The Time of the Doctor – the 2013 Christmas Special

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This topic contains 179 replies, has 42 voices, and was last updated by  Craig 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #21639
    Anonymous @

    We shall say a fond farewell to Matt Smith this festive season, and a warm hello to Peter Capaldi. ‘The Doctor is dead … Long live the Doctor!’

    #21660
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Find the biggest version of the image here:

    http://i.imgur.com/KoBFIO3.jpg

    #21662
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    z
    Here’s the other one:
    http://i.imgur.com/p1WYRmZ.jpg

    #21663
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    z

    Capaldi’s face…

    z

    #21679
    Anonymous @

    The [very very short] trailer for the Christmas special is on YT here

    #21680
    DickieGarvey @dickiegarvey

    So it appears that we will finally get to see what the silence have been on about for all this time sould be interesting

    i looked for capalids face for ages and didnt spot it oh well well found @wolfweed

    Tennant seemed to have some level of control over when he regenerated wonder if that will be expanded to allow for capaldis face or weather it will be an inforced change

     

     

    #21684
    ardaraith @ardaraith

    I have a bonkers theory to toss in the pot.  🙂

    As I said on the DotD thread, I believe they are still in the Doctor’s time stream.  I think he is struggling to remember, and get Clara to remember, in order to bring them out.  In the same way Amy had to remember in order to bring him out of the alternate universe, and to “find” Rory again.  He continually asked Clara in DotD if she remembered.  Also, on 4th watch, they do several close-ups of Matt’s eyes in key scenes where he is “remembering”.

    In the time stream, they are limited to visiting times and places the Doctor already has or will.  It still makes changing his mind about the Time War significant, because he is acting on his own time stream in the same way the GI or the Claricles do.  We have no idea what impact this change will have once he is out of his time stream.  But that does not help him at Trenzalore.  As @dickiegarvey mentioned on the DotD thread, I believe telling Tennant about the grave at Trenzalore will set-up the solution, much as the sonic/wood, mutli-Doc/Gallifrey solution played out.

    First, the War Doctor says of himself in DotD that he caused Silence to fall in the universe.  The mantra of the religious order bent on killing the Doctor is, “Silence must fall”.  The Doctor has changed his time stream, the Time Lords no longer fall, and the universe is not silenced.  Could they have developed because of the change the Doctor made, and the return of the Time Lords?

    Secondly, in NotD we are told his time stream is collapsing in on itself, much like a collapsing star.  Is his death going to create a big bang, of sorts?  Will it re-set the Doctor?  What does anyone know about the mythology of the Time Lords?  I don’t know much about it, but my bonkers theory is that the Doctor always goes to Trenzalore, and Gallifrey always has a Time War so the Doctor can freeze it in pocket universe and search for it.  In essence, the universe always collapses (his death) and is reborn (the parallel universe).  It sets Capaldi up to be the beginning, just like Hartnell, trying to return home.

    I admit, the threads of this made much more sense late last night, after watching for the 4th time and theorising when I should have been sleeping.

    #21685
    Tennantmarsters2013 @tennantmarsters2013

    @ardaraith

    thaf theory makes a lot of sense if I can add to it?

     

    when smith said in TDOTD that the timelines have split I wonder if the one where galifrey falls

    no more is like a dream If they are still in time stream

    #21700
    Timeywimeyss @timeywimeyss

    Hi, new here!

    I like that theory, but I thought ‘silence must fall when the question is answered’ (or something to that effect!) and the silence, as in the religious order, don’t want that question (Being Doctor who?) to be answered because then they’d fall, which is why they keep trying to kill him, to stop him from reaching trenzalore, where the question is going to be asked.

    But I do like the idea that he gets rebooted from the beginning! Maybe it’s something to do with when he rebooted the universe after the Tardis exploded in The Big Bang.

    #21730
    geoffers @geoffers

    two obvious things…
    a weeping angel in the snow(?). and the clock is striking 12…

    but, what are those three “bullet-ish” things on clara’s necklace? any ideas?

    @wolfweed – great spot on the capaldi faces! you are brilliant!

    #21732
    dinolex99 @dinolex99

    I though the episode would be called something like, “Silent Night”. Since the silence will fall.

    #21749
    thommck @thommck

    @wolfweed Well spotted, you must be a whizz at those Where’s Wally? books 😉

    What caught my eye was the interesting is the pattern on Clara’s cardigan. Are those cool bow-ties or infinite loops?

    @geoffers I think the necklace is just a fashion thing, it goes with the punky bracelet she has and we know she likes a necklace.

    Could her tartan skirt be the inspiration for the Doctors new accent or is that part of the punk style too? Will Capaldi have a studded leather jacket and a green mohican 😛

    Punk Doctors

    #21750
    Anonymous @

    @geoffers – Yes, I also noticed the clock striking 12. ( @bluesqueakpip – this is your territory 🙂 )

    I was under the impression that the episode would be called ‘Silent Night’ ( @dinolex99 ) so I was mildly surprised to learn it was instead ‘The Time of the Doctor’ – but that latter ties in with ‘The Night of …’ and ‘The Day of …’ (and ‘The Name of …’). Let’s hope one S Moffat gets a bit more creative with episode titles in Capaldi’s series next year 😀 .

    @thommck – I’m still hoping for Capaldi in a kilt. I don’t care if Jamie wore one; that was decades ago. And imho, there ain’t nuthin as grand as a man in a kilt.

    #21757
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – the episode titling implies that The Name of The Doctor, The Day of The Doctor and The Time of The Doctor are a trilogy.

    The clock’s at twelve; the Eleventh Hour is nearly over. But, once it’s struck midnight, we’re going round a new circle. 11:59 to 00:00

    That fits with Name and Day – Name is where we find out about the War Doctor. Day is where we resolve the problem that created the three post-War Doctors. Time, I would guess, is where The Doctor can start again; Capaldi isn’t the Last Regeneration – he’s the First.

    (Not literally, metaphorically)

     

    #21767
    wolfweed @wolfweed
    #21801
    Anonymous @

    @ardaraith – I’m on the fence about the time-stream business.  Although a part of me thinks it would be a very neat trick if The Day of the Doctor was actually taking place solely inside the Doctor’s timestream – I’m wavering toward the theories that said:  we’ll never see them exit it, and the next episode after The Name of the Doctor will assume they got out safely.

    The Moment (as Billie Piper) got her/its past and future tenses mixed up, which could indeed signpost staying in the Doctor’s timestream … but I think I agree with people who saw, like me, a call-back to the Tardis (in the person of Idris in The Doctor’s Wife) getting past and future all muddled up.  Gallifreyan tech, eh?  🙂

    That having been said, the little we’ve been officially exposed to regarding the Christmas Special does seem to indicate that ‘The Time of the Doctor’ will see a return to Trenzalore.  But does that mean, a return to the Doctor’s decaying timestream?

    I’m a bit ‘squeeeee-y’ that I posited the return of the Time Lords in the new series.  Well, what we officially know so far, they’re not dead, just time-locked / frozen, and Capaldi’s Doctor may be on the search in his series for how to un-lock / time-thaw them.  I hope to see more than what we’ve been exposed to so far, i.e. The Rani, Romana I and II, The Master, (and that weirdo hovering in Terror of the Autons), etc. — that whole ‘Lonely God’ thing was taking Doctor Who, AG, in a direction which could be slightly worrying when looking at 50 years of DW history as a whole.  Many people have theorised about the ‘family’ orientation of both RTD and SM’s tenures, and yet The Doctor has so much more ‘family’ than simply his human companions.  I truly do hope to have a couple of bumbling relatives crashing into The Doctor’s adventures every now and again (and I truly do hope they don’t become ‘plot arc’ MacGuffins).

    #21819
    WhoHar @whohar

    Per my (completely ignored, sniff) post on the DotD thread, I wonder if the Doc’s memory loss will be linked in some way to the Silence and their memory wiping abilities? Or possibly the mind worm from Snowmen.

    Agree with @Shazzbot that we’ll be out of the Doc’s collapsing timestream faster than you can say Raxacoricofallapatorius (or even Clom). Although @ardaraith‘s rebirth scenario is very very appealing. It’s given added weight, given the potential number of enemies in this ep.

    Given the picture, I’d have expected someone to have come up with a Clara / Cracker joke (too obvious probably). In any case, it’s proabably not a standard cracker, more likely a Sontaran fragmentation grenade.

    #21824
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    I think Capaldi should wear something like this.

    #21827
    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Oh my I see what you mean a out Clara’s cracker what can she about to do with it…… And on that note I will say no more.. about the cracker that is.

    I had wondered if as it’s Smith’s swan song weather they would do a Tenant on us and do a 2 parter for the Xmas special.

    @wolfweed love the cartoon.
    Although I am new to the forum I will no doubt have more to say as we get more clips and spoilers and at least we only have just under a month to wait.

    #21828
    thommck @thommck

    I think in another topic I mentioned that I think this episode will take place after Day of the Doctor and feature a few flashbacks to escaping the Doctor’s timestream at Trenzlaore.

    How about this for a plot outline –

    Clara will be living in her own place (not with the Maitland’s any more) but may be having Christmas dinner with them. Hopefully, her dad will make an appearance too and there will be lots of talk about what makes a family and absent-mothers.

    The Doctor picks Clara up for a trip but soon discovers a distress beacon. With new found hope from tDotD he believes it is from Gallifrey and goes off to follow it. However, all of Gallifrey’s enemies also follow the beacon to prevent the timelords from escaping.

    Shock-horror, the beacon is coming from a pre-battle Trenzalore (cue the flashbacks).

    The Doctor and Clara get close and see the planet is surrounded by old enemies. They intercept a video message and see a woman.
    Clara: “That’s my Mum!”
    The Doctor: “That’s my daughter/mum/granddaughter/sister/1st cousin once removed!”

    The woman:”Save the children of Trenzalore! When the clock strikes 12 we will all be dead”

    The TARDIS lands again on Trenzalore and the window cracks again in the same place

    We discover the Timelords of Gallifrey are behind the Silence organisation (hence why they have a TARDIS-style ship). In fact, a Silent (the actual monster) is what happens to a Timelord if they try and force their way out of the time-lock/bubble-universe!

    I now have two possible theories for how the doctor dies

    1: The Doctor sacrifices himself and gets killed by a Silent but the mystery woman and Clara take his body to Karn where they manage to revive him in the the Sacred Flame

    2: The Doctor doesn’t want to fight, and this leads to a Silent killing the mystery woman. They are about to kill Clara but the Doctor joins the Silence in order to protect her. The Capaldi Doctor arrives as the Valeyard, now leader of the Silence, and kills the Smith Doctor in order to prevent the atrocities he would commit as part of the Silence.

    ——————————————

    Not sure if any of that is likely to happen but we have to start somewhere! I have another theory brewing about weeping angels causing a rip in time by sending Clara to the past but not quite formulated it fully

    P.S. does anyone know how to subscribe to forum replies? I can’t see the check box that used to appear when you write a reply.

    #21829
    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    A couple of thoughts on the connection between The Moment and the TARDIS, and on the links between The Moment, Rose and the Bad Wolf. They made we want to revisit the end of Parting of the Ways (sniff!).

    Rose became the Bad Wolf when she looked into the heart of the TARDIS, so maybe The Moment is what is found there, i.e. the Moment/Bad Wolf is the Time Vortex. As @Shazzbot says, ‘Gallifreyan tech, eh?’

    A few lines of dialogue from Parting of the Ways stood out to me:

    The Doctor: ‘You’ve got the Time Vortex inside your heard. You’re going to burn.’

    Rose (Bad Wolf): ‘I want you safe, my Doctor.’

    And then a few lines later:

    Rose (Bad Wolf): ‘Everything comes to dust. Everything dies. The Time War ends.’

    The parallels to Day of the Doctor seem to run deep. The Time Vortex burns things (but it also brings life). The Doctor is saved (by the Bad Wolf!). And this — Parting of the Ways — is the moment (excuse me) when the time war ends. The Time Vortex is the great galaxy eater, where everything comes to dust, and, maybe, silence will fall?

     

    #21830
    ScaryB @scaryb

    I agree that they are likely to be out of the timestream (for reasons I detailed on 50th thread a while back). so on my track record, that probably means they won’t be!

    @whohar

    it’s proabably not a standard cracker, more likely a Sontaran fragmentation grenade

    Like it! (and just because a post wasn’t commented on, esp when there’s a deluge of them, doesn’t mean it wasn’t seen and appreciated! :rol: )

    #21834
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Just noticed from the poster: Clara’s cardie has a pattern of little outline bow-ties. Awwww, cute!

    But, in outline, a bow-tie is the Infinity symbol.

    🙂

    #21836
    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – great minds think alike!

    @thommck 27 November 2013 at 11:13

    What caught my eye was the interesting is the pattern on Clara’s cardigan. Are those cool bow-ties or infinite loops?

    #21837
    Anonymous @

    @thommck – quite good theories you have there!

    For people who didn’t see the BBC page (obviously though, you did!) there is a bit of plot synopsis there:

    Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars – and amongst them, the Doctor.

    Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.

    Judging by the image released, we can certainly look forward to the return of the Cybermen and the Silence in the Christmas Special – it looks like being a truly festive cracker of a special.

    Interesting use of the word ‘rescuing’ with respect to the Doctor plucking Clara away from Christmas dinner.  Like you, I hope Clara’s dad will be there, and that absent Mums will be remembered.  But ‘rescuing’ ?  Makes it sound like a dire dinner environment.

    Also interesting that they paint Clara as the Doctor’s ‘best friend’.  Is that going to be the AG companion template, then?  I’m intrigued to see how that will pan out with Peter Capaldi’s take on the Doctor.

    #21839
    thommck @thommck

    @Shazzbot, yes my theory was cobbled together by that synopsis and the teaser trailer.

    Regarding the “best friend”, I thought that was odd too. I thought Donna Noble was officially his “best friend”. I know he is very chummy with Clara but no more than most of his other companions.

    Man’s best friend is a dog so does that make Clara K-9 😉

    #21840
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @thommck – sorry! I must have missed your bow tie spot when catching up last night; I was a bit tired.

    I think Clara is being positioned as representing (in this 50th Anniversary year) The Ideal Companion. That’s why, in the multi-Doctor trailer, she appears in Sarah Jane Smith’s place and has Susan as her reflection. He’s The Doctor, she’s The Companion.

    And the Doctor’s ideal Companion isn’t someone who develops messy complications like falling in love with him, it’s a mate. Who isn’t mating with him, sunshine, but is just a mate!

    #21844

    Blimey @Shazzbot

    Interesting use of the word ‘rescuing’ with respect to the Doctor plucking Clara away from Christmas dinner.

    All this time ands you still haven’t tuned into British humour? Slacker! This ain’t thanksgivings, it’s Christmas. It’s an ordeal. 🙂

    #21845
    Anonymous @

    Ha ha @pedant – of course, Christmas dinner is ‘an ordeal’ for Brits to endure, rather than enjoy.  😀

    But … but … this is Doctor Who, after all.  Shouldn’t they be showing us all a better way to live – and a happy Christmas family meal (like in ‘A Christmas Carol’)?

    Jeez!  Thanks for reminding me that today is American Thanksgiving.  I have loads of calls to make later this afternoon  😳  once my American family / friends get started tucking into their turkey ‘n all the trimmings …

    #21847
    ScaryB @scaryb

    @pedant @shazzbot

    Christmas dinner – with stroppy teenagers (hello again to the Maitlands?) – maybe not hell on earth but I could see why Cybermen, the Silence and Weeping Angels might seem an enticing alternative.

    😈

    @devilishrobby Welcome, but just make sure that ANYTHING even remotely spoilerish only gets discussed on the Spoilers thread!  Better to be overcautious.  Thank you

    @bluesqueakpip @thommck

    Bow ties as infinity loops  – I like

    #21870
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    But … but … this is Doctor Who, after all. Shouldn’t they be showing us all a better way to live – and a happy Christmas family meal

    @shazzbot – speculating madly, I wonder if Clara’s Dad’s remarried? After all, it’s now eight years since Clara’s Mum died. So it’s a slightly uncomfortable family dinner with Dad, Stepmum and possibly attached new baby/toddler/step siblings?

    If it is Clara and her Dad, I also wonder if the ‘gap’ since we’ve last seen Dave Oswald is to allow an older actor to step in, rather than attempting to age up the 30 year old Michael Dixon.

    #21873
    Anonymous @

    Hmmm @bluesqueakpip – we all do love when you start ‘speculating madly’!

    As per @scaryb and @thommck, I also wonder if the Maitland family will be part of the Christmas dinner that Clara needs ‘rescuing’ from.  But your idea of a step-family is grand … and I have to say that would never have occurred to me.  I had thought of Clara’s dad being alone with her and remembering their lost mother / wife – but it’s far more ‘modern’ to have the friction of re-marriage and potential other, new, Oswald family members.

    We never saw Clara’s dad contemporaneously in TBoSJ so your theory about a new actor for the Christmas Special is very alluring.

    #21881
    ScaryB @scaryb

    Oh, and happy thanksgiving to @Shazzbot and all our North American members 😀

    #21883
    Anonymous @

    @scaryb – thanks!  But you might want to amend that to, simply, ‘American members’ — as Canadian Thanksgiving is the 2nd Monday in October (i.e., 14 October this year) – as @blenkinsopthebrave should surely know!   😉

    #21884
    ScaryB @scaryb

    @Shazzbot Ahem! I said NORTH American very deliberately 😉 (Is including Canada in that not a bit like saying Scotland is part of England?)

    #21886
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @scaryb – Canadians, Mexican and US people are all North Americans.

    If you want to specify the U.S. you have to use U.S. or USA.
    😉

    #21887
    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip @scaryb – but even getting Mexico into the equation is a bit contentious.  Some would say Mexico is part of ‘Central America’ as opposed to ‘North America’ – it depends on context.  (Isn’t real life a minefield?!  Let’s stick with the minefields we can eruditely theorise about, ie., Doctor Who!  😀  )

    #21888
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    http://www.doctorwhotv.co.uk/teatime-of-the-doctor-56264.htm

     

    http://www.kasterborous.com/2013/11/night-doctor-spoilers/  (are out there)

    This doesn’t contain spoilers, merely a warning that the full plot of the episode is out there, so best go hide in a cave for a month…
    z

    #21890
    Anonymous @

    @wolfweed – we are in your more than capable hands with respect to spoilers.  I’m saddened to learn that the plot of the Christmas Special has apparently been leaked (WHO DID THAT?!  And they will NEVER work on Doctor Who again  👿 ) but provided we all keep to this very safe space, we’ll remain un-spoilered.

    {puts on ‘Vigilant’ hat to match what I’m sure you’re wearing yourself nowadays}

    #21891
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @Shazzbot – As if I needed an excuse to not read The Sun…

    Who says my hands are capable? Get back to the cave, child! Get back to the cave!
    z

    #21892
    Anonymous @

    @wolfweed – I’m not entirely sure that ‘read’ is the correct verb with The Sun … 😀

    #21894
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @wolfweed – possibly. Or the BBC could have got so bloody sick of the latest set of leaks (especially after the Matt Smith leaving thing) that they’ve deliberately released fake-but-plausible plot points to flush the leaker(s).

    This is increasingly looking like some very unprofessional behaviour is going on at the Beeb – though I’m not sure whether it’s a problem at the BBC, generally, or a nasty little campaign to undermine Steven Moffat.

    #21904
    Timeloop @timeloop

    @wolfweed  Already leaked?? Sooner than usual. Thanks for the hint.

    #21933
    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @timeloop, @scaryb, @OthersWhoWantToAvoidSpoilers:

    Don’t click.

    Don’t even click.

    Click and you’ve read.

    The words are fast, faster than you can believe. Do turn your back, do look away, and don’t click.

    I thought I was practicing safe browsing, but some text snuck up out of nowhere and met my eyeballs and now I’m infected with spoileritis.

    I thought that the British press had learned its lesson about nefarious, unethical and potentially illegal gossip gathering after the Murdoch scandal. 😛

    I was scrupulous about avoiding *those* sorts of publications. Or so I thought.

    Now it’s too late.

    Anyone got a memory worm?

    TardisBlue

    #21935
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    z

    ‘Everything is falling into place…’

    #21936
    ScaryB @scaryb

    Aw, huge sympathies to @tardisblue It’s so easily done. (And yes @wolfweed‘s pic comment is spot on)

    I’ve stopped googling Doctor Who now. I’d limit my internet access if I could, but some things just ain’t gonna happen! But I keep my specs off when I’m surfing!* (I’m even being cautious about whose posts I look at in here. Anyone who’s seen the spoiler won’t be able to stop it influencing how they think and post, even if they try)

    You could always try copious amounts of absinthe in lieu of a memory worm (where are the damn things when you need them!)

     

    *tribute to Douglas Adams’ wonderful invention of glasses that go completely dark when the wearer is in danger 😉

    #21937
    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @scaryb, @Shazzbot, @bluesqueakpip

    On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for the Thanksgiving salutations.

    Shazzbot, remember that Southern California — and Texas — once were part of Mexico. BlueSqueakPip, you know so much about so many topics, but I’m not sure if national boundaries in 19th Century North America was a subject of your O levels. But, in case you want to celebrate next year in style, here’s a link to Mexican-inspired recipes for a Thanksgiving beach brunch. I hear the Thames is lovely this time of year. 😉 http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/mexican-thanksgiving-recipes-00418000069631/page15.html

    @blenkinsopthebrave and Ms. B can turn to the archives of The Globe and Mail to plan their October 2014 repast. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/thanksgiving/

    I can’t speak for all of Central America, but I did attend a Thanksgiving dinner where the stuffing aka dressing was provided by someone who’d be born in Nicaragua. Instead of bread, cornbread or rice, she started with potatoes, peeled and finely diced. FWIW.

    As for the rest of the world, please don’t feel left out. You could always lift a glass to, or have a repast in thanksgiving of William Blake, who turned 256 today. A mere youngster, compared to our favorite Time Lord.

    TardisBlue

    #21938
    Rob @rob

    Bonkers theory number two for the day

    Twelveo’clock  showing on the the poster

    Next comes 13

    So a 24 hour clock

    13:00

    14:00

    15:00 etc

    Up to 24 regenerations

    Or

    a twelve hour clock which makes 13 actually 1

    😉

     

    #21942
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    a twelve hour clock which makes 13 actually 1

    @rob – now, I said that in one of the Guardian blogs. (Can’t remember which one, they seem to be cloning like Sontarans.) Absolutely nobody has given me a recommend.

    Not that I’m bitter…
    😉

    #21943
    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @scaryb

    Thank you.

    Does absinthe make two hearts fonder?

    Don’t worry about spoilers from me — the plot is perfectly predictable. Anybody could figure it out.

    with the canonization of the McGann Doctor, the Tardis starts to revert back through space and time to San Francisco, California on December 31, 1999.

    En route, it picks up a hitchhiking space whale, who’s heading that way to visit some ancient, Gaia-bound ancestors.

    The slight detour takes the Tardis just a smidgen off course, and it ends up crashing into the United Federation of Planets Starship Enterprise, which is also returning to 20th century earth to save the whales.

    Tragically, neither vehicle — and none of the whales, ancient or modern — survive. Fog slowly rolls in, obscuring the wreckage. The sound of wave against metal, wave against wood, wave against mangled flesh becomes deadened.

    Panning from the crash site near the Golden Gate Bridge, the camera shot goes directly into the fog. It continues, in silence, for five seconds, before a glimmer of light breaks through the fog. The light is followed by blue sky, and the camera carries us along, past the shoreline into a modern city.

    The camera zooms into a shopping district: New New Caprica Place. We see a man, medium height, shoulder length dark hair, standing with his back to the camera. Next to him, a tall, striking blond. They are holding hands. They pause to admire a striking display of overlong scarves, panama hats, bow ties, capes, recorders, spoons, fezzes, and motley-inspired patchwork jackets.

    Stealthily, a toilet-plunger and egg beater begin to appear from around the edge of the building.

    The doctor — for Gaius Balthar is a medical doctor — and the cylon model six are busy discussing which hat would look better with his black leather jacket and trainers, when a clunky-looking mechanical dog with improbable round ears and an arial tail moves rapidly in front of them and speeds to the corner. The robotic canine leaps up and grasps the toilet plunger firmly in its jaws. K-9 has saved the lives of its master and mistress before they are even aware of the danger.

    But in breaking the plunger off the Dalek, K-9 has absorbed the extermination blast. Alas, there’s nothing to be done. Regeneration energy starts pouring out of his head and tail. It envelops his body. Moments later, in K-9’s place, a living, breathing Rough Collie bounds out, tail wagging.

    He has a beautiful tricolor coat with a white blaze running down his head. Instead of the Dalek extermination arm, the collie has something else in his mouth. A deep blue director’s chair. And, in bright, bold white letters, the name “Lassie.”

    “Arf, arf,” Lassie barks at his reflection in the shop window. Which is Collie for “still not ginger.”

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