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  • #60900
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    There’s another (very  strong) relationship which might come up – the Doctor’s relationship with ‘Ol Sexy’…

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    Can I second your post above #60800 – good words.

    I don’t think I have seen her in anything – I’ve not seen Broadchurch.  So, I’m going to look forwards immensely to what she brings to the role. Whilst missing Peter Capaldi greatly – after all, he is THE Doctor…

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    @thane15 (both sides of the hybrid)

    I too loved the opening section, the witty sharpness of the too-and-forth between the TLs. Missy loving hamming it up – because that’s WHO she is. I love how she expresses that very Scottish haughty-disdainful-coquettishness.  It was very well constructed with the flashbacks – clearly showing that Bill wasn’t given false promises (its a tragedy, though! We’ve hardly got to know her).

    Her death was so sudden and unexpected to me (no spoilers) – completely blew me. I expected the normal “Oh, OK, here’s my gun, I won’t shoot her”.  Having been shot – and to all ordinary intents – dead, we see how completely shocked the Doctor is, and how it takes him time to gather his wits into understanding what is going on and formulating a plan.  When Bill was shot, I also fully expected them all to be holograms beamed out from the Tardis so that nobody was actually in danger…

    @thane15 and @ichabod definitely, having been shot, then to wake up in such a strange hospital setting, you’re going to wonder if you’re really awake or in a massive nightmare.  She’s millions of light years from home, stranded, no idea whats gong on – I don’t think we can blame Bill for going along with the situation for a while to discover what she can, and holding on to whatever (apparent) human comfort you can.

    Having been in hospital several times as a child (I think the longest was for 10 days), and in Intensive Care as an adult (not an experience I care to go through again, although being brought back from what had preceded it was an amazing gift), without daily visits from anybody as we lived a long distance away from the hospital in town, you very much in the power of the system; however benevolent and well-meaning that system is you are still in its control.  That memory as a child was brought up, I remember loneliness, isolation, feeling lost. (Hey, I lived!)

    The joke of watching Dr Who in B&W on an old TV was great. I am sure that Saxon-Razor would have initiated the full procedure whenever he saw the Dr leaving the console room on his way down.

    I liked the dialogue with Nardole
    N: I usually do the computer stuff
    Dr: Well, she’s more intelligent than you…

    As to what will happen next? No idea. At this stage I’m prepared for them to all regen into each other.

    So, a great episode – one of the best. Humour, both light and dark, well-paced, with a solid(ish) time-dilation science back-story, and strong emotion.

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    Oh my.  I’ve just watched and what an episode, terrific emotional punch.  Truly horrific in concept – and in ‘execution’, sorry, upgrade.

    All very unexpected for me, as I stay clear of spoilers.

    I don’t know what to think – I had thought in the last few weeks, what if the Dr regens into Missy… I don’t know think that is likely – it may well be that Simm-Master regens into Missy, though, at would be great.  Twice as much Missy!

    Poor Bill.  I suspect she will be rescued in some way, probably not returned to normal human form, however. Maybe she’ll be reunited with ‘puddle’?

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    @countscarlioni and others

    Here’s the guy who does the archao-acoustic research ‘This project explores the role of sound in the experience of Neolithic sites and landscapes’

    @ichabod It happens! Its just hard to predict when it will happen… September is usually the best most wonderful month.  With climate change, who knows – its already making our summers wetter.  Who nose?  It’ll be wonderful anyway.  I went around Orkney one March in a howling minus 10 arctic wind, snowdrifts everywhere, it was a tad bracing but the light was magnificent…

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    @wolfweed I always view these inaccuracies as though they were elements in a story told down through the ages, various bits get mangled or re-imagined or joined with other bits – but they’re still there, forming the story.  As ever, if we can accept light-eating monsters from another dimension, then lets not worry overly about the local details!

    Yes, that day at Camster was very weird, such intense strong sensations.  I’ve been in many cairns and i’m not worried by the claustrophobia element, so it wasn’t that…

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    Well, that was fun.  The pacing felt really good – it seemed like a longer than normal episode, but in a good way, not rushing to solve everything in the final minutes.

    As a Scottish person, I loved the jokes ‘Death by Scotland’ especially.  Actually, we’ve just had two whole days of lovely warm sun 🙂 it only rained for a short while each day.

    There were several nods to traditional tales, the piper as @wolfweed observed, also the idea found in many stories that time passes differently inside the cairns (in the stories the different passage of time usually refers to fairy hills, which aren’t necessarily the same as stone cairns although sometimes they do coincide).  In legend, people enter the hill through a secret door (a portal), sometime after hearing music and the sounds of dancing from inside the hill, they spend one night there, and on coming out discover that many days, or even many years, sometimes entire ages, have passed in the outside wold.  Portals to another dimension…

    I loved the crows! Corvids are a favourite of mine in any case, with their intelligence and humour (Jackdaws nest in all the chimneys down my street – constantly chatting away, and they are so funny in how they act.  Mostly they say ‘Jack!’ but maybe its an invitation to ‘Chat!?’), then we have Odin’s (and Poe’s) talking Ravens – they can mimic human speech very well –

    (talking Raven)

    What happened to the missing 9th legion?  Experts continue to argue – there is very little evidence on the ground or records.  I need to rewatch – did the episode include the lines <span lang=”EN-GB”>‘they make a desert and they call it peace’ –  from a speech by the Pictish leader Calgacus before the battle of Mons Graupius, recorded by the Roman historian Tacitus (the battle supposedly took place in Aberdeenshire, although the site has not been identified, 5000 Romans of the 9th Legion defeated an army of 30,000 Picts – according to the Romans.  It was on their journey back south from this battle that the 9th seems to have disappeared.)</span>

    The Picts – very little is known about them (referred to in some histories as ‘The problem of the Picts’) – seem to be the continuation of various Iron Age tribes, Celtic in origin.  They later merged with the tribe of Scots (who, confusingly, came from Ireland…) to form the start of the Scottish Kingdom.    The symbol stones are their legacy.  This one, now kept in the Rosemarkie museum, seems particularly apt for the episode, perhaps showing a monster devouring a man… (I like the wolf at the bottom too – with his lips curved… )

    Pictish stone

    Of all the Cairns in Scotland, the masterpiece has to be Maeshowe in Orkney, with its tunnel and chamber aligned to the setting sun at the midwinter solstice – the episode certainly paid homage to the amazing lighting effects created in these places.

    Maeshowe, Orkney

    Maeshowe, Orkney – the tunnel formed from single massive slabs, engineered with precision.

    Reading University have done research into various acoustic phenomena in cairns in the UK (thinking of the ‘music inside the stones’.  At Camster, in the far North of Scotland (and its a lonely place, the last time I crawled into its chamber on hands and knees as the tunnel is rather low, it really spooked me, something about the atmosphere… I’d been before and found it OK, but I ain’t going back!) = there are two cairns a few hundred yards apart.  The research showed that if somebody played a drum inside cairn A, it couldn’t be heard outside, but if somebody was in the chamber of cairn B, the drumming could be heard, arising out of the ground.

    Camster cairn

    My apologies for such a long post – I realise I’m slightly off-doctor-topic, but its all fascinating background stuff that they incorporated into the episode.  I loved it.

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    No, I really like the way Gomez delivers lines – she seems to find words delicious if that makes sense.

    … and that is the sense of delicious which I meant – her entire delivery, I certainly didn’t mean to imply anything else ( I could have stopped to think before posting, of course) 🙂

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    The Doctor himself has come to a  point, a point where he has been re-visiting the last 4 years:

    what is my doctor?

    All of the words we hear, the scenes we see mixed in with our  personal likes of either Pertwee, Tom Baker, Tennant or Mat Smith, the Doctor himself is asking that same question.

    In other words “Who (haha) am I?” The same question we all ask ourselves in life.  How do we define ourselves, how do we find and express our innermost nature.

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    @ichabod @thane15 @nick and many others

    Thank you all so much for the discussion above, with such insight and far better ways of expressing it than I could ever hope to achieve – one reason why I’m so quiet on the forum!

    Regarding the 4.5 billion years in The Castle (and yes, I tend to agree the time period was overplayed), looking at it purely physically there is no way the Doctor would remember each go around the loop – each time he was freshly ‘created’ out of the teleporter, left clues for himself, worked t out, and chipped another bit of ice-brick off the wall.

    However, I tend to view the Doctor in a Buddhist light, as a Tulku, one who is reborn with full knowledge and awareness of who he is – this applies to his regenerations, which could be viewed as an in-situ rebirth.  This knowledge still wouldn’t apply to the events in The Castle.  However, many traditions also have some form of record of the events of a person’s life, and an extra-dimensional place where these are stored and available, whether for judgement or for self-learning.  The Doctor clearly inhabits a world where psychic reality is fully accepted and part of being a TimeLord (psychic paper, sonic glasses psychically wired to his brain).  In such a reality I have no doubt he would be able to link directly into the ‘hall of records’ and access the full horror of what he went through.

    Ichabod, I agree with you that everything can be Doctorish and alien, but I’m also sympathetic with Nick’s view that ‘there be something strange in the woodshed’.

    He will heal himself – its the nature of the Doctor.  Perhaps @missrori by realising self-acceptance – maybe through the actions of his friends.  It certainly will involve his regeneration, perhaps finally triggered as he accepts the situation, accepts himself.

    Puro/Thane – I love the idea of the DinerTardis as therapy; however – what if its just ‘see the wonders of the Universe for less than 30 Altairian dollars a day!?’  A place to travel and have fun, without worrying about being Doctorish all the time.  Ha – that would be therapy indeed, I could do with some of that!

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    There was a Time-Lady so delicious,
    Wild and fey, and totally capricious.
    Missy! I’m in love with you…
    Even tho’ you’re you-know-Who…
    And your motives are totally suspicious!

    Is that bad enough to get me banned for life? 😉

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    Instead of going bad for the sake of a good person, he does the right things for the sake of a bad one

    Very good.


    Indeed, very well put.  Which layer is ‘truth’ and who (Who?) is willing to make the effort to dig away the lies and distortions to find it, and themselves.

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    Top memorable line for me: ‘Thats my problem – I always think like a soldier…’

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    Missy? Nice? You noticed in my construction here that the two words don’t belong together in a sentence!  Hell freezing over is more likely (and, come to think of it – quite possible in Who – hmmm).

    I really liked the ideas up-thread that Missy might be a regen of the Doctor, although I don’t think that is likely.  The Doctor has already made a lot of acknowledgement of his dark side and many moves towards integration, I don’t feel that his character would go through that kind of total flip.  His need to have his friend back, and his hope that she can change, may well over-ride his knowing that she can’t.

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    Well, I’m a little late to the party, having only now managed to watch all these three episodes, and to read the threads on each (over two nights).

    Everybody has come up with such great, insightful (and bonkers) ideas that I don’t have much to add, although it just occurred to me that the Munks (© @thane15) have done the world a great service – if they hadn’t identified the bio-hazard as a tipping point which would destroy life on earth, then it would most likely have gone undetected until way too late.  By bringing it to the Doctor’s attention he was able to do something about it.

    I like that it wasn’t ‘the power of love’ per se as the power of the memory created by love, which saved the day.

    I loved ‘Extremis’ – the pacing, the riffs on Da Vinci Code.  I loved the idea of characters discovering they were in a simulated holographic projection, especially as this is a current theory; like others I found that the set of 3 episodes did not quite hang together, and found the same off-putting elements in this episode – especially the shooting / regeneration.  Definitely something off and odd about that… I now need to rewatch all three to pick up on the things I missed.  Overall, I really liked, and I’m sure that on rewatch much more will click into place.

    @nerys I agree re the monks – I feel they get their kicks from the challenge of getting the host race to invite them in, unless there is some dastardly long-term plot which we are unaware of, but going on the evidence for now.  I also agree with up-thread that it would have been an interesting plot to make them beautiful, like saving-grace angels, rather than ‘death warmed up’.  Perhaps after gaining control of the world they just stay on auto-pilot not really paying attention any more ‘it IS a game’.

    @nick (and others) Interesting discussion on trauma, survivors, and how Who doesn’t fill in the consequences.  I simply think it can’t, given its target audience, and that the constant earth invasions would by now have so radically altered the current day Who-Earth that we could no longer set stories there and have it recogniseable as our time and place.  I agree that makes the show gloss over an enormous amount, but I just accept whatever the story is ‘this week’ and go with it, I’m maybe a bit simplistic that way – but its the willing suspension of disbelief to fully enter into the created world and the current story being told.  Often, of course, the overall story is about human qualities, courage, beliefs, to which the apparent on-screen situation is a sketch which cannot have any more detail applied within the time constraints.  Perhaps I’m just like the general population depicted in-episode: I forget the implications of everything that has happened before, in order to concentrate on NOW.  That’s my take, anyhows. Sorry – not wanting to reopen the discussion, just adding my rather late thoughts to the proceedings.

    @blenkinsopthebrave I liked your essay idea!  These episodes really6 explored that essay topic from different angles, perhaps giving us a reason for them appearing not to fit together:
    (1) you discover you are a figment of a simulation – but you can still exercise free will by ending your life within the simulation in the hope (perhaps – this wasn’t shown as the reason for the suicides) that this will affect the Monks’ simulat5ion or somehow send a signal to outside the simulation.

    (2) The Monks can save the planet, but only if somebody genuinely surrenders free will and invites them into Power (with a capital), acting from love.  The ultimate giving-up of one’s own power ‘Thy will be done’.

    (3) Bill exercises free will to join with the broadcast-monk knowing it might kill her, a willing sacrifice for the greater good.  Humanity exercises its free will to forget!  OK, Who stretches it massively, but genuinely if you’re not 100% consciously paying attention to things, people really do ‘revert to the mean’ of how they think and believe things should be.  I’ve experienced this. Subconscious programming rules our lives and reactions – 90% of us is the subconscious iceberg below the waters, and we’ll do our best to ignore inconvenient facts and completely bury them if possible.  Douglas Adams ‘Somebody Elses’ Problem’ field was a great concept.
    If you are using a VPN to <cough> tune into iPlayer from outwith the UK, they don’t yet require you to sign in. I don’t know how long that situation will last.   Personally I wish they’d offer a subscription for iPlayer as there is so little I want to watch that I don’t own a regular TV.

    Right – a day off, then a rewatch of all three.

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    @mudlark very good! Republicissimo di banana…

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    @thane15 Imagine a  society where education is seen as a good thing, in itself, rather than purely as a process to produce the minimum standard for necessary workers.  Where we are encouraged to debate and contribute to the big questions – what is society for? How do we want to organise society? How do we pay for it? Where progress is measured not purely by economic growth (how do we have ever-increasing growth in a world of non-infinite resources?) but by measures of human happiness (and, I would argue, ecological health).  The mental herdery (sorry, just invented that term) that goes in in our society through our bizarre ‘newspapers’ and media is, well, bizarre and extreme.  Its interesting that the younger generation became engaged through social media which has in general been much more favourable to Corbyn than the demonising he received in the mainstream.  But this mental straitjacket from the mainstream would have us believe there is no other way than what currently exists – a way that is killing the planet.  I am actually positive for the future, despite the above 🙂

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    @pedant Excellent!
    @nick Thanks for your interesting view.  I agree re PR and some sort of federal structure, I don’t see it as being likely to happen, other than through chaos.  I agree re losing Alec and Angus, we need these different voices to be heard.  I bumped into Alec (Salmond) on a street corner in Glasgow a few years back (when he was the SNP leader) and he took 5 mins for a surprisingly honest and in-depth chat.  I think this is a good aspect to politics in Scotland – in a country of 5 million, the people at the top are not so far removed from us, and as a nation we are known for not putting up with ‘numpties’.

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    @thane15 @nick @whisht

    Yes, he lost his seat. (Hurrah). I agree with whisht, the Conservative campaign was relentlessly empty, and I do hope this results in a softer more collaborative approach, but then we now have the DUP propping up the Cons in government, which is not encouraging to my mind.  I agree with @nick that the general lack of investment across the is astounding, for decades it seems no business strategies other than whatever the City of London requires, the general rundown in infrastructure and so on.

    Here in Scotland the election was rather different from the rest of the UK.  The Conservatives here have claimed their first victories in years, but they campaigned as ‘The Ruth Davidson Party’ (she being the leader of the Cons in Scotland) – many election leaflets barely mentioned ‘The Conservative Party’.  Since the collapse of Labour in Scotland, the Cons have now picked up votes as the Unionist element, votes that previously went to Labour,

    I’ve yet to meet anybody in conversation who likes Ruth Davidson or sees her as anything other than a self-promotion face-changer to suit whichever wind is blowing.  The SNP have lost many seats, but that was probably unavoidable as in the last election they won 56/59 possible so there was nowhere else for them to go but down.  I think their recent call for a new referendum on Scottish independence is generally viewed negatively, but she could yet be proved right once we see the actual results of the Brexit negotiations.

    The UK needed a federal system decades ago, and electoral reform, in my opinion.   Its hard not to think its a complete mess.  But – whether you agree with the Scottish independence campaign or not, the referendum 2 years ago galvanised opinion and debate in Scotland in a most remarkable way – everybody was talking about it, in detail, in a very knowledgeable way.  there was massive debate and participation about possible ways forward for the economy, for society.  I feel that Jeremy Corbyn is achieving something similar at least amongst the younger generation to engage them in politics, which is very encouraging.  Its very hopeful to see that we don’t need to be tied to the Conservative juggernaut ‘heading over the cliffs of civilisation’ forever.

    Just my view!

    PS @thane15 Private Message!

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    So the question becomes – what is it that the doctor might need to develop  a new perspective on? (Its in the vault!)

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    Hello everyone, i’m glad to be back. (Waves at you especially thane and puro)

    I’ve been lurking the previous threads of this series, playing endless catch-up (I seem to be experiencing some issues with <ahem> time just now).

    That was fabulous. I have to admit that in the first few minutes I was thinking ‘Zombies? Really? ‘ As it turns out, the suit explanation was very plausible, terrifyingly plausible. I love the metaphor of ‘the (corporate) suits will kill you…’

    It also fits into the overall arc which you have identified of things being freed from shackles in some form or other – the lines at the finish where the Doctor explains how this led to the revolution which freed humanity from extreme capitalism.

    Now onto the Doctor’s blindness. An issue which resonates with me just now – in the last 6 months I’ve had an eye condition which currently gives me about 20% vision in my left eye, and that’s a very blurred 20% – hopefully not permanent. (How often have I said on this forum how much the Doctor’s experience resonates with my life…?)

    Please bear with me on this exploration. I’m familiar with some Native American teaching stories, which are all animal-based, but in which everything is totally symbolic of human experience and consciousness.  A favourite concerns ‘Jumping Mouse’, a mouse who is very inquisitive, and jumps higher in order to see more of the world – and of course lands in trouble.  (Mouse represents people who typically are into everything – so long as its in front of their nose – and can’t see beyond that, forever inquisitive).  In the course of the story, he meets a sick wolf, dying, who laments that only the ey6e of a mouse can save him.  Mouse gives up his eye – and becomes semi blind, in order to save this other creature.  In other words, he gives up his old way of perceiving things, to serve the greater good of another’s welfare, and in doing so develops a new perspective.  He grows in conciousness.  By the end of the story, having given away both eyes, he is swooped upon and seized by eagle – and becomes eagle, representing somebody who sees the bigger picture from above.

    I sense parallels… <span class=”useratname”>@fivefaces</span> you mentioned a theme of transcending existing consciousness, which I think is what I have just described.

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    @ichabod @thane15

    Kind of Blue is most definitely Miles Davis. But Cohen has plenty to offer this discussion (‘<i>Everybody knows that the dice are loaded</i>’).  Goodness, the internet has so changed music! In my mid 20s I started listening to a weekly jazz programme here, the presenter played lots of world music and world-jazz too which I just loved.  However, this was 20 years ago and it wasn’t until after a few years that I was able to search out and finally get the CDs – I’d built up a long list in the meantime!

    ichabod, thank you for the post earlier. I wish you well with health issues too.  For me its definitely been a case of courage, and required constant mental focus to keep facing the darkness. Its most definitely working as things are definitely lightening up 🙂 I don’t want to hijack the thread with these issues however, it was just to show how much our Dr’s journey had resonated with my own.  His humanity, as you and @missy observed.

    I think you both have it right.  The wounded healer refers psychologically to the capacity “to be at home in the darkness of suffering and there to find germs of light and recovery with which, as though by enchantment, to bring forth Asclepius, the sunlike healer  …It is only by being willing to face, consciously experience and go through our wound that we receive its blessing”.  As you quoted, “There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”

    Thane, just for your comment about vinyl, I’m going to go play some… Its funny how the scratches become part of the music.  A bit like our ‘cracks’ and wounded bits all being part of the tapestry.

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    during heightened emotion and pain, everything is jangly and colourful; one’s eyes hurt either from crying or trying not to. Events either speed up or slow down; they catapult into one another until you either hide or face what’s in front of you.

    Spot on, and thats the place I’ve been in and am finally moving out of, having spent several years ‘facing up’ to what was in front of me (and you can’t see it until you remove the blinkers and open your eyes).   You expressed it perfectly – you write so well (both!).  My health has been slowly improving as I come through this phase of the journey.  Thank you.

    I’ve written before that this last few seasons of Dr has had so much resonance for me. The wounded healer and all that.


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    <span class=”useratname”>@thane15</span>  (and@mum – waves)

    I totally agree, Heaven Sent was just phenomenal, and I’ve watched it several times as – well, its just so good. Just excellent drama and a terrific concept.

    Its not a problem to prefer the darker moments – thats where humanity and the Dr shine the best!  Having been through some very dark moments myself this last few years, its also where touches of daft humour and irreverent wit give us a counterpoint to the darkness, otherwise we’d all give up and throw ourselves into the (satan) pit  (or somesuch).  The darker, more intense, stories are the best as they allow us to explore those deep, often repressed, emotional depths within ourselves, if we allow ourselves to go with it.  PC s fab at expressing this with the lift of an eye, and then a cackle 🙂

    But, the Christmas special is a lighter beast aimed at a wider audience, and as such I thought it did a good job with some splendid jokes, the girl and the ordinary guy turned superhero found each other, but with the undercurrent of mourning and acknowledgement of having survived life’s traumas – life goes on, and new stories are to be told.

    Hopefully I’ll be back here again before another year passes!

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    Hello! A belated viewing from me, I’ve been away (2 weeks holiday in far-away sunshine and avoiding the entire darkness of UK midwinter christmas pressure!) and have just caught up.  I really enjoyed the playing with superman genre and the jokes at the ridiculousness of it all.

    I enjoyed that it was less christmassy and tinselly than many previous specials.

    In the early scenes with young Grant I found it really hard to follow what he was saying – maybe just the sound on my system!  But I think its that american tone clashing with the very British Dr tone perhaps that has made it a bit flat for some? One or the other works, not both together?  That’s a vast assertion for which I can be shot (or have some of @thane ‘s bricks).  Mind you – ‘Brains with minds of their own, nobody would believe that, this is America!’

    @thane15 I agree, very much the ‘importance of words’.  I’m going to rewatch and I expect to get a lot more subtlety and things-that-were-missed upon first viewing.

    Happy New (Nu-Who) Year to You!

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    Hi @whisht

    If you’re into that kind of vibe, I absolutely love this CD from Nigel Kennedy & his Polish Kroke  band – (how do you embed?)

    Best Wishes to you for a happy Christmas.   I’m looking forwards to collapsing into incoherence – it doesn’t take much these days.

    I went to a fab gig as part of Glasgow’s Celtic Connections a couple of years ago, 5 fiddlers from all around the world (Scottish, Irish, Indian classical, and 2 Russian Gypsy-ish players) – I’ve never heard anything so stunning.


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    @thebrainofmoffat No offense taken! No worries.  I sincerely hope you make sense of all those other goings on.

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    @puroandson A good teacher is just – irreplaceable.  As the Doctor could have said to Clara.  Oh…

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    @puroandson (son) Thank you for your words, I’m most happy to be equitable in outlook.  I aim to never put people down, and my nature is to always seek the best in whats happened – even if its ‘only’  a chance to grow and develop.  You’re developing great insight and a good way with words and I’m glad you (the hybrid) are on these boards.

    Seriously off-topic now: I’m an Electronics Eng, with Semiconductor Physics thrown in, although I never went on to work in that field.  Yup, its all maths, with some extra maths thrown in on top for good measure.  Luckily, I liked maths… Only 80% doesn’t sound too bad?  If its something you’d like to aim towards doing and being, then if you set your heart on it and work towards it, I’m sure there’s a way.  School systems like to pressure you into trying to decide what you want to do at such an early age.  I did Electronics because I taught it to myself from book and home projects from exactly your age and built myself a home recording studio (basic!), and because I loved physics, but eventually as a career I’ve gone very sideways.

    Now back to topic:

    @thebrainofmoffat I don’t get that there is a problem with the ‘immortal’ Clara.  She has to go back and face the Raven someday – and potentially has, what, 4.5 billion years to get to Gallifrey the long way round in order to be returned to face her death.  Not a bad innings!   Unless she gets tired of it before then.  I agree that she could in principal work out a way to reprogramme or cheat the quantum shade – and from then on she’d be back to her ordinary human lifespan.  That might be quite a choice.

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    @pedant Wow!

    I simply don’t have time or patience for that kind of analysis (and I mean firstly in a very practical sense). I’m an engineer – I’ve got problems to solve and solutions to create.  [Next project: a sonic screwdriver – can’t be that hard…]

    Part of my skill is in being very good at simplifying and seeing a bigger picture.  The author creates a work.  Editors / producers / script adapters / actors will all put their mark on it (I believe it was Heinlein’s creation Jubal Harshaw who said something like ‘of course I let the editor change my plot – he likes it better after he’s pissed in the pot’).

    Then its down to us, with our life experiences, imagination, insights, to interpret it (if we wish to).  The more rich and varied our life experience, the more likely that things will jump out that resonate with us, so we’ll attach more meaning to that part.  In my own case over the last 4 years of very challenging life circumstances, the bits that really resonate with me have helped me to get through those circumstances.  Its as though the characters onscreen are echoing part of my story.  I’m not alone.

    Especially in recent Who where large gaps have been deliberately left so as to create room for us to insert our own mental fan-fiction, the author’s original intent is actually partly to open a space for us.  So, no wonder we the audience go on collaboratively to create (bonkers) additional storylines filling in the gaps, and creating a multiverse of options.  What an incredible buy-in!  I think @bluesqueakpip said above that we might want to be careful about reading more into the story than is presented onscreen (sorry for potential misrepresentation, iIve already lost a post half written in going back to check something).

    Then there’s all the cultural references both intended and less-conscious.  Many things come out that the author may not have directly intended, but eventually our in-between bonkerising and interpretations have to fit the story as presented.  Our interpretations also change over time and with rewatches, we see more, can read things differently especially in the knowledge of what we’ve read here.   Also as we develop we can see the same story in a totally different light (Shane, or High Noon?)

    Isn’t it wonderful?  Hmmm.  I should be working for my clients!

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    @ichabod @tardigrade
    Would the neural block have worked on Clara without a pulse?  In her time-looped state she might have just reset, or it may not have had time to work – it seemed to take several seconds for the Doctor to succumb to it.  It depends on how much of Clara’s system is reset in her timeloop (she is her own personal traveling Ourobouros).

    Maybe thats another reason the Dr was so panicked about the plan.

    Apologies for not responding to other points addressed to me up-thread, I’ve been laid up for a couple of days, and there’s so much here to catch up on!

    @morpho I give in! On the question of who/what is most likely the Hybrid … I think I’ve decided on a ‘superposition of quantum states‘ interpretation, and I’ll leave it at that.  IE there’s a certain probability to each of your well-argued theories, we can’t tell which is most likely, so I’ll just hold them all in mind as being potential solutions.  Further down the road we may well have new information, and the theories will collapse into something more coherent.  Unlike me after several glasses of wine where collapsing into coherence doesn’t happen somehow.

    @jphamlore Thanks for your thoughts and theories re the Matrix and its possible nefarious plans to bend the Universe to its shaping.  I simply don’t know enough of original-Who to argue the point.  The TimeLords certainly come across as being generally a nasty bit of work (being polite) and if the Matrix takes their consciousness and general attitudes as its starting point, it could provide great material for future arcs.

    (A counter to your argument might be Asimov’s more benevolent-minded R Daneel Olivaw who shapes Human culture over millennia.)

    However, my feeling is now that Gallifrey has been found again, and we’ve seen it in its ruins at the end of the Universe, so maybe its urgency to the Dr is less now, and he’s free to off in other directions, less encumbered.

    An aside: it doesn’t seem that the TimeLords have been off gallivanting in time and space since their emergence from the bubble.  Surely they have been at liberty to do so, should they choose.  There’s no evidence that they haven’t, but I dont get the impression that they have from what we’ve been shown.  They seem pretty shrunken.

    Another thought: Ohila and the sisterhood – I presume they’re immortal too? (apologies if this is known from original-Who) and have come the long way round, completely unchanged from all the previous times we’ve seen them.   Or do they live ‘outside of time’ and can thereby manifest whenever they desire?

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    @morpho You’re most welcome.  I would start with The Futurological Congress (thats where I started!) before progressing to some of the more serious ones.  I absolutely love ‘His Master’s Voice‘ which is pretty much pure philosophy.

    I think thats one of the reasons we love Who so much – the ability to take concepts and ideas from anywhere and run with them. Not all of them work – but they’re willing to experiment and try.

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    Except, Rassilon and the High Council have been exiled, near the end of time, where there’s ‘only one or two star systems left’.  In these ‘end times’ where is there left to actually exile them to?

    There won’t be many races left to raise armies from, either.  I presume (uh-oh!) they’ve been exiled without access t0 time-machines (since they’re safely stored on  Gallifrey, right?  Its not like just anyClarabody can just turn up and nick one, is it?)

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    I agree wih your call on the Doctor being most likely candidate for the hybrid.  Also, he says at the end of Heaven Sent after breaking out of the dial ‘I am the hybrid’  (he can of course be lying).

    Which would mean that he created the fulfillment of the prophecy himself  during his castle ordeal.  Another bootstrap?

    – And, maybe he realises this, that he has just fulfilled the prophecy, as he steps out?

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    @morpho @puroandson @mudlark

    Re the simulation hypothesis.  You may notice that I’ve referred to Lem several times now on this board – as I feel his writing is so ‘Doctorish’ and tackles many of these issues, esp the question ‘what is reality?’

    You may enjoy a read of his short stories in ‘Memoirs of a Space Traveller‘ especially the story of Professor Corcoran who builds a roomful of boxes, each containing an artificial universe, see here for Wiki on Lem’s mad scientists.

    Remarkable given these stories were written I believe in the late 1950s.

    Another of his mad scientists is Doctor Diagoras – apparently honoured by a Dr Who character ‘Mr Diagoras’ who became the human part of Dalek Hybrid Dalek Sec.  Thus, returning us nicely to the thread!


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    @jphamlore Yes, but Clara didn’t have that ability (so far as we know, being a human) when she took on the similar role in Trap Street.  They both took on a dangerous ‘countdown to death’.  I’m just pointing it out as the Mummy incident was referenced in Hell Bent. (Cue joke: are you my Mummy? – Oh! Perhaps that ties into the bonkers theory about Missy-as-mother… )

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    @countscarlioni Indeed! And, in Hell Bent the Doctor specifically mentions he remembers there was a Mummy on the Orient Express.  The parallel perhaps being that in MOTOE the Doctor took on a similar challenge of certain death within minutes unless the puzzle was solved, as Clara went on to do.

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    @pedant Perhaps a little Glasnost on Gallifrey will make it a more interesting place, with fewer daft costumes. It can only be a matter of time before they enter the Eurovision Song Contest…

    Thats given me a great mental image – ha!
    No wonder the Doctor left rather than hang around that lot.  In the words of King Arthur on Camelot ‘It is a silly place’  – but full of arrogant monsters in charge who took themselves far too seriously and view the actual people as being below notice.  Now – where does that remind me of…

    @puroandson (son) Scotland, yes. I can send you some sleet-snow-rain anytime you need cooling off from your heat.  In exchange for s-u-n (please).  You can’t wear sonic shades when you’re permanently in the twilight zone.

    @whisht Its our bonkers … and ‘in the name of the wee mannie’*  we’ll make the theory fit the observed facts! I would say you’re correct on Judgement – the Doctor has been through a whole load of self-judgement (4.5 billion years worth) and Hell Bent was still dealing with the consequences of that.  He still hadn’t learned his lesson about Clara, until forced to through the memory wipe.

    * an expression my old Latin teacher at school used.  He was Glaswegian with a great sense of humour, and occasionally he allowed us to trick him into telling us his war experiences from when he was a very young man, but somehow he managed always to turn it around and bring it back to the lesson.  To the few who took his class he was gentle, warm and humorous.  To the rest of the school he seemed feared, and order always reigned in the corridor outside his room.  Quite doctor-ish qualities.  Sorry for diverting the thread.

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    I’m a bit late to the party and don’t think I can add anything new to what all of you have so eloquently expressed.

    I was a day late watching, by which time you were up to page 4, time has been very limited so a rewatch late last night – and now you’re on page 7!!

    Its great to rewatch bearing in mind all the wonderful comments, theories and noticings-of-things.
    Some great lines: ‘Clara? Clara Who?’
    ‘Have you been travelling?’ – ‘Yeah, from time to time…’

    I noticed, right at the very start, with the truck arriving at the diner, the slogan on the roadsign outside:
    ‘Wherever you go – there you are’ suggesting to me how linked all of time and space is, and the possibility of finding yourself.

    A Diner (-soar?) In Space!  (sorry) 🙂

    Add in CapDoc’s poignant guitar playing ‘Clara’s theme’, stunning performances all round.

    I’ve enjoyed reading @puroandson hybrid comments – I apologise I’ve had no time to be here and discuss things with you, but your comments, analysis  and insight are great.

    Run you clever boy and – well, he can’t remember.

    What else? Oh yes, @pedant, I believe you called it?!
    I also have my stash of original off-air recordings of HHGTTG with the Pink Floyd.  I was 13 at the time, very much the geek listening to the radio instead of watching TOTP like everyone else, and – well – its shaped my life.
    @arbutus I too no longer own a cassette deck on which to play them.

    Douglas Adams leaves his traces all over the place.

    @jphamlore I like your theorising above, I agree that Moffat has done incredibly well to clear up all sorts of long-standing threads to give the Dr a chance to move on unencumbered by the past.  Although, once you’re at the end of the Universe, I suppose the past is all there is!

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    Hi @ceejbot Welcome out into the open!

    I’m thinking that, since it took place inside a timey-wimey confession dial of TimeLordTech, the 2 billion years could easily have taken place inside … a mere second (of Eternity).

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    That was … amazing.  I echo the sentiments above – such brave, exciting television.  Truly horrifying.  I had the realisation that he was in/creating his confession dial on the 3rd confession – and then realised the ‘I’m in 12’ meant his own skull.

    I suspect there is a wider bootstrap loop in operation, or the order-of-episodes theory is correct, that what we have just seen is before Missy gets handed the dial back in the first episode.

    I was on headphones (the other family members busy watching celebrity jungle) and @sirclockface the music really stood out.

    I’m – well, in need of the restorative powers of a  good whisky.

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    Hi everyone,
    I’ve been away so I was only able to catch up and watch the episode last night.  @drben I  DO live in a world of very-limited-media and thus had seen no headlines, spoilers, or otherwise.  So, although we all knew it had to come, it was a shock.

    Many things (apart from Clara’s amazing bravery) that stood out.  It really was quite stunning.

    ‘You’ve been retconned’ – words to the audience, I feel.  We’ve been fed another story of illusions.  In the telepathic field, the ravens could actually be something other than what they appear – all smoke and mirrors.

    Although, Clara is still dead (probably! – I think I would feel cheated now if they magically brought her back.   But, I do expect her to make another appearance, whether from an earlier time or from another reality).

    At first I was stunned and maybe disappointed that her death came about through something so seemingly random, but, it really works.  Just another day with the Doctor – but it could happen on any day.  Her bravery in the face of oncoming death, her quiet acceptance, whatever the circumstances, is what mattered.  A sacrifice for a good man who has young life to care for.  He’ll raise that kid on some good character-building stories.

    Wasn’t the Nethersphere (harnessing souls) all using TimeLord tech?

    I noticed the glow of light when the shade entered her, and wondered if it was a glimmer of regeneration energy.  Maybe its a soul-teleportation light!

    If we are correct in our Tarot interpretation of the souls journey towards growth then I really feel that Clara deserves better than having been transported to a hell.  @whist ““A sacrifice must be made in order to gain something of great value”.  Then we need to see that she has gained something of great value.  That could be difficult to show, of course!  I strongly suspect (hope!) that her innocence, her sacrifice, and that she faced the raven, will lead to a different Judgement (oh – there’s a card).


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    @blenkinsopthebrave Thank you – it looks like another late night for me.  As I remarked earlier, sleep – who needs it!

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    I’ve only seen the show since David Tennant, although I had seen some of the new series 1, so I suppose he’s my benchmark.  I loved him in the role, his quick flashes.

    I guess that although I love him in the role, especially the Donna series, I’m going to raise my head above the parapet here and say that in general I much prefer the Moffat style to the (for me) overly bombastic RTD.  Thats a massive generalisation, and there are many gems from those series that I just love.  Or maybe, I’ve gotten hooked, whereas before I wasn’t hooked, but I was still a hungry fish looking for a dangling line!

    Then Matt Smith came along and I was blown away – he just seemed to BE so alien and other-wordly, old within a young body, acting with such a range.  He (like, so totally) was the Doctor.

    And then… we have the Patrician CapaldiDoc, who is utterly awesome.  I’m in awe at the emotions he portrays with just his face, eyebrows, then his voice.  He IS the Doctor.

    So, @purofilion @arbutus your writing is spot-on, they are aspects of a great symphony.  A truly modernist symphony which is still being written even as the orchestra is playing the existing movements.

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    @lisa Hi! I very much agree that this theme has been present throughout the series, but I’m proposing that in Sleep No more and Before the Flood, we are dealing with signals which directly change our entire being, just by virtue of seeing/hearing them, no need to be plugged into anything.

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    @blenkinsopthebrave I haven’t seen much Star trek, but I love the idea of that episode you describe, the whole meta approach.  Its very much in accordance with the idea I’ve read, that according to (hmm – is it according to speculative cosmologists, or computer scientists, or – an unholy ‘hybrid’ of the two ) its impossible for us in our ‘reality’ and level of consciousness to tell whether or not we are actually real, or are  in fact in a gigantic virtual reality. Very Matrix.

    It also brings me back to my favourite Stanislaw Lem who constantly asks these questions of consciousness and reality through many of his stories – what is real?  The Futurological Congress, anyone?

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    I just re-watched.  I think the episode is bloomin’ brilliant.  Just the whole way its put together, the story within a story – we’re all just stories, in the end…  There are so many layers to this one, and with what we’ve seen we don’t know enough to get the whole ‘story’.

    How is Rasmussen still alive at the end after being shot?  Or was he a Sandman all along? Or, is the whole thing all a set, in which case what are the Dr and Clara doing there?

    @whist – Gatiss inverting the  Sandman to make the monster within – excellent point.

    Something else maybe for the @purofilion list, here we have an electronic signal infecting our brains to turn us into sandmen-zombies; in Before the Flood we had the Fisher King scratch the symbols on his Space-hearse (nobody calls anything Space-whatevaah) which again infected the brain through the visual cortex to start  a process of turning people into things.  Infecting the BIOS of living beings to transform them.

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    @blenkinsopthebrave  I strongly feel that Gatiss has consciously written a meta fiction here. I don’t believe it is supposed to fit into a narrative where A must mean B and therefore C in terms of canonical Who. I think the fact that the Doctor realises it is all a “story” is key here. That’s just what it is. A story. And Gatiss is reminding us of that. It is a story.

    Well said Sir.  I don’t quite have the analysis-words but I agree.

    @purofilion can we add ‘stories’ to the list?  I loved your critique above and love of the photography.  I did think it was very well constructed, especially with Rasmussen creating/editing the ‘found story’ – I thought the cuts back to him worked very well, and also remind us that its him creating this story.    I’m going to have my second viewing tonight, and having read the discussion so far, its great because there is so much to be aware to look out for.

    I stay up later and later in these far Northern winter days – sleep?  WHO needs it!?

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    Just a thought (and I don’t look ahead at schedules, so that everything can be fresh for me).  It may be a 2-parter, but does the 2nd part have to follow directly after in order?

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    Well, the sofa came in handy,  and some jammy dodgers at crucial moments.  @arbutus Me too!  I liked it, but not too sure at all what its all about and more importantly its significance.

    I take it that since they never saw the end, they haven’t been exposed to the signal burst on the video, so Clara isn’t actually in the process of becoming a Sandman.  That is a very good thing.  But, they’ll be unawares that the virus-signal is now being transmitted around (and probably uploaded to YouTube by now…)

    I just looked up the name of the station ‘Le Verrier‘ and educated myself.  Blessings for French science, on this day of all days:
    <b>Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier</b>  11 March 1811 – 23 September 1877) was a French mathematician who specialized in celestial mechanics and is best known for predicting the existence and position of Neptune using only mathematics.

    Very creepy.

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