The Doctor Falls

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  • #60266
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    And once again the cry of ‘Deux ex machina’ echoes across the battlefield. That is, the Guardian comment’s section.
    Missy was magnificent, and acted ‘without hope, without reward, without witness’.
    Of course the master isn’t dead. Something was passed between her and the Doctor.
    I had a horrible moment when Bill woke up in the barn, apparently restored to her human shape. Followed by the relief of the truly horrible moment when she discovered she was a cyberman. I don’t know about her being turned back into a human ‘it’s only atoms’ – I don’t think that power has been established for Heather/pilot, nor can it be as easily extrapolated as the idea that, being a creature who can travel anywhere in time and space, she can drive the Tardis. So, Tardis flying yes, turning Bill human, not so sure. But if there is a chance she can stay on as companion, she can’t really do it if she’s as powerful as Heather…
    ‘We don’t need a doctor’ is that the most terrifying thing about the Cybermen? They don’t need a doctor, they don’t need the doctor, and they can cure the rest of the universe of this need.

    #60268
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @serahni – yes, I caught a look on his face when he said that.
    Regeneration isn’t just getting a new body. It is a kind of death. Memories are still there, maybe there is some trace of consciousness within the Doctor, but that personality doesn’t get to live any more.
    I’ve wondered before if the twelve regenerations limit is for psychological reasons? We now know that more regenerations can be granted, why is the limit set at twelve? What is the effect of carrying so many sets of memories in your head? What is the effect of carrying so many deaths in your head?

    #60269
    Nick @nick

    @juniperfish

    It’s never to late 🙂

    Unfortunately, I dont think we’ll see a Valeyard story (unless the idea appeals to CC). I would see the desire not to regenerate as a step along the path to becoming the Valeyard.

    I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to see the Moff interview in the after show. Moff makes his ethos on making Who very clear. It’s a positive life affirming view, which is why he could never kill-off (permanently) Clara or Bill, especially given the target audience for Who. I admire his principle on this, although it leads me to ask other questions.

    #60270
    Nick @nick

    @miapatrick

    I don’t know about her being turned back into a human ‘it’s only atoms’ – I don’t think that power has been established for Heather/pilot

    Even though its an episode that I loved, one can certainly critique resolution of the Bill story. Episode 1 never gave any depth to the Bill/Heather relationship (rather there wasn’t a relationship). The ending is more Disney fairy tale style than one build on a real world foundation.

    #60271
    Nick @nick

    @jimthefish

    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.

    The Cyber-Bill scenes add to the Doctor’s moral quandary with the Cybermen doesn’t it ? Whilst it may not be possible to deconvert a Cyberman, Bill “proves” it is possible to undo the emotion/neural network control functions, free the Cyberman and giving them back their free will as cybernetic human beings.

    #60272
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @nick, I don’t really mind her saving Bill. She’d already stalked her across time and space. And turning her into a creature like herself was fine, better than being a cyberman – much better, but she still retains the loss of her human body.
    I suppose the problem with establishing depth to the relationship is Bill’s wide eyed and delighted enthusiasm wouldn’t work in the context of losing an absolute girlfriend. ‘I really liked you’ worked pretty well. So how do you balance Heather as an expectable return to save Bill, at least, with the demeanour they wanted from Bill throughout the series?
    I suppose also this makes Heather being able to reassemble Bill as a human necessary. We last see them off at last for their first proper date. Bill has the option of returning to her human life if it doesn’t work out. Or indeed, to the Tardis as a human being, but preferably as a human being, not a creature as powerful as the Tardis.

    Could Heather have come into some other episodes? The simulation and monks reality perhaps? I don’t really know. But I’m glad she got a happy ending, and that we don’t know how it all pans out.

    #60273
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @nick–

    The Cyber-Bill scenes add to the Doctor’s moral quandary with the Cybermen doesn’t it ?

    It totally does. And unlike Daleks, or just about any other ‘villains’ who are making a conscious choice to be ‘evil’, justifying the killing of Cybermen is a lot more dubious. They have no free choice. They are ordinary people who have had something done to them. They are victims. Do they then deserve to die for that? It seems to me that this comes across far more with the Mondasian version than it does with any subsequent ones, where the moral question at the heart of their existence can be elided by their robotic appearance.

    #60275
    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @nick I agree I don’t think a Valeyard story is likely especially as in part it would mean that the BG Timelords would have had to known of the great Time War which just doesn’t work for me. If anything I suspect whoever bought him back would make the Valeyard something like the Other TenantDoc or even the Jenni the Doctors Daughter,  but one  gone bad so he is really a copy of the Doctor  if that makes sense.

    As to Mondasian Cybermen vs Cybus type Cybermen , I tend to agree ultimately the Mondosian’s pack more horror because of their more  obvious human origin. Modern Cybermen are almost to robotic as to be a more caricatured entity imo.

    #60276
    Nick @nick

    @miapatrick

    I didn’t have a problem with the end watching it (although perhaps I was a bit too pleased with myself seeing Heather back, even though it seems like the nature of the liquid and its source is going to be left unaddressed). It certainly worked in the context of the entire series. I’d have to rewatch the Pilot, but my impression was that Heather chasing Bill was partly driven by the liquid’s need (Pilot seeking Navigator; Pilot choose Bill).

    I suspect a deeper relationship between the two of them might have made the reunion at the finale touch a deeper emotional level for the audience.

    I suppose the problem with establishing depth to the relationship is Bill’s wide eyed and delighted enthusiasm wouldn’t work in the context of losing an absolute girlfriend

    You’ve got me wondering now if having seen what happened to Heather in the Pilot, Bill ought to have become less wide eyed and enthusiastic quite quickly.  I don’t think that there’s an easy answer to that one though. However, I’ll  leave that to you, @bluesqueakpip , @thane15 and others to comment on if you so choose 🙂 . Critiquing literature is not my forte.

    In any case, Moff only had a certain amount of time to devote to this element of the series and the closing third of the Pilot would have been difficult to fit into a later slot in the series. In that context, he made it work well.

    #60277
    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @jimthefish damn looks like you had much the same thoughts as me regarding the Cybermen for  I didn’t see your post till after I posted mine 😖

    #60279
    MissRori @missrori

    @nick Yeah, there was definitely a Disney-esque feel to Bill and Heather’s reunion — and from there the Doctor coming back around, however reluctantly.  I do wish the former had had more setup, but on the whole I think it worked, and so did the Doctor’s revival.

    It’s funny to see that happen with Twelve specifically because in my fanfic “What You Hold in Your Hand” I did a lot of playing with the differences and similarities of the Doctor’s world and the Disney fairy tale world, and fairy tales in general.  The Twelfth Doctor is a sort of Beast figure really — especially his character evolution from someone gruff and socially awkward and scary to openly compassionate.  I think he always had that tenderness inside him, but it took a while to show because emotional intimacy is not an easy thing, especially when the emotions are very intense.

    I cannot blame him for his reluctance to change.  I myself would rather have a broody Beast than risk the possibility of a bland Prince Charming!  The nice thing about Doctor Who is that blandness is never in the cards for him (or her?).   😉

    #60282
    nerys @nerys

    I have enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. Thank you so much, as always, for shedding light on so many subtleties I missed the first time around.

    Earlier I mentioned that I saw a resemblance between Hazran and The Woman in “Hell Bent” (it could just be the presence of a barn in both episodes). Looking at photos now, they don’t look much alike, but when I saw Hazran, I immediately thought she looked like she could be a daughter of The Woman. And then I wondered what tricks were being played within the story.

    #60284
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @nerys
    I confess that I didn’t make that connection to Hazran. What did spring to mind when I watched the episode was the connection with role played by Lillian Gish as the woman who protects her orphan charges against Robert Mitchum’s deranged Preacher in the fabulous “”Night of the Hunter”:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048424/mediaviewer/rm1069923072

    #60285
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Did you watch the fan show in which Talalay mentioned she’d used ‘Night of the Hunter’ as an influence with help from Capaldi?

    hunt

    #60286
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @wolfweed
    No, I haven’t watched it yet. Thanks for pointing it out.

    One of the greatest films of the 20th century, in my humble opinion.

    #60288
    lisa @lisa

    @nerys

    I thought Hazran was Susan!    I thought she had a strong resemblance to Susan’s picture

    sitting on the  Doctors desk at the University.  A matured version of the character was my bet.

     

    I expect we will probably see a big party of returning characters for a big blow out Christmas

    episode.  Very right too !!

    #60289
    Ollie14 @ollie14

    Thanks @missrori and @artubus for clearing that up.

    Assuming heather also was able to form Bill again due her atom reshaping abilities? But also I thought the TARDIS was too close to the black hole to correctly fly?

    Cheers guys 👍🏼

    #60291
    Nick @nick

    @ollie14

    I think it was accurately over a short distance (the top to bottom of the ship), although it seems care would need to have been taken as the Master used too much welly and blew his dematerialisation circuit.

    #60292
    Ollie14 @ollie14

    Ah ok thanks @nick.

     

    the episode was great but I was left bemused a bit at the end, because it was almost like I was expecting another 20 mins where we see the Doctor return to save Nardole or we see him die before the end scene with Heather, Bill and Doctor. You?

    #60299
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    official site has new content for TDF

    demat

    behind the scenes snip

    #60301
    Nick @nick

    @ollie14

    If Moff had the extra time, he might have have found a way to do that. In retrospect, I half expected Heather/Bill to rescue them. It strikes me that would be something I would expect Bill would do. That’s what I’ll choose to believe assuming Moff doesnt fix it in the Christmas show (I’ve made an additional point on the spoiler thread, if  you go there).

    #60303
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @wolfweed

    Official site extra material geo-locked for all beyond the UK. Damn…

    #60306
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @blenkinsopthebrave
    That’s a bugger. I can’t think of a way around it. It’s just behind the scenes pics & designs. If you google-image Doctor Who tomorrow you may find them all (there’s about 30+)
    geo lockd

    Failing that, someone tech-y  could possibly teach a geo-lock bypass?(!)
    Meanwhile, here’s another one:
    another one

    #60308
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Forgot to say:

    When searching Google Images – don’t forget (refine search by) tools – time – past 24 hours

    #60309
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    I notice a few enterprising souls have put up videos filmed of their screens and put them on YouTube but the quality really isn’t very good.

    However, if you’re using Chrome, I’d recommend installing the ZenMate extension and changing the settings to the US and that should get round it….

    #60313
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @bluesqueakpip

    … has the man become lost, becoming nothing but an ever-changing role, always changing, always dying, always a story rather than a real person.

    I agree, although, as the Doctor himself once said ‘We are all stories in the end’

    As @tardigrade noted, the Doctor’s unwillingness to change was foreshadowed in Bill’s insistence that she did not want to go on living if she could not be herself, and even more strongly in Simm Master’s refusal to accept a change of heart  and the possibility of redemption in his future self, to the extent of committing suicide at one remove.  From a human point of view that is understandable. Even one regeneration would be more than most could tolerate. Imagine having undergone some life-threatening experience – a major heart attack, say – and coming round to find oneself in another body, with memories and knowledge more or less intact, but with a different brain and endocrine system, so that one’s emotions,  personality and reactions were  subtly different.  Many people no doubt wish at times that they had been born into different circumstances, or that life had offered different chances or, at a more trivial level, that their physical appearance had been different; but how many could even imagine or desire that their core selves, that which gives them a sense of who they are, could be different.  As @janetteb put it:

    Regeneration, the changing of that which is most fundamental to us, or perception of ourselves, would not be easy.

    As individuals we develop and change as life shapes us, and such change is not necessarily unwelcome if the result is enriching,  but abrupt change would be profoundly disconcerting.

    In sum I, too, think that, with the story coming full circle, so to speak, the role of the first Doctor will be to reconcile the 13th Doctor to the inevitable.

     

    #60318
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @miapatrick

    I don’t know about her being turned back into a human ‘it’s only atoms’ – I don’t think that power has been established for Heather/pilot, nor can it be as easily extrapolated as the idea that, being a creature who can travel anywhere in time and space, she can drive the Tardis.

    Well, this is the Whoniverse, so it doesn’t necessarily have to conform to even the most outlandish scientific conjecture, nor do I know what Moffat had in mind, but I interpreted this in the light of my slightly obsessive reading of  science fiction over the past 60 years or so, and specifically with reference to the novel World’s End by Joan D Vinge.

    The ‘puddle’ which absorbed Heather was a form of sentient, or semi-sentient ‘smart matter’ – imagine something like artificial intelligence at a quantum level which, if such a thing were to exist or to be created, might be capable of directing the fundamental reorganisation of matter/energy. Its primary purpose in the drive of a space ship is to circumvent the limitations the light speed constant in order to travel the universe, just as, in a different way, the Tardis does. But it needs a higher intelligence, a pilot, to direct it and, having absorbed Heather for that purpose, it now has the knowledge and insight to reconstruct Bill as a human being, whether as her original, corporeal self, or as an entity capable of transcending space and time.

    @nick

    Whilst it may not be possible to deconvert a Cyberman, Bill “proves” it is possible to undo the emotion/neural network control functions, free the Cyberman and giving them back their free will as cybernetic human beings.

    I’m not entirely sure about that.  Bill said that she could feel pressure of the programming, and I got the impression that she was having to fight to retain her sense of identity.  I suspect that, in time, with nothing much left to sustain her sense of identity but her brain and a rudimentary nervous system, she might have succumbed.

     

    #60320
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @mudlark–

    Bill said that she could feel the programming, and I got the impression that she was having to fight to retain her sense of identity.  I suspect that, in time, with nothing much left to sustain her sense of identity but her brain and a rudimentary nervous system, she might have succumbed.

    Yes, I think you’re probably right. Although I think they fact that we’re talking about pretty much the first iteration of Cyber technology here. Perhaps it’s the primitive nature of the conversion that allows her to assert herself in a way that conversion into, say, a Cybus version would not.

    But now I come to think of it, the idea of their being a level of ‘programming’ within the Cyberman is not something that I think necessarily applied to the Mondasian version. From what I remember, the Mondasian Cybermen had a relative amount of free will — they’d just been augmented and had their emotions removed. They even still had names. And there was not much suggestion of a central overriding Cyber-controller or Cyberiad or whatever. They operated out of dogma, rather than programming and planned to ‘save’ the humans not out of programming but because they personally believed it to be the correct course of action. That was always my take on it anyway.

    #60321
    Gallifudge @gallifudge

    I’m hoping Carol Ann Ford/Higgins’s picture in the Doctor’s study was more than just a passing reference, especially now that Doc #1 has reappeared in the form of David Bradley. Surely at some point Susan has to make a more significant re-appearance, regenerated several times no doubt.

    Then there’s the Doctor’s “daughter” Jenny – oh for a storyline to tie some or all of that together!

    #60322
    DoctorDani @doctordani

    Well, I really enjoyed it too. God, my heart hurts thinking we’re losing Capaldi at Christmas though. He was fabulous here, especially when he delivered his big speech to Missy and Simm!Master. I really liked their denouement too. It felt right. I kind of got the impression that there might have been at least one more regeneration in between him and her though. I definitely think there’s scope for The Master to be brought back if Chibnall so wishes. I’m also happy that the door was kept open for Bill to come back with that tear she left on Twelve. I like her as a character in her own right, and not just as an extension of The Doctor. Can’t shake off the feeling that Nardole’s ‘happy ending’ felt a bit rushed and, well, weird though. Perhaps it’s just me on that front.

    I love the fact PCap’s Doc is all ‘HELL NO’ to his regeneration as well. It really does open the door to an in-depth exploration of what it means to be The Doctor, especially with his first iteration by his side. What awesome pay-off for that photograph of Susan on his desk! Speaking of photos on his desk, I still hold out hope that Twelve will be uploaded to the Library, rather than the Matrix, or that River has found a way to fuse the two together. HA! She’d love hanging out with all the previous Doctors too, and the shipper in me can’t help but hope for it.

    #60323
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @jimthefish

    I defer to your superior knowledge of BG Who. As I wrote earlier, I have never seen the episodes in which the Cybermen were first introduced, only clips and synopses.

    I was going on Bill’s reference to ‘programming’, but also on something the Doctor said in World Enough and Time, when he first encountered Bill as cyberman without realising who it was.

    ‘Bill Potts. You’re a cyberman. You’re part of a neural net. Can you find her.

    Which suggests at least the initial stages of a hive mind and some loss of individual identity.  Perhaps Moffat had his perceptions of the Mondasian cybermen coloured by later re-imaginings; he certainly presents the Doctor as being impressed by Bill’s ability to retain her sense of self within the cyberman shell.

    #60324
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @mudlark — you’re quite right, that makes sense. I suppose the reason why things like neural nets were not mentioned in the Tenth Planet was because Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis just could not have predicted that they would become a thing.

    But, just for yucks, here’s the first meeting with the Cybermen back in ’66

    #60325
    Nick @nick

    @mudlark @jimthefish

    Jim, I cant remember the character name, but the head of Torchwood in RTD’s second finale was able to override the Cyber-control and helped fight off the Cybermen. Although that was also a first gen Cybus Cyberman.

    Yes it must be possible that the cyber control software and network might eventually take over Cyber-Bill as Bill implied. However, Bill shows the control process (hardware/software) isn’t perfect and can be overridden. In the story, it seems it takes a while for Bill to fully assert control (Nardole’s Bill’s back comment) and her self identity grows with time [the Doctor may also have had a fiddle whilst she was sleeping in the Barn]. To me that opens the possibility that any cyberman could be freed.

    In any case, I don’t see why the cyber-control software couldn’t be hacked and cyber-network disrupted by other means (Surely with any advance opponent this would be a significant means to attack/defend against a cybermen attack). In which case, it must be hypothetically be possible to liberate each individual human brain within cyberman from cyber-control. The human inside could then assert control and individuality. It might not be a very nice life, but it is a life.

    For advanced cybermen (especially those constructed from dead bodies) I’d have to agree that this seems much less possible. The degree of living Brain matter left would seem to be much less (why is it even necessary ?). I’m not necessarily convinced the idea last season was that thought through as we saw Danny Pink’s face was intact, whereas one might imagine this wouldn’t be the case for an advance Cyber-design.

    #60326
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @nick

    Meaty chunks can’t act…

    meaty

    #60327
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @nick

    To me that opens the possibility that any cyberman could be freed

    Yes, that definitely seems to be the case. There’s definitely other cases where Cyber-programming is defied. Toberman and Lytton from the BG series both spring to mind. And then there’s Kroton, who I think the Cyber-Bill plot was definitely channelling on some level–

    I don’t know if he’s actually canon but I think he definitely should be….

    #60328
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @jimthefish   The moment Kroton realises he is human…

    kroton

     

    #60329
    Nick @nick

    @jimthefish

    Fantastic. I haven’t seen that before.

    #60331
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @wolfweed–

    and a fine example of the distinctive art style of the late, lamented Steve Dillon. Still at the height of his Veronica Lake fixation too. Did he ever draw a woman who didn’t have her hair falling over her eyes?

    #60333
    Nick @nick

    @wolfweed

    🙂

    A few tubes and things, some body horror prosthetic make up would have helped

    #60334
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @nick — Kroton featured in a few secondary strips in Doctor Who Weekly, mostly helping humans as he struggled with his revived humanity and he also ended up being a companion to the Eighth Doctor in his comic adventures for a while later too. They’re definitely worth seeking out. Quite a tragic character though.

    #60335
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @nick

    mckinstry

     

    #60336
    Nick @nick

    @wolfweed

    🙂 I like it. Looks to be a bit too expensive for the BBC though. If money was no object, I’d like to see some rat things as well (from Snow Crash Neal Stephenson novel for anyone who doesnt know the reference)

    #60337
    Nick @nick

    @jimthefish

    Thanks. They should publish a compendium of the strips, if they havent already.

    #60338
    nerys @nerys

    I watched the episode again, and now I remember why Hazran reminded me of The Woman. It’s early on in this episode, when she grabs a gun and runs for the porch. It was just her facial expression, which reminded me of a facial expression The Woman had (for the brief times we saw her).

    Another bit of recognition: When the Doctor is firing again and again on the Cybermen, there was a musical theme that harked back to “Heaven Sent” (where the Doctor is punching away at the wall of Azbantium, is overtaken by the Veil, then returns to the teleportation chamber and starts the cycle all over again, all to a voice-over of “The Shepherd Boy”). How many times has he fought the Cybermen, but like the bird, keeps chipping away till he breaks through? I’m not sure if that was Moffat’s intended symbolism, but it resonated with me.

    #60340
    janetteB @janetteb

    Re watched this morning. The speech the Doctor makes to Master and Missy expresses the very essence of who he is. Wonderful stuff. I am tempted to go through and make a “collection” of all his great speeches.

    Is Bill’s final comment a hint about the next regeneration? The young bit concerns me but then I think we all expect the next Doctor to be younger but not as young as Bill…

    I think it was Heather’s tear that enabled Bill to retain her “humanity” through the cyberisation process. It was possibly that tear that also enabled Bill to retain her awareness of what was really happening in the Monk trilogy.

    I loved the last exchange between the Doctor and Nardole when the Doctor says that one of us is stronger than the other and we both know who that is. The “stronger” one is actually Nardole who was able to maintain the vow to mind the vault whereas the Doctor was not. Nardole has the strength to stay with the children for however long it takes just as he was able to maintain his vigil over the vault while the Doctor would be impatient and wanting to fly off. (Despite the fact that he did stay on Christmas. This regeneration is clearly more impatient or flighty than the last.)

    Cheers
    Janette

    #60341
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    To those commenting on the reasons for the Doctor to be resisting regenerating, the experience of a TL regeneration is hard for me to imagine as a personal experience. And I imagine individual approaches and attitudes to that would vary between TLs. From what we’ve seen, most TLs don’t appear to be overly fazed by the experience, but the Doctor has been through many now- a full set if you don’t consider Ten’s extra regeneration, as his appearance/personality didn’t change. And has the prospect of many more in his future, so perhaps it’s the lack of any end in sight that makes that prospect more unwelcome. And potentially, in the back of his mind at least, there is the prospect of the Valeyard, an unwelcome, un-Doctor regeneration in his future.

    However, I can imagine other TLs embracing it. Being reborn in a new form after death is something that many people across different religions embrace of course, so broadly it seems to be a more enticing prospect than coming to a final end. I did like the Doctor pulling out a bag of jelly babies in this episode- a little nod that underneath all the changes, at the core, there is the same old Doctor.

    @jimthefish

    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.

    Interesting idea- perhaps there are multiple older incarnations involved, showing him his error in fighting the regeneration and the positives that have come from his many faces. That may give a sort of “Christmas Carol” vibe to the Xmas special 🙂

    @janetteb

    I think it was Heather’s tear that enabled Bill to retain her “humanity” through the cyberisation process.

    That’s possibly a factor, but the Doctor does suggest in the episode that it may have been from her experience living under the Monks and fighting their control- although she did seem naturally able to retain her sense of self through that period, so it may also be innate to her.

    #60342
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    I haven’t got involved in the speculation about the identity of a new Doctor in the past, and I won’t get carried away now (I’m too uninformed about British actors for that to be fruitful in any case – inevitably many potential candidates are unknown, or mostly so, to me). However, the line “We can hope” does gently hint that a female Doctor might be on the horizon. And one of the other little barriers to that has been removed – while there was a female companion and female Missy that might have made the transition to a female Doctor also a bit harder – we all know there’s a faction who would be dead against a female Doctor and a mostly female cast would only disenfranchise them further – although realistically that isn’t many of the core audience, and not ones I care much about, so maybe I’m seeing a problem there where there isn’t much. I’ll stress that wouldn’t have been a problem for me at all – I’d like to see Gomez’s Missy play opposite a female Doctor. If Missy has been killed off, then it also opens up the possibility of the Doctor adopting Missy’s form as his new incarnation (i.e. Gomez playing the Doctor).

    One further note- Missy doesn’t confirm that she’s the next regeneration after the Simms Master- she’s seemingly deliberately vague on that point. So there would be potential for others to be inserted between the Simms and Missy incarnations, even if Missy was the end of the line. Any such regenerations would of course not have experienced Missy’s turn towards aligning herself with the Doctor, and be back to a more “traditional” mindset 🙂

    #60343
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @tardigrade–

    I think it’s the fact that the Doctor has been through a set of full regenerations that means we won’t see the Valeyard. Capaldi’s Doc strictly speaking is Doctor 1.1 rather than Doctor 13 (why does the War Doctor not still count as a proper Doctor? Surely he was redeemed and earns the right to be the Doctor again?)

    I actually think it’s hard to imagine how a Valeyard set of episodes would work. Here’s the Doctor being evil again! The problem, as with the initial regeneration limit, is that Robert Holmes introduced these concepts thinking that no one would ever have to confront them and that the series would be long gone by then. I suspect Missy was Moffat’s way of dealing with that plotline and showing a regeneration that goes against type, an anti-Valeyard, if you like.

    #60344
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @jimthefish In reality, I don’t expect that a Valeyard storyline is planned, or would work. Even if you regard it as something in the Doctor’s future, that can be pushed out indefinitely.

    And I think the War Doctor can fully be regarded as the Doctor- by retrofitting him into the timeline it was just tricky to number him- I think he deserves more than being called Doctor 8.5.

    #60345
    MissRori @missrori

    @jimthefish I agree that the Valeyard probably will never be revisited on screen and instead remain left to Big Finish to play with.  The contemporary series has done interesting things with the Doctor’s darker aspects as it is, so the Valeyard would be redundant.  And yes @tardigrade, we have to acknowledge the War Doctor!  🙂

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