Under The Lake

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    Craig @craig

    @jphamlore @fivefaces Also, more recently, the Matt Smith Doctor did a bit of time travelling in ‘Hide’ to find out what was going on. And in that story it was because it was thought there was a ghost.

    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish well, not too many fishy bites for the vodniki water spirits -but it was all a bit nutty anyway (I was nutty!) . However, I do like this new theory above regarding the Doctor and the possible Gallifreyan nature of the ‘ship’. @fivefaces welcome back!! It’s been a while since I’ve seen your wonderful theories on the boards. Excellent! Yesss! The password: petrichor, delight etc….connected to the cloister bell and the Doctor perhaps aware of a less-than-honest-person on board at the moment-no wonder he left in a hurry.

    I must admit to thinking the Doctor couldn’t run fast or far last year but this week that massive jump under the descending door was quite striking.

    @mudlark @ichabod

    Yes, I agree, Clara is not ‘doctor-y’ -I believe it was I who may have suggested that, when what I really meant was that she seems to be filled with considerable over confidence -her line “run” appropriated usually by the Doctor (and other similar lines), signifies approaching bathos and that concerns me -but if she ‘goes’ then I’d hope it would be with triumphant bells, as it were!

    ‘Lark, interesting re-reading your ideas about the telekinetic aspect of these ‘ghouls’ -they are more than they seem. The Slavic water spirits  were more than ‘images’ in a way, not transparent, and in every sense seeming human. They would offer food and water and sing songs and invite the lonely stranger to listen to a poem…

    I’m still a little fascinated with the dammerung name -infusing this episode as it did with twilight, evening, fate and doom. My musical focus was The Ring, professionally, and my time was spent analysing scores rather than the myths behind the scoring -it was a question of time rather than a lack of interest, so apologies if I got that all wrong! Still, ‘lunn’ in now a fascinating topic: even if it only meant an old friend phoning me up saying “hey, remember Doctor Who? There’s a Lunn in it!”

    I said (because I’d forgotten the name of her children) “eer, yes, why?”

    So we talked, and the name, Lunn, amongst others was discussed with great cheer. It appears I may have a friend who can watch Who with me in real time.

    It may also might make me seem a little brighter for I feel quite silly when I read all your Arthurian theories -that portion of ‘history’ was something I almost entirely missed: I’ve collected books and pamphlets only recently on this subject. I’m not at first stage of “who is Merlin?” but I do know very little. 🙁

    On Slavic mythology, quite a bit: but that is an aside in this episode, possibly.

    Kindest, puro

    PS: @blenkinsopthebrave  – -yes  I know The Nightmare Man to which you referred yesterday -I think I tagged you with info, but I may have forgotten or done so incorrectly.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    You did indeed, and many thanks for kind words (although I am not sure I deserve the description). Your response:

    As a Czech, I recall the stories on which The Nightmare Man was built: the Vodyanoy or Vonik (Vodnici) were water spirits who collected people and stored the drowned in porcelain coffins and when the top’s removed the soul inside is free. Dvorak composed music using these water sprite themes and a character features prominently in his opera, Rusalka.

    Now, in the Czech version (not in the German Wasserman stories), the Vodnici wait near ponds and fresh water lakes.

    These creatures often used fire to stimulate the curiosity of their victim. We have immersion, fire, twilight, morning, evening as well as porcelain coffins and spirits.

    We’re on fire!!

    was absolutely fascinating. I did not know of the origins of the stories on which The Nightmare Man was built. But, as you point out, it is all there in the episode. What I find interesting is that the 1981 mini series (scripted by the prolific Who writer Robert Holmes) also seems to have resonances in the episode. In particular, there is Moran’s statement that the spacecraft may not be alien, but a military craft, perhaps abandoned or lost back in the 1980s. I will be interested to see how that plays out next week.

    Anonymous @

    @craig thank you for the link on the previous page. Very interesting

    @mudlark @fivefaces

    I also would have thought that the doctor intersecting with his timeline, would cause some strained paradox -but if  an occasional and careful trip is warranted (and aren’t they all?) then I suppose it can be done without ‘stirring the waters of time’? I noticed last week that of all the Doctor’s visits to various times and places on earth, it was New York that had the most ‘hits’, as it were. It appears returning to NY at any time would be calamitous.

    I admire the poster (forgive me for I’ve forgotten who it was) who said that the Doctor is reminded of the reason for his particular face: a place under siege, only a few can be saved, time is running out -just like Pompeii. I thought that the face chosen by the Doctor was simply explained away in Deep Breath but perhaps not.

    @missy I hope that you do enjoy these episodes eventually. I think there will be some lighter, brighter episodes coming soon!

    My boy of 13 was very worried after last week’s excellent 2 parter. He felt that the lightness of last year’s episodes was ‘overdone’. I think he prefers the slightly more terrifying, “creepy” and arc focussed emphasis where, in a 2- parter, so much more can be revealed. As a child, I recall that whilst Who was 25 mins long, each episode was a cliff-hanger until all four or six or even more, episodes were completed.  My friend whose five children all watch Who, claims the youngest, who is five, has adored the last three episodes although, admittedly is constantly saying on re-watch (they tape his mouth during the first airing !) “what is that? Who is that ghost creature? Why is  poo pouring out of daleks?”

    I think many children are attracted to the horror of these things: when I first plopped On The Sofa (of the Forum), I mentioned that I loved episodes involving Pertwee crawling around corridors; everything creepy, cramped, dismal and tired. He’d turn a corner and there would be a dalek, or another monster, waiting patiently, and with viciousness, to dismember the companion!

    At five, I was clapping with joy -but safely behind the couch, nevertheless. Also, broadcast in B&W made it all the more terrifying 🙂

    Feanor @feanor

    <span class=”useratname”>@bluesqueakpip</span>

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

    Well, dont forget she’s the impossible girl 😉

    Anonymous @


    Yes, you deserve it indeed: from that I was able to jump start my brain regarding the old Czech stories I grew up with and even started teaching Boy Ilion -poor child finds Slavic languages a handful though he enjoyed the peculiar illustrations and the terrifying tales to remind children about never visiting a pond or ‘green lake’ on one’s own unless there’s bread and salt to appease the water spirit who may come across as a delightful, well nourished, though shabbily dressed, villager. But this is a disguise…. 🙂

    Yes, on my re- watch, I paid more attention to the dialogue -I confess, that whilst I’d taped it, watching again on ABCiview meant I could add the subtitle function and this proved necessary as I’d missed so much due to the quick talking which is Clara’s default position. The Doctor, however, speaks beautifully -the perfect rate of pace (for me anyway) without the 100 words per minute often attributed to Tennant and Smith!

    So, yes, I noticed (finally!) the military craft statement -it seems that @bluesqueakpip has added detailed information about under-water nuclear stations etc which I really need to go back and re-read. And…. something to do with Chekhov which I believe was a debate about the use of a Deus ex Machina in last week’s episode and which I’m fairly sure is brought up at least once a season.

    This week has as much, if not more, speculation about various concepts and ideas  -factual, mythological, philosophical, than last week. I didn’t think that was possible.

    I can’t imagine anyone suggesting Moffat isn’t at his absolute best right now. I haven’t visited the Graun, though my friend with the five boys has donned protective clothing and claims there’s as much negativity as ever. Ah, the internet, what would we possibly do without it?

    What I liked – and  @Craig would have noticed this too  – – was that the Doctor commented on how “the theories were bonkers” -I did a little jump and High Five when I heard that. Would Moffat and others have heard of this little Forum of Big Ideas and our tendency to Bonkerise??

    By the way, The Nightmare Man is available (or bits ‘n’ pieces at least) on YouTube. Ssh 🙂 I love Robert Holmes. When Mr Ilion was much younger and still with the London Met as a DS, he met Mr Holmes -there was a Christmas do and a number of people were invited in certain capacities. The DSI enjoyed My Holmes’ work apparently.

    I shall revisit YouTube!

    Kindest, puro

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @fivefaces this is probably of irrelevance, but remember that in “The End Of Time” Tennant did the same to hide the TARDIS from The Master, shift it in time by a split second

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Let’s see if we can chip away at some mysteries like the Doctor would using very little information.

    The first ghost appeared when the base members were examining the inside of the ship. I still believe the first murderous attack that killed the commander was clearly shown as occurring right after the corporate guy was shown spending a lot of attention on that rear control panel with the circles on it. I surmise what is being defended is that control panel.

    If the goal was to infect as many people with the earworm using the writings, the writings would be on the outside not the inside of the ship. It also appears to me that the writings are scratched into what is described as a near impenetrable surface. I therefore believe the writings are a defense mechanism and not an attack mechanism.

    The first ghost killed the commander creating another ghost, and eventually he killed the corporate guy creating another ghost. Now the Doctor appears to be added as a ghost from the past at the same time the first ghost was created. This tells me the military base where the capsule was being manipulated, at least in the final stages, just have been near empty for some reason, else there would be a battalion of other ghosts. Yet the capsule seems of significant mass especially compared to the technology that would have been available to one man hundreds of years ago. I infer this man had help possibly moving the capsule to where it was found, opening the castle, and moving the suspended animation case. Yet these helpers were apparently not turned into ghosts. Also if ghosts murder to create further ghosts, who created the first ghost? I conjecture the first ghost was the result of that man deliberately secluding himself with the capsule to experiment on its contents, in particular, the control panel. I believe he must have set off some sort of defense mechanism that caused the etchings of the ear worm inside the capsule.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  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.

    Oh, good — I didn’t spot that, having utterly forgotten the Tivoli!  And as a reply:

    @juniperfish  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…

    Good point; I think you’re right.  And about S8, still a marvel in my view:

    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’…

    @mersey  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.

    Yes, except that in many cases he arrives by accident because the Tardis brought him there, rather than showing up because he intends to intervene in a brou-ha-ha there.  The machine chooses where to go; the “god” decides what to do when he gets there.  So — there is something new under the sun after all?



    ichabod @ichabod

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

    Oh, that’s lovely — thanks, Craig!

    @bluesqueakpip  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.

    Oh, yeah — forgot about that, though it’s usually sort of random scrambly stuff rather than so specific; but, hell, if you’ve got ghosts, you can pretty much have them do whatever you like anyway, and it was good here for them to be able to affect some physical things.

    Anonymous @


    yes, interesting: but the myths are so much more fun, dude!

    Seriously folks.

    OK, Moran was the first ghost after the Beard Ghost. We need to work out why he’s dressed in that manner, bearded and hatted. Was he experimenting…and waiting until something else came along that could be ‘ghosted’?

    Are they defending the panel? Is so, how is the panel connected to the earworm statements which appear to be a location? If the location is important to the panel then the repetitive statements signifying a location  would need to be protected or defended too. Making more ghosts – therefore adding more information to the source or location is going to hinder the defence of this same ‘source.’  You’d want to keep this location a secret, so creating ghostly matter might be illogical.

    So, ghost 1 has a statement -perhaps created from the ‘pairing’ with the panel or experimenting with same. This statement is a magnet -the ghost can’t get it out of its mind 🙂

    Ghost 1 creates Moran (by fire)  –dammerung (twilight, fate and doom) who adds another statement which adds a further clue to the ‘treasure map’ of the source

    Moran (Ghost 2) creates Pritchard (Ghost 3) who was checking the outside area and was immersed before he had time to affix his suit. Now all 3 ghosts are reciting a statement -a magnet or source location. Remember the 3 Star Trekky- like individuals in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Again: Dammerung indicates morning light, dawn: the time at which the ghosts (or the Vodiki) are strong and can use telekinesis. They are treading both water and time in the dawn.

    Excellent. What does is all mean?


    I’m intrigued by the inside of the ship -you’re right, it seems like some impenetrable material. In the episode (far far away) when Smith was bearded and ended up ‘locked’ in the ‘prison’ with both Amy and Rory in their body bags -it was a particular stone or mix found in certain places which was a perfect hiding place. No-one could escape and no-one could track what was occurring inside.

    The craft’s interior reminds me of this particular stone (other than the colour of course!)

    So, what civilization does it belong to?

    It was either @fivefaces or @juniperfish who spoke of The Doctor’s Wife and the use of certain code thoughts: petrichor, delight = the smell of dust after rain (I’m sure I have that wrong!) and so this civilisation sounds very sophisticated indeed….

    Mersey @mersey

    @ichabod Yes, but people (or crews) who need help don’t expect him. (In my home language we use or used to use this Deus ex machina saying I don’t know if anyone bothers with latin sayings anymore, when we get really unexpected help in the last moment). They usually ask him ‘Who the hell are you?’ As an audience we know he will arrive, but crews who needs help don’t. We know that Doctor can’t be dead but Clara doesn’t know that yet. This is my point of view and I don’t think it is so important to discuss it.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion  This week has as much, if not more, speculation about various concepts and ideas -factual, mythological, philosophical, than last week. I didn’t think that was possible.

    Yah, well . . . they are on one hell of a roll so far!
    I can’t imagine anyone suggesting Moffat isn’t at his absolute best right now. I haven’t visited the Graun, though my friend with the five boys has donned protective clothing and claims there’s as much negativity as ever.

    I also drop in at reddit and Doctorwhotv.com, and am finding lots of positive response to S9 now.  I like to imagine that when S9 is done, and people exhaust conversation about it during the hiatus to S10 (whatever that may turn out to be), some of them will go back to S8, realize what a gem it was, and what a perfect complement to it S9 is (looking like from here, anyway).  Knowing that Jenna will be gone by the end of S9 makes S8 and S9 a potentially fabulous sequence, knitting together the peak of her characterization as a realistic (and flawed) human being (S8) and the aftermath of that, where she has to find her footing in a very different situation with the newly self-confident Doctor (S9).

    I think commentators who are celebrating S9 for “returning the Doctor to center stage” are going to be a bit surprised at how much this series will turn out to be informed throughout by the completion of Clara’s story.  Surprised, and (I hope) won over, because they’ll have still had their very Doctor-strong episodes around it . . . but it will still be, as Moffat insists, “about” the companion in compelling ways.

    @phamlore  (the) . . . attack that killed the commander was clearly shown as occurring right after the corporate guy was shown spending a lot of attention on that rear control panel with the circles on it. I surmise what is being defended is that control panel.

    Yes!  I noticed that jerk creeping around, but I thought he was up to something because he was in league with the ghosts in some way, and trying to facilitate their attack . . .


    janetteB @janetteb

    It maybe that the Doctor is “faking” his death in some way in order to remind Clara that their “adventures” have serious, often tragic consequences.

    Still have to re-watch but one of lovely things about this forum is that now I have so many more things to look out for.

    @ichabod and @purofilion They have seen three episodes thus far and are proclaiming that series 9 is so much better than series 8. Fans can be so fickle I fear the positive comments will not last. They will condemn an entire series because they dislike one episode and cry “Moffat must go” etc etc. I read through the Guardian BTL the other day and most comments were positive and what was even nicer was the the positives had a lot of recommends while the usual trolls were only getting one if any. There is still hope.




    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb  they have seen three episodes thus far and are proclaiming that series 9 is so much better than series 8. Fans can be so fickle I fear the positive comments will not last.

    Oh, I think this will be fine; the fans who hated S8 hated Clara as a Player, which she isn’t now, at least not nearly on the same scale; and they were bored and restless by all the excellent character work that was the thematic spine of the show.  Now that we’re back to jolly/scary/run-like-mad adventure as a style, they’ve been given what they were demanding — and they’re not sophisticated (? trying to find a non-offensive word?) enough to spot the underlying unease and dark foreshadowing around Clara/CapDoc, so all is well.

    It’s all fine, IMO, since no *way* could the intense mood and sometimes erratic shifts and wrenches of S8 be successfully maintained for the following series.  After all, S8 resolved: S9 *has* to find a different footing from S8, or the resolution of S8, the successful attainment of understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance of each other,  would be undone and generally betrayed.

    All in all, I’m pleased and not surprised at the largely positive response across, as it were, the board, to S9 so far: the fandom is diverse, and this way everybody wins — and S8 stands firm as the daring achievement that it was and is, at least in my view.  My cup runneth over; I’m happy to drink a lighter wine from another cup for a while.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @ichabod It may be a lighter wine but thus far it has been a fine vintage. I am certain however that there will be “heavier” wines to come. But it is a very long wait til Sunday. (Saturday for most.)



    Anonymous @


    yes, they are somewhat creepy -having said that I thought The …Planet and The Satan Pit were awesome partners! Picking people off one by one is the thing that keeps the momentum going but I take your point there are other ways to make a base under siege story interesting: what do we really know about these people in Under the Lake? Is there a traitor amongst them?

    I loved The God Complex and unfortunately like in Flatline, it’s not always the “right people who are saved” -the rodent from Tivoli was one such cunning rat and boy did I enjoy the caning he received at the hands of the Doctor -a whisper of, “you stink, you foul, smiling thing.” Eleven did a truly magnificent job of applying pressure and demonstrating anger when necessary.

    He was unpredictable 🙂


    the more I read your theories about the password: the ones which the Tardis doesn’t translate -the more I’m taken by it. Could it be that the Tardis doesn’t want to translate the symbols? Is alert to a situation which the Doctor cannot handle?  After all, she can see thru all space and time and her driver is now ghosting (or so we believe).

    These ghosts are interesting too, aren’t they? Eyes almost burnt out as if what they have seen is too horrible (too important a signal?) to transmit to the neocortex before death?

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @mudlark @jphamlore @craig Er yes, that’s rather a lot of examples of the Doctor going back to check on things happening before the current story started. Point taken! I’m rather annoyed at myself for not thinking of City of Death, since that is one of my faves.

    @purofilion Cheers! Your thoughts and kind words are much appreciated. The more I think about the writing on the spaceship (a message in a bottle?), and indeed the spaceship itself the more puzzled I become.

    Why can’t the TARDIS translate the writing? At first I thought this was because they were coordinates; but the coordinates are expressed as words and concepts, so should be translatable. They are not (x,y) coordinates, but more like directions: “go to the second traffic lights, take a sharp left, then turn right at the Belt of Orion’. Surely that should be translatable?

    And, if the TARDIS can’t translate these for some reason (an ancient language, perhaps?), then who is translating what the ghosts are saying? Are they choosing to transmit their signal in English, and if so why? If they are speaking an alien language, how come they can be lip read?

    Also, there is something about the whole set-up that puzzles me. Why are the directions so unspecific? Do you really need to give coordinates for ‘outer space’ (the Dark)? Would all alien observers anywhere in the universe see Orion’s sword as a constellation? How are you supposed to know that, of all the abandoned places on Earth, ‘the Forsaken’ refers to this drowned village? If they are directions, they seem pretty bad ones to me.

    Finally, here is a spaceship that seems to consist of little more than two immensely powerful batteries and a suspended animation unit, which seems to serve little purpose other than to blast out to some massively distant planet, and then cannibalise the population to transmit a kind of ‘Here I Am’ signal. This makes me wonder, is the spaceship a kind of escape pod?

    Questions, questions, questions. That’s what makes it fun!

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Dark. Sword. Forsaken. Temple.


    Darksword. Forsaken Temple.????

    Since I first heard the words my mind has been drawn to one thing and one thing only. Clarent, the sword which killed King Arthur, ie a Darksword. Considering the large amount of references to Arthurian legend, and the fact they are under a lake, it’s seemed like a certainty to me. And it just so happens that I’ve found a “Forsaken Temple” in Arthurian Legend, with equally strong links to Arthur’s death. Clarent is the murder weapon, Glastonbury Abbey claims to be the resting place. It makes complete sense. Glastonbury has long been considered to be Avalon, which has been referenced by the BBC in the past, and thus putting it under is not strange. Not only that, but Glastonbury Tor is considered to be a perfect place for a Sun Temple, and has the ruins of St Michael’s Church on it, the place of the execution of the last Abbot of the Abbey.

    And if you do not believe that the church/abbey really fit for being a temple but agree that Glastonbury is the right region I offer you this quote:
    This temple of nature is like the “chapel” that is not despoiled. “Never was that chapel ravaged, nor did it fall into disrepair, but remained as untouched thereafter as before, and so still stands.”
    But there is a nuclear reactor there. A Nuclear reactor that still uses Fission, even though I am sure by 2119 the human race will have learnt how to use Nuclear Fusion. The temple of nature will have been despoiled.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Even in the Whoniverse, Glastonbury is nowhere near Caithness. For one thing, it’s in an entirely different country.

    I cheerfully acknowledge that they may reference Glastonbury in a later story.


    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @bluesqueakpip ah man, not even in a wibbly-wobbly spacey-wacey way, like how the Daleks moved all the planets in “Turn Left/Journey’s End”???

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Even a wibbly-wobbly spacey-wacey way would need some kind of underground trans-dimensional tunnel. We’re talking about 650, 700 miles?

    Caithness is the Northeasternmost tip of Scotland. Glastonbury is in the South-West of England. Any alien who crashes their ship in Caithness and then gives directions to Glastonbury is seriously lost. 😉

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Darn it, i thought i might have something then

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @bendubz11 – I think that the idea Glastonbury might turn up later is a definite goer, as bonkers theories go. If we’re doing Arthurian stuff, it’s heavily associated with Arthur.

    But I suspect Moffat might be playing homage to the tenth anniversary of BBC Wales taking over Doctor Who – and at least partly using the Welsh version of the Arthurian canon – the Mabinogion.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    The Tarot discussions on this week’s thread and last week’s are fascinating. @kharis, in this week’s episode, when the Doctor snubs Clara’s attempt at a high five, she says “Don’t leave me hanging.” That particular choice of wording is hard to ignore now that I’ve read your comments identifying Clara as the Hanged (Wo)man. I wonder whether there will be more hanging references down the line?
    @bluesqueakpip Great spot re: Voyage of The Dawn Treader. I don’t think I even noticed the (massive wall-sized) painting first time around.
    I’m excited about the possibility of a Narnia connection – used to love those stories. (The Magician’s Apprentice / The Magician’s Nephew : could the similarity in titles be deliberate?)
    There is a fourth person in the picture – in the serpent’s mouth. He/she has a strange posture for someone who’s about to be eaten. I’m not sure quite what’s going on there – or how it relates to the book?

    lisa @lisa

    This is probably incorrect but I think something got on the Spaceship causing
    the crash into a parallel universe which may account for the Tardis feeling
    uneasy and the odd church in the valley.
    Are the markings a message, a protection or warning, coordinates? Not sure.
    But it reminds me of the episode ’42’ and the dark spirit trying to pull the
    crew into the black hole place. Even the markings seem similar. In fact both
    Martha and Clara getting separated and seeing the Doctor thru the port holes is

    Craig @craig

    I don’t think this is a BBC spoiler anymore as has been seen on screen. Here’s the artwork for the mural on the canteen wall. Someone was commissioned to design it so it is an intentional piece of background art, not a random choice.

    If the colours are related to Star Trek then that’s a medical person in the monster’s mouth. A doctor?

    Under The Lake artwork

    PaperMoon @papermoon

    Another great episode.

    A theme of people dying but turning out to not be seems to be developing, assuming the Doctor isn’t dead.

    I also thought the Doctor’s and Clara’s exchange about Danny was interesting, I’ve only seen this episode once so will need to make sure about this, but I did wonder if Clara’s tension was not simply her not being over her grief despite her saying so.

    @mudlark @ichabod I think you’re right about the ‘ghosts’ not really being ‘ghosts’, as you say Mudlark, the alien from Tivoli is the key.

    One thing I noticed was that the Doctor refers to Orion being viewed from the other side. From our perspective here on Earth, looking up at the night sky, on one side is Orion and opposite it is Ophiuchus – the serpent-bearer. The creature in the mural looks serpent-like and it is bearing 3 people. May be nothing though.

    PaperMoon @papermoon

    @craig  you posted that while I was typing up my previous post, lol

    Craig @craig

    @papermoon Didn’t you know? By signing up you subconsciously connect to our hive mind! We have you forever now. 😀

    PaperMoon @papermoon

    @craig well, if you’re going to turn me into a Borg, I want some say on the upgrades thanks. 😀

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @bluesqueakpip re:Welsh version of Arthurian Legend; Okay that makes a lot of sense, and it’s definitely a Moffat thing to do, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    When the Tardis leaves for the past the shot shows a slowed down closeup version of the moving ring of circles. The control panel at the back of the alien spaceship shows concentric rings of circles. The Tardis binds within itself the Eye of Harmony, the singularity of a black hole.

    Could this spaceship be a Moffat version of the Hand of Omega?

    The dark: before the supernova. The sword: the Hand of Omega. The forsaken: someone like Omega has to go to the other universe the black hole connects to, possibly to stabilize a wormhole to extract the singularity. The temple: a new Gallifrey to rule space and time.

    Note the episode does say the signal has some connection to the constellation Orion. And as I pointed out months ago before the season started, what is in Orion is a red giant Betelgeuse that is expected to go supernova relatively soon in cosmological terms.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    The pattern of rings of circles around a central circle is I speculate an occult symbol of the White Sun. I just made that up. The problem for the BBC is it cannot use the occult symbol that would be recognized everywhere, the forbidden symbol of the Black Sun. So what has to be used is the made up symbol of the White Sun. Still the idea is the same, the symbol of ultimate evil, the power that should not be harnessed. The White Sun represents the black hole singularity bound by the rings of esoteric rune knowledge, the assembly code that enables one to hack minds and reality. Its power is to time and space as powerful and dangerous as nuclear power is to this world, which is why the nuclear reactor features so prominently in the story.

    lisa @lisa

    @jphamlore Your description of a black hole also reminds me of the episode ’42’
    from the Ten Doc era. As does the writing and its got a similar crew aspect too.
    In that episode the Doctor fought an ultimate evil. Also, the writing in that
    episode allowed the crew to be hacked. hm!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Thanks for the illustration.

    Hmm. Okay. First thought is: that’s a cheery illustration to have in your undersea base. 🙂

    It’s not a copy of the Dawn Treader illustrations, but it is in very much that style. It might well be supposed to be the serpent scene – then you’d have the three kids and Caspian, four characters. Except nobody got eaten and the ship has three masts, not the single mast of the Dawn Treader.

    So presuming that they’re simply riffing off the style (which would be entirely appropriate, given the developing theme for the series), then what I note is that the serpent, like the ghosts, has black holes where its eyes should be. And while the person in its mouth is in serious trouble, they’re not dead (yet).

    That rigging looks incredibly odd (that could just be the artist saying ‘sod realism, I’m painting a Sea Serpent‘…) – it’s the top crossbar that’s the problem. It looks one heck of a lot more like those top crossbars are rigged for radio transmission, not sails.

    As well as it being the Doctor in the Serpent’s mouth (again?) you might argue that the four figures are the four currently surviving crew. The three radio masts would then be the three dead people acting as transmitters.

    Anyone else fancy some art criticism?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @bluesqueakpip – Art criticism challenge!

    Well the crosses take us to the Bible and the two dragon-like creatures  therein are Leviathan and Satan –

    Leviathan the “twisted serpent” and “dragon who lives in the sea” is to be punished by the mighty sword of God… (Isiah)

    We’ve somewhat moved away from the idea of the Doc as a lonely God since Tennant…

    Satan is a dragon inRevelations

    So maybe there is a forsaken Time Lord in the porcelain tomb, a dodgy one…

    <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>so …</span>

    <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>SO</span>

    Craig @craig

    Me, I’m kinda tempted to suggest there may be a snake-type monster theme going on this year.

    “Kinda”… See what I did there 😀

    Okay, I’ll get my coat.

    lisa @lisa

    @craig Oh My Gosh! I know where you are going! Also, Clara and mirrors back in
    season 8. I bet you are thinking of the Mara. It had the ability to possess its
    victims telepathically. Bravo Craig!

    Anonymous @

    @craig – Funnily enough I thought of The Mara when Colony Sarff was first revealed as a collective of snakes.

    @papermoon – Interesting theory on constellations. There are a few note-worthy constellations close (ish) to OrionCarina, Vela, Puppis and Pyxis which make up the now defunct constellation of Argo (from Jason and the Argonauts fame) and the neighbouring constellation of Hydra (which, in astronomy represents a generic sea serpent not the seven-headed beast of Greek mythology).

    There’s also the smaller Hydrus (Water Snake) which shares a star with neighbouring Eridanus whose common name is – River!

    River Song is in the coffin 😯

    OK, perhaps not 😉

    Mudlark @mudlark


    One thing I noticed was that the Doctor refers to Orion being viewed from the other side

    The Doctor presumes that the message contained in the glyphs on the wall of the space ship and being relayed by the ‘ghosts’ consists of coordinates to guide someone to the site.  The problem with this, as I noted in an earlier post, is twofold.

    a) If the intended recipients of the message are extra-terrestrial, there is no reason to suppose that they would be like humans in seeing pictures in the patterns of the stars; and even if they did, the pictures would probably not be the same.

    b) Unless the extra terrestrial aliens are from somewhere fairly close to us in the galaxy, the relative positions of the stars in Orion would be different. If we could go back or forward sufficiently far in time, the constellations would look different even from earth, because everything in the galaxy is in motion.

    The only way I can see to resolve this logically is to assume that ghosts are mouthing is a human equivalent to the actual alien message or else, as I suggested in that earlier post, that the intended recipients are human.

    Or else no one involved in the writing and production is bothered by such nit-picking details  😉

    Whisht @whisht

    phew – caught up with all the comments (for now!)

    Only managed to see the episode on Monday night, and only had one watch – but my re-watch is soooo gonna be informed by what I’ve read here (thanks!!)

    All I can say that hasn’t been mentioned (because… to obvious?):

    They keep talking about “electromagnetic” blah blah in relation to ghosts, ‘daylight’ and locks and ‘stuff’. So if the ghosts are electromagnetic holograms, then they could be powered enough (in a hand-wavey way) to pick up metals that respond to magnetism.
    Do nuclear reactors have magnetic properties…?

    That lost battery…

    Who’s in the box? Why, its the madman in a box!
    Which is why the cloister bell sounds – the Doctor is on his own timeline, and in grave(!) danger.

    But that’s all very literal after one watching. What we need is bonkers (I missed the mention!).

    So…. could Clara actually be the chameleon arched Doctor?
    This flies in the face of ‘evidence’ so I’ll huff my way through the first one which is Missy saying she “chose” Clara. But what if she ‘chose’ her in the same way Romana and BakerDoc chose her body?

    It would make sense as to why the Doctor is so keen to protect Clara/himself.

    Only problem is….. its bonkers and not emotionally satisfying.
    Apart from that its fine!

    JimmytheTulip @jimmythetulip


    You said way up above… “Is Clara somehow “the enemy inside a friend”?”

    Well, there’s a few people here skeptical of my theory but I think, yes, she is. I could turn out to be horrendously wrong but, at this point, I think Clara is an incarnation of the Master, the one after John Simm, who has used a Chameleon Arch to hide her identity. Why? Well I’ve accumulated a LOT of clues that could point to this being right… or they could just be coincidence. But it’s a LOT of coincidence. I’d be happy to share but it’d make for a very long post here.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Thanks for putting up the image @craig. I have not yet had the chance to re watch the episode so was useful to study it in more detail. Those still like like Star Trek crew on the ship, a references to ship’s crew, be it space ship or sailing ship so fairly straight forward. @bluesqueakpip That looks more like a woman in the serpent’s mouth. “She” appears to be wearing a skirt so not the Doctor I think but Clara.

    Serpent in lake= lake monster and not between the Arts and Sciences. (Sorry old Uni joke but I think of it every time I hear the words “Lake Monster.”)





    lisa @lisa


    Are we sure that the four words are – dark sword forsaken temple?
    Could it possibly have been dark LORD(of the)forsaken temple?
    That might have an interesting meaning

    @Janette I hope they made enough of them for everyone 🙂

    lisa @lisa

    @janetteb previous post – oops 🙂

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    O.K., to try to take up the art criticism challenge set by @bluesqueakpip and following up @juniperfish

    In the Bible story of Jonah and the whale, Jonah is thrown overboard from his ship by his crew-mates in order to put an end to a terrible storm (though they are reluctant to take this action), he is swallowed by a giant whale or huge fish (depending on how you do the translation), stays inside the huge fish’s belly for three days and nights, and then re-emerges when God commands the huge fish to spew him up. Jonah in effect rises from the dead. The suspended animation chamber/sarcophagus was retrieved from the church/temple by the mini-sub when the Doctor was hunting for something to “raise the dead and turn them into transmitters.” Who, indeed, is in the jaws of the giant fish/serpent in the mural? Perhaps someone about to rise from the dead.

    To follow up the suggestion by @craig , yes, from the pre-season trailers also we have the promise of lots of dragon/serpent stuff in this series, and there have also been some references already to souls, which looks like another theme.


    Anonymous @


    problem for the BBC is it cannot use the occult symbol that would be recognized everywhere, the forbidden symbol of the Black Sun. So what has to be used is the made up symbol of the White Sun. Still the idea is the same, the symbol of ultimate evil, the power that should not be harnessed

    I know very little (read: nothing) about the occult (modern/ancient) so why is the BBC unable to use some symbol? Why is it forbidden? Is it forbidden because its power can’t be harnessed? (or mustn’t be harnessed?)

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @purofilion: I believe showing the Black Sun occult symbol would be a public relations nightmare for the BBC. Check out the Wikipedia entry for why this would be.

    It is not even a symbol that could be argued to set a historical mood, in contrast to showing a flag that would identify a particular time period and location.

    What I call the made up name of the White Sun occult symbol, the control panel with rings of circles, at least has the potential of a cool effect if when the control panel is fully activated the rings of circles start moving like the Tardis rings of circles do.

    Anonymous @


    So…. could Clara actually be the chameleon arched Doctor?


    Honestly, you two! you’re making ma poor little head explode! 🙂 This is terrific bonkerising.

    Either way, in this episode, the cloister bell was going nutso for a long time. More than any other episode. Interestingly, whilst she’s not liked Clara much, it was certainly worse in this episode. Presumably because the Doctor dies? Or seems to?

    @papermoon @bluesqueakpip @fivefaces

    So, I think what other episode has had a small craft containing very little ‘stuff’? The Empty Child!

    There are some similarities. A creature developed as a consequence of touching another creature or ‘thing’ and then this human/combined creature kept repeating the last thing it heard…In an attempt to either get somewhere or fix itself. In the end, the nanogenes worked out what they were supposed to resemble….and everyone lived happily ever after. Even Capt Jack. And in this case it was really true…eventually (anyway, that’s not relevant)  – but I do like the similarities. They’re not leading me anywhere in particular. Just random thoughts because I’m trying to cope with Clara being a chameleon arched….something….Time Lady…

    In being the Impossible Girl and telling One to take “this Tardis” was she somehow ‘infected’ with Gallifreyan genes? So, she really is some kind of Time Lady/Master/Doctor?

    When the Doctors were together during the 50th, they knew each other! It made an internal kind of sense. Of course, in the end, it was Clara who helped solve the problem. Someone who should be quite normal, but isn’t…has abilities way beyond an ordinary tween teacher. She solved the riddle of The Moon, helped out in Flatline but then in last week’s 2 -parter was quite “the puppy” as @ichabod maintains.

    Also, if she’s some chameleon arched Master, why would Missy want to kill her? Or taunt the Doctor to do so?

    Are you suggesting, Mr Tulip, that Missy doesn’t know the secret Clara carries? But, she did “choose her” as was clearly said in last year’s infamous season so I see your point.



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