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    Arbutus @replies

    @serahni   Interesting thoughts. I agree that it would be nice to get back to the world of more “ordinary” companions: no Impossible Girls, or Girls Who Waited, just friends who, as you say, get swept up in passing by the Doctor, and whose lives are enlarged and invigorated as a result. I think you’re right that they may have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with Clara, but they managed to get out of situations with Rose and Amy that were somewhat similar. They made it so clear that Rose would never, ever leave the Doctor under any circumstances, that they could only have killed her off. Instead, they marooned her in a parallel universe, gone forever. Similarly, Amy kept talking about real life and so on, but she and Rory kept going back to the Doctor. They couldn’t really have them traveling with him until they were ancient, so back in time they were sent to someplace the Doctor couldn’t reach them. (This solution, by the way, never really sat well with me, as it still feels too much like an artificial construct.)

    But hopefully, Moffat has a plan for Clara that lets her be a person. Maybe it could be as simple as falling in love with someone and saying, “Doctor, I will never, ever forget you, but I have to get on with my life now.” Somehow, I can’t see Capaldi’s doctor being as unable to let go of a companion as Ten or Eleven were. Wishful thinking? I’m hoping for a little less sentiment in stories to come.

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    And one more, for Robbie Burns. A long-time Vancouver band. My son and I do a rousing rendition of this one every year. (And on a humorous note, he did for several years think that one of the lines referred to “the gathering of the clams”!

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    Okay, retro folk rock and Doctor Who companions! Here is my song for Donna. I have a lot of love for Donna. Beneath her brash, talking exterior, she dreamed of the stars, of following the Doctor out into a brave new universe, of leaving the everyday behind. I think that she would have understood this song, while she was waiting to find the Doctor again.

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    @whisht  Love the Eno. Did your side win at least? I’m off shortly on a bit of a road trip, to cheer for my favourite team: my son’s! @purofilion, soccer is still mostly soccer in Canada, but over recent years, a lot of the youth clubs here in Vancouver have renamed themselves things with “football” in the name. Some people love it, some loathe it. We also have Canadian football (slightly distinct from “American football”), and rugby (mostly, I think, played at the high school level). My husband has tried explaining Aussie rules to me but I still don’t even altogether understand American football. I tend only to really understand the sports my son plays, due to watching complete games and then listening to his recaps. Oh, and hockey of course, which he doesn’t play, but you can hardly avoid growing up in Canada!

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    Oh, goodness, so much fun. Where to start?

    @fatmaninabox   Well played. Not just the lyrics, but the whole feeling of the music is very River!

    @thekrynoidman   Love the Yardbirds. When I was young, I wanted to grow up to be a hippie.  🙂  I am still a very retro tree.

    @purofilion    Yes, the Byrds! I actually have one of theirs to post, which I will momentarily when I find the link.

    @whisht   Ok, you have laid down the challenge. I will think on “bonkers favourite bands” and come up with something in due course.

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    @bluesqueakpip    I think that the Sarah Jane idea is quite plausible. She’s the kind of person who might have done such a thing without even really knowing why she was doing it, beyond a general understanding of how the Doctor’s universe works!

    I’d agree that if it were the Moment, that’s exactly how it would have worked: a mental image, just like the one that Captain Grumpy saw. I think that if we are going assume that the Moment did anything anywhere, there has to be a way to tie it in with the Doctor’s activation of the device and awakening of the Conscience, because personally, I’m not convinced that there is an entity that can exist free of the device.

    @purofilion     We know that Bad Wolf was definitely created (inadvertently) from the Time Vortex, when it merged with Rose. It would be reasonable to guess that The Moment is also created somehow from the Time Vortex, as it was made by the Time Lords and its conscience is able to manipulate time and space to some degree. Which brings me back to wondering what The Moment would actually have done to Gallifrey. I like to think that it is capable of something more significant than simply blowing things up! Maybe it removes a planet’s future from the time continuum in some frightening way? Something to do with the Time Vortex from which it was created. Hmm. Not great at doomsday concepts, myself, but it seems as though it ought to be something pretty big.




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    @fatmaninabox    @brewski
    I’ve always thought (perhaps bizarrely) that she’s a regenerated Donna.     Oh, cool. It may be bizarre, but I like it. Maybe it’s just a reflection of my deep affection for Donna. She is my favourite AG companion, and I hated what happened to her. Somehow becoming enough of a Time Lord to be able to regenerate would be so much better!

    A further argument in favour is that, if she and the Meta-Crisis Doctor exchanged genetic material, someone should have come out of it with the ability to regenerate, and it certainly wasn’t the MC Doctor.

    The Moment being the woman who appeared to Wilf, since THAT would only have an image that was chosen by the Moment.     And in fact, the Time Lord Donna theory would explain why the Moment chose to appear to Wilf in that form. Just as it chose Bad Wolf Rose without realizing that the Doctor had not yet met her, she could have unknowingly chosen Wilf’s granddaughter in a form of which he was unaware. Because, you know, past and future, so complicated.

    @whisht    Well, certainly we have three different beings capable of spreading themselves through space and time to influence events. Maybe they are One. Uh oh, Unscheduled Faith Change ahead!


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    @whisht     Aren’t they wonderful? I listened to all of those this morning as a sound track for laundry sorting. And smiling, yes. And now, let’s tie together jazz, the harpsichord, and Doctor Who. What’s that? You doubt me? Ha! The power of the YouTube multiverse! (I’m really loving the Doctor Who Music Exchange, by the way.)

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    @brewski   I hadn’t thought of this, but yes, the mysterious woman’s appearances to Wilf and the Doctor taking The Moment did happen somewhat simultaneously. Better and better, because I never found the idea of the woman being the Doctor’s mother especially interesting.

    So then, we have the Moment, activated by the Doctor, intervening simultaneously in several different places on the timeline. She helps the Tenth Doctor by ensuring that Wilf is at his side to be, in a way, his conscience, and to ensure that his fixed-point regeneration happens on schedule. She helps the Eleventh Doctor by ensuring that he meets Clara, who saves him throughout time, acts as his conscience thereby preventing him from destroying Gallifrey, and helps him to survive Trenzalore by addressing the Time Lords on his behalf. (I know that we’ve debated exactly why the Time Lords would help the Doctor based on Clara’s plea, but I think it’s fair to assume that there is a connection.) And of course, she introduces Captain Grumpy to his future selves, thereby enabling the Eleventh Doctor to prevent the destruction of Gallifrey.

    Timey-wimey, anyone?  🙂

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    Oh dear, @purofilion, you make me laugh, and it’s really not funny at all! I’m glad you are safely back home waxing lyrical on the forum and producing bonkers theories.

    I was lucky enough to see the Hilliard Ensemble some years ago here in Vancouver. They are apparently retiring, which I suppose comes to everyone, but it’s hard to imagine. Rogers Covey-Crump has an astonishing tenor, incredibly high and effortless. I remember seeing him years ago in some kind of workshop, where they were talking about how they might do something, and he just opened his mouth to demonstrate, and went from being a normal, slightly academic looking Englishman, to producing the most angelic, miraculous sound.


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    Bless you, @whisht. I was not a brilliant organist, but I did love it. You could make the most amazing sounds while doing very little. But my timing was all wrong. A few years earlier and the sound was still mainstream; a few years later and it was making a comeback. But in the early eighties, everyone kept asking me if I had a DX7.  ☹

    So I went back to school to do the classical music thing, and took harpsichord because I liked the repertoire. Again, I wasn’t the greatest soloist (I’ve never had especially great keyboard technique), but I learned an interesting thing. Accompanying on the harpsichord involves playing continuo, which is a kind of notation where the bass line is written and a series of numbers are used to indicate the chords, and the player improvises the right hand part. This was almost identical to playing from fake books and chord charts, so coming from pop music, in this area I was well ahead of the youngsters with the wads of technique. Such fun. I really loved playing ensemble.

    Apparently, the musicians that play with Grusin are all studio players and so capable of that amazing precision. It’s very fun to listen to. I like the Polar Bear, it’s got that crazy energy, although not quite as crazy as 2 Many DJs! That track is hilarious. I think Peter Gunn may be one of those tunes that can only sound good!

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    @purofilion     I’ve read the paper, and it’s all bollocks.  😆

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    @purofilion    In other words, at regeneration (a fixed point),  Number 13′s time streams implode resulting in mayhem. The Doctor finds himself at the nexus of his own universe which, during  regen, causes either froth mouthed relish or debilitating panic.  Ha! I love this! Mayhem is right. Froth mouthed relish was certainly the Eleventh Doctor’s response. The new doctor seems almost to have responded with a bit of both relish and panic.

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    @brewski  @purofilion  @barnable

    Interesting speculation, all of this. In my opinion, this is the biggest strand still hanging from the Impossible Girl arc; at least, it’s the one that bugs me the most!

    My first thought was that The Moment as The Woman in the Shop made a lot of sense. But @barnable‘s point is well taken. From a “story-arc” perspective, I suspect that we are done with the Moment, and that there will be another explanation. I don’t think it can be River, since Clara didn’t appear to recognize her in the Name of the Doctor, when they met in Vastra’s seance. Martha would have been able to do it, but for what reason on earth would she have given the Doctor’s phone number to a strange woman in a shop? Ditto Rose and Amy.

    It has to have been someone with the ability to know how necessary Clara will be. This takes us back to The Moment, except that we have had no evidence that the conscience of The Moment is able to manifest itself to anyone other than the person trying to use it. I have wondered whether it might be the Doctor’s mother, who was certainly able to appear to Wilf in The End of Time, so might be able to appear to Clara. But again, I’m not sure how she would have known that it was necessary to do this.

    Deeply puzzling, this question!

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    @barnable  Here as promised, my thoughts about your theory regarding the doctor’s memories. I’m interested in the idea that the doctor’s memory loss might somehow connect to the shifting of timelines (although that is somewhat negated when one remembers that for the doctor, several hundred years passes between the events of DotD and the regeneration). So maybe not. But it would be interesting to suppose that not even the doctor is totally immune to all of this messing about with timelines. Various shifts occurred, or seemed to, when the GI interfered, and then when Clara splintered, and then again in DotD. At a certain point, maybe there was one shift too many?

    The funny thing is, that of all things to forget, how to fly the TARDIS would have seemed the least likely, given their long and close connection. I might have expected him to forget anything and everything except that! So maybe that line has a very different significance after all.

    I like the idea of the Doctor’s regenerations being Fixed Points, given that his different personalities have responded in very specific ways to the situations in which they found themselves. A different iteration of the doctor at a key time might have led to a very different result! And it seems to me that a Fixed Point would be the only reason that anyone could actually predict the doctor’s death (“He will knock four times”, for example). And yes, we have seen, not that you shouldn’t mess with a Fixed Point, but that usually, you actually can’t. The event will re-form in some way (as in The Waters of Mars).

    Regarding this:  I made the assumption that the Doctor will behave differently after not using the Moment.

    The only problem with this is that it was pretty clearly stated, in DotD, that the Doctor would not remember that he didn’t use the Moment. So he would still have the guilt over it, despite not having done it.

    Love your shorthand assessment of the doctor’s personality evolution throughout the AG series!

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    @purofilion     I’m so sorry about your hospital visit, not an auspicious beginning. But do we need to make a new rule to go along with the one about “always put on clean underwear in case you get in an accident”?

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    @whisht, you have definitely been pushing all my buttons!  🙂   I believe that your Arvo Pärt link, although it doesn’t list details, is the same recording as the one that we have, with countertenor David James. Beautiful choice for Jamie! As @purofilion says, Pärt definitely has minimalist connections, and as he was a student of medieval music, very much connected to the sound world of early polyphony as well. A big proponent of his music has been the Hilliard Ensemble, whose recordings of medieval and renaissance music are really divine.

    On the jazz side of things, I love Jimmy Smith. Back in my rock band days, I played the Hammond B3, in an era when everyone wanted synthesizers, so the gigs were not easily found and I ended up back in school studying the harpsichord, among other things!  Oh, the paths our lives follow!  🙂  Your Oliver Nelson track was great. Speaking of arrangers, I was introduced to Dave Grusin years ago by a friend, and absolutely love his clever arrangements and cool piano playing. Here is my favourite track of his, off of a recording of Henry Mancini arrangements. It makes me smile every time I listen to it, it’s just so much fun and flawlessly performed.

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    @purofilion   Good for you on that MFA topic, I don’t think I could have gotten away with that on my MA, there was not much sympathy for non art music in my department. I went with medieval, for which there was sympathy, but little actual knowledge within our faculty, so I pretty much did what I wanted in that area, which proved to be Latin songs from 12th century Paris, lots of historical background info, and pretty much inventing my own form of musical analysis. It was lots of fun, and no one was the boss of me! Ha!

    I hope things don’t become ugly for you today. Just breathe. We’ll be here when you come back.  🙂

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    @bluesqueakpip      Good catch. My memories of Tom Baker’s first episode are a little vague, and I didn’t want to make a definitive statement that I couldn’t back up! Do you have a workspace surrounded by multiple screens, with all of Who loaded and ready to go, there to be accessed when some distant bit of trivia is required? Images from different eras flickering all around you, helping you build your theories and comment on the theories of others? Or do you just have a really, really good memory? (I personally like the first version best!)  🙂

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    No, no, no, you misunderstand! What I meant was that saying “As you know, I support the theory of two coexisting time lines” is a little bit like saying “As you know, I support the theory that our civilization was founded by cats” or something similarly unexpected, rather than something like, “As you know, I support the theory that insufficient exercise leads to obesity”. That’s what I meant by wondering if we ever listen to ourselves. In the context of this forum, these kind of statements are perfectly normal and understood by everyone. But in a real-world context, they sound very very funny. Every now and then, the kind of things that we all say here tweak my sense of absurdity.

    I don’t think it sounds like arguing. It’s okay to defend your theory. It’s okay for others to debate it. It’s all fun, as you say. Your newest theory is interesting and I have some thoughts about it, but I need to think them through first. I’ll be back.   😎

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    Oh dear, a re-invigorated @barnable! That might just blow my head right off.  😯  This sentence: “As you know, I support the theory of two coexisting time lines leading up to TotD” made me wonder, do we ever listen to ourselves on this forum? I have written sentences that I would never have dreamed I would use in rational conversation.

    So, do you think that Handles originated in a time line that no longer exists? I believe that the Doctor said he got the head in a market, and the implication is that he rebuilt it himself, thereby making it friendly.

    As for Clara, I thought that was her same father, but that her mother had died. This new person would be a stepmother, probably a relatively recent one given the dynamic.

    Tasha Lem, however, is clearly a mystery. I read somewhere that she was meant to be a one-off character, and yet, it seems a bit cheap to create this character that apparently has all this mysterious history with the Doctor, and obvious parallels to River Song, and then just drop her after one episode. So, hard to say what might be going on there!

    My point is that anything would be possible now.  Anything would seem to be possible however many timelines we postulate. This is Doctor Who, after all!  🙂

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    @purofilion     And I meant to say, good luck with the transition back to work. I hope it all goes smoothly and without too much of a shock to the system. When they see you in the meetings looking terribly zen and serene, they will be amazed. They won’t understand that your spirit is off in time and space with the Doctor and all his bonkers-theorizing companions!

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    @arjay    I’ve always understood those situations with Tennant and Smith to indicate how he was a new person and he simply hasn’t yet figured out what type of person he is.

    I don’t think that’s wrong at all. I only gave those as examples of “memory” as we were debating the possibility of the Capaldi doctor having lost his. In this context, I interpreted that as memory, but you’re right that it is also a question of “personality”. In early Who, regenerations were all handled differently, but there was usually a suggestion of confusion, forgetfulness, or instability of some kind immediately after regeneration, starting with the Fifth Doctor, I think.

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    @arjay     Rather, I just think that Bad Wolf saw an opportunity in The Moment’s potential to be possessed and manifested herself as its conscience.

    And you don’t think this is mind meltdown material?  🙂

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    @purofilion     have you heard the one about the lemon and the scotch for colds? You make a hot toddy and put a lemon at the end of the bed. You add scotch to the toddy and keep adding and drinking said scotch until you can no longer see the lemon.

    Okay, now that really made me laugh! Other than it seems a sad waste of a lemon. Have I mentioned that I am fanatical about lemons? I love how they taste, how they smell, how they look. I have a lemon tree in a pot, which sits outside in the summer but is currently taking up way too much space in our small kitchen, with a grow light shining on it, as the days are currently way too grey and short for lemon trees. I think it produces on average, 2-3 lemons per year. I don’t care!

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    @whisht @purofilion

    By the way, isn’t YouTube fabulous? I love it that we can find all these pop culture memories from years gone by and revisit them. I share stuff with my son that way all the time, and it’s really wonderful that all of this stuff survives to be passed around.

    I know that some people of my generation are down on YouTube and the whole contemporary music-sharing world, but I just love it. I see so much more individuality in pop music today than existed thirty years ago, because there’s no filter between the young people creating it and their potential audience. I tried explaining to my son that when I was young, you almost never heard a pop band with a tuba player (for instance), or a banjo or dulcimer, or a cello. All things that I have encountered in the past few years. I love it that musicians can make the kind of music that they want to make, and the only thing that dictates their survival, is whether real people (as opposed to music industry execs) like it. All for the best, in my view!

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    Thanks for that Mark Ayres link, what a fabulous article. I hadn’t realized how many tiny variations were made on that music, especially since I only ever saw most of those early episodes once, and am dependent on my memory for details such as theme music.

    Regarding Kraftwerk, weren’t you cutting edge? I didn’t know about them until well into adulthood. I wish that more musicologists were interested in these connections between art music and pop music, because it fascinates me, but they do seem to always lean one way or the other.

    I hadn’t heard of LCD Soundwork, so I checked them out on Youtube. Catchy music, and very interesting videos, I thought.

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    @bluesqueakpip   @demafromua

    I spend much of my time on here saying “Good theory, I agree.” Sometimes I say, “Good theory, but I don’t agree,” but I don’t always have a good reason, other than “This other idea makes me happier”!  🙂

    However, telling people on this forum that they’re not using the simplest explanation is a bit like announcing that there’s a lot of sand in the desert, or that the sea is a bit wet.

    True, indeed. I myself tend to go for the obvious explanation, although I can enjoy a good bonkers theory without agreeing with it, as long as it has some nice logic and inner consistency, which they tend to have around here. I find that if something doesn’t convince me emotionally, on a storytelling level, then I will tend not to believe in it. But reading the stuff on here is a bit like reading about higher order mathematics: I myself don’t have much use for numbers that I can’t use to count change, or how many cookies I have left, but I can appreciate the elegance nonetheless!  🙂

    Bonker on, everyone!


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    @nick @purofilion @barnable

    If “Bad Wolf” has become something other than what @nick has described, then it is because Moffat has retconned it that way, not because it was intended that way initially. This is not out of the question, of course, as we know! However, I’m personally disinclined to assume that something previously established has been changed, unless I see something pretty clear in the scripts to support it.

    Although, I’m not sure that this actually follows: If, for example, Rose/Bad Wolf had surveyed the Doctor’s future time line, her own or even Jack’s I’m sure she would have fixed the end of series 2 so that Rose and D11 (as he now is) stayed together and not made Jack immortal.  Because if Bad Wolf/The Moment is the all powerful being that @barnable suggests, it might have had its own, bigger reasons for Jack to be immortal or Rose to be in the alternate universe. I’m not suggesting that I think that, myself, only that we can’t assume that it wouldn’t have been true.

    @barnable   No problem with poetry, though, apparently  🙂 :   the vacuity of my mind has left me vicariously void of excogitations on Clara’s birth and clock towers.   I’m vexed at my incapacitation to vociferously voice any valid cognition, which seem veiled from my vision and inexplicably lost in vortex of my imagination. 

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    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with this. The world is full of fabulous writers. Some of those “filler writers” may well have their own (brilliant) ideas about how to move the series on. We don’t know yet! Some new writers may join the DW team over the coming seasons, bringing new themes and ideas into play. And although we can’t really know anything for sure, personally I think that Moffat is unlikely to stay another five or six years. He has said things himself that hint at this. But DW hasn’t survived 50 years by being the product of only one mind, so I have no fear!  🙂  (By the way, welcome to the forum!)

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    @bluesqueakpip  @nick   @purofilion

    I myself would be more inclined to guess that Clara had not been created as such, but manipulated into become what she is. So in a sense, the Clara that we know has been created, not physically, but through the experiences that she has been put through.

    That being said, there can be no denying the strong presence of the clock metaphors throughout the Smith era. I had forgotten about the “born behind the clock” business, but it does suggest that Clara ties in with the metaphor in some way.

    @confusedpolarity  I also prefer Clara as a more distant descendent (if she has to be one at all, I’m still not convinced I like that idea on an emotional level).

    By the way, I’d say that Clara in fact has far less trouble “flying the doctor” than the Time Lords did!

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    @bluesqueakpip ‘The Doctor’ is something this baby, this boy, this man became, a promise he made and kept. The Day of The Doctor is about the day he broke that promise (and how he found the way back, to keep it after all). The Time of The Doctor is the story of how he kept it till his death – though in the end he didn’t die.

    In terms of ‘story’, for children, it’s a story about someone who made and kept a promise – then broke it, then picked himself up and made it again and tried to keep it again. And by doing that, he became one of the greatest heroes in the universe.

    But he wasn’t born ‘special’, he became special. Whatever his name was, who he is is ‘The Doctor’.

    This is really lovely, such a great metaphor for how we all struggle to be the best that we can.


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    @whisht     I’m so sorry you have a cold. Drink tea. Lots of tea. Lemon is nice (but I will go for lemon at any excuse!). Thanks, @purofilion, I am almost completely better now. Still a mezzo rather than the soprano I was born, but no longer an alto!

    I listened to both of those versions, and for some reason I thought that the other one was the “original”, but not sure if it was adapted at all during the early years? I don’t remember those early episodes as well as later ones. In any case, I will have to listen to them both again and compare them.

    I used the word “synthesizer” without even thinking, but in 1963 it wouldn’t have been what we think of today when we hear that word. I don’t think modern synthesizers were readily available yet. But it was a trend in mid-century classical composition for composers to use tape in different ways, to artificially alter, process, or loop recorded sound. They used various tools such as oscillators, and techniques such as speeding and slowing of tape, and playing tape backward, and so on. It was called “musique concrète”, and it was a very big deal in the fifties. It was hugely influential in later German pop music, which went on to influence disco. (Now there would be a term paper title: From Karl Stockhausen to Donner Summer!) ‘Scuse the lecture, but I can go on and on about these connections between different genres of music. I love this stuff!

    I didn’t know anything about Derbyshire beyond her BBC connection, but I have now read that she majored in medieval and modern music history (my field, medieval not modern!) and worked extensively in musique concrète and electronic music throughout the sixties. Fascinating as you say that she created that theme from that piece of sheet music. Clearly much more gifted than she was given credit for!

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    And @purofilion, not stupid at all. I listened to that music twice, tapping the table like a metronome to make sure that I was right about the bass line being steady. It’s a very “timey-wimey” piece of music!  😀

    Off to bed now, woozily full of cheese and and a very nice British Columbian merlot. Sweet dreams!

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    For @purofilion, our Canadian space superhero, Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station:

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    @AplaceOfEndlessWonder     I should also have said that some easy places to start are Doctor Who Memories, where you can tell us about your history with the show, The Faces of the Doctor, where you can talk about who are your favourite doctors and why, or The Next Doctor, for your thoughts and hopes about what might be next for the show.

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    It’s all here to be read! Different threads, different topics. Choose a forum or a blog, read the recent comments, and join in. No ideas are too bonkers!

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    @whisht @cedarbranchtardis @purofilion

    That sheet music is definitely someone’s piano arrangement of the theme, not exactly what was played. I found this link with the actual theme, because I knew that I had a lot of versions bouncing around in my memory.

    To me it sounds more like the rubato in a Chopin piano piece, where the accompaniment stays steady and the right hand part speeds up and slows down. To my ear, the bass part is quite steady and rhythmic, and the synth part on top comes in slightly ahead of the beat a lot of the time. I’m not sure if that is the actual performance or a function of the sound of the synthesizer, not having a clear “attack” point at the beginning of notes. But it is very cool!


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    @bluesqueakpip   You could be right, she has certainly been set up that way. It could also be only certain things that have been forgotten. Doctor Tennant forgot what kind of person he was, Doctor Smith forgot what he liked to eat. Who knows what Doctor Capaldi has forgotten!

    @whisht @cedarbranchtardis @purofilion

    I wrote a little about the theme music over on the Music Thread!

    @AplaceOfEndlessWonder   Welcome! I like your user name.  🙂

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    @bluesqueakpip  @whisht

    I have fond memories of the Fifth Doctor walking around Castrovalva shortly after regenerating, telling people, “I’m looking for the Doctor.” He knew he needed to find the Doctor, but not who he was or why he needed to find him! Sadly, it only lasted until he’d had a good rest, which I guess was just as well. It might have become awkward once he ran into any of his old enemies. Daleks: “The Dok-tor!” Doctor: “Oh, you’re looking for him as well?”

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    @whisht  @scaryb    Ha!  😆

    Well done on the Kinks link, I have a fondness for that song. Now you will laugh, because of the song that I had in mind to post last week (before I was sidelined by a completely uncalled for cold). For some reason, I have always associated this with David Tennant’s doctor, probably because he always seemed so melancholy toward the end of his incarnation, and I always wanted to sing this to him.


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    @barnable     Nicely complex theorizing. I had to re-read a couple of times as the brain is only just back online after a week’s worth of nasty cold. I’m not sure it entirely works for me, but a great place for people to bounce new ideas from!

    I like @fatmaninabox‘s suggestion that the sentient part of the Moment might exist separately from the physical part, and only show up when someone is preparing to use it. Ditto @purofilion’s idea of the Moment being created from Time Vortex “material”, especially since we don’t really know in what way the Moment would carry out its destruction.

    @bluesqueakpip   I think that the Papal Mainframe would have made their deduction before the doctor got there. Therefore, the seal wouldn’t have come into it at that point. @scaryb and @blenkinsopthebrave have made the point before me, that the Doctor uses it as a translation tool. But like Tasha and Co., he has already deduced that the source of the message is the Time Lords.

    @blenkinsopthebrave   Having just spent a couple of hours in on a foggy, two-degree soccer field, the mulled wine sounds very tempting! It’s a little early for it here, but I believe that there is wine and cheese in my future.   🙂

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    Lots of excellent suggestions here for the role of the Master! I agree with @fatmaninabox that Simm’s Master worked for me in the “character” moments with Tennant, when we got to see the tragedy rather than just the insanity. I also liked him in his very last scene, when he was furious with the time lords and showed it, and made the choice of taking them down and saving the Doctor.

    I would just love to see a Doctor/Master relationship with a little more of that balance: mutual respect, even affection, and amorality rather than pure evil, to keep the relationship believable.

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    @nick  Well, I think that the cracks are probably the same cracks. They just don’t crack all the way through now, having been superglued back together. But they are the places that could crack again, given the right circumstances. Like fixing a broken teacup.

    But now that brings up another thought: if they were the places where the universe was leaking, and are now mended, what will happen if they break again, if the time lords come through?


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    @blenkinsopthebrave   I absolutely agree that the time lords would not have been moved by Clara’s speech. That’s why I feel so uneasy about the fact that the storyline seems to suggest it. I think they would either have done it because they wanted to, or because they needed to, but not because Clara persuaded them to.

    Here’s a thought: What if a group of rebels got together to share regeneration energy with the Doctor, without the knowledge of the High Council? This could tie in to the ideas people had about potential civil unrest on Gallifrey.

    And yes… I myself have resolved to try to be more fictional in 2014. I can see the potential now… “Mom, can I have some food?” “Can’t help you, Son, I’m only fictional.”


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    I never saw the McGann movie at all when it first came out. I assumed it would be awful. I did see it later, and enjoyed McGann and McCoy but didn’t care for much else about it. I revisited it after being introduced to the Eighth Doctor on audio, and was fascinated at how similar and yet how different the characterizations were. I read somewhere that the filmmakers had had him pitch his voice slightly higher, and keep his portrayal a bit frothier, perhaps in keeping with the costume. When he revisited the character for audio, he gave it a bit more gravitas, and it worked really well.

    I loved the film’s portrayal of the Seventh Doctor. He seemed at peace with himself, as though he had come through fire and blood and machination, and now he just wanted a quiet life in his new-look console room, with his comfy chair, books, music, and tea!


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    Even more possible, it seems to me, is that the Master could sneak through somehow. If the time lords had their choice of anyone to send, I’m not sure why they would choose the Master, as he would be highly untrustworthy. Can’t you just see him, having been sent through to help the Doctor restore Gallifrey, saying, “To heck with Gallifrey! They can stay on the other side of that crack. It’s much more fun over here without them!”  🙂

    I’m with you, though, in hoping for his return, possibly in a slightly quieter, wittier relationship with the Doctor!

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    @nick @purofilion @barnable @blenkinsopthebrave @bluesqueakpip

    I’m sure that @bluesqueakpip is right that the time lords didn’t know until Clara’s return that the Doctor had used up his regenerations. However, they did have some time between that conversation and when they actually got the job done. Viewing it from a storytelling perspective, Clara asks the time lords to help and then they do. So this implies that they helped because she asked. It’s possible that the timing was simply coincidence, but this isn’t what is suggested by the writing. So I guess I will be hoping to learn what it was in Clara’s words that elicited the help.

    @blenkinsopthebrave     and decide to award him the regenerations when it suits them–that is, after he has spent 300 years defending the town of Christmas, and before he dies.     I guess they’re just lucky he wasn’t instantly killed at some point in those 300 years, in some scrimmage against a Cyberman!  🙂

    @nick     The question is can they come though the cracks unaided or not. TotD implies (but doesn’t state) they can’t, but…     This is a point that has bothered me. It is indeed implied that the time lords could return without the Doctor’s help. And yet, it took him so much effort and impossible time-line-crossing to send Gallifrey to the pocket universe, that it would be nice if it wasn’t too easy for the time lords to bring it back. I know that there could be lots of possible explanations for the fact that they could do it, it’s just that it isn’t very satisfying.

    @purofilion   I guess it depends on how we think the cracks actually work. It’s tempting to think of them as doorways, but I don’t think that’s how they were originally depicted. Earlier, they seemed to be more like voids. People who went through were just gone, had never existed, unlike when Rose & Co. went to Pete’s World, but everyone from our universe could still remember them. I would guess that the reason that the piece of TARDIS still existed to be pulled out was that it was the centre of the explosion. It caused the cracks.


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    @nick     We may still get some pay-off in season 8 and beyond, which may deliver missing back story (Tasha Lem) or explain the TimeLords perspective of all this, in fact Moffat is clever (I think) at introducing these ideas and leaving them open for later reinterpretation and explanation. That strength is also his great weakness as well in my opinion.

    Good point about the perspective of the time lords, there may well be more to come there when we meet them again. You’re also right about Moffat’s inconclusiveness being both a strength and a weakness: great when it keeps the viewer interested and postpones some of the payoff, but annoying when threads are left dangling for too long!

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    @nick, @bluesqueakpip     But I have to ask myself, is Clara asking nicely absolutely the best idea that the production team could come up with to resolve the end of the Doctors regeneration cycle and the beginning of a new one ? … But, and this is a big but, as an idea in of itself, is it sufficient to deliver the punch line for an entire era ?

    Forgive me for lifting this bit out of your dialogue and moving it over here, but I think that Nick is right and it is a slightly different topic from the rest of the discussion. And I think it’s a good question. The time lords have been sitting there for a long, long time, the Doctor on one side of that crack and Gallifrey on the other. Did it not occur to them before Clara spoke that they ought to help the Doctor? Surely, if they understood enough of what was going on to open and close cracks, and send that regeneration energy to the Doctor at just the right time, they must have known for awhile that this was indeed the real Doctor, but that it wasn’t “safe” for them to return. For that matter, they obviously realized that he needed regeneration energy, and they could only have known this by observing the Doctor through the crack all this time.

    Does the “Clara asking nicely” ending exist because it was the best solution to the problem, or because the writers wanted Clara to be part of the solution? If the time lords were always intending to help, why have Clara ask? If they weren’t, why not? And why would Clara’s asking be enough to change their minds? I have no problem accepting that it went that way, for the sake of a story that I really quite enjoyed, but from a storytelling perspective, it does seem a bit weak. I wonder if there could or should have been some other motivation to propel the time lords to action. I don’t seem to be able to come up with a better resolution myself, though, so I can’t be too hard on theirs.  🙂



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