The Doctor Falls

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    Nick @nick


    Having seen was Peter has done with the Character, in hindsight it would have worked out better if he was number 13, floating on the edge of becoming the Valeyard. Still, c’est la vie.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Shu ūüćĀI’M IN PAIN¬†has a couple more deleted scenes…


    @nick ¬†The Valeyard can be anywhere between the 12th & final incarnation of the Doctor…….

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Personally, I think Moffat’s trying to tie Capaldi’s end into his beginning. And his beginning, remember, wasn’t supposed to happen at all. Before the Time Lords took a hand, he’d reached body number 13 (having decided he liked being David Tennant so much he’d do it twice).

    Which meant the Capaldi Doctor was in the position of someone who’s not only supposed to be dead, he’s got a potential infinity of change in front of him. There is no longer any end-game to this. There’s no longer any traditional Time Lord session in the Confession Dial, looking back over your thirteen different ‘lives’ and coming to terms with the true core beneath. If you have a finite number of ‘lives’, you can see them as the thirteen aspects of your real self.

    But if he you face an infinite number of changes, are you really the same man who set out into the universe with a stolen TARDIS and your granddaughter? Is there any real self, any ‘soul’ that is you, not your current persona? And even if there’s a trace of that first Doctor left, where will it be after the thirty third regeneration? Or the hundred and thirty third?

    It’s not a selfish desire to remain this personality; it’s an existential crisis caused by becoming effectively immortal – which we first saw in Deep Breath. He wants to stop changing and be true to himself. But the only way he can do that, with his shape-shifting biology, is to not regenerate. He wants to be the man, and play ‘The Doctor’ as a role. But if everyone sees his true name as ‘The Doctor’, has the man been lost, becoming nothing but an ever-changing role, always changing, always dying, always a story rather than a real person?

    Which is why the TARDIS has taken him to meet his original self.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Nice to see all the little riffs off of¬†previous stories. The Patient Scarecrows recall the Master’s disguise ¬†in Mark of the Rani and of course Human Nature /TFOB.

    The Cyberman & ‘rope ladder’ harks back to¬†The Age of Steel…



    Nick @nick

    @wolfweed @all

    One thing I meant to ask last night was whether the “Sontarans changing the course of Human History” is the plot of the Christmas show or just some random thought that popped out of his brain whilst the Doctor was communing in the Tardis ?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @bluesqueakpip  Exquisite post as ever.


    I’m hogging here but I just had to say, what’s with all the young folk¬†nowadays saying ‘I’m dying’, ‘I died’, etc. ?

    I get that it’s an expression (cool jargon) to explain how emotionally wrecked that finale made them.

    I just think it’s a bit crass. In fact, I die every time I read it…

    Maybe I’m just a dinosaur?

    Go on twitter Doctor Who hashtag – Hundreds of examples…

    ‘I died…’


    @nick ¬† Read the TDF fact file that I linked to in #60116…

    Nick @nick

    @wolfweed thanks.

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @nick ¬†¬†whether the ‚ÄúSontarans changing the course of Human History‚ÄĚ is the plot of the Christmas show or just some random thought that popped out of his brain whilst the Doctor was communing in the Tardis ?

    Well, among Tom Baker‚Äôs first lines was one about Sontarans “perverting the course of human history,‚ÄĚ and the 12th Doctor also shouted it out after he came round from the bang on the head in¬†Listen, so it’s not a random thought. But somehow Sontarans don’t feel epic enough to warrant the attention of two Doctors.

    Nick @nick


    Thanks. What does feel epic enough though ? Daleks seem too obvious. Something new ?

    RorySmith @rorysmith

    I would like to congratulate everyone on the bonkerizing that came into fact. Many theories here played out exactly as we wished and sometimes I think the writers actually draw inspiration from this forum. I really mean that.

    We got Bill and Heather, Missy’s double suicide, the first Doctor and Nardole being a leader of sorts. Lots of good stuff for us to digest and ponder on for a few months.




    wolfweed @wolfweed


    But somehow Sontarans don’t feel epic enough to warrant the attention of two Doctors.

    2 drs

    I’m being cheeky – I get what you mean though. Current comedic Sontarans aren’t epic enough.

    But there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be revamped as more serious kick-ass soldiers at some point in the future. They deserve it.


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    MissRori @missrori

    @nick ¬†What does feel epic enough indeed? ¬†All things considered, I think one of the best things about the ending of this episode is that Christmas might go in an epic direction, or something smaller and more personal…we just have to wait and see.

    Nick @nick


    No matter how epic (or not) Moff makes the story, it will have its smaller scale more personal moments as that seems to be his style, especially at finale moments.

    I suppose any multiple Doctor story tends to become fairly epic in nature. Two doctors¬† generally suggests a major league foe, which by past AG examples seems to have tended towards Timelords, Cybermen, Master and Daleks. I don’t know if any of those feel that appropriate right now (and some seem to be completely ruled out in any case).

    Having seen both D1 and D12 both wanting to avoid regeneration at the end of The Doctor Falls, you have to presume (don’t you ?) that the story finale has to see both of them reconciled with their regen “death”. This seems rather obvious mirroring as they are both D1 of their regeneration cycle (see also @bluesqueakpip‘s analysis above who makes a very similar point as well as highlighting that we don’t know how many regenerations D12 has anymore). That suggests a possible twist of some sort ?

    One last thought, the after show interview with Moff also suggests something on a major scale given what he said about what he was going off to write that afternoon.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Yay, we have a first sighting of DEM (Heather) on the Grauniad comments.¬† Don’t know why I look on there, really, when all the insightful, thoughtful comments are right here.

    I loved that finale.¬† I am so glad Bill got a kind of afterlife as Bill – and we’ve all been anticipating Heather reappearing, ever since The Pilot, what with the tears and all.¬† Delighted that we were right about that at least!¬† It was slightly messy – so much to resolve in such a short time – but intense and emotionally powerful, and each of the leads had a fitting resolution (if not necessarily a final one – who would want to put big money on that being the last we’ve seen of Missy/Master or Nardole or Bill…).

    Re Doc’s resistance to the regen – I am with @bluesqueakpip.¬† Losing who you are – which is what Bill was so afraid of – and the pain and stress of the change, which seemed particularly hard on this doctor, are enough reason to resist it.¬† Maybe we are being set up for an It’s a Wonderful Life Xmas special (I’m sure someone else has suggested that on here, but it came up in family convos too)…

    Arbutus @arbutus

    In my opinion, fabulous. I loved the tone. I loved the Master/Missy interplay. I remember feeling hints of what the Simm master could have been, if he hadn’t been written so over-the-top. This was it, just really good. The Master as the ultimate narcissist. Of course, the Doctor’s wonderful speech “explaining himself” to the Master. Pearl Mackie’s¬†performance. Nardole was written¬†and played to perfection. The scene in the TARDIS. For the first time, I felt that¬†I really that I understood why the Doctor would be resistant to regeneration, that after so many, many changes, he would just have had enough. Particularly as the adjustment this last time was so difficult.

    I loved the resolution of the bad Master/good Missy conundrum. This was exactly what I had hoped for, something that doesn’t completely erase the development¬†we have seen over this series, but doesn’t mess too much with the mythology. We were left with the impression that Missy is permanently dead, but that can’t be right, can it? I guess we shall see, in the fullness of time. I hope that before the end, Capaldi Doc knows that Missy tried to stand with him, that his work with her was not for nothing. I guess they both had their “without hope, without witness” moments, in the end. ¬†ūüôā

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @bluesqueakpip   Great comment!

    I see a lot of people assuming a two-doctor story for Christmas. I don‚Äôt know if this is based on rumours/leaks, as I have been trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible. But from a non-knowledge POV, I’m not convinced that the First Doctor’s involvement will necessarily run¬†through the entire episode. But I’m definitely hoping for a story that will resolve the Doctor’s outstanding issues and give him hope for his future!

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Well, I absolutely loved that! Yes, it could have something to do with the fact that I am a hopeless romantic, and it delivered on that level brilliantly.

    Needless to say, all my theories were proved totally wrong, but hey, that’s what we are here for. And yet, the teardrop at the end that gives him life. I would like to think it harked back to the end of “A Matter of Life and Death”.

    The interaction between Missy and the Master, between Missy and the Doctor, between the Master and the only person he was capable of interacting with (ie, himself) were all stunning. Missy’s end, where she is true to the Doctor, but without him ever knowing was…well, it just was.

    And it really does look like we are in for a version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Christmas.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Sorry to be the potential ruiner of beautiful melancholy, but if Missy did give the Doctor her (the Master’s) ring, then the Doctor would probably have known that she’d turned guid.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Nothing can ruin beautiful melancholy if you are determined to believe in it, and by golly, I am.

    @bluesqueakpip. Great comment. I also wonder if it is a way of allowing Chibnall the freedom to do what he likes with a new Doctor, unencumbered by the history of the 13. In other words, perhaps, in the Christmas special, the Doctor will come to accept moving on by realizing that the shared history of all the Doctors from Hartnell to him will conclude with him and his regeneration will lead to a “new” Doctor where there are no more call-backs to the past. I tend to think Moffat might find that appealing, as it would mean that with his (Moffat’s) departure the door closes on the version and history of the Doctor that began with Hartnell.

    Nick @nick


    That’s a nice idea, but I’d suggest something simper. The new Doctor won’t close the door on the Doctor’s past in totality, but on the themes explored in the Doctor’s character in AG Who. In either case, it’ll be interesting to see what Chibnall does. I imagine he has an idea already.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    No, because all the Doctor would know is that she’d relied on him for emergency backup.

    If Missy did remember shooting herself in the back, then her decision to stand with the Doctor really is ‘without hope, without reward, without witness’. She makes the decision knowing that this must be why he killed herself. It’d certainly explain the deeply melancholy delivery; she decides to stand with the Doctor knowing that she’ll never make it and he’ll never know.

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    Very good point very well made.

    Beautiful melancholy wins the day whatever the case! Hurrah!

    whofangirl73 @whofangirl-73

    I thought it was great. Loved how Bill saw herself as no different, yet everyone saw her as a cyberman. Bit frustrated by the extended regen, but look forward to Christmas and the firstDr. Loved the 2 masters. They were hilarious together. Both supurb acting. Bit perplexed by Heather and Bill last scene. Am thinking they are both gone now so not sure what others thinking. I missed episode 1 of this season so will need to watch.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Nice. You can find all the official BBC America versions here:

    all srs 10 deleted scenes

    Sh*te! It only works in America!

    whofangirl73 @whofangirl-73

    And forgot to say I ¬†loved Capaldis speech to the 2 masters. Capaldi was truly wonderful in this episode, as this entire series. Why does he need to leave the series again? I get so anxious everytime there is a new Dr….

    Ollie14 @ollie14

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Apologise if I sound rather stupid, but surely that the exploding of the 506 floor killed The Doctor so how is he able to regenerate?
    And I also assume Nardole would of been eventually killed as it was a matter of time before the Cybermen broke through the floors again?</p>

    Ollie14 @ollie14

    @bluesqueakpip Beautifully put about Missy and how she knew she was going to die.

    Ollie14 @ollie14

    @whofangirl-73 Assuming heather has the ability to reshape atoms to remove Bill from Cyberman and into herself again?

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    Like most it seems, I enjoyed this one and thought it a fitting end to the series.

    We did get the answer to the question “Missy, would it kill you to be kind for once?”. That answer appears to be yes :). It wasn‚Äôt only Bill who was unwilling to live if she couldn’t be herself. It seems the Master felt the same and didn’t want to become what Missy was becoming.

    Given the Master’s history, I don‚Äôt see this being the end for Missy. If she could remember being told by her future self to pack a spare dematerialisation circuit, then the matter of shooting herself in the back might well stick also and she might have made appropriate preparations, fiddled with the Master’s weapon perhaps and made it non-fatal to her, or somehow made herself immune to its effects, or perhaps she did hand a ring or something over to the Doctor (admittedly not a plot device I much liked first time around). At least it’s as open as ever after a demise for the Master/Missy to make a reappearance.

    I thought the decision to (for the most part) show Bill as herself in the episode, at least as she sees herself in her mind’s eye, rather than as the converted cyber-Bill, was a very clever one, as that allowed an emotional connection to the character that would frankly have been impossible as a mechanically voiced cyberman.

    And the ongoing existence of Bill with Heather, even including the ability for her to return in human form, I thought was a very appropriate way to wrap all that up, and to complete an arc for Bill, even if a relatively short one. Though the Doctor may never know what happened to her, which would be a pity.

    Nardole is left fighting the good fight. It did occur to me that the Doctor might be able to nudge the ship a little closer to the event horizon and increase the time differential, buying Nardole and the settlers more time.

    The Doctor is extremely resistant to regenerating this time around, perhaps drawing it out a little more than is comfortable for viewers, but realistically, I had no expectation of seeing a completed regeneration in this episode.

    And the cross-over with the First Doctor promises to be an interesting one. I have a feeling that this Doctor may be closer to being able to find common ground with the original Doctor than many, if not all, of his predecessors.

    MissRori @missrori

    @blenkinsopthebrave ¬†Nothing wrong with being a hopeless romantic. ¬†I happen to be one myself, always trying to tamp down my idealism. ¬†Nice to see a story that says it’s better not to. ¬†ūüėČ

    @ollie14 ¬†The Doctor did almost die for good thanks to blowing up the floor. ¬†Bill and Heather take him back to the TARDIS so his final resting place can be a good one. ¬†But Bill’s tears re-spark his ability to regenerate — because “Where there’s tears, there’s hope.” ¬†Besides, the universe just needs him too badly. ¬†ūüėČ

    nerys @nerys

    @donnawho I felt that this Doctor wasn’t rebelling so much against dying; he knows he isn’t dying. But it’s more about changing … yet again. He doesn’t want to wear another face. He doesn’t want to change, he wants to stay as he is. And that certainly reverberates on a personal level. Many of us don’t want to change, but must. It’s reality. It doesn’t mean we welcome it.

    The most emotional part of this episode, for me, was Bill perceiving herself not as a Cyberman, but as herself. Utterly heartbreaking! I did a fist pump when Heather came to the rescue.

    By the way, am I the only one who noticed a resemblance between Hazran and the woman in the barn in “Hell Bent”?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip ¬†It‚Äôs not a selfish desire to remain this personality; it‚Äôs an existential crisis caused by becoming effectively immortal ‚Äď which we first saw in Deep Breath. He wants to stop changing and be true to himself. But the only way he can do that, with his shape-shifting biology, is to not regenerate. He wants to be the man, and play ‚ÄėThe Doctor‚Äô as a role. But if everyone sees his true name as ‚ÄėThe Doctor‚Äô, has the man been lost, becoming nothing but an ever-changing role, always changing, always dying, always a story rather than a real person?

    Yes, this! ¬†That makes excellent sense. ¬†That whole business of the impact of 11 being regenerated against his own expectations into 12 was, IMO, the backbone of S8 — the floundering, the character, tone, and situation volatility — but I’d have to watch the whole Capaldi run again (oh, gosh, poor me — can hardly wait!)) to see whether, as I suspect, that never really got revisited and expanded upon afterwards, probably because of the “dark” nature of ¬†issues that could have been raised more explicitly.

    an ever-changing role, always changing, always dying, always a story rather than a real person?

    “. . . Be sure to make it a good one!” ¬†Per RoS, CapDoc looks back and sees — not a person, but a collection of short stories . . . Where is the present, fully awake and aware self find itself in that succession? ¬†Passing through, helping out. ¬†I think Doctor 1 won’t have to keep CapDoc in seclusion 1000 yrs to bring him round to accepting the snake-shedding-its-skin nature of the Doctor life.

    The end recalling the beginning was most striking, for me, with CapDoc on his back, still-faced and dirtied up, with Cyber-Bill kneeling beside him. ¬†Like Clara at the start of DB — “How do we get him back?”

    @arbutus   I felt that I really that I understood why the Doctor would be resistant to regeneration, that after so many, many changes, he would just have had enough. Particularly as the adjustment this last time was so difficult.

    There’s a lot here about the necessity of change, and (vain) resistance to it: Nardole must stop being a sidekick and take on his own leadership position; Bill has to be a Cyberman, and that opens up to her a whole universe of possible changes. ¬†The Doctor has to change from nimble genius to “Action Hero” to play his most effective role in this story. ¬†And the Master kills his future self, deleting her from his own future life-line — ? ¬†Well, depending, of course, on what Chibnall wants to do . . .

    Loved this episode; what a whirlwind! ¬† Left me pretty breathless, pulse up, wanting to watch again right away — but, you know; life etc. ¬†Soon as I can! ¬†Sorry for long posts, but I’m getting this Season via a Season Pass through Amazon, so I don’t get to watch a new episode until the following Sunday (sometimes not til Sunday evening). ¬†By the time I get here afterwards there are so many great comments already, which means most of what I’d say has been said, better, by others; and to catch up I have to string responses together starting several pages back.

    But surely it bears repeating this: I loved it, was swept away by it, and it was great to see Peter C. swashbuckling around like — well, like Burt Lancaster, who, he says, taught him to swear while they were filming “Local Hero” ¬†(yeah, Glasgow Boy, that’s a likely story!).


    Serahni @serahni

    @countscarlioni ¬†Perhaps the line has become a kind of psychic trigger to help him remember all the important things after he changes, like where he put his guitar. ¬†lol ¬†It is interesting though since his “I don’t want to go” was also a repeat of an earlier version’s desire. ¬†Perhaps we’ve misinterpreted him and he’s just suffering from a convergence of personalities now that he’s so close to regeneration. ¬†Careful Doctor, you’re repeating yourself in your old age.

    @bluesqueakpip  Love it and completely agree.  This was supposed to be the end for him, and yet now he faces the possibility of there being no end.  Who knows, perhaps his exclamation of not wanting to go was partial acceptance of the inevitability of his survival.  He was pretty sure he was done-for this time and, yet again, a companion saved him.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @tardigrade       At the very least, Moffat has to leave a window open for the Master’s return, future writers wouldn’t thank him for writing the character out irrevocably (although, as we’ve learned over time, nothing in DW is irrevocable!). I think Missy did hand something off to the Doctor, I wondered at the time what it was.

    I’m hoping that the Doctor will learn of Bill’s survival in the Christmas episode, I think that would be necessary for him to move forward unencumbered.

    @ollie14 ¬† ¬† ¬† I‚Äôm pretty sure that regeneration is almost always possible‚ÄĒyou can‚Äôt be too dead! ¬†ūüôā

    Missy @missy

    Watched it, loved it!   I was right about Heather too, as no doubt some of you were.

    As for Missy, she was,¬†unlike the Master, listening to The Doctor when he was asking them to be ‘kind, ‘ so when she took his hand and looked into his face, I remember thinking she’s up to something, that look had a lot of meaning in it – and sure enough she was going to help the Doctor.

    Its very sad that’s she’s¬†gone, you couldn’t help liking her in spite of everything.

    How about the William Hartnell Doctor then? Moffat magic at work.

    Now I must begin reading all your posts.


    janetteB @janetteb

    At this point I am not sure what to say other than to gush about how much I loved the episode and bemoan the imminent loss of Peter Capaldi and Moffat. R.1 predicted that P.C.s regeneration will be marked by anger, resisting, and it seems he nailed it. (Far better at predicting what will happen than his mother it seems) The episode did not really feel like a series final, though most threads were tied up. Missy/Master died again, Bill was reunited with Heather, Nardole was essentially written out and the regeneration was triggered. Perhaps because there was no big question underlying this series there was less to resolve in the final and the focus of the story was on the immediate problem not tying up complicated plot threads this felt less like a end of series than previous series endings.
    Capaldi’s speech had the family glued to the “screen” which in our case is the wall and reminded us all of what a fine actor is he and how much we are going to miss capdoc. I really need to watch it again without the usual family viewing distractions. Bill’s death was a Moffat death and that is fine. Heather can restore her to mortal form if so required to leaves the door open for Bill to return as companion. Clever Moffat knows how to keep the door ajar.
    Only gripe, why in recent years do all farming communities have to be American West? There are many farming communities around the world that could be represented.
    And now off to read comments,

    Missy @missy

    @tommo: ¬† “Will Capaldi regenerate at the beginning so the episode is an intro to the new Doctor or will they delay it EVEN more. I assume the Xmas episode will be Moff‚Äôs last one?”

    In all the other regenerations, the Doctor’s only changed right at the end of the episode. It seems unlikely SM would change that – but who nose? According to the man himself, he won’t be writing anymore episodes for DW. Still, he’s lied before, many times.


    I don’t think you are alone in wanting Capaldi to stay, I think I shall mourn his loss,¬† which ¬†is something I’ve never done before

    @mudlark: ¬†May I dream with you? ¬†wouldn’t it be wonderful if PC stayed? *sigh*



    geoffers @geoffers

    really loved this, a nice wrap-up for all the cast. it didn’t feel as epic as previous moff finales, but i guess that’s because he’s not steering the show into the next series, and there was only the need to finish up the story threads and character arcs from this year?

    over on reddit, someone thought that perhaps missy was letting the doctor know she had the dagger up her sleeve, instead of passing something to him? when i re-watch, i’ll have to keep this in mind to see if it works as well, because i, too, thought she was giving him something… either a ring, or perhaps that brooch from a series or two ago? could it have even been a subconscious message she was passing to him, as he did for bill in WEAT?

    i will miss missy/michelle gomez, though. she was fantastic. and i, too, hope pearl will be asked back by the new regime, though i suspect chibnall will go for a hard reset, and it will be an all new cast, like with smithdoc and amy… which would be fine by me, as well, if the quality is equal to or better than that series! ūüôā

    Missy @missy


    You could be right about the TARDIS, she tends to be overlooked. ¬†Aware of the past, present and future and able to do things the Doctors can’t do. In the Doctor’s Wife, she’d archived some rooms (control?)

    Doctor. ¬†“You can’t archive something that¬†hasn’t been made yet!” (or words to that effect/affect)

    Tardis. ¬† “You can’t!”

    The poor man, he’s lost Clara, River whom he adored, Bill, and in an odd sort of way, Missy. He has had it harder than the other three Doctors.

    One of the funniest lines in this episode – I think I’ve got it right, only seen it once so far ¬†– when the Master and Missy were deciding on ways to kill the Doctor.


    MASTER. “We could have thrown you off the roof, but we don’t know how many regenerations they gave you. we could have been up and down stairs/lifts all day!”

    Maybe not exact, but near enough. I rolled up. *wipes eyes*



    lisa @lisa

    No one mentioned the jelly babies yet.   I loved the jelly babies!   Choose it as my avatar.


    Missy only stabbed the Master. To weaken him.  To give the Doctor an advantage.

    For someone with 2 hearts that can’t be fatal. Both the Master shot Missy with a ray gun

    and¬†¬†the Doctor was also shot with cyber ray gun.¬† I’m thinking Missy will regenerate too.

    I  wonder if Moffat is helping to set up the future?  Is it possible we will be getting

    two time lords traveling together?   Two younger versions of the Doctor and Missy?

    I loved when  Baker Doc had Romana along.  That would actually be fantastic!.   Plus we still can

    use¬† the¬† Saxon Master now that he’s so brilliantly¬†grown into the part.¬†¬† Michelle was Peter’s

    Missy.¬†¬† But I’m¬† wondering if we’re getting an intentional ¬†set up to ¬†continue with this theme?


    Missy did refer to the Doctor as her boyfriend after all.

    janetteB @janetteb

    It did occur to me that maybe the next Doctor is Peter Capaldi, that he regenerates into himself and the stories about him quitting were a deliberate misdirection but I know that would be simply “too good to be true”. If only….

    @mudlark you said all the things I wanted to say but failed to and you did it so eloquently too, as always. It was a pleasure to see John Simm portray the Master as he would have chosen to, especially after reading about the abuse he received by disgruntled fans in the past.

    @donnawho I think the Christmas special will be about the Doctor coming to terms with the need for change and learning to welcome the renewal.

    Regeneration, the changing of that which is must fundamental to us, our perception of our self, would not be easy. Bill does not adapt to being a cyberman in her head, a nice echo of the difficulty of coming to terms with a changed persona. The Doctor changes, everyone sees him as someone different but he does not see himself as changed, even though aspects of his personalty change. He is still the same old Doctor, still eating Jelly babies, with the same memories and the same guiding principles. But as Ecclesston Doc said, it is a dodgy process and he does not know what he will regenerate into, “I might even have two heads” and even though he has now gone through that process thirteen or so times in the context of a 1,500 + lifespan that isn’t much. He is not as used to regenerating as we are used to him doing so.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @lisa we were tying at the same time. Snap!!

    I neglected to buy jelly babies for the final episode and at that moment thought “oh damn.” We did have Jammy Dodgers and custard however and chips.

    On a far more trivial theme, I have been pleased by the amount of food references this series. It is the first time we have seen CapDoc eat anything but soup and that isn’t really a big seller around here. Now I have a few items to add to our Dr Who Party menu.


    lisa @lisa

    @janetteb¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ūüôā


    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @serahni ¬† I suspect that “Sontarans perverting the course of human history” is a new phrase to use in same sort of way as “Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.” I wish it were otherwise! The proximity of the Master to Missy caused her to forget things in her timeline. So, it seems¬†we can expect that the First Doctor’s appearance on the scene will cause a definite increase in the Doctor’s forgetful moments.

    @ichabod ¬† ¬†the end recalling the beginning was most striking, for me, with CapDoc on his back, still-faced and dirtied up, with Cyber-Bill kneeling beside him. ¬†Like Clara at the start of DB ‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúHow do we get him back?‚Ä̬†That reading has shifted the meaning of the scene for me. Really need a second viewing now.

    @arbutus ¬† I see a lot of people assuming a two-doctor story for Christmas. I don‚Äôt know if this is based on rumours/leaks, as I have been trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible.¬† I try to avoid spoilers too, though I had assumed we’d get a full-blown two Doctor story rather than simply a First Doctor cameo from the announcement at the end of the episode to the effect that “The Two Doctors will be back at Christmas.”


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Something else I loved was the point where The Master is applying eyeliner. It captures his narcissism brilliantly.

    And..this is a real stretch…there is a link with Anthony Ainley’s Master. He played the fiancee of Lord Peter Wimsey’s sister who comes to a sticky end (the fianc√©e, that is) in the first Ian Carmichael TV version of the Wimsey novels. In the first story, as the fiancee, he is similarly narcissistic as, at one point in the story, he stares into the mirror as he applies make-up. It is a great TV show, and I recommend it heartily.

    wolfweed @wolfweed
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Well I’m late as usual – just reading through everyone’s comments!

    I love the Missy passing her ring to the Doctor theory @wolfweed . I have no doubt the Master will return in future Who by some means or other – there did seem to be some unspoken communication passing between them. And like you @nick I am still hoping for a Valeyard story – Capaldi’s desire not to regenerate as a manifestation of his anxiety about the imminent arrival of his shadow-self.

    I would really have loved a future Missy, on a redemption path thanks to Capaldi-Doc, meeting the next, and Valeyard, regeneration of the Doctor and asking “Am I the good last of the Time Lords now? Are you the bad one?” (shameless Buffy rip-off). Yes, I know Gallifrey is no longer destroyed.

    What if the TARDIS has taken Capaldi to visit Hartnell so they can defeat the Valeyard together? A very fitting full-circle for a show-runner whose tenure has been characterized by time-loops, counter-directions in time, and circularities.

    Michelle Gomez – what a delight. And this version of the Simm Master was much more menacing having dialled down the tantrums.

    Did you see that Moffat toyed (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) with the idea of Missy announcing she was pregnant to the Doctor and the Simm Master,  leaving us viewers to speculate wildly about which of them was the father?

    Heh – it would have been a great story-line in many ways, but as Moff clearly realised, unfair to Chibnall to land him with such a giant plot direction not of his own making.

    There’s a lot more to say – not least Moffat’s eternal desire to defeat death. Clara and Bill both died on their adventures with the Doctor, taken by the Raven and cyberised, and yet they are living an after-life thanks to Time-Lord/ alien tech.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Well, on reflection, that was just great. First of all, apologies for doubting anyone who thought Heather was going to make a return. You were totally right and I’m now happily convinced that that was indeed Heather that we saw in the window in the last episode.

    Last week I was worrying about whether this was going to be too action-oriented but while it had its set pieces, which I suspect are a pre-requisite for finale, they by no means overshadowed the emotional beats. I did feel that a couple of the elements did get kind of lost — the menace represented by the two Masters, for instance, but I guess the point is that they were there to resolve the psychological issue of Missy’s redemption, not necessarily as antagonists.

    On that note, as @bluesqueakpip noted, it’s interesting that the temptation was resisted to give Simm and/or Gomez a regeneration. I think it’s right that it’s because SM has gone out of his way not to close any doors for CC. As to what Master we’ll see in future, I have no idea. I think Simm was great here, really doing a good job of playing a Master that he seemed a lot more comfortable with, and was really rather old school in many ways. I’d certainly have no problem with seeing him again. Same goes for Gomez too, of course and it strikes me that there’s more potential in her quixotic, unfathomable version rather than a mere moustache-twirler. But would she work with a Doctor other than Capaldi? I suspect not. And this does seem to be a fitting end for the Master’s story. It would be a shame to see that work undone and a return to a post-Missy back-to-evil Master. (Although perhaps a Master trying to be evil and suffering constant pangs of conscience, of the influence of her past incarnation might be interesting.)

    The other thing that didn’t quite work for me was the return of the Cybus Cybermen. I know I’m biased, but design-wise they really didn’t compare well to the Mondasian versions and I hope that they get at least another redesign in the future that takes on board the more organic body horror elements that the Mondasian version convey so well. I suspect the more modern ones were used because they more robot-like and it’s perhaps less disturbing to see them getting blown sky-high as opposed to something a bit more recognisably human. And I quite liked that there seemed to be an actual point for using the Mondasians. I’m not sure those art-deco metal masks would have conveyed the same buried emotion that that cloth face and blank eyes seemed to for Cyber-Bill.

    As to the idea that Capaldi might somehow regenerate into himself at Christmas, while nothing would give me more pleasure than to see him stay — he just doesn’t seem ‘done’ to me. I felt that both Tennant and Smith’s Doctors had run their course but I could happily stand another year of Capaldi at least. But I just don’t see it. First of all, he’s had his epic regeneration-inducing battle, which was great (and had real shades of the end of Logan I thought). It would be a shame if that struggle could cheated somehow. Secondly, I think @bluesqueakpip is bang on in her analysis of where the Christmas story is going, of convincing (both) Doctors of the need to regenerate when the times comes. (A kind of It’s a Wonderful Life in reverse. With the central character being convinced of the necessity of accepting his ‘death’.) I also don’t think the First Doctor is the only one we’re going to see — and I don’t mean the 13th either.

    Someone up-thread said they didn’t like the Tennant/Capaldi reluctance to regenerate and that it makes the transition too traumatic. I’ve got a lot of sympathy for that and do understand what they mean but I do think it’s actually necessary. Regeneration seems to me too much like a ‘get out of jail free’ card otherwise. It’s no doubt the dour Scotsman coming out in me but it seems to me that there has to be some kind of a price. Back in the heady fanfic days, I was going to have regeneration work by having ‘prints’ of compatible individuals harvested by the Time Lords and kept on a database to be accessed when a regeneration was required, at which point the original would blink out of existence. My plan was then to be for Susan and the Doctor to rebel against the callousness and for regeneration to be essentially the last thing either of them would want to do morally. That’s maybe a little extreme, but I do like the idea that it’s something to be ambivalent about — and I do like the idea of the Doctor railing against constantly having to redefine himself, question just who and what he is.

    On @blenkinsopthebrave‘s idea that CC is being gifted a version of Who where there are no more call-backs to the past, I’m not so sure. It can certainly be overdone sometimes, but I think it’s become a necessary part of the show’s dynamic to have at least one or two familiar elements each year. (And isn’t it a stipulation of the Terry Nation estate that the Daleks have to appear at least once every year?) But I think we definitely should see more ‘new’ things. And I’d be very surprised if CC isn’t champing at the bit to create his own Weeping Angels. I certainly got the impression that RTD really wanted to create his own classic monster, with the Ood being the prime candidate, but they never really took.

    Phew. That was lengthy. Apologies for that. Short version is I loved it.

    MissRori @missrori

    @wolfweed A shame about the tech difficulties in Scotland.  Here in the U.S. BBC America got in online backlash trouble for scheduling the episode a half hour earlier than usual so as not to preempt Orphan Black which meant some people missed the opening third.

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