The Magician’s Apprentice

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    ScaryB @scaryb

    Interesting thoughts about the “CD” everyone.  I haven’t had a chance to go back and study it, but it strikes me that it’s clearly been foregrounded, then backgrounded again. Why does it go to Missy? ie another Timelord, albeit the most untrustworthy of the lot, rather than the trusted and loyal Clara?  @bluesqueakpip‘s comments got me thinking about “Get out of jail free” cards. Yes, it’s to be opened after his death – but maybe rather than containing a confession, it enables his “resurrection” (hopefully as an alternative to regeneration), or rescue in some way (eg from a different dimension/espace/parallel universe etc). Maybe it needs another Timelord’s DNA, or just the knowledge, to activate it?

    Anonymous @


    indeed. And yet he also uses Clara in his ‘plot’ we think? Not The Impossible Girl – but a companion doing something possible -to help

    So maybe it activates with some sort of password which isn’t necessarily the condition of death: because we know the Doctor has a  plot to save himself -and maybe the others (or can return to save the others?). Missy must get something out of this, though. Something big.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Regarding the CD (Of Rassillon)

    If there’s any Time Lady in the entire universe who’ll know how to open a supposedly unopenable CD (even if it is of Rassillon), it’ll be Missy. So I think the big fib she’s telling is not what the disc is. Ohila, for example, looks at the thing as if it’s some kind of CD of Doom. And, as I say above, Missy is having a bit of a translation problem when she tries to explain what it is – which suggests she’s genuinely trying to explain what it is, rather than making up a convenient lie.

    The important thing to notice is that this disc has been handled by the Doctor, Ohila and Missy without the slightest problem. However, when Clara picks the thing up, it goes off like a burglar alarm.

    Other points I note in the scene – Missy positions the ‘open’ section towards Clara, very deliberately. However, she definitely doesn’t think Clara should open it – the ‘No, no, no, what are you doing?’ has a very strong vibe of ‘you silly child’ underneath it.

    If we take the tradition of ‘closest friend’ as genuine, that suggests Missy’s next line:

    Well, of course it was sent to me. What have you got to do with it? I’m his friend, you’re just…

    could suggest that Missy was about to reveal what, exactly Clara is – but stopped herself in time.

    Given Missy’s unique outlook on life, Clara could be anything from Missy’s own planted assassin/spy to part of the Doctor’s close family. But Clara is not, in Missy’s view, the Doctor’s ‘friend’. It should also be obvious to Clara that she’d never be sent the disc.

    Since Clara picked up on the unfinished line, it has to be explained somehow, and Missy spots the couple with the dog and describes Clara as the ‘puppy’. However, the next thing she does after the puppy thing is to pull her ear – in human body language that would be a stress reaction; Missy has just said or heard something she didn’t really want to hear.

    So: the CD of Rassillon has already been opened (or part of it, containing Missy’s instructions, has opened) – that’s why it’s a plain disc in the prologue but has an obvious opening in The Magician’s Apprentice. I’d say it genuinely is a ‘Confession’ disc (possibly with added extras), but who is the confession really for? And why can’t Clara even touch the thing? And what was Missy about to say before she stopped herself and diverted Clara with the demeaning ‘puppy’?

    Hiding in plain sight: since we know the Doctor has just done something terrible with Boy Davros, the misdirection could well be that we’re all supposed to assume the Confession Disc (of Rassillon) contains the confession about Boy Davros.

    But suppose it’s another confession entirely?

    Mudlark @mudlark


    If we take the tradition of ‘closest friend’ as genuine, that suggests Missy’s next line:

    Well, of course it was sent to me. What have you got to do with it? I’m his friend, you’re just…

    could suggest that Missy was about to reveal what, exactly Clara is – but stopped herself in time

    A very good point.  Cue another re-watch methinks.


    suppose it’s another confession entirely?

    The real reason that the Doctor left Gallifrey in the first place ???

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Missy must get something out of this, though. Something big.

    There is definitely a long-range Missy plan, and it definitely involves Clara. Missy, after all, is the person who introduced Clara to the Doctor. Who made sure Clara was introduced to the Doctor.

    Introducing Clara to the Doctor has directly resulted in the Smith Doctor surviving the Great Intelligence’s attempt to destroy the Doctor’s time line, the War Doctor not destroying Gallifrey and the Doctor in general being granted another cycle of regenerations. All of these things involved changing time; the Doctor’s present, the Doctor’s past, the Doctor’s future. So there’s some long-range Missy plan that involves Clara keeping the Doctor alive, saving Gallifrey from destruction (possibly simply because Missy was on Gallifrey) and getting him a new set of regenerations.

    What complicates all this is the undoubted fact that we’ve seen the Master risk his life for the Doctor – it was the Simm Master’s exit scene in The End of Time. There could also be the complication of a Spike-like self-interest thing going on – in Buffy S2, when Spike points out that he may be evil, but he rather likes the world, so isn’t going to be on the side of the people trying to end it.

    So it could be that what she’s going to get out of it is simply the survival of herself and her playmate, so they can carry on playing those lethal games. The Doctor, after all, is never going to ask for a new set of regenerations for himself, so it’s up to Missy to arrange it. Or it could be that this is tied up with her usual long range, convoluted, nutty plans to rule the universe.

    I’m fairly sure, though, that if she’s working for the Time Lords it’s only because she and they both want the same thing – or she can get what she does want by working for them.

    Brewski @brewski

    I’ve spent all this time reading just to get caught up!  What great thoughts here, everyone!

    Regarding Boy Davros, I want to agree with most everyone to a point and then diverge wildly.

    Of course the Doctor does not go back to kill the boy.

    Yes he exterminates the handmines instead.


    THIS is just fulfilling destiny as it always was. As Davros always remembered it.

    Davros survives, thanks to the Doctor.  He lives to go on to fight in the war, to become horribly mutilated, to see his planet ravaged.

    That act of compassion, in Davros’ view, was the cruelest thing he could have done to him! Rather than letting him die quickly and mercilessly.

    “Davros remembers” what the Doctor did to him. He allowed him to live that awful life.  Curse his compassion!


    ScaryB @scaryb

    @mudlark @bluesqueakpip

    Love you both!! You are awe-inspiring.


    *backs off, in grovelling admiration, for another rewatch!*

    And agree with @brewski‘s comment –

    “Davros remembers” what the Doctor did to him. He allowed him to live that awful life.  Curse his compassion!”

    (I think I posted something similar, but not so well expressed. Maybe Davros also blames the Doctor for “enabling” him to create the Daleks, something he now regrets when he sees how out of control his “children” are. Maybe…)

    Brewski @brewski

    Regarding Missy’s flippant “I’m back”:

    This is a cheeky Moffat joke.  He has said in interviews that he used to love the way the Master could die horribly one week and be back the next with nothing more than “I escaped”.

    He’s doing a little homage to that.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Of course the Doctor does not go back to kill the boy.

    Yes he exterminates the handmines instead.

    Hmmm. But why go back with a weapon (not really a Doctor sort of thing) and exterminate the hand mines? If he went back to assuage his conscience, why not go back to do what he was trying to do in the first place, get the boy to focus on the “one” in the one chance in a thousand, and effect a very Doctor-like rescue?

    I’m not saying you are wrong, but the scenario (killing what are presumably living creatures) doesn’t sound like the Doctor to me.

    Brewski @brewski

    Regarding the Confession Dial.  (And I’m finding the parenthetical “of Rassilon” to be hysterical,  btw):

    I agree that the line is more likely a pointer in the dial.  Like it’s counting down to something.

    However, I would like to offer a Moffat-esque use of “The Doctor’s Will”

    Not will like a death document.  Will like desire, wish, or power.  Like “my will be done”.  It is a device to do his bidding in some way.

    Brewski @brewski


    Ach! You guys always beat me to it.  🙂

    Have to go back and re-read now!

    Brewski @brewski


    Interesting point.  Though he has done such things in the past.  The Vervoids for instance.

    Need to rethink it.

    But I’m not sure it changes the larger point: by whatever means he saves Davros, his (Davros’ s) resentment for it stands.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Indeed. But that was the 6th Doctor (who, let’s face it, had his own problems–namely, John Nathan Turner). But it is not the sort of thing I would expect Moffat’s Doctor to do.

    Your main point, though, is a good one.

    DoctorCapaldi @doctorcapaldi

    [spoileri]Text Goes Here![/spoileri]

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @brewski Your ideas have got me thinking about the Doctor the the weapon.

    These are just thinking aloud thoughts. Now, I am assuming that because of what happened at the beginning of the episode (the Doctor finding the boy Davros and running away) that Davros now remembers. But, what if the Doctor goes back with a modified Dalek weapon to exterminate Davros’s memory of the encounter with the Doctor on the battlefield (both encounters actually) and then saves boy Davros in some typical Doctor way–the result being that the Doctor redeems himself in his own eyes, and effectively counters Davros’s belief that “compassion is wrong”?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @doctorcapaldi, @craig

    Your post above seems to have been a spoiler–ALL spoilers on the Spoiler page ONLY!


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    What do the handmines do?

    I speculate the handmines digest their prey and convert the prey’s cells to more handmines. This digestion and conversion process is why I think they may be able to mutate DNA and create mutants is someone somehow escapes. Thus this is a mechanism to create a Davros. Note the Doctor seems somewhat aware of what they can do and how to counter them.

    Now what would happen if handmines would try and digest a Time Lord …

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    One slightly cheeky thought regarding the Doctor playing his own theme tune when he enters on the tank:

    I wonder if part of the reason for this was simply that – after paying for the rights of Nick Cave’s Crying Song and the rights for the ‘Pretty Woman’ riff – they were simply out of money? So they used a piece of music to which they already had the rights… 😀

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Aww, thank you! (shuffles feet, blushing profusely)

    SlappyBags @slappybags

    I definitely think he is going back to exterminate the hand mines, not Davros.  I also think it will end up having a very Quantum Leap-ish result of the Doctor trying to fix his mistake is what causes the mistake in the first place.  Something like “compassion is wrong because your compassion is what allowed the Daleks!!”  Would be very timey whimey at least.

    lisa @lisa

    Is the CD a key to something else? If the lines in the pattern are
    made to line up then does that trigger a chameleon circuit to change
    it into something else? The chameleon circuit on the Tardis makes
    it look like a phone box . You can look at it and call it a phone box
    but its not that. I cant wait to see when/if it turns into something!

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    I think we have reached the point where there has to be an advancement of the Dalek story, some resolution to the Dalek problem. Wasn’t Moffat supposed to have thought the Daleks needed to be given a rest back in 2011? With the reappearance of Skaro this means millions of Daleks could be waiting to be unleashed on the universe. But we have been seeing this story of a Dalek army that can never be fully unleashed all the way since at least the classic series, Pertwee Doctor, Planet of the Daleks. Last season’s Dalek story just wasn’t that memorable for a Dalek story.

    The Shadow Proclamation which appears in this story seems to be something of a United Nations or more specifically the Security Council. Yet here are the Daleks openly setting up death camps where they rule. And I don’t think the story is trying to say the Shadow Proclamation is toothless, divided, and ineffective against evil. It is just that the Shadow Proclamation is outgunned. They have the will not the means instead of having the means but not the will.

    And that is another reason for the Time Lords to never be brought back. They just were horrible at the task of maintaining interstellar order after a promising start slaying giant vampires. First they went evil creating the Dead Zone then they retreated into stulified bureaucratic decay. And then when they finally went to war they lost versus the Daleks despite having all of those secret forbidden weapons.

    It is time for the other species to step up as a group to the task of containing the Daleks, something that was promised at least as far back as Genesis of the Daleks.

    lisa @lisa

    This is a bit off topic but it just seemed interesting. In the middle of the page
    are pictures of ancient church graffiti to ward off evil and witches. Looks a little
    like the markings on the Galifreyan CD. 🙂

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    A great link! I read the article. It was fascinating. And the symbols on page 2 were, as you point out, very evocative of the markings on the Doctor’s Portable CD Player. Others on the site, who are far more erudite in matters medieval than I, will, I am sure, enlighten us further.


    Anonymous @


    Yes I said something similar regarding the dial counting down to something. So, I agree. Your idea of it being set up as a will: “my will, should this happen, is….” v. interesting indeed.

    @bluesqueakpip Good heavens  -and I bet you’ve watched it only 2 times! So, I didn’t notice the ear tugs, or the deliberate pause before she set of some words which Clara isn’t to know (her heritage… or more?) as well as the pointing of the dial directly at Clara -when we could have seen it ‘upside’ down like the original CD comparison rather than as @mudlark referred to it “as the concentric patterns on a sun dial”. It was pointed deliberately towards Clara.

    So. Lark, something as a confession regarding Gallifrey? Something beyond/before  the time war -which made the Master more than what he/she is?

    Or something which will help him (the Doctor) become a better man? A good man? (which chapter was closed last season?)

    @blenkinsopthebrave that’s an awesome idea -to exterminate/or change the memory of Davros’ encounter but to then discover that he, Davros, will not/cannot ever change.

    Like @scaryb I must also doff hats to these theories and keen viewing. I must watch properly. With a notebook and a diagram because I’m haunted by Pip’s reminder just how significant Clara was, and is, to Missy’s plans for universe -how Clara was there for the Doctor’s past, present and future. The most significant companion we’ve ever had, I believe.

    How long has she been planning? The pay off, I always thought, was over last season..

    Anonymous @

    @lisa that was very interesting! @mudlark did you have a read?

    I recall, in the’70s’, @janetteb, that one could buy a child’s toy which contained rings and circles which when used with other sized rings and special pens, would create the most intricate designs -much like Gallifreyan writing but (as it seemed to be marketed for young girl children) it tended towards flowers and other expansions of the same… Do you remember it at all?

    I was, incidentally, terrible at it, as my circles would never quite line up. Parents then, rather than sitting down with you to puzzle it about for awhile, dumped it on you and if wouldn’t work properly we’d all give up for about another year 🙂

    Aright, time for 3rd watch now, I think….:)

    Anonymous @

    @blenkinsopthebrave -sorry about that, what I meant was I loved your theory -it is just right,  but then I added the idea about Davros not changing much anyway, as, for whatever reason, Davros has another life changing moment which causes him to create the very Daleks the Doctor was hoping his own ‘new,’ re-timed actions, would actually prevent. I do wonder about your valid point about the Doctor killing other creatures -creatures which lack sentience, to a point, and are doing what they’re simply programmed to do.

    He would try to re-programme them rather than say “exterminate” and point a gun at them so provocatively?

    Which leads me back to who or what is the Doctor ‘exterminating’ in the first place?

    Because it isn’t going to be Davros, I’m presuming!

    Argh! head is going back ‘n’ forth….

    Anonymous @

    @lisa (sorry mods I’m doubling up posts here) but I missed your very good idea about the dial triggering a response like a chameleon circuit! This is very good.

    I also like the idea of it having multiple uses: surely good time lord tech would be able to do a variety of things which are basically safety measures: ” If something happens to me, in the event where I have no plan & my death is imminent, then the Tardis is to be…..”

    I would hope the Tardis is protected.

    I recall that even dead, the Doctor’s DNA was so powerful his body needed to be cremated (although these were Gallifreyan funeral rites too) at Lake Silencio, and the Tardis, like Chris’ Doctor said in 2005, should “sit on a street corner, somewhere,” gathering dust (and stick- on posters!).

    Now, perhaps it disappearing in a flash of light suggests a Tardis transfer to the nearest safest place because the Doctor would surely predict Missy’s attempt at a “deal” to ensure her life can carry on if the Daleks commit to a bargain by saving the Tardis too… mind you, her “deal,” whilst a very Master-like  attempt to save his own skin, could still be part of the plan to foil the Daleks…

    Now, to entirely remove the fun of the story, could the Doctor not do something different to save the child, initially? Hover the Tardis above the mines and mud, provide an air corridor of safety or even initialise a protocol whereby the Tardis alights around the child?


    Anonymous @

    One last thing, when the gent comes to Clara’s classroom door, and says “they’re trying to put you through to the PM!” does Clara say “you’re such a mop!” ??

    Or was that my poor hearing?

    Help! Because I don’t like Clara’s tone there…I suppose it sets her up for the fall -first she’s quite smug at being clever and “saucy” and realising things UNIT haven’t thought of (planes with loads of delicious weaponising fuel etc.) and then she’s merely a gulping fish (or puppy) utterly flummoxed by Missy and the biting Dial.

    GallifreyanGoldfish @thecleverzygon

    @purofilion That’s a good theory, but if that were the case, why would the Doctor look so troubled when Missy was attempting to break a deal. It could be an act since he was in front of Davros, but I think something might’ve happened without the Doctor knowing it.



    lisa @lisa

    @blenkisopthebrave I can imagine SM keeps up on all this kind of history too!

    @purofilion During DW season I seem to get over taken with all the comings
    and goings of this show. It’s great having the forum to share speculations and read
    everyone else’s !!! Such extremely clever people here!

    Missy could have found the Doctor herself. She has always been able to follow and find
    both him and Clara. So why does she really want Clara to be there? Hm?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Missy could have found the Doctor herself. She has always been able to follow and find
    both him and Clara. So why does she really want Clara to be there? Hm?

    Indeed. I suspect this is a plan that has been arranged by the Doctor and Missy. Clara’s role in it? Yeah, that one stumps me too.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Good heavens, there is never any need for an apology.

    What truly dreadful Hollywood film gave us the excrable line: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”? Well, we both know but good taste stops us from mentioning it. And I do not want you to take that literally. Oh dear, this is not going the way I intended. I just mean that we are all compatriots on this site (this isn’t helping either, is it?)

    Crikey, this post isn’t turning out the way it was intended. Obviously it’s time to retire (but I am retired)…OK, I mean time to go to bed. Oh dear, it’s still not coming out right…

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Even in the classic series the Master apparently went up and down the Doctor’s timeline. The Master knew about the existence of the Valeyard.

    I am starting to wonder if the current Doctor will eventually make an effort to randomize his timeline to throw off Missy’s tracking of him. Even in the classic series, the Fourth Doctor in Pyramids of Mars took Sarah to an alternate future where Sutekh the Destroyer had been left unchecked to ravage the universe including Earth. In Last Christmas note the dream older Clara calls the Doctor “impossible”.

    Serahni @serahni

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned because I’ve been trying to keep up with the wonderful speculation via my phone, but with the theories surrounding Clara’s significance, (fueled by the fact that we know Coleman makes an exit some time this series), has anyone thrown into the ring the possibility of the device being another form of Chameleon Arch?  With so much still seeming to be unanswered about how Clara fits into the bigger picture, and all the previous pondering regarding the significance of Susan etc, could the disc contain not something pertaining to the Doctor but Clara instead?  I’m trying to find deeper connections to tie the theory into and my brain doesn’t want to work, but I think a lot of us have been expecting some sort of final reveal about her identity.  IS she a Time Lady parading as a human!  With River reputed to be back this season, daughter of The Doctor and his Wife seems at least a possible final conclusion.  Or perhaps just wishful thinking on my part. 😉

    geoffers @geoffers



    they weren’t just for girls… or, if they were, i didn’t care! those were fun!


    geoffers @geoffers


    wishful thinking on my part, as well! i was thinking she is chameleon arched way back before ‘the name of the doctor.’ it could help explain how a mere human could enter the doctor’s time stream, and survive, when the great intelligence could not. time lord dna hiding away, waiting to be reactivated. and last season, she seemed to be being trained to be more doctor-ish…



    Anonymous @


    Spirograph! Holy heck! Of course, it’s all coming back to me now…

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @serahni: It is worrisome to me that Clara other than her teaching has no life outside of her travels with the Doctor. I would draw parallels with Donna Noble who states that all she wanted to do was travel with the Doctor forever. Even in the context of the Dr Who fictional universe, that cannot happen. At least Rory and Amy had each other. And I think it can only be done once to duplicate the Doctor and have the shippers’ dreams finally come true of pairing Rose with a version of the Doctor.

    I don’t know when Clara’s arc will end, but I suspect it will end bittersweet at best. Scattered throughout time to be the Doctor’s guardian angel as the Impossible Girl actually would have been the most appropriate end to her character arc and would have easily allowed her to return any time if Jenna Coleman’s had an opening in her schedule.

    The show for the moment seems to have gone away from the blatant foreshadowing such as Bad Wolf. That is kind of a shame. It might have been perfect to have some countdown occurring appearing to be for the Doctor’s demise but instead to wind up being Clara’s, perhaps her time being up so that she would have to disappear back into the timestream to be the Impossible Girl.

    Anonymous @


    It is worrisome to me that Clara other than her teaching has no life outside of her travels with the Doctor

    Does she need ‘anyone’? Specifically? I don’t think so. Her life (she’s terribly young to me) has just begun. There’s a  lot for her -her career IS something. Her travels, a great side-bar and then, eventually more….or maybe she will die, in some small or great gesture. It’s more than a  lot of ppl actually have. I think she’s lucky either way. Yes, Danny has died. But, in the end it’s how you die: and he ‘died’ well. Of course, no death is necessarily good -all, in war, seem worthless and small. But there was a resolution for him and for Clara too. She was able to make a parting farewell.

    Crikey, this post isn’t turning out the way it was intended. Obviously it’s time to retire (but I am retired)…OK, I mean time to go to bed. Oh dear, it’s still not coming out right

    @blenkinsopthebrave -it always comes out just fine!! Sleep well, the Blenkinsops: this means you are closer to the next episode than us Ozzies, now!


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @purofilion: However in the teaser interviews for this season I believe it has been specifically mentioned that the Doctor and Clara are going to be in their peak form in their traveling relationship, but what does that mean for Clara? I interpret this as implying traveling with the Doctor is a high that Clara is going to find difficult to match with anything else after she stops being his companion, and that time must eventually come as it does to all companions.

    Like it or not I believe most of the happier departures of female companions from the series have been shown to have either some moral cause or some romance as the reason. Romana could leave to fight for E-space, Nyssa could leave to tend to the patients on Terminus, Amy and Rory at least had each other, Rose had a one-life duplicate of the Doctor, etc. The one bad ending was Donna Noble who had no one and nothing outside of the Doctor.

    Anonymous @


    “Like it or not I believe most of the happier departures of female companions from the series have been shown to have either some moral cause or some romance as the reason. Romana could leave to fight for E-space..”


    to tend to the patients on Terminus, Amy and Rory at least had each other, Rose had a one-life duplicate of the Doctor…”


    Whilst Donna moans in perpetuity?  🙂

    No, Donna had a life. She made another, equally happy existence. Unfortunately, Tennant/RTD (if it was that showrunner) had to ensure she won money -coz that’s every female’s fantasy; without your own personal Doctor then wads of cash must absolutely help.

    I’m not sure how to get around these scenarios. It’s why a number of well known female authors say it’s easier to write about male characters who appear “successful”. The answer is to create different scenarios and to be happy with life -whatever tedium that might imply? As Tennant’s Doctor would say “fish and chips? Fantastic!”

    “Telly and chips? Fantastic!”

    Agatha Christie suffered. And she overcame it. So we hope.

    Donna created her own world away from the snark, Nerys

    (no offence @nerys -because you’re perfectly lovely!)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    It is worrisome to me that Clara other than her teaching has no life outside of her travels with the Doctor.

    What other life is she supposed to have that we’d see? Seriously? Her family live in Cumbria while she lives in London – and we’ve seen them turn up when Danny died. Her boyfriend died – and while she’s obviously moving on, it’s fair enough that she hasn’t yet acquired another boyfriend. And she has a successful career as a classroom teacher.

    If you’re looking for Clara’s ‘moral cause’ on Earth, it’s looking right back at you. She is a classroom teacher in an inner city school whose catchment areas include some very deprived and impoverished parts of London.

    @purofilion – I think you’re forgetting that Wilf had already mentioned to the Doctor that he was worried about Donna, because she and her husband-to-be were flat broke. Donna was concentrating on charity work – and wanted to do more – and her husband-to-be was currently unemployed due to the then recession.

    It’s fairly typical of the Doctor to miscalculate financial needs by a spare million or so. He does a very similar thing with the Ponds, when he buys them a house and car they couldn’t possibly afford.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Thanks for the link.  I hadn’t come across the article in Archaeology, but I was aware of the project.  Norfolk and Suffolk were my professional stamping ground before I retired, and I am familiar with quite a few of the churches.  Norfolk in particular is a good place for investigating the incidence of such graffiti, if only because of the sheer number of medieval churches in the county – far more, and in far greater density than anywhere else in the UK.  Many are now ruinous or were adapted for other uses after the Reformation, but at one time it wasn’t uncommon for there to be two, and occasionally even three in one parish.  Norfolk in the medieval period was a very wealthy county, and the land in parishes was often divided between several manors – hence several lords of the manor with a need to demonstrate their piety, and perhaps compensate for their sins by endowing churches.

    But I digress.

    The patterns look very like the kind of thing that we used to draw with our compasses on the covers of our rough work books when I was at school, and one or two do, indeed, look a bit like a simple form of Gallifreyan calligraphy.

    As regards the design on the CD (of Rassilon), the lines radiate across only part of the arc of the dial, like the lines radiating from the gnomon of a sundial and, as in some sundials, the point from which they radiate is off-centre, so the design isn’t completely symmetrical.  It occurs to me that the dark segment even looks a bit like the shadow cast by the gnomon.

    @lisa  @serahni   I rather like the idea that it might be some sort of device akin to a chameleon arch fob watch – perhaps a back-up for the essential Doctor – which would still make Missy’s statement true in a fashion, in the sense that it was a testament to the Doctor’s life.

    @jphamlore   With respect to Clara’s arc, we should bear in mind the heavy hints last season that her future might be curtailed, and that the Doctor knew something about her eventual fate.


    when the gent comes to Clara’s classroom door, and says “they’re trying to put you through to the PM!” does Clara say “you’re such a mop!” ??

    What she actually said was the man’s name, Mr Dunlop, but she was speaking very rapidly and it was hard to catch (I confess that I often turn the sub-titles on for my second viewing, just in case I missed anything important the first time ).

    Anonymous @


    thank you for that! I was sure I’d heard it wrong -I’m glad I did.

    @bluesqueakpip Oh, I know he does: exactly, with the house and the sport’s car for young Rory. I suppose that it annoys me somewhat -that is the Doctor’s way of reconciling the difficult decisions and the sorrows others experience for him and during travels with him.

    I don’t actually think that was my biggest concern -it could be another’s suggestion that Clara’s life isn’t enough. Or may fail to be ‘enough.’

    So I dislike the implication that Clara has a “little life”  -that “simple teaching” isn’t sufficient unless you have a relationship with a male. In fact as someone who once worked in impoverished areas (at least 26 yrs ago, now) it peeves me to tears that this would be considered second best, somehow or insufficient (and in your post above you said it very well). I think Danny said it correctly in disagreeing with Clara about going outside oneself: that for him, the inner life on earth was not just sufficient but also wondrous.

    Not that life with the Doctor is the only life -for Clara, but that her career can be and should be busy and exacting -at least for a while. If she wishes to build a family later, then she may.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Hi everyone.
    Blimey, I’ll try not to be so late next time – there’s such a lot to read! And it’s all so good – I can’t take it all in!
    Here’s a question I don’t think has cropped up yet: Does exterminating people make them disappear? Don’t they just light up a bit and then fall down? We got a close-up of the dalek that “exterminated” Missy, and he was just using a basic whisk to shoot her with – I didn’t think they could vaporise people?
    That’s my main reason for thinking the pair of them escaped using their fancy watches. Not sure if it would be possible for Missy to transport into the Tardis – but it would be a neat solution if she could. I definitely think she was hatching some sort of escape plan, and that her “You can burn it all” speech was a diversion.



    And on another point –I can’t resist pointing out a link to our old friend Goethe. He wrote a poem called Der Zauberlehrling, which is normally translated as “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” but one could just as easily substitute Sorcerer for Magician.
    The tale itself is better known as a children’s story, and is the basis for one of the animated stories in Disney’s Fantasia.
    Goethe’s “Apprentice” tries to use magic, in the sorcerer’s absence, to get some cleaning done. However things get out of hand pretty quickly. (Specifically, he enchants a broom and puts it to work carrying water – then finds that he cannot control or stop it.) After a while, the sorcerer returns – problem solved. (Not much of an ending I know – but it is a poem!)
    I think there is a parallel between Goethe’s apprentice and Davros, since both dabble with “magic” of some description (powers/forces/technology) and subsequently lose control. The daleks, like the enchanted broom, do not answer to their “creator.”
    As for the Sorcerer – the Doctor is called “Magician” in this episode (by Bors.) However, in the original poem, the Sorcerer is referred to as “the Master” (by the Apprentice.)
    (I’m determined to shoehorn Goethe into every episode, by the way; this isn’t a one-off…)

    Brewski @brewski

    Can someone more clever than me find/post a screen grab of Missy getting zapped by the Dalek?

    I want to say I saw something outlined around her ankle.  Like a hidden vortex manipulator?

    lisa @lisa

    @idiotsavon Hey I remember you from way back 🙂 In season eight even when
    they were zapped showing the red ‘after’ light they disappear. I agree however
    that dead people usually leave behind their bodies.

    @brewski I was thinking that maybe she pre-dialed the vortex manipulators
    at some point with a delay?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Davros as the Magician’s Apprentice. I like it!

    I, for one, am looking forward to your Goethe-heavy analysis of season 9…


    Brewski @brewski


    Could have been a Gallifeyan Wedding Anklet. 😉

    Not sure what, but just think I saw something there.

    I’ll try to find a link to a screen shot.


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