World Enough and Time

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    Serahni @serahni

    Like most others, I really enjoyed this!  Very much looking forward to the final episode and being able to watch them together again, but this is capping off a pretty enjoyable season for me.  How fitting, too, to come full circle and for the Doctor to be dealing with the origins of the Cybermen as he, yet again, faces regeneration in their presence.  Given the new regeneration cycle, there’s a nice symmetry in play here since one could argue that “Thirteenth” is the same as “First”.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    OK, that’s why I LOVE this place.  Marvell, Powell & Pressburger and all (and a film to add to my must-see list, Snowpiercer).  And the episode was stunning.  The suddenness of Bill’s ‘demise’ was brutal – at least Clara got to be brave, and face the raven on her own terms (kinda). I wasn’t expecting it – not like that, not so soon, not so arbitrarily.

    @thane15 I was thinking of Buffy too (when am I not), that quote in particular, but also Anya’s death.  Obviously Bill isn’t gone, not entirely, but is she – the core humanity of Bill – lost?  That tear might suggest not, not quite yet. In which case she, like Danny Pink, may get a chance to make her death mean something.

    Also @thane15 I thought Fagin when the Master was doing his Razor thing.

    I knew the tears were important – back to The Pilot and Bill’s tears – ‘I don’t think they’re mine’ – and of course Missy’s tears.  But had forgotten the link with A Matter of Life & Death.

    The hospital reminded me strongly of the wartime hospital in Empty Child, with the ambiguity of whether the shadowed figures in the beds are threatening or tragic (or both) – and the moment when Bill realised that the nurse had dealt with the cries of pain by turning the volume down really punched me in the gut.

    As for what the resolution(s) will be, I really don’t know.  The finale has a lot of work to do, and as others have noted, given that this is part of the handover to Chibnall, it would be reasonable to suppose they will not want to leave him with too many conundrums (conundra?) to wrangle in his first season, give him a reasonably clear run at defining his own tenure for the show.

    Oh, crikey, I will miss PC, MG, SM and – if she’s really gone – PM.  Soooo much.  Terribly anxious about Who will be Who next – as I always am at this stage.  Reminding self how I felt when CE left, and then when DT and then MS left and how each time it worked beautifully.  Just – it does matter hugely that they get it right.


    Nick @nick


    Having written that, unlike the Raven ,where the episode never felt epic enough for me to believe that Clara was gone forever. This episode (and the next one) are epic, so the hope may prove to be futile.

    I meant it in purely televisual terms. Killing a companion is so rare that it has happened only once in 50 years. The Raven was a great story, but it lacked the “IT” factor. The style was too low key for me to even consider the possibility that Clara was gone for ever. Whenever the next companion is killed off for good, I expect any show runner to make a very big deal out of it. It would be a regeneration size event.

    MissRori @missrori

    @thane15  It’s hard for the therapy to work when, if nothing else, the opening scene of this one suggests the poor Doctor will be abandoned by everybody and in agony, alone, when he regenerates!  😉  He’s done nothing to deserve such an awful fate; he’s suffered enough, and those who hurt him not nearly enough.  He’s the most loving, and for better or worse, human Doctor of all.  He deserves to “die” with love and peace in his hearts, as his revival era predecessors did.  A glorious sendoff as he revisits everyone he loved, or just has someone who loves him by his side.  A death in which he knows at last that he was a good man.

    I suppose he’s not totally alone because he has the TARDIS, but why stumble outside like that then?  And why would ol’ Sexy be so cruel as to bring him to a cold, lonely place?  This is what I mean when I say I would have liked to see more of Twelve’s joy, and less of his agony.  My autistic nature feels that very deeply and unless River returns to him on that snowscape…or Clara…or Bill, for that matter…

    But the Moff did say that this storyline leads right into Christmas and Twelve’s ultimate fate, so while this may or may not be a fakeout, there is more we have not seen yet.

    Now here is some more thinking on my part — there have been arguments made (not here) that Bill’s fate in this episode sees all of her agency being stripped, and that this is an insult to the character and her growth.  I am not so sure.  She freely made the choice to help the Doctor and knew the risks.  Also @thane15, I think you’d be the first to say that both she and the Doctor grew much for knowing each other and had great joys for that.  It may not have ended well, but it was better that he did not throw away that chance at the beginning with a mind wipe.  Many people in the real world end their lives as prisoners of their bodies, sick and dying; at least Bill had a chance to live fully before…well.  I don’t think she holds a grudge against the Doctor.

    Because if he could be said to have failed her (though he did his best) she failed him too in a way (though she did her best).  What’s interesting is that once she’s in the hospital, and the Master-as-Razor “befriends” her, he basically is working as an anti-Doctor figure to strip her of all her growth, almost like a mind wipe.  He is much more amiable than the Doctor, seeming to be the nicer person on the surface, which was also seen (down to tea) with Missy in the Nethersphere in Series 8.  But where the Doctor was originally fond of Bill because of her curiosity and wanted to encourage her to learn and grow into someone more than just a person dishing up chips, the Master only “teaches” her enough to think that there’s no hope of escape or changing her, or the world’s,  situation into something better.  He teaches her to settle for less, to not be so curious, and soon she’s mopping the floors and no longer treating the world around her as a horror.  As Nardole put it back in “The Lie of the Land”, convincing a person that things are just the way they are and have been for a long time is 90% of the game.

    The Doctor gave her a message to hold on to.  And she learns from the TV feed that he is coming, the way that she had the cold comfort of his propaganda broadcasts in “The Lie of the Land” to know that at least he was alive.  She could have held on to that and kept him, or her mum, as an imaginary friend as she had with the munks, her confidante, someone who she could share the truth of this terrible new world with.  Even if she couldn’t escape now, she could be strong and hold on, and not put her trust in others — any more than she’d need to in order to get by day by day.  But the Master is actually, physically there, and she like most all of us she does crave companionship, and thinks he speaks the truth, so she decides to put her trust in him as time goes by.  It’s like when she sees a vision of the Doctor behind her as she’s about to follow the Master at one point.  She’s putting her faith and trust in what’s solid, what she can see with her eyes — rather than with her mind’s eye.  But turning away, as she does, from the imagination, the inner world, her own still small voice, can only lead to sorrow.

    Because the Master dulled her in this way, she never tried to seek out the lifts on her own, to take the risks needed.  So while she waited for the Doctor all along, she wasn’t ready when the time came — watch therefore, for you know not the time or the hour — to go to him, she asked the Master for help finding those lifts, and…  🙁

    And from there, she’s placed in a position where she is — seemingly — helpless to do anything of her own will anymore, but perhaps now that the Doctor has returned and can remind her of how strong she’s capable of being…

    (Deposits $0.02)

    Anonymous @


    but it lacked the “IT” factor.

    I could say, “nope” but instead, I’ll write, actually I think it had incredible presence, it was set up successfully from the previous 22 episodes and when Clara spoke to the Doctor and said: “I have to do this on my own, it’s the only way” I didn’t feel it was low key at all. I felt something powerful; not some minor quirk but real phenomena with tragic consequences -in the same way that authors of old wrote and commented on tragedy or comedy.

    So, I guess that Face the Raven was a very big deal. It wasn’t heralded with steam punk chrome and dirty paving, it lacked a chorus of thousands or an orchestra of 160. But Rigsy was left cold and sad and the Doctor dried out, helpless and miserable. Because that’s death. It’s a big deal however you write it providing it’s genuine and Clara’s death was -but again, that’s just me. It’s a personal thing. It’s why I’ll miss Peter Capaldi and Moffat. I don’t know if the death of a companion has to be a “regen style event” -the concept ‘event’ troubles me. Ordinary, sweet people die every day in ordinary ways. That’s the tragedy. Not for all of us is it Mahler or Brahms, sometimes it’s a bit of Mendelssohn. 🙁

    I think you get me @nerys 🙂

    @cathannabel great to see you enjoyed it (well, it was hard on the eyes so ‘enjoy’ isn’t the best word). Fagin: absolutely; that was Mr Ilion’s comment (Dickens being much loved). As to The Empty Child: oh spot on! Even the beds spaced the way they were, the double doors, the creepy and silent corridors and at some points, the lighting was reminiscent: I think that’s the way SM wanted it. A little call back to those years ——all the way back to 2005….

    I’ll be interested in the way SM handles (yes ‘handles’) the Fixed Point concept which, knowing him, he’ll do very well and with a wand of  handwavium (I’ll italicise it and pretend its Latin). The comment of Anya is very interesting: the battle, the loss and the nature of her fight as explained by Andrew to Xander in the final episode of the Buffy series. Then there’s Anya’s transformation -earlier on.

    But this type of transformation is very different and the horror of it: “they feel the pain but they’re indifferent to it” or “they don’t care about it” (I’m paraphrasing terribly). Narcotic use highlighted here: the concept of feeling pain but not caring because it’s far, far away is very intriguing. And Bill still self-aware, wrapped in the “strength” of the Cybersuit was frightening.

    @serahni yes, that’s an interesting idea -13 and 1. The clocks go round and round and the mice run up and down (the stairs, the elevators).



    MissRori @missrori

    Now here’s something a friend of mine brought up that I don’t think’s been mentioned yet.  Expeditions can’t keep coming up to retrieve humans unless they can return from the lower levels.  The alien crewman noted that Bill was not the first person to be taken.  But then why does the Master tell Bill that no one returns from lower levels?  Good question, no?  Was he telling her lies to discourage her from escaping?  What are on those those other floors?

    (I apologize for looking ahead to the Xmas special again in my last post…I was too late to edit.)

    Also…how much of a fixed point might this be?  Well, that’s another hint at what’s to come.  The AV Club’s review of this episode pointed out that this is “The Day of the Master” in more ways than one.   What we have here is the Saxon Master in the place of the War Doctor, looking ahead to his future.  But where the War Doctor sees hope in the future as a result of a dark deed and he and his future selves need to see they could do even better than that,  Saxon sees disaster in the future if he doesn’t do a dark and foul deed that will leave Missy with no one who believes in her being anything more than evil.

    So maybe for Missy what becomes of Bill is a smaller-scale version of the Doctor destroying Gallifrey.  Something she regrets and forgets, until it comes back to haunt her just when she has perhaps the one chance in all her and the Doctor’s lives to reconcile and breaks the heart(s) of the teacher traveling with her — and that would be the Doctor.

    If this is the case it would be the Doctor who holds the Clara/Moment role here, who convinces her that she can change Bill’s fate, the way that he was able to change Gallifrey’s fate when it seemed impossible.  She won’t be able to draw upon her other selves for help, the way the Doctor could, because she is an anomaly among the Masters, but she finds a way.  It just exerts a steep price…

    Anonymous @


    Hmm, yes: Matthew 25: 13. Good choice. I was thinking of Donne myself:

    “Each man’s death diminishes me,

    For I am involved in Mankind.

    Therefore send not to know,

    For whom the bell tolls;

    It tolls for thee.”

    I guess I view the Doctor as ALL the Doctors and I find it hard to separate one doctor from others: he was a father, a husband, a grandfather; a man with friends at the Academy, friends on Earth -the Brigadier, his companions and his wife. The Doctor is a lucky man. But fortune must go hand in hand with torment: that’s what makes him, or any man, great.

    Belief perseverance works 😉

    janetteB @janetteb

    Have just finished watching and thought I would type out some reflections before I start reading the comments, as I am never likely to get the end of them. I have the feeling this will be one of those discussions that I cannot keep up with.

    R.2 (2nd son) saw this last night with friends. R.2 is a rather critical fan. He and I have had some quite heated discussions about some episodes, (such as Robots of Sherwood) he is not forgiving and he rarely re watches anything so when he was so eager to watch the episode again tonight it was a good sign.

    Yes the episode was brilliant. Like most Moffat episodes it demands a re watch to fully appreciate. Moffat’s stories are all like good wine, they age well. the Doctor again ignored Nardole to great cost though what happened to Bill wasn’t really Missy’s fault. It was the Doctor being reckless, so desperate to prove a point that he jeopardised the safety of his companions. Also I think Bill will be saved, somehow, maybe incorporeal but in a way that she can join Heather and Missy will enable that justifying the Doctor’s faith in her. It might not reflect real life but Dr Who is fairy tale as Moffat has often reminded us and in Doctor Who good not only can but must ultimately prevail.

    As to Missy, is she becoming good? I think so and though at the end she and Simm/Master appear to be teaming up  I don’t think it will last. Neither tolerate competition. Loved the Zathras/Master. (B.5 reference) R.2 said that on the re watch he could see it was Simm/Master.

    The setting was so well done. The hospital reminded me of somewhere I was recently, long empty grim corridors with doors leading to operating theaters that looked like the kind of places where cyber conversions would be taking place. It had the same aged, grimy, abandoned feel and trying to run while attached to one of those drip things, that is the very essence of nightmare. If I have bad dreams tonight it is definitely Moffat’s fault.

    Well now to read comments at last.



    janetteB @janetteb

    One page in and a thought regarding the regeneration. I wonder if it will happen at the end of next week’s episode and thus the next Doctor is revealed within the show as opposed to on stage in a glitzy special. That would be very neat. But through some timey wimey story telling, of which Moffat is the master craftsman, the following Christmas Special will still feature Capaldi as the Doctor. Yes. I can picture Moffat rubbing his hands with glee at this moment.



    Nick @nick



    We view things in a quite different way, even though I can’t disagree with the essence of what you write. My gut, visceral reaction immediately following the episode was that I had not just watched the last episode featuring Clara. I was so certain that Moff had an additional level planned for the Clara arc that it wasn’t even a cliff hanger ending. I could have been wrong (and often am), but that was such a strong impression for me at that moment.

    You’re right, a companion death shouldn’t be an epic event, but when there have been more Doctors than companion deaths, combined with a characterisation of the Doctor, who is willing to sacrifice anything, including himself, to prevent it from happening then how can such a death not be part of an epic story line in AG Who ?



    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Tend to agree with @nick that the way Clara’s death was presented in Face the Raven made it clear (at least to me) that she wasn’t dead, or at least not in the sense of an absolute end, taking no further part in the series. Bill’s ‘demise’ seems different to me in that regard, The mise en scene presents it with significance, finality, that suggests no magic bullet is forthcoming. But, of course, it is. The coyness of SM and PM at the Q&A more or less confirmed it to my mind. But at the same time I don’t think it’s going to be quite as happy ever after as Clara’s was.

    @missrori — I get the feeling that the intervening floors contain more evolved Cybermen that the further you go, the higher up the foodchain, more ruthless, they get.

    @janetteb — I think next week will certainly reference the regeneration and take it on a bit but I’m in two minds whether we’ll see a face next week. It would be a nice way to do it and I think they’d like to, as it would lance the pressure around the announcement, especially as filming the xmas spesh will undoubtedly be taking place very, very soon. So definitely possible, maybe even quite likely, but I can’t help but feel that they’ll tease it out a bit further.

    The problem is, I think, that if the story is bringing the Missy arc, and possibly the Bill arc, to an end, then a lot of hoo-ha over a regeneration is just going to drown all that out. There’s always a lot of anticipation over a new Doctor but I can’t help but feel it’s kind of overshadowed this series a bit too much. It makes me think that next time around there might be a case for the Beeb just issuing a press release when the time comes and sparing us all the endless clickbaity ‘top 10 people who should be the Doctor zzzzzzzz’ articles.

    Mirime @mirime

    Loved it. So many things to say, but I think they’ve mostly been covered already.

    It strikes me that the dark, nightmarish world at the end of the spaceship where they are converting humanity into the first iteration of the Cybermen is like a dark, inverted version of the Nethersphere.

    @blenkinsopthebrave Yes, I thought that.

    although it obviously owed a huge debt to computer games like Silent Hill and BioShock too. I was half-expecting to see some Little Sisters show up at some point.

    @jimthefish glad I wasn’t the only one!


    DrBen @drben

    Hello all!  I can’t really add to your excellent comments on this week’s episode (I loved it!), so instead, here’s my wish list for what comes next:

    — A mid-episode regeneration (next week, not at Xmas) that results in a completely unexpected Thirteenth Doctor, and THEN, through bonkers plot necessity, the new Doctor has to go back in time through the story, so that it becomes Thirteen and Twelve fighting TOGETHER to save Bill (through the Xmas episode).

    — Redemption for Missy that leads simultaneously to her destruction AND to Simms-Master regenerating into Missy, culminating in Missy hatching her Cyberman plot from two seasons ago.

    Is that too much to ask?

    Brewski @brewski

    First thoughts:

    LOVED IT!  I was also too engrossed in it to catch Razor being SimMaster.  Felt silly that I missed it, too. :p

    I liked the “Doctor Who” stuff at the beginning.  It was so clearly poking fun at fans, especially the ones who get a bit bent out of shape when he is called “Doctor Who”.

    Along these lines, though, I thought what was a bit too on-the-nose, was PC’s exclamation “A Mondasian Cyberman!”.

    It felt to me like it was a little parting gift to PC from Moffat.  PC has said for most of his run that he really wanted to have them Mondasian Cybermen brought back.  Moff gave him his wish and put the icing on the cake when he got to call them by that name.  Because honestly otherwise, why would the Doctor use that specific (Who Cannon) name for them?  TO him they should just all be “Cybermen”.

    I LOVED the tear drop at the end.  Brilliant!  Besides the emotional impact it was clearly intended to connect the Mondasian cyberman with plain round eyes to the later configuration with the tear drop.  Total nerd-gasm.

    @jimthefish I quite like the theory that it’s an in-disguise Missy regenerating rather than the Doctor

    This IS an interesting idea!  But allow me to modify it a bit:

    Suppose Missy appearing to be working with SimMaster at the end is a ploy.  And she winds up betraying him (herself?)
    The regen is NOT Missy in disguise but SimMaster.  His “No!” is in anger because Missy has betrayed him (leading to his regen) and he now knows he has failed to correct his nice-girl future and is about to regenerate into Missy.

    Whoo!  Come to think of it, imagine seeing what appears to be PC regen into Missy!  Then to find out…

    Oh No!  And if IS the SimMaster in disguise, then mightn’t that have been him also in all those weird maniacal raggedy Doctor scenes this season??  That would mean SimMaster saved Missy from execution.  I’m making my own head spin here…

    MissRori @missrori

    @brewski @jimthefish This in fun bonkering, but exactly how are all these Time Lords suddenly disguising themselves as each other and fooling everybody?  I’m thinking they don’t all have rubber masks, wigs, eyebrows, dresses, etc. on their persons right now.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @missrori and @brewski — the Missy as Doc regenerating theory is not mine I hasten to add but think I saw it over on the Graun. I just thought it was interesting and chimes with how SM teasers have worked in the past — what we think we are seeing is not what we are seeing at all.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s going to go that way. It’s too complicated a concept to shoehorn into an episode that, while extended, still has an awful lot to cram in. But at the same time, Time Lords don’t really need a big bag of disguises — though the Master is never short of a few. A Time Lord with a few regenerations up their sleeve have an instant built-in disguise-making kit.

    (And let’s face it, SM has form in the rapid regeneration stakes with Curse of Fatal Death. Although I’m not sure that what he did for laughs is something he would import into the show proper.)

    Brewski @brewski

    @jimthefish  Lets not forget Romana trying on new regens like she was shopping for a dress!  Lol…

    nerys @nerys

    @thane15 Oh yeah, I get you!

    I really must watch this episode again to fully absorb it. (Have I mentioned that I loathe the commercial interruptions on the Space Channel? Yes, I have. And I do.)

    One thing that struck me is that Bill’s fate is very much what I’d imagined for Clara, before we discovered what her true destiny was to be. I thought she was going to end up as Oswin, forever trapped inside a Dalek. But now we have the twist that it’s Bill, trapped inside a Cyberman. Someone mentioned that if they’d seen the “hospital” proceedings as a child, they would have been terrified. Same here. As an adult, I found them horrifying.

    Because of the spoilers regarding the Master, I actually recognized him almost right away. I’ve got a thing for facial recognition. Had I not read any spoilers, I would have been much slower to pick up on that. (That’ll teach me.) What an amazing interplay between Missy and the Master. My husband and I were trying to figure out how there could be two of them (same way we got multiple Doctors in The Day of the Doctor). Superb acting, and writing.

    And poor Bill. Gosh, I’m with the kids who adore her and are heartbroken by what’s befallen her. I want her to get a happy ending! Kudos to the sharp-eyed souls who think they spotted Heather looking out of one of the windows. Let’s hope that she and Heather are reunited … somehow.

    @missrori I too have wondered if Missy is somehow the key to saving Bill (but at a very steep price).

    So, two Masters. Does that mean we get two Doctors? The signs seem to be pointing in that direction.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Bonkers (For next ep) ‘Just this once, everybody dies!’


    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @nerys well if rumours are true……. arrrgh hmm will have to slip over to spoilers to respond to your last comment in the previous post


    lisa @lisa

    I have a speculation about all the regenerating stuff.   Just as the Doctor and both Masters

    make their way back to the other end of the space ship the Saxon Master shoots and mortally

    wounds the Doctor  so Missy shoots Saxon and he  regenerates into her. Actually Saxon might just

    be trying to finish the Doctor off as its possible that the Doctor might have already gotten seriously

    wounded in battle   So then we have two Missys  helping  the Doctor to the Tardis .   I bet they stay with

    him and they all leave each other on  decent terms.  They  get their friends back.

    Until the next future kerfuffle.  I’ve been thinking this cause the Saxon Master still holds tremendous

    animus against the Doctor confirmed by Bill’s conversion.  But Missy is more internally conflicted.

    Maybe this leads to “Death in Heaven”.   I actually believe we will see more of Missy in future seasons.

    She’s just too good and they often figure out a way to bring back the ones that have a very significant

    open ended story arc.

    They even brought back  Bad Wolf!

    DrBen @drben

    @wolfweed – A+.  I laughed out loud.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    To all those still saying ‘What were the BBC thinking?’…….

    BBC claim John Simm’s return was promoted to the hilt because the press were going to leak it. (Take the initiative)

    The Master’s theme kicked in so early in the episode that fans of 10 years or more should’ve figured out the twist.

    As for the Cybermen, fans of 51 years or more should’ve guessed by the time they saw that (‘hat’) helmet, if not from the Patients’ voices…


    Villains were filmed in the streets so bang went the secret. (Before or after mooted leak?)

    soundworld @soundworld

    Oh my.  I’ve just watched and what an episode, terrific emotional punch.  Truly horrific in concept – and in ‘execution’, sorry, upgrade.

    All very unexpected for me, as I stay clear of spoilers.

    I don’t know what to think – I had thought in the last few weeks, what if the Dr regens into Missy… I don’t know think that is likely – it may well be that Simm-Master regens into Missy, though, at would be great.  Twice as much Missy!

    Poor Bill.  I suspect she will be rescued in some way, probably not returned to normal human form, however. Maybe she’ll be reunited with ‘puddle’?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just re-watched the pre-opening titles sequence. Others have commented on the state of the Doctor’s hair (indeed, it seems more like a wig than his own hair). The other peculiarity is the state of his clothes. They are worn and fraying, as if he has been trapped somewhere for a very long time. But if so, it appears he had a razor with him. Razor…hmm.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @missrori  (Bill)  She freely made the choice to help the Doctor and knew the risks.

    But *did* she know the risks?  As far as we’ve seen, she still doesn’t know what a regeneration is, does she?

    [Of Razor]  He teaches her to settle for less, to not be so curious, and soon she’s mopping the floors and no longer treating the world around her as a horror. As Nardole put it back in “The Lie of the Land”, convincing a person that things are just the way they are and have been for a long time is 90% of the game.

    Yes; she starts off having just been unceremoniously *killed*, which is a pretty strong signal that you are sooo out of your depth, young woman . . . so she’s ripe for this kind of “regression therapy” at Razor’s hands.

    @thane15  Puro  [Of the shock of Clara’s Raven-death] Ordinary, sweet people die every day in ordinary ways. That’s the tragedy. Not for all of us is it Mahler or Brahms, sometimes it’s a bit of Mendelssohn. 🙁

    I get you too, Puro.  It was the stunningly bare — and quick — event that was so shocking, to me.  Like (very often) the real thing in RL.

    @janetteb   trying to run while attached to one of those drip things, that is the very essence of nightmare.

    GODS, yes!  Awful!  That’s the other thing in breaking Bill down to humble acceptance — in a hospital setting, even a bright, modern one, you give up your autonomy because it’s the expertise of the staff in keeping your body alive that you’ve come there for.  It’s a strange, voluntary kind of helplessness, isn’t it, especially if you’ve little experience with it.

    @brewski   I’m making my own head spin here…

    Mine too!  Must take nap, come back re-zoned as “sane”.  Meanwhile, I hope, along with @soundworld and others here, that Bill ends up somehow reunited with PuddleHeather.  As for Missy, I could see her waffling between two treacheries/allegiences, the Evil Master (herself) and the Doctor (her other, potential self).  She could help Simm Master kill 12 off, and come back at Xmas contrite, and looking for some way to make up for having turned on him after all the effort he put into trying to change her attitude.  He’s been loyal, in his way, to her — and v.v., and that’s exactly the base of the kind of TL friendship Missy was trying to describe to Clara in tWA, as so different from human bonds of affection.  I do love it when the alienness of those two and their weird connection is brought up, highlighting the comparative narrowness of our usual human concepts of friendship and love.

    Anonymous @

    @soundworld @nerys @jimthefish @wolfweed

    Mr Wolf! That was hilarious and very dark indeed!

    True @missrori -how can they disguise themselves and not know? After all, didn’t Dr 12 once say he could ‘tell’ if there was a TL around the place.

    @soundworld -how did you go with the episode? Did you cope? 🙂 I certainly found those hospital scenes damn hard.

    References to death being ‘certain’ or ‘quick’ -I think in-story it was very difficult to watch just as Clara’s was -again, that’s my opinion only.

    The helplessness that surrounds Bill is definitely  a thing. Speaking as Puro the Ill and literally months and on two occasions years in hospital, institutionalisation happens -and extremely fast. No matter whether you have caring nurses or doctors or if they shout and act like the matrons ‘of old.’ You become nervous, rather lost in the moment with no plans ‘mapped’ out for the day beyond the shower, the procedure, the visit from someone close for 30 mins, the book, the telly (don’t change the channel!) and the meals of jelly and broth. It becomes a place you don’t actually want to leave in the end. So I found it a little gut wrenching that Bill was experiencing this with a charge nurse from hell and a janitor (razor) who fed her, possibly read to her and kept her calm 🙁 and she so very young, still.

    @missy I agree: not a good bedtime watch! Thane had nightmares though found the opening -the first 7 mins so ‘AMAZING MUM’ that he’s memorised it: Scene 2 where Missy and the Doctor talk:





    idiot …..

    was brilliant!! The dynamic makes it watchable, continually. 2 TLs together, defeating evil? Bring it!


    Anonymous @


    indeed, the ‘hat’ was pretty obvious but the theme was already in place by Scene 2 -and then the choral addition was a combo of Master’s theme and cybertheme.

    geoffers @geoffers


    My husband and I were trying to figure out how there could be two of them (same way we got multiple Doctors in The Day of the Doctor).

    in ‘tDotD’ it was the involvement of the Moment, a force/source of great power, that allowed all the doctors to interact, so i’m guessing any “great force” can overcome the blinovitch limitation effect… and in this episode, it’s the black hole (and its prodigious distortion of time)?

    also, i think the doctor can interact with himself (or other versions of himself) safely within the tardis, but maybe that protection doesn’t extend very far, physically, from the tardis (as her ability to translate languages seemingly does)…

    Little House @littlehouse

    Has anyone else noticed that we have seen Bill with a closeup tear twice now?  The first time at the end of the Pilot when she said that she didn’t think that the tear was hers, and then again when she became a cyberman.  I wonder if there was enough of the water creature left in her to keep her from fully becoming a cyberman?

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    A bit late to put together my thoughts on this one and read through comments, so I’ll try not to cover too much old ground.

    I thought this was an excellent episode and the pick of the season for me.

    Mr Razor was a character I was enjoying a lot, even without the revelation as to his identity, which I didn’t pick at all before the final moments prior to the reveal.

    On Bill’s position all being the Doctor’s fault, I thought the script really sought to address that. In their discussion, the Doctor is quite frank that he cannot promise to protect her – he’s not making that mistake again – and instead that he will do his best. Bill has gone into danger with her eyes open, so it’s not all the Doctor’s fault, even if he does bear some responsibility.

    On Bill’s fate- hers is a character I’d be sorry to see killed off after such a short period, but the cyber-conversion process hasn’t, I think, been reversible in the past. This is a very early version of the process though, so maybe that’s not 100%. Certainly Bill’s emotions don’t seem fully inhibited. I made the comment last season that there’s a very strong pattern of regular companions coming back from death throughout AG Who (a product, in part I think, of the family-friendly ideals of the show), so that makes it very difficult to write Bill off. She’s come back from being apparently dead already. I’m on record as saying that it’s OK to kill off a companion without having to present them with a more palatable, if not necessarily exactly happy, fate. Association with the Doctor can definitely be destructive, and the price for that can be total.

    I’ve lost track of who said it now, but I’ve got to agree that the initial scene with Missy was the weakest part. Much as I enjoy Michelle Gomez’s portrayal of Missy, this felt like she was channeling Captain Jack Sparrow, or was straight-up drunk (the distinction is slight). So a little too over the top for me, even allowing for Missy being cooped up for decades, glad to be out, and engaged in a test she feels is beneath her.

    On the comment that the Doctor took his time in going down after Bill, that irked me a little also. The Doctor knows there’s a substantial relative time dilation between the ends of the ship, even if he doesn’t know quite how much (you’d think he’d have a good idea though- general relativity must be an important curriculum element at the Time Lord Academy). So he knows any delay will leave Bill abandoned for a correspondingly much longer time. It’s true that rushing down would probably not have achieved much though- due to the relative flow of time, the lower levels would get plenty of warning he was coming. From the point of view of the story, Moffat obviously wanted Bill to spend a substantial amount of time with Mr Razor/Saxon.

    MissRori @missrori

    @wolfweed  I understand your “Empty Child” joke up there, but my non-forum chatting friend believes that the chances are good that we’re actually going to get an Everybody Lives ending next week.  Why would the Moff and company want to end the Twelfth Doctor’s story (and the Moff era of the show) on a bum note?



    end the Twelfth Doctor’s story (and the Moff era of the show)

    Neither of these are next week.

    MissRori @missrori

    @blenkinsopthebrave I think I mentioned this here or elsewhere, but the pre-titles scene was actually shot just 2 weeks ago*, so I think Capaldi grew out his hair for it.  As for why he’s so disheveled, well, perhaps the real Doctor really gets put through the wringer in “The Doctor Falls”.  And he never did show so much as 5 o’clock shadow in “Heaven Sent”.  Maybe it’s a Time Lord thing.

    *This is why the early advance screeners didn’t include the scene — SFX weren’t ready to go — also, just to keep that bit from being spoiled

    @ichabod  I’m not sure Bill knowing or not knowing about regeneration would have helped her out here any more than it might have in “The Pyramid at the End of the World” (she does at least know now that Time Lord genders can change), but it’s possible that, especially after he was ready to give himself up in “Eaters of Light”, the Doctor has explained that to her offscreen.

    MissRori @missrori

    @pedant Well, I know that and my friend knows that.  😉  But come on, it’s hard to see how there’s a Happy Christmas show to be had if everybody but the Doc goes out in a body bag next week, it can’t be too dark!

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Maybe it’s a Time Lord thing.

    Unlikely, as traditionally, the Master has been bearded (Roger Delgado, Anthony Ainley, and now John Simm).

    I have the feeling that the Doctor’s hair was designed to look strange, and I am attracted to @brewski‘s theory that it is the Simm Master in disguise.

    nerys @nerys

    @tardigrade I’ve lost track of who said it now, but I’ve got to agree that the initial scene with Missy was the weakest part. Much as I enjoy Michelle Gomez’s portrayal of Missy, this felt like she was channeling Captain Jack Sparrow, or was straight-up drunk (the distinction is slight). So a little too over the top for me, even allowing for Missy being cooped up for decades, glad to be out, and engaged in a test she feels is beneath her.

    But oh, how it stood in such stark contrast to the the fate awaiting Bill. Because I’d read some spoilers, I knew that Bill’s fate was to be devastating, but I had no idea it would come so early on in the episode. So as Missy was capering about with her “pets” (or whatever terms she gave them), I was relaxing a wee bit too much … then shocked at Bill’s seeming demise. So even though it was a bit campy, it worked for me because it blindsided viewers on what was to come.

    lisa @lisa

    I saw this nice idea on Reddit . The Time Lords could have released the Saxon Master to that

    ship to create a Cybermen army to help them fight in the Time War and  this army could be also

    what  the Hybrid  was?  We still don’t really know that answer but  2 warrior races as 1 was 1 of the

    hybrid  clues.

    Because why would the Saxon master be hanging around on that space ship?  What’s going on with that?

    He seems stuck there to me and he sees the Doctors arrival as his opportunity to escape?

    But he wasn’t  expecting Missy.   I liked this view.


    nerys @nerys

    @lisa I too am intrigued by the Master’s presence here, along with his future (?) regeneration as Missy. As you say, he seems to be “stuck” here and needing an escape hatch. Is that via the Doctor, and also Bill? Or are they the barriers to his freedom, and part of the reason he and the Doctor are at such an impasse? Interesting question. I guess we will find out how it’s resolved next week. Or maybe by Christmas.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @lisa @nerys Yes- why Saxon is on the ship, and has no recollection as Missy of ever having been there previously, is obviously a key question. The suggestion of the TLs (well Rassilon) being involved is an interesting one, and may explain Missy not remembering it, if Saxon’s memory was wiped, or he was pulled out of his timeline for this mission. But it seems it would be difficult to wrap that all up in 40 minutes, if that was the case.

    It did appear that Saxon wasn’t expecting Missy, but you’d imagine the Doctor might be very concerned and suspicious at the possibly-trying-to-be-good Missy getting together with the definitely-not-good Saxon.

    Anonymous @

    @missrori @tardigrade

    Miss R! Hey there! There is an unhealthy obsession with happiness here 😉

    I was discussing this with Mum and my philosophy teacher about this urge for ‘happiness’. Mum was saying in her generation and her parents no-one had issues with “are you happy?”

    It was more about is someone else content? Can you help them? Can they help themselves? Do they understand that life is immeasurably difficult and challenging? That having a dose of ‘happiness’ isn’t always the best thing at that time?

    I suppose I enjoyed this episode including the beginning because it was mixed with light (the beginning) and dark equally and feel it’s the best episode of the past several years. As Mum would say, that’s just me. But it summed up the relationship between TLs -something I had’t really understood? It also showed how life is tough and I firmly believe that. I often say to my mates who are complaining because some other Dad is buying one of their mates a car in a year or so and they whine and say “why don’t my parents do that?” or even take them on holiday etc that they should be grateful to be alive! That they have food, the love of one person, or even the memory of the love of one person is amazing and lucky. To have education, humour, a friend, a roof and the key is to appreciate that and be thoughtful and curious as to others is also terrific.

    Life’s bloody tough and the Doctor has had it rough @missrori but as Mum and I keep harping on about: he’s been loved. He is loved. He is trusted. He is hopeful and has had many joys and no matter what next week brings he will continue to smile and have adventures. You or us worrying about his grief won’t get anyone anywhere and I’m sorry if that  sounds harsh -but I think it’s true. He has to focus on the solution to the problem. That will bring relief and peace for him. But he is an old alien. He isn’t human. He has feelings of joy and sadness but they’re different to the ones we have and how we express them. He walks amongst war torn planets constantly and knows how to deal. We watch the show because of the hope not the despair: he doesn’t give up, he doesn’t give in and he’s not cowardly.

    And I LOVED the first 7 or 10 minutes: it balanced out the horror and it was bloomin’ clever? The concept of “deduction” and ‘assumption’ as well as “exposition” was, I thought,  a direct explanation to us budding authors about the function of narration, comedy or exposition. I also saw the Doctor working with a TL on their own terms, arguing in one word sentences rather than the ‘whole pages or paragraphs’ we see with other shows? Just my opinion though and can understand why people might think that opening wasn’t helpful or dealt with the gravity of the episode. But then I thought of the kids I know who watched it? They’re like 9 or 10 and they were entertained by the beginning and terrified by the end. So, overall, good job Moffat!

    Thank you, Thane

    Anonymous @


    The hybrid? Oh. I thought that was the combo of human and doctor -either Lady Me and the Doctor (Me was a bit amoral) and/or Clara and the Doctor. They had an unhealthy relationship by the end. She was graduating into something possibly destructive with the Doctor who could have burned universes to find her?

    @pedant Mr P  you’re on board with the explanation of the Hybrid problem? 🙂 Could you define that if it’s ended or still to be tied up in a bow like a present?



    janetteB @janetteb

    Reading comments is always an added pleasure and an excellent way of procrastinating when there is R.L work to be done.

    @drben Your theory regarding the possibility of an earlier regeneration than expected chimes with my thinking. It is even possible Moffat will throw in an extra regeneration. I have often thought that one way to really introduce a female Doctor is to do it with a short regeneration as I have a feeling that the BBC would view a female Doctor as too risky to be permanent. I think they are too worried about the future of their most lucrative product to take chances at the moment. I am certain however that Moffat would love to introduce a female doctor and a short regen’ might be the only way he can pull it off. As @jimthefish (I think) mentioned he had already played with multiple regenerations in Curse of Fatal Death, a forerunner for many of the ideas developed in his years as show runner. (and well worth watching)

    @littlehouse Well picked up on the tear drop reference in the first episode. I had forgotten that. (and welcome.)



    Nick @nick


    On Bill’s fate- hers is a character I’d be sorry to see killed off after such a short period, but the cyber-conversion process hasn’t, I think, been reversible in the past. This is a very early version of the process though, so maybe that’s not 100%.

    I’d be surprised if the technology existed on board the ship to do this. I would expect the Doctor to remove the cyber-control circuitry and for Cyber-Bill to play a role next week. After that, anything is possible surely, once they leave the ship (if of course). However, I suspect a reference back to the intelligent liquid and Heather may well be more likely. I also felt that the first part was left a little hanging (too many unanswered questions).



    Yep – it was clearly explained in text that the Hybrid was the gestalt entity that had become more than the just sum of Doctor + Companion. After dancing around various definition, when Ashildr posited this the Doctor immediately accepted it and immediately knew what he has to do. Clara promptly chucked a spanner in the works but did not demur from the basic analysis – only in the solution.

    On the Face the Raven – I too felt immediately that Clara’s story wasn’t finished on Trap Street (it was obvious for the simple reason that Moff would not waste a chance for one more outing for the “run you clever boy” grace note – he is too good a craftsman to let that slide). And had a set-to with @bluesqueakpip at the time.

    I think the odds of Bill being permanently cyberised are slim to nil – but I suspect that the end of the season may well be that quite sombre, if not a cliffhanger then at least with the Doctor gazing thoughtfully into the abyss. The Christmas episode will then be redemptive and uplifting (Moff likes a bit of Christmas in his Christmas stories).

    MissRori @missrori

    @thane15  Thane, that is a good point about happiness you make.  Here in America at least self-happiness has become the name of the game, not helping others and being curious.  Explains a lot actually about where society is going.  But I hope for some sunshine next week anyway.  Twelve hasn’t had his Big Bang yet, his day of glory, his happy season finale, and there’s just one more chance for that.  😉

    As for the Hybrid, that’s done and dusted.  The Moff confirmed last year in Doctor Who Magazine that Clara Oswald and the Doctor were the Hybrid all along — and that was why the TARDIS was initially uncooperative with Clara in Series 7, because it knew.  Obviously he’s retconning that loose end there, because Jenna Coleman was not originally going to be in Series 9, but there you go.  (I prefer my headcanon that the Hybrid is the Doctor alone, if only because he said as much.)  The TARDIS seems to know where everyone and everything must end up, it seems.  Not sure why it takes Twelve to a snowy waste here though…  😉

    @tardigrade @nick

    Keep in mind that “The Doctor Falls” will be a 60-minute episode.  But yes, even with it extended runtime there is a lot to be wrapped up.   I think this is one reason the Time Lords are probably not involved in all this.  I would have liked to see some of the many loose ends of “Hell Bent” finally addressed by the end of Twelve’s run (do the TL’s forgive the Doctor?  Did he and Ohila mend fences?  Who is Lord President now?), but I don’t think there’s time for that.

    Consider what does have to be wrapped up:

    • The fate of Cyber!Bill: Will the Doctor restore her humanity, use time travel to undo her awful fate, or find a way to “evolve” her in a timey-wimey way to a reasonable state?  (A wonderful theory broached elsewhere is that at the bottom-most level of the ship are the final evolutions of Cybermen…who just resemble ordinary humans via nanotech.)  Or will she need to make a heroic sacrifice?  Or will the Doctor have to mercy kill her?
    • Missy and the Doctor: This relationship has been the longest-running plot thread of Twelve’s tenure.  Will it end in endless sorrow or a fleeting moment of joy and hope?
    • Why Saxon is there: Was this whole business with the ship all his idea — possibly intended as a trap for his later self as well as the Doctor (in which case, the Doctor’s good intentions going awry were not his fault at all because he was lured there without knowing it!) — or not?  And if not, how did he get here and what does he intend to do?
    • What are on the upper floors, and why must they be fought?
    • What’s on the lower, faster-moving floors, for that matter?
    • Will the ship ever get out of the black hole?  Or will it and its occupants have to go down into it for the greater good?
    • How does all this fit into the Saxon and Missy timelines, and is the regeneration from one to the other involved?
    • How will this affect the history of the Cybermen?
    • What can the Doctor do for all those poor Mondasians, if anything?
    • What’s to become of Nardole, who barely had anything to do in this episode?
    • Possibly, the loose ends of “The Pilot”: Where did the leaky ship come from and why?  Was Heather even human in the first place? Could she do something to help Bill and the Doctor?
    • And why is the Doctor alone when he begins regenerating in a snowy waste?

    No Time for Rassilon and company here.  Those who are interested in a post-“Hell Bent” story that involves Gallifrey might look at the Titan Comics crossover miniseries Supremacy of the Cybermen instead, in which Rassilon tries to get vengeance on the Twelfth Doctor by teaming up with the last Cybermen.  I didn’t think it was very good, because it hardly dealt with the conflict at its core in favor of alternating it with What If? scenarios with the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors involving rewritten timelines and most of the characters ending up converted or captive.

    The really weird thing?  “Hell Bent” was 65 minutes and didn’t have to deal with near so much plot as “The Doctor Falls” will have to…



    The TARDIS seems to know where everyone and everything must end up, it seems.

    Oh can everyone stop taking this so fucking literally. When Sexy said it it was a little brag, more for the polemic poetry than the mechanics. Almost as bad as the literal reading of River and The Doctor “meeting in reverse”. Never. Meant. Literally.

    And the ‘hybrid is Me’ referred to Ashildr. As was clearly explained in text.

    Only about a third of the things you list “need to be wrapped up”.

    soundworld @soundworld

    @thane15 (both sides of the hybrid)

    I too loved the opening section, the witty sharpness of the too-and-forth between the TLs. Missy loving hamming it up – because that’s WHO she is. I love how she expresses that very Scottish haughty-disdainful-coquettishness.  It was very well constructed with the flashbacks – clearly showing that Bill wasn’t given false promises (its a tragedy, though! We’ve hardly got to know her).

    Her death was so sudden and unexpected to me (no spoilers) – completely blew me. I expected the normal “Oh, OK, here’s my gun, I won’t shoot her”.  Having been shot – and to all ordinary intents – dead, we see how completely shocked the Doctor is, and how it takes him time to gather his wits into understanding what is going on and formulating a plan.  When Bill was shot, I also fully expected them all to be holograms beamed out from the Tardis so that nobody was actually in danger…

    @thane15 and @ichabod definitely, having been shot, then to wake up in such a strange hospital setting, you’re going to wonder if you’re really awake or in a massive nightmare.  She’s millions of light years from home, stranded, no idea whats gong on – I don’t think we can blame Bill for going along with the situation for a while to discover what she can, and holding on to whatever (apparent) human comfort you can.

    Having been in hospital several times as a child (I think the longest was for 10 days), and in Intensive Care as an adult (not an experience I care to go through again, although being brought back from what had preceded it was an amazing gift), without daily visits from anybody as we lived a long distance away from the hospital in town, you very much in the power of the system; however benevolent and well-meaning that system is you are still in its control.  That memory as a child was brought up, I remember loneliness, isolation, feeling lost. (Hey, I lived!)

    The joke of watching Dr Who in B&W on an old TV was great. I am sure that Saxon-Razor would have initiated the full procedure whenever he saw the Dr leaving the console room on his way down.

    I liked the dialogue with Nardole
    N: I usually do the computer stuff
    Dr: Well, she’s more intelligent than you…

    As to what will happen next? No idea. At this stage I’m prepared for them to all regen into each other.

    So, a great episode – one of the best. Humour, both light and dark, well-paced, with a solid(ish) time-dilation science back-story, and strong emotion.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @missrori– I agree with you and @pedant that the Hybrid is a concept that’s done and dusted. I’m always slightly bemused when this keeps coming up as I think it was pretty clearly dealt with in Hell Bent. I suspect it’s because it’s such a grand phrase that evokes such a lot in the Whovian imagination that it’s hard to let of and accept the somewhat prosaic reveal that SM gave us.

    Also agree that we’re unlikely to see any kind of return of the Time Lords either. But once again I don’t think there’s any need for it anyway. To my mind, Hell Bent was SM resetting the Doctor’s relationship with the Time Lords. Returning them into the Who mythos but re-establishing the antagonism between them and the Doctor, making the Doctor a renegade and an outcast, rather than just this slightly desreputable, nomadic but accepted member of their community.

    Which is fine by me because I think the introduction of the Time Lords and Gallifrey was one of the worst things the BG team ever did. I can see why they did it and that the show probably needed to deepen its mythos as it reached the end of the 1960s but it’s had the effect of dramatically shrinking the show’s universe. Which is why RTD went to great pains to get rid of them for the reboot. SM clearly wanted to draw a line under the Time War and reinstate them and he’s done that, but I don’t think we will (or should) see so much of a peep of Rassilon or the rest of the big-collar brigade for years to come.

    On the Heather thing, I seriously doubt if we’ll see her return either. It might be a nice way to bring closure to Bill’s story if her Cyberisation is permanent (it almost certainly won’t be, I think, which might have repercussions further down the line in reducing the menace of the Cybermen in later stories I fear). But I don’t agree with @nick that there are questions outstanding from The Pilot that need to be addressed. The sentient puddle concept was maybe a little undercooked in places but really it was just there as a McGuffin to explore the opening of the relationship between the Doctor and Bill and I no more expect to see it returned to than I expect to see the Emojibots or The Monks next week.

    And I don’t think that that’s Heather at the window in WEAT. It looks to me just like a generic, sad Mondasian who happened to bear a passing resemblance to Heather.

    This is all great bonkerising and long may it continue but previous experience should still teach us that series finales are always less complex and in need of far less resolution than our theorising has led them to be.

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