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  • #48939
    tardigrade @replies

    @ozitenor

    4. How does Clara know to chameleon the ClaraTardis into that particular diner? She wasn’t there with Amy and Rory and River was she? Even if we assume a Claricle was there to save the Doctor once upon a time, that is not this Clara, with this Clara’s memories. How did she know to choose that tardis disguise? … perhaps more importantly, WHY did she choose that disguise?

    To turn it around, perhaps her tardis wasn’t specifically disguised as that diner- it’s just a disguise that suited the environment (sort of anyway), but rather that the diner that Amy et al went into was actually Clara’s tardis. Perhaps Clara poking around in the Doctor’s history- like Ten went back to see Rose before they’d met? I quite like that idea, since it adds a bit more symmetry to the situation.

    why is it that the dial ends up being out in the dry lands of Gallifrey when the Doctor exits it?

    Seems there’s fear of the Doctor, so they might have preferred him to arrive some distance away and get some warning, particularly as it was taking so long. The wraiths set off quite an alarm when he arrived, so his arrival wasn’t going to go unnoticed.

    #48935
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    The Doctor stole his Tardis on a whimsy (or because he was plain scared ) and couldn’t drive the jolly thing.

    Clara/Me are in a stolen tardis and the last we saw Me, she had the manual out trying to work out how to operate it, so I can’t give you that one 🙂

    Though yes- she’s done considerable good- she has been emulating the Doctor- the good and the bad.

    #48932
    tardigrade @replies

    I was just thinking about Clara/Me’s tardis being stuck as a diner. I’m suspicious that’s because the tardis’ consciousness likes it that way, rather than some dodgy chameleon circuit malarkey. Me is trying to troubleshoot the problem by reading the service manual. Given her memory issues, I would have thought it unlikely she’d have learnt to read Gallifreyan and managed to retain the knowledge, so presumably the tardis is translating it for her telpathically, and might be giving her a bum steer to stop her fixing the problem 🙂

    #48931
    tardigrade @replies

    @arbutus

    Actually, I think in some ways that it is Clara who is now more “adult” than the Doctor. It wasn’t Clara that threatened all of time and space etc. etc. to save her own life. That was the Doctor. Clara has grown up, she is ready for Time Lordish responsibilities now.

    I could get on board with that if she returned to face the raven again at the end of the story and do her best to undo the damage. When she flits off, seemingly on a whim, she’s avoiding responsibility and becomes complicit in the decision. She’s also left it to the flip of a coin whether she even gets a chance to do what she knows she should. So I for one wouldn’t be granting her a tardis license as a responsible adult.

    #48926
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    When Donna was ‘wiped’ it was painless but for the Doctor, not at all and that could be, as Son was suggesting, because it’s not entirely now compatible with TLs?

    I don’t think we saw Donna wiped and it was using a different process anyway (telepathic). I’m imagining that if you did create a device that could erase memories and it was painful, that one of the memories you’d have it erase is of the pain. I can imagine the technician saying “This won’t hurt a bit”, starting it up and mumbling under his breath “so far as you’ll remember, anyway”.

    #48922
    tardigrade @replies

    @janetteb

    I think the shooting demonstrated just how “out of the character” the Doctor was. He is breaking all of his own rules. He is deeply traumatised and angry. He is not “the Doctor”. When he picks up the velvet coat at the end it signifies that he is healed. He is taking back on the mantle of Doctor and all that goes with the name/title.

    Yes- I think you’re right that’s how it’s meant to play out. But the way it’s set up, it isn’t an act of desperation, it’s a calculated act, and not sold for me as necessary. How was the unarmed general going to stop him that the other few TLs in the room weren’t (presumably by calling security for help)? If he’s not prepared to line them all up, ask their regeneration number and shoot each in the chest in turn, then shooting just the general doesn’t achieve anything. Not that I’m advocating for that revised scene, because that would be really ugly.

    And np on the handle- I can understand in context how it’s hard to type “tardi” and not add an “s” 🙂

    #48911
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    oh I say bring on a female Doctor too. As long as we have a great actor like Gomez as Missy -what a hoot that was this past two years.

    I think a female Doctor would play really well opposite Gomez as Missy. Missy could really get her b*tch on (her word, not mine!).

    #48910
    tardigrade @replies

    @nerys

    I have a more mundane question. On second viewing tonight, I see that Clara hands the sonic sunglasses back to the Doctor, who then slides them into his jacket pocket. As far as I can tell, that’s the last we see of them. Then, after he boards the TARDIS, he creates a sonic screwdriver. I guess I assumed the glasses would have to be damaged or lost before he would replace them with some other tool. Ideally I’d have thought Clara would keep them and use them on her adventures with Ashildr/Me, but that didn’t happen.

    I didn’t interpret the sonic screwdriver as replacing lost sunglasses. He reads “Be a Doctor” on the blackboard, puts on his “Doctor” jacket and takes up his sonic screwdriver- apparently fully willing to be the Doctor full-time again.

    #48908
    tardigrade @replies

    OK, time for a little wild speculation…

    I mentioned previously that the lifetime of the universe appears to have shrunk from 100 trillion years (S3 Utopia) to more like 20 billion. Is it possible that the hybrid prophecy has actually been fulfilled? The actions of the Doctor / Clara may actually have “fractured” time and the best the universe has been able to do to repair itself is this much reduced version (0.02%) of itself. There would be untold billions of creatures that never lived because of this.

    #48907
    tardigrade @replies

    @morpho

    The General’s regeneration seemed pretty toned down. We may have come in at the tail end, but there were no signs of damage. New regeneration style, or perhaps on Gallifrey these things can be tempered somewhat?

    Regenerations might go more smoothly on Gallifrey- the environment does appear to have some impact? It does seem though that the Doctor’s regenerations are unusually energetic/traumatic. Might be some evidence he is half-human and they don’t come as naturally?

    @rorysmith

    On a second note, since the memory wiper was one set for humans, why did it work on the Doctor? Confirmed part human?

    It was described as “human-compatible”, so I think that was side-stepped. Presumably they’re normally intended for TLs, but not all would work on humans.

    @alexwho

    A great way to end a strong series of episodes (except Sleep No More). As everything with WHO there are a lot of unanswerd questions to debate about.

    If Capaldi hasn’t won you over by now then theres no performance he can give that will do it.

    I’m nowhere near as keen on this episode as you are, but still put it ahead of Sleep No More, which was the low point of the series for me also. Other than that, agreed that it’s been a strong series that I’m sorry is over.

    I was one who was initially iffy about casting an older Doctor again after enjoying the dynamics of the younger Doctors since the reboot, but Capaldi’s brought a lot that’s new to the role, which has kept things fresh, and of course he has serious acting chops. So I’m long since won over.

    @jphamlore

    I also think the Doctor was the student who succeeded in escaping the Cloisters. He describes his younger self who stole the President’s daughter and lost the moon as a bit mad, same as that student.

    Yes, I think that was pretty firmly established. Missy had previously mentioned those same events (moon / daughter) as pertaining to the Doctor.

    #48904
    tardigrade @replies

    @bluesqueakpip

    Interesting that you could view this as a comedy…

    The problem I have is the lack of growth in this ending- the Doctor is left with memory loss and it’s unclear whether he’s really learnt much- he’s done something grossly irresponsible and instead of learning from it has erased much of it from his memory and abdicated responsibility for fixing it. And Clara certainly hasn’t learnt responsibility- she’s off without proper adult (TL) supervision, potentially risking the fate of the universe, with someone who apparently allowed her to die, and trying to fly a tardis from the instruction manual. Her facing the raven completes a tragic arc- I agree that her original death was more than a little unsatisfactory- but having her return voluntarily to face the raven would have been an eminently appropriate conclusion IMO. The ending here fails to complete any kind of story arc – tragic, comedic or otherwise – at least for me, and feels like the writer losing his nerve to finish things off as he knows they should be in his own narrative.

    Incidentally, I think Rassillon was supposed to be weak and ineffectual. If you notice, all the monsters in this story are weak and ineffectual. As @puroandson points out, the real monster is The Doctor himself, becoming The War Doctor again.

    Yes- I realise that now- I was disappointed in the portrayal of Rassilon, and failed to realise on first viewing that it was his character that has changed. There’s plenty of scope for him to come back fired up though 🙂

    #48896
    tardigrade @replies

    @xemoboix

    Why does it seem to me Moffat is pushing the idea of of a female Doctor? First, he changes the Master into Missy and then the General into a woman by having the Doctor shoot him and forcing a regeneration. This in itself is a bad enough breach in the Doctor’s personality, but back to my previous point, it almost seems as if Moffat is trying to prepare fans for after Capaldi leaves. I for one would be disappointed if the next Doctor is a woman.

    I’m open to the next Doctor being a woman (assuming of course a suitable actor)- might give some room for different stories and mix things up, which is a good thing. Having said that, the more secondary female characters that are introduced, the less likely I think that the Doctor will be cast as female.

    I didn’t care for the Doctor shooting the general, without really much necessity- forcing a regeneration is not a minor thing and seemed significantly out of character for the Doctor. Really just seemed to be thrown in to allow the gender change.

    #48804
    tardigrade @replies

    @miapatrick

    oh right, I was confused as to why you’d think that. That’s dreadful! BBC subtitles translated it as tenth, but then, they have the script I suppose.

    One thing though- what if he had said ‘twelth’? I don’t think the doctor would have shot him. Was he that keen to get back into a female body?

    I would have thought that when the BBC supplied the video, they’d supply the subtitles also- apparently not. I rationalised that he’d claimed he was on his last regeneration as his best chance not to be shot, but couldn’t then work out why the Doctor could cavalierly pull the trigger.

    #48801
    tardigrade @replies

    @starla

    Hmm… maybe the Doctor was the president’s father? Or father-in-law?

    Haha- as the president was Rassilon in the time of the 1st Doctor (which seems to be the time period referenced) that would be a big call if he were Rassilon’s father (since he’s as old as the time lord civilisation). Father-in-law would make for some interesting possibilities though…

    If you go later, then the 4th Doctor was president for a time. I assume him running off with his own daughter wouldn’t have been particularly noteworthy though. He did run off with Romana for a bit, so perhaps she was an illegitimate daughter he didn’t know about at the time :-). Better be careful with those sort of rumours though- you know how those time lords gossip…

    @phaseshift

    Ah, that old TARDIS. With a dodgy chameleon circuit. My headcanon now reads that they stole a museum piece type forty. After countless Adventures with Me she drops it off on Gallifrey, in the past and recommends it to Doctor one. “It’s navigation is knackered, but it’ll give you a lot of fun”. Two careful owners. Stolen as seen. No returns.

    Love the idea it might be the same tardis. If not then perhaps the chameleon circuit sticking was a general problem with that model?

    @miapatrick

    he asked ‘how many regenerations’. The man said ten. Therefore, not fatal.

    Thanks- that’s cleared that up for me. He answered “tenth”. The ABC subtitles transcribed it as “death”, which I assumed meant he had no regenerations left. Hence my surprise at the Doctor pulling the trigger, and him (now her) getting pretty much straight back up. I liked the general’s character so didn’t really want to see him die/regenerate- the new regeneration looks like she’ll be good value too though, if a returning character.

    #48790
    tardigrade @replies

    @misterhoo

    By dying, is Clara “practically immortal”? In theory, as long as she returns to her moment of death, there will be no cataclysmic paradox that will tear apart time and space. However, she plans to take some adventures in her TARDIS before that happens. Isn’t she taking a big risk by delaying her return? If she “dies” before returning, does the universe end? Does the universe protect itself by protecting her?

    If the prophecy is to be believed, she may destroy the universe. She’s immortal in the sense of unageing- but if her bodily processes are stopped, potentially she actually can’t heal, so would be very vulnerable to injury? So a much lesser form of immortality than Ashildr. If you assume that the universe will protect her, then time is healing itself and she presumably doesn’t pose a risk.

    @starla

    Too many spoilers online, facebook etc. They need to cut it right back. People see too much, get excited and develop high expectations based on what is shown – then whatever actually happens is just not good enough (even if it is fantastic).

    Certainly this episode failed to meet my expectations. Some epic finales in the past, plus trailers that suggested an epic scope and significant conflict, plus a very strong and thought-provoking lead-up episode had me expecting something else entirely than a fairly plot-light farewell to Clara. This didn’t play like a finale to me. I’d probably have been more forgiving on it mid-season.

    #48788
    tardigrade @replies

    @countscarlioni

    But according to a new paper, there’s one theory for the origins of the universe that predicts time itself will end in just five billion years—coincidentally, right around the time our sun is slated to die.” If so, things would sort of work.

    Interesting… I think that’s pretty speculative and most theories suggest it would get much older. The scenario of what appears to be playing out as Me watches looks more like a heat death type scenario where the universe stops producing stars in the remote future (hundreds of billions years or more).

    Regardless, my issue was more with continuity- in “Utopia” in S3 the Doctor and Martha travel to the end of the universe in the year 100 trillion. So 5 billion years from now isn’t remotely close to the end of time.

    #48787
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    I thought also that the TLs were seen as the ineffectual people they had become. They would send an army of people to kill the Doctor: they were now frightened of him. They would put some distance between him and themselves – always send the soldiers: that’s a metaphor for the whole of the Time War isn’t it? The soldiers and the children?

    That is Rassilon’s failure and the soldiers knew it. They would risk being wiped out first.

    I like that interpretation. I was disappointed that Rassilon was so weak, but yes- I think you’re right- that was a deliberate choice- the TLs are a beaten, frightened people still hiding from the rest of the universe at a remote point in time. Now that’s he out in the universe and doubtless regards the Doctor as his enemy, I hope we see Rassilon fire up for his return though, because potentially he makes a powerful enemy for the Doctor.

    @cara1313

    The Hybrid will one day cost a billion hearts to heal its own. Maybe that day has passed- the Doctor, trying to get Clara back, sacrificed himself billions of times

    I had the same thought, but the prophecy this time around was “… this creature will one day stand in the ruins of Gallifrey. It will unravel the web of time and destroy a billion billion hearts to heal its own”. Hundreds of billions suicides maybe, but nothing on that scale. And unravelling the web of time sounds more like the potential consequences of saving Clara than his suicides. So I don’t think the prophecy has been fulfilled. The future can be changed though- the prophecy doesn’t have to come true. If he didn’t think it could be changed, Rassilon wouldn’t have been so keen on knowing who the hybrid was.

    Does this mean Susan was not his granddaughter by the President’s daughter or did I miss something and this was a different time and has something to do with Romana that I missed?

    It’s suggestive to me that Susan could have been the president’s daughter perhaps, rather than the Doctor’s granddaughter. It was the 4th Doctor who met Romana, so significantly later.

    #48768
    tardigrade @replies

    @supernumerary

    Afraid I’m not quite as blown away as everyone here- it was good, certainly, but I found it pretty unsatisfying.

    I’m much in the same camp- while there were some good elements, overall I was left unsatisfied, and annoyed with a number of elements. I wanted to like the episode, but just couldn’t.

    It, like many a finale before, had all these big questions to answer and it kind of skated over them and threw things in for the sake of “this’ll be cool”

    Yes- little resolution overall- even the “hybrid” theme wasn’t really wrapped up very convincingly for my money – I couldn’t buy the Doctor + Clara as two different people together forming a “hybrid”. It seems the Doctor doesn’t even really have a clear idea who the hybrid is- when he says “me” is seems he might have meant “me” or “Me”- we wasn’t really sure which himself. He certainly doesn’t know. In fact what made Rassilon think he knew, if he doesn’t, and they had access to the confession dial to check anyway? Maybe there was more sense in that I missed?

    I cannot express my dismay at her being brought back and throwing away the impact of that scene just because Moffat can’t commit to these things or give characters a final end

    I liked your phrase “emotional centre”. That was largely missing for me too. To complete the emotional arc of the story, Clara has to face the raven. Her flitting off indefinitely, now presumably immortal (or at least unageing) herself, with her new 4 billion year old bestie, just isn’t an emotionally satisfying or logically acceptable conclusion. If the Doctor and Clara overstepped previously, isn’t making her immortal and risking the fate of the universe having her gadflying about, with Me, who has previously said she’d made it her mission to stop the Doctor doing damage, an unacceptable resolution for every party involved?

    That’s surely the biggest event of AG Who, something that Day of the Doctor has certainly built up as a gigantic event, and not only is it completely sidestepped, but the explanation is completely dismissive. Gallifrey’s return was meant to be a big deal?

    Previously, it was played that them returning was a huge deal, risking the Time War starting afresh- so to handle their return in such a matter-of-fact way, with the Doctor not even to bothering to ask about it, for fear of stroking their egos, is an extraordinary anticlimax. The lack of epic scope altogether was disappointing in general- sure the universe is potentially at stake, but when the main characters don’t seem to even take that seriously, it’s hard to as an observer either.

    The worst part of the episode was the cloister/undercroft/physical Matrix. That’s just pure “oh, it’s a finale, we’d better throw Daleks and Cybermen and Angels in somewhere!”. The cloister wraiths were never explained.

    Agreed- seemingly random addition- it looked like it was going to be key to the plot, then goes nowhere. Don’t even know why he went there really. Sprinkling in some token old enemies didn’t help in dispelling the “randomness”. Plus the set barely being a step above a BG Who boxy underground set made me wonder why they bothered. They may have blown the CGI budget on the Capitol exterior, which admittedly was stunning 🙂

    Rassilon was good- seems like, in the contest in The End of Time, and he and the Master caused each other to regenerate

    Good to see Rassilon, but couldn’t quite get on board with the casting / scripting. He seemed like an ineffectual old man rather the powerful (immortal?) warlord. The Rassilon of legend, if he wanted the Doctor dead, would have killed him himself, not set up a firing squad and turned his back. I thought the casting much much stronger with Dalton previously, so I hope when they bring the character back (he’ll certainly be after the Doctor!) that he’s recast.

    A few more niggles to get off my chest:

    “Reversing the polarity”: perhaps some might find that an enjoyable in-group reference I suppose, but it’s so old hat it had me exclaiming “Oh, c’mon!” at the screen. That’s a phrase that needs to be retired, permanently, IMO.

    After a lifetime of non-violence, the Doctor shoots a relatively sympathetic unarmed man without any real need, after seemingly checking if the shot will be fatal or just trigger a regeneration and finding that it would be fatal (seemingly a lie though). Did that really happen? Did I miss some reason that the Doctor would know for sure it wouldn’t be much more than an inconvenience? He does seem dismissive moments later.

    It bothered me, maybe more than it should have, that the present + 4.5 billion years is regarded as “near the end of the time stream”. The universe is 13+ billion years old- it’s not winding down in another 4.5 billion, and that’s certainly nothing like the timeframe given on the Doctor’s last visit to the end of the universe.

    OK- enough negatives- I don’t want to be overwhelmingly negative, particularly as many seemed to have really enjoyed the episode.

    The best parts for me were in the diner- great idea, well thought out, scripted and acted. Almost managed to carry the episode emotionally for me. The lead actors have been great throughout the series.

    #48682
    tardigrade @replies

    @starla

    Yes- it would have to be Missy. She had access to the confession dial and could have managed to take a peek, discovered the Doctor’s secret (as the first Doctor he recognised the ongoing army as his future self somehow and fled Gallifrey hoping to avoid it happening) and concocted a plan to wreak revenge on the time lords for the drum business and anything else, real or imagined, that they’ve done to her. Plus she gets to torture the Doctor in the process. If anyone can embrace revenge, it’s her!

    Assuming a wraith army is bearing down on Gallifrey, driven by grief over Clara, possibly the only thing that is going to stop them would be Clara herself. So she has to put in an appearance of some sort.

    #48679
    tardigrade @replies

    I just had another random thought- so it seems there’s still time for some “out there” theories…

    The term “suicide moon” has been mentioned, by the shadow proclamation. I was thinking- if dead time lords usually enter the matrix, perhaps those who died by suicide are prevented from entering the matrix, for reasons of stability- I can’t imagine the mentally unstable would be a good addition. They might be shunted off to a moon somewhere instead, a “suicide moon”. If the matrix is TL heaven, then the suicide moon is hell.

    Now the Doctor has been persuaded in the dial to commit suicide hundreds of billions of times. If a wraith is created each time, someone may have built a massive army of hell, billions upon billions of wraiths all hell bent on revenge. You could understand why the wraiths in the matrix are panicking.

    #48678
    tardigrade @replies

    @supernumerary

    That makes sense. Still good of the ABC to get it up as soon as they can. I think at one point they were getting them up before the UK showing and were probably getting clobbered by sneaky international downloads. Better for everyone it’s out right after the UK showing from a spoiler perspective too.

    #48672
    tardigrade @replies

    Oops- replied on the wrong thread, so will repeat here for those not reading the spoilers thread:

    @puroandson

    We don’t see Doctor who until the next night in Brisbane its not shown on Saturday night and also on Sunday its shown at early time of 7.30 because its family viewing.

    I noticed last week that the episode was available on iview (ABC catchup service) at 8am Sunday- that’s AEDT, so that would make it 7am in Brisbane, which by my calculations makes it half an hour after it starts in the UK. So assuming it’s the same this week, if you were so inclined you could skip to the end and see that before it airs in the UK :-). So I’ll be watching it as soon as it’s available.

    iview is geoblocked, so you need to be in Oz for anyone else reading.

    #48671
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    That is before the time war and around the time the doctor vanished from Gallifrey the first time? Which means it’s before the Master even got the drums inside his head maybe?? Even before the TLs have been cup off souped?

    The Doctor and Master were similar ages and the Master got the drums when exposed to the Untempered Schism as a child. The Doctor was hardly a spring chicken when he left Gallifrey, so later than that, but well before the Time War. It occurs to me that maybe the Doctor left in part because he was getting old enough that he was fearful of finding himself regenerating on Gallifrey and becoming the hybrid of prophecy.
    “Cup off souped” ?? May be my turn to be slow on the uptake.

    I expect then that when they meet him they’ll say “oh you’ve regenerated haven’t you” in other words youre not one or harnell (spelling?)

    Yes- might not be the face they were expecting (Hartnell), but you’d have to assume they’re used to time lords changing appearance from time to time, even if they didn’t expect he’d gone through so many in the interim.

    #48670
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    We don’t see Doctor who until the next night in Brisbane its not shown on Saturday night and also on Sunday its shown at early time of 7.30 because its family viewing.

    I noticed last week that the episode was available on iview (ABC catchup service) at 8am Sunday- that’s AEDT, so that would make it 7am in Brisbane, which by my calculations makes it half an hour after it starts in the UK. So assuming it’s the same this week, if you were so inclined you could skip to the end and see that before it airs in the UK :-). So I’ll be watching it as soon as it’s available.

    iview is geoblocked, so you need to be in Oz for anyone else reading.

    #48661
    tardigrade @replies

    @bendubz11

    The Wikipedia reference for Maisie Williams’ appearance is the “Next Time” trailer, so I don’t think there’s any evidence that the Wikipedia writer has any information outside that.

    #48660
    tardigrade @replies

    @starla

    Ooh, Missy’s daughter… hmm, I like where you went with that. I also like your theory that if Ashildr was exposed to the time vortex and untempered schism she could potentially be part TL.

    If she were already part-TL somehow, then it might actually take exposure to the Untempered Schism for her TL side to be expressed (her expanded memory to kick in for one thing)- that seems to be a coming-of-age event.

    @nerys

    For a while now, and for this reason, I’ve been thinking the hybrid is River Song.

    It did occur to me- just no signs I’ve noticed that character’s making a comeback at this stage though, and her arc was reasonably resolved. Possibly she could have made her way somehow from the Library computer to the matrix?

    #48658
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    Are you suggesting that this is the Doctor going waaay back in time? That he will have twelve’s face but actually be the 1st doctor and will leave Gallifrey and steal a tardis? Whoa. Double whoa. I kind of hope not because then the 1st doctor’s stories are sort of ignored. In a way. No?

    Not exactly- the Doctor’s existing timeline would be intact- I imagine there would be serious fan backlash if his history was significantly retconned. No I’m thinking that the 1st Doctor has departed for Earth before CapDoc arrives and is off doing his thing as events play out. He returns a long time later in his own timeline having regenerated to CapDoc, but not much later in the Gallifrey timeline- he’s gone “the long way around”. Potentially could be earlier and the Doctor plays a part in his own creation in a bootstrap paradox, but he wouldn’t actually become the 1st Doctor. More likely I think Ashildr played a role in the Doctor’s creation and completes a bootstrap paradox that way.

    #48651
    tardigrade @replies

    @starla

    Little girl… okay, Ashildr isn’t exactly little, but she’s a young girl. No idea at all how she could be part time lord (she’s certainly not!)

    “Little girl” is a stretch, although it is Missy speaking, with her low opinion of humans, so rating her above “puppy” might be a compliment. If Ashildr’s been on Gallifrey for some time, exposed to the time vortex and maybe even looking into the Untempered Schism (perhaps with her healing tech she could survive that, sanity intact), then she might plausibly be part TL in some sense (River Song certainly seemed to be following exposure to the time vortex in utero).

    If she was literally part-time lord, she could be the daughter Missy mentions. That’s obviously really stretching though 🙂

    I’m not sure that time lord procreation has ever been explored- I’d say there’s a strong chance it’s not sexual. Conceivably ( 🙂 ) creating the child consumes a regeneration of the mother. If Ashildr (with no regenerations to give) were the Doctor’s mother, perhaps she literally gave up her life to create him. Again wild speculation though.

    #48649
    tardigrade @replies

    @jphamlore

    I therefore hypothesize if some version of the Clara who was killed makes it to Gallifrey, it would be by way of the quantum shade that killed her.

    Interesting, since that would imply that the Doctor may suspect she’s gone there and been given a reason to return to Gallifrey. He does say “You’d still be gone”, not “dead” when addressing Clara in his internal dialogues.

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Have been reading through the comments, and am surprised by the assumption in many posts that Ashildr is on Gallifrey. If you look at her very brief appearance in the Next Time trailer, she seems to be wearing modern clothes and sitting in a modern leather chair. Not Gallifrey. I surmise that this is at the end of the episode–post Gallifrey and back on Earth. And I think we will be seeing Maisie Williams again. A lot.

    It’s possible that she’ll be left as a loose end or something that’s addressed in the Xmas episode. If not, then putting her on Gallifrey would seem to be the most likely way to resolve her story arc. There are a number of references that might refer to or involve her (me/Me, President’s wife, little girl, possible involvement in the hybrid), and she had vowed to follow the Doctor around and has the longevity to do it. There are a number of ways her character could be used, so it’s tempting to incorporate her in your preferred bonkers theory (or mutually exclusive theories 🙂 ). But the way the character has been set up, she could also be intended as an ongoing recurring character as you suggest.

    #48647
    tardigrade @replies

    @lisa

    Why were you thinking that about Cloister wars and the 1st Doctor?

    It wasn’t anything to do with pre-gap knowledge- wouldn’t know much about the 1st Doctor anyway. It’s because:
    1. It appears that the reason that the Doctor left Gallifrey in the first place is going to be resolved, so a story set in that era makes sense.
    2. The quote “Where has he gone?” might refer to the 1st Doctor’s recent departure.
    3. It’s been established that the Doctor and Master were childhood friends, so if Missy’s statement (“Since forever. Since the Cloister Wars…”) is to be taken literally (dangerous!) then that may also place the Cloister Wars in that era
    4. There’s an old president (pre-resurrection Rassilon?) in the trailer
    5. And to support my guess that Clara might end up as the consciousness of the tardis (so an assumption to support a shaky hypothesis, for what that’s worth 🙂

    #48641
    tardigrade @replies

    Missy refers to being friends with the Doctor since the time of the Cloister Wars. Since they’ve known each other since childhood, does that mean the Cloister Wars were back in the time of the First Doctor? If so, and those events are playing out, then that’s the time Twelve has arrived at. In one trailer, the president asks “Where has he gone?”. Is it possible they mean One after he’s recently run off? Twelve then sending word he’s come back “the long way around” makes sense. One has run off because he’s recognised he was the Hybrid in the prophecy and was putting distance between himself and Gallifrey, fearful of the prophecy playing out if he remains there.

    A possible resolution to the Clara arc has occurred to me…

    Clara might somehow have been uploaded  to the matrix on her death – perhaps the purpose of a confession dial is to transport the consciousness of a dead TL to the matrix and the Dial was really for her, or was repurposed for her when the Doctor realised she was doomed. So he sought to save her similarly to what he did for River. Ashildr brought the dial with Clara inside to Gallifrey and Clara entered the matrix, possibly long before the Doctor even existed.

    The tardis cloister bell also rings in time of trouble, and the tardis is known to have a consciousness. Is it possible that consciousness is a wraith? Clara’s consciousness inhabits a tardis – the one that a Claricle points One towards. And it turns out that Clara has been travelling with the Doctor all along, saving him and taking him to where he needed to be.

     

    #48619
    tardigrade @replies

    Just noticed this little exchange in The Magician’s Apprentice back at the start of the series, with Missy holding the Doctor’s confession dial:

    Clara: Since when do you care about the Doctor?
    Missy: Since always. Since the Cloister Wars. Since the night he stole the moon and the President’s wife. Since he was a little girl. One of those was a lie. Can you guess which one?

    Presumably he couldn’t have been a little girl (we saw him previously as a child as a boy). Now assuming that Missy could actually restrain herself to only one lie, do the other references link to any events that anyone’s aware of? Chances are it’s just a throwaway line, but the reference to the President’s wife has me wondering if there’s some connection with current events- given that I was theorising that if Ashildr is on Gallifrey she may have been there for quite some time, given her immortality, and become part of the society- could that possibly be her?

    #48618
    tardigrade @replies

    @arbutus

    You make a strong case here for the Doctor remembering more than I’d given credence to. I realise now I’d rather discounted his talking about remembering in those quotes, thinking it referred to remembering the Grimm story about the bird, but reading it in black and white it does definitely seem he is remembering prior iterations somehow, but with those memories coming once he’s already cornered he couldn’t really change how things play out, other than by giving in. Because those memories are seemingly impossible to have, it does suggest things aren’t entirely as they seem. He might have considered writing “keep spade” instead of “bird” one time though , since the point of that spade would be pretty useful against the wall compared to his fist 🙂

    By the way, if there has been any discussion of the title of this episode, then I have missed it. What do we think the title represents (other than Clara herself, possibly)?

    Didn’t notice any discussion either. In large part, I’m sure it’s so that the second part can be called “Hell Bent”, with that being an apt title the way things are shaping up. It did occur to me though that Missy was the previous curator of “Heaven”, so might point to her involvement and the Doctor’s experience in the confession dial perhaps being similar to those of her earlier “clients” in the virtual heaven – that’s probably reading too much into it though :-).

    #48575
    tardigrade @replies

    Regardless of whether the Doctor ultimately remembers the details, it’s powerful to watch as an external observer. That he was prepared to spend a “second of eternity” suffering over and over, rather than give into his fears, speaks to the Doctor’s strength of character. It’s the first iteration, where the enormity of what he’s committing himself to is at its most obvious, where this strength is greatest, not the last one where he gets off unexpectedly lightly. So in a way, I think the burden eases over time, which is consistent with the purgatory analogy, burning off sins over time.

    #48566
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    If the Doctor had been forced to play out the same events again and again, I can certainly seeing him getting ground down and broken over time to the point of nothing of his original self being present, but I just can’t reconcile that with the total reset premise.

    In each iteration the Doctor believes that his timezone hasn’t shifted when he steps from the teleporter gasping from the effect of the transport, and his most recent memory is of being transported at the other end. He’s genuinely disbelieving that significant time has passed- “If I didn’t know better I’d say I’ve travelled X years into the future”, and his situation is a revelation each time, when he gets the information to piece it together. Things play out the same each time, because he starts from the same state. If his mental state were even slightly different, surely things would play out differently over time- so I, for one, am satisfied that even if TL memory works very differently to ours, the reset is total. If he had full memory, he’d confess twice to the Veil at the far end of the castle, run to the wall and get 82 minutes with the spade to bash away at it (or engineer a better attack), instead of getting in a few rather ineffectual punches, and be through the wall in mere millennia 🙂

    So when the Doctor steps onto Gallifrey he has no recollection of being killed and crawling dying through the castle, because that didn’t happen to him, even if it did to billions of identical copies of him. He might even doubt that there were any iterations before, and suspect that things had just been set up just to appear that way. It would be hard to ignore your total lack of memory. So I just don’t see the experience would have caused him a seismic shift in state of mind. It’s for that reason that I don’t think that was the point of the confession dial, since whoever set it up knows him intimately and would know that. And it’s not to get information out of him, for the same reason – there would be no point in playing things out from the same position again and again with predictably identical results.

    @ichabod

    A question, though — he enters the Dial in his burgundy coat, and wears it throughout.  He steps out of the Dial onto Gallifrey in his dark blue coat.  ???

    He’s definitely in burgundy when picking up the dial from the sand, so it’s either just the lighting or a continuity error in that one shot that they hoped no-one would notice.

    #48557
    tardigrade @replies

    @starla

    This episode is just so well constructed: visually, musically, the script… it is simply spot on!

    Agreed completely. Much as we’ve been picking apart story points and theorising, the episode is not just interesting from where the story is going, but it’s also beautifully constructed from an aesthetic standpoint and well acted in what is virtually a solo performance by Capaldi.

    #48545
    tardigrade @replies

    @ichabod

    He breaks through the diamond wall and emerges unaged, unmarked and unbloodied, except of course mentally scourged to death and beyond

    Whether the objective passage of time was billions of years or much shorter doesn’t change that, since he was “reset” to his original state and experienced less than a day before getting through the wall. I don’t see he can have any memory of all the iterations, just his own inference that they have occurred. So while obviously a troubling experience, he doesn’t have the experiential memory of all the suffering – he might not even fully realise how things would go down if he doesn’t get through the wall and the Veil catches up to him – so I don’t buy into it inducing deep psychological scarring in someone who has experienced as much as the Doctor. Hence I don’t think that was its purpose (or at least major purpose).

    Of course, a bonkers idea is that he set this up for himself somehow, to get past all that and clear his mind for the execution of a supernova of revenge . . .

    I don’t think it’s altogether bonkers to think that he set it up for himself. After all he did create the confession dial originally and he’d certainly know how to push his own buttons. And there is precedent for him setting a task for himself and wiping his own memory during his incursion into the vault of Karabraxis. Somehow I don’t think it would purely be for revenge though- though I’m aware that this episode is entitled “Heaven Sent” to set up the next one to be called “Hell Bent” 🙂

    #48504
    tardigrade @replies

    @mersey

    Theu knew him well but not intimately. They should know that Doctor never gives up.

    Oh- I think they were counting on that. A major point of the dial was to keep him occupied for geological ages, and by giving him something to rail against, they could guarantee that. I don’t think he “beat” the confession dial- he simply did exactly what was anticipated of him.

    #48490
    tardigrade @replies

    @carrieanne

    The doctor put the sonics on when he got to the wall and he scanned it.  It was the only time we saw him use them, which I thought was weird since he could maybe have used them for something else?

    Whoever set up the Doctor’s “personal torture chamber” knew him intimately. So presumably knew enough to ensure that key elements, especially the crystal wall, were sonic-proof. Who knows? Maybe he had a sneaky go at the wall with the sonics each time before crawling back up to the top of the castle. And I’m one who’s happy enough to see the sonic screwdriver take a break- it was getting to the point where the sonic was getting pulled out at the first sign of trouble, as @puroandson mentioned in that self-aware quote from the War Doctor.

    #48479
    tardigrade @replies

    @magslscott

    Also why hasn’t anyone said something about Ashildr calling herself “me”? Strangely Doctor 12 doesn’t say “I am the hybrid” he says “the hybrid is ME” …..

    It’s been noted more than once, but in a thread this size, I can see how you could miss it. Capaldi certainly seemed to play the line as “me” rather than “Me”, sliding his sunglasses on mid-sentence. And there’s more drama in phrasing it “The hybrid is …” and drawing it out a fraction longer after withholding that crucial piece of information for so long. See all the reality programs that reach their climax with “The winner is ….”  and similar 🙂

    But it’s hard to ignore the significance of Ashildr’s choice of the name “Me”, and that wording certainly leaves very open the possibility of it being her that’s being referred to. Deliberate red herring at the very least.

    #48472
    tardigrade @replies

    @lisa

    Also, maybe she [Ashildr] was the woman holding her head in her hands to Rassilon’s side in the “End of Time”

    Rassilon’s wife maybe? Given his age, that would mean her DNA could be in basically the entire TL population, and they’re all “hybrids”. Would help explain why the first Doctor went to Earth upon leaving Gallifrey, if he knew that.

    #48455
    tardigrade @replies

    It occurred to me that the Doctor’s time in the confession dial could be seen as a possible fulfilment of the hybrid prophecy. He’s destroyed a billion hearts (actually more like a trillion), it’s just that instead of it being a genocide, it was suicide – he’s been knocking them off two at a time and they were all his own. And, as widely discussed, the process may have brought penance / catharsis for the loss of Clara, healing his own heart(s). And of course he’s standing in the ruins of Gallifrey.

    If Ashildr’s on Gallifrey and got there “the long way around” also then she’s had ample opportunity to find herself a nice Time Lord, settle down and introduced her warrior (Viking) DNA into the Time Lord gene pool, making them all “hybrids”. She wasn’t interested in human men, since their lives were so short- a TL may be a different proposition though.

    #48454
    tardigrade @replies

    @mudlark

    I’m not so sure about the idea of it as a mini Tardis, bigger on the inside and able to contain the Doctor physically. @tardigrade agrees with this idea, but it seems to me to have a major flaw. As @ichabod says, if that is the case, how does the Doctor enter it? When the external dimensions of the Tardis shrank in Flatline, the Doctor couldn’t get out of it, and by the same token, nobody could get in.

    He teleported in, and used some sort of portal to get out too, so isn’t needing to pass through a physical hole on the outside of the dial, which was the problem in Flatline.

    @tommo

    Did he have his sonic sunglasses on him at all? i seem to remember a shot of him in a corridor putting them on or am i mistaken?

    Certainly has them when he exits the dial, since he puts them on in the desert. So must have had them the whole time. It occurred to me later that he might have had a “D’oh” moment, when he reaches for them in the bright desert and realises that they would have been a faster option for getting through the crystal wall than the fist he’s been pounding away with for (literal) ages 🙂

    #48404
    tardigrade @replies

    @ichabod

    This is crucial, I think: it’s obviously *not* objectively real (how would they have shrunk the Doctor down to a size at which he’d fit inside the thing?  Lots of skulls but no other bones from the dead Doctors’ skeleton? etc.), and the mechanical faults that some fans are all in a tizzy over (I mean about timing, some rooms re-setting and others not, etc.) are simply immaterial — it’s *all* subjective, in the Doctor’s mind (which is being used against him at the moment), IMO.  Nothing has happened in reality except that he has been transported to Gallifrey while being forced to imagine an almost endless repetition of a truly awful session of torture and suicide.

    Sorry- laughed at “how would they have shrunk the Doctor down to fit inside the thing?”. It’s Time Lord tech – it’s bigger on the inside, so that’s actually the plausible bit 🙂 Having said that, yes, I think there’s a strong chance that it was purely subjective, though I suspect that will never be firmly established. What I think is objectively real though is the passage of time- once free of the device, the Doctor says he’s come “the long way around”, so he recognises that a lot of time has passed. So I don’t think it’s been used purely for psychological effect.

    I suspect the passage of time served a purpose, so that he could be transported to Gallifrey prior to the time lock and wait a significant fraction of the age of the universe until the time of the Time War or afterwards- if the confession dial was there when Gallifrey was moved into its pocket universe, then that’s a plausible way of getting the Doctor into the pocket universe and for the Time Lords to get their hands on him. Ashildr is immortal, so she can go the long way around also, albeit in more comfort.

    #48379
    tardigrade @replies

    @teddybear

    Another inconsistency: He throws the stool into the water each time, but though there are billions of skulls, there are not billions of rotting stools in the water.

    I’d think the stools would rot away to effectively nothing in hundreds of years if they aren’t reset as part of the room. So I wouldn’t expect to see billions, but there would certainly be plenty in the top layer. So I guess they do reset as @teddybear suggests. Would probably have been too big a clue to what was going on to have them showing up at that point in the narrative anyway.

    Actually a (minor) concern I had was that the pile of skulls shouldn’t have been so close to the surface after thousands of year, or the Doctor is going to die prematurely hitting a pile of skulls under shallow water long before he racks up billions of years. I guess you can rationalise that the confession dial does clean them up over time- perhaps the layer of water near the surface resets like a room and cleans up any foreign matter (like the corridors remove the Doctor’s blood).

    #48361
    tardigrade @replies

    @thetardiscoatrack

    Maybe “me” and “Me” are both right (in a sense).

    I was just thinking the same thing. Perhaps it is both of them that form the “hybrid” in some sense – two warrior races together, either figuratively or even literally in some way, with the hybrid yet to be realised.

    #48308
    tardigrade @replies

    @mersey

    I didn’t understand how’s that possible that the stars changed their positions. No one can move the stars except the expansion of the universe which of course is recognisible only with time.

    The stars within a galaxy move relative to one another as the galaxy rotates, so over tens of thousands of years the constellations do change. Over billions of years stars will be born and die, so the sky will change constantly, if slowly, and in principle that could be used to determine a time offset.

    #48307
    tardigrade @replies

    @puroandson

    Son of Puro here. I don’t think it was a copy in the traditional sense. I also don’t think the ‘soul’ idea works here. The Doctor does not, thankfully, speak of souls. And he shouldn’t. He is not that kind of person.

    It is the Doctor himself who compared the process to a 3D printer “Just like a 3D printer really…. There’s a copy of me still in the hard drive… All you have to do is add energy”, so it’s hard to get away from the traditional copy comparison IMO. And he runs off billions of copies of himself, so it does seem like you could use it to create perfect copies of people by pumping in energy, which is very problematical if it’s used as a regular plot device. One Doctor in, billions out- circumstances mean that all but one perish, but unless there’s some reason that has to be the case, it creates issues.

    I wasn’t meaning a soul in the religious immortal soul sense (even if the Doctor does ponder if he is in hell during this episode, albeit probably not seriously) but more in the sense of a life-force. We’ve seen the Master survive having his body burned and hence brain destroyed and coming back from that state, memory intact, through having a part of him survive in a ring (and if we go back far enough there’s precedent of the Master having his consiousness inhabit another body).  So it does seem that a TL consciousness is not simply a product of the brain.

    #48288
    tardigrade @replies

    I had one negative I wanted to raise from this episode- I’m really uncomfortable with teleportation being treated as remote copying for a few reasons (quite apart from the fact that means the original is killed):

    1. The Doctor says that he didn’t feel any time travel during the teleport. If he doesn’t actually exist in any conscious sense during the teleportation process and just gets recreated at the far end, then how would he? It’s not as if he had a sense of the absolute time- he needs the stars to confirm that- so he’d need to feel the time travel itself, from his long experience with it.

    2. Time lords at the very least seem to have a soul that’s relatively independent of the body- the Master for example living on through a ring. So it’s not obvious how a “3D-printer” could reproduce that, a problem that gets far worse if it’s possible to run off multiple copies just by providing power to the receiver.

    3. Just haven’t seen that used in the past. Seems an easier way to create an army of cybermen- rather than convert people, they could run one through the photocopier. Davros or the Master don’t appear to get restored from backup after getting “killed”, although that would explain their unkillability :). If multiple copies could be created, then they could certainly have one ready to go (or waiting in memory in case the original doesn’t check in) in the event of an unfortunate accident (and the Doctor could have a Clara backup ready to go too). So potentially, as a plot device, it really cheapens life and makes anyone resurrectable, so not something that I think is great to have lurking around.

    The only rationalisation I have is that maybe that receiver is somehow powered by the soul, rather the body. That at least resolves the issue of multiple copies being made, since you couldn’t run off a copy without the original soul, and may also resolve the niggle I had in watching, in that since the Doctor’s skull survives each iteration, there’s energy leaving the system each time, so the energy loop isn’t closed. The energy to create 200 billion skulls is going to add up. If the process is soul-powered, the “soul loop” is at least closed, and the system is getting energy from somewhere else.

    @arbutus

    The impact was lessened for me by knowing that the Doctor wasn’t dying any more than any other time he used a teleport in the past. The only real effect was a bit of memory loss, which in the end was as a positive, since it meant the suffering didn’t mount up, and it kept him from going insane over the odd 2 million millennia.

    #48283
    tardigrade @replies

    Seriously thought-provoking episode and I can’t wait for the conclusion. A few thoughts:

    I’m thinking that the Gallifrey the Doctor has arrived on is the time-war era Gallifrey- you can’t time travel to get there because of the time lock, but if you go the long way around- i.e. arrive billions of years in advance and wait it out, then that might do the trick. That seems more plausible to me than him accessing the “current” location of Gallifrey. So the confession dial is then, if nothing else, an elaborate way of keeping the Doctor busy to while away the time.

    @puroandson

    The Doctor says “The hybrid is me/Me” rather than the more natural “I am the hybrid”. Which suggests to me that it is Ashildr (Me) that is being referred to (or at least that’s intended as a possibility / red herring). She could plausibly be referred to as a hybrid (human + alien tech), and being functionally immortal could have gotten to Gallifrey “the long way around” too, and she has vowed to keep an eye on him after all.

    Alternatively, if it is the Doctor himself who is the hybrid (half-human?), then the possibility of Ashildr being on Gallifrey raises the possibility in my mind that Ashildr is the Doctor’s mother… which would make both of them part of a multi-billion year bootstrap paradox, since the Doctor effectively created Me (at least as an immortal) and she created him. Given the preoccupation with bootstrap paradoxes this series, making the Doctor’s very existence part of one would seem to be a fitting conclusion to the series.

    My first post here, so let me know if I’ve gotten into the spirit of crazy theories sufficiently 🙂

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