The Time of The Doctor

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    Whisht @whisht

    a bonkers thread of theorising – great idea!!

    Can I be first(?!) to suggest that when they do step forward and everyone’s (vaguely) happy at seeing them, the TLs admit that they lost the War while being sealed away, and Dalek stalks sprout from their foreheads?

    Bit obvious, but still….


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @scaryb (nice New Year avatar btw)

    I agree, when you look at the potential for stories to arise from this is seems like a new blank canvas. I quite like the idea of a substantially weakened Gallifrey who have to deal with an outside Universe on a more equal footing. Malong treaties and allies, and perhaps still having a lot of conflicting issues with The Doctor.


    Ohhhhh – early nomination for mass Dalek nano-bot conversion! Harsh, but fair. Unfortunately this may lead to “last of the Time Lord” angst again though.

    geoffers @geoffers

    @juniperfish – “I think the fact that there was a crack at Trenzalore lends more weight to my theory that Trenzalore is a special place of quantum superposition, because when the Doctor rebooted the universe the cracks disappeared. The fact that one still, paradoxically, exists at Trenzalore suggests a place where the walls between ‘verses in the multiverse are especially thin.”

    his tomb (with the decaying timeline) would have made it a “special place of quantum hoo-ha,” as well. 🙂 i’m guessing the only thing special about trenzalore is that that is where the time lords chose to communicate with their previous universe. this led to the doctor arriving there, which led to his death, and to the tardis tomb containing the “track of tears.” it probably could have been anywhere/anywhen in this universe, where a suitably “thin” skin seperated their bubble universe from ours, and that same pattern would emerge. in other words, trenzalore should be as “normal” now as it was before the crack, since both the crack and his tomb are gone, thanks to the new timeline/aborted death event.

    [which, i believe, technically alters clara’s timeline, as well. she should no longer be the impossible girl (except in his and her memories, as in ‘journey to the centre of the tardis’), because he doesn’t die at trenzalore. that entire timeline has been re-written.]

    but are there still “thin” walls elsewhere, where they can open future cracks, when needed? i’d guess yes, and the time lords are obviously capable of exploiting those weaknesses wherever they find them. it needn’t take a tardis exploding to allow them through, as it (seemingly) did this time around…

    Whisht @whisht

    ah – @phaseshift – I know, I know – not really a theory, more a naff denouement! Its also one I’d hate (which proves how little instinct for writing or drama is in me!)

    What I do like (as you all have said) is that this ends the ‘last-of-the-TimeLords’ shtick, yet also means he can’t bring them back until they’ve proven to the rest of the Universe that they aren’t power-mad High Council types/ War-mongering Council types or even aloof and feared original TL types.

    What’s quite neat is that they will have to answer a question to prove their worth in returning.

    What that question might be I have no idea (“you see a turtle on its back…?” 😉 ).

    Risdat @risdat

    As for speculations I hope the current situation will give rise to a longer Master vs Doctor arc where they will decide the fate of Gallifrey and the rest of the Time Lords. I would certainly enjoy such an arc.

    A problem might be that there is no desirable outcome to this arc. If the Time Lords go extinct (again) you go to the old ‘last of my kind’ scenario. If the Time Lords return you get a bunch of lunatics. So in order for this to work there should be some interesting developments on Gallifrey itself.. Anyway a lot of good stuff can come in the future.


    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Has anyone considered the fact that Chinny ( oh I do  Like that)when rebooted the universe and  therefore sealing the crack may have actually be the reason the timelords are now able to “interact” with the doctor.  using the cracks as a way of communicating with him may be their way of telling him what has enabled this interaction as since the reboot travel between pocket/parallel universes suddenly appears to have become easier  ref  TDW and Hide. Omg  Ive a sudden thought that if the universes are becoming accessible it return of Stick man Mk 2 and Rose. Also do the timelords really want to come back  into our  univesre, it strikes me that given that the timelords originally had their non interference policy that sitting in a  pocket universe would suit them down to the ground as long as they had their own way of entering and exiting that is, oh and that time is moving at some rate for them, because we all know that they want their cake and to eat it :P.  

    ah well time will tell


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Chat with Orla Brady


    PurpleCup @purplecup

    Hello all, I have been reading these posts for a few months and have finally worked up the courage to contribute. There are some amazing minds floating around here!
    There are a few things that have been bothering me, hopefully someone may have an answer. I’m not sure who to tag.

    When the Doctor first went to Trenzalore there was a tomb stone with River’s name on it. The Doctor said that they would never bury his wife there. This raises a few questions:
    1)  ‘Who’ wouldn’t bury his wife there? If Clara didn’t speak to the TL through the crack then the Doctor would have died in the battle at the end of the Christmas special. This is the future that was visited in Name of the Doctor. So who was left to do the burying? And of those people, who thought to put a ‘River Song’  tombstone? The Papal Mainframe had been taken over by Daleks and I don’t imagine that Tasha Lem would have been able to rid herself entirely of the invading Dalek. So who did it? And why was it done as a tunnel into the Doctor’s tomb?

    2)  The Doctor never said that River couldn’t be buried (as you would assume he’d say after the Library), he just said that ‘they’ would never bury his wife there. Does this imply that there is a way to get her out of the Library and back to a body again, in order for her life to continue?

    3)  If the implication is that River is somehow able to return from the Library, in order to ‘not be buried at Trenzalore’, could that mean that there is more to the River and Doctor story? At Demon’s Run when she saw the Doctor’s cot she giddily said “oh, is this your cot? I haven’t seen  that in ages!” At this point on Demon’s Run, the real River baby had already been taken away so could not have seen the cot. Therefore, River has to see it at some other point. The question is, when? Does she use it as a mother?

    Does anyone have any ideas on the above? I may be looking at things too closely, or even from the wrong angle!

    Thanks for letting me play,

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Welcome, @purplecup – I don’t have any answers to your questions but I will say that your logic is flawless.

    My favourite notion is River using the cot as a Mother – You could really be on to something there…

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @purplecup – I’m going to leave it to wiser heads than mine to answer your good questions!

    @wolfweed – Great interview with Orla. I would love to know what backstory she created in her mind to play Tasha (and how that played out over a few series! 🙂 ). Fun to hear how an actor responds to being in Who (without even reading the script!).

    (will shut up now as she has a winning smile and I may get a bit fanboy).


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @whisht – Yes – Let’s hope Orla was lying about not expecting to return…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    What excellent points!

    I recall that River said she had seen all of his faces (up to 11, or beyond?) and I keep remembering the line about him turning up with a new haircut and a new suit (or words to that effect). I think it is left open that River could have inhabited all of the Doctor’s timeline, for the whole 50 years of the show (and beyond). For me, the biggest challenge has always been to try and see River beyond a linear timeframe–ie, how can the actress age, but River not, or, alternatively, how can River appear older out of linear sequence? One of the many limitations of the blenkinsop brain.

    As for the cot, I have long believed that River and the Doctor had a child, the only two questions are: which Doctor and which child.

    The other point that needs to be explained is that River has some Time Lord attributes (ability to regenerate) but does not seem to be affected by the problem of crossing timelines. While that is always presented as a problem for the Doctor, it never seems to be an issue for River. Wiser minds (such as yours, @purplecup!) may have the answer to that, and much more.

    Anonymous @

    @purplecup – welcome (love your avatar)

    The Doctor said that they would never bury his wife there. This raises a few questions…‘Who’ wouldn’t bury his wife there?

    That’s an interesting question, and one that I’d never given any thought to.

    Having pondered on it, as The Library is owned by Mr Lux, I would have thought that the task of burying or, at least, ‘disposing of’ River’s body would have been left to him. I’m assuming he’d have details of next of kin (ie Amy and Rory) so it’s possible that he would have arranged for River to be buried with them.

    As for the grave on Trenzalore, it was never a real one to begin with. It was a secret entrance to The Doctor’s tomb. Who put it there though? That may be one of the things we’ll never get the answer to (although with the 10th Anniversary of AG Who in 2015, Eleven may return to clear up those last remaining ‘loose ends’ 😉 ).

    geoffers @geoffers

    greetings, and welcome, @purplecup – it’s always nice when a fellow lurker de-cloaks and begins throwing around some good questions!

    re: 1) i always took “they” to mean “everyone else” in the universe, for the reason that we (the audience) already know… river doesn’t have a physical body to require burial, after the library. only amy and rory are likely to have access to that knowledge, and i just don’t see him telling them such a terribly sad story, about how their daughter died. also, they’re stuck in the past til they die, so they have no way to get to trenzalore, anyway. i suppose the g.i. could have dug up the info about what happened in the library, but how/why would he then build a secret tunnel into the tomb, to “help” the doctor?

    it could also mean either “my friends” (indeed, tasha lem is the prime candidate, semi-dalek or not) or “my enemies,” but moreso, perhaps, simply “those who survived.” but i firmly believe that the doctor knew that the grave (and tunnel) were arranged by river, herself, as he says earlier in the episode, “river would know, she always knew,” or words to that effect. plus, she is the only person who could have sealed the tomb… as the only person who knows his given name (that we know of). few others could have placed him in the tardis (tasha lem, again), but only river knows the magic words to seal (or open) the doors. also, remember that he pretended not to see (or hear) her, as well, as he tried to work out for himself why she was able to appear there. (which he, apparently, failed to do? we are left to speculate…)

    as for “why a tunnel?” so that we can learn that clara and the doctor hate catacombs! river, however, loves a tomb, and thus (presumably) catacombs, as well… 🙂

    re: 2) i think her mysterious comments to him before she disappears were a hint to him, that she does, indeed, have some sort of extended life (and possible interaction with him/his future selves) beyond the library. whether we’ll see any of those ghostly (or “new body”) adventures is entirely up to moffat, at this point. i would love to see her interact with capaldi, if only for one episode. (but, then, i’d also love to see mcgann in an episode or two of the new series. but that’s not quite as likely to happen.)

    re: 3) this one is probably the easiest to answer. clara saw the cot in her wanderings around the tardis, so there’s no reason that river couldn’t, as well. she had more off-screen time with the doctor than clara (i presume), or even the ponds, perhaps. there needn’t be a reason beyond discovering it randomly (i.e. she needn’t have ever slept in it herself, or have put her own child in it), but only time will tell if moffat intends to add to our knowledge of the depth of the river/doctor romance…

    i was actually just thinking about this episode this morning, for a different reason, so i’d like your thoughts (and everyone’s) on this question…

    it appears (in ‘the time of the doctor’) that the doctor resigns himself to dying, for reals, as he can no longer regenerate. how/why then, did he not arrange for his friends to dispose of his body, for good, as he did in ‘the impossible astronaut?’ why would he allow his body to be placed in a tomb this time, instead of being destroyed outright, again (the daleks, surely, would have obliged him, had he needed a thorough zapping)? why the change of heart(s)? simply to slowly decay until the tears in space/time are healed? wouldn’t the same healing process occur at lake silencio, had that been the real doctor’s body? or will burning the body negate those tears being healed, somehow?

    i’ve thought all along that the doctor did, indeed, “have a plan” as to how he was going to survive on trenzalore. (or, at least, a good guess as to what was going to, or should, happen!) just as he retained knowledge of what had happened in ‘journey to the centre of the tardis,’ i believe he also retains some, if not most, of what happened in ‘the day of the doctor.’ specifically, that he remembers talking to the caretaker (or even that capaldi appeared, to lend a hand in hiding gallifrey, which moffat has clearly stated was a part of the plan all along). so he knows he doesn’t die at trenzalore, just not the details? so he’s fairly confident that something good will happen. but when clara finally shows up at the very end… then, he realizes that it’s got to be her (again), and that she’s going to intervene with the time lords, on his behalf. he wouldn’t ask the time lords for a new cycle, but he knows their odds of coming back are pretty much zero without him, and he remembers a future version of himself (or two), so, putting two and two together…

    and this also ties in with a question i had earlier. does the aborted trenzalore timeline “fix” clara’s impossibleness, so that the g.i. is again out there, somewhere? has the whoniverse (in show) gone back, pre-trenzalore scenario, where the doctor picks his own tardis to run away in? if that’s the case, then he would die in the dalek asylum, no? (or, just figure out some other clever way to escape, i guess…)

    ouch, too much wimeyness so early in the morning!


    geoffers @geoffers

    ah, just thought of a perfectly good reason why he’d have them burn his body… it’s the “fake” doctor, the teselecta. it wouldn’t turn into the space/time healing scar tissue, anyway!

    so obvious, once i’ve had a bit of caffeine to clear the cobby webbys!


    PurpleCup @purplecup


    Your idea that River made the gravestone and tunnel is a good one. But it provokes the question “why?”. River could get in and out of the dying TARDIS using the door and his name, so she wouldn’t need a secret tunnel in. Did she need to get in unobserved and so would enter from a distance? Or did she know that The Doctor and The GI would end up there at some point and so made them a way to get in unobserved.

    Actually, I have just watched that little bit again, and the tunel whilst it goes through to bowels of the tardis (quoth The Doctor: “the dimensioning forces this deep in the TARDIS can make you a bit giddy”), it doesn’t seem to come out inside the TARDIS. The Doctor and Clara appear in front of the TARDIS, meeting the GI and others. The GI demands that he open the TARDIS, but if they’d just walked through it, it would be open…. So I am now stumped again with River’s gravestone, the tunnel and their ultimate purpose. But River putting them there sounds quite plausible.


    As for The doctor not having his friends dispose of his body, I don’t think Trenzalore was the same as Lake Silencio. Trenzalore was a battle. There would have been many, many dead. It was a “battlefield graveyard. My final battle”. Burning all the bodies would have made a huge mess (in my modern-day mind). Lake Silencio was a farewell to ensure that everyone believed he’d died and the burning of the body ensured that there was no Tesalecta for anyone to find.


    PurpleCup @purplecup

    I can’t find it, but someone made mention earlier of Tasha being able to fly the TARDIS. The first time ‘we’ see River fly the TARDIS she says that SHE taught her how. I took that to mean that the TARDIS taught River how to fly it. Could the TARDIS have also taught Tasha how to fly her in order to get Clara, which she would have seen was necessary. The TARDIS struggles with detmining past, present and future so she would have known that Clara was going to be at Trenzalore and so ‘got’ Tasha to pick her up. But how the TARDIS got that idea across to Tasha I have no idea. The TARDIS could have turned up, like in Demon’s Run, but how would Tasha know that Clara was the aim? Unless she worked that out when Clara opned the door. But then again, would Tasha need to have been on board anyway? I guess probably, as someone had to program the TARDIS with where to go.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @purplecup – it’s in one of the blogs, that’s why you can’t find it. Tasha flying the TARDIS is a genuine, original, no previous owners Deus Ex Machina. 🙂

    So it got talked about under the ‘Deus Ex Machina’ discussion.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Ooh, lots of nice wibbly wobbly complicated speculation

    River’s grave – as pointed out, wasn’t actually River’s grave, it was there to alert the Doctor to the fact it was actually a secret passage; But yes indeed, who made it? The doctor himself…? (he’s on Trenzalore for a good while – 300 years (no TARDIS), + unknown period of time when he does have access to it).

    @purplecup When River first flies the TARDIS she says she was “taught by the best” – she never specifies who, and in fact implies that the Doctor was elsewhere that day. I like your idea that the TARDIS herself taught Tasha how to fly her, but it does seem like an unnecessary layer just to collect Clara.

    The cracks – I think Trenzalore is a place of extreme paradoxical temporal activity – the Doctor dies there/doesn’t die there; the GI/Clara enter his timestream/don’t, the TARDIS itself dies there/doesn’t die there – so it’s not surprising the crack in the universe appears there – especially after the Doctor lands there in TotD.  And the TLs are drawn to the place where the connection is strongest/”skin” is thinnest – increasing its inherent timey wimeyness.

    The Doctor in TotD is as old as Eleven gets – he knows everything that has happened to him, that we have been shown so far (except for meeting the Caretaker). We’ve been told more than once that time travellers, and especially the Doctor, remember the different versions of what they’ve experienced, even when a particular timeline has been aborted. So Eleven in TotD is the one whose timestream has been messed about with by the GI and Clara (even if this will not now happen), and who has not pressed the Moment button with Hurt and Tennant.

    I love that there are now almost endless possibilities re speculating what he might have got up to in the 300+ years on Trenzalore in addition to making anti-grav toys and barns that are bigger on the inside.


    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Now I know this maybe a bit left field but this was prompted by rewatching TEOT and given that Donna is also still technically a timelord/human hybrid ok matchstick man sealed away her timelord knowledge but what will that mean for her children and for that matter does it mean she might regenerate or at least have an inordinate lifespan. Yes I know matchstick mk 2 was told he would be able to age but does that mean he will age at a human rate. Anyway this prompted me to thinking of Clara and weather there may be a link to Donna or even between Donna and Tasha Lem, haven’t quite figured what the link might be but can’t help wondering 🙂

    geoffers @geoffers

    @scaryb – oooh, good point! 300 years is well enough time for the doctor to supervise the building of the tunnel, himself, knowing it had to be there at a future point in time…

    @purplecup -the doctor and clara appear in front of the console room, meeting the g.i. and others…

    you’ve brought up a point about that episode that is confusing (and this is how i understand it). the paternoster gang and the g.i. (with his whispermen) are already inside the tardis. when vastra and strax wake up (with jenny lying there, dead), vastra looks up to see the back of the tardis doors. the “police public call box” sign is clearly backward, indicating they’re on the “inside.” to make sense of this, i think that only the console room was made “the tomb” proper. (notice, also, that it’s normal sized when they go in, whereas the doors are gigantic.)

    so clara and the doctor (and the others) can run around under, around, and inside the tardis, as it leaks its size outward, but no one can enter the console room, except through the passworded doors. those doors are not the same as the police box doors leading to the “outside.” (and who could possibly open those giant doors, anyway? :))

    so, the purpose of the tunnel, then, would be simply as a shortcut, or a hidden path to the tomb. specifically, to somewhere under or near the console room…

    and i agree with your point about the differing deaths. he had them burn the teselecta body, so that no one else would know he was still alive. whereas he knows he can’t do anything to stop the scar tissue thingy, as a result of his actual death… other than hide it in a tomb!

    @devilishrobby – fuel for your donna-related theories…

    “A full address for the Maitlands’ home is finally given in this episode. A closeup on Madame Vastra’s hand-written envelope reveals that she’s living at 30 Oak Street in Chiswick. This squares with The Bells of Saint John, where there are no fewer than three exterior shots of the house number — 30 — on the right doorjamb. A previous companion, Donna Noble, had also lived in Chiswick at about the same time.”

    at the bottom of the entry, under ‘continuity’… 🙂


    ThatsBrilliant @thatsbrilliant

    I have a friend that messed up her recording  of Time of the Doctor.  If she lived nearby I’d watch it with her.  She can’t find it anywhere at the moment, anyone know where she can get the full episode?  I’m thinking she’ll have to wait for a rerun…

    Arbutus @arbutus


    Welcome, and thanks for a great post to start up the speculation again!

    The Doctor never said that River couldn’t be buried (as you would assume he’d say after the Library), he just said that ‘they’ would never bury his wife there. Does this imply that there is a way to get her out of the Library and back to a body again, in order for her life to continue?

    Not really a wiser mind, but because I tend to the straightforward rather than bonkers viewpoint, as a rule, I agree with @fatmaninabox that the Doctor was talking about River’s actual body, the one that died in the Library.

    Good point about River and the cot.

    @geoffers   I agree that the Doctor would not have told Amy and Rory about River’s fate. Also, I’m not sure that the universe at large knows about River’s relationship to Amy and Rory. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Tasha Lem had set up the pseudo grave to mark the way into the Doctor’s tomb, because she apparently knew the Doctor well, and seems to have had quite a lot of knowledge about him. Could River in the library have communicated somehow with Tasha, or vice versa? Mainframe to mainframe?

    (but, then, i’d also love to see mcgann in an episode or two of the new series. but that’s not quite as likely to happen.)    I’m with you on that, I would die happy if I could see the Eighth Doctor in just one full episode!

    I’m not convinced that the Doctor remembered the Caretaker or was ever aware of the Capaldi doctor. But I do agree that he might have had a plan. He knew that the Time Lords were there beyond the crack, and must have hoped that they would help in some way (not necessarily by regeneration). But he told that young man that he had a plan, and he was inside a Truth Field at the time! Perhaps more of a hope than a plan, as he says himself immediately afterward.

    @purplecup    Definitely agree about the burning of the Tesalecta at Lake Silencio, versus the battlefield grave on Trenzalore.


    Arbutus @arbutus


    Re: aborted timelines, impossible Clara, GI, etc.
    I posted this a few days ago on @bluesqueakpip‘s Time-Structure blog, my thoughts about Clara and the timelines.

    •    Starting Point: The Doctor destroys Gallifrey, becomes the last Time Lord.
    •    AotD, The Snowmen: The Doctor meets Claricles.
    •    BoSJ: The Doctor looks for and finds Clara.
    •    NotD: The Doctor goes to his tomb on future Trenzalore, Clara enters the tomb and becomes Claricles, the Doctor rescues Clara from the tomb.
    •    DotD: The Doctor and Clara change the past, restore Gallifrey.
    •    TotD: The Doctor returns to Trenzalore where he is destined to die and create the tomb, Clara intervenes with the Time Lords, changing the future, so the Doctor does not die.

    THEREFORE: There will be no tomb on Trenzalore for Clara to enter, and thus no Claricles. The Doctor never seeks or finds Clara. Clara is not present in DotD to prevent the Doctors from destroying Gallifrey. There are no Time Lords to give the Doctor extra regenerations, and the Doctor dies. Thus the future is changed back, and the tomb is created on Trenzalore that the Doctor visits in NotD. And so on.

    This loop assumes that without first having met the Claricles, the Doctor would never have met Clara Prime at all. It is certainly possible to argue that they would have met anyway, but that suggests fate, which is not a tidy or creative answer. I realize that we still don’t know who gave Clara the TARDIS phone number, and there is probably more to come on Clara’s story line. But based on what we know right now, I am assuming that a random person calling the TARDIS with a question about the internet would not have been sufficient to attract the Doctor’s attention.

    I have realized since originally posting this that I left out the fact that, in the Claricle-less scenario, the Doctor would of course die in the Dalek Asylum, and so never get to Trenzalore at all. So still no tomb on Trenzalore. Unless we assume that the Dalek Asylum was one of the places impacted by the GI in the Doctor’s time-stream, which I guess I will for the sake of my timey-wimey double loop theory.

    The catch in all this is that Clara is in the TARDIS when the Doctor regenerates. So obviously, in some manner, she goes forward with the Doctor-who-lives, even though his living suggests that the two of them should never have met. Maybe this is also connected to @scaryb‘s extreme paradoxical temporal activity?

    I fear that we are almost beyond coherent explanations at this point!


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @arbutus – yes, I’m thinking about your comment. The reason I didn’t reply on the blog is that I have a vague idea the reply involves a whole new blog.

    I’d say that – yes, you’re right. There’s no way of changing the Doctor’s death without the Time Lords. It basically needs the ability to change the future without changing the past that led up to that future. However, the past – in this case – was created by that future. As you say, without Clara jumping into the Time Stream, the Doctor won’t even survive long enough to reach Trenzalore.

    So the changed future needs people sufficiently advanced in time-manipulation that they can create and maintain a paradox throughout Clara’s lives. Whether the paradox is shunting the Doctor’s death into another alternate time-line is something I haven’t thought through yet. 🙂

    Another possibility is that the Time Lords haven’t just kept Clara alive and with the Doctor, they’ve actually created her to handle the whole situation. It’s Clara, after all, who persuades the Doctor to save Gallifrey rather than let it burn.

    If you love him, and you should, help him!

    We’re all, rightly, being deeply cynical about that. Rightly given what we’ve seen the Time Lords to be. But it could be that – as is not uncommon in fairy tales – the Time Lords can’t be saved until they’ve learnt to love.

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus –  Re: aborted timelines, impossible Clara, GI, etc @geoffers

    Your timeline was very interesting and I had fun just trying to figure it out, with limited success. I have a couple simple suggestions to add, that aren’t nearly as entertaining to think about, but I have to put them forward because I don’t like paradoxes. The easiest way to keep the Claricles timeline in place is that a future Doctor still dies at Trenzalore, but I don’t like that possiblility because it seems to constraining to future stories, since you would always know the Doctor can’t die unless he is there.  Another possible solution is to have the Doctor eventually die inside of the Tardis. Then the Tardis just needs to end up at Trenzalore and the Doctor’s timestream would be inside.

    @tiypanda – I definitely felt like Matt Smith was getting ripped off the first time I watched his regeneration, compared to how long 10’s was. And that it happened differently than the first two AG regenerations. This did alot to convince me that the Doctor and Clara were still in the timestream.  But from reading posts at this great  forum I learned that short regenerations were not unusual in BG regenerations.  And now after re-watching it several times, I wouldn’t trade the awesome display of Dalek exploding regeneration energy shooting out of the dancing, shouting Old Chinney’s hands for anything. It was great. I did miss seeing River one more time. 

    @miapatrick – I love all the speculation about Tasha Lem, she is the character I am most interested in now because she can fly the Tardis.  All of the similiarities to River Song you listed were awesome, especially Mel is Lem spelled backwards. I was nearly convinced until @rob‘s reminder that Tasha “loves 11’s new body”.  But I don’t think River is dead, because she sticks around after Clara goes into the timestream.  That means River could have used a projection like Tasha did to communicate with the Doctor.  I don’t know why they ever have to kill River off or why the Doctor said she should have faded. I was happy just knowing River would live forever inside the library computer even if we never see her again.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @barnable   Indeed, I would have liked to have accompanied it with an elegant diagram full of lovely, swooping lines, like @bluesqueakpip‘s, but as I don’t know how to make such a thing digitally, or how to include it in a post, I had to go with the written-only approach. Much harder to follow! I like a good visual argument, myself.

    I think that there does have to be paradox, which I don’t mind provided that I can explain it! @bluesqueakpip is probably right in that it would have to be something to do with the Time Lords. Otherwise you would need a Paradox Machine as in the Last of the Time Lords.

    @bluesqueakpip     Regarding the “if you love him” line: as you say, we aren’t under any illusions about the Time Lords; however, clearly there are some people on Gallifrey who do care about the Doctor, over and above their own survival. How much influence they would have is another matter. As has been speculated upthread, it all depends on who is currently in charge!

    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    Such wonderful bonkers theorizing, @all. Welcome, @PurpleCat. Long may you theorize; rarely (I hope) may you continue to lurk. Great introductory posts.  Definitely looking forward to more, whenever you chose to step over the lurkdom threshold.

    Waves “hi” and offers a New Years party favor to other recent arrivals.  Sorry if I haven’t remembered all your names.  Don’t forget to pick up a bright, shiny new avatar from the basket near the door!  They’re one of the free perks of forum membership.  And make it so much easier for old codgers like me mate to tell the difference between @barnable, another notable new bonkers theorist, and @Barnicle (he of The Pirates of the Carribean sequel — a bit out of his Depp-th on a Whovian forum, IMHO).

    @all. I have some random, non-theoretical observations about this episode. Hope you don’t mind if I share them.

    First, did you notice the face which appears briefly out of the whirling yellowish mass of energy during the credit sequence at the beginning. It materializes after the titles for Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. I like to think that it’s a way to give Capaldi above the line billing without actually spelling it out.

    Secondly, I always love symmetry and thematic references in pieces of art. Did anyone else notice the lovely parallel between tBoSJ and tTotD where the Doctor and Clara spend time just sitting outside together, keeping each other company. In the Bells, he’s keeping watch at night over her home to protect her from a second encounter with the Spoonheads. She notices him from her window. When it becomes obvious he won’t leave, she comes down and joins him outside. Clara is guarded as she’s puzzled and skeptical about the Doctor’s sudden appearance and uncommonly intense interest in her. Hundreds of years and adventures later, their trust and companionship are palpable as they sit together in tTofD waiting for the Trenzalore dawn.

    Clara, who was so upset at the Doctor in Hide as he raced from the beginning of the universe to its end tracing the “ghost” throughout history, now feels both a deep connection with and compassion for him.

    It’s as if he’s evolved and transformed without the obvious use of regeneration energy. The Time Lord who stole a Tardis to run away from Gallifrey has finally stopped running.  The Doctor is no longer the hyperkinetic mass of ADHD energy so tortured by the slow linear passage of time in TPoT.

    Our Doctor has reached that sacred space of mindfulness. In the moment. Now fully mindful. In this moment. And this one. And this moment. And…

    Here and now. Time passes. Light, then darkness. Time doesn’t stop, but it doesn’t linger. Dawn-light-darkness. And again. Dawn-light-darkness. Time recycles. Time renews. The brief periods of light, ending far too soon in darkness again. The flicker of human life? The flashing shooting star of a Time Lord’s regeneration? The solar flare of a galaxy’s temporary existence? The promise that after each universe fades away, another will rise only to fade away, time without end.

    The parallels, call-backs, Easter eggs, … don’t stop at Clara and The Doctor waiting together in the night, centuries and worlds apart.

    I particularly liked “Handles,” the Cyber-head “companion.”  A shout out to tNiS’s CyberController, perhaps?  A hopeful future where Cyberminds peacefully co-exist with unassimilated emotional beings?

    The practical part of me was puzzled about how a basically agrarian colony, the town of Christmas and its environs, survived with such little light each day.  I know that there are parts of our world which experience long nights and short days, but these are counterbalanced by the long days and short nights experienced the other half of the year.  In the town of Christmas, the seasons never seemed to change.  How were the residents able to grow crops without sunlight?  What did they subsist on?  Presumably, even the animals which provided the fur for clothing and meat for eating needed vegetation and drinkable (i.e., non-frozen) water.  And, if it was continually snowing, wasn’t all the wood pretty damp?  They, and their enemies, didn’t seem to have any trouble setting it on fire.   I’ve got to admit that it was pretty, though.  With the lights in the trees and the stylish peasant dress.  (Anyone else see a slight resemblance between Trenzsalorean/Christmas attire and the clothing worn by the non-Time Lord residents of Gallifrey?  Maybe it was just me … hats, scarves, jackets, capes … hmm.  Maybe *that’s where the doctor got his dress sense.)

    The romantic part of me was reminded of the idyllic, hidden settlement in the mountains of the Far East:  Shangri-La  (Lost Horizon film, 1937 version, not the remake  An ex was a big fan of Ronald Colman …)  Sheltered from the worst of the wintery conditions, the residents of Shangri-La were happy in their contained and guarded “pocket.”  We’ve had the wonderful blog post from @Cath Annel on George Bailey, Frank Capra, The Time of the Doctor and It’s A Wonderful Life, all about choices made and possibilities unlived, being “stuck” in a backwater and forgoing adventures abroad, just to keep a place and a small community of people safe.  And, I submit, to find happiness and contentment oneself. The 1937 version of Lost Horizon, home to Shangri-La, was another Capra film.  Just sayin’.  The Oncoming Storm finding satisfaction and comfort in whittling simple carved wood animals.  Just as heroic, in its own way, as rebooting the universe with an exploding Tardis.

    Back on Earth, yeah, what good is a Christmas Cracker if it doesn’t have a good knock-knock joke?  Apparently the role of Clara’s father was recast — unless Clara’s lost both father *and* mother and the guy with the beard and the Ice Queen of a date/spouse/wicked stepmother was an imposter.  Did central casting account for all the Zygons at the end of the 50th anniversary show?  There was certainly no love lost between Clara and Linda.  The impossible girl didn’t even begin to make a souffle for *this* dinner.

    There was rather too much going on in the short time allotted for this episode, and I found the brief periods of Clara returning to her flat a bit jarring — though I must give props for Granny during Clara’s last return.  Loved Gran’s insightful, aptly timed story of her true love standing there as she wished he’d never, ever change.

    Tasha Lem rocks.

    Nothing more to say.

    Definitely rocks.

    Now *that’s* a WOMAN!  I only wish we’d had this earlier — in series 2 of the AG Who, for instance — just to show all those dewy-eyed young romantics ‘shipping 10 (Tennant) and Rose what sort of a woman our Mad Man in a Box could fancy as an equal.

    I gotta say I’ll miss Matt’s acting, as much as I am looking forward to seeing Capaldi’s take on the Doctor.  Loved, loved, loved Matt’s eyes looking startled, his mouth/jaw popping over just a bit to the side, his eyes totally popping wide open, and his body slowly reenergizing before blasts of regeneration energy poured out and exterminated the exterminators.  Not a boy band/male model face, our Eleven.  But a wonderful face.  Used superbly by an imaginative and inspired actor.  Ave atqua vale, Matteaus.


    AnyWho, thanks for reading this far (if you did).


    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @purplecup.  Sorry.  Must have confused you with the cat in Caption Competition #51.  No idea why.  My bad.  And @cathannabel.  I should learn that when I write treatise-length posts the short window of time to edit disappears before I find and correct most of my typos.

    :::hangs St. Johns Ambulance sign in shame:::

    Bet there are still more typos which I’ve missed.   How embarrassing!


    TardisBlue @tardisblue


    Seconding, thirding, fourthing, nthing your post #23848

    You’ve succinctly stated what I’ve always thought about River Song: Her adventures and travels with the Doctor were not limited to the time he was Eleven (Smith) or Ten (Tennant). When we first meet her in tSitL, she clearly states she’s seen his faces and has never seen him before as young as he (Tennant) is there. You can bet that I was discomfited by the mini-webisode Night and The Doctor, where Smith/Eleven is shown about to take River to the Singing Towers of Darrilium (their last date before she goes to the Library).  I’d been certain that some other, future, far future regeneration of the Doctor was her date that night.  :::Shakes fist at Moffat:::  And I was saddened by the scene in TNotD where Matt tells River’s ghost goodbye. The receiver on my call box phone definitely misted up during that scene.  Darn London fog!  The door between CAL’s data core and the Doctor’s console room drew rapidly closed, while I was trying not to blubber.  It certainly seemed to imply that even River’s holographic data bit image would no longer exist — at least from our POV in this alternative timestream. Thank God we never hear the door actually close, and that Clara has jumped in to the Doctor’s timestream to save him.  I hope that your hopes and mine come to fruition, @BlenkinsopthBrave, and we get to see River interact with more faces of The Doctor.


    PurpleCup @purplecup

    @tardisblue – No worries and thanks!


    @bluesqueakpip – yes, I read your blog. Thanks for your amazing analysis of Tasha flying the TARDIS and the D.E.M.


    @scaryb – River does say that she was taught by the best, and the Doctor looks smug, but she then says that he wasn’t there that day. However, towards the end of ‘Let’s kill Hitler’ River flys the TARDIS into the Teselecta to save the Ponds. She says “I seem to be able to fly her. She showed me how. She taught me. The Doctor says I’m the child of the TARDIS. What does he mean?” So the TARDIS can show people how to fly her, but that doesn’t explain why Tasha Lem ends up doing it too… DEM.


    @geoffers – If, as you say, that the console room is the tomb proper, and I agree with you, who sealed it? Did River seal it? It’s password-protected so someone who knew his name had to use it to close it off. We have no idea what River does for most of the time, as she is not with the Doctor all that often (that we know of. There are many escapades alluded to at the start of A good man goes to war.) so she could have stopped off to ‘bury him’ and set up the tunnel entrance. We have no idea how long it is after the battle of Trenzalore when the GI and others trun up in NotD.




    Anonymous @

    @tardisblue – Whoever starts reading your post finishes it. It is well worth reading 24060.   Barnicle joke too.  🙂

    Did anyone else notice the lovely parallel between tBoSJ and tTotD where the Doctor and Clara spend time just sitting outside together, keeping each other company?

    I rewatched both eps. back to back (which I wouldn’t have thought to do without your post). It made a huge difference in how I see the relationship between them.  I thought it didn’t progress very much, but have changed my mind.  The dialogue between Eleven and his previous companions changed over time, especially with River. But with Clara it was really an unspoken change.

    The practical part of me was puzzled about how a basically agrarian colony, the town of Christmas and its environs, survived with such little light each day?

    My first thought was, that there were suspiciously way more children then older people and adults…but then I realized that Dr. Who only eats pink marshmellows. So the rest of the town obviously survived on all the marshmellows he throws away.

    gctv @gctv

    Hey Everyone! I’ve only just got round to watching the episode since I was away at Christmas. As usual myself and my friend Richard have done a video review and since I made a silly bet in the last video that I would eat my Fez if John Hurt did not regenerate into Capaldi – here it is…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The practical part of me was puzzled about how a basically agrarian colony, the town of Christmas and its environs, survived with such little light each day.

    Ummm… they’re mushroom farmers? Alien-fungi farmers?

    I can also imagine some alien variety of lichen adapting well to a brief burst of light. That would support animal life; reindeer like lichen. They also like mushrooms.

    The costumes did remind me vaguely of ethnic Lapps – the Sami, the reindeer herders.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bluesqueakpip @tardisblue

    I’m sure the indigenous plantlife of Trenzalore is well adapted to short days! You can practically see it growing on front of your eyes in the minutes of daylight they have. Quite a tourist attraction. Well it was before the Church of the PF sealed it off.

    The citizens of Christmas also clearly have access to artificial light  so they could cultivate off-planet species also.

    Anonymous @

    Hello @tardisblue and happy new year to you. On your well spotted point of the whirling mass of credits where there appears to be a face that might be Capaldi’s?-  I think you’re right but I remember noticing that face right at the start of the new series last year with Clara?

    In fact, at first I thought that there was a ‘newish’ doctor’s face each week. I believed (as one does with optical illusions) that each ‘face’ slightly changed so that I could see a hint of Baker, Davison etc…in the end I believed the red wine!



    Anonymous @

    @tardisblue  I re-read that beautiful post of yours again “time without end” I’ll call it. I loved your lyrical ideas about time recycling and time renewing: like the growing vines of Dionysius, entrapping and letting go. The Doctor leading himself by circumlocution to the same point in time with the same issues needing resolution until he was ready to go and to change. But he was always filled with whimsy and the discursive -which made him much like the magic man.



    Arbutus @arbutus


    Not a boy band/male model face, our Eleven.  But a wonderful face.  Used superbly by an imaginative and inspired actor.  Ave atqua vale, Matteaus.

    I love a little Latin!  🙂  Wonderful description of Matt Smith, here. I remember seeing the photos of him after he was cast, and thinking, “That is just the oddest looking man.” But you have to see him in action to appreciate him. Warmth animates him when he speaks, and his eyes and smile are so enigmatic. When that regeneration energy started shooting out of him, it almost felt like the uncontainable “doctor energy” that always fizzled around his edges and leaked out of him with every movement.

    And yes, a beautiful poetic description of the doctor’s “still moment”.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Would have responded earlier, but have been travelling throught the polar vortex that is eastern Canada (no Ice Warriors or Yeti spotted).

    Yes, I do hope there is the possibility of a return for River. Admittedly, she was written by Moffat as part of 11’s story, and so there is a logic to the minisode of Night and the Doctor, but Moffat is always careful to never close a door entirely, so who knows?

    But I do hope that the cot will make a return. It promised so much. And for it to return, surely River must return?

    Of course, I have also been hoping for a return of Canton, to no avail!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @blenkinsopthebrave and @tardisblue

    The logic to the minisode – if Moffat had always planned to give the Doctor a new regeneration cycle in the 50th Anniversary year – is simple.

    The Eleventh Doctor thought he was going to be the last Doctor. Therefore, it had to be him who took River to the Singing Towers. He couldn’t leave it to a later regeneration, as he didn’t know there was going to be one.

    It also means the Capaldi Doctor is a widower – as was, probably, the Hartnell Doctor.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bluesqueakpip @blenkinsopthebrave (hope you and Mrs B are keeping safely snuggled up somewhere out of the polar  vortex (near the time vortex via DVD is probably a good idea)

    That’s a good point Bluesqueakpip, re Matt thinking he was going to to be the last so took River to the Singing Towers to be on the safe side.  But technically Eleven is also a widower, as River died… er… before he married her!

    But I don’t see any problem whatsoever about bringing River back for Capaldi, so long as it’s River pre Name of the Doctor. (Unless she gets an after-afterlife). She’s probably been chumming up with him in the future when Eleven was off on other adventures. Or maybe she was hanging out with Tasha Lem for a while, showing her how to work the TARDIS.

    If it’s River pre Name otD, does that mean she will be less aware of spoilers…? ie she won’t know her avatar/projection had/will have that powerful farewell scene in NotD. But Capaldi will remember.

    Interestingly the Dr Who Experience in Cardiff has the cot as an exhibit and has it labelled as “The Doctor’s cradle”

    ConfusedPolarity @confusedpolarity

    @scaryb, I’m in full agreement about River.  If Matt had stayed on I’d have been happy not to see her again, but a Kingston/Capaldi double-act, if only for one episode, is something I would really like to see.  Add in a River who is more on the back foot as far as spoilers go, less sure of herself while the Doctor holds a few more of the cards – yes, I’d love to see that!

    Brewski @brewski

    Hello all.  Hope no one minds me jumping into this timely stream.

    I’ll start off with a simple one.  (And note, I am a Big River fan and would love to see her back, but…)

    One small observation, let us say, a possible continuity reason why Tasha Lem probably isn’t River.

    When she takes the TARDIS to pick up Clara, we hear the sound of her landing it “with the breaks on”.   Would River do that?

    Anyway… looking forward to join this.  I have some most definitely bonkers thoughts in my head to share…

    Anonymous @

    hello and welcome to you @brewski  !  That does make me giggle (and wonder if you’re also from Down Under?) as having a brewski at the end of a hot day after Christmas is what we always say (course it aint culshured but).

    Good spot re the brakes, Tasha Lem and River. I too would love River with Capaldi. He’s great playing against an older woman (not that River is old by any means. Rather embarrassingly I watched some earlier episodes of the American hospital drama, ER, with Kingston in her earlier 30s. She looked incredible and dynamic). I think her dynamism and mischief with Capaldi would cause the TV screen to sparkle. When I watched Capaldi in the  suspense drama, The Hour, he was starring alongside the actor Anna Chancellor (who reminds me of Alex Kingston in more ways than one). It was a terrific partnership.

    Capaldi is a fabulous actor: from arrogant tactical spinner in The Thick of It to the quiet and obsessive loner with a poignant secret in The Hour, he seems to be able to play anyone. I think that with Capaldi in the hot seat, Doctor Who will be at its peak. But then I say that every year!



    PurpleCup @purplecup

    @brewski – good spot re the brakes. River would never do that!

    Brewski @brewski

    Hi @purofilion (Sorry, I’m going to have to look up how to properly paste the name link) and thanks for the kind words.

    Nope, not from Down Under.  But you are correct about the meaning of “brewski” as a term even some of us Yanks use. 🙂  Of course here Christmas-time is cold so a cold beer would be too… aw who am I kidding?  The colder the better!

    I am also not convinced we’ve seen the last of River and am would definitely love to see how she interacts with Capaldi.  I’d had a very elaborate story line all mapped out for her in my mind, unfortunately the writers loused it up by not using any of it.

    Meanwhile, I’ll just toss a a VERY serious post on my thoughts on Who Is Tasha Lem…


    Brewski @brewski

    10 Reasons why Tasha Lem is Adric (in ascending order of absurdity)

    10)  Adric is from E-Space.  The Crack in the Universe probably leads to E-Space, which is why Tasha is guarding it.

    9) Both argued with the Doctor.

    8) Both can pilot the TARDIS.  (Sort of)

    7) Both were under control of the Doctor’s enemies as some point.

    6) Tasha is against ageing.  She is actually a centuries old body trapped in a teenage boy’s mind.

    5) Adric was a math genius.  As Tasha he’s a computer geek working inside a giant mainframe.

    4) Tasha has known the Doctor(s) for years.  Since at least 1980 and the Fourth Doctor.

    3) Adric was the first companion to hear the Cloister Bell.  Cloister is another name for the life of a nun.  Tasha is a Space Nun.

    2) Schrodinger’s Act: Since there is very little data about Tasha Lem, and no data at all about her being Adric, we can view Tasha as simultaneously being and not-being Adric.  Moreover, since the characters are fictional – and therefore bound by rules of conflict, interest and irony – as the probability of Tasha being Adric approaches 1 / Infinity, the ironic twist approaches 100%.  Therefore, Tasha MUST be Adric because it would be SO unexpected.

    1) “Tasha Lem, Mother Superious at Tranzalore” is an anagram of “Alzarius teen uproot-role met Earth smash”

    0) And finally, Tasha Lem is NOT Adric.  But, it is fun to analyze and speculate and discover parallels perhaps undreamed of.  And ultimately fan-fiction is stranger (and much more interesting) than truth.

    Anonymous @

    well, well @brewski that was/is an amazing hypothesis (whilst not a teenager I may still use words like ‘awesome’ and ‘amazing’ -my personal form of hyperbole 🙂  )  Scanning my mind (which is much slower these days -both the mind and the scanning), I couldn’t locate Alzarius. I know I’ve heard it before & will embarrass myself further by stating that I know it not!  As for Schrodinger’s equation and his book titled (I think) What is Life? the probability of those electrons (ie Adric/Not Adric as Tasha Lem/River or TLem/not River) being at a particular place at a certain time in the wavefunction is not only plausible but predictable! Could we argue or calculate that Adric is the nucleus to Tasha Lem? After all, he, like wavefunctions, could have been orbiting (orbitals? 🙂 ) any solar system; perhaps even the Medusa Cascade? She is, as you articulated so well, the Space Nun! Great descriptor BTW. 🙂

    Keep up the bonkers theorising! I myself will now need another cup of coffee -never mind that it’s 32 degrees Celsius and humid to boot (that’s one term I haven’t learnt the origins of: ‘to boot’).


    purofilion.  Basically, the Ancient Greeks had dozens of words for fire. Pur are the flames of funeral pyres  burnt for weeks after monumental losses on both sides. An amazing (there I go again), dazzling and utterly terrifying scene, I  imagine. I was reminded of the episode in Tennant’s third season with Donna & Peter Capaldi -the name of which has also passed me by!

    Arbutus @arbutus


    Well, this is the kind of bonkers theorizing that I like to see. As Devil’s Advocate, however, think on this:  Surely if Tasha Lem is guarding the crack that leads to E-space, it is to prevent Adric from coming through?  I was never particularly anti-Adric myself, but I understand that he is largely loathed. If E-space is indeed on the other side of the crack, Fandom itself could perhaps have created Tasha, to keep Adric there. It would then follow that that Tasha Lem argues with the Doctor, therefore she must be Tegan.

    But my favourite, and the most irrefutable, is point 2, that “we can view Tasha as simultaneously being and not-being Adric.” Seriously, I actually love the notion that fictional characters are bound by literary rules. Personally, I believe that if we all followed the rules of conflict, interest, and irony in our own lives, it would be a more interesting world.

    @purofilion     Can I buy you an iced latte?  🙂


    Brewski @brewski

    @purplecup thanks.  Of course, one could argue that she is some earlier version of River before she learned out to fly the TARDIS correctly…. 😮

    @purofilion Without Googling (look ma, no hands!) I am going to guess whence we also get “purify”.

    Alzarius teen uproot-role met Earth smash:

    Adric, the boy from the planet Alzarius (in E-Space) was uprooted from his home world when he stowed away on TARDIS, crossed over to our universe, and ended tragically when the ship he was on smashed into Earth.

    Ok…. it’s a lousy anagram.  But I only spent 10 minutes on it. :p



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