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    ScaryB @replies

    12’s coming up a lot this series.

    12 Monks

    Section 12 (Oxygen) (and at least 1 more that I’ve forgotten).

    The go to “random” number for this series, an in-house wee joke, or something else?

    ScaryB @replies

    Some quick thoughts, as it’s late! Overall I liked lots of it a lot, but not as much as the previous 2,  particularly Extremis (which I really liked). My problem with it was much as @jimthefish (and others) have pointed out – that the Monks were just a bit vague in what they wanted, after their set up as near omniscient beings, with their (literal) story strands, simulated worlds, and nasty habit of disintegrating people into dust.  What did they want from our earth? They didn’t seem to be doing much with it apart from building statues and creating fake histories! (Hmmm… a metaphor for the production team, maybe?!). And there’s only twelve of them. Really?

    I would also have preferred if Bill had joined the Doctor at the end rather than replace him at the “dreamweaver” monk’s head at the end, it did seem to sideline the Doctor a bit. Although he did create the means (her “memories” of her mother through his nip back in time in The Pilot to take the photos) for her to break the link. As @nick says (of another choice) “It’s a creative choice. Just not one I’d choose to make” Hey ho, that way lies ARSE! (Sorry to hear about your narrow squeaks Nick. Glad they were misses tho and you’re getting through them. We do all  get through these things differently tho – sometimes people choose to forget/bury memories as a survival mechanism).

    OTOH I liked that the Doctor demonstrated he will not do what Bill (attempted) to do to him – he won’t kill her even for the sake of the greater good. (Trust Missy to come up with that idea (and no, I don’t trust her an inch)). He finds the other option. I also liked that Bill’s fantasy of her Mum (fueled by the Doctor’s photos) was strong enough to break the link and defeat the Monks (I’m with @cathannabel – definitely a bit of grit in the eyes here too). It was also strongly foreshadowed throughout this episode (and previous ones). From the Pilot on, Bill’s need to remember her mum is very strong; and (like Clara in Asylum of the Daleks) it’s these thoughts of her mum which sustain her enough to allow her to resist the brainwashing and not succumb to the Monks’ influence. The scenes at the beginning where she actually sees her mum – An example of  Chekhov’s Mum perhaps…??!! (Ooops, I should probably get my coat very soon!!!).

    @wolfweed – Wow! VERY interesting link (the actor’s previous appearance in DW). If that panned out as being in-show, I can hear a lot of discussion boards cracking and being “dusted” with outrage, quicker than if they were touched by a Monk’s creepy finger, LOL!

    @pedant – I spluttered coffee on my keyboard when the “we’ve got the band back together” line came up (and thanks for your original post, was great)

    ScaryB @replies

    *Waves to @blenkinsopthebrave and @janetteb *

    Thanks for the welcome. Good to see you too. (And relieved to hear @fatmaninabox manged to drag his head out from the innards of the sofa before I sat down! (I’ve been more under the sofa than behind it for most of this series)).

    Done a little bit of dipping in to threads – the theories are as bonkers as ever, and I’m loving the Bowie links (I’d spotted a couple, but missed most of them). New pub looks good too 🙂

    I’m likely to get drawn back into the alt universe again – the escape corridor out of it is a bit unstable! But hopefully for only short periods of time.  JanetteB – we need  to “borrow” a TARDIS in order to keep up!

    Timeshifting tonight’s episode watch, but look forward to discussing it soon. Can’t wait to see how it pans out.


    PS Big hi to @thane15 (would’ve done it earlier but only just worked out your new tag, Puro (&Son). Thought you’d gone)

    ScaryB @replies

    Thanks as ever to @wolfweed for all the brilliant spots and research. Ringtone, eh? I completely missed that. And how sad about Moffat’s mum. As @blenkinsopthebrave mentioned, it’s later that it hits.

    I liked this episode, while recognising its weaknesses, especially the frankly rather pathetic attempts at taking on the pyramid with a plane and a bit of dud missile. Is that it?? (I presume the budget didn’t stretch to any more). What I really liked was the real sense of jeopardy – for once the Doctor is wrong footed. He doesn’t know the Monks or what they’re capable of (unlike @jimthefish I do find them very creepy, especially their neediness about being loved. Wondering if that will be built on this week. or if it’s just a throwaway). He doesn’t know what they’re about any more than we do, and the very simple device at the end of him not being able to see the numbers (with an impending regeneration at some point this series (and don’t you DARE pull an early one, Moffat!)) – albeit a bit of a pathetic lock – worked for me. I found myself shouting “Noooo” at the screen along with the Doctor when Bill is about to trade the earth for his sight. Because she has complete faith in him to be able to “get her planet back”.

    (On a side note I also love that Bill’s name is a wee tribute to Bill Hartnell (my very first Doctor)).

    ScaryB @replies


    This place is looking very spruce 🙂

    I’ve missed you all – been stuck in a big alternative universe of RL for far too long! Mega thanks to @craig, @jimthefish, @wolfweed and @pedant in particular for dragging me back!

    Absolutely loving this series, Capaldi’s knocking it out the park (hope you’re more convinced now, @bluesqueakpip (but look forward to discussing if you’re not)). Going to take me forever to catch up on all the posts, but delighted the sofa’s still here and just as comfy. Any jaffa cakes? Jelly babies??

    ScaryB @replies

    Happy timey wimey New Year everyone (in the past now for Australian fans, very close for us in UK, and future for Canadians and US peeps)

    And happy birthday to The Doctor Who Forum – we are 3!! We started on 31-12-12 with about 30 members – now look at the state of us! Thanks as ever to the mighty @craig for setting it up and to everyone for making it such a special wee space on the interwebs. Cheers folks! See you next year 🙂

    (And a quick wave back to @jimthefish and @pedant (hopefully will get more chance to discuss and banter with you in 2016))

    ScaryB @replies


    Only came across these episodes by accident- and now there’s a board to comment on as well 🙂

    Agree with @bluesqueakpip (love the Christmas party avatar btw 🙂 ) – it’s fun. And interesting in light of some of the criticisms levelled at AG Who – the Doctor needing companions (and one with a story), the Doctor arriving on a random planet and realising it’s all about him! (It was 1977 btw).  And as you say – he can’t remember being here before… maybe he hasn’t yet!

    I like the costume design – the sense of cannibalised space “uniforms” hinting at either a former life, or adapting of “found” items. I chuckled at how quickly the Doctor managed to adapt the available tech to synthesise an antidote to the (previously incurable) Janus thorn poison. And people complain about the sonic! Set-wise it’s the old “let’s flood the forest with dry ice so people won’t notice it’s the studio floor” trick.  And invisible giant monsters… that’s handy 🙂

    The pacing’s OK, tho a bit of padding dodging through the trees. Good to see Tom again – effortless performance as the Doctor by this time, well into the groove!



    ScaryB @replies

    Some lovely posts, still working through all of them!

    Agree with @winston that River doesn’t really notice that the Doctor has a different face – she sees under that. Likewise the Doctor doesn’t particularly notice superficial changes in his companions – he vaguely notices River’s done something with her hair, and comments about Clara’s appearance in S8. He comments because he feels he’s supposed to but it’s not something that’s important to him. I agree with @arbutus – River is so confident she knows all his faces, that she hasn’t contemplated the possibility of extra regenerations (and why would she).

    And as @pedant says – River’s not dead yet – and she only suspects she’s coming to the end, she doesn’t know. For the first time it’s the Doctor who gets to say “spoilers”.  For the first time (as far as we know) he’s not on the back foot where their relationship is concerned.   And they’ve got 24 years to spend the night together!! (Plenty of scope for future Big Finish possibilities).

    Btw has anyone picked up on where the diamond came from? I haven’t managed to have a proper relisten and make out the words – just wondering if it was the bank of Karabraxos…

    Meanwhile – someone’s put together this beautiful little sequence of clips – hardly a wibbly bit in it 🙂


    ScaryB @replies

    Happy Christmas everyone

    Waves, especially @blenkinsopthebrave, @janetteb (Technical glitches, rips in the space time continuum, being kidnapped by space gremlins… you know how it goes! Usual everyday timey wimey stuff!)

    @xad4 Thanks so much for the Dr Puppet Silent Night – rather great

    ScaryB @replies

    Oh my giddy aunt!

    How good was that?! (Although there seems to be an awful lot of dust particles in my house at the moment! 😥 ). Light finish to a stonking good season… then, oh no! The Singing Towers. I did have my suspicions about that in run-up to screening, but unlike @pedant re Hell Bent (that was SO well called 😉 ) I didn’t put it in writing)

    Capaldi and Kingston sizzled together as we pretty much knew they would. A sense of the Dr maturing – recognising that sometimes there has to be endings. Nice balance with Clara’s fate – Clara who also believes that the Doctor will “fix it” – at the last heartbeat when all hope seems lost. And yet, and yet…  with both Clara and River he can only finally postpone the inevitable. Clara must always go back to face the Raven. River must go to the Library.  Clara gets an extra sort of life between heartbeats. River gets a 24 year night!! 😯 😀

    Part of me thinks that’s fitting, the other laments that we won’t get to see more Capaldi/Kingston stories. Much as I’d love to see more of her and Capaldi, I do recognise it’s a bit of a narrative dead end.

    I loved the reverses with the Dr being the one to recognise River when she doesn’t know him (because she only knows 11 (or is it 12?!) of him at this point). As @juniperfish says – his “Hello Sweetie” is so poignant, beautifully played.  What I particularly liked is that you can see them “clicking” even tho River doesn’t know who he is, and Twelve sees her as she is when she’s not being with him. He’s shocked at her apparent immorality but he’s also impressed with her daring. They mirror each other physically, and in what they say.

    Lots of Douglas Adams refs too – Aldebaran brandy, restaurants in space (again!) and a crashing spacecraft full of very nasty (very rich) “people” for whom (it’s carefully established when we arrive) we should feel no sympathy whatsoever (as opposed to a colony of Golgafrinchan hairdressers etc).

    All that and a shout out for @jimthefish!! YAY!! (I like to think that our little forum helps to keep things like that, inc ARSE and the Singing Towers, swirling about in the Who cyber-consciousness 🙂  “I’m going to need a bigger flowchart!!” )

    ScaryB @replies

    Hope to catch up with you all soon, but just to say happy Christmas to all DWFers with a timey wimey sort of a pic 😉

    (And a special thank you to all those esp @jimthefish (ARSE indeed – that made me chuckle a lot), @Puroandson (you’re a hybrid now…?!), @xad4 who’s remembering drew me back from the dreaded RL universe!)

    And yeah, kudos to Justin Biefer (Now there’s a phrase I NEVER thought I’d hear myself say haha). And to our mighty and merciless Emperor @craig for dedicating our home page for a worthy cause.

    ScaryB @replies

    Sorry, been away for ages, restricted to lurking for a bit… more blethers from me to follow soon. Just wanted to say that I’ve never been more proud of this silly old TV programme than I’ve been the last couple of weeks.


    PS @pedant (and @lisa and @purofilion ) re your comment “Any who cites Grace Slick as a major influence gets my vote” Absolutely (seconded, thirded and whatever’d 🙂 )


    ScaryB @replies


    Ha! And thank you for the Orkney Vikings/Norse link. Hmm… Orkney is not much over 200 miles from the coast of Norway. Just saying 🙂 . Maybe the Doctor’s still hanging around the north of Scotland (Caithness last week).

    A bonkers thought – maybe Ashilde turns out to be Clara’s mum. That’s why the Doctor has to go with making her immortal (despite his knowing/suspecting that a lot of not-good will come from it) – otherwise Clara will cease to exist, and that’s too high a price tag for the Doctor.


    @Purofilion – they were able to transmit Ashilde’s concept of the serpent through the helmets because that’s what the helmets did – see the projection of “Odin” at the beginning. I like them being defeated by stories.

    Incidentally that’s 2 stories in a row which have had monsters as holograms; and electromagnetism (last week’s ghosts were explained to be electro-magnetic holograms – hence being able to pick up metal objects).

    ScaryB @replies

    @juniperfish Sorry, for some reason I missed your post about Clara’s envious look – completely agree

    ScaryB @replies

    @jphamlore Re the everlasting chip on the black market – you have to get them off the Mire first. Presumably there doesn’t need to be many of them if they can endlessly rejuvenate themselves.  So it would be very, very rare indeed.

    ScaryB @replies

    More random thoughts…

    It’s all Donna’s fault! (Though it was great to see her again in the flashback).  Now the Doctor has to live with the consequences of “saving just one”.

    So who is Ashildr going to reward/curse with the other “chip”?  Wild thought – what if she gives it to Clara? I could be (ie probably am) wrong but I thought Clara was giving off a slightly envious vibe at the end when the Doctor explains what he’s done and produces the second chip.  What if that is Ashildr’s revenge/gift?  So it’s not Clara’s death he has to deal with (which we think is what is being foreshadowed), but her (endless) life…?

    @jphamlore Agreed that if this piece of tech existed then it would be priceless on the black market. Maybe it is! Interesting though about it causing endless pain – very Grimm 😉  I thought I picked up that it only worked on humans after the Doctor had tweaked it and the everlasting life thing was a side effect of that.  TBH I was surprised they introduced it, why couldn’t the Doctor use a bit of regeneration energy which has been shown before to have healing properties (River, Davros) without the immortality downside. He could then have misjudged the dose to create the same end result. Although there wouldn’t then be the dangling end of the spare chip.

    @denvaldron Thanks for the info – I didn’t know that about Norse/viking. I did read a theory that the Vikings (sorry, Norse) roamed all over the world, inc S America, and could have brought the electric eels back themselves.  Since their homelands would be too cold for the eels outdoors they’d need to store them in barrels, indoors. As we saw. So there you go – there’s always a way to reconcile if you want to! Or indeed the Mad Monk


    ScaryB @replies

    And thanks to @whisht for the Shirley Bassey round-up. Nothing wrong with a great chanteuse 🙂

    ScaryB @replies

    As referenced by that very cool baby in The Girl Who Died –

    Stevie Ray Vaughan with Elmore James’ The Sky is Crying (great guitar licks 😉 )

    ScaryB @replies


    Oh yes! Who else gave a drunken cheer at “reverse the polarity of the neutron flow”?

    Haha yes, that was very funny.

    Some other random likes –

    Premonition is “remembering in the wrong direction”

    Hybrids – Davros referred to a hybrid of “2 of the most warrior races in the universe” – Humans and Mire perhaps…? (And not as both the Daleks and TLs were arrogant enough to assume, between Daleks and TLs)

    Home – thoughts of Gallifrey again?

    The Doctor says something about Maisie along the lines of “she’ll see me whenever she wants” – suggests he knows something more than he’s letting on – need to rewatch to get the exact line.

    Music refs also made me chuckle – “the sky is crying” “fire on the water” – that baby is pretty hip!

    Meta ref – the Doctor threatens to release the recording of the Mire’s humiliation to the universe – is that how we’re watching it?? 😉

    Loving the Doctor’s look at the moment. He looks very much at home in it, and of course i love the checked trousers.

    The sonic sunglasses demise – bit of a Raiders of the Lost Ark scimitar type moment – bet there was a cheer went up in some quarters. So… any bets in what form the sonic will take next?

    And a biggie – death as a natural part of the life process, immortality being a curse when you have no one to share it with. He couldn’t be clearer that he doesn’t want to have to say his final goodbyes to Clara, that she’s someone he can’t bear the thought of not being around any more.

    Ripples and tidal waves – sure looks like Maisie is going to be a tidal wave. But maybe not in the way we expect. This is someone who is already psychic, strange and a teller and repositary of stories. (What was it River said? “We’re all just stories in the end”?)

    ScaryB @replies

    Whooo! brain firing off in all directions after that. LOT to think about. The single parter (or is it…?) surprised me and I thought it was paced pretty well for the most part.  Spookily the thought “Hang on the title is… and no-one’s d…”  popped into my head at the same time as they realised something was up with Maisie.

    I also chuckled at the testosterone gags, but it’s not just the men who have it. Maisie does too. Her bravado in the aliens’ ship is what antagonises the leader enough to respond to her challenge. (As a footnote – if the Mire can assimilate human testosterone and whatever, then their chemistry can’t be too different from ours, so it’s not too much of a stretch that their healing patches might be adaptable for humans). Sometimes the sensible thing to do to ensure survival is to run. It’s not cowardly, it’s strategic. But testosterone and pride get in the way of the pragmatic.

    @miapatrick interesting comment re  deus exes – but the Doctor refers to the Mire leader’s helmet etc as a hologram (when he’s talking to him) and also to the image of Odin at the start as a hologram/projection – it’s what the Mire do to put fear into lesser races.  But the Doctor didn’t look overly surprised that it was too much for Maisie, he looked very remorselful.  Yet again this Doctor is pragmatic, but not cold – he feels every one of his “losses” (I thought that was a lovely moment when he talked about being sick of losing).

    ScaryB @replies


    Look at the design of the Vervoids.

    Noooooo! Please. Not the Vervoids!!


    Looking forward to your take on the Angels* and the Silence

    *Now there’s a brilliant concept for production team practicalities – dancers and actual statues

    ScaryB @replies

    @phaseshift @jimthefish

    Absolutely agree re your analysis of Dr Who threats reflecting real world fears. In the 50s and 60s threats were presented as much more black and white (pun intended), with the good guys being heroes without flaws and the baddies irredeemably evil.   But that’s a bit of dead end after a while as far as storytelling goes; the 80s and 90s were full of conspiracy theories and alien takeovers (eg X Files) and the unseen evil that lurks under the thin veneer of civilisation (eg Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks).  AG Who is very much about the misunderstood. Sometimes they do the evil under the benevolent surface, but very often what appears malign on the outside is simply a matter of perspective. 21st century earth (or at least the “western perspective” which I inhabit) is much more multicultural and embracing of diversity – at least on the surface! But all we can do is try.

    I like Moffat’s take on making the everyday scary. The thing you hadn’t noticed (or considered a threat before, as @phaseshift mentioned), the thing in the corner of your eye, or the thing you forget as soon as you look away from it.  Things of your imagination.

    But all new ideas are destined to become cliches after a while the more they get used. The same with Dr Who foes, as has been pointed out. The more the Doctor encounters them, and defeats them, the less effective they become, unless they develop new traits. On the whole I liked Gaiman’s take on trying to reinvent the cybermen in Nightmare in Silver, but felt he went too far in making them all but invincible. Too big an upgrade in 1 step, with nowhere to go after.

    Having said all that, udos to the all the production teams throughout Doctor Who for managing to come up with new ways of waking our imaginations/seeding our nightmares. Not all the time, not every week. But every now and again coming up with bold, mind-blowing, time-twisty ideas that change the way you look at the world.

    Forever changes.


    ScaryB @replies

    Just realised Orphan Black‘s back!! Series 3 🙂  @phaseshift – why didn’t you tell me?!!! (Anyone watched? Is it any good? Just downloading from iplayer – trying not to get too excited!!)

    ScaryB @replies


    Nice analysis Mr Freud 😉 Zombies also have a lot of the “living death” thing going on – shuffling around to someone else’s tune, going through the motions of life without a thought passing through their heads. Middle class conformity.

    For me the scariest monsters in DW (apart from the Daleks which had me from their first appearance – I’ve had an irrational fear of sink plungers ever since 😉 ) are the ones that convert you into themselves. It’s worse than death- you are still alive but not yourself any more – eg Varga plants and the Wirrn. The effects were generally simple – a glimpse of furry thorn peeking out from clothing, some green bubblewrap. Or the simple inked-on veiny tracery in The Moonbase.  Likewise the foam (albeit with sentient seaweed) slapping up the pipes in Fury From the Deep,  the green slime in the Green Death (the maggots were harder to take 😉 ) – all these had me behind the sofa, peeking thro my fingers, when watching as a kid.

    I didn’t mind the Fisher King – liked the design when it was well lit and shadowy, but we didn’t understand, or see  enough of him to make him a real threat, apart from in the brief face-off with the Doctor. The simpler design of the ghosts was much creepier and scarier (see my comments above re conversions).

    ScaryB @replies

    @mirime @ichabod

    Thanks for these comments –

    I absolutely love Capaldi as the Doctor . . . I never felt that he was cold, callous, uncaring etc. or un-Doctorlike . . . I think he might really be the Doctor

    Somebody over at — doctorwhotv, maybe — posted (more or less) this about Capaldi a little while ago: “Somehow they got confused, looking for their new lead actor, so by mistake they hired the actual Doctor to play the Doctor.”

    Completely agree.  I may have to stop watching the show when he leaves! 😉 (And yes, detached, rather than callous – in the way doctors are supposed to be. 12’s bedside manner is just more brusque and less obviously user friendly than some of his previous incarnations ).

    Also liked @arbutus‘s comment about 9, 10 and 11 trying to become (or at least pass for) human as it was the only home he had left.

    @django – good spot re the music links (looking forward to The The tracks on the Music Thread in here, come the time.  Thanks @whisht for starting up the Monsters and Villains topic on there… nice 🙂

    @Purofilion best of luck to boy Ilion this week

    @cumquat Welcome Mrs Q, and hope the little bassets are all behaving. Beware of hanging around this forum too long or the nanobots may convert you to niceness mwuhuhu 😈

    ScaryB @replies

    Some great sofa chats recently. (And thanks to @Purofilion for the packet of Jammy Dodgers I found under the sofa – promise to be careful with the crumbs, haha)

    I really liked @bluesqueakpip‘s idea of bringing back Gallifrey, but not the Time Lords.  Personally I’ve never been overly comfortable with them even as the relatively benign, or at least well intentioned, overlords they were depicted as in Troughton’s The War Games (10yr old me could see exactly why the Doctor would want no truck with them). The concept sort of fitted with 1960s Britain but the world has become more complicated since then! It’s been well established AG that the Doctor misses his home, but not the TL culture.  Of course we know (from Listen) that Gallifrey is already back, and untimelocked, but the Doctor hasn’t realised it yet.

    ScaryB @replies


    Thanks for the Radiohead link, nice.

    I was browsing through YouTube (as you do 🙂 ) and this jumped out at me –  Scottish indie band Deer Lake, now sadly defunct (or at least “parked”!).  Song’s called Like Ghosts (which seemed at least thematically relevant, and a good excuse to post)


    ScaryB @replies

    Hi everyone.

    Apologies if this has been posted before (sorry, just on a flying visit), but it’s well worth a look, especially for those interested in the wall painting. It certainly suggests a massive amount of attention for a painting which was seen very briefly in the episode.

    Link to the BBC site and the production artwork for these episodes, including a very detailed pic of the mural. I love the amount of detail and care that goes into designing the various artefacts for each world/episode.

    ScaryB @replies


    Re the Daleks not flying away – maybe some of them did.  And there’s a partly rejuvenated Davros to contend with in the future.

    Re Prentis and O’Donnell ghosts –  I wondered about that too, but then we also know they don’t appear during daytime, so maybe that’s why they don’t appear straight away, and we see only their bodies – something to be sad about, but not feared.

    @rob Great to see you on here again – glad the superstrength caffeine is still working. Hope the mud isn’t restricting your access to wifi.

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    The hearse wasn’t Tivolian either – Prentis says it’s Arcateenian – the invaders who came after the Fisher King, who initially liberated the Tivolians then realised they were so annoying they enslaved them as well! The funeral arrangements were according to Arcateenian custom for a vanquished enemy. Prentis was just carrying out orders.

    It’s a small point, I’m just being picky. Agree with you about the problems with 3D costumes – but I thought it looked great in the shadows.

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    Re trolls – one of their characteristics is to make you believe it’s your fault they feel unwelcome. But one of the first things you do if you’re being generally courteous, when you come into a new place with new people, is to take the time to listen to what is already being said, assess the tone and respond accordingly. It’s a bit rude to just run in and basically say “you’re all rubbish”!

    So don’t feel bad. Sorry if you got a PM.

    Re the episode – for a timey wimey wibbly wobbly bootstrap paradox it’s fairly straightforward. And despite the Doctor’s protests that he can’t change time, he doesn’t actually have much time-changing to do, assuming he wants to protect the Earth.  The village is already flooded at the time of Under the Lake – hence the underwater base. And the Fisher King presumably doesn’t survive as the humans haven’t been enslaved and the oceans drained.  We know from After the Flood that it’s the Doctor who makes these 2 things happen. Once the Doctor also realises that he must know that he’s not changing the future, but performing the actions he needs to do to preserve it (as we know it). But it’s the events in Under the Lake that lead to his going back in time in After the Flood to perform the actions that lead to the events in Under the Lake.  Causal loop. Which is why the TARDIS is clearly not happy at being in either the present or the past – the loop isn’t yet complete and in both episodes there are 2 Doctors present at the same time. She knows he has to be there but she’s trying to warn him to be careful.

    He probably also knows that he’s not actually going to die – that he needs to create a hologram to pass on the message to himself that he’s not going to die but needs to create a hologram so he can be in 2 times at once. Aaah, did I say this was simple?! Ooops 😉

    One thing that really stands out is the sense of Clara’s importance to him (also stressed in The Magician’s Apprentice/Witch’s Familiar). That is really brought out in the contrast in the way he treats O’Donnell. He does try to warn her, but he seems equally at ease with her making the choice which leads to her death. Bennett rightly calls him on this and he doesn’t deny it.  Her death wasn’t inevitable (and the Doctor doesn’t know she will die, just strongly suspects it), the future isn’t changed by it, she could have lived (if she’d stayed in the TARDIS) and returned to her own time without it affecting the outcome. Pragmatic, as Clara says, he (and she) does what is necessary without getting as hung up on it as 10 or 11 would have done. As we’ve already seen, and commented on it, for example in Into the Dalek last series.


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    @Purofilion Thanks for the detailed breakdown of the music (I was expecting nothing less as I was watching, haha).

    I also like @bluesqueakpip‘s idea that the Doctor is using a video diary now – about time he caught up with 21st century tech.  However it also reminded me (and others) of Listen which also involved a bootstrap paradox with the words Clara says to the young Doctor being the same as he said earlier to young Danny about fear being a superpower. Or maybe the Doctor still thinks he has unseen listeners in the TARDIS. You can get that way when you’re surrounded by film crews, haha. 😉

    (Wonder if Orson is a just a paradox who ceased to exist after Danny’s death. That would be a shame)

    Back to Beethoven… there’s a portrait of him with something called a lyre-guitar

    Beethoven-Mähler 1804 hires.jpg

    And the 5th on electric guitar does segue so nicely into the DW theme 😀 (Please add my vote to pile of those wanting more of this version of the theme).  The Doctor’s a busy boy music-wise – did 11 not claim some credit for Bizet’s Carmen in Asylum of the Daleks…?

    And the other thing that links Beethoven specifically to this episode is that he was deaf.


    ScaryB @replies

    *waves @everyone!*

    Late to the party… again! But thoroughly enjoyed catching up with all your thoughts; much to ponder on.

    I really enjoyed this one, I found it compelling and very creepy, though I agree with those who suggested that the Fisher King is  a bit underdeveloped. I liked the character design, especially in the shadows, beautifully lit and directed scenes with him and the Doctor. His hissed “Time Lord!!!!” gave me shivers. Especially after his taunting of the Doctor as being just one man… uh oh! he clearly knows more about the Doctor than he initially lets on. It’s always problematic taking an actor in a costume into natural lighting, but I can see why it was necessary for the shot of him standing in front of the tidal wave.

    @denvaldron I liked your analysis about FK’s race, and mostly agree. However, 1 small point – the hearse wasn’t Fisher King tech. It belonged to the Arcateenians who liberated the Tivolians from the Fisher King (before enslaving them in turn). It was the Arcateenian tradition to send the bodies of their vanquished to some wild, uncivilised outpost.

    As you and several others have brought up – it’s intriguing re his name, especially for a series which has never had a problem with coming up with a wide variety if names for alien species. It does jump out. Everyone’s picking up on the Arthurian connection, but there was apparently an older, Celtic, version – Bran the Blessed (and I’m trying very hard not to picture him as big, bearded and very shouty!) – who had a magic cauldron which could reanimate the dead, but imperfectly, without the power of speech – much like the ghosts in this story.

    Wikipedia article about Bran, and the Fisher King

    Incidentally that article also references Bors, one of the 3 knights (with Galahad and Percival) who eventually achieve the grail (and who was known for having a scar on his forehead). Apologies if anyone else has brought that up already.

    Another thing that struck me is that this is the second “baddie” in 2 consecutive stories to refer to the Time Lords as warmongering megalomaniacs – Davros also had a go at the Doctor on this theme. (And agree, not anxious to see a return of the Time Lords, but I trust the team to do it because they have a good story to tell).

    And I liked Corey Taylor’s scream/growl/vocalisation.



    ScaryB @replies

    @pedant Good spot re Magpie Electricals, I missed that completely!

    @mudlark Agree with you re it was too early for the TLs to be working on the TL/Dalek hybrid when the Doctor fled Gallifrey.  That comment is most likely Moffat/Davros yanking chains. (Although… timeywimey and all that!)

    But it does raise the question of why again. Maybe experiments were going in directions he didn’t agree with and he scarpered with his (and Missy’s??) granddaughter to keep her safe (and travel the universe). I suspect we won’t get the definitive answer any time soon, but perhaps some more clues and hints for fertile speculation.

    ScaryB @replies

    Re the sunglasses – I agree with @Bluesqueapip that it seems to be an anti-merch thing (and a wee swipe to the sonic-snipers). It’s hard to create a DIY sonic, but sunglasses are easy and cheap (tho no doubt there will be special branded versions available from the usual sources).  Am I wrong to pick up a reference to my fave defence devices from Hitchhikers Guide…? The glasses which turn completely black in time of danger!

    Maybe he’ll try out a succession of sonicy things  in S9 😉

    ScaryB @replies

    Well, rewatch done and still feeling exhilarated by it. @janetteb sorry you didn’t hook into this one so much – maybe a rewatch will improve it. I think the “mercy” thing is always there in the Daleks  – the Doctor realises he has to go back to young Davros to close the loop by implanting the concept.  And presumably always did.  The war damaged child who is Davros still goes on to create the Daleks, with their built-in hatred and their casings programmed to override any chink of positive emotions/thoughts – but we know now that there is definitely the possibility of a “good” Dalek. Rusty wasn’t a one-off. It’s unlikely, but every now and again there might be one, whereas before everyone just assumed it was impossible. Trouble is, with the Daleks being so sneaky and cunning, it’s going to be hard to tell!

    I agree with those who are speculating that Missy and the Doctor could be inlaws… with Susan being the granddaughter of both. Unless the Doctor is the mother of Missy’s daughter!! (Hehe that would stir things up a bit, but I suspect – like the Doctor as Davros theory – that that’s probably a bonkers step too far for a family show!)

    For those speculating about the CD of Rasillon (and I confess I love @blenkinsopthebrave‘s overdue library CD theory to bits,, tho probably not going to happen) – the BBC website have posted pics of the artwork, including the interior. The other designs are worth checking out too, inc Missy’s gizmo (very steampunk 🙂 Beautifully detailed.

    @phaseshift – Yes please re a group rewatch of Genesis. I had a look at #1 after TMA, really worth checking out as it’s hugely referenced in TMA. Any time you like!

    ScaryB @replies


    Also the fact that when Clara (wired into the Dalek) shows emotion or tries to say her name, but it comes out as “I am a Dalek” or “Exterminate”, shows how strong the programming is. Who’s to say what feelings lurk in the living creatures locked into the “tanks”.  As you say, it harks back to Into the Dalek.

    Oh my giddy aunt!!

    ScaryB @replies


    It’s typical of a Moffat retcon – on the surface apparently nothing has changed, and yet fundamentally everything has. It’s very very clever. I love it!

    If you’re a casual viewer you can shrug and think it’s business as usual. For those of us who care deeply it’s a beautiful, subtle development.

    ScaryB @replies

    <span class=”useratname”>@phoebe-phire</span>

    Retire the TARDIS… nah! That I don’t believe.

    (They spent a sh*t load of money on the new model apart from anything else!!)

    And she’s been with him right from the start. Just a wanderer in a blue box.

    ScaryB @replies


    The Master had a daughter. That’s new. Let’s add her to the list for random speculation over the identity of female guest stars. The Susan\Romana\Jenny\River calls need more variety.


    Assuming Missy’s telling the truth of course.

    And… we’ve all assumed the Doctor left cos the Timelords were stuffy… the 60s counter culture and all that… but to avoid his destiny…  bit Cartmel masterplan being retconned as well perhaps?

    Very very clever, very scary, gripping… loved it

    ScaryB @replies

    I don’t remember Dr Who EVER having this quality of acting all round, ever (and that’s not to criticise it before). Every single person exploding it out the park, with nuances and multiple layers. You don’t know who to trust.  I very very nearly felt sympathy for Davros. Talk about raising the bar.

    ScaryB @replies

    Oh.. just wow!!

    Loved it!

    Is it safe to come out from under the sofa now…?!  Proper scary that was.

    Yup – loved the callback to Big Bang  – Moffat retconning his own stories now? 😉  And Asylum. Chills with Clara being forced into the Dalek (also call back to the very first Dalek story when Ian impersonated one). Who’d have Missy as a mum – fearsome.

    So who was it on here who called out the sunglasses (from the trailer) as wearable tech?! (Sorry, can’t remember who, but kudos)


    ScaryB @replies


    Davros wants to return the favour and save the Doctor from the Daleks… interesting! I like it!

    @phaseshift – Thanks for being our DW encyclopedia as ever. And thanks to you and @bluesqueakpip re Sarff = snakes (and for the nest of vipers pun).

    (And yes you’re right – I’m catching up with the posts backwards.. time travelling 😉 )

    ScaryB @replies

    Thanks @wolfweed for the link to the music track, great stuff. And great news about the repeat double episode broadcast for UK tomorrow. Might just watch that. Just because it’s there, haha.

    @janetteb Likewise re being busy. Agree with your reading of Clara, but again, the character works for me.  I think we’ve left the Impossible Girl behind with the Name of the Doctor. SmithDoc pulled the real one out of his timetrack. She may not even remember that much about her time there. PTSD etc.  By TMA she’s down the road a bit from Danny’s death, not forgotten him (in the dream in Last Christmas she never married but she made a success of teaching and travelling) but she’s still teaching and combining that with  being a consultant for UNIT, and presumably still having adventures with the Doctor. That seems pretty independent and a full life to me.

    You can see her confidence with Missy – she’s trying to control the situation, though seriously outclassed (probably doesn’t realise by quite how much).  Gomez is brilliant, lots of little twitchy nuances. But then she too is clearly rattled when she sees they are on Skaro.  Daleks scare even psychopathic Timelords.  So is her little performance about giving them the Tardis know-how just a front to buy some time, or…?  Surely the Daleks already know about Tardises, why would they want to destroy it rather than use it? Is it to impress/scare the Doctor?

    How much of this has been planned by Davros? Or are the Daleks controlling him now? The one thing that makes me wonder how much the Doctor has some pre-knowledge of what’s happening is his 1 word to Missy – “Gravity”. He wants to make sure she knows they aren’t in artificial gravity ie they’ve landed on a planet.

    Oooooh! So many questions! Can’t wait for tonight. Advance word suggests it’s going to be well worth waiting for!! See you on the other side folks!



    PS Re all my comments about Clara – given my track record on theories, all of that is likely to be mince 😉

    ScaryB @replies

    @phaseshift – thanks for the additional info. And laughed at the CUSM video. here’s hoping!

    Thanks also to @thekrynoidman – loving your Beach Boys posts. Great band

    ScaryB @replies

    @mudlark @bluesqueakpip

    Love you both!! You are awe-inspiring.


    *backs off, in grovelling admiration, for another rewatch!*

    And agree with @brewski‘s comment –

    “Davros remembers” what the Doctor did to him. He allowed him to live that awful life.  Curse his compassion!”

    (I think I posted something similar, but not so well expressed. Maybe Davros also blames the Doctor for “enabling” him to create the Daleks, something he now regrets when he sees how out of control his “children” are. Maybe…)

    ScaryB @replies

    Interesting thoughts about the “CD” everyone.  I haven’t had a chance to go back and study it, but it strikes me that it’s clearly been foregrounded, then backgrounded again. Why does it go to Missy? ie another Timelord, albeit the most untrustworthy of the lot, rather than the trusted and loyal Clara?  @bluesqueakpip‘s comments got me thinking about “Get out of jail free” cards. Yes, it’s to be opened after his death – but maybe rather than containing a confession, it enables his “resurrection” (hopefully as an alternative to regeneration), or rescue in some way (eg from a different dimension/espace/parallel universe etc). Maybe it needs another Timelord’s DNA, or just the knowledge, to activate it?

    ScaryB @replies

    Nice spot on the ankle grabbing @whisht, missed that. Suspect it’s an echo rather than significant, but it I like it.

    Didn’t spot the missing chunk on the CD player (of Rassilon) – will need to have another look… unless you’ve got a screen grab of it? Does the Doctor not also mention its function to Ohila (in the prologue)? Will need to check that as well. If it’s only referenced by Missy, then no, I wouldn’t trust a word of what she says, and my money would be on a “Chekhov’s Duck”* 😉

    Word on Sorcerer’s Familiar is that it’s at the very least up to TMA standard. Can’t wait. The trailer at the end of TMA is intriguing, not least that it switches to black and white. And what are the things lurking in the shadows..?!

    Aaaah, just love the Master and the Clangers, always good to see it.


    *copyright @bluesqueakpip, haha


    ScaryB @replies

    @whisht <big wave>

    Thanks so much for posting, so poignant (especially since he lost his son earlier this year). Yes interesting choice for the scene. Do we pick up on “weeping” or fathers and sons…?

    Meanwhile this is my one of my all time fave Cave songs – for Missy and Davros…?

    “it’s not that in their hearts they’re bad…”

    Oh, and it’s Nick’s birthday today


    ScaryB @replies


    Very wise.

    And yes – enough of “Other Places”.  Let’s keep this place clean, but passionate.

    *goes off to find some disinfectant to mop up the pub!*

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