was Scottish, exaggerated his new accent quite a bit-particularly when demanding the tramp’s coat. You should TradeMark the ‘comprehensibility review’: ring around the BBC and begin a high paid job watching pre-released films, series and analysing their comprehensibility from 1-10. A stunning job. Course, you may love the job you already have!

    As for Omega Point-that sounds incredible. I’ve not read about this at all and will Google directly (what did I do before it?)   🙂

    @devilishrobby I was probably being a little tongue in cheek but having met a lot of younger Englishmen and women (in their tweens), I’ve noticed they haven’t always understood the dry humour which pervades the English/Irish, Welsh and Scottish mindset. I say this as a daughter of Czech parents, who, without a shred of humour, walloped me whenever I attempted a ‘joke’. This was called ‘being flippant’.

    It wasn’t until I lived in London for awhile and then later, met the man would become Mr Ilion (we actually both changed our surnames rather than having a painful hyphen or me taking his name & vice versa) that I ‘understood’ there was a type of humour that was so dry bones cracked. Even now, I still get only 50% of it -though that’s possibly my IQ involvement! The comment I made wasn’t directed at a person either from the UK or not -but it was an assumption, and therefore should have been avoided.

    However, I must add (being peevish myself) that your posts would benefit from punctuation because (& again I point to my IQ) I don’t understand some of what you write. I’m sure it’s great though 🙂

    @rob the coffee was a glorious bean but I didn’t get its name -I add forgetful to peevish = caprice with a touch of venom. I must have had about 18 cups of this coffee which still skittered through my system yesterday after reading some marvellous  posts.

    I  enjoyed the episode for what it was -sure, there was the romantic element which I believe was so different in tone from Mickey/Ricky with Eccleston and had, as other have noted, a sense of cold dread like the Greek’s perception of a ‘fatal flaw’ running through literature (balanced out in this case by the lighter Jane Austen moments). It was a dark crack running through the middle of the lives of Danny and Clara in The Caretaker and existing as a shadow throughout the episode as a counter to rapid-fire dialogue. The conversations -snappy and striking – reminded me of gun fire, a focal point through The Caretaker with Skovox and his ‘mad weaponry’ included. I still think that the ‘caretaker’ was also the PC and, for this reason too, he was ‘taken’ to the Nethersphere

    @lisa (I haven’t @ you yet but I’ve read your posts many times and find them very interesting indeed) & @geoffers I like the chessboard implications and honestly hadn’t even connected this with the episode in a serious ‘clue’ like way. There must be something to it.

    @whisht others above pointed out The Tempest connections (not sure if it was @cathannabel  or @scaryb -apologies as to missing the name -if I go back a page or two, I then lose what I’ve typed. Silly me as clever peeps take notes from previous posts. I must do this often: sticky note to me) which are excellent.

    I actually (and boy this shows my ignorance) haven’t read the play (blushing red with embarrassment) but did see all the tele-movies and films!  I’m sure this isn’t endearing me to the well read people on this site-which is pretty much ya’ll!

    In the end, after a re-watch, I still felt there was much to be gained from the dialogue and the plot -beyond the existential romance tied in knots. It had a ferocious pace & was packed with literary allusions -Greek, English (Austen, Shakespeare), Roman and possibly Mesopotamian: something echoed through the coffee soaked brain at one point & then was washed downstream. The rapid-fire back and forth was tightly controlled, I think, and as usual, with Capaldi, there was an impeccably cerebral, ruminative element which reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis and the concept of memory and its effects -both negative and positive. The dance between Clara, Danny and her space-dad as she climbs out of Tardis and into taxi evokes modern and compelling concepts of needs and wants in a rich world country: “I can do this. I am totally in control” contrasted with “how stupid do you think I am?” We have the G20 shortly and there’s some allusions there, I believe (and delusions no doubt)

    Kindest, puro.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip @rob and @badwulf  love the ‘joke’ and the mathematician’s ‘view’.

    @brewski a totally mad theory. Absolutely and wonderfully boners. Now, why can’t I do that (she whines)?

    Vashta Nerada (I loved it/them almost as much as the Weeping Angels) and given that this season is adopting some ideas and monsters and possibly characters from BG and from 2005, I wonder how much of the ‘past’/ ‘future’ Moffat is mining?

    I guess, Bluesqueakpip, that Prospero as the Doctor is setting out on a journey (in contrast to The Tempest) to right his wrongs and, perhaps with the help of Miranda, will forgive himself – though perhaps that’s a concept with which he’s uncomfortable and would prefer simple acceptance; though again, not sure that he’d like that  either -no wonder he needs a (preferably) human counterpart! I’m seeing the companions as counterparts and foils rather than assistants these days.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @badwolf. Please what story is that image above from.  That looks like the White Man who gave me nightmares for years as a child. I am assuming that it is from a Troughten era story.

    @mudlark, I have just time to agree that the “blitzer” could be scary were it intended to be scary and I think it does have potential.

    Am afraid have run out to time to read/comment on any more of the fine work done by the “night shift.” The clock is tick tocking and the family are waiting. I must away.. I can see I am going to have a lot to catch up on when I return on Sunday night. 🙂




    Anonymous @

    Oh God, no spell check for *boners. Obviously, I meant *bonkers. I should have more savoir faire. But, as a Mrs Malaprop, not bad.

    Anxious, purofoolion

    Brewski @brewski

    Oh God, no spell check for *boners. Obviously, I meant *bonkers. I should have more savoir faire. But, as a Mrs Malaprop, not bad.eciated that.

    Lol! That’s ok. We’ll call it a Merlot Moment. 😛

    Anonymous @

    Oh no @brewski I seem to be getting a reputation as a drunk -on merlot!  Dear oh dear and no alcohol in 24 hours and it’s only 11 am here. On the other hand I must admit to watching the Paranormal Activity movies these holidays: up to number 3 at the mo. What did you think of those? Totally off-topic and should ask this in the (totally appropriate for me) Rose & Crown!

    geoffers @geoffers

    @janetteb – the raston warrior robot is actually from peter davison’s run, appearing in the 20th anniversary special, ‘the five doctors.’ though, in the scene where it kills all those cybermen, the third doctor is the one who recognizes it.


    Brewski @brewski

    I must admit to watching the Paranormal Activity movies these holidays: up to number 3 at the mo. What did you think of those? Totally off-topic and should ask this in the (totally appropriate for me) Rose & Crown!

    I’m afraid I haven’t had the pleasure. I ration my TV time pretty carefully, but if you recommend it I can check them out!

    BTW, I think the Vashta Nerada are my favorite monsters. To me the creepiest thing Moffat has done. I like the Weeping Angels, but they never struck me as nearly deadly and scary.

    And, as you say, it would be very much like Moffat to revisit a classic and ramp them up a notch, so I would love to see them come back. (Plus I’m a River fan and it would be a good chance to see her again, too.)



    Arbutus @arbutus

    Wow, we are roaming far and wide today, in a very literary way. Great stuff!

    Happy holidays, @janetteb. Here in my hemisphere the shops are full of gourds and the gardens of the tail end of summer. I was helping out the choir instructor in a lovely music school for inner city kids this afternoon, very little children in this case, and there were definitely several “disruptive influences”. And when one little girl came and told me that her black beans had gone on the floor, and I went off to the kitchen to find a broom, I got to say, “There’s been a spillage.” They must have thought I was peculiar for grinning as I said it!   🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion    Well, you did say recently that you’d had your head up a bottle (or something like that). We’re very deductive minded here; we will draw our own conclusions.

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus  good on you for helping out. And the grin, yes, they might not have got that -maybe they interpreted it as a grimace?

    Ah, head in the bottle -well, that’ll do it!

    @brewski I think that River’s story is over -as we saw 11 give her that last passionate kiss. However, imagine pitting Capaldi’s sophisticated and textured banter with River’s? What an intense duo! I liked his reference to her and their “fight”. It was a nice surprise. Vashta Nerada eating that chicken drumstick in less than a second: “Not every shadow, but any shadow”. Very tense.

    Ah, if you haven’t seen Paranormal -well, I don’t know. It’s not exactly very sophisticated horror! This isn’t The Shining. Paranormal 1 was terrific (directed by Oren Peli) but the remaining 4 (I think)  are probably cringe-worthy. But once started, I can’t seem to stop.

    Kindest, puro  – swillion

    PhileasF @phileasf

    @badwulf – I always take the latest understanding in cosmology with a grain of salt, as it’s prone to change as new discoveries are made. Given the massive unknowns (dark matter, dark energy) that seem to make up much of what’s going on in the universe, and all the unknown unknowns that we don’t even know we don’t know about yet, I think the fate of the universe is still an open question.

    @thommck – Thanks.

    I just had a look at the BBC site, and you’re right, it will be a good place to look after seeing each episode. It blows away my idea that the derelict building was the junkyard (by not mentioning it, when it mentions evey other nod to the past).

    @various – There’s been some discussion of why the Doctor said he didn’t want Clara to come on his next adventure. I think he was just playing. The next adventure was at her work, so she didn’t have to come with him, he came to her! And I think he genuinely wanted to surprise her and see if she could see through his disguise.

    Rob @rob

    Firstly thank you @craig for being an excellent caretaker on my last post!!!

    Secondly the Doctor first came across Courteney when she reported a spillage in geography and at the end when he was explaining the geography of the universe to her there was another spillage ….. I chuckled at the time thinking ohh look another timeloop

    So mini timeloops in memory and reality and through sapace and time… is the crack in time still there?

    @Bluesqeakpip your joke is on the same paradigm as mine but a/. better and b/. broadcastable

    @jenetteB have a fantastic holiday

    Brewski @brewski


    There’s been some discussion of why the Doctor said he didn’t want Clara to come on his next adventure. I think he was just playing. The next adventure was at her work, so she didn’t have to come with him, he came to her! And I think he genuinely wanted to surprise her and see if she could see through his disguise.

    I like that explanation! Thanks.

    Brewski @brewski

    There’s been some discussion of why the Doctor said he didn’t want Clara to come on his next adventure. I think he was just playing. The next adventure was at her work, so she didn’t have to come with him, he came to her! And I think he genuinely wanted to surprise her and see if she could see through his disguise.
    I like that explanation! Thanks.

    Hmmm… After I had my coffee I had a rethink on this. Probably something I shouldn’t do.

    The problem is that after his “surprise” was found out, and Clara confronted him, he still persisted in excluding her from the mission.  So I think it still has to be more than that.

    I still like the basic idea, though.

    JimmyP @jimmyp

    Hi all, not checked in here as much as usual so just ploughing through all the brilliant ideas and critiques.

    I really enjoyed this episode; I love the more character-led stuff and I’m partial to a fun-but-slightly-rubbish McGuffin like the Skovox B.

    My initial thoughts (/concerns) mirror @drben ‘s somewhat, in that they seem to be stressing the potential danger Clara is in every week. Is a sticky end just round the corner, and will that lead to a conflict or collaboration between the Doctor and Danny?

    One slight swerve did occur to me though, with regards to Courtney. If she travels with the Doctor again (not sure if that’s a given after her first trip!) and something happens to her, what would Danny’s reaction be? And what about Clara? Think of the guilt she’d feel if she failed in the most important care-giving role of all. Could she forgive herself, or the Doctor?

    I’m not speculating that Moffat would kill a child of course, but something could leave her hurt or trapped. Maybe in the nethersphere?

    As and when Clara leaves the Tardis for the last time it may be of her own volition. And if she left a Doctor as insecure and unsure of himself as 12, what would happen to him then? An even darker Doctor to come perhaps?

    FlirtingDinosaur @flirtingdinosaur

    @jimmyp some GOOD questions! If one of Claras students would die (or be lost/trapped what ever) it might just possibly break Clara. Eighter leave her broken and empty or turn her into a fury. maybe out to safe the world FROM the Doctor?

    Also what would happen to the Doctor, if a child would die on his watch? People die around him all the time, but a human child, whose life – in comparisson to Doctors – has just started yesterday. What would that do to him?


    If Clara would leave 12 now, the way he is, it could go so many ways. He could turn into a stalker. Like a dad sort of coming back watching over her, making sure she’s fine. Or he could turn into a compassionless teenage boy, irrationally angry at everyone and everything, some sort of attack-Doctor who goes rampaging through the universe..


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    OK, after watching it a second time, I think this is very good for what it wants to be.

    It’s extraordinarily funny. What strikes me is that having a regular part in Doctor Who is a real gift to an actor because, as the Doctor says “It’s a real rollercoaster with you today”. This was a chance to flex the comedy muscles and the regulars rose magnificently. I loved the fixed grins on the faces of the teachers as they welcomed the parents, and the Courntey’s parents grasping for a crumb of comfort. “But last year you called her a very disruptive influence. So disruptive influence is an improvement”.

    The monster is a metaphor, I guess, and fulfils a similar role to the Krafayis (aka “the giant turkey”) in Vincent and the Doctor. There, the invisible monster that only Vincent could see was a metaphor for his own condition. That episode was all about that three hander relationship between Vincent, Amy and the Doctor.

    In this, the Blitzer was an out of control Killing machine (which is how the Doctor and Danny see each other, perhaps). It even ends up being tricked by the Doctor who says “It thinks I’m its General” (officer class).

    I don’t think it’s as special as Vincent, but it’s a hell of a ride.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Apologies if you thought I’d left Oz out of my recap. I know Australia, New Zealand and many others have similar arrangements, but it still astonishes me that many people think that the US ignores it for some reason. I actually think it would play well as a storyline because if you look at the major territories that Who is popular, they all have ceremonies at that time (why I linked to the wiki article, If I’m honest).

    I also know what you mean @purofilion. I know a fair few people in the UK who object to the day and arrangements around it because they think it celebrates, rather than commemorates. In a strange way this may be the point of a storyline in Doctor Who, as there is a real challenge of perspectives to separate the actions of soldiers from the commands of politicians.


    Yes, it could be pretty emotional. I thought the little nod to it at the end of the Family of Blood two parter was pretty well done.

    I think, in a way it could be very well done and thematically astute as Eleven was an unexpected (especially to him) survivor of a war that lasted hundreds of years on Trenzilore. The commemorations are timed at the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month. To move on, you need to both confront and respect the past. We are post Eleven.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Just following on from the bit about the timing of the last episode, I note with some humour that the penultimate episode is on November 1st. The day after Halloween, but still, before sundown, Semhain. When the dead return.

    I think our poorly @juniperfish may enjoy that thought.

    May I just say that I love Autumn anyway. Having Doctor Who back just feels very natural.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Thanks to @whisht @arbutus and @scaryb for the good health wishes – I really need them – so very much appreciated x

    @phaseshift How right you are x I love Halloween / Sahmain and think it’s fascinating that the dead are commemorated in so many cultures at this time of year. In Haiti the Days of the Dead are Nov 1 and 2 and the people take flowers and food to the cemeteries –

    I’m sure Moff is aware of these dates (remember all the Easter references when our dear bow-tie wearer was dying and being resurrected thanks to River and her determination to over-ride the programming of that suit at Lake Silencio.

    lisa @lisa

    Does anyone know what type of insect the “Vore” were in the 8th doctors Galifrey cronicles novel?? just wondering cause the next episode has spider like creatures on the moon –
    In that novel they invade Earth- could the moon be where there were before the came to earth and if so is SM
    bringing them back ? It might be a connection to the Compassion tardis story in that novel and therefore possibly could be the Nethersphere concept also— a giant stretch I guess but…just curious

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    GET BETTER!! WE NEED YOU!!! (Sorry, but people screaming it at me seems to do something) 😉 Seriously though, I hope your Doctors taking good care of you. If he has the people skills of 12, let me know and I’ll come and slap him, until he improves.

    I’m guessing it’s all part of the European heritage that’s been shipped about, because Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival is 31/10 – 2/11. You’re right, for the cyclical nature of his timey-wimey stories, SM does like the cyclical nature of the seasons. And we’re in the Season of Mists and mellow fruitfullness, as Keats called it. He was right, mist descending as I wound my way home, and the apple trees branches are straining. Lots of red about. It feels good to be alive!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    It’s been a while since I read the novel, but I think they were pictured and more or less presented as giant flies. I think the Doctor describes them as a pestilence, which would fit.

    The Tardis Wiki entry is here.

    Just a warning for you and anyone else on the New Adventures and BBC range of books from the 90s and 00s. Nothing is canon, but a lot of what went on in those books has been superseded (and the two ranges contradict each other – as do the comics, so 7 has 4 timelines post cancellation if you read the NA and BBC books, the comics and Big Finish, none of which agree with each other). They’ve been raided occasionally for ideas (see Human Nature), but I wouldn’t say anything is cast in stone. Otherwise, Gallifrey was last two times, and to lose your planet once may be a mistake, but to lose it twice…….

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Waves at @phaseshift :-}

    Thank you for your offer – it wouldn’t go entirely amiss and is very much appreciated x

    I actually went to medical school when I was a young thing and managed a year and a half before leaving because the word “empathy” had not entered the classroom. It seems it is still not a valued skill, as it’s pot luck whether your clinician has it, and it’s a wildly better experience when they (rarely) do.  The GP has just found out I’m B12 deficient so I’m now having a series of rather painful injections. Hopefully I’ll start to feel better…

    Perhaps it’s the European heritage shipped about, yes, there’s a lot of synchretism. Have you come across Santa Muerte? A Mexican worship of a Saint of Death which the Catholic church disapproves of but which is wildly popular.

    If we’re playing Moffat bingo, I think there will be, as you say, a return from the dead for Halloween, a power of love moment as @blenkinsopthebrave predicted and a whiff of Gallifrey by the time we get to the end of the month.

    I used to love Halloween as a kid. My Mum, having grown up in the States for a while, did it properly with bat’s blood (Ribena) apple bobbing, sticky buns on strings and mashed potato with charms wrapped up in grease-proof paper which had things like a thimble, a button etc, all with their own meanings for luck and prediction. Oh, and dressing up, of course 🙂

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @janetteb Please what story is that image above from.  That looks like the White Man who gave me nightmares for years as a child. I am assuming that it is from a Troughten era story.

    It’s from the 20th Anniversary special feature length episode “The Five Doctors” – a criminally underrated entry in the canon.

    I find it most notable for having a dalek with red lights – the only time that this particular variant was ever seen.

    One thing I do blame this episode for was ruining my first experience of Sarah Jane – she is so whiny, wimpy and whimpery in this episode that for ages I couldn’t see why everyone thought that she was a strong role model. (Being born in 1975 I was never able to see her adventures when they were originally broadcast). It was only recently, when I watched Classic Who prior to “Keeper of Traken“, that I saw what an awesome upgrade she had been to the immediately preceding portrayal of a female companion.

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @phaseshift He was right, mist descending as I wound my way home, and the apple trees branches are straining. Lots of red about. It feels good to be alive!

    I guess you’re not stuck on a miserable commuter train out of London in the clammy drizzle then! Autumn’s my favourite season, but London and the palaver of getting in and out is never pleasant. If only I had a TT capsule to get me there and back in comfort, and always on time!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I guess you’re not stuck on a miserable commuter train out of London in the clammy drizzle then!

    Nope – I’ve always felt that London is a fine city, demanding a lot of admiration, which also goes for the fine citizens who commute in and out of it.

    To really admire it I’ve found it beneficial to stop a safe distance away from it. Yorkshire is perfect. I can really admire London from Yorkshire. I’ve also found it prudent to not burst my bubble of admiration by visiting too often, and therefore stay away for very very long periods, until I can’t avoid it anymore.

    As Mark and Lard once commented on their BBC Radio 1 afternoon show, “If you’re stuck in that massive traffic jam around the M25, we’d just like to remind listeners that they can have a much better quality of life in Barnsley.” 😀

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Nice thoughts on timings of the epsiodes (now thinking happy thoughts of Hallowe’en (thanks @phaseshift and @juniperfish (glad you’re still hanging in there))

    FWIW I don’t think we’ll be losing any kids – been there, done that with River. But Danny could be fair game.

    For those of us keen for an Ian Chesterton cameo – this is an interview with Caretaker writer Gareth Roberts where he says he’d love to see it too but didn’t want to include in this story as he felt it would overload it. No spoilers – but he does point out Coal Hill School’s motto (seen in the background on parents night)  is ““a great spirit of adventure”, which is what the Doctor says about Ian and Barbara in ‘The Sensorites’. I thought that was a nice nod in the background.”

    Aw 🙂



    ScaryB @scaryb

    Just thinking about why the Doctor doesn’t want to bring Clara on this trip – another reason could simply be that, rather than still being insecure, that this Doctor is actually becoming quite happy in his own skin, and doesn’ t mind doing things on his own sometimes.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Waves at @scaryb  x

    There’s a lot of bait and switch going on. The narrative wants to sow some suspicion concerning all the characters – did the Doctor kill the automaton? Is he a good man? Is Clara two-faced (all the mirror images)? Is Danny not who he seems? Classic detective fiction device to keep us all guessing before Professor Plum in the library is revealed 🙂

    BadWulf @badwulf

    @phaseshift To really admire it I’ve found it beneficial to stop a safe distance away from it. Yorkshire is perfect.

    Too true! I lived in West Yorkshire for five years – and it is certainly civilised in a different way to London. Never lived in London, though – I don’t really understand the Time Lord’s constant interest in it. Just have to travel there all too frequently. (Mind you, I do get to see Spancras regularly, which is always a little uplifting)

    To any of the non-UK based people on here – if you ever do get the chance to visit the UK – try to get out beyond the M25 for some of your visit (and I don’t mean just Oxford, Stonehenge or Stratford, lovely though they are). It really is like a different country.

    Actually, one of the best things about AG Who is that they are more confident in using characters without the RADA tones of the BG companions (honourable exception of Tegan) – it shows that there is a wider variety in the UK that includes Welsh, Scottish and even Blackpool accents!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @juniperfish *waves back*

    There is, isn’t there? (didn’t notice any red/blue streams particularly this week but lots of reflections).

    Interesting you mentioned Professor Plum. I noticed Missy’s coat last week (plum-coloured) seemed to bear a bit of a resemblance to Matt’s last jacket (as worn by Capaldi in Deep Breath). More of a style reference than an exact copy. Hmm  I need to find some photos…

    And speaking of posting photos – where’s @wolfweed these days…?! Missing all the screengrabs and crazy captions 🙁

    lisa @lisa

    If I may contribute to the conversation re: England — My most favorite place to vacation- have wonderful friends there- absolutely love the North regions – Yorkshire. lake district, Peak district !! Harrogate etc. etc. it has a wonderful wildness and not nearly as touristy- everywhere you go there is gorgeousness !! Wish I can get back there at least every year – everyone should put it on the places to see list for sure !

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift  indeed on the commemoration aspect. I once dated a fella in my twenties who claimed that these days of ‘celebration’ were ‘repellent and should be removed’. After much argument about the difference between celebration and commemoration, I broke up with him.

    I do have a latent suspicion of patriotism as it often grows into nationalism and the need for elitist descriptions for why one country is better than another. And yes, this happens in many poor-world countries but in the States too: “America right or wrong”. I’m not stating that all Americans are like that by any means -the ex-Pats in Oz are quite different. Though perhaps they left for political reasons. In fact, some who I know personally, did just that.

    I like your connections with politicians and soldiers as mentioned starkly in Dr Who this past week. I can’t remember many BG episodes which did this with such striking clarity and keenness.

    @juniperfish I love Halloween. People rather foolishly in Oz say “Oh this is an American tradition and so commercial -typical”. I understand that it’s ‘commercial’ and of course so many things are, but originally it would be English, no? All Saint’s Day etc and the wonderful night before; summoning spirits with old ‘magick’ reminds me of scenes in black and white films where the lead stalks across the common like a black bird, coat flapping, dark and crow-like in the mad wind.

    There’s the old idea, originating in Ancient Greece, I guess, where the divine madness, connected with the burden of self, led to people, in groups, wanting to lose ‘self’ in the first place. The idea that the obstinate voice in our head torments us with the knowledge of  mortality- and that our own selves make us truly miserable (at times). The Erinyes or The Furies turned up that inner voice until it was a raging monologue, magnifying qualities already present until they were so excessive, so much themselves, that they couldn’t cope.

    Losing oneself in battle was the best way to minimise those excess voices-the glory and joy of a good cause which brings me to the commemoration of the Lost but also to Danny Pink and the Doctor -the latter who protests so indignantly about war and soldiers and yet, on his own, is a glorious war machine-refined and clever and inexplicably angry -at this point, much of the time. @scaryb you’re quite right. Maybe the Doctor doesn’t need to have a companion any more (all the time, at least)-  he’s happy to potter, with books and blackboard.

    @badwulf yes I totally agree with getting off the road and beyond even… Stonehenge. I recall, back in ’93, hiring a car and getting dizzy by Cambridge -in the end,  couldn’t get a park, drove about in wild circles (couldn’t cope with the 6-8 exits off the endless roundabouts) and then promptly left. In 2004, again with a car, my family and I drove with a more relaxed aim (or none) in mind. It did take 4 hours to get into Yorkshire though (roadworx) and our 3 year old at the time, kept furiously pointing, “go dat way dad”, which Dad proceeded to do – we found beautiful country towns, elegant churches, pretty and unspoiled woods and so decided after that to have no plan, no memory, no questions, just listen to the 3 year old and drive…it was marvellous. Apparently, he knew something we didn’t! I wonder if the Doctor just does an ‘eeny meeny mo’ and flies off?

    Kindest, puro

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