The Girl Who Died

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    As an aside, this article about the the other guy in the Tommie Smith/John Carlos picture is fascinating and more than a little heartbreaking (of particular interest to the Aussie contingent).

    Brewski @brewski

    @arbutus “there is only so much we can accept” when we don’t WANT to. (or DO want to)

    Which was where I started out, but we went for quite a scenic walk after that.  🙂

    The fact is, sophisticated baby poetry SHOULD be hard to accept.  But dammit, it was done so beautifully I’m totally buying into it.  My own tolerance for believable is quite variable.

    lisa @lisa

    I think art is anything that comes from your imagination and your imagination
    is the meeting place between your thinking mind and your sensing body. Good
    art might be anything that has resonance with you.

    Rob @rob

    As an aside, this article about the the other guy in the Tommie Smith/John Carlos picture is fascinating and more than a little heartbreaking (of particular interest to the Aussie contingent).


    I refused an invite to tour SA in the 80’s and amusingly (term used lightly) a SA player subsequently ended my sporting career (always love to see the Boks loose lol). After not going I was never asked to train in the upper echelons again either.

    Nothing but admiration for Tommie Smith

    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus  What is and isn’t art? Can of soup, can of worms… a question that is almost impossible to answer without sounding unbearably snooty at times. But as you say, I think it is still right to ask the question. Just not to assume that there is ever only one answer! 

    Yep.  There’s a frontier/border edge in all the arts, I think, at which someone (John Cage, Andy Warhole) declares “Whatever I draw a line around and point to and call art, is art”, including silence in the concert hall and giant soup can pictures on the wall.  If they do it with sufficient authority and whatever skill it is that makes it work, well, it works — at least for some of the people some of the time.  Then we get to argue about whether it’s art of not, while time and taste shift around (in in and through) us.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @brewski  The fact is, sophisticated baby poetry SHOULD be hard to accept. But dammit, it was done so beautifully I’m totally buying into it. My own tolerance for believable is quite variable.

    And the performance of that poetry was so beautiful (by an actor whose own mother died only a year and a half ago, as I recall, which may have added depth to his delivery) that it simply overwhelmed your “Oh, no, no baby poetry!” setting, in that one instance at any rate.

    nerys @nerys

    @purofilion @ichabod I agree with what you’re saying about Clara becoming more interesting, less of a motor-mouth, because of the more nuanced acting Coleman is bringing to the role. And it could very well be due to her maturing as an actress. Yet I keep going back to her Oswin/Dalek incarnation. Am I wrong in remembering that as being closer to the Clara we’re seeing this season? I may have to go back and watch that episode again. I feel that perhaps she’s just getting better writing, in terms of more depth. Not in terms of plot; she got loads of plot last season. But maybe more direction in terms of who Clara is, at her core. So Coleman can do more with that.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @rob

    Some History I know -some I don’t! This I knew only ‘bits’ of.

    A lot of Ozzers don’t know the history of the White Immigration Policy or, worse, the forcible removal of Indigenous children from their parents -which had happened but then stopped some years before 1978.

    SA stopped you from playing sport Rob? My state (originally) ? Hrumph. 🙁

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @lisa   Beautifully put!

    @brewski    @ichabod     Agreed, Capaldi made those lines into something pretty special.

    It occurs to me to wonder how people can dismiss Doctor Who as “just a kid’s show” when it can inspire a conversation like this one! From plot points to “what is art” in a few posts. Nice.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @pedant     That article was very interesting and extremely moving. Thanks for posting.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    It is odd to me Doctor Who went out of its way to show the Shadow Proclamation in the first episode only to depict the galaxy as basically being lawless the next couple of arcs.  I wonder if whoever used the “suicide moons” was able to cripple what is supposed to be an interstellar police force.

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni


    Ashildr also seems problematical: she has brought her village bad luck

    But has she?  Her father says, she thinks that every bad thing that happens to this village is because of her; and the villagers don’t react to her the way small communities tend to react to people singled out as bad luck — just the opposite.  That bit doesn’t work for me.

    I’m taking it here that her father is being a typical parent and being protective towards her and does not want to blame her. I suppose I’ve also been influenced into thinking bad things are coming (at least until the Doctor sorts them out) because the Doctor haltingly gets out at the very end of the episode that she’s a hybrid.


    he simply doesn’t know if he is about to create a serious ripple or a tidal wave when he breaks the rules (“Time will tell.”)

    But this does; if he’s thinking in terms of cascading consequences of a “small” act of his (a resurrection), yes.  But “tidal wave” has been used by Clara in conversationg with the Doctor to mean HIM.  Clara: “*You’re* a tidal wave!”  Doctor: “Don’t say that!”  So I thought he meant that Ashildr might personally live to bring about big changes in the way that the Doctor has done in the past.  If it’s a natural cascade of change coming about automatically, not because of Ashildr’s personality, that makes more sense: it’s not that Ashildr is a (potential) tidal wave, but that the fact that she’s still around instead of properly dead creates ripples that mount up to a tidal wave.

    Yes, I think that’s a more precise way to express it than my inept effort. I’d focused on the Doctor’s fretting late in the episode.  “I can do anything. There’s nothing I can’t do. Nothing. But I’m not supposed to. Ripples, tidal waves, rules. I’m not supposed to—” 

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus @pedant

    Yes, I agree -it was moving & at certain times in life, and during a plethora of abominable news in this country, at least (focus on weather, on news anchors’ fashion choices, the next house Murdoch is purchasing), it’s important to be reminded of the role certain ‘quiet’ people play during extraordinary and unforgettable moments. Some time last year, I mentioned this particular Olympic historical event and neither Senior Modern History teacher (nor the new Ancient History teacher) had ever heard of it -not the Ozzer’s role, but the story itself. These are people in their early 30s.

    This amazes me -but it shouldn’t, I suppose

    It occurs to me to wonder how people can dismiss Doctor Who as “just a kid’s show” when it can inspire a conversation like this

    I agree @arbutus, It’s interesting that some excellent telly (‘PG’ rated) is often seen as something ‘just for kids’ and there’s a tone surrounding the ‘family viewing’ statement which is blatantly sarcastic and even cynical as if only certain programs with the tag: “not advised for children under 15” -MA – are worth watching and others, most definitely not. Maybe, we’re just not smart enough to be watching ‘grown up’ stuff. 🙂

    And yet some of my colleagues at university are fond fans, stopped from watching as, with only one TV, their almost-grown up ‘kiddes’ have ‘bagged’ the telly for some other use -usually to play Fifa 16!

    This season alone  -I believe has sparked more intellectual debate than any other: waking up to 189 emails in the space of 6 hours regarding the first two episodes of S9 implies a very switched on, devoted audience extremely connected to the show because of the emotional depth which kicks in -it isn’t, as @phaseshift and others have aptly said, about eels and horned helmets -it is about the depth charge that’s laid due to resonance between the characters, the chemistry between actors and the devotion they must have to this long process for each episode’s filming,  ADR etc.

    It has an emotional relevance for me too and I think others on this Forum feel similarly? Whether ones engages with the debate on Viking/Hiking or Historical nuance and anachronism or reaches further into the development of literature and music -the Poetic Edda, Norse evidence, the role Beethoven played in improvisatory music or the first musicologists or speaks to the emotional harnessing that these episodes can do -thru the language of ‘baby’ which, when one thinks about it,  has an intriguing connection to the original purpose of this show as something the family sat down to watch together on a Saturday evening and possibly (the baby language) can be directed at those who continually criticise it (rather than critiquing it with decent evidence) by mewling and barking with no interest in seeking something better or changing stations – what I’m getting at (in a slow and unsophisticated way) is that the emotional resonance these episodes have with others -with me – paints its success.

    The discussion of life, of eternal life even, of cruelty, deception, need, love and friendship are very personal, community oriented, primal issues of great magnitude -not great in the sense of composing a spectacular symphony or writing the best novel in 10 years -but are dogged, touching, rapt -not something docile or simple, but creating a marvellous ripple like a stone dropped into a pool  – something which has, unlike that little stone, created repercussions for the characters, for us, as we view and discuss the powerful statements this show isn’t frightened to address. Even in a subtle manner.

    This episode like the very first one, seems like a falling  body: the farther a body falls, the faster it moves -velocity, acceleration, magnification, stunned attention, curiosity, menace -the impression of this event (like many of the episodes of Who) is burned indelibly on our optic nerves and firmly present in our hearts.

    Sometimes it takes months, years, to comprehend that falling body and all it entails and these great episodes have the magnitude and power to create Forums, vivid debate, friendship, cosplays and YouTube reviewers who are only ten. 🙂

    Through discussion and these least seasons I’ve been more attuned to good television -no more workaday telly for me! -it’s encouraged me to be more rigorous in my mental habits and visual practise, to dwell on obscure details (almost perversely so!) devising improbable, circumstantial plots and analysis, inextricably waiting for the next theory and wonderful tit-bit of information that adds pieces to a puzzle that may never be solved but is a type of ‘glorious’ play in its refined purpose -for whatever hobby is better than this?

    It connects people of diverse age, habit, occupation, address,  political affiliation and emotional eccentricity or interest -it’s a terrifically mind boggling exercise not at all devoid of emotional power but completely driven by it: there’s detail, but it’s not crude or disappointing in its exegesis, it’s not lurid, or foolish but it opens up worlds of delicious capacity, discernible in some way to each of us, no matter how different we are. It creates uncertainty and confusion, at times, and that’s wonderful too -we learn from this programme, that nothing is necessarily certain, that not everything is impossible, not everything is unattainable but that there there are ends we have not yet attained. The show and its group of characters tells me that there’s no need to accept limitations, no need to settle for, or accept, what seems. While there are no impossibles, there are only things which we have accepted as beyond our power to do. And so I like how Doctor Who has permitted me to think -to change, to reach for optimism -not my general ‘default’ which was pessimism or cynicism.

    My rambling bambling self has turned on again. I shall go into ‘off’ mode now. 🙂

    @cathannabel  -we have not heard from you -hope everything is well with you; looking forward to all your musings.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus  It occurs to me to wonder how people can dismiss Doctor Who as “just a kid’s show” when it can inspire a conversation like this one! From plot points to “what is art” in a few posts. Nice.

    The dismissors are crying down something that they themselves only understand on a surface level (if that) because knowing that there *are* conversations like this makes them feel stupid, and they don’t like it and need to invalidate these conversations to get all comfy again.

    @countscarlioni  He says Ashildr is a hybrid — because of the Mire-tech chip?  Of from before that?  His being so struck by the familiarity of her fact back at the beginning suggests that he could know things about her from another encounter that nobody else knows, like that she’s always been a hybrid, or was made into one at some earlier time.

    @purofilion  Thanks for your thoughts on this.  I share your gratitude for a show that blows people’s minds in such good and interesting ways, and stimulates us to discuss it with each other and widen our own perceptions as we read what others have to say.  It’s a blast in so many ways (including quiet ways, the ways of the buried bombshell that slow burns to the surface later — ) that I find myself feeling that I’m so lucky to be living in these terrible, awful, destructive times, when such multi-level artwork is being made and is widely accessible.

    I think I’ve mentioned here how absorption in all of this helped me get through a bad winter (2014-15), the winter of the spouse of 45 yrs gone to a dementia unit and my own stupidly broken arm to recover from.  I couldn’t concentrate on work, on books, on anything much, slept all the time, but found that *this* show — S8, a set of stories about a character trying to decide what to do with her life after the loss of a loved friend to drastic change, and another blasted to smithereens by seismic change and desperately clawing himself back together again as a creature of integrity, sense, and purpose — well.  I could stay awake for that, and for absorbing discussions like these, and be reassured that my stunned ad beat-up old brain was in fact still capable of thinking, feeling, and understanding.

    Enough of that — suffice it to say, I needed what the show was doing last fall, and how people were exploring it all winter and spring afterward.  S9 is different, and that’s fine; so am I.  Now I get to just relax and enjoy it, study it and find delights, shiver with delicious anticipation, and regard it as a kind of reward, for getting through to this point.  I’ve heard and read of a lot of teen-agers discussing how they feel that DW saved them at times when they were going through very tough personal times; well, they’re not the only ones.  I turned 76 today, and there’s work on my desk, and I’ve been *doing* it.  Instead of sleeping.

    Anonymous @


    Yes I recall you speaking of your beloved spouse. I remember how you found this Forum as a place of interest, comfort, distraction and also solace -long may it be that way.

    Happy birthday to you m’dear ichi. I shall pop on over to the music thread now!

    Warm wishes for this day and all the year long into Winter.


    spacedmunkee @spacedmunkee


    To keep with the recent musical theme, “Ramble On” I say.

    Well said and I think it sums up how a lot of fans feel.

    Your comments re our connection to DW have spurred my to put my jumbled thoughts into some sort of coherent post.

    One of the the ways the audience connects with DW is via the companions. Since the show originally started the main companion(s) have always been human or human looking. Us as the audience see the Doctor through through their eyes. This is evident to me through my childhood where, like most of us, I grew up role playing as my favourite heroes, but my memory was that I did not want to be the Doctor in those games. I wanted to be myself and be one of his companions. I wonder if others thought the same way.

    Its no secret this mechanism for capturing an audience was purposely crafted by the original creators because they felt most people would not relate to the doctor so the human companion was essential to the shows success.

    This brings me to Clara who seems to have copped a disproportionate amount of criticism from most corners of the Interweb imho.

    Whether it is warranted or not, the evolution of her character has been fascinating and in a lot of ways mirrors the evolution of us the viewer over the years. Her development of IT skills being one example. Her hunger for adventures and confidence in questioning and/or guiding the doctor also parallels the DW audience who are constantly hungry for more stories, more content, more information and more active in voicing their thoughts and opinions which surely shapes the product that BCC must provide to their customers.

    After a couple of more accessible doctors in Tennant and Smith, Capaldi’s doctor is a little further removed from us, bringing the companion back to the forefront.

    Everyones entitled to their opinion about Clara and people are certainly allowed to digest the show in any way that provides them with enjoyment but  I do wonder about fans that throw around words like “hate” with nothing substantial to back it up. Maybe these are more casual fans who prefer their doctor to be front and centre. Or maybe they just don’t like her which fair enough.

    No  disrespect meant to anyone who doesn’t like something about the show because everyone has their own tastes and opinions which adds so much colour to the overall experience of being a DW fan. This subsequently feeds back into the loop between fans and showmakers I mentioned above.

    Now that I have that off my chest, time for the weekend to begin. Happy Friday everyone!


    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion  Thanks for your good wishes!

    Anonymous @


    the evolution of her character has been fascinating and in a lot of ways mirrors the evolution of us the viewer …. Her development of IT skills being one example. Her hunger for adventures and confidence in questioning and/or guiding the doctor also parallels the DW audience who are constantly hungry …

    Well said Mr Space and you’re quite right there -in many ways Clara is us….as we develop and grow both as a mirrored companion in the Dr Who world, which, say, is real and outside the Who ‘world’  as a person who is growing, maturing, settling into job and relationship, aware of technological changes -becoming flexible in a new ‘age’ of inquiring minds and happy curiosity -hungry for more knowledge, being closer to the issues at hand, ‘citizen’ journalist, thoughtful lobbyist or activist -or a mum, keen on soufflés.

    So, if people don’t like her all that much, it makes me ask, what do they so dislike in themselves? 🙂

    @ichabod you’re always welcome. A glass (not parting!) on your birthday: something blue with umbrellas and the fragrance of a Summer past.


    spacedmunkee @spacedmunkee


    <p style=”text-align: left;”>So, if people don’t like her all that much, it makes me ask, what do they so dislike in themselves?</p>

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Exactly! Maybe that’s what has the doctor so concerned. His line about there being room for only one doctor may have been putting Clara back in place but also a subtle swipe by the makers regarding the beast it has created for itself. Again – feeding back into itself. . . Like a snake eating its own tail 😉</p>

    Anonymous @


    there being room for only one doctor …a subtle swipe by the makers regarding the beast it has created for itself. Again – feeding back into itself

    ooh yes, I like that Mr SpaceM the idea that in creating ‘the beast’ there are also negativities that must  be created: I also like the idea that in the world of the Whoniverse, residual ‘stuff’ is left behind -one of which is the self-haters or proclaimed haters -we cannot have a Whoniverse propelled entirely by those who ‘like’-there must be some balance, somewhere. So, who nose, this is needs must or else we’re swallowed whole by the entire legend 🙂

    I like the reference to the serpent too -after all, there are serpent motifs in everything thus far & it reminds me of older literature and music -in the Classical and Romantic eras (even in Mozart Opera buffa and the less comic works) the serpent or snake featured in much writing as did a beast of a dragon-type. It has so many derivations -some positive in Slavic culture and in others, not so.

    I like the picture in Under the Lake where we have the 3-4 Star Trekky individuals, with one skirt -wearing female in the mouth of the serpent: will she swallow this and thus become the serpent rather than be swallowed? Is she both the serpent and the victim? A loop…

    In reference to eating its own tail/or tale! we possibly have Clara -as her closed loop claricles -with a snake or serpent – – it’s difficult to determine what is head n’ tail with these wormy creatures. With dragons, I find it easier. 🙂

    I also find it’s odd I’m seriously discussing dragons and serpents on a happy Friday night (!) while others are watching the ‘footy’ or some silly film (ahem, cough).

    Still, it’s great 🙂

    spacedmunkee @spacedmunkee


    Lol. No footy here in Oz now (unless you like soccer – but let’s not revisit that thread). Waiting for cricket season to get into full swing.

    theres so many snake/serpent/dragon references in human history. I find it amazing that nearly every culture has them part of their mythology. It must tap into something primal going back to when our ancestors first crawled out of the ocean.

    I’m not sure what Clara will finally evolve into but for some reason I fear that the loop will mean the doctor will have to let her die so that she can be born.

    Oh man, just had a thought connecting  Clara “saving” the doctor and him giving ashildr a second chip so she wouldn’t be alone. What if Clara “saves” a version of the doctor in the library computer so River has a companion for eternity. Will leave that one be for now. Getting too late for bonkers theories.
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Yes, movie sounds good. Need to find a new sci fi movie to watch but I think my wife has plans for a dodgy horror flick. Either will work for a Friday.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Cheers</p>

    Anonymous @


    A dodgy horror flick? Dodgy? No way! I love a horror flick too. Apparently, I’m being taken to the massively over-done and overrated Paranormal 14, shortly. So if I can make it so can you! 🙂

    I am a soccer fan (family thing) but cricket yes…except there’s no-one left mate: Steve Smith as Capn? Oh no, the teenagers are running the pitch shop now! I think it will take 5 years or more to bring our cricketers back up to scratch when once it was Matty Hayden, Ponting, Gilchrist and young Glen  running things -and Huss of course.

    I’m with you on letting Clara die and the Doctor trying gently to ‘settle that’ thought in her brain.

    Hmm. A puzzle

    nerys @nerys

    OK, I stand corrected. I rewatched “Asylum of the Daleks” (along with “Fires of Pompeii” and “Last Christmas”) last night. Oswin is a bit of a motor-mouth, too. So Coleman really has become more deft with Clara … not that she was a slouch to begin with. But I do agree that there’s more substance now than with her initial companion incarnations. Those early Claras seemed to lack the energy and wit that Oswin had. She reclaimed it last season, and I still think that’s just due to better writing for the character, giving her more to work with.

    Also, Dalek Oswin does say, “… remember me.” But Carmen Oswin says, “Run, you clever boy … and remember.”

    spacedmunkee @spacedmunkee


    in this house, dodgy horror = good horror but I stopped watching the paranormal movies at about number 4 I think. Watched a cracker the other week called “It Follows”. Check it out if you have a chance.

    interesting time for Aussie cricket. Golden age definitely over but I’m hopeful some of these kids will stand up and if the Mitch’s fire it should be a good summer.

    There will be some ups and downs for a while but there’s some good young talent around.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Birthday greetings!

    I raise a glass to you. Well, given that it is 9am in my part of the world, I raise an espresso to you!

    And, yes, I fully agree that Doctor Who really does have the capacity to speak to us personally in ways that other popular culture doesn’t.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    Happy Birthday, @ichabod! A mug of tea is now being drunk in your honour, with best wishes for another year of commentary both insightful and bonkers.

    @spacedmunkee     Good points all. Of course, the First Doctor was not portrayed as someone “relatable”, but someone scarier and more mysterious, with companions who were often front and centre in “saving the day”. It wasn’t all down to the Doctor in those days. But I would guess that the majority of today’s fans didn’t grow up with the First Doctor (demographics would suggest that most of today’s fans were not watching TV in 1963!). It was really only with the advent of the UNIT era that companions became “assistants” and it was the Doctor who always took the lead.

    Despite Clara’s importance to the Doctor and strong, confident persona, I personally find Capaldi’s Doctor to be very much “front and centre”. His expressions of both confidence and fear are so infectious, his moments of joy so exuberant and elevating, his humour is presented with such deftness and his sombre moments with such gravitas, that it is no wonder that we have no trouble believing that he translates from Baby! There is absolutely no way, in my view, that he is ever outshone by Clara, dominant as she is. I suspect that a lesser companion would be swamped by his wake, so to speak.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Happy Birthday @ichabod 🙂

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Happy birthday, @ichabod

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @arbutus: Yes but who knew instinctively to ask the Doctor to translate the baby’s sounds?  Wasn’t it Clara?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  I think it was Clara — I recall her saying to somebody, as an explanation, I think, “He speaks dinosaur” so why wouldn’t he speak baby?  Can’t stop to check it out — dinner with friends tonight.

    Craig @craig

    @ichabod May I also add a (I guess belatedly) “Happy Birthday!” in that way that we humans do, even if it’s not that happy. And I’d like to take this moment to thank you for, well, just being you and being here. “Doctor Who” may have helped you, but you have also returned the favour in spades on this site and although I don’t speak for everyone I’m going to anyway, and say that we are all very grateful that you found us.

    I know that losing a very close loved one (either via death or dementia – unfortunately I have experience of both) means that birthdays can be more sad than happy and my thoughts are with you. I am so glad to hear that the work on your desk is, at least, beginning to get done. You don’t fancy coming to London and doing my desk do you?

    Big hugs x

    Anonymous @


    as always, beautifully expressed by you:

    His expressions of both confidence and fear are so infectious, his moments of joy so exuberant and elevating, his humour is presented with such deftness and his sombre moments with such gravitas, that it is no wonder that we have no trouble believing that he translates from Baby! There is absolutely no way, in my view, that he is ever outshone by Clara

    I agree: no-one can out shine this Doctor. He steps forward, even when he’s thinking and cogitating! He has that perfect and illusory concept: charisma. So, wonderfully mysterious and matches any Doctor and yet not all Doctors, for me, held that concept so very definitely.

    Clara as I said up thread, really has matured and developed -as character, Oswald, and as actress, in my opinion. From loud and thoughtless to bold and brusque, flirty and rather silly (“well, can’t you sonic the turkey and come and be my boyfriend? Please?”) to inquisitive and even majestic, in her understanding and progression with the Doctor through the universe.

    I believe that “being good as the Doctor” in Listen has past now and whist not content to sit in the background she’s satisfied caring for people and teaching others to have trust in the Doctor -their Doctor; for whilst he’s with this or that particular group, he becomes just as much theirs as he is Clara’s, and I believe that whilst she might have had a problem with that once (that illusive sharing ability!) this quality and many others are now foregrounded as she moves as easily through time with the Doctor as he does, stepping in, helping out when it’s necessary and flying off again. If love is a thing held in common then spending time in the company of the Doctor allows one to love and trust him equally as his companion does. There’s also a fundamental lack of squeamishness about Clara that gives her strength in opposition to the nastiest of villains – I remember Nottingham last year!

    Anonymous @


    I can’t believe I embarrassingly referred to this as ‘my state’ later -had I actually READ the 3rd last word, I might not have made such a fool of myself. Of course, now I’ve also called attention to it. Puro’s intelligence is a thing in progress!

    I refused an invite to tour SA in the 80’s and amusingly (term used lightly) a SA player subsequently ended my sporting career (always love to see the Boks loose lol

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”></div>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

    @ichabod First, happy birthday. Second,

    He says Ashildr is a hybrid — because of the Mire-tech chip?  Of from before that?  His being so struck by the familiarity of her fact back at the beginning suggests that he could know things about her from another encounter that nobody else knows, like that she’s always been a hybrid, or was made into one at some earlier time.

    Here is the last exchange in the episode between the Doctor and Clara. I take the Doctor’s reference to “isn’t just human anymore” to mean Ashildr is now a hybrid, but was not one before.

    The Doctor: I was angry, I was emotional. Just possibly I’ve made a terrible mistake. Maybe even a tidal wave. Time will tell, it always does.
    Clara: Whatever you did for Ashildr, I think she deserved it.
    The Doctor: Yes. Yes, she did. But Ashildr isn’t just human anymore. A little piece of alien in her, so inside a way, she’s…. In a way… she’s a hybrid.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    When I watched the episode, I was struck by Clara’s wording: “I think she deserved it”.

    That seems to me to have rather negative implications. As opposed, say, to “I think she earned it”.

    Not sure I have a point to make, beyond the fact that the phrase seemed rather strange in the context.


    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni


    Just back at the computer after taking another look at the last couple of minutes of the episode… The use of “she deserved it” didn’t seem untowards. I took the exchange in the sense of, say, someone winning a prize for her efforts and an onlooker agreeing that the prizewinner indeed deserved it.

    Seeing that last scene in the Tardis again underlined for me how beautifully it was played by Peter Capaldi.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Only just caught up on the reading, my computer kind of went crazy for a few days. Apologies to @purofilion and @janetteb for the delay. I’m amazed you think of me as a good source for Tarot though. I only started looking into it when it was first mentioned in relation to this series and all research I’ve done on it has come from the internet. It’s only @kharis that truly knows her stuff, as far as I know at least.

    @jphamlore good catch on the Shadow Proclamation and “Suicide Moons”. I had forgotten about them to be honest, but I’ve got to admit no you’ve reminded me the lack of a reappearance is somewhat jarring, like they are part of a larger arc that might not even be concluded this series.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Late night bonkerising now. So Davros assumed that the reason The Doctor fled Gallifrey was because of his part in creating a hybrid. But what if the Doctor IS the hybrid? Some reports says he’s human on his mother’s side, and who’s more warmongering than the Gallifreyans and Humans?

    Anonymous @

    @bendubz11 Was that the Cartmel Master plan: the whole “Doctor is human on mother’s side”?

    I never followed it then -when that idea ‘appeared,’ and don’t really know much about it now either 🙂

    Still, interesting <<*|*>>

    I spose even the Doctor -as he is -is a hybrid in a way. He loves earth, the Gallifreyans are similar to humans, he spends more time here than anywhere else (except when living with otters!) and speaks fondly of us ‘earthlings’ knowing we are “defended” as well as being a compassionate and caring species which evolves (generally) ‘upwards’

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Humans have been known to be a warlike threat to the entire galaxy since the Second Doctor serial The War Games.

    But there is going to be a need for a lot more bodies than one hybrid.   Because the Time Lords are never going to make it back into this universe in their old bodies.  They’re going to have to try to “upload the mind, upgrade the body.”

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @countscarlioni: Great catch on the line “Time will tell,” from the Seventh Doctor serial Remembrance of the Daleks.

    One of my pet theories for this season is that the Hand of Omega or some renamed equivalent makes an appearance to create a new black hole out of the relatively nearby-to-Earth red giant Betelgeuse, so I am hoping this reference is much more than it seems.

    Missy @missy


    I feel that the Tardis has more control than that.

    Missy @missy

    @jphamlore A very good point about the Tardis possibly rejecting the Master as a long-term companion. After all, it is the Tardis that most of the time is calling the shots as to where the Doctor goes.

    When I first saw “Bad Wolf” in series 1 with Christopher Eccleston, I began to wonder. The Doctor having sent Rose home, giving the Tardis instructions not to return, Rose manages to open the Tardis and look into her heart – vortex, I forget what it’s called. Rose returns, tells the Doctor : “I want you safe, my Doctor.”
    Was this
    Rose talking, or was it the Tardis, speaking through Rose.
    In The Doctor’s wife, when DW calls her “My Tardis” she replies “My Doctor.”
    I truly feel that the Tardis, has more to do with events than we think.
    Well, that’s my bonkers theory for what it’s worth. That blue box, has always been my favourite character.
    Every night I look up, just in case I see a little blue box flying around – well, you never know – do you?
    Right, back on the Valium for me.



    Missy @missy


    It’s taken me long enough. Hello right back at you.


    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @purofilion Indeed, all is well, just events, you know. Plus a touch of writers/bloggers/theorisers block. But things are about to change – I’ll be officially retiring as of 1 Jan 2016! So loads of time to watch Who – I might even get to see episodes more than once. Loads of time to write, read, listen to music, go for walks, travel, do my PhD, and do charity stuff. So expect me to be showing up here a lot more often, speculating madly about links to obscure French New Wave films or the Mabinogion or whatever, or just enthusing incoherently.

    And I do so agree with your point about the depth and complexity of the conversations stimulated by Who, and what that says about the programme. This whole ‘just a kids show’ riles me. It’s not the ‘kids show’, it’s the ‘just’. As if kids don’t deserve complex, nuanced, layered writing, narratives with ambiguity and loose ends – and as if writing like that doesn’t have masses to offer to adult audiences as well. The books I devoured as a kid fuelled my imagination, and still do, and they led me to Greek and Norse myth, British history, science fiction, and the literary classics. They were aimed at kids, not books I took off my parents’ shelves, but their writers never dumbed down, they gave their primary audience fabulous stories, beautifully written, and which could give more to the reader every time they revisited them. Of course, some people use the phrase ‘just a story’ which riles me even more. What could be more important than stories? Stories, as we know, can make us fly.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @purofilion I am not well read on the Cartmel Plan at all, but considering it’s to do with Mcgann I would presume so, which fits in nicely if you follow the belief Moffat is redoing it now with different names

    tommo @tommo

    @nerys – oh right. i was referencing the moment in ‘name of..’ where she jumps into the timestream;

    Mersey @mersey


    “Clara certainly wasn’t perfect as a human in her first series”.

    Compare her life to the other companions. Look at her perfect parents. Her handsome father (remember Rose’s father?), and good-looking mother so sweet and nice. We can see at the beginning of The Rings of Akhaten her childhood and it looks perfect. Her family is completely happy (remember Martha’s family?). Yes, her mother dies but that is a plot point. Clara needs her magical leaf to save the day. And again, Clara who is working as a nanny is completely happy. And she’s so helpful. Her life is not miserable but it looks really good. She doesn’t look like a person who desperately wants to change something in it. But maybe the word “perfect” is not so suitable here. Maybe “idyllic” is better. Maybe there’s something in Clara that can explain that but we didn’t get any clue about it in her first season.


    “I liked her as soon as she showed some spunk on her own behalf, which was S8.”

    For me she was still too perfect companion. She was capable of landing on Gallifrey (?)!

    We know that Clara is leaving the Tardis. I hope it’s not another tragic story. I want a happy ending for a change without Doctor feeling guilty again. I’m naive, aren’t I?

    tommo @tommo

    <span class=”useratname”>@spacedmunkee – re. It Follows (great film)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Look at her perfect parents.

    One of whom is dead.

    Sorry, you don’t get away with that by a bit of handwavium ‘that’s just a plot point’. In the less-than-perfect childhood stakes, being orphaned (or, in Clara’s case, half-orphaned) comes pretty high up. Her family is completely happy? Yeah, apart from the whole standing-by-mum’s-grave thing – which is definitely, for most families, a bit of a downer, a major crisis, sometimes a catastrophe.

    As plot points go, Clara’s dead mother is a driving force in her Series 7 life. It causes her, for example, to temporarily put her gap year plans on hold when Angie and Artie lose their Mum. She’s not completely happy as a Nanny; she’d rather be travelling (she says so). She’s very firm that she’s still going to travel later – but right now, those kids need her. This drives Series 7 Part 2; the Doctor is offering her a means of travelling (what she wants) without leaving Angie and Artie (what she feels is her duty).

    Even after the ‘plot point’ of the leaf, Clara’s dead mother is still a driving force through Series 7 Part 2, Series 8 and now Series 9; why does she react so fiercely when Danny dies, when it looks as if the Doctor might die? Because she lost her Mum when she was still a child.

    If you’re completely convinced that Clara is ‘perfect’ you’ve probably missed these little points. The writer has given her a normal, middle class childhood with parents who loved her. And it probably was a very happy childhood – right up to the moment when her mother died.

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