The Time of The Doctor

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    ScaryB @scaryb


    Yay! welcome back, and hope your lack of internet is resolved soon. Greetings to your wee Scottish granny btw.

    I wondered that too, about aging Matt up so the contrast between him and Capaldi is less. It also makes sense when this is a much older, more mature, post-angst Eleven.  He’s not sure that he’s not the last of his people, but at least he now knows he didn’t kill them all.


    One last Drunk Giraffe

    Eh? Missed that. What’s that about?


    Arbutus @arbutus

    After one viewing, I definitely felt positive about it. Made a bunch of notes, then watched it again to make sure that all my points were things I really think! So here goes.

    I felt that it could have been a bit longer (although I don’t think a two-parter would have been necessary). There was a lot jammed into an hour, you really had to be paying attention! A few things could have benefited from a little more space.

    I guess that the character of Tasha Lem was meant to be something of a “big deal”, and she was certainly well-acted, and as some have said, there were interesting parallels with River Song. I found that as a character suddenly introduced and only briefly seen, she didn’t engage me much. There was perhaps a little too much similarity to River, but without the depth that was revealed even in River’s first appearance. I loved the opening bits, that showed the doctor engaged in an adventure on his own (well, except for Handles!) Since he has only been hanging with Clara on a part time basis, one assumes that there have been a number of adventures between adventures. I wish we could have seen more of them, I have always enjoyed the occasional dynamic of the Doctor without companions.

    I really enjoyed Clara in this story. The view of a slightly conflicted family helped give her some needed background, and I enjoyed the glimpse of personality that was revealed in the brief moment of enforced honesty, when she reveals her attraction to the doctor. It seemed to show, in one tiny moment, a person wise enough to understand that this aspect of her feelings could lead nowhere, and strong enough to be able to maintain nonetheless the friendship that was so important to both of them.

    I liked the relatively simple tying of loose ends, although here again, a little more breathing space would have made them easier to keep track of! But of course, that is what re-watches are for. I do feel as though I finally understand the Great Intelligence’s description of the Doctor’s death at Trenzalore, and the whole “Silence will fall when the question is asked” (not “answered”, but “asked”).

    I do, however, wonder this about the cracks. Why did the crack in the tower close after Clara spoke to the Time Lords, and why did it conveniently reopen in the sky outside? This would imply that the Time Lords were controlling the cracks, when I thought the Doctor had said that the cracks, opened by the exploding TARDIS, were being used by the Time Lords? That being said, the whole scene where the crack opens up in the sky and regeneration energy pours out, was just so awesome that it didn’t really matter to me. Watching the Doctor come back to life as he realized what had happened, listen to him address the Daleks in one final moment of Smithian glory, was wonderful!

    I liked the Doctor’s positive approach to his regeneration, in contrast to the last time. He seemed to view it as more of a healthy change and growth (although to be fair, it might have been made easier by the fact that he had lived for centuries in this body, and had thought that he was about to die for good!). But the words he spoke were lovely, much more in the spirit of the Eccleston doctor’s celebratory ending than the Tennant Doctor’s tragic one. I did choke up when he took off the bow tie, but he went with a smile. I loved that.

    I was personally happy with the few moments we had of Capaldi, as it would have been highly unfair to give us more in an episode that was meant as closure for Matt Smith. Of course, I can’t wait to see more! Those few seconds foreshadowed something outstanding. I loved the way he stared at Clara, as though she looked different through his new eyes.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @scaryb – know what you mean.

    The incredibly, hilariously funny thing about the people over at the Graun spitting their little heads off about the regeneration being a Deus Ex Machina?

    None of them, not one to date, has spotted the real D.E.M. in the script. It’s not as if Moffat hasn’t played fair, either. In fact, he’s given so many clues that I reckon his latest free game for Whovians is ‘spot the D.E.M’. 😈

    ToriJ @torij

    I had to watch it twice because I missed the beginning part of it and then missed how he got his new regeneration cycle because I had to run and get my Christmas dinner. SNOW ANGELS! I had to get that out of my system I love that scene.

    I thought it was great. All the references, tying up of loose ends, how they added the wig to the plot and how they made Matt look a little like Hartnell there when he looked older. I was afraid his regeneration was going to feel like a copy of Tennant’s but it turned out to be epic. Take THAT, Daleks! As usual I love his speeches: You want my life!? COME AND GET IT! I identified with his other speech right before his regeneration finished and loved how it vaguely referenced what I could imagine Matt felt about his role as The Doctor and then KIDNEYS! I don’t like the color.

    I want to know what colors they are and how he sees them. This is now the most important question in the universe.

    Anonymous @

    thanks @scaryb. Last night, I came up here alone, wondering if others felt the same and I so wrote a dirge -puddle o’ tears and all that. Yes, I was miserable but ultimately thoroughly happy that it all ‘ended well’. I loved that he stayed forever-for a man in the Vincent ep who couldn’t sit still whilst waiting for the monster to appear and said “is this how everybody lives each day? How tedious!”. It was lovely shout-out to a man who lives days backwards -particularly his life with River. I loved the ‘evil’ step mother although she had the poem in the end that Clara recited. As @blenkinsopthebrave   said too, it was a mature ep, with the themes of age and dying,  sacrifice and defiance all ‘cooked in’ like the turkey! As @bluesqueakpip also mentioned about River-that Tasha, whilst not River, echoes the memories we have as River; that it’s OK, if we believe Tasha and River are the same being for “we’re all stories in the end anyway”.

    I liked what  @rob said about how River “flows through the heart of the TARDIS” . That the Doctor likes Tasha for the same reasons he adored River: a grown-up and mature woman- as opposed to the elfin and wide-eyed ‘youngsters’ he takes on his adventures in the stars.

    There was so much there that I missed on first viewing (that @wolfweed did get): he’s dancing with the children (one last giraffe) and chanting “cool is not cool”. This after T Lem has narrated that the Doctor “forgot he’d been anywhere else”. It was such a sad, poignant moment for me. That he might have forgotten the fez, the ‘bowties are cool’ statement and perhaps even Amelia. But in the end, of course, she came back to remind us of Raggedy Man and ‘the 11th Hour’: Amelia was the first person his ‘new’ face had seen.

    As @phaseshift also noticed (you’re very quick) there was a reference to the seal taken from the Master- but, like Phaseshift, I’ll have to re-watch it again to capture all the little sly references. I didn’t even see the crack in the wall in the hotel room -it came past so fast! I loved the refs to 10s vanity issues and a final, final ‘closing up’ of the number of regens he had ‘driven through’.

    As @miapatrick noticed too and @rob, the regen power was huge and it wasn’t a quick shake and we had Capaldi -it went back, as you all said, to the idea that regen power was holy (well, I think so -connecting the Church with war and the clerics with privates in the Papal Mainframe), totally explosive and destructive. To use that, after 500 years (by then?) of living an ordinary life was a final shout to a man who abhors violence but will always take care of the one life left: whether it be a little boy or Clara, in the end. I liked the connection with 10 -taking Rose home as he’d promised and then saving Clara (by lying-but not exactly…).

    Interesting that with the Truth Field, you can trick but you can’t lie -you can say poems and jokes in a trick cracker, but nothing expedient. A very clever episode with delightful ‘track backs’ to earlier eps including ‘don’t blink’. All in all, so much for the new viewer to unpack, for the older viewers to sew up vital connections. Well done to Moffat: you can see 31/2 hour Hollywood mash ups with 1/10th of the plot that this hour delivered.



    Anonymous @

    hellooo @arbutus and hope you had a merry Christmas -I have to say “Chrozzmis” or something, otherwise I keep thinking of the town, Christmas, on Trenzalore! I loved it too -and I was thinking of you as I watched it! I also felt as @timeloop said that there was so much there -much more than the last Christmas special. Like you, I respected the character of Tasha Lem, but didn’t fully engage with her, either. She could have had a different dynamic, slightly more on-screen time (but what do I know? :)).  I think the different regen was great too-so different from the last which was underscored by 10s “vanity” and his fanfare statement “I don’t wanna go”. I loved the musical connections: how we heard, near the end,  excerpts of The Long Song from Akhaten: how very apt, IMO.

    Like you, I didn’t understand why the cracks closed in the church tower, only to re-open in the sky. As @phaseshift said, we now know that the Timelords are not stuck in some ever repeating phenomenal world, but as to how they operate the cracks, I’m not sure. It’s interesting that the cracks appeared in Amy’s bedroom: how random was that? I’m assuming the TLs knew where he was headed, that the TARDIS knew too; hence the explosion as he landed in the Pond’s backyard. Now, though, I’ve become utterly stupid: I need a re-boot. Someone asked me last night: “why was the universe getting smaller in Smith’s 1st season?”. I stuttered and gasped and said “I don’t remember”. Does the universe’s ‘devolvement’ look different now, with this final episode, I wonder?

    kindest, purofilion

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @ardaraith     Just because the Doctor says (believes, hopes, wishes?) that the Time Lords will return in peace, doesn’t mean that they will!

    @phaseshift     The pleading by Clara about “loving him” (surely a “LOL” moment on the other side of the crack)     Hahaha!

    The only jarring thing slightly was the voice, but we can’t do much about that.     I actually thought he “aged” his voice pretty well, especially at the end, when I had a sense that he was trying to return to his old-style speeches in Pandorica and so forth, and just didn’t have the energy.

    @RTDFan     Interesting that the gathered enemies of the Doctor eventually fought amongst themselves instead of uniting to defeat him as they had partially done in ‘The Pandorica Opens’, not sure where these events were in the timestreams but didn’t they remember past successes did they.

    The Doctor has been erased from history. This is referenced when he comments that the Daleks “shouldn’t even know who I am.” The Daleks only retrieved the information about their old enemy after they

    Matt started his regeneration as part of his defeat  – on this occasion –  of the Daleks, yet became his younger self again to say goodbye.

    I think this is explained. The impression I got was that regeneration first heals the old body, then changes it into the new. Sometimes this process takes longer than usual. Hence, Tennant Doctor’s injuries are healed, he seems fine, heads out on his “farewell tour”, gradually loses energy, and changes. Similarly, Smith Doctor is rejuvenated before changing.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @blenkinsopthebrave     I think a big reason why it wasn’t as appreciated by some, is that, unlike so much that had gone before with Matt’s Doctor, this was a very adult and mature reflection on aging, death and dying, and what it means to lose a loved one.

    Yes. Despite the apparent drama of explosions and battles, it was actually a very quiet story, wasn’t it? It felt small. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. In keeping with the storytelling motif, it was not an epic tale, but a beautiful bedtime story.  DotD saw the Doctor trying to do a very big thing, end the time war, save Gallifrey, change his own history; TotD saw the Doctor trying to do something small by comparison: spend the remainder of his life protecting the people of one town.

    the granting of the new regenerations was done brilliantly, precisely because it was done so economically.

    Yes, I gather that some posters elsewhere felt that the granting of a new regeneration cycle by the Time Lords was some kind of easy out, but if so, it certainly wasn’t unexpected. Kudos to you and anyone else on here who called it that the Time Lords might be able to intervene in the Doctor’s regenerations before being rescued!    🙂


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @scaryb     Time Lords age like everything else, it just takes a bit longer.    I wondered whether the Doctor aged so much in this case because the entire time was spent in real time and space, outside of the TARDIS/time vortex? Previously he lived four hundred years and didn’t age at all.

    But the Doctor and Clara need to have avatars to board the Papal Mainframe.     I thought it was just the clothes that were the avatars?  🙂  The Doctor said he was naked because he was going to church (which I found pretty funny, actually!).

    And presumably it was the change in DotD which zapped Gallifrey out of the known universe, but left at least some of the daleks surviving and untimelocked that meant they could build up their forces for the attack here.     But by the time of Asylum of the Daleks, hadn’t the Dalek Empire pretty much built back up to speed, even before the Time War rewrite?

    Scatamonky @scatamonky

    I’ve still only watched once….on iPlayer after a long and hectic Christmas day at about 1 in the morning.

    I enjoyed it but I do have some questions.

    1. How old do we think the Doctor is now? He was 1200 in The Day of The Doctor, waited 300 years for Clara the first time to return, but looked a HELL of a lot older comparatively the second time…maybe another 500 making him somewhere around 2,000 years old now!

    2. His future tomb at Trenzalore has now been averted? So Clara never did jump into his timestream but then again, if she didn’t then neither did The Great Intelligence so maybe one cancels the other out?

    3. Plus…..if Trenzalore is now longer his final final resting place, then somewhere else is….albeit in another 12 regenerations and 50 years BBC time from now…..but it’s still out there somewhere ans somewhen!

    FiveRoundsRapid @fiveroundsrapid

    Took a while to get there but here’s a few of my random thoughts and musings on Matt Smith’s swansong.

    Please feel free to check out the rest of my new Who blog as well… Any comments and/or feedback is always appreciated!!



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @scatamonky – I’m not sure it’s going to matter how old the Doctor is now. The ‘I’m always going to remember being me’ speech had the feel of one of Eleven’s ‘this is the safest planet I know’ lines. Some sentences he should just stay away from. 🙂

    We’ll have to see – but I’m one of the people who’ve been saying ‘reboot’ for a while. I think that since a)The Capaldi Doctor isn’t going to ‘remember’ his previous lives (though he may have access to the 1200 year diary) and b) he’s physically been given a new cycle he’s going to c) not really care how old he is.

    His future’s been changed by the Time Lords, which means Trenzalore/Tomb/Great Intelligence now took place as a side trip to an aborted time-line. This doesn’t mean it didn’t ‘happen’ and people don’t ‘remember’ it, just that it’s kind of in a branch line.

    Wherever the Doctor’s new grave is, he’s not going to go looking for it. Which means, probably, that it’s in a state of quantum superposition. 🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @miapatrick     To me there was a particular chaos about this Doctor which fits well with this.    Yes, I like this characterization. He had a very explosive personality, didn’t he, lots of spinning around and waving of arms.

    @scatamonky     His future tomb at Trenzalore has now been averted? So Clara never did jump into his timestream but then again, if she didn’t then neither did The Great Intelligence so maybe one cancels the other out?

    Oh, good point. Since it doesn’t make sense to me to assume that the events of The Time of the Doctor have written out the events of The Name of the Doctor, I will have to assume, based on the timeline lessons from The Day of the Doctor, that two separate time streams exist. How else would the Doctor have come to meet Clara in the first place, if he hadn’t already known her as a Claricle?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @bluesqueakpip    What have I missed? Why won’t the Capaldi Doctor remember his previous lives?

    Whether he remembers or not, however, I agree that the Doctor’s exact age is probably not really relevant. I believe that he has made a few remarks now suggesting that he no longer pays attention to the matter.

    rmifaabsbb @rmifaabsbb

    I loved this episode, am i the only one who gave importance to the words of matt at the end? that he won’t forget anything, i thought about this mostly because of the war doctors’ words about him being the doctor who forgets in the day of the doctor. I thought they wanted to show how much the eleventh has changed by the end or something, but nobody seems to note that moment

    Anonymous @

    Yes @arbutus and  @ScaryB  Hello to @MartyB also: did you like the Special?

    I’d agree that this was the opposite story in the ‘trilogy’ beginning with The Name of The Doctor. We now know that the Doctor’s name is, in a way, not important to the world: it can be whatever one wants: as a “name is also a story”. I’d agree it was a ‘small’ story; a tale about one man fighting to secure a society from the evils outside it. The fact he was fixing children’s toys, being the sheriff (a reminder of a Town Called Mercy?) and living a ‘normal’ life was so different to the strutting 10th Doctor as he walked away with Rose after the Olympics laughing about how civilisations called him The Oncoming Storm. In this fairy tale he was much ‘smaller’ but all the more ‘bigger’ for staying in this little town and celebrating every victory with the townspeople. No doubt he’d also attended every birth and wedding -remember how he only came to weddings for the dancing? Now, he’d have no excuse to miss any of it!

    Yes, I’d say that the Dalek empire had time to ‘collect itself’ and rebuild for the “Time War starting anew”.

    Again, I liked the Papal Mainframe and wished we’d had more of it than in this Special and the references in  Weeping Angels etc: it was interesting that the Mainframe was like the Greek’s attitude to their God of love, wine and war: “Dionysus [is] the Master of Illusions, who could make a vine grow out of a ship’s plank, and in general enable his votaries to see the world as the world’s not” (E.R. Dodds, The Greeks).

    This was connected to the ‘general’ nakedness (LOL, too) when ‘attending’ Tasha Lem -to see the world the way it isn’t (or vice versa) and is a reference to the Doctor who could feel planets moving beneath his feet, sense the future before others, and see the world as “the world’s not”.

    As for the Doctor’s departure, it was beautiful but so overly sentimental as 10s change, I felt. I like that. It seemed morally ‘right’.

    Later, when the “ashes are cold”, and the mourners departed, I’ll look around and find that I, along with everyone else, is in an entirely different world with a new Doctor. And it will be fine: more than fine. This change isn’t the numbing, overly-sad and primitive change of 10s; in this Special, the departure of Smith didn’t obscure the story.

    I also loved the town, with the snow radiating down on the older couple, arm in arm along a path. Even in the partial dark, it was full-blown and luminous,  a shivery twilight with mysterious arms and angels hidden in the avenue -very scary, as my boy said. But the big, white flakes, wafting down over the town,  in perpetual snow laden glory (and not the snow of other Christmas tales, where it’s been the destruction of ships: the ashes of those blown apart) was a gorgeous touch: something from a fairy tale, for sure.

    I think this has been the main aim of Moffat’s time: to connect the fables of the past with the science fiction of Doctor Who until we have almost a new category. Science Fable or Science Fiction Fable!

    But I’m babbling: I do this when nervous. Although I can’t wait for Capaldi’s journey to start, I still haven’t had sufficient time to say goodbye to my Doctor. He said he’d remember every single day: well, greedy as I am, I want him for one more day 🙂



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @arbutus – it depends on whether it’s simply post-regeneration loopiness, the Series 8 arc, or an official reboot. But

    Do you happen to know how to fly this thing?

    hints pretty strongly that the Doctor’s lost at least some of his memory. Combine it with Eleven’s speech about always remembering and – well.

    That said, there has to be something more to a new cycle than ‘golden glow required’, otherwise they’d all be doing it. So I do wonder if the reset normally requires something along the lines of a memory backup followed by an upload after the regeneration. The Doctor, never having had the slightest interest in immortality, doesn’t know that. The Time Lords do – but this was an emergency.

    Anonymous @

    halloooo to @rmifaabsbb  nope, I think many of us got that moment 🙂 sometimes there’s so much to note that that we can’t write it all! Certainly @arbutus, @bluesqueakpip, @phaseshift and @scaryb won’t miss a trick -trust me-they’d be on to everything straightaways.

    But yes, you’re right in making that quite plain: in the past he’d forgotten so much; or tried to forget. As @bluesqueakpip mentioned in her analyses of tDofD, 10s Doctor was about regret (I think!) and 11s was to forget. So, in this case, after almost forgetting everything whilst being on Christmas for nearly 500 years, he made it clear he’d remember it all. The fact he saw Amelia and the grown up Amy Pond Williams was wonderful  and in a way, the Mainframe reminds us all of River and her upload into the Library’s computer. I like to think that, at the end, he was remembering that final kiss they shared in tNotD-but it was too private and so it was something we didn’t need to witness.



    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip yes, I’m stuck as always on the fable tale issues and I’ve forgotten the connection between “Oh, I’ll remember everything, every single day” to: “do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”.

    We’ve never had a timelord being given regens because he’s ‘good’ (though the Master was bestowed some also) -like Santa giving you gifts because you’ve been a ‘good child’. 🙂

    “Golden glow” -LOL. Kindest, purofilion

    Arbutus @arbutus


    I will admit that I had assumed in favour of the loopiness. Previous incarnations have often been quite confused for awhile (Five and Eight suffering full-on amnesia for awhile), so I don’t think I even thought twice about this one. The Master was apparently given a new regeneration cycle during the Time War, and, other than when he was chameleon arched, he seems to have no trouble remembering his past.

    Admittedly, I’m arguing for what I want to see… while I certainly have no desire to see continual self-referencing in the show, I think I would hate to see the Doctor completely forget his past: all the friends he has had, all the people to whom he has made a difference.

    Interesting idea about the memory backup; you are right that it shouldn’t be too easy to acquire extra regeneration energy. this could make a good plot point for an opening story. How the Doctor gets his upload!


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @arbutus and @purofilion – there’s definitely some kind of ‘memory’ theme that’s intended (as @rmifaabsbb pointed out). Did you spot the music swelling in the background during the ‘memory’ speech and Amelia/Amy’s reappearance?

    It’s the theme from Rings of Akhaten.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion     In this fairy tale he was much ‘smaller’ but all the more ‘bigger’ for staying in this little town and celebrating every victory with the townspeople. No doubt he’d also attended every birth and wedding -remember how he only came to weddings for the dancing? Now, he’d have no excuse to miss any of it!

    Okay, I’ve been trying not to go here, because I know that most people on this forum have not listened to much or any Big Finish, but I can no longer help it! There was an Eight Doctor Adventure story in which the Doctor spent six hundred years stranded on a watery planet without the TARDIS. He was adopted by the society of advanced jelly fish that lived there (as you can see, this was a story with a much more humorous tone!) as a sort of Wise Man. He advised them, defended them against their enemies, and spent his spare time trying to build weather forecasting technology with inadequate parts. He definitely attended the celebrations and so on. When his companion Lucie finally arrived to rescue him, he didn’t recognize her, and could barely remember the times he had spent on Earth.

    I remember being struck by this vision of the Doctor brought down to earth, as it were; still with his noble instincts and problem-solving mind, but only small issues of life to turn his attention to. There was also a story in which the Doctor was imprisoned in a planetary system and forced to work in a small computer room to keep a sun from exploding. He stayed for six years, although he could have escaped, because if he left, then a planet full of people would be destroyed. The conceit here was that the only way to imprison the Doctor was through his own conscience. We know that Moffat is familiar with the Big Finish stories, and I’m sure he must have been familiar with these stories, particularly the first one.

    It was a particularly noble instinct of the Doctor’s, when we might have expected him to want to make the most of his last incarnation, to give up all those hundreds of years to help the people of Christmas. Perhaps a shift back to the type of Doctor he had been before the Time War created the Lonely God?


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @bluesqueakpip    Yes, I think that @purofilion called that as well. I recognized the music but didn’t identify it. @rmifaabsbb, I guess that in eight months or so, we will find out whether the Doctor really has changed from “the one who forgets”, or whether this was only wishful thinking on his part.    🙂

    shashank @shashank

    hi guys, awesome episode, and now  cant wait for season 8.. BUT before that..
    here’s is what’s bothering me the most from the last TWO of three of matt’s swan song.  (most other things little bits and pieces,  there can be loopholes and plots – and i’d rather be amazed..but)
    *skip to last para for short version*

    This one tiny little bit of info – i can not seem to dissolve* ..
    in the 50th, there were 13th doctors. and those eyebrows.. oh those brows… pure enigma…

    though, in the christmas special, there are several instances where matt is convinced that he is the last doctor, and that ‘this’ grave is for ‘this’ face. he knows he will eventually end up in trenzalore, but he is convinced that this is his last face.
    and that he can’t do anything about the future.. because there aren’t any timelords anymore (stuck in another dimension yada yada – he has no idea that they can still help him).

    So in a way – at this point before midnight on this ‘christmas’ night, this 1500 year old.. or however old… doctor of ours is convinced that there are no more versions of him. and it is in less than an hour where he actually gets the power for and goes through  another regeneration cycle.


    the tiny little hamsters in my head are just wondering – why are there 13 doctors helping save gallifrey.  matt recruits all his past version BELIEVING that he was the last one. – and so goes back –  so why is Capaldi there – why would matt’s doctor go forward in the future to get the next one??.

    AND if he does find out that he has another regen left in him during the 50th.. why is he so adamant about him not having any more lives/regens left in the christmas…??


    please mr moffat, dont hate me – i assure you, i have no list or diagrams. it’s not about who was first or last. its just that capaldi comes after matt. matt recruits everyone before him believing he was the last one.

    Anonymous @

    yes @Bluequeakpip I recognised the Long Song too!  I noticed a few themes intermingled as well as some distinctly ‘Scottish’ ‘themes’: the odd bagpipe sound and some thing hinting at a whole new theme for Capaldi’s doctor -wonderful stuff: to see the germination of a much larger musical theme ready for the new season

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @shashank – it’s a good question and for all I know, might be important in Series 8.

    The Eleventh Doctor, however, only recruits his previous selves. He doesn’t know there’s a Capaldi Doctor (I think it’s the Time Lord played by Peter de Jersey who has the line ‘All Thirteen’).

    The Twelfth Doctor doesn’t need to be recruited – providing he remembers that he needs to turn up to help save Gallifrey. He’s from the future; he should already remember where and when this happened, what the Eleventh knew – and possibly, what he needs to do to turn failure into success.

    Oh, and he needs to be able to fly the TARDIS. To remember how to fly the TARDIS.

    Sidenote: The Eleventh also appears to have completely forgotten his chat with The Curator and their discussion about Gallifrey surviving. That fits with ‘The Curator’ being another future incarnation of The Doctor; the Smith Doctor – being an earlier incarnation – can’t retain the memory of that conversation, not if the timeline is still being changed.

    Anonymous @

    yes @shashank  I would agree with @bluesqueakpip about the 13th -or Capaldi doctor- showing up to help the others including the War Doctor in tDofD: Mat’s Doctor doesn’t know Capaldi’s there -only the general shouts it out, so us, the audience, can understand the significance of those eyes. At this point, though, Capaldi clearly remembers very little. He may hardly recall Clara -let alone his ship.

    Anonymous @

    hellooo someone wiser than I, above, mentioned that there were four knocks in this Special? If so where? I might need to rewatch again for that tit-bit!

    Arbutus @arbutus


    Well, how about this? The Doctor didn’t recruit all of his former selves, only the first one. When they used the sonic screwdriver to break down the door, only the Hurt Doctor (the earliest) put the data into the sonic. The others retrieved the data later. It was the same for the calculations needed to hide Gallifrey; the Hartnell Doctor started the calculations, and later doctors continued them.

    The future Capaldi Doctor could have been drawn into the proceedings for some reason of which I’m not sure, but not specifically by the Smith Doctor himself. Perhaps it had something to do with the presence of the Time Lords, who in the future would give the Doctor the regeneration cycle he needed to make this next doctor a reality? Or, or, or, perhaps, it had to do with the expectation or need for thirteen doctors, but there were unexpectedly only twelve because that rogue the Tennant Doctor used two regenerations on one face? So a future doctor was pulled in to make up thirteen. Smith Doctor probably didn’t even notice his presence, it was the Time Lords doing the counting.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @bluesqueakpip      The Eleventh also appears to have completely forgotten his chat with The Curator and their discussion about Gallifrey surviving. That fits with ‘The Curator’ being another future incarnation of The Doctor; the Smith Doctor – being an earlier incarnation – can’t retain the memory of that conversation, not if the timeline is still being changed.

    I hadn’t thought about this at all, very good point!

    Rob @rob

    Another River similarity, the Silence and therefore The Papal Mainframe and Tash Lem have gone backwards and forwards through the Doctors timestream

    Anonymous @


    The ‘Four Knocks’ I referred to upstream was the title of the piece of the music that started playing after Tasha Lem took Clara back to Trenzalore. It’s from the soundtrack to TEoT and was heard while The Doctor was having his little tantrum prior to releasing Wilf from the Nuclear Bolt thingy.

    Anonymous @

    @fatmaninabox   thank you for that !  I knew it (the 4 knocks) was the foreordination of the Dr’s death but I didn’t know it as a title piece nor did I recognise it in this Special. Love the Avatar BTW very appropriate.

    FiveRoundsRapid @fiveroundsrapid

    Sorry that this is a bit off topic…


    Okay, I’ve been trying not to go here, because I know that most people on this forum have not listened to much or any Big Finish, but I can no longer help it!

    I’m glad someone has brought up Big Finish as I really wanted to make a start with some of these and wondered where the best place was to start. Some of the Companion Chronicles look great and I have a strong leaning towards Jago and Litefoot…

    Any recommendations?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @fiveroundsrapid – have you taken a look at @phaseshift‘s blog post on the topic?

    FiveRoundsRapid @fiveroundsrapid

    @bluesqueakpip @phaseshift

    I’ve not but I will do now!! Thanks for the heads up!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    SNOW ANGELS! I had to get that out of my system I love that scene.

    Welcome, and thanks for reminding me. I loved the look of that as well.

    I wrote a while ago that the only real antecedent in genre I can remember for the Angels were the topiary animals in the Stephen King novel “The Shining” (they didn’t make it to the Kubrick film), which were hedge animals that only moved when you didn’t look. This episode really reinforced that as you heard the dull thump of snow as the Angels all suddenly went into attack mode.

    From his right; that soft sound again, falling clumps of snow. He looked over and saw the other two lions, clear of snow now down on their forepaws, side by side, about sixty paces away. The green indentations that were their eyes were fixed on him. The dog had turned its head.

    It only happens when you aren’t looking!

    (From The Shining, Stephen King)

    If anyone wants a good book recommendation for the winter period, and you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it. Save it for a stormy couple of nights, and read it on your own.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Excellent call @phaseshift, I hadn’t made the Shining connection, but I would be v v surprised if that wasn’t lurking somewhere in the background when the Angels were dreamed up.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Oh, and I can second the recommendation as well.   That book scared me half to death.  And whilst the film is great, it loses a lot of the tragedy in the novel, because Jack Nicholson makes Jack Torrance a raving psychopathic axe murderer from the start, who just hasn’t happened to actually axe murder anyone yet.  In the book, you see a personality disintegrate and that’s both chilling and terribly sad.  But I could go on about Stephen King for ages and that belongs on another forum so will shut up now.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I do, however, wonder this about the cracks. Why did the crack in the tower close after Clara spoke to the Time Lords, and why did it conveniently reopen in the sky outside? This would imply that the Time Lords were controlling the cracks, when I thought the Doctor had said that the cracks, opened by the exploding TARDIS, were being used by the Time Lords?

    I think there are two ways of looking at this. If I can quote Sexy Fish Vampire Rosanna in Vampires in Venice:

    There were cracks. Some were tiny. Some were as big as the sky. Through some we saw worlds, and people. And through others we saw silence. And the end of all things. We fled to a nation like ours. And the crack snapped shut behind us. Saturnyne was lost.

    The cracks opened up to other voids/worlds. Perhaps only one went to Gallifrey, and this was it. The Doctor had previously stated in the Doctor 10 Cybermen two parter that when the Time Lords were around hoping between Universes was no problem. Once the crack is there, they have a measure of control over it.

    The other is to say that the overwriting of timelines has consequences, a rebound effect of Time lines reconciling that Doctor 11 has been living through. The Silence have travelled back from what we’ve just witnessed to a point in the Timelines where the change in state of the Time Lords is not in effect. Through those cracks to other places, there is just “Silence”. Nobody is on the other side because Gallifrey burned. That’s a more dynamic view of the Whoniverse, with states in flux, which I think I’m drawn to more.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    2. His future tomb at Trenzalore has now been averted? So Clara never did jump into his timestream but then again, if she didn’t then neither did The Great Intelligence so maybe one cancels the other out?

    I think she jumped. Again it’s a consequence of the more dynamic view of time flow that Moffat has presented. Everything in it has a precedent in the Whoniverse, with timestreams that didn’t happen to exterior view, but which the Doctor and entourage lived through.

    Can I just say though, I’m feeling immensely smug for not very much. In some speculation on the 50th sparked by conversation with @bluesqueakpip and other posters, I seemed to tie in the sacrifice of Tenzilore as an end-point with the regeneration limit. I’ll confess this piece of prescience back in June was entirely coincidental. 😀

    DrSmith @drsmith

    Hey guys, I’m here to talk about Smithy’s departure.

    First of Logopolis: Did anybody else get the little nod they did to Logopolis where Clara picks up the phone and places it back in the window (not sure what else to call it) the same the Fourth Doctor had.

    The Face Reset: It was good. Started with Smithy’s classic chin movement, then hestarted to get all hyped up and excited, and then it moved to one his classic “Bad ass” speaches seen in The Eleventh Hour and The Pandorica Opens, then he swirled his hand knowing how regens usually worked and this time the effect was more magamay then Ten, Eleven, and Twelves regens.

    Amelia Pond: Uhhhh. I didn’t like her appearance on the simple fact of she annoyed me. I think we saw to much of her and she had that special sort of feel to her: Like she was more special than The Doctor’s other companions.

    The Regeneration: I loved it: We got some variety! As I said early the regen looked different than previous modern aged regens. Which as I said in a previous post I was longing for. And it happened so fast paced I loved and especially since we had the residual energy sort of effect with the face change.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I did debate whether to post that on the general books thread, but it seemed worth posting here. Love early Stephen King, and I think that’s one of his best. The sequence with Danny in the snowbound playground is so intense.

    BTW – If you ever want to write a thesis on Capra and Doctor Who, let us know and we’ll do it as a blog!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Like she was more special than The Doctor’s other companions.

    She was more special than the Doctor’s other companions: to him. He says it several times: she was the first face that regeneration ever saw.

    What was never mentioned but probably always running underneath: this little girl with no parents almost certainly reminded him of his own little girl with no parents – his granddaughter Susan.

    Like Susan, she grew up. Like Susan, she both travelled with him and waited for him. Unlike Susan, he decides that this time, Amy’s husband-to-be is coming on board. But it only delays the inevitable; he loses her, in the end, to her husband and a normal life. A normal death.

    He’s got the relationship slightly the wrong way round, of course. He’s not her grandfather – she’s his mother-in-law. But he was right about her being ‘family’ – and that’s who he wants to remember when he’s regenerating. Amelia Pond, his little girl. Who waited.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @Phase Shift – don’t tempt me!  I’m supposed to be writing a whole other thesis which sadly has no connections whatsoever to either Who or Capra. But if I have the odd moment …

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    don’t tempt me!

    Not even with Jammy Dodgers?! 😀 Seriously – the offer it always open.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Happy Christmas all!

    Im not a fan of the Who Christmas episodes as a rule - they often add too much saccharine, and I cant really say this was an exception unfortunately. Harumph!

    A town called Christmas filled with Victorian literature type folk ? Nooo – just why?

    I wasn’t keen on the ‘you’re my boyfriend / ding dong’ Woody Allen in space schtick either – I really don’t need Clara to have the hots for the Doc. As we still don’t know why River had a holographic connection w Clara beyond Vastra’s link I am still, perhaps vainly, holding out for a familial connection, particularly as Clara seems to be able to fly the TARDIS to a degree.

    I like the Tara Lem as River spec – she certainly reminded me of the mysterious dalekised woman who sent the Doctor looking for her daughter in Asylum of the Daleks…

    More later!



    ed C



    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Oops double post! Happy the Doc’s name is the key to the TL return!


    Anonymous @

    Right, finally got here.

    I largely loved this. There are definitely some faults — as have been pointed out on the annual Grauniad grouse-fest over the way — not sure we needed the little monster cameos, for instance. The Sonatarans, for instance, were fun but we didn’t really need them and seemed to be there only to give Dan Starkey a little cameo. Same with the Weeping Angels. They didn’t really add much to the story at all. In fact, it would have been nice to see some other monsters for a change. Maybe a glimpse of a Teriliptil or a Drahvin would have been cool (if probably less than justifiable in terms of budget).

    I can also share @juniperfish‘s misgivings about Clara/Doc schtick as well but I have to say it didn’t really bug me too terribly. Especially as I imagine we’ve pretty much seen the last of it now with a presumably more fatherly Doc/Clara relationship.

    But apart from that, I thought this was a terrific regeneration story and possibly the second best Christmas episode after The Snowmen. I’d certainly say it was the best regen story of the new series, knocking The Parting of the Ways and especially The End of Time into a cocked hat. The proof of that is in that even at the end I still really didn’t want Matt to go. Don’t get me wrong, I think PC is going to be a great Doctor but I was still dreading his arrival.

    And the emotion was kept on just the right side of sentimental. Rather than the overplayed melodrama of TEoT which had me wishing Tennant gone by the end of it, this had me crying like a bloody baby. And I was so glad that Amy was there to say goodbye to her Raggedy Man. The scene was very reminiscent of the one with River in The Name of the Doctor but I think this serves to remind us that the Doctor doesn’t see the universe in the same way that we do and that he is surrounded by ghosts that his companions can’t see all the time. And maybe he always was. And to answer @drsmith above, Amy was special. She was the Girl Who Waited, the first face that Matt’s Doc ever saw. It was totally right that she should be there. It would have felt almost wrong if she hadn’t.

    And wasn’t Matt wonderful? This was a blistering performance. The age make-up wasn’t brilliant but better than Tennant’s in The Last of the Time Lords — and was it just me or did it make Matt look a bit like Paul Kaye at certain points? I’m not sure it was intended to soften people up for Capaldi’s appearance (although maybe it was) but rather to be a final dig at those who’d said that Matt was too young for the part. (And interesting to see those flashbacks to the Eleventh Hour to be shocked at just how much Smith has aged in just a few years as the Doctor.)

    Talking of which, there seemed to lots of shout-outs to the Eleventh Hour here. There were, of course, call-outs to all of Smith’s era but the ones to his opening episode seemed to me to be the most poignant, to the point that it seems almost a sequel. There is young kid who guards the TARDIS — another Amelia basically, but this time the Doctor stays. He stays and plays the part of the Raggedy Man to all the children. Similarly there are the children’s drawings, surely referencing Amelia’s of her own Raggedy Man. And the Doc makes clear that Trenzalore is defended, in much the say way that he told the Atraxi the Earth was in TEH. All that was missing was a few ducks in a duck pond.

    And of course there’s the bow tie. It was the tying of the tie in The Eleventh Hour that seemed to punctuate Matt’s ‘becoming’ of the Doctor. It was his removal of it in this story that seemed to emphasise that his time was over. I think Matt’s time as the Doctor has been a rather special and interesting high point of the show’s history (I can already feel a retrospective blogpost coming on) and I’m missing the floppy-haired bugger already.

    But on with the new and I have to say that from his brief introduction, I think that Peter Capaldi is already shaping up to be a potentially fantastic Doc. There’s something about that intense stare but also a lightness there too.

    I can hardly wait.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Just a thought – the poem that was in the cracker, Eric D Ritchie’s Thoughts on a Clock.  My googling has only brought up quotes from and references to this episode – does anyone know if it was a real poem?

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