The Timeless Children

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    Craig @craig

    The Timeless Children

    It’s the finalé – can you believe it’s over already? I have no idea what’s going to happen but it’s supposed to be an epic and emotional ending.

    The Cybermen are on the march and as the last remaining humans are ruthlessly hunted down, Graham, Ryan and Yaz face a terrifying fight to survive. Civilisations fall. Others rise anew. Lies are exposed, truths are revealed, battles are fought, and for the Doctor – trapped and alone – nothing will ever be the same again. Where The Master and the Timeless Child (or Timeless Children) fit into it all, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    As with part one, this is written by Chibnall and is directed by Jamie Magnus Stone. As I said last week, I really hope they stick the landing. Whittaker deserves a great end to this series.

    This being part two, most of the cast from last week is back – including Sacha Dhawan as The Master. The BBC, in order to keep the secret, listed his character as “Fakout” played by Barack Stemis – which is an anagram of “Master is back”.

    Julianantony @julianantony

    Well that’s going to be a fanbase splitter. I have already seen outrage and bile on FB. Personally I liked it and dont think the reveal has ruined any history. Sacha was a delightfully unhinged Master. Some good tense moments and lots of action. I also liked the ending with a Tennant WHAT??

    jomomentor @jomomentor

    I have to say that those Cyber Timelords (Or Cyber-Lords) if you will (not TIme-Men) were some of the coolest designs of any villain in the show ever, they looked THAT good. Why couldnt they just have had that as the story with the lone Cybermen giving his race the ultimate (and final) upgrade?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    It seems to be a bit of a ‘marmite’ episode, but I’m firmly in the ‘loved it’ camp. Sacha Dhawan was utterly brilliant – broken, and malignant with flashes of something almost like empathy. Did he really say ‘Good luck, humans’? And yes, I can imagine that discovering he’s not just related to the Doctor but is (in a way) her descendent would tear him apart. I may think Missy would have coped better, but the Dhawan Master is considerably less stable.

    I also loved that the ‘fam’ have grown enough that they can handle themselves without the Doctor.

    And yes, great backstory. Everything we’ve seen on screen happened, but there is now so much more to find out about what happened before the Hartnell Doctor arrived on Earth. After feeling that we know everything there is to know about John Smith from Gallifrey – where he went to school, his family, his schoolfriends, his house-mother – we now find out that we don’t know anything about her at all. 🙂

    We’re back to ‘Doctor Who?’ I think that’s a good thing.

    Vervain @vervain

    Hated it – it makes no sense. Literally the whole story is full of holes larger than the boundary. As a story it isn’t even internally consistent.

    @julianantony Not sure how you can say that is hasn’t ruined any history.  Even if Tecteun renamed themselves Rassilon there are still several history breaking issues. Namely that by removing the previous Gallifreyan ruling elite (the  Pythia) as precursors to the Time Lords  you end up without the Sisterhood of Karn, meaning you end up with no War Doctor.

    If Chibnal is happy to reference pre-RTD material as he has done several times this season (Zellin mentioning the Celestial Toymaker for example)  as well as in this episode (the Master referencing his assassination of the President within the Panopticon an event which occurred during the 4th Dr story the Deadly Assassin) then there should be some sort of logic and continuation.  This ret-con simply doesnt work.

    I grant that “the Division” does make the first few moments in Genesis of the Daleks make sense. However clearing up one moment of pre-gap dr who whilst making most of the rest of it make no sense isn’t an accomplishment.

    If the timeless child really is the Time Lord’s biggest secret and the fact that its the Dr is information that could be found out – do you think “the Division” would have allowed the events of Trial of a Timelord?  Why would the Division remove itself from The Timeless Child’s memories if they were a willing sign up as they appeared to be?

    It doesn’t really work with River or Clara and Trenzalore what with jumping into the timestream.  All those “extra-previous” regenerations could have been a huge help when moving Gallifrey.

    Who/where is Tecteun? They may have limited others to 12 regenerations but they don’t seem the type to have limited themselves.

    Why would any humans know about the death particle? Its not like Cybermen as a race are big on creating myths. Has Ashad been prone to monologuing at humans throughout the millenia? Unlikely because he says the Cyberium created the death particle and he only relatively recently became the host. Well unless he lived through from the 19th century – whenever this future is.

    The not so lone cyberman/Ashad ( At least the Dr called him the half converted cyberman) said nothing about the death particle being confined to a planet. Would that be your standard Metric or Imperial planet? Planet, not great as a unit of measurement. I understand destroying all organic life when you are living metal. But that isn’t all that the the cyberium is  – because if it was then it doesn’t really want to continue the cyber-race – it doesn’t really make a lot of sense just like the master pointed out. You are living metal that doesnt age and dont like organic life. Outlive it.

    These Cyber-Lords, limited to 12 regenerations? why/how do they regenerate with upgrades not being rejected? are they the actual menace that Jack was warning about? Was using the Death Particle not what the “Lone Cyberman” wanted and thus giving it what it wanted?

    given that the death particle got used and Ashad got the Cyberium What was the point of Captain Jack’s cameo earlier in the series?

    And as for creating Myths – “Our founding parents wanted a noble creation myth for the Timelords” – well that would be fine if we hadnt actually met two of the founding parents. We know that Rassilon and Omega were real/existed because we’ve met them in the series. – pretty impressive creation “myth”

    If Ko Sharmus was a member of an elite resistance unit from a race with enough knowledge and power to send the cyberium back through time and space why choose that course of action instead of sending it to a different universe? Knowing its sentient living metal why send it alone? What is the point of that? It seems like a bad attempt at wibbly wobbly timey wimey that doesn’t work.

    Does that mean he is/was a timelord?  why has he/has he been sending all the humans through the boundary to a deserted wartorn gallifrey?

    A perception filter within the Matrix that re-skinned things to look like Ireland in order to make those memories look UNREMARKABLE TO TIMELORDS? Really? I’m not at all sure that that many Gallifreyan lives bore much resemblance to lives lived in Ireland between two world wars.

    The boundary in the matrix recollection seemed to be a bridge across universes, but clearly looked anchored by a building. this may be me desperately invoking the Grandfather paradox by wishing to write in an even bigger reset button – could this Gallifrey/Ruth/Ko Sharmus Timeless Child like the Kassavins before them, be incursions from another universe?

    “There’s  loads of Robots, throw a stick IN THIS UNIVERSE and you’ll hit a robot…”

    “Appealing to my better nature? We both know I don’t have one” – Well Missy says otherwise.

    If all timelords have the same base genetic code then depending on how advanced your tech is, according to your scanners all of them could show up as the same. So the Judoon are buggered.

    After last week I was so hopeful and keen – so much promise, in my opinion it wasnt lived up to, sadly  More holes than a slice of Emmental.

    Lets see how badly he treats the Daleks next…

    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    wow! I am not going to pick it to bits… I loved it…

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Well, at least Chibnall produced a finale this time. Not a great one — for a Gallifrey-centric, lore-heavy finale I’ll still take Hell Bent any day over this. But all in all, I found it pretty enjoyable. First off, I don’t massively have a problem with the Timeless Child reveal. Maybe all the discussion online slightly removed its wow factor cos I was just like ‘yeah, fine, at least it’s official now.’ I certainly don’t see it as ruining canon or disrespecting Hartnell or anything like that. I like that it brings a little mystery back to the Doc’s origins and I thought Chibs actually handled it with a rare spurt of subtlety. I’m also willing to bet it’ll be one of the first things retconned out of existence by his successor.

    It might be sociopathic but I really could have done with a companion death. That scene with Graham and Yaz did seem to be setting one up but I guess that would have totally broken an already over-stuffed finale. I can stand one more festive special with them but then they really have to go. They feel so done now. Can they just go and give Jodie the chance to have a new Doc-companion dynamic?

    The Master. Sacha’s performance is good and he seems a good fit for Jodie’s Doc but I have to say I don’t get all the love for him as The Master. He’s OK. A more amped-up Simm version really (which is why I’m still head-canoning him as post-Simm/pre Gomez — the ‘having no better nature’ thing bears this out, if you ask me.) But he’s still not a patch on Delgado or Gomez imo. On villains, the Cybermen were kind of wasted and the Lone Cyberman was despatched way, way too easily. That was disappointing.

    Not as disappointing as the Time Cybermen though (sorry @jomomentor). A wasted opportunity right there and the worst Who design since …. well, I can’t actually think of a worse one. (And don’t say New Paradigm Daleks, cos they’re awesome, especially compared to this.)

    Another bum-puckering moment was the Matrix overload flashback. To me that was cheesily awful. These can be punch the air moments (Eleventh Hour) or pointlessly unnecessary (Mawdryn Undead/Doctor Falls) but this was the first time I found one eye-rollingly embarrassing. If Jodie had actually been regenerating, fine, but it was so overkill, especially with the hokey music.

    But it has to be said Jodie knocked it out of the park tonight. As she pretty much has been all series. I hope she and Chibs sit down and realise that she’s not a quirky Doc as they keep trying to make her. She’s just not. Whittaker’s is really good at portraying intensity and suppressed anger. They should let her do that. She was mesmerising throughout this episode right until they went back into Tennant-clone mode with all those corny ‘whats’ at the end. (Though I did like seeing the Judoon again.) At least now she’s got lots to be angry about.

    So, wish list for s13. Let her be intense. In many ways, she’s kind of like McCoy – tried to make her light and clownish whereas really she’s a different kind of Doc. Pair her with one companion. Give her a more subtle costume and a more old-school TARDIS — that’s twice we’ve seen her in a Brachacki TARDIS and she very much suits it. The fact that you see her return to her underwhelming own console room at the end just underlined it. Please, please give her a new console room. This one does her no favours.

    (Oh, and is anyone keeping count on the number of stray unclaimed TARDISes knocking about the universe now?)



    Vervain @vervain

    Also if Tecteun was gallivanting around the universe pre-Timelord era in an “old slow ship” – given they managed to explore many galaxies, find a boundary and the “timeless child”, travel some more whilst the timeless child grew up a bit, get back to gallifrey (for mini-master and mini Doctor to have a fight over a toy?!) discover regeneration? with the child still being a child – why suddenly rush and worry about regeneration? neither appeared to be ageing particularly.

    why would such an already long lived individual be all that bothered about regeneration at all?

    It doesnt work

    So perhaps there is a terrible truth that exists – and it is so terrible that the Master wants to push the Doc to a place where mutual annihilation is the best option – seems peculiar given everything the Master has done to cheat death and continue existing throughout their character’s story arc.

    lisa @lisa

    Random thoughts….

    Well it does seem to me that CC has written an over complicated episode.

    There’s a difference between good writing and rushed writing.  This had both.

    I got out of this that there is a Doctor era and a pre- Doctor ‘Division’ era ?

    So Hartnell was the rogue Division agent that escaped but Ruth Doctor was another one?

    The Doctor didn’t originate on Galifrey  but her genetics were spliced into

    some of the indigenous Galifreyans creating Time Lords.  CC has had a Frankenstein fetish all season.

    Doctor Frankenstein picking up a random kid and doing experiments to harvest her immortality.

    Sneaking around a Cyber ship inside cyber shells is why I don’t want to be a Doctor companion.

    I have mixed feelings about this episode.   It had many inconsistencies.

    Wondering if that lady that stood next to Rassilon in ‘The End of Time’ was Tecteun?  Where could

    she/he be now and could “the Other” be  this same character?

    I still  liked it better when the Doctor wasn’t the chosen one and you got your regenerative

    abilities from the time vortex.  Maybe CC might have missed an opportunity with the

    Hybrid here?

    I noticed he even gave the new ‘Moment”  end of the world annihilation  machine a red

    button for Ko to push.   CC has taken the show to a darker place now.





    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Was this… the most complex suicide attempt ever? (I say attempt because it’s most likely a case of how, not if, the Master got away/survived).

    That the Master wanted to die seemed pretty clear from his disappointment that shrinking the lone Cyberman didn’t set it off. But at the same time, he wanted the Doctor to pull the trigger, a final victory over the Doctor to balance the fact that his old friend, rival, and nemesis was someone from a different dimension, the source of the Time Lord’s power. So it was an ego thing all along.

    Another thought – I have suggested before that the twelve lives is a practical thing – that Twelve personalities is about as much as they feel a brain can manage. While it would explain why they’d be fine giving the Doctor another cycle of regenerations, it also implies some trickery there because it wouldn’t explain why they’d have to in the Doctor’s case.

    You could also argue it gives some new context to the hybrid thing. In fact, it’s the Time Lords who are the Hybrid/s. And the person who did history Gallifrey was a hybrid. Though at the same time, the Doctor is someone from a different dimension, who lived and grew up (at least twice) as a Time Lord.

    I feel the need to note that re-watching what I considered to be the key earlier episodes I noticed the Master say to the Doctor ‘when I kill you I expect you to stay dead’ meaning either, I’m irked that you survived, which we know was untrue, since he later admitted he’d done everything up to the tower to get the Doctor’s attention, and he’d already left a message for him. And then asked, twice, ‘how did you get out of it’ meaning either ‘how did you foil my cunning plan’ (which we know he expected him to), ‘I’m always fascinated by the details’, or ‘I’m trying to tell you something, think about it, how did you get out of it?’.

    The Master prevented the creation of the super-robots, and arranged for the Doctor to wipe out at least (for now at least) the entire race and knowledge of the Cybermen, taking both Master and Doctor with him.

    Regarding where the Master is in his regeneration. A lot depends on if he really is dead. The Doctor is like the MCU’s Loki, he never really is, not finally. On the one hand, if he’s after Missy, there does seem to be some ignoring of her (partial) redemption and we don’t, as I had hoped we would, see a reason for her more friendly attitude to the Doctor at the end of her story. And Missy doesn’t quite seem like a Master who would be this upset by the news. On the other I can understand how of all the things to inherit, a Master who’s mellowed and grown emotionally isn’t quite ideal. At the same time, this is almost a call back to Missy’s first introduction. ‘Look, I made some Cybermen.’

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @vervain it would though be pretty hard to follow ‘everything you think you know is a lie’ with something that doesn’t smash up a lot of canon, though.

    Vervain @vervain

    Also what does this actually mean for Susan? The Dr’s Granddaughter

    lisa @lisa


    Totally agree with you about the Hybrid.  The Timelords tortured the CapDoc

    over the Hybrid’s identity and as it turns out it was always themselves!

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lisa yup. I hate to agree with the Master, and mass murder is never justified, but there are times when I can see his point somewhat…

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Something said on t’other place has made me think: how are we explaining River’s regeneration ability now? How would the Tardis be able to do that, if that isn’t how the Time Lords came to be in the first place?

    I suppose in theory it might actually have been done to her when she was held as a child.

    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    @miapatrick “it’s most likely a case of how, not if, the Master got away/survived).”

    The Master escape was signposted. just before the bomb went someone offscreen said, something like, “quick, come through here”

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @charlie-cook wonder what the chances are it was the/a Doctor?

    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice

    I liked this episode overall! This Timeless Child reveal adds a lot more mystery to the Doctor’s character again so I’m excited to see where else the writers are going to go with it. My only issue with it is that, looking back at all the events and people that have had huge impacts on the Doctor’s life, the impact of these seems to be lessened a bit now that we know the Doctor has had many lives before the ones we’ve seen on screen. That said, this is sort of a Ship of Theseus paradox: The Doctor’s body changes every time they regenerate, and they lost their memories when they became the Doctor that we know today. So if they have a different body and different memories, are they really still the same person as ‘The Timeless Child’? I’d say no, not exactly.

    I’ve seen a few people point out on Twitter that the eight pre-Hartnell incarnations of the Doctor that were shown in The Brains of Morbius (1976) briefly appeared in the scene in this episode where the Doctor was going through her memories to escape from the Matrix. I have a feeling Chibnall got the idea for this Timeless Child arc because he was so annoyed by the ‘Morbius Doctors’ inconsistency that he felt compelled to rewrite the Doctor’s entire backstory to make it fit. And I don’t mean that as a criticism, I honestly admire his dedication. If we could now get a new season for each plot hole from the last 56 years, that would be great.

    Also, what are the odds that the Master’s going to show up again before long with no explanation of how he survived? We still don’t know what happened to Missy after The Doctor Falls, and this finale didn’t even acknowledge the Master being trapped in the Kasaavin dimension at the end of Spyfall.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @badwolfalice It seems like RuthDoc is from before the memory wipe and they noticed they had the ‘same brain’ so I’d say yes, still the same person on some level. And her memories were in there, just buried, she’d has flashes of herself (though confusingly, from the outside. Unless it was actually her mother’s memories being projected to her).

    I do agree that at some point, different memories, different personality, different body, at what point does someone become a different person? I suppose it depends on how the neurology works, is there some core or section of the brain that develops pathways throughout their life and experience, along side different, changing areas which explain the differences in personality? Or is the idea more that there is some internal kind of ‘self’ affected by experiences, but with a level of consistency, that the Doctor is the fundamental person reacting to the different situations?

    MissRori @missrori

    Ha! Everybody said the Doctor didn’t deserve to have Clara brought back from the dead in “Hell Bent” and now it turns out they’re the most important person who ever existed! Justice for Twelve!

    I think will be interesting to see where “Revolution of the Daleks” goes from here. We need a light comedy episode for a breather after all this, before we get into restoring Gallifrey and all that (because saving that for the 60th would be silly and a retread of the 50th), and I think it would be neat to see the Daleks used in one. The show needs to get over its case of the glums. 🙂

    Psymon @psymon

    Ok so overall I’ve got to say I liked it, it had a good payoff and suitable dramatic tension befitting a finale. I was also glad they followed through with the build up and didn’t do a lazy ‘reboot the universe’ type ending that the show had been guilty of in the past.

    The Master was on top form this episode, and I’ve no doubt the cyberium has somehow saved him to save itself given the cyberium created the particle in the first place.

    The Cybermasters are probably going to be the best thing Chibs does with the franchise, their design was incredible and regenerating Cybermen is a great left of field concept to throw in at the end. I really hope that is not the last we see of them.

    I loved the design of Gallifrey and I enjoyed the origin story that they introduced, I’m not super clued up on classic Who but it didn’t fly in the face of canon in my view – this was how the Time Lords got regeneration powers, it doesn’t mean that Time Lord society wasn’t built and developed in the way previously explained in canon – this is almost a pre-history. I thought it worked pretty well and makes the Doctor special and mysterious again – where did she come from? Who sent her? If she is not Gallifreyan why does she have Gallifreyan biology – i.e. two hearts, two brains etc. Or are we saying that by ‘splicing’ the regeneration abilities of the child the natives of Gallifrey inherited the biology of the Doctor, i.e. they are no longer Gallifreyans?

    This episode did a lot to clarify a lot of grey areas in canon – it confirms that the 12 regeneration rule is an artificial construct and can be changed/removed, it confirms why the Doctor never really fit in with Time Lord society and was seen as an outcast, it confirms there are other Doctors before Hartnell aka ‘The Timeless Children’, and it confirms that there’s much more left of the Doctor to explore. I think it is the shot in the arm the show needed personally. On the subject of the 12 regenerations, my memory is fuzzy on the Matt Smith storyline but did he just make himself a recluse and grew old fearing death? Was he every actually at the point of dying? Perhaps the Doctor, being the origin of the species, never had the 12 regeneration limit and the ‘gift’ from the Time Lords was just a ruse by the Time Lords in the know to protect the secret?

    The whole Ireland bit which we were trolled with last week was very clever, and I’m annoyed it took me so long for the penny to drop – I should have seen the connection as soon as the child fell from the cliff. I disagree that it was stupid – the Doctor has spent many lifetimes on Earth throughout it’s history, so someone scanning through the Doctor’s memories would find it unremarkable, we said ourselves last week it was like a standalone episode and now we know why – an unremarkable standalone episode in the life of the Doctor that wouldn’t get redacted. I actually really liked this pay off.

    Speaking of being trolled – I think Chibs is doing it on purpose to annoy the anti-PC sentiment online – we now know the Doctor was born as a black girl, she’s been female, male, black, white and asian, her adopted mother went from an old white lady to a black man with no apparent rhyme or reason other than to annoy a certain subsection of Who fans. I can’t help thinking a number those vocal fans online that hated it would have been hailing it as the greatest finale ever if it would have been in the RTD or Moffat era and all the pre-Hartnell Doctors were white males…

    Speaking of the Doctor’s adopted mother – do you remember the scene at the end of the Tennant’s last appearance where he looked on at a female Time Lord that had a distinct ‘mother’ vibe – was that Tecteun somehow poking at the Doctor’s subconscious? Was she the one that disguised the memories as Ireland for him to find one day? On the subject of the Doctor’s memories I loved the ‘memory bomb’ with flashes of old episodes – including shots where classic-Who has referenced pre-Hartnell Doctors.

    Lastly, I liked the whole ‘Division’ subplot but I’m not sure it is clear who the kids were being talked to – was one of them the Doctor or not? Who was the other one? Presumably not the Master as he never mentioned anything about his origin story being changed, other than he has part of the Doctor in him? It’s an interesting plot point which could tie in somehow to Hartnell fleeing Gallifrey in a stolen Tardis…

    So onto the bits I didn’t like… I’m going to ignore the usual timey-wimey niggles and inconsistencies, as you could pick apart any Who episode if you really wanted to over-analyse it. But my main gripe was Jo-Doc’s appearance. It didn’t really make sense, other than to establish her as the ‘link’ to the pre-Hartnell storylines. What did Whittaker mean by being made into a child again? What was she trying to say? It would have made more sense for her childhood to have been an implanted memory rather than one actually lived? Why would you have an adult Doctor (working for Division?) suddenly be turned into a kid again to grow up with the Master? I thought it was very poorly explained. I like the concept but the execution was messy – especially the fact that she had a phone boxed shaped TARDIS, this was clearly done for effect over logic and that is disappointing. Save that one little scene digging up the police box I’m sure that scene would have worked just as well walking into a TARDIS disguised as something else. I’m disappointed this wasn’t explained. I’m now expected more Doctors to pop up at any moment – I was expecting the old-guy at the end to say he was a Doctor, or Yaz to admit she’s a ‘remarkable human’ because she is actually an under cover Doctor, was the Master a version of the Doctor all along etc… They need to explain better the ‘rules’ of that this new storyline means, how many there are, how they exist alongside the Doctor’s timeline etc.

    I’m also disappointed they didn’t bother explaining how the Master escaped episode 2 or how he links to Missy – as things he said during this episode directly contradict Missy – perhaps the events on Gallifrey cause his regeneration into Missy? But at this point I don’t think that is possible given what he knows, unless the Cyberium wipes his memory somehow? Oh and I wonder if all these stolen TARDIS dotted around the universe now will come into play? I’m guessing the house one at least will be used to save the Doctor somehow – and was it just me that thought having a new house appear in the middle of a busy housing estate was the opposite of a chameleon disguise? There were 100s of ways that they could have done this to be more logical – like a shed in the garden of a house that was up for sale, or a cargo container in a storage lot full of them etc. A brand new house in the middle of a housing estate is not a good disguise! Even a new house in the middle of a not finished housing development would have made more sense.

    On the whole I liked it, but there’s lots of messy bits that need more explanation. I did like the classic Tennant style ‘What? WHAT?’ twist at the end though – interesting that it is the Jadoon ‘Cold Case’ division that is investigating – how cold are we talking? Pre-Hartnell crimes maybe? Will it be Captain Jack that breaks her from prison, hence his warning about not giving the Lone Cyberman what it wants?

    GalaxyMage @galaxymage

    This was awesome! I loved the episode, it was amazing, and they showed the Morbius faces! Never mind that I haven’t watched that serial, I’ve read about it, and me and my brother were freaking out upon seeing them!

    I don’t know why, but I feel like there’s someone in mythology or some book I’ve read called Tecteun but the Doctor Who stuff is covering it all online. So, was she Rassilon? Or could The Other be not The Doctor but her instead?

    Does this mean that The Doctor has unlimited regenerations or are they also restricted to 12 in their new cycle? Was Brendan another one of her lives, or her mind processing the secret?

    I am definitely confused, but I understood enough to love it. That scene with the death particle, and also The Master talking to the Cyberman were great, and I loved the Cyber Lords!

    We all know that The Master survives that, unless they’re going to say that he’s the mysterious Last Incarnation and that his next incarnation will go from Missy onwards. It would explain all the stuff about Missy’s redemption arc (though she wasn’t really that redeemed). Sort of like The Valeyard, which will eventually split off from The Doctor but is at an unknown point in the future. Or really like Clara who has to die sometime but can travel around the universe and come back eventually, except The Master doesn’t know his fate.

    I wonder if that prison at the end was Stormcage?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Namely that by removing the previous Gallifreyan ruling elite (the Pythia) as precursors to the Time Lords you end up without the Sisterhood of Karn, meaning you end up with no War Doctor.

    You’re confusing history and pre-history, I think. Plus you’re not allowing for the tendency of succeeding regimes to rewrite the previous history, and also not allowing for the Master deciding to telescope several hundred millennia into a couple of lines.

    Okay, new canon. Everything we have seen the Doctor do on screen is real (for a given value of real). Chibbers has been extremely careful to establish that – realising that the Master isn’t the most reliable of narrators, he’s had the Doctor meet up with many old foes and some new ones who namechecked other old foes.

    What that means is that we have the Sisterhood of Karn and the Priesthood of Pythia, because we’ve seen them both on screen. However, the off-screen history of how we got them may be a pile of self-serving propaganda invented by the Rassillon regime. The Sisterhood of Karn, with their excellent knowledge of regeneration, may in fact be the followers of Tecteun – you could see why that little tidbit might be wiped out of history.

    As to why a canonically long lived race (whose bodies can last millennia between regenerations) would want to live still longer – I suspect we’re being handed a new myth about the quest for immortality. A Gallifreyan equivalent of the Philosopher’s Stone, except the ‘Stone’ is a living child.

    You might be right, however, that the Master suspects a ‘terrible truth’. For one thing, Timeless-Child-Doctor regenerates because of a childish squabble over a toy and the Master’s strangely insistent that it was just two kids playing, an unfortunate accident. For another, the episode isn’t called ‘The Timeless Child.’ It’s called ‘The Timeless Children‘.

    Who was the other child? And does the Master have a horrible suspicion that it’s him? That he, too, doesn’t know his true history?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Other lovely, ironic stuff. The Doctor standing in the ruins of the Citadel, automatically telling her fam that they can’t be here because no aliens are allowed on Gallifrey. When she’s the original alien…

    Also explains why the xenophobic Time Lords disliked The Doctor so very much. They needed her to become Time Lords, but she was an alien. They must have been vastly relieved when the Division gave them an excuse to wipe her memory.

    Do we finally have an answer to the problem of Hartnell and Troughton seeming to have one heart and the Pertwee Doctor arriving on Earth with two? Did the Timeless Child’s regeneration ability also include regenerating to ‘mimic’ her host race?

    It’s possible that River’s regeneration ability is the reason Chibbers thought he could rework canon into the Doctor being the source of regeneration in Time Lords. If regeneration comes from repeated exposure to the time vortex during conception and fetal development, then that’s possibly how the Doctor herself gained the ability. If you notice, Chibbers was the writer who decided Amy and Rory’s post-River son Anthony was adopted, so I suspect he knows this bit of the Moffat era quite well.

    Davros @davros

    Overall, I enjoyed this episode. I did not suspect that the Ireland scenes were a screen for what was happening to the Doctor as an agent on Gallifrey: not for a second. Great work by intense Whittaker and manic Dhawan. Cyber Time Lords really is an unnerving idea, so that part of the plot was nice enough in itself. Beautiful callbacks to The Deadly Assassin, one of my favourite Fourth Doctor stories. Kind and serious moments with the fam, then an old-fashioned series finale clinghanger.

    I have some questions about the impact of the new origin story for The Doctor and the Time Lords. There are possible answers, and I’m a patient man, but I’m hoping some more things are sorted out next season.

    If we do take Ruth to be part of a previous run of the Doc before she was rechildinated, then why would her TARDIS look like a Police Box?

    I suspect there is more to this story. If we take it as all true, then the Doctor was always completely alone, unique, not even the same species as other Gallifreyans. So why did her biology always pass as Gallifreyan? Were they all converted to her biology? Was she converted to theirs, using some Chameleon Arch tech? Is there some Chameleon Arch somewhere, waiting to be broken, that will convert her to her original biology?

    It’s also weird that they went to the tail end of the Cyberwars to rescue the last humans in the Galaxy, but ended up taking them back to the 21st century anyway, so the effect is the same: humans were wiped from the Galaxy at the end of the Cyberwars.

    I don’t trust what the Matrix showed The Doctor completely. It could be partly fabricated or presented with false context in order to break her emotionally.

    Still, it’s a thumbs-up from me.

    PS: The Child ran through many regenerations while Tecteun studied her. Why is she going through so many deaths? Is Tecteun some kind of Mengele? Also it was interesting that the subsequent regenerations seemed to be in ascending order of age: that’s not how it has worked for our Doctor. She got younger in appearance from 4 to 5, 7 to 8, certainly 12 to 13.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @davros I’m thinking either the Tardis got stuck like a police box around this time and the memory wiped Hartnel doctor accidentally stole his own Tardis (because she wanted him to, and because of Claracle).

    Alternatively, the Tardis chose to get stuck in that shape because of the meeting between the two Doctors which the Tardis knew (time works differently for them) would be important.

    As for the biology/DNA, I would assume they genetically engineered the Time Lords to basically the Doctor’s biology, or a lot of it is down to travel through time and space – see @bluesqueakpip‘s ideas about River’s biology above.

    Davros @davros

    BTW, The Master paraphrases Ozymandias (“Look upon my works, Doctor, and despair”) which is by Shelley, tying back to episode 8.


    lisa @lisa

    Just wondering about the message written on the back of the carriage clock.

    It seemed a bit fuzzy but  I think it said “for Soroloos to the Dioslon”  but correct

    me if I misread that !!         So what can it mean?

    A Sorol can be a forex transaction. Dioslon is a drug often used topically for skin conditions.

    So …….  not that.  Hm?  That’s going to bug me!



    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice

    @miapatrick Hmm, that’s true. The memories that the Doctor saw of the Timeless Child could have been projected into her mind by the Master, perhaps, like he apparently did with the Brendan thing (not that there was any indication from the Doctor that she was receiving those images, which was odd).

    By the way, was it explained why the Doctor’s memory was wiped, or is that still a mystery?


    @galaxymage Does this mean that The Doctor has unlimited regenerations or are they also restricted to 12 in their new cycle? Was Brendan another one of her lives, or her mind processing the secret?

    I’m pretty sure Brendan was a filter that was put over the history of the Timeless Child in the Matrix so it wouldn’t be found out. So Brendan being found as a baby represented Tecteun finding the child, Brendan falling off the cliff and surviving represented the child falling and regenerating, etc.

    I hope regeneration is still restricted. If it’s unlimited it will remove all tension that anything might happen to the Doctor; they’ll be functionally immortal. (I mean, I’m sure the writers will always find a way to increase the regeneration limit as long as the show is popular, but still.)

    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice

    @lisa I think it was ‘For services to the Division’!

    lisa @lisa



    LMAO !!!   Time to check my glasses !   How I got to that is alarming!

    Mirime @mirime

    By the way, was it explained why the Doctor’s memory was wiped, or is that still a mystery?

    @badwolfalice two things I thought – to keep the work of the Division secret and to hide who the Doctor really was and that she’s not like other Time Lords.


    I rather enjoyed the whole thing, though it has meant I’ve had to explain the Morbius thing and the Cartmel Master Plan to three people who probably all wish they’d never asked!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Tecteun has a vaguely Aztec feel, but I suspect it’s a made-up name. My guess is the tect is from ‘Tekton’ (ancient Greek), followed by the Korean girl’s name ‘Eun’ which Chibbers might know from a Korean film or an actress.

    Anyway, the two would fit. Tekton is Greek for ‘builder’, ‘eun’ is Korean for kindness, mercy, charity. Tecteun showed kindness to the abandoned timeless child, charitably brought her home – then used her to build the race of regenerating Time Lords.

    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice

    I hope the next series makes it clear that the reason the Doctor is so different, personality-wise, to most other Time Lords is not because she’s the Timeless Child, but because she’s the Doctor. I don’t think it would send a very good message to the audience if the only reason she decided to escape from being a puppet to the Time Lords and instead devote her life to exploration and kindness is because she comes from a different species. She should be able to do that no matter who she is. To quote Mewtwo from the first Pokémon movie, ‘The circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.’

    RorySmith @rorysmith

    Still stuck at Spyfall pt 2.

    How did the Master destroy Galifrey by himself?

    By simply hacking the Matrix?

    I’m all good with everything else since as a kid in the eighties, I suspected there were previous versions of the Doctor that were kept secret. This confirmed a childhood theory and it was awesome.

    Julianantony @julianantony

    @vervain here you go


    nerys @nerys

    I really liked the episode. It wrapped everything up, and contrary to my fears, no companions were harmed during the making of this episode.

    But I am confused by several things. Who was Brendan, really? It wasn’t clear to me if he was a Time Lord, part of the separate Division unit that was created (and, as I recall, those Time Lords were limited to 12 regenerations). So why was he first found as an infant, then grew to be an old man? That isn’t the usual way that regenerations work … or, at least, that’s not how we viewers have had them presented to us.

    I see how Brendan’s story mirrors that of the Timeless Child found by Tecteun. So are that child, Brendan and the Doctor all one and the same? If so, why are the regenerations we saw in this episode so different from those we’ve seen throughout the series?

    Is the Master part of the Division, and that’s why he was enraged to the point of destroying Gallifrey?

    Was Ko Sharmus a Time Lord, part of the Division?

    I wonder why Chris Chibnall went this route, re: limitless regenerations. Steven Moffat was faced with having to deal with 12 regenerations for the Doctor, which he did in “The Time of the Doctor.” It seemed as if Chibnall felt he had to readdress that so that the Doctor has unlimited regenerations … even though that had already been established at the end of Matt Smith’s run as the Doctor.

    Whisht @whisht

    So… must admit I agree with so much of what @jimthefish (and @badwolfalice ) said.
    I think it’ll be retconned soon enough, but that’s a writer’s preserve (maybe that the child was a TL child dropped back through time eg the Great Boundary; so a paradox, seeding the ability to regenerate upon themselves).
    They’re adding ‘mystery’ as they wanted to do around McCoy’s time (is this a version of Cartmel??).

    There are odd inconsistencies but no odder than most stories(!) [though I dislike her running away to allow Ko Sharma to kill everything on Gallifrey – that feels very wrong to not allow/stop him from doing that – she gave him the bomb]

    I agree the Lone Cyberman had a lot more potential but then, that’s maybe because he was the Cyberman’s Davros.
    I’ll admit that I don’t much like Dhawan’s Master – I happen to dislike whispering on a mike and with that added to his over-the-top-ness, its just not as interesting as what Gomez gave.

    But the Doctor’s aim is “to make a difference”. Fair enough.

    Someone was asking about Tectuin’s name and it sounding similar to someone – maybe the Great A’Tuin or an Aztec god…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I would say there are two possibilities. One, given that a big thing was made in Spyfall about encoding hidden information in pictures is that ‘Brendan’ is an encoded version of the Doctor’s/Timeless Child’s life. Should anyone not in the know look at it, they’ll see a fake memory (a ‘legend’) of the Doctor’s life as a Division agent, in which he was chameleon arched as a human baby and was working as a Garda.

    For those in the know, the memory can be decoded to reveal the records of the Timeless child.

    The other possibility is that ‘Brendan’ really was one of the Doctor’s missions while with the Division (the name Brendan is strongly associated with St Brendan the Voyager, i.e. a traveller) and he had to make some seemingly minor changes to the history of Ireland. But that the genuine memories were then used to encode the Timeless Child information, just as the perfectly real fish was used to encode O’s location.

    I was wondering why Chibbers wanted to go down the limitless regenerations route – one reason, I think, is purely symbolic. As David Tennant once said, once the rebooted series survived as a continuation of the pre-gap series, The Doctor joined the ranks of immortal fictional characters. So why not make him/her officially immortal? Killable, yes, but a character who can potentially regenerate forever?

    The other is clearing stuff up for future producers. Yeah, Moffat managed to do a dramatically satisfying recharge of the twelve regenerations, but that was partly because he managed to finagle the regenerations to do the reboot in the 50th Anniversary year. It fitted with the entire ‘big event’ feel of that anniversary. What happens down the road when some poor sod of a showrunner has to find a way of working in another twelve regenerations? Why not just alter the mythology so that producers won’t have that (entirely invented and completely unnecessary) problem?

    I really liked Ko Sharmus, and wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was more than he made out. He might be a Division agent; working to ensure that the Cybermen don’t wipe out every last human by guarding a handy portal. Or he might be what he said he was – a human who feels that his job is to keep other humans alive and help them escape.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Yeah, I think this will be retconned at some point. You can almost hear the tapping keyboards in the bedrooms of future showrunners even as we speak.

    re. the running away from Ko Sharma — yep, it was pretty un-Doctorly, but 13 has by now made a habit of fairly regular un-Doctorly behaviour, so I’m pretty much letting it go now. What’s puzzling me more is why Ko Sharma was willing to make that sacrifice so easily. ‘The universe needs you, Doctor.’ What does he base that on, having actually met her for what can’t amount to much more than a couple of hours. Unless as Pip says, he was a Division agent of some kind and had previous knowledge of her.

    Have to agree about the Master. Dhawan’s performance is fine but basically Simm redux. And definitely not a patch on Gomez.


    That Who has made it to 50 is remarkable but even I strongly doubt it will make it to a 100. The more I think of it, the more the Timeless Child plot was intended to solve a bunch of non-problems — who were the Morbius Doctors? (who apart from a bunch of terminal Whovian anoraks really cares?), proving that the Doc wasn’t just 13 white blokes and then a white woman to shut the NMDs up (a laudable sentiment but wouldn’t it just be easier to ignore these fruitloops?) and then there’s the aforementioned regeneration cycle issue (which renders the conclusion of Time and the Doctor pretty irrelevant.)

    And the more I think about it, while I have no problem with shifting the canon back a couple of regeneration cycles, it seems to cause more issues than it solves. As well as Time and the Doctor, both the War Games and Trial of a Time Lord are mystifyingly pointless now. And then there’s Name of the Doctor. Moffatt took a lot of pains, it seems, to streamline the canon, to make it manageable for the next 50 years (optimistic, as I said, but hey, let’s be optimistic for a moment.) Chibs, on the other hand, has just pointlessly unstreamlined for those future generations of hypothetical showrunners.

    And then there’s the Doctor’s origin story. The most we’ve seen before is a lonely but otherwise presumably relatively normal (by Gallifreyan standards) child but who is given a life-changing sliver of hope and optimism when they needed it most. Now we’ve got one that’s part interdimensional orphan with suppressed memories of sustained child abuse (not sure I saw Tetris’s relationship with the Timeless Child as charitable but rather as one of exploitation) crossed with a time-travelling Jason Bourne.

    Davros @davros

    Interesting that The Doc’s coded memory, then, shows Brendan being shot by a criminal before falling off a cliff. Perhaps this implies that what really happened to the Timeless Child on Gallifrey with the other kid wasn’t an accident.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    That Who has made it to 50 is remarkable but even I strongly doubt it will make it to a 100.

    Really? Sherlock is currently over a hundred and thirty years old and Doctor Who has a much more flexible structure than good old Sherlock. I’d expect the series to be ‘rested’ at some point, but given that we’re now looking at an twenty six year run the first time and a fifteen year run the second – I’d be astonished if it wasn’t brought back. Probably on streaming; I think the time-shifted viewing for Who is up to 40% for some episodes.

    I’d agree that the Whittaker Doctor can be ‘undoctorly’, but I still haven’t forgotten when the Capaldi Doctor grabbed his Sonic rather than a drowning child. The Doctor can have undoctorly moments in any regeneration.

    The more I think of it, the more the Timeless Child plot was intended to solve a bunch of non-problems

    No, the Timeless Child plot was intended to tell an interesting story. Along the way, it solved a number of problems that might have been bugging Chris Chibnall; some people’s creative imagination bounces off stuff like that. He did an entire series where the Doctor met all-new enemies and ignored her past, and now he’s done a series where her past comes back to bite her.

    I’ve been saying this for the past few episodes, but how do you have a plot where the Doctor’s past is a vital part of the plot without mentioning that past?

    nerys @nerys

    @bluesqueakpip All very plausible. When I rewatch, I will keep your suggestions in mind! And maybe my questions will be answered.

    Also, good point about Capaldi’s Doctor having some “undoctorly” moments … that one, in particular.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    (You either get the NG reference or you don’t. Back tomorrow.)

    Davros @davros

    Previous mentions of the Shobogans on-screen:

    In “The Deadly Assassin”
    SPANDRELL: Just the kind of hooliganism we’re always running the Shobogans in for.

    In “Hell Bent”:
    DOCTOR: The last I heard, he stole the moon and the President’s wife.
    CLARA: Was she, er, Was she nice, the President’s wife?
    DOCTOR: Ah, well, that was a lie put about by the Shobogans. It was the President’s daughter. I didn’t steal the moon, I lost it.

    Any others?

    There are references to Shobogans in the novels Lungbarrow and The Eight Doctors.

    In all of this it appears they just some group of Gallifreyans that are outside Time Lord society.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    OK so what’s interesting me about the Brendon section is that most of it simply repeats what the Doctor already observed (narrated by the Master), after which, he serves with the Guarda till retirement, at which his memory is (none consensually) erased.

    So the early part, which is a big part of the big secret, the big lie, is still there. The part that bothered the Master. Followed by the fact of the memory wipe, which the Master appeared to think would bother the Doctor more than it did.

    When I get a chance to re-watch I’ll be focusing on these things: Why would the Time Lords leave all this information about the Doctor and the Time Lord’s origins but then wipe the part about the Division and the Doctor’s memory wipe? What are the differences between Brendon’s story and hers?

    The fact the two stories don’t line up can be part of the disguise, but as someone pointed out. I can’t remember if it was here or t’other place, can’t find it, the Master was emphasising how the Doctor first died as a result of an accident, in Brendons version it was murder by a criminal. Brendon has a mother who loves him unconditionally, and a father and member of the Guarda who look unsettled at his survival, and then turn up, impossibly young, to force a traumatic looking memory wipe on him.

    Is it significant that his father talks over him when he goes to join the Guarda with ‘he wants to serve’, till Brandon gives his own reason for joining?

    What we also know: Ruth Doctor is an older Doctor (no sonic, people at the time thought interaction between timelines could be a disaster, lack of memories of each other). We also know the Doctor was working ‘for the glory of Gallifrey’ and absconded and that tracking her down was a matter of life or death – the boyfriend/companion/fellow solider was killed, she felt the need to kill to get away – and legal penalty. Gallifrey was awry, and hiring Judgoons to find and arrest her. I think it’s fairly likely that this is why the Doctor was arrested, either for what Ruth did, or for aiding and abetting Ruth and also being the same person.

    As I said, the Master narrated the Doctor’s past. If you put a picture in the dictionary for the definition of unreliable narrator, well, you’d need a big page but it would all be pictures of the Master.

    I’m inclined to agree with @jimthefish about the testing. The Doctor’s did not look overly happy during the tests. Why so many regenerations? Even if her mother’s people lived a very long time, so does the Doctor in each incarnation if not killed.

    How many times has the Doctor been mind wiped? Every twelve lives? I don’t think Ruth knew everything.

    I can see how the twelve lives limit could be a population control thing. Clearly they reproduce, if the Doctor was forced to regenerate as a child and then raised with other children. Additionally, I’ve always felt twelve might be broadly the limit of how many personalities they think is safe and reasonable to carry around with you. Only two Time lords get more, the Master, already insane, and the Doctor, who presumably evolved to handle the ability and additionally, wasn’t supposed to, Gallifrey wasn’t able to perform the wipe after Eleven. In terms of different personalities and sets of memories, the Doctor didn’t hit the limit till Capaldi, that Smith Doc was the final regeneration was a physical technicality, Jodie is the thirteenth personality.

    But if the Doctor as a child regenerated a lot when they were younger, we don’t know where the Time Lords got the number from. Maybe observation of the Doctor.

    We also don’t know if the Doctor is ‘normal’ for her original people, or some kind of mutation that deemed dangerous. Why was she abandoned? Was it to get her away from them? Was it a trap?

    Anyway, if this doesn’t reach the hights, for me, of Moffart that’s partly because even when I didn’t, in my soul, always feel that Moffarts final episodes completely added up logically, his work had a kind of magic for me. Sometimes I thought the final explanation wasn’t quite as good as the theories even more insane that we find on here, but I loved the way he did what he did. CC isn’t quite there. But this season is head and shoulders above the last one in many ways (though there was some stuff I liked there, mostly Ryan and Graham).

    And additionally, CC has given us a gift. He’s created a springboard for absolutely insane speculation and theorising. He has, right about the time the Older episodes are more easily available (in the UK at least) than they ever have been in my memory, pointed to the Doctor’s past for the location of clues and references. As several people have pointed out on t’other place, this hasn’t, as some suggested, destroyed the mystery of the Doctor, but increased it.

    Of course it’s at the mercy of future writers. But to me the Time Lord’s have something closer to what I consider a history now. That is, there isn’t one version, completely/mostly trustworthy, of what really happened. There are conflicting theories, conflicting stories, evidence that doesn’t entirely match up due to lack of information. I like that.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Well, what can I say? …

    That was as cynical a bit of fanwank as you are likely to experience. A “story” that the legendary Craig Hinton (the undisputed ‘King of Fanwank’ in Doctor Who novels) would have cried at not being able to write.

    Don’t get me wrong – I love a good rewrite of history. As a Doctor Who fan of old you come to appreciate when its done well. It helps when you understand the underlying reason for it though. I’m pretty sure most of us understand why ‘The War Doctor’ exists. You can argue that the role could have been taken by Eight (and many have) but as someone who was invested in his audios, I wouldn’t agree.

    As it’s been mentioned a lot in conjunction with this episode (with a call out) let’s consider ‘Brain of Morbius’. As a ‘Retcon’ it sought to overwrite the Hartnell Doctor being the ‘first’ (as defined by the Timelords in the Three Doctors). A number of behind the scenes people appeared as previous Doctors and\or Morbius’.

    What was the reason? Well – Robert Holmes, the script editor (and one of the past Doctor\Morbius) convinced producer Philip Hinchcliffe (also one of the past Doctor\Morbius) that this regeneration lark actually robbed the show of what little jeopardy it had. If the Doctor could regenerate endlessly then what was there to fear? Where was the jeopardy for the Doctor?

    And so they first established that Tom may not be the fourth Doctor in Brain of Morbius, and then later introduced the 13 lives rule in Deadly Assassin. The last one stuck, but the idea that Tom Baker could be the 10th,11th or (aarrghh) 13th Doctor never did. Interesting.

    To be frank, the above examples are people who considered story telling on a much deeper level than Chris Chibnall who is a mediocre mind with a small gift for self selling.

    So – tell me viewers & listeners? If every retcon is done for a reason, then what is the reason for this one? I’ll give my solutions to this conundrum later. I’d be interested to hear yours.

    Davros @davros

    I tried to post a list of the images shown when The Doctor was trying to blow up the Matrix but I think that post kind of blew up the Matrix, so I’ll break it up a bit.

    So here are the images that are shown before The Doctor blows up the Matrix. I counted 89 images, it runs for about 10 seconds, so it’s about 3 frames per image, average. It’s a bit fuzzy in places. Maybe you can help identify some of the more obscure images.

    1/ The Master (O)
    2/ The 13th Doctor and the Cyberium (from this episode)
    3/ The Fam at the door in “The Haunting of Villa Diodati”
    4/ Rakaya in “Can You Hear Me?”
    5/ Gat in “Fugitive of the Judoon”
    6/ DocMartin in “Fugitive of the Judoon”
    7/ Jack Harkness, I think in “Fugitive of the Judoon”
    8/ 13th Doctor outdoors, couldn’t work out what episode it was from, possibly “Fugitive of the Judoon”
    9/ Tesla in “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror”

    Then these things:

    13/ Then a Dalek

    then these things:


    16/ 13th Doctor, Yaz and Graham as seen, I think, by a Dalek

    then these things:


    21/ 13th Doctor running to the TARDIS in “The Ghost Monument”
    22/ Another 13th Doctor moment in “The Ghost Monument”
    23/ “Tim Shaw”
    24/ Then back to the 13th Doctor straining to break the Matrix

    But then a couple of faces join her…

    26/ Is this the Racnoss?

    27/ One of the cat people of New Earth I guess.

    Davros @davros

    28/ 12th Doctor standing proudly
    29/ 12th Doctor holding a weapon
    30/ 12th Doctor standing in front of bright sky
    31/ 11th Doctor standing
    32/ 11th Doctor standing in close up
    33/ 11th Doctor in the TARDIS doorway
    34/ 10th Doctor crying … is he holding the Master?
    35/ 10th Doctor yelling
    36/ 10th Doctor in front of a circle of bright dots
    37/ 9th Doctor in front of a circle of bright dots
    38/ 9th Doctor looking cross
    39/ 9th Doctor in the TARDIS
    40/ War Doctor front on
    41/ War Doctor side on, baleful
    42/ War Doctor front on, resolved
    43/ War Doctor side on, looking down
    44/ 8th Doctor from “The Night Of The Doctor” on Karn
    45/ 8th Doctor from “The Night Of The Doctor” in front of the TARDIS
    46/ 7th Doctor, facing front, quizzical
    47/ 7th Doctor, sky behind him
    48/ 6th Doctor, looking right, confused
    49/ 6th Doctor, looking front, angry
    50/ 5th Doctor, black background
    51/ 5th Doctor, in the TARDIS
    52/ 4th Doctor, extreme close-up
    53/ A lab scene from “The Brain of Morbius” showing one of the Faces in the middle distance
    54/ 4th Doctor, facing front, looking down
    55/ 4th Doctor, in the TARDIS
    56/ 3rd Doctor, looking left
    57/ 3rd Doctor, holding the sonic, with Jo I think
    58/ 3rd Doctor in close up
    59/ 2nd Doctor, facing front, someone in a white coat behind him
    60/ 2nd Doctor, looking a bit cross, in close up
    61/ 2nd Doctor, looking glum
    62/ 1st Doctor, with the Astrakhan on, outdoors
    63/ 1st Doctor in close up, smiling broadly
    64/ 1st Doctor, imposed over image of 13th Doctor straining to break the Matrix

    Then there’s a series of images of Doctor straining like this, with various beings to her left and right:






    70/ That would be Ainley on the right.


    72/ Delgado on the left there.

    73/ Then the Timeless Child as she was first found.

    75/ An incarnation of the Timeless Child in bed
    76/ Another incarnation of the Timeless Child in bed
    77/ Another lab scene from “The Brain of Morbius” showing one of the Faces in the middle distance
    78/ Back to the Timeless Child in bed
    79/ Another incarnation of the Timeless Child in bed
    80/ Yet another incarnation of the Timeless Child in bed
    81/ The Timeless Child as an adult attending the Division interview
    82/ Lab scene from “The Brain of Morbius” showing one of the Faces in the middle distance
    83 Zoom on one of the Faces from “The Brain of Morbius”: one we don’t know, Sonny Bono-ish
    84/ Zoom on one of the Faces from “The Brain of Morbius”: another we don’t know
    85/ Zoom on one of the Faces from “The Brain of Morbius”: another we don’t know
    86/ Zoom on one of the Faces from “The Brain of Morbius”: another we don’t know, bit Jesusy
    87/ I don’t know what this is

    88/DocMartin, in the TARDIS
    89/Back to the 13th Doctor, straining to break the Matrix

    nerys @nerys

    @davros Isn’t that last screenshot Brendan?

    It’s still not clear to me why the regenerations of the Timeless Child are so different from the regenerations we have seen of the Doctor. Throughout the series, the Doctor doesn’t age to that extent. The closest I can recall is Matt Smith’s Doctor in “The Time of the Doctor”, in which he had visibly aged. But when we saw the regeneration of Tennant’s Doc to Smith’s Doc, Smith’s Doc wasn’t an infant; he was an adult. Same as with all the other regenerations. So I am still puzzled by that.

    I agree with @miapatrick, and a little bit with @phaseshift, that this doesn’t come together for me in the same way as Moffat’s best work. It’s like there’s too much explaining going on. If anything, Moffat didn’t always explain enough, and I had to watch multiple times (and rely on the experts here) to help me understand. But I also agree with all who say that at least this gives Jodie Whittaker something to work with. She’s had a spark through most of this season that was absent last season. Overall, her Doctor was too aloof and lighthearted, an observer seemingly disconnected from much of what was happening. She’s not disconnected from this, nor can she pretend to be. It’s good to see her considerable acting talents being given a suitable challenge … finally!

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