Under The Lake

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    @jphamlore that sounds most interesting!

    @donnydhuum welcome to the Forum -so glad you enjoyed The God Complex. So did I. Hope you enjoy the musings on the Forum -there must be 100 posts in a day. The posts are awesome. Do you have a favourite Doctor?

    Funny, but I didn’t notice that the Doctor claimed the bearded ghost was from Tivoli…but that would indeed make sense. I’ve only seen it once so I must do a re-watch presently.

    I understood the words were a magnet rather than actual ‘words’ in the way the Tardis would understand them (a type of magnet, I suppose) and so @kharis were the words similar -in style or type to The Satan Pit, as according to Ten, they were from “before the universe” (specifically said by ‘satan’)?  I just don’t know but then I’m never right about anything (I observe and muse with a glass of red, at my side)!


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @lisa: I have no idea if Sir Charles Lyell was a Freemason. The rumors of such a membership are more associated apparently with Charles Darwin. But just read Lyell’s biography say here. The man had connections. His background gave him knowledge of all the sciences and mathematics. I view him more as a peak rationalist of his time:


    Now one more thing that may relate to the Doctor: the time period I see for Lyell’s involvement would be the couple of years after the death of Lyell’s beloved wife of 40 years, a wife who shared his interests in geology. Think of an older Lyell who may have been driven to despair and desperation, due to the death of his longtime companion, to finally explore past the safe limits investigating the artifact.

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    Lots of really insightful comments that made a made a quick second viewing essential! Many thanks!

    I found the discussion jumping off from the mural in the eating area in the base especially intriguing. Isn’t the serpent in the mural pretty much a match for the serpent/dragon we saw in the pre-season trailer (but in the trailer it was alive and roaring and far from an underwater base, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02zfwz9)?


    Kharis @kharis
    Kharis @kharis

    “For the Cathars men were the swords that spirits fought with, and no one saw the hands. For the Cathars a perpetual war was being waged throughout the whole of creation between two irreconcilable principles—light and darkness, spirit and matter, good and evil.”

    And for a little more to chew on if you are willing to watch the two episodes I sited as possible prelude to Under the Lake: http://watch.pair.com/false-christ.html

    Just for fun while we wait for part two.  🙂

    Kharis @kharis

    Caithness is the town of the family Sinclaire or St. Claire.  In legend, they were related to the Fisher King.   Family of St. Claire? Clara relation?

    Missy @missy

    I must admit to not enjoying this series (so far) as I did series 8 – well this episode, if I were to narrow it down. It seems to me that the stories are being levelled more at adults than children lately. Too technical at times – most of the time in fact. It would be sad if they were to lose their younger audience. This doesn’t mean That I won’t buy the series, it’s Doctor Who isn’t it?

    What does everyone else think?

    Now I’ll get back to reading your posts.



    Missy @missy

    Wonder if there is Merlin theme. I don’t know about the Temple, but the base is called Dragon and Excalibur set the dragon free. Perhaps the person/creature in the white box, is Arthur?
    Plus, Excalibur, could kill anything.
    My turn to be bonkers people. *big grin*



    Kharis @kharis

    Ellie Ravenswood from the Raven clan of Sinclair.  The name of the town the water base is in told us a lot.  My mother’s name was Ellen, so I don’t need to look up that Ellie means ‘bright shinning one” which is interesting since Claire means light too. The town the base is in is a hint of things to come. The crest of the town includes a raven and Viking ship.



    Kharis @kharis

    @missy In the white box: Arthur, the Fisher King or the Doctor himself!  🙂

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    I still think that Excalibur is a semi red herring and it will instead be its twin, the coward’s blade, the darksword, Clarent. It just links in so well with the Claricle theory as well that i’m certain of it.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  he badly wants to believe that the people he’s lost aren’t gone, forever – but as a Time Lord, he’s been taught all his life that death is the end.  Maybe Moffat’s doing the same thing he did with religion in Who – moving us away from that dogmatic scientism: towards a more agnostic/neutral ‘honestly, folks? We really don’t know.’

    That would be interesting — so would the reaction of the “Oh, look how wonky the science is, horrors!” crowd (as if DW science was ever seriously scientific — was it?), if they catch a whiff of open-mindedness about the issue in DW.

    @purofilion   Brilliant music score this week: powerful and infused with legend.

    I’ll have to go back and listen — I was too caught up in the story to pay proper attention, first time through.

    Last season in Deep Breath after the phone call following Eleven’ regeneration (or can we say death/passing/moving on?) he admonished Clara to “really see” him.
    Tis the other way ’round now.

    Yes — he’d better pay attention, because she’s demanding that he do so by being unusually bold and reckless: “Look at me now, I’m a better companion than ever because I’m doubling your talents by being around!”  Demanding to be visible on this bigger stage.  I notice that all those intense stares at each other from S8, and the many light physical touches — hand on arm, a touch on the shoulder — those are gone, here.  That’s settled: we’re traveling companions, comrades in arms, tight and mutually trusting.  Only she’s kept on moving from there, pushing herself as brave and capable maybe beyond good sense, so he can’t take her for granted — he has to keep an eye on her, for her own sake (and, of course, his own).  That’s part of why the fit is a little uncomfortable, I think.

    @mudlark  she has realised, prompted by Missy in The Witch’s Familiar, that the Doctor has survived so many perils because, whatever his predicament, he always starts with the assumption that there is a way out, she has perhaps become too reliant on his ability to keep her safe.

    Or maybe on her own Doctor-y ability to keep herself safe, now that she’s more like him than ever.

    @janetteb   I am guessing once again that the Doctor goes back in time, cracks the secret of how to generate the ghosts and sends his own “ghost” forward in order to save Clara and the crew.

    I’m guessing that’s a damn good guess.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    THis is getting rather exciting.  Arthurian references are one of my favourite things ever.  It is no coincidence that my children are named Arthur and Vivien.  I read Morte d’Arthur as a kid, and any number of reinventions/interpretations of the stories since then, from Rosemary Sutcliffe to Marion Zimmer Bradley.

    But then there’s the painting which I think I agree must be something to do with the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the sea serpent wrapped around the ship and what appear to be children on the deck.  But isn’t it odd to have a mural from a children’s book (albeit one that many adults remember with great fondness, as perhaps a gateway to all sorts of myths and legends and fantasies) in the canteen of an underground facility with no child occupants? It must, therefore, surely, have some deep significance in the narrative.

    Drowned villages are also endlessly fascinating.  I live near Ladybower reservoir, beneath which are the remains of the villages of Ashopton and Derwent.   And one of my top books ever (and one which relates to my actual research thus justifying me looking up stuff about it on a research day), W G Sebald’s Austerlitz, refers to the drowned village of Llanwddyn, submerged under the Vyrnwy reservoir.  In the part of the book relating to Austerlitz’s childhood with foster parents in the area of the lake, he imagines ‘the sub-aquatic existence of the people of Llanwyddin’, ‘ still down in the depths, sitting in their homes and walking along the road, but unable to speak, and with their eyes opened far too wide’.

    Clearly it would be rash to speculate about what the significance of all of this might be ahead of the second part.  Equally clearly you lot are going to do so and if I can’t actively contribute anything interesting, I will hugely enjoy you doing so…

    ichabod @ichabod

    @spider  And oh MY doesn’t Capaldi look very, VERY spooky as a ‘ghost’. I’ve got chills just thinking about that look.

    Gawd, yes!  Creepy and a half.

    The line that didn’t fit at all for me (and didn’t in the trailer either) was ‘I want to kiss it to death’.

    It made sense at the time, but now I’m thinking — kiss *what* to death, exactly?  What’s the “it” he’s talking about?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @cathannabel  And one of my top books ever (and one which relates to my actual research thus justifying me looking up stuff about it on a research day), W G Sebald’s Austerlitz, refers to the drowned village of Llanwddyn, submerged under the Vyrnwy reservoir.

    I am a sucker for stories about that, too — do you know Reginald Hill’s “On Beulah Height”?  A very impressive turn with a drowned village story.  It’s a sort of teensy sub(merged)-genre all its own, often(ish) used in murder mysteries and the like (although I can’t think of another title right now — must be bed-time).

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @ichabod  There are certainly others – there’s a YA novel, Deep Secret,  by Berlie Doherty about the drowning of Ashopton and Derwent, for one.  And NB the imminent appearance on our screens of series 2 of The Returned!  French spookiness of a very high quality indeed and featuring a drowned valley…

    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  Think of an older Lyell who may have been driven to despair and desperation, due to the death of his longtime companion, to finally explore past the safe limits investigating the artifact.

    Hmm.  Then maybe the Doctor might be back here later, after Clara has — exited, however that comes about?  Just a possible similarity . . .

    @missy  I must admit to not enjoying this series (so far) as I did series 8 – well this episode, if I were to narrow it down. It seems to me that the stories are being levelled more at adults than children lately. Too technical at times

    I don’t know about that — haven’t earlier eps been heavy on the (made up) tech, but nobody minds because kids tend to just skate over what doesn’t make sense to them?  It’s a really long time since I’ve been a kid, myself, so . . . As for S8 vs S9 so far, I see S9 as much more externally focused and so actually a lot more youth-oriented than S8, which is why I loved S8, am enjoying S9 but not enthralled.  S8 was *more* adult, IMO, being about a relationship triangle of considerable complexity in structure and expression.  I’m missing that; but that was precisely what many fans disliked about S8, and I had a pretty good idea that S9 was going to step away from adventures in the levels of love and head back into worlds of physical (and in this case, ghost!) adventure.

    In the white box: Arthur, the Fisher King or the Doctor himself! 

    Probably not the Fisher King; he’s played by an actor who’s somewhere above 7 feet tall, I read someplace.  I don’t think he’ll fit in that box, what with all the horn-thornb like protrusions around and above his head in the trailer pics.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @cathannabel  The Returned! French spookiness of a very high quality indeed and featuring a drowned valley…

    Yes!  How could I forget . . . really looking forward to that one.  Now, I’ve got to get some sleep, but just to have a little nightmare material to take with me, can somebody fill me in a bit on the Fisher King himself, in legend and story?  He sure looks like a nasty piece of work in the trailers, but was he always a bad guy?

    janetteB @janetteb

    @ichabod The Fisher King first appears in the medieval Arthurian legends. He is impotent due to injury and because the vitality of the king was linked to the fertility of the land his impotence leads to crops failing and famine. I have to confess that it has been so many years since I read Le Morte d’Arthur that I had to do a quick refresher courtesy of Wikipedia. Interesting that one of the knights sent to assist the Fisher King in one version was Bors. Also it is theorised that the Fisher King has roots in older mythologies such as the Mabinogion and the character of Bran who has a cauldron which can resurrect the dead though the resurrected are unable to speak.

    I don’t think the Fisher King was necessarily a “bad guy”, though in Malory at least almost none of the knights or kings encountered appear to be particularly nice but maybe that is a legacy of the passage of time and changing values of the reader.




    Mudlark @mudlark


    I recall you and others analysing parts of The Ring cycle and Gotterdammerung from which emerged interesting themes

    Strictly speaking, we were discussing Norse myths, although the discussion began with a mention of the Ring cycle.

    Wagner drew on several different sources – The Eddas, the Volsung Saga and the saga of the Nibelungs, but he used them somewhat freely, and the plot which he wove out of them, though firmly rooted in Norse and Germanic myth and legend is something different again.

    Your comments on the name Lunn prompted a new thought about its possible relevance to the plot of this episode.  The surname Lunn derives from a Scandinavian or Germanic root meaning a grove, whereas Lunn as an Irish forename means something like warrior (rather like Hild if we are going down the Norse route).  But there is another possibility, because the word for lake in Welsh is llyn, the pronunciation of which is similar to Lunn if you discount the lateral fricative ll.  Just a thought in passing to add to the mix  🙂



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    What if none of this was an accident.

    Oh, it’s not an accident. Dounreay, Caithness, was the site of both the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s and the Ministry of Defence’s atomic research stations. The AEA’s plants have been commissioned, and they are indeed seriously considering decommissioning the Naval testing plants as well. They test nuclear sub engines there.

    Remember our undersea reactor? The one where they flooded the base to keep it cool? Definitely built by Chekhov’s Nuclear Reactors, Ltd. 😉

    It is most certainly NOT a place you’d want any alien spaceships hanging around, unless they were shaped like a 1950’s police box. 🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark


    her own Doctor-y ability to keep herself safe, now that she’s more like him than ever.

    But is she really?  Some mystery still attaches to her origins, and she entered the Doctor’s time line in order to undo the damage caused by the Great Intelligence, but clearly she has little or no conscious memory of this.  She has in the past described herself as a ‘control freak’, which suggests to me that her self confidence is somewhat fragile and depends on her ability to feel in charge.  On occasions, but not always, she has demonstrated an ability to talk her way out of a tight corner, and in Flatline she had to act on her own initiative to get everyone, including the Doctor, out of trouble, which led her to compare herself to him.  All of which, reinforced by his encouragement, has helped her to sustain her self belief.  Clearly, also, she has come to think that she knows and understands him very well.  But since then, in The Witch’s Familiar, she has had a sharp lesson from Missy on how much older in experience, more knowledgeable and powerful Time Lords are in fact compared to her.

    The recklessness she displays at the beginning of this episode may some kind of over-reaction to that shock – a way of reasserting and re-validating herself, but I doubt if, in reality, she really thinks now that she has it in her to *be* the Doctor.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @donnydhuum @purofilion

    Now, why would a Tivoli, a race who wants to be conquered want to leave their planet, and what could he possibly be hauling? I mean, the craft was small, and since he was the only ghost, it only makes sense that he was the only crew member.

    My assumption in the absence of further information was that the ‘mole man’, as a timid and pacific alien, had been killed and transformed into a homicidal ghost just as the crew members of Drum Base were, probably by the pilot using some property of the ship itself.  This could have happened before the ship arrived on earth, though in the circumstances it seems more likely that he arrived as a live passenger and was ‘ghostified’ as a channel to relay the coordinates after the ship became stranded under the lake.  I have been assuming also that the inscription was written by the pilot before he put himself back into suspension to await the coming of whoever was the intended recipient of the signal.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    And now I’m thinking – they flooded the base to cool the nuclear reactor. Was/will the flooded village of 2119 be flooded deliberately in 2019 (or whenever) to cool all those on-site nuclear reactors?

    Shades of Pompeii. Why is the Doctor wearing this face? Is it because he’s going to have to repeat his Pompeii decision again, and again, and again – but must always remember to save someone?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Kate makes a very specific reference to the Tower Ravens (twice). Once she describes them as ‘ravens of death’ (Power of Three), and the second time in The Day of the Doctor, she remarks that the ravens need their batteries checking.

    In terms of your tarot theory, the location of the Tower is pretty obvious. But the Tower of London also has a rather tenuous connection with the Arthurian legends – the head of Bran the Blessed is supposed to be buried there. Or possibly not, because the other legend is that Arthur dug it up and chucked it in the sea, on the grounds that he could do the job of protecting Britain.

    Bran is a conduit between this world and the next.

    Happinesspatrol @happinesspatrol

    Love this episode. Must watch it again. Maybe the Tardis is refusing to translate the writing in the spaceship? Perhaps the comprehension of the writing may lead to actions that pose a threat to the doctor or herself ?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @blenkinsopthebrave @purofilion I  like the drawing on Slavic water spirit mythology – definitely the porcelain coffin/ porcelain cup suggests a nod to that.

    @missy In terms of this vs last season – it’s a bit early to say. Something I didn’t enjoy were the random one off kids who went on adventures with Clara  – Courteney in Kill The Moon and earlier in S7 with Artic and Angle in Nightmare in Silver – not because of the kids pe se but no lasting emotional connection was forged.

    I believed in Smith Doctor’s attachments to Amy and River absolutely – both the Clara-Smith and Clara-Capaldi connections leave me colder but I’m enjoying the mercurial and sometimes apparently callous Capaldi Doc across both his seasons thus far – and I prefer two partners – more time to get your teeth into the story…

    lisa @lisa

    There were 2 swords in the Arthur legend. Clarent was the sword stuck in the stone and Excaliber
    came from the lady in the lake. So Clarent/Clara/Valeyard the ‘cursed’ sword pulled out of the
    time stream? Clarent was also the sword used to kill Arthur. The Doctor as Excaliber/Merlin and
    Merlin was the one that put the curse on the Clarent sword. Or is Clara Nimue/Lady of the Lake
    which is the home of the Excaliber sword?
    Or can Clara be both at the same time? Anyone have any more ideas on this 1 yet?

    Kharis @kharis

    @bluesqueakpip Agree, the location is purposeful, not only because of it’s military history but it’s legends around Ackergill Tower, Castle of Mey, Standing Stones and The Hill O’ Many Stanes.  It’s also the home of the family Sinclair/St. Claire that uses the raven and a boat like the painting on it’s crest.  There is a legend of a sea serpent in Loch Mey, most likely this is what the painting is about, even though I really like the Narnia concept.  Government buildings are often adorned with the history of the town they were built in.

    Kharis @kharis

    No one wants to humour my ‘Devil’s End’ and ‘Satan Pit’ theory?  😉   Yeah, pretty crazy, I know, but that’s why I love this forum, crazy and bonkers is just part of the fun.  🙂

    Going with the Merlin theme, and Nimueh, the ravens are a symbol of the triple goddess of the aisle of Avalon.  Who is the third?  Missy, Clara and? Wasn’t there a mute helper of Nimueh?  Named Raven?  I will have to look that one up, I simply don’t know where that memory is from.




    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip



    Who is, of course, the High Priestess of the Sisterhood of Karn.

    Kharis @kharis

    @bluesqueakpip Of course! It must be, then there is the traditional maiden, mother and crone.

    Sisterhood of Sybiline, Sisters of Karn and Raven Sisters of Avalon all seem to have a common thread and purpose too.



    Pufferfish @pufferfish

    Hello, all! Enjoying the new episodes a lot. And for once I have a bonkers addendum.

    If there’s a mute helper of Nimueh, why couldn’t that be Cass? Also, Cassandra is an oracle in mythology – faultless at predictions, but doomed to be disbelieved.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Well, after a refreshing sleep, back for a second viewing. I still have most of my initial reservations, although this time around it does have a sort of compelling creepiness (which is a bit undercut by the Doctor’s wisecracks–not sure they are suited to a story that aspires to unnerve you) but I am more convinced than ever by my initial thought that the story is referencing “The Nightmare Man” serial from 1981, and the idea of the Vodyanoi. For those of you who have not seen it, it is set on a remote Scottish island, where a strange miniature spaceship is discovered and a beast is on the prowl murdering the members of a scientific team.

    It was, as I said upstream, directed by Who alumnus Douglas Camfield, and it was brilliant. It is available on dvd and I highly recommend it.

    Now, there is something else I want to say about the connections between the two shows, but it concerns what happens in the clips of “Next Week” at the end of the episode. To err on the side of caution, I am now heading over to the “BBC approved Spoilers” page…

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Did anyone not like that? Seriously. Fabulous. So much awesome.

    Had to wait till this morning to watch as I’ve been out of town, but definitely worth the wait! I like base under siege stuff, and I always find the underwater ones especially scary. The potential lack of air gets to me in an actual, physical way.

    I can’t just keep repeating how much I love Capaldi’s Doctor, but really, this Doctor without empathy is fantastic. I loved the little cue cards, and even then, he can’t get it right! Clara was seeming a little hyper to me, as though she were almost desperate to have fun. And then, the Doctor’s remark, “There’s only room for one me” seemed to echo what we have been talking about recently, the idea that Clara needs to be a foil for the Doctor, not the Doctor himself.

    The fact that the “ghosts” were transmitting coordinates made me think of Gallifrey. The mention of “harvesting souls” or something like that, reminded me of Missy, but I don’t expect her to be involved here, given that we just saw her last week. I’m happy to see that we are continuing the trend from Series 8 of great supporting characters, I really like this bunch.

    My tea-spewing moment: “You were like this when you met Shirley Bassey.” Omg.

    And that cliffhanger! Was it actually the best one ever? I literally shouted, “Oh, F@@@!!” Then laughed my head off.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s thoughts!

    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb  Right, thanks; I thought there was an Arthurian connection.  There certainly might be one with a “cauldron” that brings dead people back to “life” but without the power of speech: these undersea ghosts keep trying to speak, but don’t actually manage it, do they?  (I’m a bit handicapped here at the moment, since iTunes has messed up my ability to re-watch and my memory is nothing to depend on.)

    The whole “ghost” issue — ?!  Even if a ghost is assumed to be more than a tape-loop, having emotions and will connected to “unfinished” life business, it has only very limited and conditional power to affect anything physical.  That, and maybe being locked to a specific past (“this is how I died”) or future (“I’m warning you against X, up ahead”) event, is the major difference between a ghost and a living person.  A living person has agency to inter-act physically with the physical world whereas a ghost doesn’t (although they can reportedly lower local temperature when they appear); which is why in stories ghosts seek to connect with living people who can be persuaded to act *for* them.

    But these “ghosts” pick up weapons and go after people; they changed electronic/mechanical settings to drown  Pritchard and to alter the day/night lighting, right?  That aligns them with the malevolent ghosts of horror stories, which are basically monsters, rather than with the idea of spirits held back from leaving the physical behind.  I’m thinking that these aren’t ghosts at all, but some other form of organized energy resembling once-living people.  The Doctor’s exhilaration at the idea that there might be personal, conscious survival after death is doomed to be disappointed.

    Which, IMO, is probably a good thing: the Whoniverse is already dense with various sapient species and their cultures, vastly multiplied by adding access to time dimensions going back to the beginning and forward to the end.  Do we really want to also pack it with the ghosts of all of time’s past and future dead?  And could the Doctor really have been traveling time and space for upwards of a thousand years and never before encountered any of them before?  These “ghosts” aren’t holograms — not if they can take an axe or harpoon gun down from the wall and chase you with it — but I don’t think they can be “ghosts” (in our usual meaning of the word) either.

    @mudlark   The recklessness she displays at the beginning of this episode may some kind of over-reaction to that shock – a way of reasserting and re-validating herself, but I doubt if, in reality, she really thinks now that she has it in her to *be* the Doctor.

    I doubt it too.  Ending up stuck in Dalek armor provoked not an outburst of rage from her but a melt-down, and that’s a bad sign that she can hardly ignore.  “Flatline” was here on Earth — her own stomping ground, familiar and “controllable” even if threatened by alien invasion.  In that respect, “Flatline” was miniature golf by comparison to the situation on Skaro where without Missy Clara would have been helpless — and where, *because* of Missy, she ended up helpless and panicked anyway, needing to be rescued by the Doctor (“Think, Open!”).  I think she realizes  that she really is “the puppy” on this much broader stage.  That suggests to me progress toward a willful grand gesture in departure, a last-ditch effort to transcend puppy status and shine, however briefly, as a player again.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @lisa I’m so glad I’m not imagining Clarent, I was beginning to think I was misremembering Arthurian legend

    Mudlark @mudlark


    These “ghosts” aren’t holograms — not if they can take an axe or harpoon gun down from the wall and chase you with it — but I don’t think they can be “ghosts” (in our usual meaning of the word) either.

    I agree that they cannot be simply holograms, although the hologram of Clara could be seen as an analogy and a pointer to what they really are. ‘Organised energy’ is probably as good a description as any.  The fact that they resemble the people they have killed seems to point to the energy being drawn from the life-energy of the living people they duplicate, plus the energy of the mind/brain which has been imprinted by and is relaying the message.  The fact that they appear to heft objects and wield them as weapons could be accounted for, as I suggested earlier, by a linked and coordinated telekinetic energy, generated from the same source.  Clearly the insubstantial images could not, in themselves, lift anything.

    That they are threatening and potentially homicidal, despite one of them being an alien from Tivoli – the ultimate pacifist culture – is enough on its own to suggest that they are not manifestations of the souls of the dead they resemble.  I don’t think that the Doctor was thinking very clearly here.

    Mersey @mersey

    @purofilion Yes, this is what I meant but not exactly in terms of ancient drama. It is rather a positive coincidence, unexpected help in the last moment, when you think you’re a goner. I think Doctor is the true embodiment of this concept, the ancient god in his machine. And I think it’s really nice wordplay.

    These ‘lost station’ episodes are usually really creepy and depressing. In Satan’s Pit, 42, Waters of Mars people get killed and it is really sad. I just prefer more cheering episodes with more cosy spaces, like The God Complex or Hide. But I grew fond of the crew from Under the Lake so I hope they will stay alive.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @mudlark and @ichabod – the Tivoli detective work is great – hats off to all.

    I’m sure the Doc has figured this out too, that the beings are not really ghosts – my guess is that someone on the crew is nefariously involved and he didn’t want to let them know he was on the right track…

    I’m re-watching S8 and enjoying Capaldi’s early performance very much – just watching the Orient Express in space – the mummy isn’t a ghost either, although that’s what everyone thought and neither were the Gelf way back.. Alien tech… <taps nose>

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hmm – and just to add that I am really appreciating last season for the way the psychological damage of the encounter with the Moment lingers with Capaldi Doctor – he’s going through the process of accepting what he’d repressed for so long – that the War Doctor was himself – that he was a soldier (officer class – Danny really nails that one) and ‘sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose’…



    Craig @craig

    Just popping in quickly, but I thought this was a particularly nice little extra, especially as my grandparents on my mother’s side were both deaf.

    It’s great to see a deaf character treated like any other character. Sure, the lip reading helped the plot, but I hope there aren’t any (or at least not many) more major plot points that spoil Cass’s unusual usualness.

    There’s more here if you are interested, including some comments from Toby Whithouse (‘See Hear’ is a BBC deaf programme):


    Mudlark @mudlark


    Ravens are also associated with the Norse god Odin, who had two ravens, Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory), which he sent out over the worlds as his messengers, to observe and bring back news.

    I am happier in the world of Scandinavian and Germanic mythology,  but the universe of Doctor Who is, after all, a melting pot of cross-cultural and archetypal references.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    they changed electronic/mechanical settings

    Ghosts do that. At least, they f@@k up electronics, so Toby Whithouse is entirely justified in riffing off that and making his ghosts able to interfere productively with the base’s electronics.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    I had no idea this was the first of a two-parter, so the ending was an amazing shock. Loved it! The Arthurian themes that many are talking about here are intriguing, and very enjoyable to think about, but I’m still struggling with ‘The Dark, The Sword, The Forsaken, The Temple’.

    First, I’m puzzled why the TARDIS couldn’t translate them. Secondly, for me, the structure of the formula echoes ‘Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor’, which got me thinking.

    So, here’s a bonkers theory. They aren’t coordinates; they are a password (like Crimson, etc.). And they’re the kind of password that a TARDIS uses; which also goes to one of the interesting points of the episode: the TARDIS’s special discomfort with everything that is happening, right down to the Cloister Bell.

    Is the spaceship a kind of TARDIS? Is there something time-wimey about the ghosts? (I recall in The Keeper of Traken, something is hidden by being put out of sync by a few seconds, maybe the ghosts are like that too?) Is there a Time Lord in that capsule they recovered from the drowned church?

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    Also, is it OK for the Doctor just to go back in time within a story line to see what happened earlier on, in order to figure out what is going on now? I had always thought of that as sort of taboo.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @fivefaces   What is generally forbidden, because it could lead to significant paradoxes and the possibility of a major temporal disruption, is for the Doctor to double back on his own time line.  In other circumstances there is no reason why he cannot go back to observe and investigate the origins of a situation in which he finds himself; it would be no different in principle from any other trip back in in time.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @craig – thanks for the extra re Cass – nice!

    @fivefaces Yes it’s interesting the cloister bell sounded – the old girl seems to do that when a paradox threatens  –  something Timelordy would be great, as the Doc does have Gallifrey to find.



    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @fivefaces: In at least the Fourth Doctor story City of Death, the Doctor took the Tardis back to Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop to find out why there were multiple copies of the Mona Lisa in the present time. Then he used a felt marker to write “This is a fake” on the canvases that would later be used by Leonardo to make the copies!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    the TARDIS’s special discomfort with everything that is happening, right down to the Cloister Bell.

    Yes, it’s no wonder the TARDIS doesn’t like Clara. Not only was she sent on board by Missy, I swear Ol’ Sexy has had to ring that great clangy bell more times in Clara’s tenure than in the tenures of all the previous Companions combined!

    There just seems to be something about Clara that attracts time paradoxes. 😀

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