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    Miapatrick @replies

    Hi everyone!

    Having finished the taught module of my MA last week (which ran from October 2019) I finally have time. (I should have had time anyway, it’s a part time module, but I’m really slow). And the best thing to do with time, I thought, and the most appropriate, was to subscribe to Britbox and watch BG who.

    And one thing that’s struck me is the effect of the missing episodes. We end one story with Barbara and Ian still wanting very much to get back home, and start the next surviving episode with the two seeming completely settled in on the Tardis, and Ian exhibiting what I can only call and very interesting and rather camp dressing style. And it made me think of the tendency in recent who, perhaps the most, and most frustratingly, in the latest incarnation, but it’s happened through AG who I think, to refer to other adventures we haven’t seen. As though new who delberatly reflects the gaps that exist in old who.

    It’s also made complaints about inconsistency in AG who more amusing. I remember an Eleven episode where people noted that they were a considerable distance from the Tardis, why could everyone still understand each other? Happened in the first season, before the Tardis was used as an explanation for universal modern English across time and space.

    It’s an interesting experience because as far as I know at the making of these episodes, the Doctor isn’t yet a Timelord, a Gallifrayan, he doesn’t yet have two hearts and the ability to regenerate, though when these things were created, they were created to have always been the case. It’s a little like watching A New Hope and realising likewise, Luke and Leia aren’t yet siblings, Vader isn’t yet their father, isn’t yet Anakin.

    One other thought that connects the old with the recent though. The episode where Susan decides to go down to the planet with the Aliens, and the Doctor shouts at her and treats her like a child. And she’s frustrated. And then he repeatedly tries to make reference to her competence, and importance, and calls her a young lady, trying to heal the wound. The element of human drama is so strong, and I assume, leading up to her leaving the Tardis.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @nerys the only thing that got me was the glimpse of a news item that I think said she had just been ‘elected party leader and Prime Minister’ which just feels odd. The Conservative party vote on their leadership (sometimes) but not at the same time as a general election, and no one is strictly ‘elected’ Prime Minister.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @bluesqueakpip – yes, that confusion with Jack. The most likely time to me seemed to be when he was travelling with Nine. I kept thinking – why wouldn’t he have a room? Didn’t eleven and the bunkbeds at least establish the idea of bedrooms on the Tardis? I haven’t watched it for ages but I think Nine was when Jack was around for a while, at least enough to emphasise with Yaz’s fear of inevitable abandonment. (Or enough to warn her that yes, it is inevitable, barring death or abandoning the Doctor yourself).

    Miapatrick @replies

    I forgot to say I, as ever, appreciate the fact that we do not see Ryan Master The Bicycle. Dyspraxic representation.

    Miapatrick @replies

    Hi everyone!

    OK, so.

    Yaz was great in this I thought. Rather what I always wanted of her through the last two series. And I like the fact that she was working on finding the Doctor, but didn’t in the end, though maybe she would have eventually. There is still this sense of all these adventures and growing that she’s done since meeting the Doctor, most of which we haven’t exactly seen. More focus on Yaz in the future can only be good.

    Ryan and Graham had less to do this time. Which is fine, just a little odd because it is their final episode. (Though clearly the Doctor will meet with them again while they’re sorting out something alien happening on earth armed with the psychic paper, I do feel promised the odd episode length reappearance. If Walsh isn’t too busy devising even more complicated gameshow formats that compel contestants to spend even more time hanging around and chatting to him.). I think most of this is only a little bit of a problem because of the gap.

    The thrust of the Dalek story has been done, not just with Daleks. I quite like the recurring theme of Earth being almost constantly in danger not just because of invading enemies but because of how easily we can be manipulated into reproducing said invading enemies. I liked the idea of getting ‘pure’ Daleks to wipe out the mutated ones, not so much the method of getting rid of the pure ones – as someone has pointed out, aren’t Tardises sentient?

    I like the idea the Doctor is on the run, because she is on the run now isn’t she? It was lovely to see Jack again, especially bonding with Yaz about the heartbreak that comes with loving the Doctor.

    I do as ever miss Moffart, but not, I hope, in an entitled, raging sense. They put Dracula back on iPlayer though, so I enjoyed that over Christmas.

    As for the new year, I have an assignment worth 25% of my MA due on the 14th, After that, I shall be subscribing to Britbox for a while and binging bg Who while I wait for my dissertation module to begin.

    Happy New Year!

    Miapatrick @replies

    @winston – curry is the best breakfast!

    Miapatrick @replies

    @dalekbuster523 a lot of people only really like Kebabs just about closing time. (Though I actually like them at all times and state of sobriety). At which time, traditional chippies, at least everywhere I’ve lived, have tended to be closed. I even have a friend whom every time he comes round and we have a drink, even if we stay at the house, however much we’ve eaten before, gets to about eleven, and buys us all kababs.

    @thane16 – aw thank you! My brain is something like a very talkative child who needs to be constantly distracted (audiobooks for housework, radio plays for going to sleep) or it will torment me. It also likes to get me by coming up with a really useful thought for something I’m working on the moment I’m far away from my desk. But I can foil it by carrying a notebook around.

    I’m quite lucky that my boyfriend also sees the funny side I’ve had some pretty disgusted looks when, for example, he hits a curb in his chair and very slowly tips over on his side before people realise he’s laughing as hard as I am. But even the nurse at the hospital was laughing when I mentioned the time he forgot he was hocked up to his night bag and tried to walk out of the bedroom (it was medically relevant to be fair).


    Miapatrick @replies

    @thane16 hi love, I’m fine, though it has been a little… interesting. Poor Mark got a second infection (he had one in the hospital) so for a while I found myself in a situation of trying to get a medical professional to look at, well, I’ll paraphrase as ‘Richard Photographs’.

    Turned out he was supposed to be on these tablets to widen the plumbing, which we discovered when we turned up for the appointment to have it removed, and he had to go home and wait for two more weeks. It’s now out, which is good, though they didn’t do the tests yet, which is worrying, I might chase them a little this week, the actual urology department is quite quiet so I’m trying to power through a general ‘hate to bother you at this time’ impulse.

    My brain is generally being a little uncooperative.

    So, after needing an extension for the last TMA, I’ve managed to struggle my way somewhat ahead by this point of block four. Unfortunately, my brain knows I’m ahead, rather than horribly behind and drowning, and is refusing to make with the focus and concentration chemicals.

    Brain: You’ve got ages. Weeks, woman! How does writing out acres of notes only tangentially related to the assignment containing lots of ideas that won’t make it into the TMA sound?

    Me: It sounds amazing, you know that, but surely it’s better to push on efficiently and then maybe i can start looking at Paradise Lo-

    Brain:  Well never mind that, the dogs had you up four times last night. Wouldn’t you prefer a lovely afternoon nap?

    Me: Last time I let you talk me into that I dreamed my last assignment came back with a really low mark, but the tutor said I could re-submit it so I sat down and re-wrote the assignment. If I’m going to spend the afternoon working on an assignment surely wake-working on TMA 04 would be bet-

    Brain: what if (starts going down a very dark path)

    Me: then I’d probably ask for an extension. Look, would you like some more tea? Would that help?

    Also, our newest doggie was rather ill last week. It was really just a poor tummy, but I think it triggered a little trauma from the year before last when we lost three dogs we’d had for a very long time spaced out across the year so we both went into panic mode. I’m still at the point of bursting into happy tears when he eats his whole dinner, so I’m tempted to thing the virus has slightly unhinged me, despite the main day to day difference being more room on the beach for walking.

    I get you when it comes to social distancing. I’m loving having my personal space legally mandated. But it does all seem particularly rough on you all, first the fires, then the plague. I feel like the rest of the world ought to club together and get your nation something nice when it’s all over, metaphorically at least. It sounds like you’re all handling it really well.

    Miapatrick @replies

    Thank you again everyone, and thanks for a place to vent!

    But on a lighter note, in a week that saw the cancellation of my two favourite festivals, Edinbrough, and Sidmouth, I’ve been enjoying the surprise Llandudno Festival of Goats! OK so rather than spending money they’re eating our plants, but it’s great fun.

    For the most part.

    Just last night my boyfriend and I were doing our bit for the local community (very carefully picking up a takeaway) when we saw two large, horned goats tearing it out of a car park. This turned out to be an exit, pursued by a Scotty dog, blissfully unaware of it’s smallness of stature and having the time of his life, but goat reinforcements were waiting just beyond the bend, so we blocked the pavement with our smart car once the goats had passed and lured the doggie to us with fulsome praise of his intrepid goat hunting skills. He liked that, didn’t much like being held onto while we tried to make out the mobile number on his tag, which, when I eventually managed to ring it, went straight to voicemail. Frankly, I was more worried about possible virus transmission through his fur than biting, I’ve rescued enough dogs to know how to evade the jaws, especially since he was simply trying to avoid a kidnap, rather than attack us. He’s a very good boy. Just in time a car pulled out of the car-park and pulled up beside us and a worried and grateful woman got out. She’d taken him to visit his dad in the hospice, poor thing, and someone left a window open. I’m so glad we happened to be there, it would be the absolute worst at a time like that to worry about your dog.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @nightingale yarp and if the many (I now think, maybe too many) post-apocalyptic shows I’ve watched have taught me anything, it’s that it doesn’t look fun.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @bluesqueakpip thank you, and yes, that makes sense. It is concerning when they reassure you that if it is that, it’s very very treatable, and then you hear, however, there might be no treatment for a long time, I think its the indefinite time period that makes it hard, not that there is anything they can do about it. My friend, who lives in London, had cancer treatment last year (thankfully, last year) and she’s been told to stay inside for twelve weeks and isolate as much as possible from anyone she lives with for that time. She lives in a bedsit with her boyfriend…  A lot of our GP’s are limiting entry. Ring in prescription, they send them to the pharmacy, telephone consultations for everyone initially and a appointments only if strictly necessary. This last, I think, would be a good idea in general, especially at flu season.

    And @blenkinsopthebrave and @thanke16 thank you, though you might be overestimating my patience! Propanalol helps…

    and @jimthefish and @janetteb I think one problem at the moment is seeing all these articles about people finding ways to occupy their time – and I do really sympathise with people who have had their day to day lives completely shifted. But in mine, and I suspect many people’s cases, this whole thing actually adds to the to-do list, gives us less time to fill up/occupy. Washing the groceries. Washing clothes more often. Making sure counters are clear enough to be frequently cleaned. Shopping taking longer because of limits of how many in the shop. I only really left the house to shop and walk dogs in the first place, the rest of my time was pretty much filled up inside the house. So I’m a little jelouse of people getting to catch up on boxed sets, learn a language, take up hobbies, create things, learn a language. Though I also think it’s lovely and that we as a society will benefit from more free time as a principle.

    I think one problem the other morning was that Mark has an annoying little habit (I almost wonder sometimes if he’s trying to preemptively soften the blow 🙂 ) of bringing up anxiety inducing topics just when we’re about to go to sleep (and it takes me an hour at the best of times to fall asleep. And I wake up at six regardless of what time I managed to get to sleep). so it was ‘oh, they’re cancelling cancer treatments, and I don’t think I’ll be getting the catheter out and tests next month. Night night.’ And my brain is very effective and energetic first thing, which is why I can’t sleep in. So that was fun. Additionally, he doesn’t want any of his friends to know yet, and the only long term friend I have who wasn’t his friend first (I just never tended to make many friends) is the one in London who had cancer last year. So I think I got a little pent up.

    But thank you everyone. I’m so glad this site exists at a time like this – so thank you, as always, @craig.



    Miapatrick @replies

    They’re cancelling cancer treatments for the time being. Doesn’t look good for Catheter removal and further investigations for my boyfriend in a couple of weeks. I wonder what the ‘prostate is a cancer people die with rather than of” looks like in the total absence of treatment? I mean, his father’s had it for years, and it was diagnosed late. I’m beyond frustrated because I can scrub down the shopping, distance myself from people, wash my hands, and stay inside with uttermost scrupulousness. But I can be completely successful in keeping the virus away from him, but he could still easily die as a result of the pandemic.

    And I can’ even tell myself ‘it’s not like when your father had it in the 80’s, cancer treatment is a amazing nowadays’ because clearly, for the foreseeable future, it’s not going to be. At least it hasn’t hit Wales yet quite as hard as some parts of England, but then, we’re yet to see the effect of all those bloody stupid tourists last weekend.

    Miapatrick @replies

    Sympathies and virtual drink of their choice to anyone affected by the announcement last night in England (oh heck, drink for everyone!)

    However, a hearty ‘And stay out!’ to the people who flooded the Snowdonian mountain range and my own little town over the weekend as though it was a Bank Holiday. This is, I think, quite good news for those of us who have had to self isolate anyway for the past few weeks. And I do have some sympathy for people who wanted to flee the virus, but we just don’t have enough hospitals where we are.

    We’re still allowed to walk our dogs, we wait till the tide is out to avoid other people. We can’t pet other people’s dogs. That hurts. Shops should hopefully get better. Managed to get hold of a 24 pack of toilet paper the other day. Don’t know whether to use it for its traditional purpose or go ahead and get that kitchen extension we always talked about ;).

    Miapatrick @replies

    @jimthefish. I must say, when I was considering MA options I did at the time slightly regret that I was confined to online versions. Now it’s worked out rather wonderfully. On the other hand, as you say, the online aspect might be taken up more by universities. Which will make them more accessible to people for various reasons. A lot of universities had just started offering online courses in their entirety, mostly postgraduate, I’d expect that to increase for financial reasons if nothing else. Orlando but with a dog sounds fantastic, I’ll have to look for that, not that I’m personally, as it happens, finding myself with any spare time.

    Season by season for Penny Dreadful sounds like a good idea. As does the day of the doctor re-watch, especially on here.  The day I get twitter is the day a breathalyser is fitted to my mobile phone, and quite aside from that, it seems, for me personally, a recipe for anxiety.

    I’m contemplating a Britbox susbcription, maybe never month when our Cineworld unlimited subscription is paused (Cineworld being much kinder to customers than to staff as I understand it, I’d love to boycott in indignation but it made such a difference to my boyfriend being able to pop to the cinema a couple of times a week with a companion of his choice as his carer and we’re not blessed with an overabundance of cinemas where I live, excuses excuses). Mostly, the subscription, for the Doctor Who on there. I might start watching a few episodes on a Saturday or Sunday evening, just for the sense of routine.

    Incedentally – though this might properly belong on the TV thread – has anyone been watching Van Helsing? I started mostly because I saw the name and remembered a couple of films by Neil Labute, In the Company Of Men and You Friends And Neighbours, both disturbing, very good films as I remember. And every now and then watching the TV show, I am reminded that this is made by a playwright. Overall, the entire thing is pretty much exactly The Walking Dead crossed with Grimm. Not as unrelentingly grim, repetitive,  and ultimately formless as the Walking Dead, but it does a lot of things that series did well (but, with an actual arc). And not quite as twee as Grimm could get, though twitches of it. Theres a very unsettling mixture of tone, which you might like or might not, it’s genuinely horrific and genuinely funny on occasion. It gets absolutely ridiculous at times, but it has some very interesting moments and characters. Anyway, it’s on net flicks and there are four seasons to date and we seem to be entering a cultural phase where quantity as well as quality counts for something.


    Miapatrick @replies

    @blenkinsopthebrave I’ve seen a few memes regarding the delight of dogs, and frank discomfort of cats, at having their people at home all day!

    @lisa – that’s the thing right now. There is a chance all this could lead to genuine change for the good. And a chance that it won’t. Many policies being implement right now, by Doctors surgeries, for example, might well be applied during a flue pandemic. It’s really come how to me how blaze we have been about all those flu deaths a year (though to be fair a number dropping to such a small percent in contrast to a new disease would get that response.

    This might lead to at least a reassessment of Socialism V Capitalism, or I might say, the role of socialism within capitalist countries. It’s not quite the either/or some people think.

    @phaseshift – that sounds quite nice, as isolation goes.

    @bluesqueakpip I think this really has bought out the problems of the gig economy, but I can defiantly see demand for tutoring going up. With schools being shut and universities switching to online (now I’m glad I had to pick a distance course myself, at least it’s already designed for it) – especially, perhaps the schools. Personally teaching under 18’s never much appealed, but I do feel for the school age people right now.

    @mudlark, @winston, thank you.

    I’m going shopping today, slightly apprehensive. The weirdest thing is baby formula disappearing from the shelves. Rumour blames selfish people end-of-days style stockpiling it for its nutritional value. I rather hope it’s parents of young children panicking instead.


    Miapatrick @replies

    Hi everyone, hope you’re keeping safe .@winston I have also be depressed by the repetition that the virus is ‘only’ a danger to certain groups. Being as I quite like my boyfriend, most of the time.

    And the poor man, not only is he on a catheter and awaiting a urology appointment, he’s psychologically recovering from a nasty infection when it was put in that has lead the both of us to conclude that A: all things considered, Freud was wrong, and B: we never much liked sausage rolls anyway…  he also has an enlarged prostate, and his father has prostate cancer, which is a further cause for concern, it seems like no time for his already lousy immune system to get compromised, assuming treatment will be available over the next few weeks. And his respiratory system is shot, so we’re isolating ourselves as much as possible though, to be honest, it doesn’t really make much difference to my day to day routine. Only leave the house to shop, go to medical appointments and walk dogs? What other reasons are there to leave the house? 😉

    But of course people have to go to work, and pay bills, and very little is being done to cushion them. Let’s just hope that those in power keep in mind that Capitalism requires Consumers. I’m actually writing an essay about Coriolanus which feels ridiculously timely. Not unlike Coriolanus, this virus is difficult to control and hardest on the most vulnerable…

    I’m lucky, at the moment, relatively speaking. Our income comes through benefits (you’ll rarely find me expressing that as luck, but here is a case), our house is owned outright, neither rent nor mortgage, my boyfriend used to work for social services, which is fortunate because Dyspraxia + catheter bags, well, I’ll never judge anyone with a penis for their aim ever again. So long as we can keep our rather excitable young dog from removing said catheter prematurely and abruptly, things aren’t too bad at present. But this little town has a large elderly population and is very dependent on tourism, so hard times are coming.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @jimthefish absolutely up for a re-watch of Penny Dreadful.


    Miapatrick @replies

    @craig Miss Hadiza has come across my profile and developed interest in me. She’s offered to share photos with me, but since she didn’t specify ‘photos of my pet dog’ which are the only random photos I desire, she might need ejecting.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @jimthefish I don’t get much choice re: streaming because my boyfriend has memory problems. Which means a: I have to wait when a show is being presented week by week (mutter mutter Better Call Saul, mutter) and b: I have to watch all the previous seasons with him just before because for some reason he prefers to do it that way rather than just have me pause every few minutes to explain what past events are being referred to. (Can’t think why…)

    Literally no one says we ought to read long novels one chapter a week as though that is somehow morally superior, even Dickens.

    We’re waiting on Picard. I would say the downside to binging is the ‘just one more episode’ syndrome. Especially when you need an early night.

    Yes I would agree some were better than others in particular respects, but I loved the different resets, the sense of variation but consistency in the characters in different situations/levels of knowledge. Very thought provoking. And as you say, the bad versions of the characters were great fun. This rather supports the way they decided to end it (um, spoilers if anyone else is reading….)

    the idea of eternity as a somewhat better but still very grounded and recognisable version of myself, where everything is simply wonderful and I can have whatever I want really isn’t very appealing. I think there’s a reason the show didn’t spend very much time, overall, in the Good Place proper, why at first, it wasn’t all that Good. And why the last season was at it best at its sadest when we were saying goodbye, so to speak, to the characters. As a species, we kind of like the bite.

    Jeremy Bearimy must and, I’m sure, will.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @jimthefish It really was perfect.

    A lot of people saw dips in quality over different seasons, but personally, I thought every one bought something new and interesting to the story. Predictably, some people in a certain place found a lot to object to in the ending. Evil, even. (!).

    You chose the perfect time to start watching. I burned through the first few seasons than had to wait and do episode by episode (and then a break around the turn of the year before the last few). It’s been a long time since I waited impatiently for a twenty minute episode (by the way, how much they packed into each short episode!).

    Miapatrick @replies

    @rob that rather depends on your definition of ‘TimeLord’, really. River has some Time Lord DNA (which is potentially an awkward question). So does Jenny. Susan and the Master’s offspring – if such is out there somewhere, are from Gallifrey and presumably went through the academy. Jack’s healing is a different kind of process entirely, as is Me’s eternal life, and Clara’s, for that matter. There are a lot of eternal/long lived beings knocking about. But all the structure, the council, all of that is (presumably, if we can presume this) gone.

    I think the thing with the Master is be might be quite angry but happy to find out that he was the source of the power etc. He might still want revenge, depending on what really happened when the Timeless Child was young, but he wouldn’t be suicidal.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @lisa that’s actually quite brilliant and really would explain why the Master hates the Doctor so often/much but in such a needy fashion. And why the Doctor constantly forgives them. Things they’ve forgotten which are still there.

    That said, a shared boarding school style experience can also create that kind of closeness. And I’ve quite liked the idea they were friends and can’t quite let go of that.

    As you say though, this story about the Doctor’s past was narrated by the Master. It doesn’t completely line up with the Brandon story. Especially the person causing the Doctor/Brendon from falling off the cliff and the timeline leading up to this.

    Time Lords, I’ve often felt that less is more. The time lock couldn’t hold them, but now they’re a: dead, and b: not the big deal they made themselves out to be. The only problem is a: hints of a complicated Time Lord past that someone is sure to revisit, and b: the possibility of the Doctor’s original people who might just slip right into their slot. Oh and c: the Doctor’s already killed the Time Lords and then it turned out he didn’t. Conclusive as the Master killing them all, turning their corpses into Cybermen then arranging for the Death Particle to be used on the planet (which he did arrange, it just wasn’t done by the person he wanted to do it) might seem, I’m 100% sure they Master got out, and about 60% we’ll see Time Lords again.

    Miapatrick @replies

    OK so what’s interesting me about the Brendon section is that most of it simply repeats what the Doctor already observed (narrated by the Master), after which, he serves with the Guarda till retirement, at which his memory is (none consensually) erased.

    So the early part, which is a big part of the big secret, the big lie, is still there. The part that bothered the Master. Followed by the fact of the memory wipe, which the Master appeared to think would bother the Doctor more than it did.

    When I get a chance to re-watch I’ll be focusing on these things: Why would the Time Lords leave all this information about the Doctor and the Time Lord’s origins but then wipe the part about the Division and the Doctor’s memory wipe? What are the differences between Brendon’s story and hers?

    The fact the two stories don’t line up can be part of the disguise, but as someone pointed out. I can’t remember if it was here or t’other place, can’t find it, the Master was emphasising how the Doctor first died as a result of an accident, in Brendons version it was murder by a criminal. Brendon has a mother who loves him unconditionally, and a father and member of the Guarda who look unsettled at his survival, and then turn up, impossibly young, to force a traumatic looking memory wipe on him.

    Is it significant that his father talks over him when he goes to join the Guarda with ‘he wants to serve’, till Brandon gives his own reason for joining?

    What we also know: Ruth Doctor is an older Doctor (no sonic, people at the time thought interaction between timelines could be a disaster, lack of memories of each other). We also know the Doctor was working ‘for the glory of Gallifrey’ and absconded and that tracking her down was a matter of life or death – the boyfriend/companion/fellow solider was killed, she felt the need to kill to get away – and legal penalty. Gallifrey was awry, and hiring Judgoons to find and arrest her. I think it’s fairly likely that this is why the Doctor was arrested, either for what Ruth did, or for aiding and abetting Ruth and also being the same person.

    As I said, the Master narrated the Doctor’s past. If you put a picture in the dictionary for the definition of unreliable narrator, well, you’d need a big page but it would all be pictures of the Master.

    I’m inclined to agree with @jimthefish about the testing. The Doctor’s did not look overly happy during the tests. Why so many regenerations? Even if her mother’s people lived a very long time, so does the Doctor in each incarnation if not killed.

    How many times has the Doctor been mind wiped? Every twelve lives? I don’t think Ruth knew everything.

    I can see how the twelve lives limit could be a population control thing. Clearly they reproduce, if the Doctor was forced to regenerate as a child and then raised with other children. Additionally, I’ve always felt twelve might be broadly the limit of how many personalities they think is safe and reasonable to carry around with you. Only two Time lords get more, the Master, already insane, and the Doctor, who presumably evolved to handle the ability and additionally, wasn’t supposed to, Gallifrey wasn’t able to perform the wipe after Eleven. In terms of different personalities and sets of memories, the Doctor didn’t hit the limit till Capaldi, that Smith Doc was the final regeneration was a physical technicality, Jodie is the thirteenth personality.

    But if the Doctor as a child regenerated a lot when they were younger, we don’t know where the Time Lords got the number from. Maybe observation of the Doctor.

    We also don’t know if the Doctor is ‘normal’ for her original people, or some kind of mutation that deemed dangerous. Why was she abandoned? Was it to get her away from them? Was it a trap?

    Anyway, if this doesn’t reach the hights, for me, of Moffart that’s partly because even when I didn’t, in my soul, always feel that Moffarts final episodes completely added up logically, his work had a kind of magic for me. Sometimes I thought the final explanation wasn’t quite as good as the theories even more insane that we find on here, but I loved the way he did what he did. CC isn’t quite there. But this season is head and shoulders above the last one in many ways (though there was some stuff I liked there, mostly Ryan and Graham).

    And additionally, CC has given us a gift. He’s created a springboard for absolutely insane speculation and theorising. He has, right about the time the Older episodes are more easily available (in the UK at least) than they ever have been in my memory, pointed to the Doctor’s past for the location of clues and references. As several people have pointed out on t’other place, this hasn’t, as some suggested, destroyed the mystery of the Doctor, but increased it.

    Of course it’s at the mercy of future writers. But to me the Time Lord’s have something closer to what I consider a history now. That is, there isn’t one version, completely/mostly trustworthy, of what really happened. There are conflicting theories, conflicting stories, evidence that doesn’t entirely match up due to lack of information. I like that.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @davros I’m thinking either the Tardis got stuck like a police box around this time and the memory wiped Hartnel doctor accidentally stole his own Tardis (because she wanted him to, and because of Claracle).

    Alternatively, the Tardis chose to get stuck in that shape because of the meeting between the two Doctors which the Tardis knew (time works differently for them) would be important.

    As for the biology/DNA, I would assume they genetically engineered the Time Lords to basically the Doctor’s biology, or a lot of it is down to travel through time and space – see @bluesqueakpip‘s ideas about River’s biology above.

    Miapatrick @replies

    @badwolfalice It seems like RuthDoc is from before the memory wipe and they noticed they had the ‘same brain’ so I’d say yes, still the same person on some level. And her memories were in there, just buried, she’d has flashes of herself (though confusingly, from the outside. Unless it was actually her mother’s memories being projected to her).

    I do agree that at some point, different memories, different personality, different body, at what point does someone become a different person? I suppose it depends on how the neurology works, is there some core or section of the brain that develops pathways throughout their life and experience, along side different, changing areas which explain the differences in personality? Or is the idea more that there is some internal kind of ‘self’ affected by experiences, but with a level of consistency, that the Doctor is the fundamental person reacting to the different situations?

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    @jimthefish oh The Good Place is fabulous. How far have you got out of interest?

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    @charlie-cook wonder what the chances are it was the/a Doctor?

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    Something said on t’other place has made me think: how are we explaining River’s regeneration ability now? How would the Tardis be able to do that, if that isn’t how the Time Lords came to be in the first place?

    I suppose in theory it might actually have been done to her when she was held as a child.

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    @lisa yup. I hate to agree with the Master, and mass murder is never justified, but there are times when I can see his point somewhat…

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    @vervain it would though be pretty hard to follow ‘everything you think you know is a lie’ with something that doesn’t smash up a lot of canon, though.

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    Was this… the most complex suicide attempt ever? (I say attempt because it’s most likely a case of how, not if, the Master got away/survived).

    That the Master wanted to die seemed pretty clear from his disappointment that shrinking the lone Cyberman didn’t set it off. But at the same time, he wanted the Doctor to pull the trigger, a final victory over the Doctor to balance the fact that his old friend, rival, and nemesis was someone from a different dimension, the source of the Time Lord’s power. So it was an ego thing all along.

    Another thought – I have suggested before that the twelve lives is a practical thing – that Twelve personalities is about as much as they feel a brain can manage. While it would explain why they’d be fine giving the Doctor another cycle of regenerations, it also implies some trickery there because it wouldn’t explain why they’d have to in the Doctor’s case.

    You could also argue it gives some new context to the hybrid thing. In fact, it’s the Time Lords who are the Hybrid/s. And the person who did history Gallifrey was a hybrid. Though at the same time, the Doctor is someone from a different dimension, who lived and grew up (at least twice) as a Time Lord.

    I feel the need to note that re-watching what I considered to be the key earlier episodes I noticed the Master say to the Doctor ‘when I kill you I expect you to stay dead’ meaning either, I’m irked that you survived, which we know was untrue, since he later admitted he’d done everything up to the tower to get the Doctor’s attention, and he’d already left a message for him. And then asked, twice, ‘how did you get out of it’ meaning either ‘how did you foil my cunning plan’ (which we know he expected him to), ‘I’m always fascinated by the details’, or ‘I’m trying to tell you something, think about it, how did you get out of it?’.

    The Master prevented the creation of the super-robots, and arranged for the Doctor to wipe out at least (for now at least) the entire race and knowledge of the Cybermen, taking both Master and Doctor with him.

    Regarding where the Master is in his regeneration. A lot depends on if he really is dead. The Doctor is like the MCU’s Loki, he never really is, not finally. On the one hand, if he’s after Missy, there does seem to be some ignoring of her (partial) redemption and we don’t, as I had hoped we would, see a reason for her more friendly attitude to the Doctor at the end of her story. And Missy doesn’t quite seem like a Master who would be this upset by the news. On the other I can understand how of all the things to inherit, a Master who’s mellowed and grown emotionally isn’t quite ideal. At the same time, this is almost a call back to Missy’s first introduction. ‘Look, I made some Cybermen.’

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    @bluesqueakpip yes it was odd. Not to mention the profession of nurse as we know it came about during a war, because of a war even, arguably.

    Also people who practice medicine, and people who teach are pretty much the oldest and most consistently found members of a civilisation.

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    @blenkinsopthebrave yes – I already knew it was Guarda, but this episode really bought it out. I even said to my boyfriend ‘I like that it’s guard in Ireland.

    So I looked on OED and I feel that my response is reasonable. Police comes from public order, administration, possibly regulation. To police something is one kind of thing. To Guard is to take care, protect. I double checked that it is the latin based word, and apparently Guarda is usually short for ‘guardians of the peace’ or ‘civic guards’.

    So I think at the very least setting this in Ireland was deliberate.

    Now to police your emotions is to try and regulate yourself. Order and regulation are, I’d think, part of being a Cyberman. However cynically ‘keeping the peace’ can be applied to police, taking the words and connotations literally, we can see this young man not wanting to regulate, but to protect.

    Rethinking him as the last Cyberman. We were told in the episode before that he’s had children, and that he’d killed them, though this doesn’t quite chime with his (as @bluesqueakpip observed, slightly unsettling) reaction to the baby. We didn’t, I think, see anything of him having children here. So I’m leaning still towards him being the ‘Timeless child’ but less towards him being the last Cyberman as well unless he’s on some kind of loop, and what we’ve seen is a much earlier life span.

    In t’other place there have been some comments about the supposed unlikelihood of one of the handful of survivors being a nurse, another a teacher. I think teachers and nurses feature in war – nurses especially during war, teachers who keep on teaching in refugee and concentration camps. And it might be coincidence of course, but their professions chime in better with ‘guard’ than ‘policeman’.

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    Not to mention showing Ryan’s growing confidence, working alone.

    So anyway, I’ve made my decision, and I’m sure CC is on tenterhooks to hear what I’ve decided, but: I’ll accept Graham leaving, Bradders does love doing his quiz shows, on condition that he returns for Christmas/New Year episodes and if they do a multi-Doctor story for the next anniversary. Especially the last one, let’s at least give him one last, huge ‘Actually I’m not the Doctor’ scene.

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    @blenkinsopthebrave I saw a little shared ‘moment’ between the two of them and predicted: Graham’s leaving, either through death or re-marriage.

    Both are actually set up too. He’s worried about the cancer returning. He still has feelings of guilt about Grace. Please, please, please be the second one, though. The man’s earned it, and it leaves potential for the odd re-appearence, big finish episodes etc, which both the character and the actor warrant.

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    @jimthefish The Doctor is definitely getting interesting, more edge. The bouncy freshness of her original regeneration feeling the pressure, perhaps, of so much time and memory

    .@ollie14, I think so too, but I also agree wit @bluesqueakpip that he’s the timeless child

    We now know that the Time Vortex can do one of two things to human style bodies. Jack-like immortality (that gives an interesting context to the Irish scenes, because if he is like Jack, he ought to have been ageing slowly, surely?) or Time Lord regeneration.

    I’m not sure where CC is going with all this, but I can’t imagine many things that would piss The Master off quite as much as discovering the Gallifrayans came not only from humans, but Cybered Humans.


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    So, the problem of the Doctor’s lack of a sympathetic speech.

    I think the problem was that Graham really needed a chat with, well, Graham.

    Graham would have told him, in a kindly, sympathetic, but utterly down to earth way: well, none of us know how long we’ve got yet do we? And things looked pretty dark for you for a while back there. And you were given a gift, not just your life, but Grace. So you can either get on with it, and enjoy the life you’ve got, or you can spoil it worrying about what might happen, when quite frankly you’re probably as likely to be eaten by an alien animal than have your cancer return. And the last thing Grace would want is you spoiling the rest of your life with ‘what if’s’.

    (something on those lines. To be fair, I’m no Graham).

    Failing that, he should have a chat with his grandson. Who would probably tell him he’s being an idiot, tell him what he’d tell himself if Graham could get a Graham chat, only a bit more bluntly, make him laugh and throw in a ‘grandad’ to make him smile.

    But that might resolve a plot point too quickly. CC likes doing characters at least as much as he likes doing sci-fi.

    Capaldi Doc believed in kindness, but he was extremely abrasive a lot of the time. Smith Doc particularly liked having Rory around because of Rory’s capacity for kindness and caring. Rory called him out, Clara and Bill called Capaldi out several times for, basically, a bad bedside manner.

    I do think the Doctor dropped the ball here. And the way it was written was a little more comedic than it ought to/could have been. But I do think she likes have Graham there for much the same reason Smith Doc liked having Rory there, it’s useful to have someone around who is naturally good at human emotions. It’s a little awkward when that person then needs that particular skill set on himself.

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    @bluesqueakpip oh that’s good to know!

    I’m studying Don Juan a few module blocks from now, so I’d like to think I’d have known that if I’d seen this episode later.

    ‘An over active imagination’ works splendidly with the gothic aspect as well.

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    Great timing for this if we’re considering looking at Penny Dreadful after Who ends…

    I didn’t much like (this is actually possibly the number one complaint on t’other place which is delightfully positive so far) the implication of cowardice in Byron. There is a difference between ghosts and an oncoming army, sure, but he did die in a war he was under absolutely no obligation to fight.

    I liked Mary Shelly, she seemed very real, very young, not idealised. I thought the dynamic of the house party was quite well done. I wasn’t sure about her interactions with the Cyberman in some ways – talking about him possibly being made up of different bodies (I’m pretty sure her Adam was made of one corpse) talking about his memories of being human (Adam was brand new as a person). But this is probably good, in terms of inspiration. She said Frankenstein, the idea for the novel came to her in a dream. But then, the Romantics tended to say things like that, it was sometimes part of the concept. It certainly didn’t come, in the important parts, from this episode. Other than the concept of a gothic horror that is at the same time of human making, and beyond nature.

    Inconsistency over mind wiping though? The Doctor managed not to give too much away about what Mary was about to do, but Shelly did know about his death.

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    One last thought about this episode – an interesting contrast I think – that yes, the plastics message was, maybe, a little heavy handed, though executed better than in episode three.

    On the other hand, the married couple was extremely well done. To the point where I didn’t feel particularly aware of anything being ‘done’ at the time (but then my sister is married to a woman). It’s not that them being a married couple who both happened to be men didn’t change the story at all. In one way it did – a male police officer married to a female astronaut  feeling insecure about her general greatness and her career, or a female police officer, likewise married to a male astronaut, potentially could have a different dynamic. That’s partly because it can be a little hard to look at a conflict between a man and a woman and not read some generalised gender conflict in there. Even when it’s not actually the case. Making them both men, not hitting any stereotypes that scream ‘gay couple’ , writing it so that until they mention it we could well think they’re brothers, or close friends (not in the euphemistic historian sense, but actually, close friends) I think was very effective.

    Somewhere else someone claimed that ‘if it was a heterosexual couple’ the kiss ‘would not have been allowed’. That there was never any kissing on the lips between men and women in Doctor Who. I provided them with a list ;). I also think if this had been a heterosexual couple, people would have read a feminist message in it ‘husband insecure about his wife’s career’ or ‘wife feeling marginalised by her husbands career’. So I think it did affect the story, but in a very natural way.

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    @geekknocker123 it has been said many times, but: Doctor Who has always engaged with political issues. Including, in the past, the dangers of all this plastic.

    I actually had a conversation on another site where someone was saying how much better this issue was handled in the 70’s, which I found slightly amusing. Because here we are.

    @tardigrade they might argue that being less heavy handed hasn’t done much good. And that since Doctor Who has always, on occasion, scared children, this might be something they ought to be scared about?

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    @ollie14 I don’t entirely get the sense of Yaz and Graham as a potential couple thing. Partly because ‘give me your sister’s number, I’ll be a great brother in law’ is just a really, really weird way to flirt.

    as for Yaz’s future, I can’t help wondering if there was another significance to featuring the Judoon. Would becoming a police officer on earth just be too boring for Yaz?

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the companions. What happens to Graham I think will depend a little on Walsh, I still think the last season was designed originally to possibly be his only one. I know it’s filmed a long time before broadcast, but I’m also sure that the response to him in the first season – everyone remembering the man can act – would have had an effect. But the man has also somehow had time not only to film a bunch of episodes of The Chase (his little face when a Doctor Who question comes up!) and design and present a brand new quiz show (where he more or less gets to keep his contestants prisoner for several days), and film a series with his son – the man is very busy. I also think he performs an important role on the Tardis, which this episode has really reminded me of.

    Ryan really has grown in confidence, and I think some people (in other places) who feel his dyspraxia has been more or less dropped don’t quite see what that confidence means. He’s so visibly happy whenever he does something clever or effective, there’s something self deprecating in his pride as though he knows why it makes him so happy. It’s telling that they had Ryan off on his own, taking the vlogger under his wing. And he’s actually right, he’d make a great brother in law.

    I think essentially the reason I like this episode is a lot to do with the companions, they’ve been done really well here which has elevated it, and that was what I liked about the last season. There aren’t really too many companions, the episodes are long enough to give each of them something to do, it just hasn’t happened so much so far.

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    @bluesqueakpip they do, though it would have been nice to have seen it more. I can definitely see Yaz roaming the universe – did they imply she was on an official sabbatical from police work? Seeing as the last time she got away she was told it was absolutely the last time… and obviously my dyspraxic heart cheers on seeing Ryan’s growing confidence.

    My only concern is, what with the policeman-on-sabbatical’s commitment issues, I’m not sure they’re ready to adopt a vlogger, especially as he’s the one who’ll have to take care of her the most…  I see your point about why she’s trying to latch on to them, and why they’re being really rather nice about it, but I do hope they get their honeymoon.

    We have handy signs up reminding us not to feed the seagulls. (they’re not actually seagulls.) What they need to say is ‘don’t try to consume food outside’.




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    darn it! fatherly advice. Must be all the birds.

    Incidentally the bird attacks are instantly relatable for anyone who has attempted to consume an ice cream on Llandudno pier. I really don’t recommend it.

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    I feel that the companions were possibly at their best here, exhibiting a kind of confidence, competence, and in Yaz’s case, breathtaking recklessness that slightly adds to my feeling that a lot of their work and development is taking place off screen. It was nice seeing Graham do his stuff again, giving some kind, feathery advice like he does so well. He’s seemed more like comic relief for a lot of this season, a shame as he was a highlight of the last season.

    I liked the marriage between the astronaught and the police man (who is on sabbatical), in contrast, the vlogger seemed weirdly unconcerned about the death of her friend not long after she was dead. She went from ‘I don’t know what I’ll do now’ to ‘I’ll come on your honeymoon with you!’ (it’s stuff like that that makes us less than welcome on Canal Street, love) and makes her earlier statement seem less about emotion, and more about life or career.

    The Doctor seemed a little scattered at times, though to be fair, she’s processing a lot. I liked her excited ‘autons! no, can’t be autons’. Like a little wave at the fans, but I don’t mind that kind of thing.

    The environment message seemed a lot more effective this time, possibly because the science was a little better, as @bluesqueakpip observes. Yes, a little heavy, but it might need to be. Though as I’ve said before, it seems defined to impress smaller children the most, and I’m not sure we’re dealing with a kind of time frame where that’ll be much help.

    Over all, not close to episodes 1, 2, and 4, much, much better than 3 (but to be fair, that was episode 3, ’tis usually so it seems). Plenty to piss some people off (gay marriage! plastic everywhere might kill us!) (I don’t mean here) but done, I think, quite well. Fun enough to watch, and no heavy obvious arc stuff which, excited though I am about the arc, believe me, is probably for the best. This season, as people have suggested, might end up calling back to earlier events that turn out to be more important to this underlying story than they seemed. A balance between arcs and episodes that stand alone might end up annoying rather than pleasing everyone, but its clear, for all his borrowing, CC doesn’t just want to present a version2 of Moffart. To be fair, he can’t anyway, it’s not his particular strengths.

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    @everyone – no recap in t’other place…

    I’m quite happy that this seems a fairly moral ambivalent (relatively speaking) Doctor. Just because up till now every time we’ve seen a male Time Lord regenerate into a female Time Lord they’ve seemed to be – I don’t know -emblematic of a kind of unwittingly patronising male feminism I see sometimes from well meaning men who clearly (and for obvious reasons) never spent much time in an all female environment. She had gun, she went for the gun, she used the gun (albeit in a fairly Doctory fashion). She flat out killed someone and though she didn’t want to, there are more effective ways of avoiding this than handing them something that will kill them if they pull the trigger and then simply asking them not to pull it. This is definitely a War Doctor, even if it is a previous, rather than alternative, time stream.

    @jimthefish I think the logic of using Jack is that not only can he time travel, but he lives a long long time. They dyed his hair here, but obviously he still looked a fair bit older than his last appearance. The BBC probably can’t stretch to de-aging technology, the actor might quite well have refused to undergo what I’m informed are, unfortunately, now referred to as ‘tweakments’ (shudder) but Jacks immortality (difficulty dying I should say) can still be an important point. He ages but very slowly. He has a lot of time in the universe ahead of him.

    Additionally, how did he become what he became? It was Rose bringing him back to life after absorbing the power of the Tardis, wasn’t it? Which, as far as I recall, made The Doctor very uncomfortable with him, or with what he had been made. (Sorry I’m so vague, I’ve been meaning to re-watch RTD).

    I like the idea of this being from the hidden past of Gallifrey, I’m just not sure how it could have been scrubbed from the record, everywhere, as far as we know, without some timey-whimey alternate timelines taking place at some point. It’ll be interesting to see if our Doctor remembers it. She actually told her companions, when I really wasn’t sure she would.


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    @juniperfish oh quite – a kind of retcon spin for one of the issues with season 11.


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    @juniperfish I really get the feeling with this Doctor she was trying a new start, new gender, shake off all the baggage approach, and might have believed in it. And then she finds out this new mate she’s been whatsapping is her oldest friend/enemy. That Gallifrey is destroyed. That there’s a horrible Time Lord secret. And how much she cared. She might have thought she want sharing much about herself because she was leaving all of that where it belonged. In the past. But of course that’s fairly meaningless for a timelord. She has been keeping them at a distance. Having so many companions. Telling them so little. Till now, post gap, the Doctor has tended to bond quite intensely with one companion at a time. (Rory married in, and was Rory.)

    A lot of people have commented on the number of companions, sometimes with justice. But this could be spun as a deliberate strategy. She seemed surprised – pleased but surprised – when they told her how much faith they had in her. That they really were her family.

    She does have good reason to keep some things private. Thing is, the Time Lords running some kind of imperial dictatorship isn’t really a great stretch. They’re not, as a rule, the kind of people you can’t imagine running some kind of imperial dictatorship. And her ‘fam’ are going to have to discover that the Doctor will always forgive the Master, which tends to upset companions who’ve seen them kill other humans like its nothing.

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    so, first thoughts – alt line War Doctor? I mean, yes, fine, she didn’t fire the gun. She acknowledged she wouldn’t fire the gun. She said please don’t pull the trigger. But the Doctor really doesn’t do armed weapons. They just like (River, Ada) women who do… Working for/with. tried to quit, companion with military training, it seems like something like the Time War situation.


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    @bluesqueakpip @jimthefish Gallifrey seems to be something of a battleground for the show runners. Or a pantomime…

    RTD: They’re all dead.

    SM: Oh no they’re not.

    CC: Oh yes they are. (possibly).

    As you say, the Doctor destroyed Gallifrey. Or at least, now, he thought he did, he had decided to do it and was willing to go through with it until a viable alternative was offered. The Doctor might need to keep that in mind, regarding the Master.

    @mudlark I think quite possibly somewhere else. This still means they’ve still majorly meddled with the time line to wipe out the human development of the technology, and pretty much everything else they’ve done since going back, though.

    @bluesqueakpip I agree about the Master’s possible motivations. It’s a discovery that would shock the Doctor on a moral level (which the Master would know) and shock the Master on a – I don’t even know what to call it. It would hit his pride and self image and sense of superiority.

    The only reason I’m leaning away from deliberate genetic experiments at the centre is that we know that exposure on the Tardis during pregnancy is enough to effect a single generation mutation to possibly the most important difference between Time Lords and humans – regenerations – River. And, assuming this Doctor does come after Missy, that mutation alone was enough to make her respect River more than any of the Doctor’s other companions. She hadn’t turned guid. but she sympathised with him for his loss. So A: a lot of Time Lord stuff seems like it happened pretty quickly and spontaneously, an effect rather than an effort, and B: The Master’s master race ideas are relatively flexible. Of course that’s assuming a fair amount of consistency, and as this Master admitted to Graham while tempting him with the history of the Doctor ‘a few inconsistencies…’

    So the two hearts might have been deliberate. And I know there’s other differences. But the regenerations could still be accidental, and the Master isn’t, historically, all that bothered about how they come about, or about the two hearts etc. Of course, Missy’s sympathy could have been because she was intending to persuade the Doctor to save her so ‘haha your wife died’ wouldn’t have been great policy. Or she might have respected River’s chaotic aspect. It’s just that the Master has only shown an iota of respect for one human, and that was a human born with the ability to regenerate.

    Either way it all brings a new resonance to ‘but you look human’ ‘you look Time Lord!’


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