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    Arbutus @replies

    @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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    Oh my goodness, thank you for this. I listened to some of the concert link as well as your original “Amy” song; just gorgeous. Like @nicelyuseless, I didn’t know the artist at all, but I won’t forget him again.

    Talking about music for companions sent me off on another thought. I thought of this song in connection with the Doctor’s final parting from Amy and Rory. On reflection, I realized that it also reminded me of the scene in The Wedding of River Song, when news of the Brigadier’s death reaches the Doctor. One or both of these events made him realize that, while he can move around in other people’s time lines, he can’t really turn the clock back, or bring them back once they are gone. As River says, you wouldn’t want to rewrite time, because of the shared history that is lost. It must have been a terrible realization for the “invincible” time traveler who boasted to Dorium, that time had “never laid a glove” on him. Does anyone else remember this lovely, bittersweet song from long, long ago?

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    You’re right that this is a better place for chatting about different doctors, so I have replied over here. Seven was probably my second favourite of the BG doctors (although it depends on what I’ve been watching!). I love how he would clown his way into situations and then simply take command. As with the Fourth Doctor, he could be be rather scary when he wanted to be, and yet he was often very sweet and kindly. I have always felt that it was with this incarnation that, occasionally, the Doctor had begun to feel his age, as he had a sort of wistful sadness about him sometimes.


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    @confusedpolarity     In earlier eras, would the Doctor have been so affected by their loss?

    I think that both of your answers are of course correct. In the real world, audiences today do want lots of emotion. This is why we now see all kinds of back story and personal life for the companions, which never happened BG. And it’s why the Doctor seems so angst-ridden at times. And of course, in-universe, the Doctor was changed by the events of the Time War. Although I never loved the writing that had the Tenth Doctor in mourning for Rose long after she had gone, and oddly, find it hard to imagine the Ninth Doctor responding in this way. He, I think, would have been more inclined to move on.

    I had more sympathy for the Doctor’s reaction after what happened to Donna. Since her fate was arguably the sadder one, it seemed reasonable that he would respond by declining to seek out a new companion, after what association with him had done to Donna!

    In the case of Amy, it seems harder to explain, since there was nothing intrinsically horrific in her fate (of course, that whole plot point didn’t really make sense to me, as I could never come up with a good reason for him not to go back to some point in time and find her. At least, not a reason that I found convincing. Some people have suggested that the events of the Night and the Doctor minisode took place sometime between this and The Snowmen, and so he had also seen the last of River. This would make a little more sense to me as the cause of his unhappiness.

    Wouldn’t it be fun if, when the next companion goes, the Doctor makes much less fuss about it? It’s hard to imagine Capaldi’s doctor being quite as emotional as his two predecessors.

    And as the only woman in my circle who screamed in protest when I saw David Tennant because “the Doctor’s not meant to be good-looking!” I’m certainly not cheering the arrival of Capaldi because I personally find him easier on the eye than Matt; I’m just thrilled to see a brilliant actor taking on the role.

    Arguably, the doctor has been good looking in the past! Looks aside, I’m happy that the next doctor will move up a bit on the age scale, as it will silence those who feel that it is necessary for the doctor to be younger to appeal to the twenty-something audience. Agreed that Capaldi will be as brilliant as the Doctor as he has been elsewhere.


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    @monochromedimension     But I do like to make clear I like all the Doctors.

    Yes, I know what you mean. I too can find something to love in every doctor. Every single incarnation always had a few of the doctor’s essential characteristics, which I believe are these: a strong morality, an appreciation of beauty and simple pleasures, natural courtesy, both a sense of humour and a sense of gravitas, endless energy, and at his heart, a non-human point of view.

    Tom Baker is my favourite,and I feel that he encapsulates a lot of these elements. He is definitely alien: he behaves in unexpected ways, and clearly has an otherworldly world-view! He has a quirky humour, and a courteous manner, and can shift from light-hearted to very very serious in an instant. He has that energy and dynamism that is typical of the doctor, as well as respect for essentially simple things, like tea. And he always felt to me as though underneath the clowning, he was actually quite dangerous.

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    @scaryb    Like @confusedpolarity, I definitely found Matt Smith too young to “crush” on, but for myself, I don’t need to find the doctor attractive in that way, and I loved his quirky alien approach to the part. I am, however, delighted that the doctor will once again be older than I am, although only just!  🙂

    Regarding the prospect of a less “charming” characterization, I think that there is so much good will toward Capaldi in the part that they can probably make him as unsympathetic as they wish, and people will still like him!


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    @confusedpolarity  While for the most part, I had no problem with the silliness, I love this sentence:  He was more Approaching Light Shower than Oncoming Storm.

    Fully agree with your second point regarding alien rudeness (“brusqueness” is a good word as well). The ninth was also good at that, although due to the way his relationship with Rose was written, he rarely treated her that way. Actually, I think that the reason we haven’t seen as much of that in the AG series is not so much the “sweetness” of the doctors, as the dynamic that was written into their relationships with some of the companions. For example, the Tenth had no problem lobbing the occasional insult Donna’s way (and vice versa), and Eleven was often quite unkind to Rory. And I agree, I prefer that over the “sweetness and light” approach.

    Your last point is an interesting one, and I’m not sure what I think. As @scaryb, says, there have been deaths in the new series (I would point out Astrid in Voyage of the Damned as another one), and they do have an impact. The “not dead but gone forever” approach works for me as well, except when they subvert it by bringing the characters back, as with Rose. I sincerely hope they don’t make that mistake with River; it was having her back for a proper farewell with Eleven worked well, but I’m not sure she should be coming back again. It was great that when Amy and Rory left, they really left.

    Or do you mean companions? The Big Finish audios tend to drop companions a lot more than we have ever seen on TV, and I’m not altogether sure how much I like it. More realistic, certainly, but I don’t know about better. And in any case, I don’t know how dark they can let it get in a family t.v. show.


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    @blenkinsopthebrave     Ha, good point. Your comedy definitely beats our tragedy.  🙂

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    Forgot to add, I have always said that it takes a tragedy of mammoth proportions to get Canada into the American news!

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    I can’t believe this story made Gawker, you wouldn’t think they would be that concerned about the Canadian wine supply.  🙂  This happened just a couple of hours east of here, but apparently heading away from town, so I’m not anticipating any runs on the local liquor stores. They may however be panicking in Kamloops around now.

    @blenkinsopthebrave is clearly a wise man who knows better than to let the levels get too low in the cellar.

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    @brewski     A classic Pair o’ Docs.       Can I be president of your fan club?   🙂

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    Welcome! As I understand it, Rose absorbed the energy of the time vortex, which the Doctor removed from her before it could destroy her; in the act of saving her, he killed himself and was forced to regenerate. Donna, on the other hand, actually became part time lord due to the metacrisis, and it was the knowledge/understanding intrinsic to a time lord that was destroying her. The Doctor could only remove this by removing all of her memories of everything to do with him and their travels. Even so, it doesn’t seem that he was able to do more than mask the knowledge; he couldn’t actually remove it from her, only hide it. Anything that brought back the memories of her travels in time and space would uncover it.

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    Well, this is the kind of bonkers theorizing that I like to see. As Devil’s Advocate, however, think on this:  Surely if Tasha Lem is guarding the crack that leads to E-space, it is to prevent Adric from coming through?  I was never particularly anti-Adric myself, but I understand that he is largely loathed. If E-space is indeed on the other side of the crack, Fandom itself could perhaps have created Tasha, to keep Adric there. It would then follow that that Tasha Lem argues with the Doctor, therefore she must be Tegan.

    But my favourite, and the most irrefutable, is point 2, that “we can view Tasha as simultaneously being and not-being Adric.” Seriously, I actually love the notion that fictional characters are bound by literary rules. Personally, I believe that if we all followed the rules of conflict, interest, and irony in our own lives, it would be a more interesting world.

    @purofilion     Can I buy you an iced latte?  🙂


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    Moral fibre is relative. My family members cycle to school/work in the rain all winter, but we don’t like the  temperature to drop more than a couple of degrees below zero. We get called on this all the time by our relatives in colder climates, but then they come to visit and complain about the damp. Ha.

    Cheapness, however, is another thing. I’m shocked, shocked, to find such a thing on this forum!  🙂


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    Not a boy band/male model face, our Eleven.  But a wonderful face.  Used superbly by an imaginative and inspired actor.  Ave atqua vale, Matteaus.

    I love a little Latin!  🙂  Wonderful description of Matt Smith, here. I remember seeing the photos of him after he was cast, and thinking, “That is just the oddest looking man.” But you have to see him in action to appreciate him. Warmth animates him when he speaks, and his eyes and smile are so enigmatic. When that regeneration energy started shooting out of him, it almost felt like the uncontainable “doctor energy” that always fizzled around his edges and leaked out of him with every movement.

    And yes, a beautiful poetic description of the doctor’s “still moment”.


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    Hi, @craig.  Thanks for the look in on my PM issue. Hope you’re feeling better!


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    Okay, problem sorted. Apparently I was doing it wrong (no big surprise there). Thanks for the help, @fatmaninabox.  (bows head respectfully)

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    Help! For some reason I am unable to send private messages. I get an error message every time I try. I have tried it with two different recipients and neither worked. Can any of our esteemed Time Lords advise me? Many thanks!

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    @barnable   Indeed, I would have liked to have accompanied it with an elegant diagram full of lovely, swooping lines, like @bluesqueakpip‘s, but as I don’t know how to make such a thing digitally, or how to include it in a post, I had to go with the written-only approach. Much harder to follow! I like a good visual argument, myself.

    I think that there does have to be paradox, which I don’t mind provided that I can explain it! @bluesqueakpip is probably right in that it would have to be something to do with the Time Lords. Otherwise you would need a Paradox Machine as in the Last of the Time Lords.

    @bluesqueakpip     Regarding the “if you love him” line: as you say, we aren’t under any illusions about the Time Lords; however, clearly there are some people on Gallifrey who do care about the Doctor, over and above their own survival. How much influence they would have is another matter. As has been speculated upthread, it all depends on who is currently in charge!

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    @nicelyuseless     I do love parentheses. (Sorry.)

    Repeat after me: Punctuation is our friend. Use early and often.   🙂

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    Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a lovely holiday.

    I was seeing horrific temps for parts of Canada, especially with windchill factored in.  B-r-r-r-r-r.  Even an Ice Warrior would be frozen without power and central heating.  Hope you’ve been spared ice storms and power lines going down.

    Yes, it has been nasty in much of the country. Here on the west coast, it has been practically tropical by comparison. Apparently, on New Year’s Eve, the lovely city of Winnipeg was colder than Mars. And here is a great science experiment performed in northern Ontario:

    We Canadians do know how to party!  ☺


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    Re: aborted timelines, impossible Clara, GI, etc.
    I posted this a few days ago on @bluesqueakpip‘s Time-Structure blog, my thoughts about Clara and the timelines.

    •    Starting Point: The Doctor destroys Gallifrey, becomes the last Time Lord.
    •    AotD, The Snowmen: The Doctor meets Claricles.
    •    BoSJ: The Doctor looks for and finds Clara.
    •    NotD: The Doctor goes to his tomb on future Trenzalore, Clara enters the tomb and becomes Claricles, the Doctor rescues Clara from the tomb.
    •    DotD: The Doctor and Clara change the past, restore Gallifrey.
    •    TotD: The Doctor returns to Trenzalore where he is destined to die and create the tomb, Clara intervenes with the Time Lords, changing the future, so the Doctor does not die.

    THEREFORE: There will be no tomb on Trenzalore for Clara to enter, and thus no Claricles. The Doctor never seeks or finds Clara. Clara is not present in DotD to prevent the Doctors from destroying Gallifrey. There are no Time Lords to give the Doctor extra regenerations, and the Doctor dies. Thus the future is changed back, and the tomb is created on Trenzalore that the Doctor visits in NotD. And so on.

    This loop assumes that without first having met the Claricles, the Doctor would never have met Clara Prime at all. It is certainly possible to argue that they would have met anyway, but that suggests fate, which is not a tidy or creative answer. I realize that we still don’t know who gave Clara the TARDIS phone number, and there is probably more to come on Clara’s story line. But based on what we know right now, I am assuming that a random person calling the TARDIS with a question about the internet would not have been sufficient to attract the Doctor’s attention.

    I have realized since originally posting this that I left out the fact that, in the Claricle-less scenario, the Doctor would of course die in the Dalek Asylum, and so never get to Trenzalore at all. So still no tomb on Trenzalore. Unless we assume that the Dalek Asylum was one of the places impacted by the GI in the Doctor’s time-stream, which I guess I will for the sake of my timey-wimey double loop theory.

    The catch in all this is that Clara is in the TARDIS when the Doctor regenerates. So obviously, in some manner, she goes forward with the Doctor-who-lives, even though his living suggests that the two of them should never have met. Maybe this is also connected to @scaryb‘s extreme paradoxical temporal activity?

    I fear that we are almost beyond coherent explanations at this point!


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    Welcome, and thanks for a great post to start up the speculation again!

    The Doctor never said that River couldn’t be buried (as you would assume he’d say after the Library), he just said that ‘they’ would never bury his wife there. Does this imply that there is a way to get her out of the Library and back to a body again, in order for her life to continue?

    Not really a wiser mind, but because I tend to the straightforward rather than bonkers viewpoint, as a rule, I agree with @fatmaninabox that the Doctor was talking about River’s actual body, the one that died in the Library.

    Good point about River and the cot.

    @geoffers   I agree that the Doctor would not have told Amy and Rory about River’s fate. Also, I’m not sure that the universe at large knows about River’s relationship to Amy and Rory. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Tasha Lem had set up the pseudo grave to mark the way into the Doctor’s tomb, because she apparently knew the Doctor well, and seems to have had quite a lot of knowledge about him. Could River in the library have communicated somehow with Tasha, or vice versa? Mainframe to mainframe?

    (but, then, i’d also love to see mcgann in an episode or two of the new series. but that’s not quite as likely to happen.)    I’m with you on that, I would die happy if I could see the Eighth Doctor in just one full episode!

    I’m not convinced that the Doctor remembered the Caretaker or was ever aware of the Capaldi doctor. But I do agree that he might have had a plan. He knew that the Time Lords were there beyond the crack, and must have hoped that they would help in some way (not necessarily by regeneration). But he told that young man that he had a plan, and he was inside a Truth Field at the time! Perhaps more of a hope than a plan, as he says himself immediately afterward.

    @purplecup    Definitely agree about the burning of the Tesalecta at Lake Silencio, versus the battlefield grave on Trenzalore.


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    Welcome, @blackthorn!

    While I also didn’t care for Tennant’s long-drawn-out regeneration, I felt that this one did hit the right note (for me, anyway). I like a bit of closure, just don’t overdo it! As to the eccentric families, I’m afraid that we are probably stuck with those, as the trend in AG Who is definitely toward a full family life for the companions. Myself, I don’t mind it, but I prefer it when they stay more in the background. Donna’s family worked well in that respect, we saw them once in a while only. Although, I don’t see that Clara’s family seemed all that eccentric, fairly normal I’d say! I thought that they did the worst job with Martha’s family, as they failed to paint them as likeable in anyway, and we saw way too much of Martha’s mother for me. Ah well, those days are gone.  🙂

    As for the bow tie, I’m guessing that you will get your wish there! (Although I liked it, myself.)

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    @phaseshift  @bluesqueakpip   Yes, I had also thought that some kind of civil dispute on Gallifrey would seem to be the result of what we have been shown. I agree that it might not have lasted long, because most of the Time Lords do not seem to have been as megalomaniacal as the High Council. I hadn’t really thought about it having all happened already, but that does make a lot of sense. Although I still like the idea of the Doctor being involved in the rebellion!

    I’m intrigued by the thought of how the Master might fit into it all. In fact, I’m hopeful that when the Master is inevitably brought back into play, we find that the events of TEoT have left their mark, leading to a more nuanced character, a little more grey in the black. Maybe less of the crazed, vengeful lunatic who hates the Doctor? I’d love to see him as a sometime ally of the Doctor, but a not-completely-trustworthy one, who will tend to put his own best interest first.

    @juniperfish   when the Doctor rebooted the universe the cracks disappeared. The fact that one still, paradoxically, exists at Trenzalore suggests a place where the walls between ‘verses in the multiverse are especially thin.     Good point, this!


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    All the best to everyone for 2014! I hope that the first day of the New Year isn’t too hazy for anyone.  🙂

    @nicelyuseless   Based on what goes on around our house, I’d say that the cats already rule most of the universe!

    @Monochrome Dimension     Welcome! I love your user name. I also have high hopes for Capaldi. Although, like you, I have enjoyed all the doctors, and I particularly thought that Matt Smith was brilliant, I am pleased to once again see a Doctor who is older than I am.  🙂


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    @deadmeat3171  @bluesqueakpip

    I wouldn’t think that Ten’s regeneration into himself would have been widely known, so it would be fair to assume that most people/enemies who knew about the 12-regen limit at all, much less had been keeping track, would still believe him to have at least one left.
    I wonder if, in the Doctor’s brief moment of awareness with his future self, he had time even to process the fact that it meant that, somehow, he would get more regenerations. He certainly seemed more caught up by the survival of Gallifrey than anything else at that moment. I don’t think he was thinking of Trenzalore at all. In any event, as you say, he would immediately forget that conversation once his time-stream separated from Future-Baker-Doctor’s.

    I don’t think that most of the enemies knew anything about it. The Daleks clearly did, but only at the end, after they had accessed knowledge of the Doctor from Tasha Lem. Before that, of course, none of the enemies would remember anything about the Doctor and his many faces, because he had erased himself from history.

    Perhaps the answer the Time Lords were waiting to hear was “The Doctor”. See @juniperfish‘s post above:



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    @tennantmarsters2013 @bluesqueakpip

    I love the idea of the rehabilitation of Gallifrey being the Doctor’s actual challenge, rather than just finding it and/or bringing it back. It will be a new approach to Gallifrey story lines, which I think would be needed in light of earlier discussions about the Time Lords and their history. And it could potentially be present as a thread in the background of any story dealing with the Time Lords, without always being front and centre in the plot.

    To cross once more a Sea of Stars,
    And sail the Tides of Time.

    Those lines are perfectly beautiful.


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    @whisht      Neil Young performed that song solo at the Closing Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics; as he finished, the cauldron was extinguished. Not being any kind of big Olympics booster, my tears definitely surprised me. The power of music, certainly.

    Lovely, lovely George Harrison song. When I was young(er), Lennon was my favourite Beatle. While I still love Lennon’s music, my admiration for Harrison has grown over the years. With the passing of time, I have come to appreciate gentleness and joy at least as much as irony and wit.


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    Hi, @nicelyuseless. I see that the cat is regenerating, how many lives is it now? Your story is remarkably similar to mine, in that I also started watching the Fourth Doctor in repeats, all unknowing of the fate that he had already met! I was baffled and annoyed by that regeneration, and it took me awhile to warm up to the Fifth Doctor as a result.

    Don’t worry about the parentheses, they are good. I myself love semi-colons, and to paraphrase the Eleventh Doctor, I use them and I don’t care. That’s why they are cool.  🙂


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    Welcome, @densire. I was going to say, like @scaryb, that the collective of this forum is definitely the expert, so bring your ideas to the hive mind and make it stronger! I also have enjoyed the Eighth Doctor on audio. Do you have any particular favourites? And what about the TV show itself, any favourite doctors, episodes, or companions?


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    @juniperfish @timeloop

    Brilliant parallel between the writing on this forum and literary criticism. In any kind of mythology, a writer doesn’t have to even try to create layers of meaning. Readers can find them all by themselves! As we do here with Doctor Who. Good writers, well-read themselves, call upon pre-existing tropes and ideas without necessarily setting out to do so. Although any hidden references, connections, or meanings that we can find add loads of extra value, they were not necessarily put there intentionally by the writer. (I have had some English profs who could have used a reminder of this point! I received persistent and irritating B’s for analyses where I refused to agree about the author’s “intent”.)

    Of course, some things are intentional. But I’m not sure that that changes their impact or validity.


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    You’re right about the slower pace, it did give it a bit of BG feel. I liked that, although I could still have done with a few more minutes so that a bit of the shoelace-tying could have been a little less frantic. Great notion that the angels only send you into the past if they can see you! A nice tidy explanation for the problematic persistence of Clara in the present.  🙂

    Although The End of Time had lots of moments that I loved, I also found myself feeling manipulated at times. TotD was, as you say, more subtle, and actually more moving for me. I agree that the Doctor’s goodbye to Clara, when he thought he was going off to die, was terrifically sad, and the bow tie drop was so beautifully symbolic. I actually felt that I couldn’t bear to see him go! Also, Matt Smith has the most wonderfully wistful smile, and he used it here to huge effect, as he moved on with both sorrow and joy.

    No enemy could ever fire that shot, no fall from a tower would have felt as anything other than a convenient device.  Yes definitely to this!


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    @whisht    Matt Smith actually says, at one point, “a whole new regeneration cycle”. So he certainly thinks that’s what he’s been given. I guess time will tell if he is right.  🙂

    Loving the definition of “Tasha Lem”!

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    @juniperfish @scaryb
    I like the idea that the Doctor’s centuries of commitment to the people of Trenzalore allow him to “grow up”, something which the War Doctor noted that he definitely was not when the three doctors met in DotD. If the Doctor had not come to terms with his history, redeemed his past self and rescued Gallifrey, he would have arrived on Trenzalore as a much different person.

    We know that in the alternate timeline, he died on Trenzalore as an old man, but we don’t know how he got to that point. Perhaps he didn’t stay, but came and went as he has done before, running towards and away from things, including his own death. And died in the end, ultimately, because he had not created a new future for the Time Lords, and so they were not behind the crack to create a new future for him.
    But DotD happened, Gallifrey was saved, and “the man who forgets” became “the man who stayed for Christmas”. I expect (hope) that we will see this growth reflected in the Capaldi doctor to come.


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    @bluesqueakpip   @nicelyuseless   @scaryb   @phaseshift

    On Doctor numbering: In my mind, the numbers of the doctors, like names, have become so intrinsically linked to their faces and personalities that I doubt I could separate them now. When I think “Ninth Doctor”, I see Eccelston and all his swagger, and “Tenth Doctor” brings up the emotional tone and grandiosity of RTD and David Tennant. To try and change that would cause me endless confusion, and since Moffat and the BBC seem to agree that Eleven is still Eleven (even though we know that he is the thirteenth incarnation), I am quite comfortable with sticking with the familiar numbers, and identifying Hurt as the “War Doctor”.

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    Oops, also meant to say:    @scaryb  Love it, both the song and its DW reference. And @juniperfish, yes indeed, that is brilliant.   🙂


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    Happy birthday, DWF! Here’s a birthday wish for all of you courtesy of Neil Young and his friends (and a wish for the Doctor on the occasion of his regeneration).

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    @besd1     @phaseshift     “It does seem to suggest that the Time Lords (and Doctors) fears about them being frozen in that moment in an alternative Universe were unfounded. Time seems to play out at some pace on the other side.” Or is the question looped over again because the Time Lords are frozen in a discrete slice of time during which they can act (to find the crack, send the message, deliver regeneration energy etc) but cannot escape without an exit route.

    I would guess that they are caught in some kind of time loop, perhaps repeated a brief segment of time over and over, with the possibility of change only when influenced from outside, as when Clara spoke to them through the crack. Perhaps this is why they can’t re-enter our universe without the Doctor? Because they are frozen in the time loop except when an outside force intervenes.

    @besd1 @rob     I’ll admit that I had given no thought to the term “Papal Mainframe”. How is it a mainframe? It’s hard to believe that this has no meaning beyond being a clever name for a space church.

    @bluesqueakpip     Tasha Lem – I think she’s the ’cause’ to River’s ‘effect’. The Doctor clearly flirts like mad with her whenever they meet; he’s visibly attracted. So, when the Kovarian Chapter run off and try and create a bespoke psychopath, they turn River into a copy of the woman the Doctor has the hots for.

    Wow. This is the most convincing explanation for the apparent similarities between Tasha and River that I have read.


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    You say that “the 50th was supposed to be about the time war” and “it was supposed to be at least 15-20min of daleks with their plan against the multi doctors and their plan , a little bit of fighting ,explosions, and some interesting evil villans plan ,and then the doctors find a solution of the problem in somekind of mindblowing scenario”. I’m not sure where you got this idea from, but I don’t think that the 50th was supposed to be about anything. Of course, we all hoped for things; most of us saw some, most, or all of our hopes fulfilled. But surely we can’t blame Moffat if his ideas were not the same as ours.

    Regarding Trenzalore, you say that “this was the doctors grave,or a crazy time loop of somekind ,or somekind of a crazy timey wimey thing ,the souls of all doctors in one place,or…in the end of the story  trenzelore dissapeared in the beggining of the 50th?? and then appeared at cristmas as a town or a planet??” This is not supported by the in-story evidence. Trenzalore was always a planet, a place that contained the Doctor’s grave. His grave was the TARDIS, which contained his entire timeline. The town of Christmas was a town on the planet Trenzalore, where, presumably, in the alternative future before the Doctor(s) restored Gallifrey, the Doctor, as an old man, died at the Battle of Trenzalore in a small skirmish. In this timeline, he didn’t die, and the TARDIS did not become his tomb.

    Regarding River Song: in my view, her story has been resolved. I saw her goodbye to the Doctor in NotD as a final farewell. Perhaps, like a ghost whose soul was tied to earth by those who mourned it, she couldn’t rest until the Doctor released her memory with a proper goodbye. If there is any possibility of a connection to Clara, that is part of Clara’s story now, and could be revealed at any time in the future.

    When it came to the plot points surrounding the Hurt Doctor and the regeneration limit, I have to admit to having no problem with either. While I enjoyed the various clever alternatives that people came up with for the identity of the Hurt Doctor, they never really convinced me. I always assumed that he would be the Time War doctor, because in this case, the simplest solution seemed the most likely. And while it is true that Moffat could have resolved the regeneration issue in any number of ways, I’m not sure that another solution would have been any better than the one we got.

    FInally, regarding your earlier comments that some of the theories expressed on the forum being too complicated, unlikely to have been in Moffat’s mind, and unlikely to have occurred to most fans. I would point out in response that this is not a typical fan forum. Here, people perform speculative analysis: that is, they craft thoughtful, creative essays in which they look for deeper or hidden themes and connections in the story lines and arcs. They don’t necessarily assume that Moffat or any other writer deliberately put those themes in place, or knowingly made those connections. However, it gives them pleasure to look for these ideas and share them with others. If this kind of writing doesn’t interest you, if your only version of “truth” is the surface story that the writers told and that the casual viewer saw, then this is probably not the forum for you. There is nothing wrong with that approach; it is just not the approach that is largely taken here.


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    Really, guys, I was only away for three days. Whilst I was communing with my sister arbutus trees during the day, and enjoying lots of lovely pinot noir in the evening, you all were going crazy on here. I expect that it will take me until 2014 to get caught up.  🙂

    @phaseshift     The Doctor had previously stated in the Doctor 10 Cybermen two parter that when the Time Lords were around hoping between Universes was no problem. Once the crack is there, they have a measure of control over it.  – or –  The other is to say that the overwriting of timelines has consequences, a rebound effect of Time lines reconciling that Doctor 11 has been living through. The Silence have travelled back from what we’ve just witnessed to a point in the Timelines where the change in state of the Time Lords is not in effect. Through those cracks to other places, there is just “Silence”. Nobody is on the other side because Gallifrey burned. That’s a more dynamic view of the Whoniverse, with states in flux, which I think I’m drawn to more.


    I agree that the second view is a more elegant and interesting one. I would rather that the solution lie in the nature of the cracks themselves than in the Time Lord’s ability to control them. I’m trying to remember whether the cracks came and went in any of the other stories in which they appeared. I will have to do some rewatching.

    @phaseshift @cathannabel
    Good point about the connection between the Weeping Angels and the topiary animals in The Shining. I haven’t read that book in years, but used to read a lot of Stephen King, and always found that story to be much more human tragedy than horror (but also really, really scary!)

    @jimthefish         I can also share @juniperfish‘s misgivings about Clara/Doc schtick as well but I have to say it didn’t really bug me too terribly.     I third this. I felt less concern about this little “reveal” because, apart from the fact of imminent regeneration changing the game, this attraction was clearly something that Clara had not intended revealing. I would like to think that, unlike Rose and Martha, she was able to see the Doctor very clearly for the alien that he was, and that anything deeper than friendship was quite impractical.



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    @bluesqueakpip      The Eleventh also appears to have completely forgotten his chat with The Curator and their discussion about Gallifrey surviving. That fits with ‘The Curator’ being another future incarnation of The Doctor; the Smith Doctor – being an earlier incarnation – can’t retain the memory of that conversation, not if the timeline is still being changed.

    I hadn’t thought about this at all, very good point!

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    Well, how about this? The Doctor didn’t recruit all of his former selves, only the first one. When they used the sonic screwdriver to break down the door, only the Hurt Doctor (the earliest) put the data into the sonic. The others retrieved the data later. It was the same for the calculations needed to hide Gallifrey; the Hartnell Doctor started the calculations, and later doctors continued them.

    The future Capaldi Doctor could have been drawn into the proceedings for some reason of which I’m not sure, but not specifically by the Smith Doctor himself. Perhaps it had something to do with the presence of the Time Lords, who in the future would give the Doctor the regeneration cycle he needed to make this next doctor a reality? Or, or, or, perhaps, it had to do with the expectation or need for thirteen doctors, but there were unexpectedly only twelve because that rogue the Tennant Doctor used two regenerations on one face? So a future doctor was pulled in to make up thirteen. Smith Doctor probably didn’t even notice his presence, it was the Time Lords doing the counting.

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    @bluesqueakpip    Yes, I think that @purofilion called that as well. I recognized the music but didn’t identify it. @rmifaabsbb, I guess that in eight months or so, we will find out whether the Doctor really has changed from “the one who forgets”, or whether this was only wishful thinking on his part.    🙂

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    @purofilion     In this fairy tale he was much ‘smaller’ but all the more ‘bigger’ for staying in this little town and celebrating every victory with the townspeople. No doubt he’d also attended every birth and wedding -remember how he only came to weddings for the dancing? Now, he’d have no excuse to miss any of it!

    Okay, I’ve been trying not to go here, because I know that most people on this forum have not listened to much or any Big Finish, but I can no longer help it! There was an Eight Doctor Adventure story in which the Doctor spent six hundred years stranded on a watery planet without the TARDIS. He was adopted by the society of advanced jelly fish that lived there (as you can see, this was a story with a much more humorous tone!) as a sort of Wise Man. He advised them, defended them against their enemies, and spent his spare time trying to build weather forecasting technology with inadequate parts. He definitely attended the celebrations and so on. When his companion Lucie finally arrived to rescue him, he didn’t recognize her, and could barely remember the times he had spent on Earth.

    I remember being struck by this vision of the Doctor brought down to earth, as it were; still with his noble instincts and problem-solving mind, but only small issues of life to turn his attention to. There was also a story in which the Doctor was imprisoned in a planetary system and forced to work in a small computer room to keep a sun from exploding. He stayed for six years, although he could have escaped, because if he left, then a planet full of people would be destroyed. The conceit here was that the only way to imprison the Doctor was through his own conscience. We know that Moffat is familiar with the Big Finish stories, and I’m sure he must have been familiar with these stories, particularly the first one.

    It was a particularly noble instinct of the Doctor’s, when we might have expected him to want to make the most of his last incarnation, to give up all those hundreds of years to help the people of Christmas. Perhaps a shift back to the type of Doctor he had been before the Time War created the Lonely God?


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    I will admit that I had assumed in favour of the loopiness. Previous incarnations have often been quite confused for awhile (Five and Eight suffering full-on amnesia for awhile), so I don’t think I even thought twice about this one. The Master was apparently given a new regeneration cycle during the Time War, and, other than when he was chameleon arched, he seems to have no trouble remembering his past.

    Admittedly, I’m arguing for what I want to see… while I certainly have no desire to see continual self-referencing in the show, I think I would hate to see the Doctor completely forget his past: all the friends he has had, all the people to whom he has made a difference.

    Interesting idea about the memory backup; you are right that it shouldn’t be too easy to acquire extra regeneration energy. this could make a good plot point for an opening story. How the Doctor gets his upload!


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    @bluesqueakpip    What have I missed? Why won’t the Capaldi Doctor remember his previous lives?

    Whether he remembers or not, however, I agree that the Doctor’s exact age is probably not really relevant. I believe that he has made a few remarks now suggesting that he no longer pays attention to the matter.

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    @miapatrick     To me there was a particular chaos about this Doctor which fits well with this.    Yes, I like this characterization. He had a very explosive personality, didn’t he, lots of spinning around and waving of arms.

    @scatamonky     His future tomb at Trenzalore has now been averted? So Clara never did jump into his timestream but then again, if she didn’t then neither did The Great Intelligence so maybe one cancels the other out?

    Oh, good point. Since it doesn’t make sense to me to assume that the events of The Time of the Doctor have written out the events of The Name of the Doctor, I will have to assume, based on the timeline lessons from The Day of the Doctor, that two separate time streams exist. How else would the Doctor have come to meet Clara in the first place, if he hadn’t already known her as a Claricle?

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    I watched late in the night and wept alone. But I knew that I had this forum to look forward to in the morning!  🙂

    I hope your Christmas was merry, with the sunshine and the shellfish (trying saying that aloud!). I thought of you yesterday, when I opened my son’s Christmas present. It was a cover art poster of the Australian band, The Cat Empire, whom I love. There were music downloads as well, but this was the bit of the present that I unwrapped. It’s quite impressive, and the first pop music poster I have owned in many and many a year!  🙂  Our kids do keep us young!

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    Well, I must admit that I watched the show at about ten past midnight, after my family had gone to bed and the episode had become available for download on iTunes. You get by how you can. (Raises a glass in salute.)

    Welcome, @torij. You will find discussion here all right, some of it will make your head spin!  🙂

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