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    Arbutus @replies

    @scaryb     Time Lords age like everything else, it just takes a bit longer.    I wondered whether the Doctor aged so much in this case because the entire time was spent in real time and space, outside of the TARDIS/time vortex? Previously he lived four hundred years and didn’t age at all.

    But the Doctor and Clara need to have avatars to board the Papal Mainframe.     I thought it was just the clothes that were the avatars?  🙂  The Doctor said he was naked because he was going to church (which I found pretty funny, actually!).

    And presumably it was the change in DotD which zapped Gallifrey out of the known universe, but left at least some of the daleks surviving and untimelocked that meant they could build up their forces for the attack here.     But by the time of Asylum of the Daleks, hadn’t the Dalek Empire pretty much built back up to speed, even before the Time War rewrite?

    Arbutus @replies

    @blenkinsopthebrave     I think a big reason why it wasn’t as appreciated by some, is that, unlike so much that had gone before with Matt’s Doctor, this was a very adult and mature reflection on aging, death and dying, and what it means to lose a loved one.

    Yes. Despite the apparent drama of explosions and battles, it was actually a very quiet story, wasn’t it? It felt small. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. In keeping with the storytelling motif, it was not an epic tale, but a beautiful bedtime story.  DotD saw the Doctor trying to do a very big thing, end the time war, save Gallifrey, change his own history; TotD saw the Doctor trying to do something small by comparison: spend the remainder of his life protecting the people of one town.

    the granting of the new regenerations was done brilliantly, precisely because it was done so economically.

    Yes, I gather that some posters elsewhere felt that the granting of a new regeneration cycle by the Time Lords was some kind of easy out, but if so, it certainly wasn’t unexpected. Kudos to you and anyone else on here who called it that the Time Lords might be able to intervene in the Doctor’s regenerations before being rescued!    🙂


    Arbutus @replies

    @ardaraith     Just because the Doctor says (believes, hopes, wishes?) that the Time Lords will return in peace, doesn’t mean that they will!

    @phaseshift     The pleading by Clara about “loving him” (surely a “LOL” moment on the other side of the crack)     Hahaha!

    The only jarring thing slightly was the voice, but we can’t do much about that.     I actually thought he “aged” his voice pretty well, especially at the end, when I had a sense that he was trying to return to his old-style speeches in Pandorica and so forth, and just didn’t have the energy.

    @RTDFan     Interesting that the gathered enemies of the Doctor eventually fought amongst themselves instead of uniting to defeat him as they had partially done in ‘The Pandorica Opens’, not sure where these events were in the timestreams but didn’t they remember past successes did they.

    The Doctor has been erased from history. This is referenced when he comments that the Daleks “shouldn’t even know who I am.” The Daleks only retrieved the information about their old enemy after they

    Matt started his regeneration as part of his defeat  – on this occasion –  of the Daleks, yet became his younger self again to say goodbye.

    I think this is explained. The impression I got was that regeneration first heals the old body, then changes it into the new. Sometimes this process takes longer than usual. Hence, Tennant Doctor’s injuries are healed, he seems fine, heads out on his “farewell tour”, gradually loses energy, and changes. Similarly, Smith Doctor is rejuvenated before changing.

    Arbutus @replies

    After one viewing, I definitely felt positive about it. Made a bunch of notes, then watched it again to make sure that all my points were things I really think! So here goes.

    I felt that it could have been a bit longer (although I don’t think a two-parter would have been necessary). There was a lot jammed into an hour, you really had to be paying attention! A few things could have benefited from a little more space.

    I guess that the character of Tasha Lem was meant to be something of a “big deal”, and she was certainly well-acted, and as some have said, there were interesting parallels with River Song. I found that as a character suddenly introduced and only briefly seen, she didn’t engage me much. There was perhaps a little too much similarity to River, but without the depth that was revealed even in River’s first appearance. I loved the opening bits, that showed the doctor engaged in an adventure on his own (well, except for Handles!) Since he has only been hanging with Clara on a part time basis, one assumes that there have been a number of adventures between adventures. I wish we could have seen more of them, I have always enjoyed the occasional dynamic of the Doctor without companions.

    I really enjoyed Clara in this story. The view of a slightly conflicted family helped give her some needed background, and I enjoyed the glimpse of personality that was revealed in the brief moment of enforced honesty, when she reveals her attraction to the doctor. It seemed to show, in one tiny moment, a person wise enough to understand that this aspect of her feelings could lead nowhere, and strong enough to be able to maintain nonetheless the friendship that was so important to both of them.

    I liked the relatively simple tying of loose ends, although here again, a little more breathing space would have made them easier to keep track of! But of course, that is what re-watches are for. I do feel as though I finally understand the Great Intelligence’s description of the Doctor’s death at Trenzalore, and the whole “Silence will fall when the question is asked” (not “answered”, but “asked”).

    I do, however, wonder this about the cracks. Why did the crack in the tower close after Clara spoke to the Time Lords, and why did it conveniently reopen in the sky outside? This would imply that the Time Lords were controlling the cracks, when I thought the Doctor had said that the cracks, opened by the exploding TARDIS, were being used by the Time Lords? That being said, the whole scene where the crack opens up in the sky and regeneration energy pours out, was just so awesome that it didn’t really matter to me. Watching the Doctor come back to life as he realized what had happened, listen to him address the Daleks in one final moment of Smithian glory, was wonderful!

    I liked the Doctor’s positive approach to his regeneration, in contrast to the last time. He seemed to view it as more of a healthy change and growth (although to be fair, it might have been made easier by the fact that he had lived for centuries in this body, and had thought that he was about to die for good!). But the words he spoke were lovely, much more in the spirit of the Eccleston doctor’s celebratory ending than the Tennant Doctor’s tragic one. I did choke up when he took off the bow tie, but he went with a smile. I loved that.

    I was personally happy with the few moments we had of Capaldi, as it would have been highly unfair to give us more in an episode that was meant as closure for Matt Smith. Of course, I can’t wait to see more! Those few seconds foreshadowed something outstanding. I loved the way he stared at Clara, as though she looked different through his new eyes.


    Arbutus @replies

    @whisht    Neither confusing nor anything other than helpful!

    FatManInABox had already reached out to me, offering to try and help me do something that the Help page clearly states cannot be done!  🙂  My image was not online, but on my laptop.  Not to worry, it was all about the Merry Christmas. Which has been said, many times, many ways. Etc. Thanks, and Merry doo-dah!

    Arbutus @replies

    No, it didn’t work. Oh, well, picture a snow-covered street with old houses and really big trees, branches all edged in snow. The sentiment still applies: “May Christmas bring you Joy!” Best to all.

    Arbutus @replies

    Not sure if this will work, but I will give it a try. My talented son created this Christmas card for us to send to family and friends, so I thought I would share it with my newest group of friends. Merry Christmas to all, with love from Arbutus!

    Arbutus @replies

    @blenkinsopthebrave     They may well be in a cup-o-soup waiting to be discovered, but they may also be able to communicate through the crack.     Yes, that is certainly possible, especially when considering that the mystery woman in The End of Time was able to appear to Wilf.

    I agree with everyone who has pointed out that there are lots of possibilities for getting around the regeneration limit. @devilishrobby, I get the feeling, from Moffat’s various hints, that he is not interested in avoiding or postponing the issue. I think he wants to address it.

    @phaseshift     I think that’s really the truth about “there is no canon”. Even when the creators come out with a statement about something, if a sufficiently large part of fandom refuses to accept it, I’m not sure that it can be said to be canon anyway in a real sense. (The Doctor is half-human? Anyone?) And it’s hard to argue for canon in a 50-year program that has included so many different creators, and gone in so many different directions. “I have my canon, you have yours” works for me!


    Arbutus @replies

    Some great ideas here.

    @phaseshift     Oh, he’ll complain about the end when it comes, and is in no hurry to jump the queue, but actually seek it an extension? I doubt it somehow. It would put him with the crazy people.     Perfectly said. I agree that it the doctor seeking immortality or anything like it just doesn’t seem very “doctorish”.

    So it would be brilliant if he came to the end, suddenly regenerated and didn’t know why it happened.     I love this idea. Writers could have good fun working out the new Doctor’s first line!

    In the end, explosions, jokes, sad bits, and a roller-coaster ride of epic proportions are the reasons we all watch, aren’t they?  🙂

    @bluesqueakpip     Although this (on the other hand): There is, however, now one reason that he might well seek a new set of regenerations – the thought that he’s the only person who can find and release Gallifrey. That’s a much more mature reason; instead of wanting immortality for himself, he wants other people to live. They, however, can only live if he does…  is an excellent point! So here I am agreeing with both sides of the argument again.  🙂

    @blenkinsopthebrave     Unless I have missed a theory somewhere, I don’t see how the Time Lords can grant the Doctor a new cycle of regenerations when they are still trapped in the cup-o-soup. Wouldn’t he have to rescue them first? And then, there would no longer be a self-interested reason for them to keep him alive (or, for that matter, an altruistic reason for him to want to be kept alive).

    @devilishrobby     I agree that, after the introduction of the Sisterhood’s ability to influence regeneration, there is a strong possibility of it being used to get around the regeneration limit.

    @bluesqueakpip     The problem is not that the Doctor’s run out of regeneration energy – the problem is that The-Doctor-Known-As-The-Eleventh dies.  And the Smith Doctor knows that’s him. Which is why he’s okay with using some of that regeneration energy on the minor problem of a broken wrist – and why River is so angry with him; it shows that he knows.    Yes, I like this idea! It allows the prediction of “The fall of the Eleventh” some actual menace, rather than just the assumption that a “new man goes sauntering off”.

    Arbutus @replies

    @MartyB    does anyone look at the tops of the skirting boards?  I desperately hope so, now, because every one in our flat now looks as fresh and new as a newborn baby’s bottom. 

    Well, I don’t, but I am a creative person and have better things to do.  🙂  Fortunately in my household, we are all pretty much on the same page. But even if the skirting boards go unnoticed, you will have a warm spot in the moral centre of your heart, knowing that the place is really, properly clean.

    Re the Quebecois, most of the ones I’ve met have been quite lovely. We spent two weeks this past summer on a driving trip out along the Saint-Laurence, and had a completely marvelous time. It’s true that it is hugely different from the west coast where I live, although we out here are commonly accused of not being properly Canadian. We respond by looking down our noses at “The Centre of the Universe”, aka Toronto, and make unlikely boasts about sailing and snowboarding on the same day. Thus we all get along!  🙂

    I guess that the inlaws will be less easily impressed by all-thing-British than someone from English Canada, which is too bad, because that would be a great advantage for you with someone like, say, my mother. Hopefully, She Who Cannot Be Named’s obvious affection for you will make the difference. Good luck with it!

    Arbutus @replies

    As the weekend is almost upon us (already upon some of us, @our Australian friends!), and some people will be heading into full festive mode, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, or whatever festival of light you subscribe to. I hope that these coming days bring joy to your lives and peace to your hearts.

    I will now venture out into the snow, which is exciting as we don’t get a lot of snow here. It’s looking remarkably like Christmas out! I shall enjoy it while it lasts, as I expect it will be raining again soon enough, and I will rejoin the group of members who do not live in northern Britain, complaining about the wet or the heat. Cheers!

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    @MartyB  @phaseshift

    I too have been thinking about the guest blog idea, but with Christmas so imminent, I agree that it is hard to give it the attention that it deserves. Yes, you would want to listen to it just for fun the first time, and get analytical later on. I do feel that a blog post is a little weightier than contributing to a conversation. I would want to have a re-listen to make sure that the things I was saying actually made sense. I have been thinking about the differences between DotD and LatE, inasmuch as they were trying to do some very different things. It would be fun to look at what those things were, and how well we thought they accomplished them.

    Wow, you dust the curtain rods! I am really impressed. Once a year, if I think of it, I go over the tops of the door frames. The problem is that I am short, so I don’t see it, and I am definitely a subscriber to the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy of housecleaning. Although I agree that parents coming into the house ups the ante considerably. (I can’t believe that’s still true at my age, but it is!)


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    @MartyB       Worst Christmas Song Ever – No kidding! The weirdness in that video is that he seems at times to have a point that he is trying to make, but it doesn’t work because the whole thing is so bizarre. If it was just meant to be ludicrous, he would have been better off to leave out the social commentary bits.

    The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is good fun. We also like the Mannheim Steamroller at Christmas, so in return, I give you:

    Arbutus @replies



    I offer up to everyone my favourite Bizarro comic strip, which has been stuck up on our fridge for years because I never get tired of it. I think that anyone who has ever sung in a choir will appreciate it on all its levels!


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    @whisht    Isn’t Mahalia astonishing? She was always a part of my Christmas soundscape as a child, because my stepfather loved her. I find it quite wonderful how some people are able to channel their personal faith into something that is just so uplifting. Mahalia’s voice was incredible, but it was the spirit shining through that makes her music so memorable.

    Re: The Rest is Noise, are you talking about Alex Ross’s blog or his book? The book is wonderful, it really inspired my husband and me to get out of our musical comfort zone and start listening more adventurously.


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    @bluesqueakpip     Okay, fortunately no tea was spilled as I laughed hysterically over my new vision of backpack-wearing sperm heading out on an adventure. My husband and son once read a “facts of life” book that included a cartoon of a lot of little sperm traveling along a highway lined with roadside snack-sellers.

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    @tardisblue @purofilion

    In my Ukrainian family, a kolach is a braided bread made at Christmas time, very rich with eggs and butter. My grandmother made it every year when I was growing up, and I took over for her in her later years. I still make it every year, and now my son has learned how to make it as well, so I know that the tradition will continue.

    Being vegetarian, we don’t eat lobster, but frankly anything “fried with butter, garlic, chilli and white wine” sounds absolutely stupendous to me!  In fact, if you substitute “olive oil” for the butter, you will have the recipe for at least half of what I cook. (If you don’t specify the frying medium, and expand “chilli” to include any highly spicy flavouring, it probably covers about 3/4 of my dinners!)

    Forgive me if I am being slow, but if you don’t have a BBQ, upon what are you using your frying pan? I hope you’re not building a campfire on the deck?   🙂

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    @purofilion     Here, well, we just sweat. Not very ‘Christmasy’.

    My mother lives in Calgary, caught between the prairie and the Rocky Mountains, and every year she complains about having to miss some event due to unexpected snow. (In Calgary, one can reliably expect “unexpected snow” at any point over about 9 1/2 months of the year.) Perhaps I shall suggest that she move to Australia.  🙂

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    What a wonderful image I now have of you and your neighbours! Very communal. I love your “Australian 12 Days of Christmas”; what is in the pear tree? I have always loved the moment in that version when they suddenly morph into “Africa”; for anyone of a certain generation, that song produces an instant jolt of recognition.

    For the benefit of any mods present, I have to say that I just followed the instructions in the “help” section of the forum on embedding videos. It worked like a charm!

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    @tardisblue     Wonderful! I have very fond memories of “Light is Returning”, as it was sung every year in my son’s primary school. They sang it in a more aboriginal style, in keeping with our Pacific northwest part of the world, but I love the gospel feel of this version.

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    That A-ha song has had a bit of a resurgence as it was referenced earlier this year in a pop song by Christina Aguilera. I only know this because the teenager in the house was listening to it in the summer, and his dad and I both exclaimed triumphantly, “We know that song!” The original is now on my son’s playlist, and I think he actually likes it better than the song in which it reappeared.  🙂

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    @MartyB @scaryb @purofilion

    Yes! to The Last Waltz, and indeed, anything to do with The Band. And to anything by Van Morrison. And to jazz at Christmas, and almost any kind of Christmas music, for that matter. Our Christmas playlist skips with abandon between traditional choirs, classic pop and rock, jazz, and all kinds of very esoteric early music repertoire. Here is my attempt to embed a video, let’s see if it works. Is anyone familiar with Straight No Chaser?



    Arbutus @replies


    I’m well this evening, thanks for asking (although I believe that it is in fact some time tomorrow for you!) I must say that multi-linguists are impressive enough to me that I would never fuss about their pronunciation! And isn’t it nice that pronunciation issues don’t come up on internet forums?

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    @MartyB  @tardisblue

    my father taught English so you can imagine the pressure for ‘proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitali(s)ation’ in my childhood.  Including a lot of tedious discussion over the Oxford Comma.

    Aha! I love the Oxford Comma, and I inflict it upon anyone I can. My American-born husband now knows it and loves it, and my son is my current victim. I’ll admit to being somewhat obsessed with punctuation, possibly due to a very tall English teacher who used a sort of “full-body comma” when editing students’ writing at the blackboard. He would shout out “Comma!” as he added them in with a terrific sweep of his arm.


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    @craig     Oh, wonderful. Thank you!

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    The expressions on the faces of Eccleston and McGann are somehow entirely appropriate to each. Eccleston is asking, very confidently, “You got a problem with it?” McGann, on the other hand, looks like my cat when he misses the windowsill: “Just shut up.”


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    You are too kind! As I explained at the time, I was of course pulled into the pool by the urge to express my admiration for the most scholarly and diagrammatic work of @bluesqueakpip. Once in the water, of course, you have to keep swimming! I have enjoyed your posts as well; nice front crawl.  🙂

    I think it was @whisht who made that ‘lurkers outside the pub comment’.

    I was also delighted with that image, being one of the lurkers. I was peering in the window very wistfully at that point, wishing you all the best in your real world meetup, and wishing I had an entry pass!

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    @toinfinityandbepond    Ha! That’s brilliant. Maybe when the woman said “best tech support in the universe”, the phrase was somehow caught by the TARDIS, who knows where the best in the universe really is. I like this theory. And I’d forgotten about the Churchill/River conversation.

    And by the way, great user name!

    @bluesqueakpip     Cool. I’m aware of the Sarah Jane Adventures but haven’t seen the show (although I always loved the character). That’s a nice idea, that it might have been Sarah Jane helping Clara to become The Impossible Girl.

    @whisht    That’s the best explanation of the explanation “Cuppa Soup” I’ve seen!     Agreed!



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    Under the category of “Loose Ends We Would Like to See Tied”, there is the question of how Clara got the Doctor’s phone number. I’m not sure if this question will ever be answered at this point. I don’t need answers to everything, but this one bugs me, because it is such a great big black X in the middle of the script: “Who gave you this number?” “The woman in the shop.” Surely there was meant to be an answer, but I’m not sure how that reveal would fit into what we now know (or think we know) about “The Time of the Doctor”.

    Thinking about this a little, I asked myself, who has the phone number of the TARDIS, anyway? Not the Doctor’s mobile, but the actual, physical TARDIS phone? Apparently Winston Churchill has/had it (time travel and tenses). And since “The Day of the Doctor”, we know that UNIT has it. So, could the “woman in the shop” have been Kate Stewart? There is a suggestion in “The Day of the Doctor” that Clara and Kate have met before, although Clara doesn’t remember it due to memory wipe.

    I’m not sure how this would actually work, although it probably makes as much sense as it being Rose from an alternate universe or Rose from the past. Could one of the Claricles have somehow met Kate in the past and instructed her to share the number with Clara Oswald when they meet? I suppose that it is more likely to have been River, who presumably would have had the TARDIS phone number, although that brings up the question of why Clara didn’t recognize River when she met her in “The Name of the Doctor”?

    Agh. This is why I don’t generally do bonkers theorizing, it make my head ache and still doesn’t make any sense!

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    Fully agree, by the way, about vending machine “tea”, which is probably what Douglas Adams was thinking about in the sequence with the Nutrimatic drink dispenser and the beverage that is “almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea”. Many workplaces around here nowadays have kitchens and kettles, and people bring their own teabags to work.

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    This is just so interesting! It’s quite different here in Canada, or at least, in the western part of it. (As I understand to be the case with northern and southern England, it never does to assume any similarity between western and eastern Canada– and northern is a whole other issue here!)  When I was growing up, the norm was coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon or evening, unless you were in a restaurant, where coffee was usual. This was equally true on both sides of my family, the Ukrainian working class side and the upper middle class British side.

    But this has changed a bit with the growth of the espresso craze. Now, the Great Canadian Debate tends to be Starbucks vs. Tim Hortons (meaning high-priced lattes vs. a better value “cup of Joe” from the doughnut chain. And in urban areas, there are the espresso geeks and their debates about indy roasters, single origin beans, barista competitions, and so on. Myself, I like a nice single-shot latte once in a while, and I drink clear tea by the potful!

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    Okay, you’ve convinced me. Mess with the time line of the Doctor’s in-laws, and you retire to bed with green tea and vitamin supplements. Mess with the Doctor’s time line, and it’s antibiotic time.  🙂


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    @MartyB @scaryb @bluesqueakpip

    Okay, fair enough. I suppose that anyone who hangs out with the Doctor for any length of time probably becomes  important to history, and therefore anyone that affects them will also be important.

    But why did the Universe in one instance decide to shove all history into one moment in time, and in another, it sent scary pteranodon creatures to eat everyone? I think I find the history-in-one-compartment response a little more understandable, it seems a little more the way Time might operate: “Okay, if these life forms are going to mess with Fixed Points, then let’s just ensure that there are no Fixed Points, just One Point. Ha!” Or something like that.

    @scaryb  Thanks for the compliment, it just took me awhile to find the right tree!

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    @bluesqueakpip @scaryb @purofilion

    Ha. We actually have quite a few appliances, (I will with particular defiance admit to the espresso machine and the four-slice toaster!) but no microwave. Our kitchen is sadly not bigger on the inside (it’s quite possibly smaller on the inside) and I had to choose between the Kitchen Aid mixer and a microwave. I like to make bread, so the mixer was the winner. But now, when I’m somewhere where I have to use a microwave, I spend at least five minutes trying to work out all the rules before I can do anything, so it’s less of a time saver than intended.  🙂


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    The Doctor has said that “regeneration is a lottery”. But I wonder if it is truly as random as that? There has been discussion about how the Doctor comes by his new faces and new accents, but what about the personalities? We know that the Sisterhood of Karn were able to intervene in the creation of the War Doctor. But that aside, has there been a pattern in the type of person that each new Doctor becomes? I think that there has.

    In most cases, the Doctor’s new persona has been a change of direction from the one previous. Often, it is even possible to guess at events that might have encouraged a change in personality in a new incarnation. Perhaps the Doctor’s regenerative process acts as a sort of survival mechanism, as in evolutionary theory, taking elements that have been successful and discarding what hasn’t.

    As we have seen in The Day of the Doctor, the Doctor’s post-Time War incarnations are a direct response to his activities during that event, stages of his grieving process. The Eccleston Doctor is still in survival mode, still tough and independent. Regeneration rejects some of those qualities, seeing that the Doctor must regain his lightness of being to survive. The Tennant Doctor does this, but is still too immersed in tragedy, too inward-looking, so upon regeneration, a very child-like, joyful Doctor emerges, one who wears his emotions on his sleeve.

    Now, the Time War has been resolved; there has been redemption. And, just as the Hurt Doctor regenerated when his role was complete, the Smith Doctor is about to do the same. What will the healing, evolutionary process do for him this time?

    We know, of course, that the new incarnation will be older in appearance. We can guess that along with that appearance will come a more mature personal style. Perhaps the Doctor’s more serious side will rise to the fore once again, a more imposing demeanour, harking back to his first and third incarnations, possibly softened by some essential Doctorish quirkiness. (This is something that worked well for the Fourth Doctor.) Might we also see some Seventh Doctor craftiness and some Third/Sixth Doctor arrogance? And perhaps some of the wonderful moral outrage that the Doctor used to exhibit in some of his other incarnations (Two, Five, and Eight come to mind here).

    You can call these guesses or just a wish list.  🙂  I’m not sure which they are, myself. But they are all qualities that I can see Peter Capaldi potentially bringing to the role, and qualities that I think are born out by the Doctor’s own history.


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    Thanks for pointing me to that blog. I vaguely remember reading it, but as it was posted in the summer, I probably didn’t give it the care and attention that it deserved! However, my main issue with the “fixed point in time” concept is this well-stated point:

    Some events, often for reasons known only to the writer, are ‘fixed points’.

    Pompeii, I can understand. It’s when I can’t see an obvious reason (other than plot convenience) for a point to be fixed, that it irritates me. For instance, why would Pete Tyler’s death be so important to the universe? A whole episode hangs on the conceit that it is, and yet it isn’t clear to me why that should matter. Adelaide Brooks’ death as a fixed point is explained in a way that makes perfect sense.

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    @purofilion  @phaseshift

    May I just add the perspective of a new member who has followed the blog for a long time but not contributed until recently? A new member (as opposed to a troll) can feel particularly sensitive to criticism. In my own experience, what prompted me to join this forum (something I have never done before) was the erudition, enthusiasm, and level of debate that I found here. I was very impressed by all of you, and it took some courage for me to sign on and give myself a voice. When I received my first replies from people whose posts I have been admiring for the past year, it was very exciting. Had they appeared critical to my hesitant eyes, I would have been crushed.

    @purofilion  Please don’t disappear!


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    If Moffat has said there will be a fair bit of nudity in the Christmas special, and given that we should never take anything he says at face value, I think the nudity will involve a baby.

    Okay, I have not been all that convinced about the baby business, but this is a really good point. What other kind of nudity could there possibly be in an episode of Doctor Who? Moffat does like to wind us up, doesn’t he?


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    There are some advantages to having grown up with the show in the 60s – it’s easier to overlook the occasional mis-step in monster design when the sub-text and characterisation was so strong.

    How true! And to be fair, Mr. Sweet was certainly better executed than a number of famous missteps from Who History. As @bluesqueakpip pointed out, I think the eyes were the real problem. I just know that (as often happened BG, as you say) that in the midst of an episode that was fairly dark and horrific, the reveal of that monster was one of a few moments that pulled me right out of the mood!


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    @bluesqueakpipI always thought that popping 10.5 in an alternate universe and having him age as a human was simply a convenient device. Namely, to enable future producers to bring back David Tennant in a guest spot after he’d visibly aged beyond his ‘current Doctor’ years.

    I hadn’t thought of that. And I’m usually pretty quick to cry “Cynical writer’s ploy” or “convenient plot device”!  🙂


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    Well said. I’ve just been reflecting on my first experiences with the show, and it is exactly as you say. My Doctor is Tom Baker, my first episode “City of Death”, and I can vividly recall my bemusement and confusion as I tried to understand the show, and my delight when I had finally figured it out! My benchmark qualities in a doctor tend to hark back to the Fourth, with his quirky dialogue and complete disregard for appearances, which can suddenly shift to steely determination when required. And certainly, the Douglas Adams-penned “City of Death” was as “timey wimey” as anything from Moffat’s era, and that style of writing seems to me a quintessential aspect of Doctor Who.
    And you’re right, I loved the Fourth Doctor’s companions as well; all of them competent, self-confident, and well able to face up to the Doctor and take him down a peg if needed! (This is probably why Donna is my favourite AG companion, as she never hesitated to put the Doctor in his place.)

    When Baker regenerated into Davison, I was so new to the show (and watching in Canada, where it wasn’t part of the cultural DNA) that I had no idea about regeneration. Without warning, my new hero took a fall and changed into another person! I never took as long to accept a new doctor as I did that first time, although I came to enjoy Davison’s doctor very much in the end.

    So you have perfectly encapsulated my own experience in coming to the show. I also agree about the old versus new formats. While I have adjusted to the pace of AG Who, and understand that it is Who for the 21st century, it still sometimes jars. But of course, that comes with getting older as well: the world speeds up, and I slow down (just a bit!).

    Thanks for your post. It made me think about that aspect of my “fandom” in a new way. And I love these sentences:  I also knew that, outside specials broadcast around anniversary years, once a Doctor had regenerated, I wouldn’t see him again.  His time was over, his interpretation laid lovingly to rest, and a new actor picked up the reins and went in a new and exciting direction.   Well put! And of course, this:  ‘Change, my dear, change.  It’s all good.’


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    Has it ever actually been stated that the destruction of Gallifrey was a fixed point in time? I thought that it was simply because of the time lock that it couldn’t be changed. The whole “fixed point” idea has always been a bit problematic for me. It sometimes seems a little too arbitrary, as in “here the Doctor must not interfere” whereas “here it is okay for the Doctor to butt in”.

    This is a cool idea, though:

    An alternate theory regarding those pesky cracks – suppose the ‘stasis lock’ on the newly saved Gallifrey is failing and the cracks were/will be caused by Gallifrey returning.


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    I work with atonal stuff quite a lot -violins snapping strings, the dreaded oboe player losing them reeds and the 1st violin breaking up with a boyfriend, getting ‘flatter by the bar’.
    Kindest,   purofviolin, I mean purofilion

    This sounds very exciting, almost as dramatic as an episode of Doctor Who. Do you mean that you perform new music? Or that the music simply sounds that way after all the lost reeds, broken strings, and so on?


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    I didn’t like the episode where people were dipped in red.

    Yes, that was The Crimson Horror. That was an episode that I had mixed feelings about. The guest cast was fabulous, and there were some very powerful scenes. But the slug-thing from the dawn of time, oh dear. It looked like something my son might win throwing darts at the midway. I think that episode was an example of an attempt to mix humour and gravitas that, for me, didn’t quite get it right. But I was quite spellbound by Diana Rigg’s horrible, monstrous old lady.

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    Thanks for that video, it was brilliant. I have sent the link to the Family Members, since procrastination has been honed to a fine art in our household. I found the TARDIS and a Dalek as well!

    Good luck with the work. My own student days are long gone, but I relive them through my son (he finds that regular infusions of dark chocolate also help with late night project deadlines!)


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    It is great how the show is deliberately set up to be able to cater for any type of genre and storyline (horror, comedy, drama, adventure etc).

    While much of the flexibility of style is inherent in a time-travel series, I think that the shifting from comedy to drama is due to the nature of the Doctor himself. Because he loves adventure and is passionate in his beliefs, he never backs away from getting involved in events, which can lead to situations of high drama and intensity (not to mention danger!). But the universe in general fascinates and exhilarates him. He fully embraces life in the way that a child does, and this can lead to some hilarious moments. He can become thrilled at finding a fez, or dinosaurs on a spaceship, and deeply outraged when he encounters evil, cruelty, or even banal self-interest. Thus the writers can choose to have an episode rooted in the light-hearted, or an episode with more gravitas, or an episode that embraces both. The last is probably the trickiest to pull off, but I love those when they work.

    In terms of River Song, I must admit I find her slightly insufferable at times (mainly in her ‘knowing’ moments) but the minisodes are a complete pleasure.

    Yes, I agree that the minisodes are actually essential to anyone interested in the River arc. And I thought her final scene in The Name of the Doctor was lovely; I wasn’t always keen on the character or convinced by the arc, but I cried watching them saying goodbye. It was beautifully written and performed.

    ah, if only the Doctor was one of those sorts who went back and broke the rules and stopped the inevitable moment from happening… – and that way madness lies and the destruction of the very thing that feeds love (our mortality) would destroy the reason for not wanting it to stop.

    Indeed. And this means that dealing with the twelve-regeneration limit must be done carefully. I think that someone on the forum has made a similar point: that the doctor should never choose immortality. He has had words to say in the past to people who sought to elude death, most recently in The Night of the Doctor, when he referred to the “keepers of the flame of eternal life” as the “keepers of the flame of utter boredom”. I don’t think that immortality would suit the doctor’s personal philosophy at all!


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    @whisht @MartyB @Purofilion @timeloop @gctv @scaryb
    I thought this would be a better place to respond as we have definitely gone off topic! I hope that I have tagged everyone who has been part of this discussion.
    Your “cuckoo in the nest” idea is interesting, I hadn’t looked at those episodes in that light. For me, my problems with “Let’s Kill Hitler” are symptomatic of the entirety of Series 6, which I found very uneven. It included some of my all-time favourites (“The Doctor’s Wife” and “The God Complex”), some of my least favourite (“The Curse of the Black Spot” and “Night Terrors”), and various points in between. There were some parts of “Let’s Kill Hitler” that I really enjoyed, and others that just didn’t work for me.


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    I can’t take credit for the excellent Stephen King comment, that was @MartyB. But I agree that saying things concisely is much harder than the opposite. It’s more work! In story-telling these days, there is an increasing tendency for novels to be huge, for films to be so long that I for one can’t sit through one without a bathroom break. So much for the people who claim that our attention span is getting shorter!

    I’m with you on those scenes from “Akhaten” and “Pandorica”. I love a good speech, and Matt Smith delivers really, really well. Okay, now I have to watch “Akhaten” again. Ha. I also concur wholeheartedly in your view of the members of this forum and their logic, passion, creativity, literacy, and civility. Kudos to everyone here for that.

    It’s not bedtime where I am, dinner time actually, so I’d better get to it as the Family Members are on their way home. I love the rhythm of daylight traveling around the planet, and bringing the different forum members online as it goes!

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    Wow. Beautifully written, particularly the last paragraph.

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    You might be misunderstanding my use of the word “geek”; it is not meant as a pejorative! It wasn’t referencing the fast narrative, which as I said, I often see as a symptom of thoughts getting ahead of speech. It was actually referring to exactly what you say: the time spent, the very detailed references, and probably a lot of facts already in the memory banks. I should say that geekdom in any form is not viewed as a negative in my house!  🙂

    Isn’t it interesting the different episodes people like and don’t like. I have rarely seen one that I strongly disliked, but definitely felt different degrees of love. You loved “Let’s Kill Hitler” and “The Rings of Akhaten”; I was only so-so on the first, but really enjoyed the second. I also really enjoyed the “Rebel Flesh” two-parter, although I know that lots of people didn’t. I loved River in her first and latest appearances, and had more mixed feelings about her throughout the rest of her arc. This had nothing to do with her complex timeline, only with how strongly the character held my interest in a given episode. Or maybe it has to do with my feelings about each episode overall; I may have to go back and watch them all again to figure that out!

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