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2 January 2021 at 04:47 #71295
I apologize in advance if this shows up multiple times; I was having difficulty posting.
In my opinion, this was an excellent episode. Maybe I’ve just been starved for Doctor Who, but the whole episode was just super exciting for me. Even with the commercials, it completely captured my interest and kept it until the resolution.
So that I can end on a positive note, I’ll start with my issues for the episode, of which there are only two. One, what happened to those two refugees that landed on Earth? They weren’t even mentioned. I’ll assume they began their own lives and didn’t stay in touch. Secondly, A TARDIS IS A LIVING CREATURE! That poor TARDIS that got crumpled died. I guess maybe that TARDIS wasn’t sentient? I still feel like this is a problem, but oh well. There have been worse plot holes.
Now onto the fun part: what I liked. I thought Jack Robertson was a really fun character, for some reason. He’s an awful person but he seemed so realistic. And that part at the end with him getting the credit? Also awful, but super realistic. I couldn’t help but break out laughing, because what else do you do? Cry? Anyway, that part just felt right—bad, but right.
I loved the “we do get aliens in Sheffield”, the bike scene reprise (I love full-circle endings, they just seem poetic), and of course the Grace briefly illuminated by the sun. Ryan actually had character—lots of it. He really shined in a way that I feel like he didn’t before, though sadly it might be too little too late for his character.
And, of course, Yaz’s conversation with Jack was excellent. She doesn’t forgive the Doctor easily, and is worried that she’ll leave, but she decides that whatever time she has is worth it. This really embodies life, doesn’t it? Because one day you die, and that’s sad. It’s really, really sad that you’ll die. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop living your life just because it’ll end someday. In fact, that’s precisely why you should KEEP living. So the conversation really rang true for me.
Of course, the character moments are only half of what makes an episode great—it also needs to have great twists and plot points. So, the actual plot itself has been done twice already with Daleks alone, which is a mark against it. But it still felt original, in part because of the solutions and in part because it also had various secondary plots. I loved the “bring in more Daleks to kill the Daleks” idea, and I especially loved the TARDIS switch (minus the minor problem stated above). That was just such a clever idea, I can even forgive the oversight of TARDIS sentience!
And, like I said, I felt that it was really fast-paced. It didn’t waste time with unnecessary scenes. It had a lot to do, and it did nearly all of it. I loved this episode, and while it’s not my absolute favorite, I think it can take its place among the ones that I would watch again and again.
TLDR: I loved this episode! The ending wrapped up Ryan and Graham’s arc perfectly, better than I could even imagine. Yaz and Jack had a great conversation. Robertson was so real that I almost liked his character even though I hate his personality. The episode’s premise may not have been the most original, but the Doctor’s solutions were. There were two minor issues (what happened to the refugees and TARDISes are sentient) but I can easily forgive them because this episode just made me so happy.2 March 2020 at 11:37 #69929
This was awesome! I loved the episode, it was amazing, and they showed the Morbius faces! Never mind that I haven’t watched that serial, I’ve read about it, and me and my brother were freaking out upon seeing them!
I don’t know why, but I feel like there’s someone in mythology or some book I’ve read called Tecteun but the Doctor Who stuff is covering it all online. So, was she Rassilon? Or could The Other be not The Doctor but her instead?
Does this mean that The Doctor has unlimited regenerations or are they also restricted to 12 in their new cycle? Was Brendan another one of her lives, or her mind processing the secret?
I am definitely confused, but I understood enough to love it. That scene with the death particle, and also The Master talking to the Cyberman were great, and I loved the Cyber Lords!
We all know that The Master survives that, unless they’re going to say that he’s the mysterious Last Incarnation and that his next incarnation will go from Missy onwards. It would explain all the stuff about Missy’s redemption arc (though she wasn’t really that redeemed). Sort of like The Valeyard, which will eventually split off from The Doctor but is at an unknown point in the future. Or really like Clara who has to die sometime but can travel around the universe and come back eventually, except The Master doesn’t know his fate.
I wonder if that prison at the end was Stormcage?27 February 2020 at 12:03 #69881
This was an amazing episode! I’m looking forward to the finale, but then I won’t have anything new to post… 🙁
Brendan’s name means King…could he be Rassilon? But he really doesn’t seem to be in control of things.
He wants to make a difference, and he joins the Guardei, which seem to be police that are more involved with keeping the peace and keeping everything running. The Doctor also has an obsession with helping people, and travels around in a police box. Plus, he’s ginger. Maybe he could be The Doctor?
Or perhaps he’s a dormant Cyberman? I think he’s more related to the Timeless Child plot than the Cybermen, but those already seem to be interconnected.
One major thing is, I think, his father saying “He wants to serve.” Now, that seems just like slightly pushy dad who wants his kid to get the job…but coupled with the ending where he’s told “Thank you for your service” it develops a sinister feeling and the word serve is used twice. Now who do we know this season who has served and gotten recognition for it?
Well, Lee/Ruth’s husband has a service metal, doesn’t he?
Now I’m not saying that they’re the same person, but there’s certainly a connection. And a service metal from an alien war in the possession of Lee is not something that’s just going to be thrown aside.
So, Brendan is connected to Lee, who is connected to Ruth. Definitely important in the Timeless Child mystery, whoever he is.15 February 2020 at 20:21 #69682
This isn’t exactly related to Can You Hear Me, but this is the best place I could find for it.
Season 12 Theories…
The Master is going to escape the Kasaavin’s dimension, but the questions are when and how. Obviously, there are 3 options for when:
The Future: The most straightforward option — he’ll escape before/in the finale or even later and then either work with The Doctor or try to kill her again.
Now — The Master has an escape plan, which he is currently implementing. Right now, as The Doctor travels around and saves the world from plastic-eating disease and immortals, The Master is getting out of the dimension.
Already — My favorite theory. The Master has already escaped and is manipulating events behind the scenes. Although The Doctor says she’d know if he escaped, he’s proved that he’s capable of evading The Doctor before. Despite this being interesting and making for a good story, on a meta level the “I’m monitoring time and space and would know if he got out” seems very much like a line added in to prevent us from going off on a tangent like this. Until we see him escape, though, I’m going to go with this one mainly because it would be a nice plot twist.
Now for How:
The only reason The Doctor escaped was because of Ada Lovelace, so that options out. I guess it comes down to the question of how exactly Yaz escaped and whether she’s still really Yaz. (I think she is, since it hasn’t been mentioned again but more on that later.) While the Kasaavin was trapped in The Master’s TARDIS, it, if I remember correctly, seemed to turn into Yaz and then she was transported there. (This actually makes me think that Yaz is herself but her body’s not her own — perhaps it’s made out of the Kasaavin and then her mind was transported/psychically grafted into/onto her new body.) So, how does The Master use this to get out? Was Yaz able to escape because The Master told the Kasaavin to let her go? Because then, now that he’s not in charge anymore, that option is gone. Did she escape because of the disappearance of the Kasaavin that was trapped? It may be possible to escape then without controlling the Kasaavin. But the idea that she escaped because the Kasaavin were ordered to let her go seems more likely. Which means that someone would need to control the Kasaavin and let him out.
There’s been speculation that The Doctor will let him out due to the mystery of the Timeless Child, but I doubt she will. The Doctor still thinks that Missy betrayed her (well, him then) and so it would be strange for her to do let The Master out of prison after how she thinks it ended last time. Still, I think someone has to let him out. Who could it be?
A past/future version of himself? Another enemy of The Doctor who wants him to fight? Ruth? A companion who stops trusting The Doctor or just barely escapes a mind wipe and then decides that they want to know the truth? This actually seems possible. There’s a lot more distrust between the companions and The Doctor right now, and I think the brevity of her “I’m a Time Lord from Gallifrey, you can’t visit right now” speech is just going to add fuel to the fire. As much as The Doctor will want to know what’s going on, she’s not going to let somebody dangerous out to do so (I think). It’s much more likely that one of the companions will let him out. They didn’t see him as himself other than in two scenes — one in which he blew up the plane but he didn’t succeed, and one in which The Doctor explained precisely how she fixed the situation and then makes the Kasaavin turn on him. They’re not going to be nearly as terrified of The Master as they should be — nearly dying loses some of its trauma when you’re constantly in peril.
But which one?
Gram seems too loyal to The Doctor, but O’s offer of information may be too much. After all, he knows nearly nothing about her. He might even think he’s helping her. We saw a picture of him in the trailer with him in what appeared to be a white TARDIS, so that could be related. But Gram really doesn’t seem like the type to ever betray The Doctor, even if he really wants to know more than what was basically “I’m a Time Lord from Gallifrey. He is too. He’s evil. No, you can’t visit my home and stop asking questions.” (She wasn’t that abrupt, but she did shut down their attempts to discover more.)
I also doubt Ryan would do that. We don’t really know much about his personality, and he seems kind of blank to me. He’s supposed to be a brave and determined character who works hard to overcome his Dyspraxia, but he doesn’t end up feeling like anything other than someone who tags along. This is probably the result of 3 companions, but it leaves me with very little knowledge about his motivations. And yet, he also seems to be too loyal to ever help The Master with anything. Unless, of course, he does it for someone who he’s even more loyal to. Perhaps Gram and Ryan’s relationship wasn’t built up last season for nothing. If Gram’s cancer comes back (which it probably won’t, since he said the checkups were all fine), I could see Ryan helping The Master escape if he thinks it would help him. The trouble is, I can’t think of a situation where The Master would actually be more help to him than The Doctor. This also doesn’t feel that Doctor Who like of a scenario.
Finally, there’s Yaz, who I’m worried might do it because she thinks it will save the day. Perhaps the big foe (the one who’s coming for The Doctor in the season 12 trailer) is incredibly difficult to beat and the secret of the Timeless Child is the only way to win. Even then, even when the fate of the universe depends on it, I don’t think this Doctor will help The Master escape. She might not even realize that the fate of the universe depends on it. The fate of the universe might not even actually depend on it. (I think it will, though.) What matters is that Yaz thinks it does. I could see Yaz thinking about it, realizing that they will lose without his help, and weighing her choices. And I could see her making the difficult decision to let him out, even though he’s evil, even though he might just make it worse, and even though it would be the end of her travels with The Doctor. I’m probably wrong about this, but I think that if one of the companions helps The Master escape, it will be Yasmin, and she’ll do it because she honestly thinks it’s the best choice. She won’t believe she’s betraying The Doctor; she’ll think she’s helping her even though The Doctor thinks she’s sided with evil.
Alternatively, Yaz really could betray The Doctor. Something strange is going on with her this season, which I will discuss below.
I’m not going to put much in — almost everything I can think of has been covered. I’m not averse to her being pre-Hartnell in theory, but I hope she’s not because I don’t want a lot of fans to drop out because they think it’s disrespectful or whatever. It would be cool if they went with Season 6b, but that would alienate so many newer viewers. It would have completely mystified me a month ago. I’m thinking she’s pre-Hartnell despite the continuity issues (because all the theories I’ve heard have them), but I’d love to be pleasantly surprised with something else I haven’t thought of.
Alright, Yaz has been acting weird this season. She’s been increasingly horrified at the results of her adventures, went off on her own like The Doctor would, was disappointed when she found that she hadn’t teleported to an alien planet (though in all fairness I would be too), was told by The Master to “stick with [him], Yaz”, is asked by Ryan how long this is going to last…
Theory 1: Nothing; Yaz is a normal companion who will either stick with The Doctor or leave simply to get on with her life and be responsible. Maybe they’re setting something up with her — her exit. But it’ll be a perfectly friendly, reasonable one. Sort of like Martha’s, but without the romantic issues. She has to choose between her career and The Doctor and she chooses her career. The Doctor respects this, and gets a new companion. Possible, and has a decent chance of occurring but seems a bit too weak and simple to explain the focus on her.
Theory 2: Yaz isn’t Yaz. Ever since the Kasaavin dimension thing, Yaz hasn’t been Yaz. There are three options to this.
2a — Either “Yaz” is a Kasaavin or is a puppet controlled by The Master. Although it would explain some of her weird behavior, it wouldn’t make sense that The Master was telling her to stick with him. In addition, I don’t think they’d ever reveal that someone wasn’t their character all season, especially a main character. And ESPECIALLY with the past episode discussing Yaz’s depression. So this is unlikely.
2b — Yaz is Yaz, but isn’t in Yaz. The Kasaavin appears to morph into Yaz…and then she appears. Perhaps her mind was psychically grafted into or trapped in this new body, created from a Kasaavin. Does she have 93% human DNA now? This option is actually a decent possibility. She probably doesn’t know, but it could explain her strange behavior. However, this would sort of be a retread of what happened to Amy with the avatar. Then again, this season has a lot of similarities with past stories.
2c — External influences. Perhaps Yaz is fighting The Master’s mind control (hypnotism? he does have his TCE back, and “can do classic” apparently). Or maybe he’s got some sort of preprogrammed instructions in her head like the clone troopers in the prequels of Star Wars. Maybe she’s got some sort of psychic mind effect on her. I don’t know. I kind of like the hypnotism idea — she could always be a sleeper agent that doesn’t know that she is one. It might actually be true — and why The Master let Yaz live (or the Kasaavin did) despite her death being likely to cause The Doctor a lot of pain.
Theory 3: Yaz is going to betray The Doctor to save the world. As detailed above, I believe she has a chance of getting The Master out because she doesn’t understand how dangerous he is and thinks he’s their only hope. I could see Yaz taking charge, and telling The Doctor that she’s not the right person to handle this because she’s actually terrible at saving people.
Theory 4: The more extreme 4. Yaz is going to betray The Doctor and join The Master. I doubt this — she doesn’t seem evil or like she’d turn evil, and she’s far more likely to help him because she thinks that he’s the only one who can save everyone. Maybe that’ll even be true, since he knows something about the Timeless Child. There may be a scene where he tries to get Yaz to join him, in keeping with the “stick with me, Yaz”, though. In fact, I could actually totally see this. And Yaz a) being tempted but yelling back that he’s evil and The Doctor’s good, b) being tempted but saying that even though she doesn’t trust/follow The Doctor any more he’s still evil, c) not being tempted at all (I think she would be, though, at least a bit) and escaping, beating him, or pretending to join him and turning on him (1 or 3 is more likely than 2, but I could totally see The Doctor feeling all betrayed and Yaz wanting so much to explain that she’s actually on her side but unable to without ruining her plan) or d) briefly joining him and then turning on him and killing him (I don’t think this one will happen. Personally, I think there’s a high chance that either Yaz will denounce both him and The Doctor (though the whole “the fam sticks together” thing isn’t in keeping with that) or attempt to trick him into thinking she’s on his side and have to watch The Doctor think she’s betrayed her.
Of these, I’d like to see 3, 4c, or 2c happen the most, and I feel like 4 or 3 would be the most likely since they’re more straightforward than 2, don’t undermine her character like 2 would, and aren’t boring like 1.
And finally, The Timeless Child!
The Master said that he had to “make them pay” (about the Time Lords) as justification for destroying Gallifrey, but the Founding Fathers are all dead (maybe not Rassilon, but I think he is). How is killing the present Time Lords going to get a proper revenge, when they were, presumably, lied to as well? I get that The Master isn’t exactly sane, but surely he has some reason to blame the average Gallifreyan. Perhaps they were benefiting from the lie?
But what could be so terrible that The Master destroyed Gallifrey?
The Master has hidden at least one clue in the exact wording before — Spyfall, Part 1: “I said to look for the spymaster. Or should I say the spy Master?” (Which is still my favorite moment so far — my family had no clue what was going on and all I could respond to their questions was “oh my god he’s the spy Master! Now shut up I’m trying to watch”) I was thinking about the grammar of “The whole existence of our species built on the lie of the Timeless Child.”
They could be told the lie, which is about the Timeless Child. This seems to imply more than a simple hidden secret. They were told a lie about the Timeless Child, and chances are we already accept the lie as truth. The Timeless Child is a person, so perhaps someone from Gallifrey’s history isn’t who we think? (I’m well aware that other people have said this already, but I still wanted to state my agreement.) Maybe Rassilon? Or Omega (no chance of that).
Or, the sentence could mean something different. The lie of the Timeless Child. Not the lie about the Timeless Child. The lie belonging to the Timeless Child. The lie the Timeless Child told. So I think it might be possible that someone, one of the founding fathers of Gallifrey, is the Timeless Child, and was the one who told the lie. Perhaps the Timeless Child isn’t some innocent little girl. Maybe the Timeless Child is the one who lied to them. Or even she did it for their own good. If the Timeless Child is The Doctor, then she could find out that she told the universe the lie.
Also, species. Very specific. I think this series has a genetics theme.
Spyfall — Obviously; 93% human, DNA corruption, and all of that.
Orphan 55 — Mutated humans.
Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror— Not much…but the Skithra steal. Maybe a reference to stealing genetic code? It would have worked much better with the Krillatane (not spelled correctly).
Fugitive of the Judoon — Masking DNA, 13th Doctor and Ruth have identical DNA
Praxeus — Disease seems to change DNA to make those mutants.
So, what does this mean? I have the feeling that the Time Lords were genetically engineered, maybe from humans. I don’t think this uproots cannon too much; they’re still Time Lords and not humans. I could be completely wrong, on all of this, but these are my theories.
I think that The Master has already escaped from the Kasaavin dimension. If he hasn’t, I think Yaz will let him out. Despite the contradictions, I think Ruth is pre-Hartnell, which I personally don’t have a problem with but I think might cause some annoyance with the fans. Yaz might have orders implanted in her mind by The Master and be an unwitting sleeper agent. Something is definitely up with her this series, so if not this she either might betray The Doctor because she refuses to let The Master out and truly believes he’s the only way that they can save the world OR be asked to join The Master and either be tempted and refuse or attempt to trick him into believing she’s turned and in the process accidentally trick The Doctor.3 February 2020 at 03:05 #69546
I’ll try to create more bonkers theories later when I have time, but this was, again, really good. Maybe not the best episode, but they can’t all be the best. It was certainly interesting and exciting, managing to keep my attention throughout all those terrible commercial breaks (which I suspect played a large part in me being unengaged during Season 11). This was a good, solid episode that I thoroughly enjoyed.
@bluesqueakpip I agree that Yaz is likely to leave at the end of the series. There’s certainly some arc going on with her, although I’m not quite sure where it’s leading. I was thinking earlier that she was going to betray The Doctor in order to save more lives, but I haven’t seen any more evidence for it so I’ve pushed it into the “maybe” section of my brain. Whatever’s happening, I’ll be completely confused until it does actually happen. Then I’ll be annoyed at myself for not realizing.
Another mention of Graham’s past cancer (the IVs) — is it going to play a big role later on? Probably not, as it’s only been mentioned twice this season.
I feel like they’re setting up reflections, situations that are parallel to other, more plot central ones to foreshadow stuff later on. I’ve got barely any evidence for this, but it almost seems like these stories are connected not by plot points but by similarities in the way that they’re told. Just a completely bonkers and unsubstantiated theory.
I didn’t really mind the way they were sending a message about pollution — it was a little bit forced, but did sound Doctor-y enough and was actually situationally appropriate.
More genetics — a virus in the blood, changing people. The Doctor mentions genetics a lot in the lab. This does seem to be becoming a theme.
I thought it was Autons at first. The Praxeus really was interesting, but I kind of wish it was Autons. The Doctor mentioned them though!
Season 12 has been amazing so far! It all depends on the finale…which all depends on the execution of whatever Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey stuff has been swirling around The Doctor this season. I do hope that The Master appears again before the finale, but I doubt he actually will. He’ll wait to escape until it’s plot-convenient, or he already has and he’s manipulating events behind the scenes. (One thing I don’t get is that if The Doctor is monitoring Time and Space so that she’d notice if The Master escaped, how does she know that’s she’d find the right time? She could walk straight into a trap, and probably will.) What does The Doctor plan to do if she finds out that he escaped? I doubt that her plan is to kill him…although it could be, I suppose. Just doesn’t seem Doctorish to me. Maybe she’s just relying on the idea that she’ll make up a plan as she goes along and that he’ll escape, same as always, so that she doesn’t have to kill anyone. I don’t know.
Got sidetracked there. Great episode, and I hope that the rest of the season is great too.1 February 2020 at 14:42 #69521
So, in previous discussions, people have been theorizing about a connection to DNA/genetics this season. This theory might be a bit of a stretch — this is sci-fi, and genetics stuff is a very common sci-fi concept to use — but it is very fun to theorize about.
So far, we have:
Spyfall — It isn’t a stretch at all for this one. Creatures rewrite your DNA, The Master’s comments that he’s doing what he was made to do, and the hologram stating that the Time Lord “species” was “built” on lies.
Orphan 55 — The Dregs are mutated humans.
NTNoT — There’s not exactly much reference to genetics here. It’s very tiny and probably means nothing, but on its discussion page some people have said that this one still fits in with the theory because Tesla was a supporter of eugenics. (Though that’s not mentioned in the episode.)
FotJ — Constant genetic scanning is done by the Judoon and The Doctor. Both Doctors are genetically identical (which, I just wanted to mention, makes no sense whatsoever — different regenerations think differently, act differently, and look differently; if your genetic code says you have blue eyes then you do, you can’t keep the same code and have green ones, and it’s not just a matter of appearances as different iterations of The Doctor really do think differently). Then there’s Jack, who was attacked by nanogenes — the nanogenes on the ship he stole (just like this one!) in The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances were rewriting genetic code.
So…completely bonkers theory, but I think that there might actually be a theme of genetics this season.29 January 2020 at 03:06 #69481
That episode was fantastic! Absolutely fantastic! I loved the speed, and I was immediately drawn into the story. It was over way too fast — I really wanted to keep watching!
The Chameleon Arch was awesome — me and my brother spent the episode trying to figure out where the fob watch is, since we guessed about the chameleon arch really early on (we’ve been rewatching the revival series, and had just finished Human Nature, so it was heavily on our minds already). Eventually we decided it was the box, and my brother had almost convinced me that Ruth was The Rani… The fire alarm in the lighthouse was definitely not what we were expecting — I didn’t know it could be anything besides a fob watch. And neither of us were expecting Ruth to be The Doctor, but she definitely is a good one. That “I don’t like bullies” scene, where she tore off the rhino’s horn, was what made me doubt my brother’s theory that she was The Rani. That moment was so Doctor-y!
I really liked both versions of The Doctor here — initially, Ruth (as human) seemed so different from The Doctor that I had some reservations about this new Doctor, but by the time the episode was over I really liked her. She did seem really similar to River Song in hindsight, though that’s likely to be simply the inspiration for the character.
I never really liked Captain Jack Harkness in the older new Doctor Who, but his return is still amazing. I know he’s himself, but I really would like if he cut back on the flirting a little, though. (In general…I didn’t like him mainly because of his flirting with Rose.)
Now, time for the insane theorizing…
The lone Cyberman first, I suppose. I think Jack’s line about not giving it what it wants, no matter what the cost seems really important. It will cost a lot to refuse, but what? Gallifrey? The Doctor’s sanity? A slip into Time Lord Victorious? One of the companions’ death (I don’t think they’re going to go this route…a real, multiple episode companion hasn’t died in a long long time)? Someone’s memories? The Ruth Doctor’s life? The thirteenth (I’m going to go with the normal numbering for now) Doctor’s life? The TARDIS? Something having to do with The Master?
I have a lot of questions…and no answers. This might be connecter to The Timeless Child…it might not. Probably is. We’ve seen The Master frequently working with Cybermen — is this his plot? Was this his plot? (Perhaps he recruited the Cybermen and lost control, just like the Kasaavin and pretty much anyone else he allies with.)
The Lone Cyberman could be someone The Doctor knows…I doubt it. I really doubt it. Danny Pink had his heroic sacrifice, right? And Bill Potts either was turned into one of those oil creatures or she had her molecules rearranged and then went to travel with her girlfriend. Something like that. Now, yes, they brought back The Master after Missy’s “ending” but this is The Master. They’re always going to come back. It’s like killing off The Joker. It simply will never stick. But Danny and Bill did have their endings. And for them, death/kind-of-death really can stick.
Whatever the Cyberman wants, it either aligns with The Doctor’s interests or doesn’t seem bad enough that she’d refuse if it meant the death of one of her friends. Well, I suppose it could also seem completely harmless. For some reason, she needed to know not to give it what it wants. And so she would want to. I’m not sure how this is going to work out. It might get what it wants, actually, because The Doctor makes a mistake.
Now for bonkerization about Ruth.
I believe that she really is The Doctor, but I’m going to call her Ruth for now as clarification since I don’t know where she fits in.
What if she was the one the message was intended for? Jack just said “tell The Doctor”, not which one. This could be a huge problem. If Ruth ends up making a mistake and bringing back the Cybermen, it will be a disaster (for the characters, fun for us). I feel like it was for Ruth.
I don’t think this is a case of parallel worlds, even though it does fit nice and neatly. The theme has been of time issues and memory wipes. “Time is swirling around me”, not “reality is swirling around me”. I do think Ruth and the 13th Doctor are a bit too quick to jump to this conclusion, but on a meta level they’re probably right. I’m a bit annoyed that they didn’t check if they have any regenerations in common. I doubt they do, though.
Things really do seem to be leading to a forgotten cycle of regenerations before Hartnell, which I’m fine with. It’s not like retconning is unheard of in this show. Really, it all comes down to the execution which they’ve been doing great so far.
I just have the feeling that what we are watching is all an illusion, and that ultimately the curtain will be drawn back.
This makes an absurd amount of sense, but I doubt they’ll go there. It would be really cool, but might end up being too confusing for some viewers and sort of makes some of the other episodes seem cheap. Although if they do pull that off, I’d love it.
And when I think about it, both FotJ and Spyfall Part 2 have had a similar feel. I don’t mean this as a criticism, but they were both somewhat hectic and fractured (in a good, exciting, interesting way) that really does give it a sort of dream-like feeling. Like this really is in Oz, because it doesn’t quite make sense. (I guess I mean it sort of seems like Alice in Wonderland a bit, and Oz to a lesser extent. It’s chaos in a good way, but if someone told me that it was all an illusion I wouldn’t be surprised because it does sort of feel like a hallucination. If it isn’t, then they were both still really good episodes, I just think they could reasonably be interpreted that way.)
The theory about Ruth being the actual Doctor makes sense, but I think who we believe is the 13th Doctor is still The Doctor…at the very least from an alternate universe. It struck me as odd that they just jumped to the conclusion that one of them forgot the other. This could just be the writers wanting to make it clear that that’s what happened, but it could also have purposely left out the other ideas as a way of keeping us from thinking about them. It seems like the idea that one of them forgot the other is just that…an assumption. And a sketchy one at that.
And one final thing. While Ruth appears to be the Timeless Child, it doesn’t really make much sense. Although the “she’s not a child” can be overcome by her simply having grown older, the mystery of the Timeless Child has to have traumatized The Master (well…he was already pretty traumatized and insane, but here he lost his sanity enough to destroy Gallifrey). And The Doctor having forgotten memories really isn’t exactly the type of thing that would do this. Sure, it would certainly be important to The Doctor, and The Master might use this to taunt him or her, but it wouldn’t make him destroy Gallifrey.
“They lied to us”…not “they lied to you”. For some reason, the us here seems like the Timeless Child lie might have been to a small group, or important to a small group, rather than they lied to the Time Lords in general. As in, “They lied to me and you.” But then again, I could easily be wrong on that. The Master is not above killing people and destroying things just because he’s angry even though they’re not the ones at fault. Even though they’re victims too.
The thing is, if the Timeless Child was used by the Time Lords to get their powers, then The Doctor being the Timeless Child doesn’t really make sense. They lied to us, not they lied to you. It seems like The Master is putting The Doctor on the same level of being a victim of this as him — he sort of seems to want her to find out, but he also doesn’t want to make it easy for her, and his tendency to kill and destroy certainly isn’t helping. If The Doctor helped found Time Lord society, participating in the lie, he’d want her dead. And yes, he does seem to want her dead in Spyfall. But he’s willing to talk, willing to control himself and not immediately attempt to murder her (although this all slips too, and rather quickly). If she was responsible for whatever shocked/hurt The Master so much, he would have just straight-up killed her. (Unless, is course, he wants her to find out the truth because it’s so terrible that it will make her suffer a lot…I personally don’t think he’s got enough control over himself for that, though. Although he does manage to have enough patience to hide as O for a while, even when he does agree to talk he ends up attempting to strangle The Doctor.)
And if The Doctor is the Timeless Child and they somehow used him/her to give the time lords their powers in a way that wasn’t good and then wiped his/her memories, then I don’t think The Master would react like this either. He wouldn’t take it so personally, although he might be upset that his abilities came from The Doctor. He might start hating his species since it’s powers all came from his enemy…but I don’t think that would be enough to make him destroy Gallifrey.
Just thought of this — Jack said to tell The Doctor that he might not see her for a very long time…what if he meets the 13th Doctor and considers it a long time because he thought he was talking to the Ruth Doctor’s companions? More Captain Jack Harkness!
Second thing after extremely long “final” thing…this seems to echo a lot of RTD era stuff. In the 1st and 3rd seasons, there were big, important arc words hidden throughout the story. (I don’t know about 2nd and 4th…my memories a bit fuzzy.) I wonder how many people noticed (on their own, at least) that they had no clue who Harold Saxon was before The Lazarus Experiment? The name drops sort of slip into the conversation naturally…and you never notice. Oh, Harold Saxon. Must be some political guy. And then you forget, because your brain garbage-collects your useless, aimless thoughts that last only a second. I don’t have a way to rewatch the episode right now, but if I find one, I’m going to go through this and look for anything confusing. Anything that’s been mentioned that my brain either never noticed or flagged as weird and then forgot. Because the first time around, I never caught any of the Harold Saxon mentions. I always forgot them. And how do I know that there hasn’t been a “Bad Wold” is the season, words that have been following The Doctor around? Because I won’t notice unless I’m looking for something seemingly random that doesn’t add up. (For example, I noticed that “we go way back” has been said twice so far, once by The Master and once by Jack, while watching the show. Then I promptly forgot. For all I know, that line could repeat somewhere else and be significant!) Then I’ll look at Spyfall, NTNoT, and Orphan 55 if I have time, all of them within days of each other so my memory’s reliable. And I’ll try to figure out the similarities, if anything confusing, random, or unknown is mentioned twice. Even a number. For all I know, 55 has been following them around!
I’ll try to come up with more insane theories later and post them.20 January 2020 at 23:08 #69273
I really enjoyed this one! I’ve know a lot about Tesla since 6th grade, where my science teacher was obsessed with him, and I’ve been to Wardenclyffe (they actually have a Tesla center there now). Every time a somewhat obscure fact about Tesla came up, me and my brother would just start smiling insanely. So, even if just because of Tesla, this episode was amazing.
I also really felt like Jodie Whittaker was The Doctor in this episode — this is the same person who made a piece of advanced technology using tea leaves, spoons, and a few other random objects (I can’t find what it was anywhere). “I’m an inventor, me.” She’s really establishes herself as The Doctor in my mind.
I feel like the companions actually had stuff to do this episode, although Ryan faded into the background again (I literally can’t remember him doing anything other than being on the train). I also liked the way they did Edison, making him into a bad person but not an evil one. They didn’t fall into the trap of making him into a caricature, like Doctor Who has done before. He was a real person there — he may have some very big faults, but at least he cared about the people’s families. He knew that they’d be suffering, and he was appalled that anyone could kill all those people. Not the usual business man that you see in a show that does social commentary. I liked it.
Okay, so that’s now two stories (Skyfall and this one) where eugenics – not just the murder of the ‘unfit’, but the breeding of the ‘fit’ – is in the backstory. Skyfall with the Nazi’s and their breeding programme, and Tesla proposing the ‘deliberate guidance of the mating instinct’.
I really think they are going somewhere with this — going back to Spyfall, the “built on a lie” is such a strange wording to use. “Our species was built on a lie” (or lies, don’t remember which) seems a really odd way of saying it — like they’re almost taking it for granted that their species was built. (I could have quoted incorrectly, but if I didn’t then I think there really is a pattern.)
The Rani did genetic experiments, I think…
Not that I actually think they’re bringing her back — apparently people always think The Rani is coming back and they’re always wrong. So that’s just a joke. But there definitely is a pattern with the genetics.
One last thing…
“The internal dimensions transcend the external.” Yes!!!17 January 2020 at 03:06 #69180
Several people seem to have severely disliked this one, but I really don’t think it was that bad.
The beginning was hilarious (at least I thought so). I loved the whole thing with the virus and the bats. The middle was decent, though I didn’t really get the whole thing with other timelines being possible. And the end honestly wasn’t that bad. The speech was really good, and it’s not too out of place in Doctor Who, but I felt like it didn’t really belong at that exact moment. The thing with the “or else” and a flash of the Dreg seemed to be too much like a threat, but other than that I didn’t have any problems with the speech itself.
I do think that this episode was a bit too heavy handed. The reveal was so obvious that I thought of it sarcastically and then dismissed it, but it wasn’t too bad. And yes, the science was off. But since when is it possible to graft someone’s personality into another’s body with their brain still intact? Since when is it possible to violate the Law of Conservation of Matter? And since when is someone able to exist on pure hatred? So, yes, oxygen is necessary for combustion. And although it isn’t really possible, maybe the Dregs has some way of decomposing CO2 into carbon and O2 gas. Then they’d still have O2 for combustion, and they could breath out the excess? I am fully aware that it makes nearly no sense, but I think it makes just enough sense that I can accept it as Doctor Who science.
All in all, this wasn’t a terrible episode, and it was better than I was expecting. I fully agree with their message, but I think it would have been passed along more efficiently if it was just a bit more subtle. Having these ideas built into them by watching/reading sci-fi is much more likely to work on young children than a speech that their parents say is ridiculous. Big things are blocked out, but small things slip through the cracks in the wall of willful ignorance.
Theory: A few people have mentioned that they think Yasmin will betray The Doctor, which I think is becoming a higher and higher probability as time goes on. Now, I like Yas, and I don’t want to believe she’d turn evil. She’s also a police officer — she dedicated her life to stopping bad guys, not helping them. So while I think she’ll turn on The Doctor, I don’t think she’ll ever work with The Master against The Doctor in particular. But The Doctor is known for prioritizing the lives of the few (and his/her morals) over the lives of the many. I wrote a long paragraph on this in the Spyfall 2 thread, but I think that she’s going to try to do what a police officer would do and save the day. And even if that means going against The Doctor, she’ll do it, because The Doctor’s philosophy would never survive in real life. Harriet Jones killed the Sygorax in an attempt to help humanity — and The Doctor simply removed her from office. He ruined her life because of this. (Harriet Jones was also the one who ordered him to go through with bombing 10 Downing Street, even though it could kill Rose, which I feel like is the type of thing Yas would do — and just like Harriet Jones, she’s the only government official in the room). The Doctor’s not always a good person, and Yas, Ryan, and Gram are quickly becoming disenchanted with her. I firmly believe that given the choice between doing what’s right and what’s easy, Yas would do what’s right, or at least what she thinks is right. And that might involve betraying her friends in order to save the world. That’s not a coward’s actions. That’s one of the bravest, most difficult things to do, and I think Yas is capable of it.8 January 2020 at 19:33 #68904
I know it’s a while after the episode ended, but there are still some thoughts I’d like to add. I was somewhat rushed on my last post, so there’s still some things I haven’t said.
Ada Lovelace is amazing! They did an episode with Ada Lovelace, and that alone would probably make it good in my opinion. I’ve known about her since I was 8, did my fourth grade essay on her, and did a scout project on her, because she’s absolutely awesome. I kind of wish she could do more computer-related stuff in the episode, or calculate a mathematical equation or something like that. But she did do some cool things in the episode, including shooting The Master, which probably saved The Doctor’s life! Although we didn’t exactly get a chance to see her academic intelligence, we did see her being incredibly brave and able to think quickly.
The memory wipe at the end was disturbing, but I’m not really sure that wiping her memory is a sign of The Doctor going dark. After all, she could do a lot of damage to the timeline after seeing what she saw. It’s one thing to erase the companions memories of him/her (going with him for this since it’s in the past) — they’re his friends, and he’s chosen to show them the universe. They don’t often have good places in the ordinary world, and they aren’t normally geniuses. If they saw future technology, they think “oh, cool, that’s really amazing”. On the other hand, Ada Lovelace is really important. Ada Lovelace is in a position to change things. And Ada Lovelace may be smart enough to reverse-engineer some of what she saw and create a very unfortunate timeline. Earth is a mess in Doctor Who, but at least it’s an existant mess. Who knows what Ada Lovelace inventing something she saw could do to it; it could affect any number of the alien invasions on Earth.
But, while I think a mind-wipe was necessary, it was kind of weird that The Doctor did it in that way. She could have explained (some of) the situation to Ada and let her say goodbye first, but (if I remember correctly) she basically said “I have to wipe your memory” and then did so while Ada pleaded with her to stop. The way she did it was the somewhat disturbing part, not the fact that she did so.
Thanks, @syzygy, for the explanation of The Master’s confusing behavior! That does make sense, and I agree that none of his versions that I’ve seen would plan like that, although the “in case I die” thing kind of reminds me of when (I think, got this off the wiki and don’t really remember the episode) the Harold Saxon version arranged to get resurrected. He did plan for his death, but never planned for a way to continue the truth should he be unable to return. The Harold Saxon version always thought he could and would come back if he died; this version seems to want the truth to continue should The Doctor win and he dies…Thank you for explaining some of this to me!
As to how/when The Master will escape from the strange dimension, I have absolutely no clue. The only reason The Doctor escaped was because of Ada Lovelace, so that options out. I guess it comes down to the question of how exactly Yas escaped and whether she’s still really Yas. (I think she is, although it would be cooler if she was replaced or had 93% human DNA.) While the Kasaavin was trapped in The Master’s TARDIS, it, if I remember correctly, seemed to turn into Yas and then she was transported there. (This actually makes me think that Yas is herself but her body’s not her own — perhaps it’s made out of the Kasaavin and then her mind was transported/psychically grafted into/onto her new body.) So, how does The Master use this to get out? Was Yas able to escape because The Master told the Kasaavin to let her go? Because then, now that he’s not in charge anymore, that option is gone. Did she escape because of the disappearance of the Kasaavin that was trapped? It may be possible to escape then without controlling the Kasaavin. But the idea that she escaped because the Kasaavin were ordered to let her go seems more likely. Which means that someone would need to control the Kasaavin and let him out.
There’s been speculation that The Doctor will let him out due to the mystery of the Timeless Child, but I doubt she will. I think the Twelfth Doctor allowed Missy to stay out of the vault for something, and tested her redemption by sending her on a mission? She still thinks that Missy betrayed her (well, him then) and so it would be strange for her to do that again after how she thinks it ended last time. Still, I think someone has to let him out. Who could it be?
A past/future version of himself. Another enemy of The Doctor who wants him to fight. A companion who stops trusting The Doctor or just barely escapes a mind wipe and then decides that they want to know the truth. This actually seems possible. There’s a lot more distrust between the companions and The Doctor right now, and I think the brevity of her “I’m a Time Lord from Gallifrey, you can’t visit right now” speech is just going to add fuel to the fire. As much as The Doctor will want to know what’s going on, she’s not going to let somebody dangerous out to do so (I think). It’s much more likely that one of the companions will let him out. They didn’t see him as himself other than in two scenes — one in which he blew up the plane but he didn’t succeed, and one in which The Doctor explained precisely how she fixed the situation and then makes the Kasaavin turn on him. They’re not going to be nearly as terrified of The Master as they should be — nearly dying loses some of its trauma when you’re constantly in peril.
But which one? Gram seems too loyal to The Doctor, but O’s offer of information may be too much. After all, he knows nearly nothing about her. He might even think he’s helping her. We saw a picture of him in the trailer with him in what appeared to be a white TARDIS, so that could be related. But Gram really doesn’t seem like the type to ever betray The Doctor, even if he really wants to know more than what was basically “I’m a Time Lord from Gallifrey. He is too. He’s evil. No, you can’t visit my home and stop asking questions.” (She wasn’t that abrupt, but she did shut down their attempts to discover more.)
I also doubt Ryan would do that. We don’t really know much about his personality, and he seems kind of blank to me. He’s supposed to be a brave and determined character who works hard to overcome his Dyspraxia, but he doesn’t end up feeling like anything other than someone who tags along. This is probably the result of 3 companions, but it leaves me with very little knowledge about his motivations. And yet, he also seems to be too loyal to ever help The Master with anything. Unless, of course, he does it for someone who he’s even more loyal to. Perhaps Gram and Ryan’s relationship wasn’t built up last season for nothing. If Gram’s cancer comes back, I could see Ryan helping The Master escape if he thinks it would help him. The trouble is, I can’t think of a situation where The Master would actually be more help to him than The Doctor. This also doesn’t feel that Doctor Who like of a scenario.
Finally, there’s Yas, who I’m worried might do it because she thinks it will save the day. Perhaps the big foe (the one who’s coming for The Doctor in the season 12 trailer) is incredibly difficult to beat and the secret of the Timeless Child is the only way to win. Even then, even when the fate of the universe depends on it, I don’t think this Doctor will help The Master escape. She might not even realize that the fate of the universe depends on it. The fate of the universe might not even actually depend on it. (I think it will, though.) What matters is that Yas thinks it does. I could see Yas thinking about it, realizing that they will lose without his help, and weighing her choices. And I could see her making the difficult decision to let him out, even though he’s evil, even though he might just make it worse, and even though it would be the end of her travels with The Doctor. I’m probably wrong about this, but I think that if one of the companions helps The Master escape, it will be Yasmin, and she’ll do it because she honestly thinks it’s the best choice. She won’t believe she’s betraying The Doctor; she’ll think she’s helping her even though The Doctor thinks she’s sided with evil. I hope it doesn’t come to this, though. I like Yas.8 January 2020 at 03:08 #68888
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I’m new to this forum (and to participating in the Doctor Who fandom) but I really wanted to participate in this discussion. If I’m missing anything from the 1st — War Doctor incarnations, feel free to tell me that. I’m relying on TARDIS wiki for information on that.</p>
My current insane and completely incorrect theory for this episode is that when The Master says that the Time Lord species was “built on the lie of the Timeless Child” (or something similar, built was definitely involved though) he might mean that it was literally built on lies. Maybe he’s saying that Gallifrey is a lie, or that the Time Lord species was built or somehow genetically engineered.
Also, since he’s already proven a fan of pulling “exact wording”, I was thinking about the grammar of that statement. They could be told the lie, which is about the Timeless Child. This seems to imply more than a simple hidden secret. They were told a lie about the Timeless Child, and chances are we already accept the lie as truth. The Timeless Child is a person, so perhaps someone from Gallifrey’s history isn’t who we think? (I’m well aware that other people have said this already, but I still wanted to state my agreement.)
Or, the sentence could mean something different. The lie of the Timeless Child. Not the lie about the Timeless Child. The lie belonging to the Timeless Child. The lie the Timeless Child told. So I think it might be possible that someone, one of the founding fathers of Gallifrey, is the Timeless Child, and was the one who told the lie.
I don’t know why this would make The Master want to destroy Gallifrey, but he’s insane so the reasoning doesn’t have to make sense to me, only to him. Still, there’s got to be something that made him hate either the Time Lords (although he doesn’t seem to hate The Doctor any more than usual, excluding Missy) or Gallifrey itself so much that he’d destroy it.
He said that he had to “make them pay”, but the Founding Fathers are all dead (maybe not Rassilon; I believe he interacted with the 12th Doctor; I’m not certain). How is killing the present Time Lords going to get a proper revenge, when they were, presumably, lied to as well? Another thing I found interesting is that (according to the write-out of the hologram message on TV Tropes; not exactly reliable, but seeing as I can’t rewatch the episode it’s the best I’ll get) The Master says “It’s buried deep in all our memories. In our identity.” Memories implies that they saw it and were present for it happening. Identity, singular. I’m not sure what to make of that.
Also, when he says “We are not who we think. You or I,” I’m not quite certain of whether he’s saying the Time Lords in general aren’t who they think of themselves as, or just the two of them. Probably the Time Lords, and The Master’s just being dramatic.
I was confused about some things in this episode. The major one being The Master’s motivations — although we’ll find out more later. He says that this was to get The Doctor’s attention and tell her about Gallifrey, but seems genuinely surprised at the fact that the light creatures didn’t kill her. Also, if he planned to murder The Doctor, why leave her a hologram on Gallifrey? He tells her about Gallifrey being destroyed on the tower, but then he tries to kill her. And in the steam technology fair, he tells her to stay dead when he kills her (I could be wrong, I felt very uncomfortable watching that scene for unknown reasons and could have misheard).
So if he wants to tell her about Gallifrey so much, how come he kills her and then doesn’t expect her to stay alive? Then again, he could just be acting, but he did say “in the second before you die” at the end of part one. Did he just change his plan after realizing that getting rid of her was harder than he thought? It would have been fairly simple if he brought backup to the Eiffel Tower. That could have backfired on him, but even if he had just tried to kill her there other than his impulsive attempt to choke her which was doomed to fail (it’s not like she kept watching him the whole time; she definitely looked away when he was talking about Gallifrey, which was a perfect opportunity to attack). I could believe that he didn’t actually want The Doctor dead, especially considering that he appears to be post-Missy. But the fact is, he does seem to want her dead for the end of Part 1 and the first half or so of Part 2. It’s only during the Eiffel Tower scene that he (in my opinion) starts to act like she’ll live, and even then he says that she won’t get a chance to verify what he says because he’ll kill her first.
And he bangs his head against the TARDIS console, frustrated, with no one watching. No one to act for. He was legitimately upset that The Doctor survived. Now, I don’t think I’ll get an explanation for this, but the inconsistency is bothering me.
I personally think the most logical explanation for The Timeless Child is that the Time Lords used to be human, but I doubt that it’s true. I don’t think I’d really want it to be true either, but I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t change how things worked by too much. Retconning is a tradition. Anyway, that seems overly obvious and like it would upset too many people, and I doubt it will be the secret.
I really like what lisa said above about the fish picture — it would be cool if it was more than just a one-off thing.
Basically, my conclusion is that I’m confused and that there’s lots of ways to use the exact wording. Please tell me if I made any mistakes!