The Pyramid at the End of the World

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    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I repeat. Bill’s phone ringtone could be of some significance. (see post 58281)

    I noticed it before but I wanted to see if any other companions have had the same ringtone. I don’t really have the time to scan every episode to check this! I did do it with the Zygon 2-parter though – Clara’s mobile had a normal ringtone…


    To be fair the Doctor hears it during the episode & makes no comment. Perhaps it’s reverted to being ‘the Dr Who theme’ & it was the Doctor who supplied it to Bill…..

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Really hoping that Sutekh is the brains behind the Monks. I’d give that a standing ovation!


    The monks remind me of Rascar Capac from Tintin – a mummy that comes alive in everyone’s nightmares…..



    lisa @lisa

    @wolfweed      You know it does sound a bit like the Osirians  and the powers they had?

    They’ve had previous interests in the Earth  and pyramids too.

    I was thinking it could be Rassilon and a web of time thing.  Particularly since  the

    “assumption”  of Mondasians in some episodes and the conclusion of this trilogy

    leading into that?


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Steven Moffat co-wrote the Tintin movie, so is probably aware of Rascar Capac (bloody creepy he is too!)


    @lisa  The TARDIS has already run the program for disguise as a pyramid – in ‘Logopolis’…..



    On a sad note, (In the next issue of DWM) Steven Moffat reveals why this episode is not as strong as it should have been.


    Bloody tragic.

    Even if people don’t like Moffat’s stuff, it should be appreciated the guy hasn’t had a proper holiday for years. He works blinking hard on the show because he loves it.

    Whisht @whisht

    @pedant – apologies missed a post of yours.

    Battlezone – yeah, I kinda thought similar and then it kinda felt that the designer was given a brief of “a bit like visualising sonar” which to be honest is probably easier than recreating ‘crappy’ (nowadays) visuals (that I remember as being pretty fuckin’ awesome).

    @wolfweed – that is unbelievable. Its also crazy how a show we (I) nitpick at has so short a time for producing. The timelines are crazy (and not really in a timey-wimey way).

    There’s nothing useful I can say for his loss; just hope he has someone he loves who loves him who can hold him through the waves.



    Oh yeah, Battlezone rocked – one of the few video games I was any good at.


    God, that’s horrible. I’ve no idea how he could have worked through that.

    lisa @lisa


    Not only is that  a disturbing personal situation tbh you can totally feel it in this episode.


    That was amazing  and so very interesting catch about the Pyramid!   Thanks for that!


    Whisht @whisht

    @pedant – hats off to you if you were good at Battlezone. From memory I simply spinned around firing bolts and missing stuff. Not sure I was even that accurate in blowing up scenery.

    And now I’ve re-read my reply to Wolfweed’s post about Moffat’s loss and regret not taking my own advice.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @wolfweed Thanks for that info. IMO this script clearly needed work and we now understand better why it couldn’t get it. It’s a pity that schedules couldn’t have been moved to allow Moffat to take time away from the pressures of work. I guess this came at a really bad time (not that there is ever a good time for this to happen of course), coming as it did partway through a 3-parter, so the schedule couldn’t be changed to reorder episodes and bring forward one he was less critical to. I realised the intensity of work during a season, but sometimes that can come at personal cost.

    MissRori @missrori

    Oh wow, that’s horrible and explains so much.  Poor Moffat.  It really is a shame they couldn’t have moved things to later in the season — and here I thought that this storyline was moved back because it was so flawed at the script stage. 🙁  Well, what’s done is done.  Hopefully the wrap up salvages the arc, because “Extremis” was such a good start.

    Talk about bad choices and having to choose…  🙁

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    That’s very sad. Sometimes, continuing to work helps you cope, and sometimes (often the same time), your responsibilities mean that you have to persevere regardless. The loss of a parent, particularly if they are elderly, in my experience, whilst difficult at the time, can be partially reconciled by the knowledge that “they had a good innings” (trite as that phrase may sound). But the real impact (again, only in my experience) comes later, at the most unexpected moments.

    winston @winston

    That is very sad news ,it is always hard to lose a parent . It shows how determined he is to live up to his commitments. Poor man.

    I liked this episode and found it to be a good episode with classic Who themes like an unseen mystery bad guy, a vulnerable Doctor about to be killed, a companion with a bad choice to make and another dead or on the verge of death, the earth in mortal danger. And it was a cliffhanger. Will Bill be enslaved? Will Nardole be OK? Will the Doctor save the earth? Tune in next week to find out.

    My theory is that the pyramid is the Master’s Tardis.Who else is so cruely evil and yet patient enough to plan for sooo long to enslave the earth and the Doctor?

    geoffers @geoffers


    I repeat. Bill’s phone ringtone could be of some significance. (see post 58281)

    what a brilliant catch! i checked ‘the pilot,’ and bill’s ringtone is the same there (when she gets a call from her stepmum)… so is this series dovetailing with the harold saxon storyline, somehow?! could bill’s mum be one of martha’s sisters? wow, i wish i had the time between now and saturday to re-watch most of series 3, to look for further clues…

    i, too, thought “tardis” when bill described a spaceship disguised as a pyramid, but didn’t go any further with the thought. so, would the doctor be fooled by another tardis’s chameleon circuit, or could he have figured it out just when he was walking around in it (as he says to bill, “every trap you walk in to is a chance to learn about your enemies”)?

    as for those asking if there are enough monks to pilot a tardis… in the scene where bill witnesses the three military leaders turned to dust, there are at least 9 monks in the room, so, easily enough, and more!

    Even if people don’t like Moffat’s stuff, it should be appreciated the guy hasn’t had a proper holiday for years. He works blinking hard on the show because he loves it.

    i do love moffat’s stuff, and i am always willing to give him the benefit of a doubt, if his lofty goals for who sometimes don’t come together quite seamlessly (and i’ve said before that i think he spread himself a bit thin, working on sherlock concurrently). but to have to work through the death of his mother, too? i can easily give him a pass for any weakness in the episode, just based on that… 🙁

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @mirime    This. They would just find the next point of imminent doom. They didn’t look like they were giving up, they looked like they were going back to check out their simulations.

    Yes, I agree, the Monks just don’t look as if they are going to abandon the Earth of their own accord. I argued upthread that, given the information available to Bill, much the best choice for her was to save the Doctor. The Doctor stressed the Monks have to be defeated, Bill has seen their awesome powers and how useless human action is against them, and how the Monks see the Doctor as a threat.  As Bill is surely not aware the Doctor can regenerate, not surrendering to the Monks would achieve only a very temporary stay and a dead Doctor.  As @ichabod argues a few comments above (#58292), this is the best strategic choice:  she tries to save what she thinks she can, in hopes of giving the Doctor room to do a fix somehow later on.

    A second viewing brought home how puzzled Bill and Nardole are by the Doctor requesting a coordinated military attack on the pyramid. It’s both un-Doctor-y and, the Doctor must know, doomed to failure, given the alien tech he’s already seen the Monks deploy. Like Bill and Nardole, I’d like to know what that was about!

    ichabod @ichabod

    @wolfweed  Thanks for that very sad news about this terribly hard stress Moffat was under (and still is and will be for a long time, I imagine).  I think Capaldi’s mother died unexpectedly just before they began filming Season 8.  Such a hard, heavy kick in the heart that is . . .

    @countscarlioni    the Doctor requesting a coordinated military attack on the pyramid. It’s both un-Doctor-y and, the Doctor must know, doomed to failure, given the alien tech he’s already seen the Monks deploy. Like Bill and Nardole, I’d like to know what that was about!

    I doubt we’ll find out.  Maybe it was as simple as realizing that his own capacities were so hampered by the blindness that the best first move would be for humanity to try its heavy weapons.  The munks wouldn’t retaliate with deadly force, since they seem to be after non-violent conquest, and all that simulation work suggests not wanting to throw all that away at the last minute.  And he might be able to learn more about them from how they do  react.  He stepped back to let Clara deal with the moon-egg; here he steps back to let the humans try to deal with the invaders, just in case we can actually repel them ourselves so he won’t have to do it — or admit that he can’t help this time.

    That makes logical sense to me, but it needed a more set-up, and more development of the emotional dimensions of that decision.  Damn.  I wonder where else they would have strengthened the script, and how.  Capaldi’s run, and Moffat’s last years on DW, seem to be marked by these sudden, harsh beats of real-world loss.

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    the Doctor requesting a coordinated military attack on the pyramid. It’s both un-Doctor-y and, the Doctor must know, doomed to failure, given the alien tech he’s already seen the Monks deploy. Like Bill and Nardole, I’d like to know what that was about!

    I don’t think the Doctor was very invested in the attack- it wasn’t his idea and he didn’t rate it much chance of scratching the pyramid (although there might be something tucked away in the Black Archive that could). The Monks hadn’t show that much tech at that point, but the capacity to show up in a pyramid-sized ship is a good hint. Plus they’d hardly drop it down in front of military forces if that made them vulnerable.

    I think the Doctor does actually explain it though as a co-ordinated attack to show unity from the different factions (and perhaps also a way to foster than unity- it does come when WW3 is a possibility for the disaster).

    When someone comes and says they can save you from imminent disaster, of course it’s not that logical to go blowing them up without even finding out what the disaster is. That’s not addressing the root of the problem. 🙂

    In terms of the story, it does give the opportunity to show what the Monks can do and add a little action. In this episode in particular, the playing out of the story had priority over strict logic at multiple points- this was one point I personally was willing to give it a pass on.

    MissRori @missrori

    About whether the munks might be Time Lords — perhaps they are out of regenerations!  I read an article on that theory a little while ago.  It pointed out though that the Time Lords are proud and haughty and tend not to travel in packs.  😉

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    So, as mentioned in post 58298, the Doctor programs the TARDIS for disguise as a pyramid. It doesn’t work of course, because the chameleon circuit is stuck… I couldn’t find the vid clip, so here’s the dialogue:

    ADRIC: What do these numbers and letters mean?
    DOCTOR: Well, it’s an early version. The instructions have to be punched in by machine code.
    ADRIC: Oh, how boring.
    DOCTOR: Boring? In theory we should be able to do things like this.
    (The Doctor hits a few keys and the scanner draws an outline of a pyramid.)
    DOCTOR: There. You have a door there.
    ADRIC: Yes, I suppose that’s useful.
    DOCTOR: Well, we’ve got to be able to get in and out.
    ADRIC: No, no, I mean being able to change like that.
    DOCTOR: That’s how the Master hid from us on Traken. Anyway, if this worked, I’d just have to punch a few buttons like this, and we’d be a pyramid.
    (The scanner diagram becomes the familiar police box in space.)


    lisa @lisa

    This is probably a big nothing burger but I saw a preview for the next episode which shows a

    graphic symbol image meant to represent the Monks.  Its an X and Pyramid and in 1 scene

    .behind the Doctor its in a circle.

    It occurred to me that in the Master/Missy  AG episodes there is usually a graphic symbol  in

    all the episodes where he/she tries to invade and control the Earth.

    In ‘Sound of the Drums” / ‘Last of the Time lords’  its Harold Saxon’s X in the ballot box.

    In “Dark Water’/ ‘Death in Heaven’  it was circles that looked like a Cyberman eye.

    So now  can we impose the pyramid shape on those others that came before?


    I wonder if its the Master if he is using a perception filter to hide out in the Pyramid/Tardis?

    Can the Doctor feel his presence there?

    Anonymous @


    thx for that. Awful situation. He’s a battler, though.

    As for “oh I have no interest in Bill’s psychology” (whoever said that) and that the “dr takes a companion only based on their critical thinking capacities”

    Nope. Not only that.

    Cripes. I weep sometimes.

    Aaand I still thought the episode was terrific -not as awesome as Part 1 but, under those circumstances, not bad at all.

    Anyway, the world. Poor Moffat, it be tough


    lisa @lisa



    Yeah some folks just seem to come off so conceited  when they post- Geesh!

    Still I suppose every ones entitled to their own opinions aren’t they?


    This I  completely agree with you  on  –

    it  can be unacceptably rough world even for the  toughest of us  that live in it .

    Anonymous @


    well, but of course! 🙂 Perhaps I do come across as conceited? Not my intention. It’s just that I do worry,  with a background in philosophy and psychology that without either we simply can’t evolve. The brain is a powerful thing and I see that, in Australia (I was just mentioning this same thing to another poster) psychological studies and mental illness has received further cuts in the last Liberal/National Party budget two weeks ago.

    The LGBT community are under the microscope by the Young Liberals whose (a particularly vitriolic brand of right wing kids between 16 and 22 -very well off; for a User Pays system: ie remove state education and medicare completely and against same sex marriage or against similar legal rights afforded heterosexual couples)  comments in the local papers regarding Bill’s/Pearl’s body shape (her lack, of shall we say, “upper body distractions”) as well as her sexuality have been nothing short of disgusting.

    As you correctly identified it can an “unacceptably rough world” and we need to keep pushing through it. If that means asking questions, providing sources and referring to psychology both for healing but mainly as a pathway to understanding then I think it’s essential? Australia (particularly Brisbane) lives in a ‘1970s Bubble’ from which we’ve barely progressed and I believe that’s why psychology and Bill’s particular level of confidence (that which she both has in some areas and lacks in others) is critical to the way this particular story plays out, imo.




    lisa @lisa


    Well I guess what has the most value to you is not what most engages me about the show.

    Yes the show is full of wisdom and Bill has strengths and weaknesses.   I get that.

    But what I really get  enthusiastic about is the  Doctor’s mythology and story arcs.

    That’s what makes it awesome for me.  The plots, the journeys, the gags, the monsters etc.

    So its a matter of  not all folks are going to love what you love for the same reasons that

    you love it.  What matters most in the show for me isn’t primarily  the companions mental condition

    because ultimately I’m confidant that the Doctor will always choose very competent companions.

    I actually do like some particular characters very much during these Moffat years. Strangely,

    they mostly weren’t  the regular companions.


    Anonymous @


    Oh yes, I’m as enthused about the Doctor’s mythology and Moffat’s arcs as you (and most people here). I love that word “enthusiasm” -the concept rings with the suspense (which is killing me!)

    In my posts upthread I highlighted the reasons why Bill’s riposte and responses to the Doctor over the episodes prior to Extremis added considerable weight to the idea that her personality, self esteem and diffidence (at times she’s quite timorous) caused her to react in a particular manner in this episode (post hoc ergo propter hoc: in this case it applies 😀 imho). She’s still very young, and at times unnerved. In Knock Knock she took her friend aside and said, “hey I thought we were going to have a room next door to each other?”

    Her friend’s reply didn’t mean Bill became angry or defeatist; in fact she shrugged and ploughed on.

    She may be quite gregarious at times but is rather unsure of herself in certain situations or predicaments -this isn’t necessarily different to most other young women in similar circumstances except Bill’s not involved with other lecturers/subjects*; hasn’t ‘come out’ to her foster mum; clearly hears her birth-mother’s voice in her head during moments when Bill feels vulnerable (1) etc.

    To the first point * her transactions with university life are coloured by having one lecturer/tutor -it’s a hectic, compressed and enclosed space for her which means she’ll eventually think like him -indeed that’s his expectation (nay: demand).

    I’m reminded of Henry, Richard, Charles and Francis in Tartt’s novel, The Secret History where six students, voluntarily taking several classes under one unique and indulgent professor, are eventually overtaken by circumstances resulting in a tragic conclusion.

    (1) This conversation is making me wonder about the similarities between “I hear my mother’s words in my head” and Bill’s ringtone as theorised by @wolfweed, @geoffers and others….<head explodes with delight>



    Missy @missy

    First of all, what tragic news about Steven Moffats’ Mother. That poor man! Imagine attempting to write anything when you have to sit and watch your mother die! I wasn’t aware that Peter Capaldi’s Mother had died before he became the Doctor either.

    I’ve watched this episode four times now and each time I loved it more. Although it lacked some of the magic of Extremis (for me) it was still one hell of a ride.

    Next I’d like to say that I agree with @pedant – 58263 – that SM doesn’t write in paragraphs, he writes in sentences. He doesn’t cross the t’s and dot the i’s, and this is what I love about him and keeps me enthralled. He never seems to waste a word. As far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t need to apologise, it wasn’t a weak episode in my eyes.

    I thought that the face/head in The Pilot’s water spout, was remarkably like the Monks?

    Can anyone translate what the Pope said when he found himself in Bill’s kitchen? I’d really like to know. Also, I couldn’t quite make out what Penny said in Pyramid, when the military arrived. “Is it all right if I get a new…?”

    Why a Pyramid? It could be because the Pyramid has been considered a great source of power for centuries. they can actually sharpen razor blades – I  know, my OH made one and tried it. The blade was blunt, but a few days (hours?) later, it was very sharp! The item must be placed a third of the way up the Pyramid.

    The Doctor’s meditation about life coming to an end (every step you get closer) seemed reminiscent of ‘Heaven Sent.’  “As you you come  into this world, something else is also born .” One wonders whether that was inspired by his mother’s death?  Of course, he might not have written that, Peter Harness shared the script.

    Nardole might  have given up lecturing him about guarding the Vault, because the Universe would now know where the Doctor is.

    Why was Penny so important?  Was it that they had to return to the beginning, before they were simulated?

    I agree that the three leaders of the powerful armies, were a little weak. They weren’t convincing.

    As for the special effects, I couldn’t find any faults with them? As for the Doctor’s glasses not being able to show the numbers on the air lock, they can only pick up shapes plus human or alien life signs.

    This must be the longest post I’ve ever written – extraordinary.



    Anonymous @


    ooooh! You noticed it too?  I’ve listened to Penny over and over again and it seems you hear her say: “is it OK if I get a new one?”

    Except when you look at the captions she saying: “is it OK if I get a move on?”

    I don’t know what the Pope said either! Someone might? Or it could be on the transcript itself?

    Actually one of our members popped the transcript up or linked to it? So that should be definitive with regards to Penny. Reminds me of when @mudlark and I heard a few odd sentences in Thin Ice!

    Glad you liked the episode: me too. I thought Extremis was…different….but I was reconciled to this episode as to me it created a meeting place for the Doctor and Bill –  a place they can’t return from as well as the realisation by Bill that the Earth is in her hands (and the monks) and that she fully trusts the Doctor (even though regeneration, Gallifrey; TLs etc are not fully part of her knowledge …).

    The water “spout” could indeed be Monkish. I thought the very top of the spout could be cyberman in origin? Hard to get a proper look, though.

    Cheers, Puro

    ichabod @ichabod

    I saw a translation of the Pope’s outburst that went something like this: “Where are we?  What are these girls doing here?  I thought we were back at the Vatican — Doctor, why have you brought us here?”  This last as he darts back through the doorway to where the Pope’s retinue are waiting.

    Anonymous @

    when Penny says, “have you double locked this thing?” does that mean Penny has a key?  If she was simply trying to open the door would she have not said: “double locked” ?

    Maybe, “the door’s stuck!” or “I’ve been trying to talk to you (which she said) followed by “I’ve been trying to get in for ages or I’ve been……..(da duum)….knocking”. 😀


    Anonymous @

    @arbutus ….The music, are there themes from elsewhere which you recognise?

    From BG Who? Or randomly from 2006-2008 (RTD era, I think)?

    Around the pyramid there seems to be something nagging at me? You’re very good at this, what do you think?

    The area around the pyramid, as the Doctor walks up to it alone has an emphasis with brass (trombones; tuba) and percussion on every 4 long beats (Common time). The remaining three use a variety of  membranophones (conga, tabla etc) and some claves & marimba.

    Up-thread you mentioned some ‘holes’ about how would Bill not notice the Doctor’s blind at the pyramid. Good point. I was rationalising this away because Nardole uses the binoculars to tell the Dr “based on the description you gave me from the simulation, sir, it’s one of the monk creatures.”

    I didn’t notice he called the Doctor “sir” quite so often?

    Puro and Thane.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @thane15 I saw a transcript which rendered Penny’s last words in that scene as ‘is it ok if I get an Uber?’!

    Steffstaff @steffstaff

    @cathannabel that IS what she said! Probaly what I would have said in her shoes too… Well, I’d have said taxi because I’m not young and hip like her, but you get the point! It was a funny line, it’s a shame people missed it.

    Steffstaff @steffstaff

    @thane15 the “double-lock” thing does sound like it was inserted to cover fans whinging about plot holes… ie “Why did they remove the windows off the office, take the tardis out and put it on a plane, before speaking to the Doctor? Even if Bill doesn’t have a key we know full well Nardole has one.”

    Anonymous @

    @steffstaff @cathannabel @missy

    Ah, is that what it was? With captions in Aus, the telly captions are most always the same as those on catch-up TV. The DVDs would use the correct phrases. Honestly what with Uber being in the news here (and with certain taxi drivers saying: “out, out Satan if you believe in, or support Uber!”)  I would have found it….interesting. Not funny so much as the debate’s strong and investors have their issues. And my admitted lack of knowledge about Uber is as large as the Tardis.  Also, you know? I don’t have (much of) a sense of humour – my homies often say.

    The key was always the ‘big’ moment for a companion wasn’t it? Almost like “give me your phone and you can ring Mum [50 000 years ago].”

    Puro…funny story at the Pub which will be spread to all commercial TV stations….

    MissRori @missrori

    @thane15  Yeah, I do think it’s odd Bill didn’t catch on sooner to the Doctor’s blindness.  Besides his repeatedly asking others to describe what they see, she does realize he’s acting oddly in general and correctly guesses that he has something to tell her that he’s having a hard time getting out. It doesn’t seem like that much time has passed since “Oxygen”, so shouldn’t she be able to narrow things down?

    The big one is this — in the downtime between episodes (i.e. the week or so that passed between “Extremis” and this), she’s still being tutored by him even if they aren’t traveling together.  In order to function well enough to hide his condition from everyone save Nardole, I assume he has had to wear the sonic sunglasses constantly, indoors and out, when before he didn’t wear then very often (if at all?) in her presence or that of others.  And he’s a university professor, constantly giving lectures/teaching classes.  Surely the other students and faculty would be wondering why he’s suddenly wearing the shades all the time, even whispering among themselves, asking questions.  Heck, rumors might start spreading.

    Anonymous @


    Like other doctors, if asked, he might say:

    “Sun glasses are cool”

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    The Doctor and the co-ordinated military attack:

    @ichabod  I doubt we’ll find out.  Maybe it was as simple as realizing that his own capacities were so hampered by the blindness that the best first move would be for humanity to try its heavy weapons…

    @tardigrade  I don’t think the Doctor was very invested in the attack- it wasn’t his idea and he didn’t rate it much chance of scratching the pyramid (although there might be something tucked away in the Black Archive that could)…

    Many thanks! Both of the postings contained much more persuasive ideas than mine (which were that we were to understand the Doctor was decidedly off his game–a prelude to his big mistake later–as well as get some action to move things along).

    Missy @missy

    It could be that the Doctor agreed to an attack, just to see what the monks would do? Know your enemy – sort of thing?

    As for the students wondering why he wore dark glasses suddenly, perhaps like Bill, they were too  polite to ask personal questions?


    MissRori @missrori

    @missy Could be in both places.  Also, with the Doctor agreeing to the attack, besides all the other plausible reasons provided, it might have been an issue of his own fear of what these Monks were capable of (signalling to Bill and Nardole that this is really serious stuff compared to what’s come before).

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Thanks as ever to @wolfweed for all the brilliant spots and research. Ringtone, eh? I completely missed that. And how sad about Moffat’s mum. As @blenkinsopthebrave mentioned, it’s later that it hits.

    I liked this episode, while recognising its weaknesses, especially the frankly rather pathetic attempts at taking on the pyramid with a plane and a bit of dud missile. Is that it?? (I presume the budget didn’t stretch to any more). What I really liked was the real sense of jeopardy – for once the Doctor is wrong footed. He doesn’t know the Monks or what they’re capable of (unlike @jimthefish I do find them very creepy, especially their neediness about being loved. Wondering if that will be built on this week. or if it’s just a throwaway). He doesn’t know what they’re about any more than we do, and the very simple device at the end of him not being able to see the numbers (with an impending regeneration at some point this series (and don’t you DARE pull an early one, Moffat!)) – albeit a bit of a pathetic lock – worked for me. I found myself shouting “Noooo” at the screen along with the Doctor when Bill is about to trade the earth for his sight. Because she has complete faith in him to be able to “get her planet back”.

    (On a side note I also love that Bill’s name is a wee tribute to Bill Hartnell (my very first Doctor)).

    Missy @missy

    On thing which puzzled me – I knew there was something I meant to say.

    In earlier episodes, the Doctor, when meeting an alien he doesn’t recognise, demands to know their name. One wonders why he didn’t do so this time?

    As my OH would say, “because it isn’t in the script!” But then he isn’t a Who fan, so that sort of comment is to be expected. *rolls eyes*



    Mirime @mirime

    Can’t remember if this has been mentioned but just watched again and Bill’s jacket changes colour. It’s pink when she’s with Penny then blue later. Google tells me it’s reversible, but that doesn’t mean the change isn’t significant. She was wearing it when UN people turned up, a bit odd if with a potential crisis going on she’d said ‘yep, I’m ready to go… oh no wait, let me just turn my jacket inside out.’

    Also the Doctor describing the Earth in the future as being as ‘dead as the moon’ – he knows the moon isn’t dead. And he said similar in Oxygen about Bill, again knowing that she wasn’t dead.

    Thinking about the Monks ‘neediness’, could it be that love is what allows the link they mention to be made, something to do with brain chemistry or psychic receptiveness perhaps?

    MissRori @missrori

    Here’s a cool theory I found at TVTropes: The Doctor did try to tell Bill he was blind twice but he ended up distracted both times — first when the pyramid “activated”, second when he had a moment of inspiration as to what the “real” threat to humanity was.  That easily could have been the Monks stepping in to make sure the Doctor wouldn’t tell her until the worst possible moment!   😉

    @mirime The co-writer of this episode did write “Kill the Moon”, which a lot of people hated for its silly premise (among other things)  so that might have been an in-joke.

    @missy It is odd that the munks technically don’t have a name as yet.  The credits call them Monks, and as I understand it their proper name is the Prophets of Truth, but that’s “all there in the manual” material.  Perhaps they do have a “real” name but have to hide it because it would tip off they’re a pre-established race?  Maybe things will be cleared up in Part Three…

    Anonymous @


    could it be that love is what allows the link they mention to be made, something to do with brain chemistry or psychic receptiveness perhaps

    Or “perhaps”?  Interesting.  I think that, in story, this love is destructive, appeals to  instinctive and non-rational feelings -we might say that’s unconditional love -and that love can come with strings?  The part of the “you must love scenario” is that this “consent to power” means you may lose something. They “protect the earth forever” and you “must” show love otherwise you crumble. Anyone blackmailing with “love solves all” is an excellent metaphor for these times when love can’t solve everything; when the path you’re on doesn’t co-exist with theirs.

    Enjoy the next adventure people of The Forum.

    Kindest, Puro

    FatManInABox @fatmaninabox


    The music, are there themes from elsewhere which you recognise? From BG Who? Or randomly from 2006-2008 (RTD era, I think)?

    There are a few ‘old’ themes that cropped up in this episode.

    At 29mins, there’s a reprise of part of the 11th Doctor’s theme* and later on at 44mins we get a reworking of ‘1969’ from the Series 6 soundtrack (albeit a more ‘actiony’ version).

    Of course, this isn’t the only episode to feature previously heard themes (I suppose it’s a good way of saving time and/or money).

    In ‘The Pilot’ the ‘The Mad Man with a Box’ theme was heard and in ‘Thin Ice’ there was a reworking of ‘Westminster Bridge’ from ‘Rose’.

    The ‘Lone Dalek’ theme from ‘Dalek’ was re-used in Series 2 (‘The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit’ I think) and ‘The Bells of St. John’ also utilised music from ‘The Time of Angels’ (the opening scene where River is sneaking around on The Byzantium).

    * The award for best re-use of music would go to ‘A Special Sort of Bus’ from the Series 4 special ‘Planet of the Dead’ which, in a slightly reworked form, became the 11th Doctor’s theme ‘I am The Doctor’.

    Anonymous @


    thank you for that!

    I paid absolutely no attention to the music in BG Who (too young, too scared: corridors!) -so thank you for all of that information. It’s pure gold. I didn’t even catch 11’s theme Duh! I’ll not live that down.

    My Ears My Ears 🙂


    nerys @nerys

    I’m quite late posting on this thread. Crazy few weeks, and now I can breathe a sigh of relief. I thought this was an amazing episode. Am I the only one (probably not) who would like to see a return of Erica, played by Rachel Denning? I thought she was utterly believable in her role, and how great that it was not at all about her stature, but simply who she is?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Hi, @Thane15/Puro.   Very far behind indeed on responding to your thoughts here. Arbutus Jr. graduated high school this week and it’s been all-absorbing. I had a chance to watch Lie of the Land last week but no more than that, so I’m just getting caught up now.

    My thoughts about the soundtrack were that it was beautifully understated and therefore, for me, very effective. Other than a brief appearance of the 11th Doctor theme, I didn’t pick up specific references so much as a lovely mixture of musical styles. I particularly noted the music used during the lab scenes, and the way it subtly changed in intensity as the situation became more ominous. It was punctuated by sounds that reminded me of the cloister bell of the TARDIS.

    There was also a lovely violin theme when the Doctor was explaining what asking for the Monks’ help would ultimately mean. This came back as the Doctor finally admitted his blindness to Bill.

    I see a note that I made remarking on Nardole’s answer to the question, “What do you depend on?”: “Air, water, food, beer.”  🙂

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