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    HTPBDET @replies

    I have just visited my Uncle and he sends regards to all.
    Uncle says that he is with @wolfweed, @bluesqueakpip and @nick and that he thinks the face of Hurt has been manipulated for the policeman. To appear younger.
    He agrees with Miss Bluesqueakpip that the “policeman” exchange with Amy in Eleventh Hour may be a clue hidden in plain sight. If the Dr knows that the TARDIS exploding could be the moment when his former self in policeman mode seals his timeline, then he would be desperate to stop the TARDIS from exploding and, having done it, on edge at the thought of a policeman when re-encountering Amy.
    He also agrees that the morphed Hurt face might well position him for Dr Zero. Hurt being Dr Zero also ties in the Doctor running away from something all his lives…himself.
    Mr Wolfweed posted a breakdown of the trailer in sketchform in which there was no policeman. So Uncle thinks the policeman has been specifically added and perhaps is more than just a reference to Unearthly Child. Uncle says that across all incarnations, the Doctor has consistently not wanted to be thought of as any kind of policeman.
    He thinks that it is possible that Silence has fallen on all of the Doctors and their mixed up time line. He thinks that this may tend to mean that the Hurt Doctor caused the TARDIS explosion across all time and space, that he was the unexplained voice.
    He wonders if the policeman is representative of what the Hurt Dr is – Dr Zero, in traditional old Time Lord mode. Someone who policies time anomalies? He wonders if Dr Zero does something which breaks the First Rule of Time or enforces it but in a way which does not help someone –perhaps just sealing the future Drs in? – so, not in the name of the Doctor.
    He also wonders if Moffat is misdirecting – there was a time when Sarah-Jane sort of looked into a crtsyal ball – in Pyramids of Mars when the Doctor showed her an alternative future. So the idea of the Daleks invading Gallifrey might just be an alternative future (and the likely cause of the mission in Genesis of the Daleks) which Hurt seeks to avoid by sealing his own future timeline (which he has to do post Smith as otherwise the escaped Daleks from the sealed Time War will not be contained).
    Miss Bluesqueakpip also made him realise that the blue Junkyard doors could actually be the doors of a different TARDIS/SIDRAT enclosing the Doctor’s timeline – symbolic in many ways he thought. Hence the console outside the TARDIS in the yard. And that was why this Policeman was standing guard. Because it was a prison for his own future jumbled timeline.
    A friend reminded him of this line from Day of the Daleks:

    You’re trapped in a temporal paradox. Styles didn’t start that explosion and start the war. You did it all yourselves.

    Uncle wonders whether Hurt will say something like that:

    You’re all trapped in a temporal paradox. The Daleks and the Timelords didn’t start the war. You did it all yourselves.

    I hope I have got this all right for Uncle. Miss Shazzbot – if I made mistakes please correct them. Thank you.
    Mini- HTPDBET(s)


    HTPBDET @replies

    Thank you Miss ScaryB and Miss janetteB


    I will tell Uncle.

    He will, I think, be interested that Miss ScaryB thinks the policemen could be Hartnell.

    I forgot to mention that Unlcle wondered whether the Policeman was meant to be a Zygon copy of the Hurt Dr.


    Thank you


    Mine HTPBDET(s)


    HTPBDET @replies

    Thank you Miss Shazzbot.

    I am confused though.

    Does this mean you think it is Hurt or that you don’t?

    Uncle is certain it is not the same policeman from Unearthly Child.

    He is also struck with how every Doctor and Companion is frozen in action – as if locked.

    He wonders if Hurt is there playing the Policman, what is he doing? Has he just sealed the Time War with the Doctors all inside?

    He is also interested that the Tom Baker image is falling – he wonders if that is a nod to the end of Genesis?

    He is wondering if  Hurt (whether Dr Zero or Dr 13 or whoever he is) seals the Time War one way and and because Dr 11 has gone to Trenzalore, the one place he should not, he has a chance to undo what Hurt has done and seal it a different way.

    He also thinks the reflection could be Susan and wondered if it will turn out that Sarah-Jane Smith was Susan all the time under a Chameleon Arch. We were excited by that idea, but he did not seem too keen.

    He is very frustrated to not be able to have access to technlogy.


    HTPBDET @replies

    Mini-HTPBDET(s) here

    My Uncle wanted to know whether anyone else thought that John Hurt was the policeman at the very beginning of the trailer.

    He thinks it is Hurt.




    HTPBDET @replies

    @tardisblue @janetteb @xad4 @scaryb @craig @Shazzbot @all

    Thanks for the kind words ( and welcome @xad4 ) – much appreciated.

    I have had a little setback with incompatible medication and thus have been retreating into dark, cool places with a “Must Rest” stamp on my forehead.

    I have missed most of what has been posted these last eight or so days but will catch up in time.

    I will probably be in radio silence for a few weeks as things settle into a routine. Well, as much of a routine as there can be when there is a wedding to arrange, nephews to educate on the mysteries of earlier Doctors and thoughts to pull together in preparation for the Anniversary Special.

    Hope you are each and all – everyone of this Forum – having a lovely Summer.

    All the best

    HTPBDET @replies


    I never said that your theory was incompatible with a force controlling the TARDIS.

    I also don’t ignore information given in what you refer to as Act Two.

    Nothing you say proves any aspect of your theory. You may well be right, but there is no proof for your theory in the programme. I admire your certainty about your thoughts.

    The paradox the TARDIS is trying to deal with in Girl Who Waited is an entirely different type of paradox from the one you insist occurs in Pandorica Opens. I do not see how having two versions of the same entity in the one timeline (a matter which caused no concern to the TARDIS in either Three or Five Doctors) is necessarily the same or lesser or greater than a paradox involving a person conceived by parents who have never existed or a person whose parents have died prior to conception.

    You do – and that’s fine.

    I also never said anyone needed to make any assumptions. But your theory assumes there is no difference between inanimate and inanimate objects.

    I don’t know what happened. But I don’t see there is any evidence in the programme – as yet anyway – which shows that the TARDIS exploded because River was an impossible paradox because Amy died.

    Not that I care about the “entr’acte” because it is not part of the programme, but it is equivocal anyway. If the Doctor thought River was just a bad driver of the TARDIS he could say what he says there.

    For reasons which I do not think have been explained, the TARDIS exploded at the end of Pandorica. It might be because of the reason you suggest. I just don’t see that it must be for that reason. Or that anyone who does not think that way is ignoring the facts.

    The intervention of an outside force, who traps River in the TARDIS and then destroys the TARDIS (either with or without the aid of the Crack) is, of itself, a sufficient explanation albeit as yet unstated.

    If it were the case that the rationale for the explosion was the paradox that was River, why did the Doctor not spend any time at all trying to work out what happened? That is a problem too for the outside force theory – indeed, the easiest answer to that question is that he just assumed River did something wrong in the TARDIS.

    I am happy for you to have your theory and to be convicned by it. It’s a good theory.

    But it is just a theory.


    HTPBDET @replies


    Interesting theory.

    Is there anything to support the notion that Dalek Clara survived the destruction of the Asylum?

    The constant references/allusions to Rose do seem to be leading somewhere…

    I do quite like the idea that before the Doctor sealed the Time War he sought Susan out to save her. And hide her. Its an interesting question – what happens to a chameleon arched TimeLord if they suffer a fatal injury? Because they are under the arch, they cannot regenerate?

    But, of course, if the Doctor did hide Susan then he would know who Clara really is. And, so far, that is the reason I don’t think we will find out that the Doctor had anything to do with hiding Susan, if hide her he did.

    I also quite like the idea that it is Rose who gives the telephone number to Clara in the shop.

    Either way, Clara is very different from Susan – so if she does turn out to be a relation then I’ll be fine with the notion – its the way it plays out that matters.



    HTPBDET @replies


    Are there rules in the real world about what does or does not constitute a time paradox?

    You may be approaching this from a scientific basis, wheras I am just thinking about it in terms of the story.

    My starting point is that the writer can do whatever the writer chooses (and usually does).

    Could there not be a difference between the way the paradox affects living, breathing sentient creatures and the way it affects inanimate objects? You equate Amy with a physical object – but I am not sure why that needs to be or should be so?

    The photograph is interesting – because of what happened in Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS. There, the timeline changed and so did the photograph. But that is not what happened to the Rory photo in Pandorica. An error or something deliberate?

    One of the things that has always troubled me is why the Crack didn’t swallow Amelia? I assume there is a reason but I dont think I know what it is – perhaps that is yet to be clarified as well?

    The ring exists because someone made it. Rory bought it, but he didn’t make it.

    I don’t know who took the photograph but it might be that because of the Crack, Amy’s room became some sort of “safe zone”, where she could live and grow up and not be affected – and everything that happened in that room was preserved. Possibly even enhanced. This notion helps explain why the memories had special powers which could be used by the Nestenes and detected by River – and why Amy’s powerful memories turn out to have the redemptive powers they do (for the Doctor).

    Amy remembers the Doctor and Rory, but little Amelia does not remember her parents. When the universe is restored, you see that Amy has a perfectly normal relationship with her parents, so why didn’t Amelia have the ability to remember them? Is it because the prolonged exposure to the Crack gave her greater powers of memory? On the other hand, if she couldn’t remember them, how could she bring them back?

    While I quite see the force of your argument, I am not sure it is the only way to make sense of what happened.

    River says she feels like the TARDIS is being controlled by another force. The Doctor seems to accept that and suggests she shuts down the TARDIS. There is an unexplained voice.

    Can you tell me how your argument deals with these issues? I ask only because I don’t understand.

    These things suggest to me that it was not the TARDIS taking River to the house to express her unhappiness. And we have never seen the TARDIS behave in that way before (which is not to say that is not what the TARDIS is doing, just that it is unexpected).

    They suggest to me that something else was going on there which may yet be played out.

    But, as I have said before, you may be entirely right and the loose ends which bother me will just be left dangling.


    HTPBDET @replies


    For my own part, I can’t see a difference based upon when X was born in the situation we are discussing.

    If Amy’s parents have been removed from the timeline by the Crack then she is a paradox. The people who gave birth to her had never existed, so nor should/could she exist. The TARDIS does not react badly to that.

    River has had a parent die and a parent erased – perhaps before they could conceive her. I quite see that there is a difference, factually, in the two situations but I am not sure if there is a difference conceptually.

    In either case, the paradox remains. The progenitors are erased – therefore the child can’t come into existance.

    I don’t remember anything in the series which suggests a difference between the two scenarios – is there such a reference that I have missed? (It is quite likely I could have missed it)

    As to what the Unknown Force may have introduced into the TARDIS…perhaps another TARDIS? Isn’t River the one thing that we know the Unknown Force did not introduce to the TARDIS ?

    I am not sure what you mean by the presence of the Crack? Doesn’t Forest of the Dead establish that proximity to the Crack can have consequences which are unpredictable?

    I am not, for a moment, wanting to be understood as thinking that you or @phaseshift are wrong.  It may well turn out exactly as you say.

    I just cannot see what you both see so clearly.


    HTPBDET @replies


    The Baker is the key to the whole show and the relationship between he and his wife a delicate, real one which sits in contrapuntal mode against the fairytale action.

    And he needs to sing really very well. (Corden does not)

    Corden may surprise me but based on everything I have seen him do (live, on TV and in auditions) I can’t see it.

    But I will certainly see the film – as you say he might pull it off.

    Patrick Wilson wanted to pay the Baker and I rather wish he had been cast. Oh well…

    HTPBDET @replies

    @bluesqueakpip @Shazzbot

    I rather think I just take a default position of looking for the simplest explanation – and by that I don’t mean anything other than what seems clearest to me.

    The two things I thought might have caused the TARDIS to explode were:

    (a) The intervention of an as yet unknown force (because, as you say @bluesqueakpip, there is still the question of who trapped River inside the TARDIS when it was exploding and it is at least possible that the two things, the trapping and the explosion, are linked);  or

    (b) River had gone to Amy’s room after some of her memories, which had been powerful enough in that room to permit copying by the Nestene Consciousness, had been diminished by what the Nestenes had done. Whether or not that mattered, she still took the TARDIS to the house at a point where the Crack was bigger than it had been before. I just took it, there being no further explanation proferred in the programme itself, that the TARDIS being that close to the Crack was no good for the TARDIS and the interaction between the TARDIS and the Crack caused the TARDIS to explode, the TARDIS being , effectively trapped by the Crack.

    The reason that the River paradox solution never appealled to me was because I could not see how it was consistent with the rest of the season (and I prefer a world, and this is just me obviously, where everything works together).

    I could not see how the death of Amy and Rory could be a problem for the TARDIS in relation to the paradox of River because the TARDIS had never reacted badly to Amy – yet, Amy was herself a paradox, her family having been taken by the Crack (and wiped as though they had never existed) and the TARDIS had, happily enough, operated with Amy on board. But maybe I have just misunderstood something there?

    There are other residual questions too:

    (a)    Is the explosion at the end of Pandorica separate from or related to the explosions in the  TARDIS at the commencement of Eleventh Hour?

    (b)   What does it mean for the entire Pond arc that the end of Angels Take Manhatten apparently sees the Doctor arriving in Amelia’s backyard – so that she is not a disappointed little girl who waits?

    (c)    To whom does the omnipotent sounding voice belong? – if it is Hurt (who must surely have been around and easily accessible given Merlin duties at the time) is what he did that the Doctor disowns related to the exploding TARDIS in Pandorica?

    HTPBDET @replies


    Okay – so you think the Doctor’s confinement might not be causative – but that the loss of the second progenuitor of River is?

    The Universe in that timeline ends because the River Paradox, caused by Amy’s death,  is too big?



    HTPBDET @replies

    @bluesqueakpip @phaseshift

    Can I just ask if I have your theory about the TARDIS exploding correct?

    Is it this?:

    The TARDIS reacts to events occuring in the timeline in which the TARDIS is present. River is in the TARDIS at a point where, outside in the timeline, her mother is killed by her already dead father whose memories have been copied and inserted into a Nestene duplicate and therefore, she represents a paradox in that timeline: she exists but should not because the people who cause her to exist have ceased to exist before her birth.

    Is that correct?

    Or is there a further, key point – that the Doctor, the one person the TARDIS knows can confound paradoxes, is placed in confinement and so is incapable of dismantling the paradox.

    I am just trying to understand the argument.

    I always assumed it was one of two other things, but happy to be convinced otherwise.

    HTPBDET @replies

    @tardisblue @Shazzbot

    Depp should be fine as the Wolf although he just won’t sing Hello Little Girl with the rapacious glee and dexterity it needs.

    Far more troubling, however, is Corden as the Baker. I can’t see that. But Sondheim, who has final casting approval, and Marshall, who is a genius, obviously do. Hopefully, he will be the surprise…

    HTPBDET @replies


    Ghostlight leads into Curse of Fenric and, really, is at the heart of both what is good and bad about that era. So – an ideal choice methinks.

    Remembrance is great fun and an Anniversary story.

    HTPBDET @replies


    Yes – that is all I meant. It was a small attempt to be humorous (at my own expense) but I did not mean to suggest anything about the Forum rules.


    Your enthusiasm and sheer glee is joyful. Thanks!

    Mind you, the thought that my nephews had chosen Episode Three of Twin Dilemma specifically to make me squirm only serves to ensure the fate that awaits them as attendants at the wedding. 🙂

    HTPBDET @replies


    I think you can be either intrigued by Twin Dilemma or dead – actually, they may be the same state…

    Twin Dilemma is, to use a term with which I unintentionally offended @phaseshift, a dog’s turd. I don’t think he will be offended if I use the word in this context – at least I hope not.

    @bluesqueakpip is, I think, charitable to Maurice Denham. But he is usually excellent – it’s just that no one could make this drivel entertaining or even watchable!

    My nephews loved watching me squirm @scaryb….

    HTPBDET @replies



    But lets not get ahead of ourselves…

    HTPBDET @replies

    So pleased to see @Shazzbot back – so thank you to everyone, especially perhaps @craig, for contributing to that welcome result.

    In other news, I have been released to Home care and the delight of my nephews, who welcomed me with my penance of Episode Three of Twin Dilemma…

    Intensive care was so nice…

    HTPBDET @replies


    That was genius!



    HTPBDET @replies


    My sincerest humblest apologies.

    I forgot that people may not have known that – sorry!

    If Shazzbot were here, she would have swooped and moved my unthinking spoiler to Spoilers…

    I will do penance by watching an episode of Twin Dilemma

    HTPBDET @replies


    More “outsider insider” info I think ! 🙂

    Hurt said he played part of a trinty or kind of trinity…and there have been a lot of religous images in the last few years…so seems a possibility…one which, I confess, I think might be okay. Certainly an exciting way to head into the future…

    Lets face it – in Three Doctors, the first Anniversary programme, there was a trinity of Doctors defeating Omega. What a lovely touch to have another trinity – perhaps again defeating Omega – in this 50th Anniversary?

    As to the missing or lurking Shazzbot, @blenkinsopthebrave, I seem to have missed the whole invasion of the angry trolls that appears to have precipiated her dematerialisation, which is probably good for me, but makes understanding what happened to her hard.

    Suffice it to say that I agree with you entirely and without equivocation that @craig has been and continues to be an unrivalled marvel/genius/God given his creation and ongoing supervision and faciliation of this site – but I also think that he should have his statements about site issues respected (even if they might seem impossible to understand to those of us who are mere onlookers) precisely because they are his statements.

    For my part, I assumed he said what he said to quell idle speculation and to encourage Shazzbot to return if and when she felt the troll damage had passed. I thought that was precisely what a good leader would do.

    And like everyone else who has said so, and even those who have not but think it, I hope our Topic Dalek returns sooner rather than later.

    Cheers to all.

    HTPBDET @replies


    It was an old rumour running around the BBC and theatre circles (particularly Donmar crowd) that Chiwitel Ejiofor was offered the part when Tennant left but turned it down. I have no idea if that is true.

    As to rumours – I am told that the various secret lists of possible Doctors being circulated within the BBC in the last few weeks was an elaborate smokescreen to put people off the scent. So, the current story goes, moffat masterminded deliberate misinformation within various channels to see where the leaks turned up – I think, in particular, to see whether his suspicion about who leaked the regeneration to Ian Levine was true. Hence, two schools of thought within the BBC – Worldwide thinking young white male usual suspects and the BBC itself thinking “woman”. And, as sual, the two not talking or comparing notes…

    All interesting stuff.

    One thing is clear – Capaldi has been decided upon for quite some time. And I think there is still every chance that we will get an unexpected regeneration – or perhaps a reforging? (Hurt’s comments about a trinity – perhaps they all fuse together and morph into Capaldi?) – in the 50th.


    HTPBDET @replies


    Thanks for your words.

    I was going to ask you whether you meant Merrily or Woods, so thanks for clearing that up.

    I do think you are right to think about Sondheim’s influences on Moffat – I don’t even know if they are conscious or not, but they do seem to be there.

    From Company:

    Today is for Amy.  Amy, I give you the rest of my life.  To cherish and to keep you, to honor you forever.  Today is for Amy  – My happily soon-to-be wife 

    From Follies:

    You take one road, You try one door, There isn’t time for any more. One’s life consists of either/or. One has regrets Which one forgets, And as the years go on. The road you didn’t take Hardly comes to mind, Does it? The door you didn’t try, Where could it have led? The choice you didn’t make Never was defined. Was it! Dreams you didn’t dare are dead. Were they ever there?Who said! I don’t remember, I don’t remember at all. The books I’ll never read wouldn’t change a thing, would they? The girls I’ll never knowI’m too tired for. The lives I’ll never lead couldn’t make me sing. Could they? Could they? Could they? Chances that you miss. Ignore. Ignorance is bliss– What’s more, You won’t remember, You won’t remember at all, not at all…

    From Night Music:

    Isn’t it rich? Are we a pair? Me here at last on the ground, You in mid-air.S end in the clowns. Isn’t it bliss? Don’t you approve? One who keeps tearing around, One who can’t move. Where are the clowns? Send in the clowns. Just when I’d stopped opening doors, Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours, Making my entrance again with my usual flair, Sure of my lines, No one is there. Don’t you love farce? My fault I fear. I thought that you’d want what I want. Sorry, my dear. But where are the clowns? Quick, send in the clowns. Don’t bother, they’re here.

    From Merrily:

    Tend your Dream. Some roads are easy. Dreams take Time. Some roads are all uphill. Time goes By. Some roads you plod along with a will. Some roads you travel just for the thrill. Bend your Dream. Some rides are breezy. With the Road. Some roads are full of jiggles and bumps. Can’t let it get you down in the dumps.

    And many more.

    I particularly like this line from Merrily : it always makes me thinks of a particular sort of “fan”:

    Charley, Nothing’s the way that it was. I want it the way that it was. God knows, things were easier then. Trouble is, Charley, that’s what everyone does: blames the way it is on the way it was, on the way it never ever was.


    HTPBDET @replies


    I have lost count of how many times you have made me laugh when I had a mouthful of tea and then ended up covered it said tea.  This:

    Maybe this is what he did that wasn’t in the Name of the Dr (ie slept with River to get some peace and sanity! )


    I don’t have any idea what Hurt did or how he fits in in a satisfactory way.  But as everybody seems to expect that the Time War is involved, especially after the release of the Dalek photos, I still cant help wondering if Moffat is trying to trick us. To provide a big surprise. Somehow.

    Imagine, though, that McGann does appear and is taking an heroic approach to the Time War, self-sacrificing typical Doctor. Then either he regenerates into Hurt and Hurt takes the opposite approach to the Time War – thus causing the stress in future Doctors who resent what he has done but dont feel they can undo it – or he is the Valeyard in a different form and seals the Time War.

    Or something else entirely.

    It is the Clara as Daughter possibility which keeps me from thinking that Hurt will be Doctor Zero, because I just can’t see how the two would work – but that might be the very reason he is. Because Moffat has some clever idea that we don’t have an inkling of, which will set up the unraveling of the Clara as Daughter arc.

    As to Capaldi, well, as will be no surprise to you, I am well and truly ready for a regeneration. Capaldi is an excellent actor. But it will all be in the playing and the writing. I was sceptical about Eccleston when he was annouced – but he turned out to be very good indeed.

    Doctor Who thrives on change. And this change is as marked as you could hope for after Smith (leaving aside non-white or non-male possibilities).  So it bodes well.

    Time will tell, as it always does. I won’t have an opinion about Capaldi’s Doctor until I have seen him in action.



    HTPBDET @replies

    @pedant – re Shazzbot  – I too hope she comes back soon. Lurking is not enough!

    The Topic Dalek must revive not regenerate!

    Perhaps I should offer to add an S (for Shazzbot)…but I quite see that might not be an inducement…


    HTPBDET @replies


    No, I don’t think your theory is as bonkers as you seem too.

    Depressingly, it has been worrying me for some time that this is how it might pan out.

    There are no explanations given for River’s sudden sickness and given Amy’s similar reactions it is certainly reasonable to speculate that River too is pregnant.As to who her child might be – well, Clara does seem a natural.

    For one thing, it would explain the Doctor stalking her past – if he was placing River and his child in a safe place for her own protection. (People have assumed that Smith was checking up on Clara’s past but that sequence might be there to distract)  Secondly, it would tie up with River not having seen Clara before Name of the Doctor but still being connected to her after she went into the tunnel. Thirdly, it means Clara can be the Impossible Girl twice – in the sense we already know and in the sense that the Doctor hides her to save her only to have her grow up, unknown to him, to be his saviour. Fourthly, it would go some way to explaining why River chooses not to travel with the Doctor.

    The ludicrous snog remains an issue – but can be laughed off on the basis neither knew who the other really was.

    Whether Clara then finds a way to be Susan’s mother – who knows? But given that we know there is a Gallifreyan Susan, then that too is possible. Why she would be urging Hartnell to leave with Susan is a mystery so far, but there are lots of possibilities.And, of ocurse, an aged Clara could still be on Gallifrey – perhaps she is the mystery woman we saw in Tennant’s finale?

    This all does tie in with a kind of reboot as has been much mooted.

    It also would appeal to Moffat’s paradox motif.

    As @scaryb (hello!) says, it would leave the Doctor’s original history rewritten and not rewritten; the first fifty years would start with the Dr and his granddaughter travelling, exiles from their home planet; the second fifty years with the Dr and his daughter ( though not the cloned one we expect ) having exiled their home planet.

    So, yes, you may well be right.

    And if you are, then, to slightly misquote Troughton, “Ah, Moffat, you’ve been redecorating I see…I don’t like it!”


    HTPBDET @replies

    He is an excellent actor so the potential is there!

    Best of all he, simply by his age and gravitas, can take it to new territory.

    HTPBDET @replies


    Yes, that section with the cockroach is lovely.

    You are right – it is a witty script!

    HTPBDET @replies

    ACE:                 Professor. Josiah’s lucifugous.
    DOCTOR:       Yes. He doesn’t like light, either.
    ACE:                What about the spaceship in the cellar? It’s knackered, isn’t it?
    DOCTOR:       Yes. I fixed it. Uncle Josiah knows as much about it’s secrets as a hamburger knows about the Amazon desert.
    ACE:               Sounds a bit like you and the Tardis.

    One of the things I was interested in about this exercise was whether, watching one episode a week , the plot and characters of Ghostlight would be clear in the memory, because on original broadcast I remembered that it was, during the McCoy period, often difficult to keep track of them. This was not a problem that I had even encountered pre-Colin Baker, but it certainly was a problem during his era and then again, on and off, during Mccoy’s time.
    Interestingly, even though I now know the plot and the characters, somehow the watching of these episodes still sees me unsure about who is who (so to speak) and what is going on. With you, @craig!
    Mainly, I think that is down to bad direction and bad sound and the occasional bit of bad supporting cast acting. It is certainly the case with this episode two.
    When I read the script, it seems chilling, mysterious and quite thrilling; but on watching, it is both too bright and too dark (lighting) and the set pieces (the fights, the confrontations, the reveals) are too clunky and pantomimish. It’s the execution, not the ideas, which let this down.
    And yet…it still holds the interest – and mainly this is down to the determination of McCoy and the brio that Sophie Aldred’s Ace constantly displays.
    There are some humourous Gilbert and Sullivan references, both to The Mikado and Princess Ida, which are appropriate and give a real sense of period to the proceedings. Indeed, there is a lot of good narrative humour here – Inspector Mackenzie is a particular joy.
                  DOCTOR:                             I’m busy, Inspector.

    MACKENZIE:                    And I have my investigation to complete.
    DOCTOR:                             Still not found the mustard? Since I awoke you, you have consumed three English breakfasts, two elevenses and one four-course meal. Why don’t you go and get Mrs Grose to make you some afternoon tea.
    MACKENZIE:                   She’s hiding facts from me, and so are you, and if you don’t tell me where the rest of the household is, I shall arrest you for obstructing my enquires.

    And, certainly, by the end of this episode, the plot has thickened to its ripest point. It is difficult to know what the hell is going on but there is a sense that the Doctor is quite clear about it and knows what he has to do. McCoy at his enigmatic and manipulative best.
    Interesting that MCoy uses the gun-like device so calmly and that he insists Ace use it too – somehow with McCoy’s brooding and determined Doctor, this does not seem out of place.
    Ace is very fetching in her new dress and it is interesting how clothes make no dent on the spirit of Ace – Aldred plays the character with a clear through line regardless of what she is dressed in. That’s a skill.
    Who will the creature in the basement be? What/Who is Control? What is the Light? Why was Ace scared by the house when she first visited? How are there two Josiahs?
    And was that the head of that silly creature from Arc of Infinity  (No, I don’t mean Colin Baker) standing with Mr Flyhead and being mean to Ace at the start of the episode?
    So many questions providing a reason to tune in next week. The only issue is remembering them…

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    Yes, quite.

    Who knows?

    Moffat lies – we know that.

    He wanted a surprise regeneration – we know that. Is there a way for him to have his cake and eat it too? Because if there is, I feel sure he will take it.


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    I truly do not understand why Rose causes such annoyance to some people, but I accept that she does.

    If you are a person who watched the Hartnell Doctor insist that his grand-daughter stay behind on a Dalek ravaged Earth in the 21st Century because he knew she was in love with a human, you are not a person who thinks that the Doctor is not open to the prospect of a Time Lord having a meaningful love affair with a person whose life will end before the Time Lord’s does.

    Clearly, the Doctor is capable of falling in love: Susan is, essentially, all of the proof you need for that conclusion.

    But that does not mean that you must take the view that the Tenth Doctor fell in love with Rose.

    There is nothing in this passage which states in a completely straightforward way that Doctor Ten was in love with Rose:

    DONNA: “It’s better than that, though. Don’t you see what he’s giving you? Tell her, go on.”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “I look like him. Think like him. Same memories, same thoughts, same everything, except… I’ve only got one heart.”
    ROSE: “Which means..?”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “I’m part Human. Specifically, the ageing part. I’ll grow old. And never regenerate. I’ve only got one life, Rose Tyler. I… could spend it with you. If you want.”
    ROSE: “You’ll grow old… at the same time as me?”
    THE DOCTOR #2: “Together.”

    Of course, it is entirely open to the interpretation that the Tenth Doctor is in love with Rose. No doubt. And anyone who thinks that has my unqualified blessing.

    The scene does goes on and Rose challenges the Tenth Doctor to say that he loves her – and he doesn’t. And the audience sees the copy Doctor whisper into Rose’s ear what we believe are the three magic words.

    The Tenth Doctor’s silence is consistent with him not actually being in love with her, just as those who think he is can read his silence as him not wanting to hurt her.

    To me, that quoted passage is key evidence as to why the Tenth Doctor was not in love with Rose.

    His copy is part human and that makes the difference.

    The word “except” is critical and meaningful. It can quite easily mean: “I can love you” or even “Because I only have one heart I can be in love with you in a way he can’t.”

    It also ties in with what the Doctor did not say when he left the devastated Rose at the end of Doomsday. If he was in love with her, he could easily have said so. As far as he knew, he would never see her again. He could have given her the comfort she craved. But he didn’t. If he was in love with her and thought he would never see her again why would he not just be honest about how he felt, so she would not always suffer wondering?

    Donna says “what he’s giving you” and she means it. Rose is being given something the Doctor cannot give her – a him who is capable of being in love with her.

    Of course, those that advocate the love affair can easily explain all that away. No trouble.

    But, for me, and I am quite happy to be alone in this, the Rose story was quite clear. Over time, she fell hard for him, he didn’t really notice that she had and then when he lost her he realised what she felt and he felt doubly bad – (a) because he had lost his playmate and (b) because his self-absorption had contributed to her sense of devastation.

    That does not mean that I think Rose was not important to the Doctor: I do. I also think that but for Billie Piper the AG series would not have done as well as it did.

    It also seems to me that it is quite natural that Tennant’s dying Doctor would save seeing Rose til last – because, at least from her point of view, one he understands, he caused the most damage to her.

    Donna’s loss of memory is not terrible from her point of view because she does not know about it; Martha has become a confident woman with a healthy and robust attitude to every aspect of her life.

    But he destroyed Rose and let her live with it until serendipity meant he could give her a second-best option which would see her largely content.

    And one key benefit of seeing it this way as it played out was that I had no trouble with Rose as a companion or any aspect of her contribution. They were great friends and they made me feel like Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen had all those years ago. When Rose appeared suddenly at the end of Partners in Crime it was truly exciting – at least for me and my nephews.

    She did not dominate the four years for me. I never found her irritating or thought of them as smug. They were having fun and, as a viewer, so was I.

    Indeed, when I think back to Tennant’s time now, my immediate thought is of he and Donna, not of he and Rose.

    All that said, there is another, more fundamental reason that I do not think the Doctor was in love with Rose.

    I think the Doctor is a hero, a good spirit, a force of compassion, kindness, joy and love. He sometimes goes a bit dark, broody or angry – but essentially, at his core, he is a true hero, virtuous and ebullient. He revels in freedom and life.

    Such a person, in my view, would, if they fell in love with someone, act on it. (Indeed this is what we are told to believe in relation to River)

    When a human falls in love with another human, there is no sense that a serious consideration is “will I outlive them?”. Is there? Perhaps I should just say that this is not my experience of it, for myself or in the loves of others I know.

    Equally, most of the time, one cannot help whom one loves – the chemistry just occurs and suddenly there you are.

    So, if Tennant’s Doctor was in love with Rose, why didn’t he find a way to reach her after Doomsday? Or at least try? ( Rose managed to find a way and she was not meant to have his intelligence ) Why didn’t he simply take her in his arms at the conclusion of Journey’s End, declare his undying love for her and live happily ever after with her until her death? Why did he let the copy have the woman he loved? And why, when he had the chance to give her the assurance Rose so desperately craved in those final moments at Bad Wolf Bay in Doomsday, did he not tell her the truth?

    However you answer those questions, if the answer is predicated on the position “He was in love with her but…” it is not pretty for the nature of the Doctor.

    The argument that he does not want to put her through the process of her ageing to death and him not is tosh. Relative to Rose, as she ages, so would the Doctor. They would grow old together, absolutely, it is just that eventually she would die and he would regenerate.

    One partner dying earlier than the other is just a simple possibility in any relationship.

    If you are in love with someone you do everything you can to make them happy. You don’t turn your back on them and pretend it is for their good. At least, not in my view.

    And the old “he’s an alien” argument doesn’t wash with me either – because if you believe he can fall in love, and did with Rose, then you are judging the relationship in human terms anyway.

    Reading the relationship the way I do leaves my admiration for the Doctor intact. If I truly believed he was in love with Rose and did what he did, I would loathe Tennant’s incarnation more than I loathe Colin Baker’s.

    But it’s just my own view, my own reaction to what I experienced and how I made sense of it.

    I don’t expect anyone else to necessarily share my view or even consider its worth and I don’t scoff at or condemn anyone who prefers a different interpretation.

    Everyone has their own personal journey with Doctor Who. It’s one of the series’ greatest joys.

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    Or it might be John Hurt….

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    I dont have any issue with the figures; as I said above I did not think they were bad.

    The BBC is not an easy organisation to understand – but there is a hard core of creatives who think new stuff is way more important than new old stuff – I.e. completely new series rather than extension of old successful series.

    Well, unless that old series is New Tricks or anything basically apart from Doctor Who.

    It is like some creatives are horrified that it succeeds.

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    Of course, your friend might be on the money about revisiting the Doctor’s youth on Gallifrey – but in the Anniversary Special…

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    Oh and you left out the host….John Barrowman surely??

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    I wonder if Zoe Ball being the host means anything?

    If it were someone famous, would they unleash her?

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    I am no expert on them but don’t think they are terribly bad – just down on the Tennant averages. So I am told.

    But there are all sorts of factors – like scheduling and weather – which can affect that.

    I don’t understand why they don’t play Doctor Who over the winter period.

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    @blenkinsopthebrave.  @tardisblue

    Interesting stuff.

    While a live event does tend to suggest the new Doctor might be someone everyone knows, equally it could suggest someone no one knows and they feel the (marketing) need to set them off with a bang.

    The kind of people who will be permitted into the live audience will be those who are so excited by the change that Bluesqueakpip’s posited tin dog would raise deafening cheers. I expect.

    As to Radcliffe, well, it’s possible but he is just far too young. And he is doing another series of that show with John Hamm on Sky. I wonder, too, whether he would think it was the right move career wise?

    The one thing, @tardisblue, which gives me pause about your source and Capaldi is the leaked “script” and the F word. That word would never appear in Doctor Who when made for television in the UK because of the watershed here. It could not be broadcast til after 9.

    And while possible, I truly cannot see SM setting the show on Gallifrey for a season unless it essentially becomes “The Young Doctor Who” and I can’t really see that happening, except as a programme in the CBBC strand, like the Sarah-Jane Adventures.

    But, alas, one aspect of your source’s report does ring in accord with what my insiders indicate: Danny Cohen has said that unless Who gets better figures next year than it has over the last three, Season 8 will be the end.

    Which, if true, does get back to the idea of Helen Mirren or someone truly “stellar” for a single year…

    I still hope that the Nicola Walker rumours are right and if not then Andrew Scott or Daniel Rigby or Toby Stephens or Paul Ritter.

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    Rule One: the BBC is full of shit!

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    But I am not holding my breath…

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    They were specific about the Patrick Troughton descendant but not which one.

    So there are at least three – David, Sam and Harry Melling….

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    Quite right.

    All responses to acting are entirely subjective – that is one of the great joys and mysteries of the craft.

    Equally, it means that everyone’s opinions are as valid as everyone else’s. I like the democratic nature of it enormously.

    Few things interest me more than discussing the fine details of acting, but I know that is an esoteric topic for many.

    This particular conversation has made me wonder, not for the first time, whether it is impossible for men and women to watch the same performance and react the same way. McLeela and I used to debate this for days…such fun!

    Bless you.


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    For anyone who cares, four BBC insiders claim that the 12th Doctor is a relative of a previous Doctor…

    A relative of one Patrick Troughton…

    Probably bollocks…

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    I think I am too old to think of Shipping as anything other than a way for Amazon to get stuff to me…happily!

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    Fine. Of course. Always happy to agree to disagree. I don’t know what I have said which offends, but it was not my intention to offend.

    I don’t, however, disagree about Eric Roberts. He can be really quite good – so the choices in the McGann movie must be deliberate – which make them even more extraordinary…

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    Now what will this be?

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    Well congratulations on making it through. Just consider in the preceding months I’ve sat through Twin Dilemma and Time and the Rani and I consider this the easiest of the three to revisit! When three regeneration tales make you misty eyed for Castrovalva you have to conclude that new regeneration tales are a bit trickier than most, and why I consider Eleventh Hour the best

    You deserve a medal… I just can’t watch Twin Dilemma…

    Power of the Daleks and Spearhead from Space were quite remarkable regeneration stories I thought and I confess to a soft-spot for Christmas Invasion too.

    But I think Eleventh Hour really deserves a place with Power and Spearhead because, like them, it boldly establishes an entirely new approach and heralds a new era and a new potentially fascinating incarnation.

    Twin Dilemma does that too – but in a completely wrong-headed way!

    It is interesting seeing them all laid out together in the Regeneration Box Set. Revelatory almost.

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    Forgive me, but I did not say that FA was fired. I don’t think that.

    But, equally, it is a little rich to rely upon the “RTD only ever saw Martha as a one season character” when she does appear in several episodes of Season 4.

    For my part, I think RTD wrote Season Three, saw how it went and how FA and Tennant worked together, and then wrote Season 4. And Martha appeared in as many episodes as RTD wanted her to appear in.

    Contractually, RTD had the option to tie FA for a full series if he had wanted to do that. Which is why I said what I said.

    What I should have said, and forgive me again for being loose with language, was that if RTD had been happy with Martha she would have done Season 4 as the incumbent companion. I thought my meaning was clear, but apologies as it obviously was not.


    Good grief. Is this “Shipping” an American thing? And, spare me, are there Shippers in the world of Doctor Who fandom?

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    Acting is a very subjective thing.

    One person can watch Judi Dench and say she is always playing variations on the same character and another can say she is the greatest living female actor on the planet.

    Equally, some people are not actors but personalities and that is how and why they work.

    I don’t think FA is a very good actor; I don’t think she has good instincts; I don’t think she has good timing; I don’t think she has any warmth and I don’t think she has good delivery. But she is mostly perfectly watchable.

    Martha is not thrilling. Both Rose and Donna were thrilling. And you can see from what Arthur Darville did with the meagre scraps thrown to Rory, how an excellent actor can make something wonderful out of very little.

    @bluesqueakpip, I think, prefers the view that the problems with Martha lie in the writing. Which is a perfectly fair position to take.

    To me, though, the performance of Martha is what is lacking. I honestly don’t see much lack of opportunity in the writing. In the right hands, Martha could have been blisteringly good.

    But you are right: If RTD had been happy with Martha, she would have done Season 4.

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