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What's with the name?

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Recap

Doctor Who Recap: “The Name of the Doctor”


I trust you watched “The Name of the Doctor,” or what might as well be known as “The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, Part 1″ this weekend? No? Then get out of this recap! It’s full of spoilers! I’m serious! Classic Doctors, Impossible Girls who are actually of legal adult age (perhaps this is why they are impossible), River Song!

Alright, everybody who did watch it, feel free to read on.

Our teasing opener takes place on Gallifrey, at the moment the First Doctor arrives to steal his TARDIS. He is stopped, just before he steps into one, by Clara. Then we get some shots of Clara, monologuing about how she’s flitting through all eras of time, coming into near-contact with all the incarnations of the Doctor through the magic of modern blue-screen technology (this was, for the most part, pretty seamless, so props to the BBC’s techs). She doesn’t know who she is in these eras, only that she has to save the Doctor, in fact, she was born for it.

Then the episode truly begins, with a raving prisoner on Victorian England’s death row, receiving a visit from Madame Vastra. He tells her that if she saves him from the gallows, he’ll tell her something very important about the Doctor. Specifically, that the Doctor’s biggest secret has been discovered, the secret that he will take to his grave. Vastra decides that this deserves a conference call with all the allies of the Doctor that she can contact. This means that Strax, Vastra, Jenny, and Clara (who is drugged in the present day by a 130 year old letter) fall asleep and all have a communal dream that breaches time so that they can work out a game plan. A very late stage River Song arrives, so late stage that she’s Professor Song, and she knows the Doctor’s name. I suppose we’re meant to assume that she’s from somewhere between the outing where the Doctor told her his name (which he knew was just before she would die) and when she died, a small margin. But you know what they say about assumptions.

Anyway, Clara tells River that she’s heard of her from the Doctor but “I never realized you were a woman,” and I want to frame the look on River’s face to show to my greatest enemies. I mean, come on Clara, don’t be so gender normative, or maybe Doctor, talk about your wife like she’s actually your wife… On the other hand, maybe Clara thought the Doctor was just into dudes. This would shed a different light on her belief that it’s very unlikely he’d be romantically interested in her. But I humorously digress: Vastra briefs everybody on the situation and just manages to share the space-time coordinates of “the Doctor’s greatest secret” before she, Jenny, and Strax are attacked by Whispermen. It’s a trap! It appeared as if Jenny died and I pursed my lips and thought “She better get brought back to life before the end of this episode or they’ll be able to hear me screaming about the Bury Your Gays trope from Los Angeles to Reykjavik.” Fortunately, she does.

The Whispermen even show up in the conference room, to tell River and Clara to “tell the Doctor his friends are lost forevermore, unless he goes to Trenzalore.” You know, I think I’ll just pretend that the Whispermen are demons of the Rhymer rank. Clara wakes up in her house, where the Doctor has arrived, and explains it all to him over a cup of tea. Frightened or sad, it’s unclear, the Doctor starts crying, and dashes off to the underbelly of the TARDIS console. The coordinates are for the fabled Trenzalore, which he now knows, thanks to poetry, is his gravesite, the one place a time traveler should never go, because it’s like the biggest way to cross your own timeline ever.

But he’s the Doctor and he has to go because he owes Vastra, Strax, and Jenny for carrying him through the hiatus by getting him hooked on Tumblr his dark period after Amy and Rory. “No point in telling you it’s too dangerous,” he says to Clara, and she answers “None at all.” I want to pull out this moment as one of the rare ones this season where I actually felt, on the strength of Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman‘s performance, that there was a genuine partnership here, and one that I very much liked. The TARDIS doesn’t like going to Trenzalore at all, presumably because she doesn’t want to encounter any of those horrible gargoyles from outside space-time like in “Father’s Day.” You know, the ones that never happened again?

Trenzalore, as one might expect, turns out to be a mighty gloomy place, a battlefield graveyard of the Doctor’s final bloody skirmish. The bigger the gravestone, the higher the rank, and naturally, one gravestone is a giant TARDIS. Actually, it is the TARDIS. When a TARDIS dies “all the bigger on the inside starts leaking.” That’s the Doctor’s tomb. River has tagged along by leaving the conference line open, but she’s only visible to Clara, and wants to give her advice without the Doctor knowing. Then the Doctor finds River’s grave, which is, of course, impossible, because River died in the Library. The Whispermen attack, and, with River’s advice, Clara leads them through the discovery that River’s impossible grave is actually a secret entrance to the Doctor’s Tomb.

During this, the Doctor lets slip that River is his wife. River explains to Clara that the Doctor “saved” her in the library: “Left me like a book on a shelf, didn’t even say goodbye.” Which is a darker re-envisioning of the end of “Forest of the Dead” that I wouldn’t have expected from the current Doctor Who showrunners. As they run through the dead TARDIS from the Whispermen, Clara becomes dizzy, and begins to recover memories from the erased timeline in “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS,” specifically, she remembers the Doctor saying that he’s met other versions of her. The Doctor actually says “we can’t do this now,” which is what he has essentially been saying all season whenever the issue comes up during moments of action or stress, which is fine, it’s just that “later” has never been when they can do it either. So they run.

Vastra and Strax have been transported to Trenzalore, along with Jenny, who, yes, has died from shock. Fortunately for my blood pressure, she is brought back to life forthwith. The Whispermen and Doctor Simeon (from “The Snowmen”), who are actually all bodies inhabited by the Great Intelligence, are and welcome them to Trenzalore with an unflattering eulogy of the Doctor full of foreshadowing about how he someday becomes known as a warrior, general, and killer familiar from “A Good Man Goes to War.”

TGI wants into the Doctor’s tomb, which can only be opened by saying his name. Fortunate, then, that the Doctor and Clara have just arrived. The Doctor refuses to open it, naturally, and so TGI starts to kill, well, everyone. Still, the Doctor refuses, TGI actually yells “Doctor who?” and it is River, who I guess the tomb can see and hear, who says his name. But the audience didn’t hear her say it, so don’t worry, we still don’t know. Also I don’t see any Silence falling, unless you mean, like, how the Doctor and TGI stop yelling at each other so…  but lets just move on.

The interior of the tomb is the TARDIS control room, abandoned and overgrown with plants, which is honestly very sad and moving. At the center, instead of the console, there’s a mass of bright, spinning… frayed strings. The Doctor explains that these are his remains, the corpse of a time traveler, “the scar tissue of my journey through the universe.” He sonics it and we hear the voices of past doctors, and presumably future Doctors.

Simeon announces that “the Doctor’s life is an open wound, and an open wound can be entered.” This is his end game: he will spend his life in revenge on the Doctor, to enter his time stream and mess up all of his adventures so that they all fail, and then gain the peace of death. Then, done with explaining his grand villain plan, he leaps into the Doctor’s timestream. The Doctor writhes on the floor as stars that he now never saved wink out of the galaxy. Jenny disappears, Madame Vastra is forced to kill Strax after he forgets their friendship, and Clara resolves that she’s got to go into his timestream to undo The Great Intelligence’s work.

River advises against it. “The time winds will tear you apart.” A thousand Claras will live their lives to save him, but the real Clara will die: none of the other Claras will actually be her or have anything but the most basic of her memories. Clara delivers her now habitual last words (run, you clever boy, and remember), jumps, and begins a thousand lives of saving the Doctor. She even, hearkening back to the first scene of the episode, tells him which TARDIS to steal “The navigation system’s knackered but you’ll have much more fun.” And I suppose that I’ll just have to assume that, each time, she did it with minimal to no actual contact with the Doctor, so that he never put it together until now that she was there during, like, all of his adventures; and that he just forgot the woman who recommended his Sexy to him. And don’t say “well he doesn’t remember her because he remembers the timeline as it was before the Great Intelligence messed with him” because then he wouldn’t remember Dalek!Clara or Snowmen!Clara.

Meanwhile, in the Doctor’s Tomb, everything returns to normal with the Victorian characters, while the Doctor psyches himself up to enter his own timestream (needless to say, very, very dangerous) to rescue Clara. River pleads with him not to, and the Doctor reveals that he’s been able to see her all along. He explains that “I didn’t talk to you even though it hurt you, because I didn’t want to get hurt.” He tells her she’s just a copy on a computer, that she should have faded by now (not sure how he knows this, since this could be computer River from, say, the day after she died, for all we know, but Time Lord powers, I guess), and she says she didn’t because he left without saying goodbye. And then the Doctor and his wife say their actual final goodbyes.

And I really want to resurrect the good memories I have of “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” and lose myself in enjoying this scene, but I feel like the episode is trying to have it both ways here. Either the Doctor saved River in FotD by downloading her (because her true self will live forever with her dearest friends in a virtual world of limitless possibilities), in which case it is especially cruel and selfish of him to prioritize his emotional pain above hers by ignoring her. Or, the Doctor only saved a copy of River, and that copy can’t be considered to have real feelings, so he’s in the clear vis a vi prioritizing his own, except for the fact that… well, now we have to confront a much darker interpretation of FotD where River was not truly saved, and where people did die. Which seems to be what was implied by “you should have faded by now,” and “you’re an echo.”

Of course, River’s final words are to point out that she was mentally linked to Clara, and if Clara’s dead, then she couldn’t be here, but the answer to that impossibility is, of course, “Spoilers!” I’m honestly not sure if this is River hinting at events yet to come or letting the Doctor know that there’s hope for him in leaping into his own time stream. I suppose we’ll find out in November?

Anyway, then the Doctor leaps into his own corpse. Things get very bright, and Clara’s voice tell us “I was born to save the Doctor, but the Doctor is safe now. And my story is done.” Clara appears in a misty place. And… breaks down crying because she doesn’t know who or where she is. The Doctor guides her to him with his voice, as his timestream nearly collapses because of his presence in it, sending her the leaf that brought her parents together so that she’ll have a bit of her own identity to hold on to. “How many times have you saved me, Clara? Just this once, just for the hell of it, let me save you,” and though I can think of a couple times he’s saved her over the course of this half season, I like to see the Doctor, himself, admitting how much he owes. In a lot of ways this twist reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of Who, “Turn Left,” where a version of Donna Noble gives her life to undo a timeline where she didn’t save the Doctor and he died before ever meeting Martha Jones. In that episode her mission was packaged primarily as one of saving a large chunk of humanity from death and other atrocities, by making sure that Donna herself would be there to save everyone. Saving the Doctor was the means to that end (well, actually, making sure her past self turned left was really the means of making sure she’d be around to keep the Doctor from accidentally committing suicide in a greif-stricken rage, but I’m quibbling). Donna had to revert the timeline so that she could become the most emportant woman, not to the Doctor, but to the Universe. In Steven Moffat‘s Who, the same twist is balanced differently, relatively heavier on the “saving the Doctor for his sake” end, or perhaps even from the “Clara knows she saves the Doctor so she has to save the Doctor” end.

But before we can leave the Doctor’s timestream, they see someone else there. Someone Clara doesn’t recognize, someone who isn’t one of the eleven faces of the Doctor, though he must be the Doctor, because everything in the Doctor’s timestream is the Doctor. The Doctor tells Clara “the name you choose is like a promise you make. He’s the one who broke the promise.” He is the Doctor’s secret. /announcer voice He is John Hurt.

Before I get to bigger thoughts, I’m just going to do a little possibly spoilery predicting in this paragraph about the 50th. Highlight to read. So, there’s been a rumor going around that John Hurt is playing a “secret” incarnation of the Doctor in the 50th special. That seems to have been born out by this episode. The other part of that rumor is that his Doctor was the Time War incarnation, making him the incarnation who threw two entire races, including his own, out of time and space. This would explain why Clara did not encounter him in the Doctor’s time stream, since the Time War was literally excised from time. My own personal speculation starts now: even if Hurt isn’t the Time War Doctor, it’s worth thinking about how this would renumber the Doctors: Eccleston would become the 10th, Smith would become the 12th, and Tennant, who we know is back for the 50th special, would actually be the 11th Doctor. Viewers already know the prophecy of the Silence: “On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a Question will/must be asked,” and the answer to that Question is the true name of the Doctor. It really seemed like we were going to get resolution on that this episode: the question was asked, and answered, and yet there wasn’t really a payout. Is this because Matt Smith’s Doctor is not the 11th Doctor? I encourage you to, if you read the last sentence, punctuate the end of it with this link.

So I should talk about what this episode means for Clara. One of the most common criticisms that’s brought up when we talk about Steven Moffat, Doctor Who, and female characters, is that the eventual reveal of the origin of River Song took a character who’d been established as seemingly independent from the Doctor (a time-traveling professor of archeology with her own research team and motivations independent of his; no question there about why romantic sparks might have flown between the two), and revealed that she was, in fact, raised to be obsessed with him and eventually kill him. For better or worse, this obsession continued after she resisted her brainwashing: it was revealed that her interest in archeology was chosen out of a desire to find the Doctor, rather than something confirmed to be 100% genuine to her own inclinations. I don’t say this to mean that I dislike River or think she’s not badass, but the River that I think is most interesting is the River of “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead,” the one that was still presumably just a normal human with a normal childhood who nevertheless became so awesome that the Doctor fell in love with her. This is what a lot of folks were worried would happen to Clara, and I’m honestly not certain whether that’s occurred, and I’m open to discussion on it.

So, yes, Clara sacrifices her life to save the Doctor’s, but when she makes the decision to do that, she also knows that she’s already done it: the Doctor’s already met her before, which means she did it, which means that (you may spin out this paradox on your own). It’s not so much a choice as an observation based on known phenomena. Nevertheless, Clara knows she’s going to die when she jumps into his timestream and does it anyway, and the Doctor, so far as we get in the short portion of the episode that happens afterward, is demonstrably grateful. When the tagline for this episode was “I was born to save the Doctor,” I got a little worried that all the hints at what made Clara unique as a companion, that she obeys the Doctor more, trusts him more readily, asks questions less, etc., was going to be revealed as another female character whose personality and goals were manufactured by a third party explicitly because of him. Turns out, that description applies only to all the other Claras, not her. Her traits are just a coincidence.

So, to recap Clara over the course of this season: the writers introduce her. Half a season later they reintroduce her, and the central mystery of who and why she is. Then they spend another half a season tiptoeing around the same questions until they reveal it in a way that might just be pivotal, if not central to the 50th Anniversary. This is a choice that, as I said last week, makes the Doctor seem creepy and makes it difficult for the audience to invest in the companion/Doctor relationship that’s central to the show. I really wish they’d found a different way to do it, one that meant that Clara had, well, any agency at all over the revelation of her identity, maybe even some inner conflict with the idea that she’d one day die and live a thousand unknown lives to save the Doctor. That is an opportunity for interesting character growth that might have fleshed her out as a person to the audience, but it’s not one that could be squeezed into the twenty minutes between Clara finally finding out about her identity and being confronted with the choice to save the Doctor in this episode. At the risk of repeating myself, I think it would have solved a lot of the problems I’ve had with this season to get Clara more engaged with the question of who she is and why she exists.

Of course, though Clara doesn’t know it when she leaps into his timestream, the Doctor will save her. And if I may look ahead in my final paragraph, unless Clara’s dead faint at the end of the episode is a preparation on the part of the writers to handwave away the memories from those thousand lives (which she clearly has, because she knows the eleven faces of the Doctor), we now have a companion who knows everything about the Doctor. Or everything except John Hurt’s Doctor, at least. And if Clara has remembered all the events of the alternate timeline in “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” then she even knows the Doctor’s name. That’s something I can look forward to seeing play out over Series 8, and I really hope it’s something the writers decide to run with instead of wibbly wobbling it away.

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  • Anonymous

    Retroactively evaluating my theories of how they would avoid the Doctor’s name:

    -The Doctor is given an epithet during the episode: CHECK
    -His alias is relevant to the episode: CHECK
    -Episode is centered around his name without actually mentioning it: CHECKEROO (Bonus: they did the “Doctor Who?” gag. Again.)
    -He mentions it to River but we don’t hear: PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE
    -His name is Tim: UNFORTUNATELY NO :,(

  • http://www.facebook.com/gordon.borland.1 Gordon Borland

    you know what I liked about this episode, finally gave an answer for the 7th Doctors random bid for death in “Dragonfire”.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Although I quite agree with your analysis of the problems with River’s character arc, I walked away with a different interpretation of Clara’s role in all this.

    Clara didn’t make the decision to walk into the time vortex because she’d already made it: the fact that she knew the Doctor had met her before told her that she had the ability to save the Doctor. She decided that this was worth her life, and held on to the confidence that her soul would remain intact in every echo. She was the one who spread herself through time, picking her own lives and deaths, becoming a thousand different versions of herself.

    That’s why we didn’t get a huge amount of backstory or character building in Bells of St John or later episodes: because all the Claras were Clara.

    And the reason we didn’t spend the season with Clara more engaged in finding out who and what she is? I think it’s a hindsight thing: this wasn’t about Clara BEING the impossible girl, it was about her BECOMING the impossible girl. The central idea behind this episode was that what we choose to do makes us who we are. The names we take aren’t as important as the promises we make or break.

    The season was about Clara becoming a woman who would grin and do something insane in order to save someone she loves–which makes her more than a bit like the Doctor, actually.

    And Clara isn’t still alive, like she said in the last episode, because she does what the Doctor says. She’s still alive and he’s still alive and the universe is still there because she knows when to ignore him completely.

    You say Clara didn’t have any agency over the revelation of her identity, but she was the one who created the identity. She made herself the impossible girl.

    I actually did a few in-depth analyses of Clara’s unique role and character position at my home at http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Come by and argue with me sometime! :)

  • Roberta

    Before everyone jumps on the comments to go through their emotional turmoil of this episode, I just want you to look at some of the summary again. Not as a Whovian, but as someone who has no clue what Doctor Who is. I would like to point out that we are all watching a bat-shit crazy show with logic so insane that even Sherlock Holmes himself would not be able to keep up. And even when we curse Moffat and the other writers (at regular intervals for most of us), we continue to watch this show and have a love/infuriating relationship with it.

    Alright, reflective moment over. Carry on fans, carry on.

  • Anonymous

    1. Madame Vastra didn’t kill Strax. He simply ceased to exist like Jenny.
    2. It was great seeing Clara through the ages. Clara in 80′s garb was so great.
    3. “Strax, save her!” “Get off me you ridiculous lizardwoman!”
    4. “I’m sorry ma’am, I think I’ve been murdered.”
    5. For River this is taking place AFTER her death, not in the time between the Doctor telling her his name and her dying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gordon.borland.1 Gordon Borland

    imoho River Song will always be the second best archaeologist in Doctor Who, her Middle name isn’t even Surprise.

  • Anonymous

    I suspect that if the BBC has any amount of sense then they’ll be using the 50th anniversary episode to remove the limited regenerations the Doctor has. At least they’ll try and extend it enough that they don’t have to worry about it for the next couple of decades or so. I mean even if Matt Smith IS the 11th, that really only gives them two more go-arounds before they’d have to deal with it anyway. Which is why they introduced you-know-who as you-know-Who to give them the excuse to fix it.

  • Anonymous

    If Clara forgets everything I will be so pissed.

  • Anonymous

    I’m still mulling over the episode, but agree with many of your comments on it. One thing I’ll add to the fray/discussion: perhaps one of the reasons why the development of Clara was so…poorly handled was because it was done in half a season? With all the other “full time” companions (Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy), we got a whole season of development during their first “year” with the Doctor. So the writers had more time to flesh them out and give them personalities, complexities, and let us them interact more with the Doctor. Perhaps with the shortened time frame of introducing us to this new companion, there was a decision (conscious or unconscious) to let that fall by the wayside because they had other priorities. Hence not really exploring Clara knowing about her “impossible” status, since they didn’t have the time to do so.

    (I’m not saying this was a smart decision, btw, merely throwing that idea out there for what could explain it. I personally think it would’ve been better to thread her throughout a season with Amy and Rory, and then give her her own full season to explore her mystery with the Doctor.)

    I also wonder how much the (self-imposed, from what I recall) “no-cliffhangers/two part episodes edict played on this. All episodes had to be a one-and-done model, so character building that can often occur during these multi-episode stories was cut out.

  • Dave

    >> Also I don’t see any Silence falling

    What, don’t you remember the part with the lightning and the… suits… and… wait, what was I saying…?

  • http://twitter.com/Proi_RS Robin S

    As an episode in and of itself, I feel like it was very well-constructed and considerably better than I ever thought it would be. It’s a cliffhanger, yes, but it sort of needed to be to save set-up time in the 50th.

    I feel like this episode could have been truly excellent if we had come to care about Clara properly into the lead-up; if her role as being so incredibly pivotal had been earned, rather than the writers trying to tell us how we should feel about her. I felt no real emotional impact with Clara jumping into the timestream (and her possible death), but I could have if we as an audience had grown attached to her. This half of the season felt like it was pretty much just wasting time getting to this episode, which is rather unfortunate. Perhaps that’s a symptom of Moffat’s attention being torn between the 50th and Sherlock.

    I was hoping that this episode would give some explanation for why Clara’s characterization has been so thin this season, and sadly there was no answer in this episode other than oversight and bad writing. The solid nature of this episode however, gives me hope that I won’t actually be disappointed in November.

  • Mark Wyman

    I personally felt the silence prophecy referred to the battle of Trenzelor; the Doctor’s first time there; rather than this timeline crossing second visit.

  • Anonymous

    It appeared to me that Vastra drew a gun, fired, and Strax disintegrated, which seemed like a pretty clear progression of events.

  • Sabrina

    To me it looked like he vanished before she could shoot hence why she was shouting his name and looking a bit confused/scared when he was suddenly gone.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    My takeaway was actually that Clara’s lack of backstory and development was because we’re not meant to see the first 2 Claras as separate. All the Claras were Clara. But other than that, we already know we come at Clara from very different angles, so I understand if you disagree :)

  • Dave

    We got at least a full series for all those companions, sure, but I feel that all their personalities and character arcs were well-established after 7 episodes. Plus I thought “The Snowmen” did an excellent job of establishing Victorian!Clara’s character in just an hour, so it couldn’t have been *just* a time-crunch issue.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone else ever feel like part of River/Doctor relationship was a lot like Miss Piggy and Kermit?

  • Anonymous

    Something else to remember about the thousand Claras thing – yes, they are not exactly her, but they are people too. Real people. They just all have this common element from the “original” Clara – the connection to the Doctor and the drive to help him. So when Clara made her choice (and yes, it was a choice and it was hers), she wasn’t just choosing to end her existence the way it was, but she was also choosing to live a thousand lives and save the one person who can save the entire universe in each and every one of them. That’s not the case of a girl jumping in front of a bullet to save a boy, because he’s obviously more important than her. This is the case of a girl experiencing impossible things and becoming someone who’d be able to save the world by giving herself agency to do more than she’d otherwise could.

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t understand why people think the “Silence will fall when the Question is asked” is a plot hole. To recap: the Silence, an organization, wanted to stop the Doctor from ever being able to go to the fields of Trenzalore and answer the question of what his name is. They believe they succeeded by killing the Doctor before he could do so. I imagine it should be obvious now as to why they wanted to prevent this, but apparently it isn’t: answering his name let someone into his tomb, and from the inside of his tomb, reality could basically be destroyed, as nearly happened in this episode.

    The Doctor’s killing by the Silence, which they believe they pulled off, was preventative to protect the universe. There was no need or reason for the Silence to show up in this episode.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    And the fact that the show framed it as Clara doing it out of love for the Doctor, her “being born to save the Doctor,” isn’t actually as problematic as it might seem. Doing something out of love is a problem when it causes you to reduce yourself, like the “jumping in front of a bullet” thing. But Clara’s act didn’t reduce her: it made her bigger. And right after she did it, the Doctor did something objectively insane (with no relevance to saving the world) while also acting out of love.

  • Anonymous

    Same, I figured whatever shenanigans led to him palling around with the Doctor were erased at that point, so he just temporarily ceased to exist. And Vastra had that line about his timeline changing right before that.

  • Anonymous

    I think the “I was born to save the Doctor” line didn’t refer to the original Clara. Clara was born to be Clara – to be awesome and to make hard choices. The Claras created by her decision were in a way “born to save him”, but she’s the one who created them in the first place.

    And I totally agree with what you said about love as a character’s motivation. Just a short while ago there was an article here about Uhura being portrayed in the trailer as a liability because of her feelings. That’s not what love is. It’s not a girly thing, it’s not a weakness. It’s part of the character and it can have a bunch of different effects on their actions and decisions. In Clara’s case, it made her grow into a hero.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=766555157 Jessica Burchfield

    This was actually the first episode I somewhat enjoyed of the season… one question though: did anyone else seem to think that they’ve contradicted a basic Doctor Who principle when they implied that Clara chose the TARDIS for the Doctor? I thought the TARDIS chose the Doctor…

  • Kathi Kolb

    Robin, I agree. Vera, you make a valid point, but I still think there have been lost opportunities in this half series when just a few tweaks of dialogue and direction would have fleshed out Clara’s character & personality a bit more. Like Robin, I have really felt those blanks & lost opportunities & consquently have been unable to warm up to Clara as I have with other companions. I really loved her as Oswin in Asylum & even in The Snowmen as the barmaid/governess, but I feel she’s been too much of a blank slate in all these subsequent episodes in Series 7. I’ve enjoyed them, but not as much as I would have if I’d been given more substance on which to hang some emotional connection. But the Moff has often been more apt to tell rather than show, and even though I enjoyed a lot about the finale, a bit more showing throughout the episodes leading up to this would be increased my enjoyment. Ah, well…

  • http://twitter.com/Proi_RS Robin S

    I just don’t think there’s any excuse at all for not developing a character to its fullest potential. If that was their thinking, then it was kinda a dumb move. There was plenty of room to flesh her out in the episodes where modern Clara is there by herself. She was developed in Snowmen and Asylum of the Daleks, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t also be developed in all the other episodes.

  • http://twitter.com/Proi_RS Robin S

    And when Moffat bothers to actually work on showing emotional connections, it happens and happens well. I totally believed from the first few minutes with Vastra, Jenny and Strax that they were his friends. I just wish I understood why guest chars can be fleshed out, but Clara just remains comparatively bland.

    When Clara is given things to do and has to take charge, she is interesting. So why did they have her so often simply follow and become something to be rescued?

  • Anonymous

    No, I think she was preparing to fire when he went ZZZZZT. That’s why she immediately looked down at her gun.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like this episode could have been truly excellent if we had come to care about Clara properly into the lead-up…

    I think if I had just watched this episode and the previous one, I’d be under the impression that the season had been epic, all leading up to a great moment that resolves an established character’s arc. It’s like those two were written first, and for the rest of the series it was just:

    “What do we do with Clara?!”
    “I don’t know, here’s a filler episode I just wrote, add in the Doctor looking pensive!”

  • http://twitter.com/iamthatjon Jon Who

    **SPOILERS**

    My theory, probably way off.. What if John Hurt is the REAL Doctor, and that Our Doctor in his shame of ending the time war or something dramatic like that, took his name and identity. Hence he’s introduced as “The Doctor”??

    Again we can sit here can speculate anything, and the show can say do and show anything, but all it takes in one little line and everything is changed.

  • http://twitter.com/Proi_RS Robin S

    That was my exact feeling.

  • Kathi Kolb

    Yes, absolutely. And did anyone else note that when the Doctor’s friends were having tea, and poor Jenny reveals that she has just been murdered, Clara seemed to have no emotional reaction at all, even though she’d met Vastra, Jenny & Strax in The Crimson Horror & they’d helped save her & the Doctor? River was suitably upset at Jenny’s murder, as of course was Madame Vastra. But couldn’t they have given Clara a bit of dialogue there or some direction to look at least a bit horrifed just then? And shouldn’t she have shown a bit more urgency when she goes back to her present life to find the Doctor & deliver the news from the conference call?? I mean, who the heck has time for a cup of tea?? I would have grabbed his hand & dragged him into the Tardis with all speed! Oy…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=38306600 Jacii Miller

    tl;dr

  • Elwood Grobnik

    Unfortunately they decided to keep Clara a mystery until the finale, which doesn’t allow for much character development. I think this was a mistake that undermined much of the second half of the season and the payoff wasn’t worth it.

  • Elwood Grobnik

    I think whatever it was the Silence were trying to prevent just happened, but we won’t know exactly what it is until the 50th. But when they wanted to prevent the question “Doctor Who?” from being answered, it’s not so much that the didn’t want his name to be known, as they didn’t want the truth about John Hurt’s character to come out, and whatever dark secret he has/embodies, it’s obviously about to come out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gillian.barnes.121 Gill Barnes

    Clara was linked into the TARDIS by the Doctor (and River Song is in the TARDIS computer banks), sooo…and it’s a long shot….the TARDIS has some link with what the multiple Claras choose to do and so guided that particular Clara to get the Doctor to choose the TARDIS sooo….it was the TARDIS that chose the Doctor. lol

  • Bunny Byul

    I had to log in specifically to tell you how awesome this comment is.

  • Bunny Byul

    My theory: John Hurt is playing the Valeyard.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    John Hurt is Voldemort???

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Actually, on reflection I’ll be irritated but I”ll understand if Clara doesn’t remember anything about going through the time vortex. Imagine what a huge plot problem that would be: the Doctor faces a new foe, but how is it new if Clara hasn’t already warned him about it? The Doctor faces and old foe, but how can he be fuzzy on the details if Clara used to be there? They might find some ways around it–this is Doctor Who, logic isn’t a priority–but storytelling wise she does threaten to become a serious deus ex machina.

  • Anonymous

    If you have a Tardis, then every day is tomorrow. Otherwise? Not so much, sorry.

    And yes, I have big hopes for Clara too. After all, like the recap says, now she knows pretty much everything about him. That’s going to be a completely new Doctor-companion dynamic, I’m excited to see where they go with it. One thing that would piss me off beyond belief would be erasing those secrets from Clara’s mind somehow. Anything else should be a great fun to watch.

  • Reeves Stroud

    1. This episode was good to very good but not great.

    2. Moffats writing, Matt Smith, and the Rori and Amy love Triangle has brought the Who rattings down dramatically

    3. River character was ruined when she was told to be Amy’s daughter, married to the doctor, and when they thought he was dead pregnant with the doctors baby. River is way older than Amy and Amy with two boyfriends and an older looking daughter, that looks more like her mother, in love with Matt Smith who Amy is in love with…(Confused Already)? makes this more like a SCI FI Soap Opera than real who stuff

    4. 90% of Smiths Doctor has been on Earth. Since Clara they at least now leave earth more or if they are on earth, change the setting a bit to make you feel your not on Earth at all. Im not kidding look back on all Smiths time at the doctor. I challenge you to find episodes where he was NOT on earth. Its hard.

    5. Clara is sarcastic and bossy. To say she is bland next to Amy then I would say look up personality traits and sarcasm and bosy are listed

    6. Bottom line is RATINGS DRIVE ANY SHOW GOOD OR BAD. Smith has been a victim of some bad writing but some not so great acting. He is not a terrible Doctor but he is not perfection nor is he in the top 10. A good actor can overcome bad writing. Smith does have skills but he is avg at best. Some may argue with me and say how he is perfect and Amy and Rori so on but like I said if the majority thought that the RATINGS WOULD HAVE GONE HIGHER When Tenant left not alot lower.

    In closing since Clara the writing has been better but I notice this season that Moffat did not write a lot of the episodes in the second half. I hope Smith Regenerates soon and Moffat leaves. As for Clara, I hope she stays for awhile. If you like Amy and Rori Im sure you will find them on a revived East Enders or Some other Soap Opera soon. They would be good for it. Hopefully the Ratings will go UP AGAIN SOON

  • http://twitter.com/Totz_the_Plaid Totz_the_Plaid

    Why do I hate Moffat? Someone on Tumblr put it brilliantly. Here’s the link: http://worthyourweightinfanfiction.tumblr.com/post/49605765616/i-just-started-watching-doctor-who-so-whats-wrong-with

    I stopped watching after “The Angels Take Manhattan” and I won’t go back and check any of the stuff with Clara until well after Moffat is GONE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hoekwater Allison Hoekwater

    I am so tired of Strax mistaking genders. Can he seriously not remember the genders of his closest friends!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakeler Jake Cousteau

    Excellent review/recap!

  • Katy

    That was my thought also. I’ve always felt that the Valeyard was an endgame the writers were playing with since the Amy/Rory years.

  • Katy

    I loved the River and the Doctor scene too. They had more chemistry and connection then the Doctor and Clara had all season. When I saw Dalek Clara I was really excited for her as the new companion, she reminded me of Donna Noble, Then there was the Victorian Clara, who I HATED (I gave up hope for an interesting companion when she kissed the Doctor), and I felt that Clara was too much like Victorian Clara and not enough like Dalek Clara. Although in all honesty I was really hoping that the big arc for the season was the Doctor trying to prevent Clara from becoming a dalek. While watching this episode I couldn’t help but think, which came first: Clara having no personality or Clara not being given a personality because she’s actually has lived a thousand fractured lives? I’m so hoping that Clara gets to keep all the secrets she knows and becomes interesting, not just a bland, obedient “mystery.”

  • Bunny Byul

    Especially that episode with the frozen star and the evil dream!Doctor. I really thought that’s what they were getting at back then. I’m going to be disappointed if not but I’m excited to find out regardless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.hayes.108 Thomas Hayes

    Was there important stuff in the one with the Cybermen then? I actually fell asleep twenty minutes into it (I was watching on iPlayer late at night) because I couldn’t give two hoots about ANYTHING that was happening in it.

  • Anonymous

    Wellll… no. But Clara was OK in it. Like this episode, it had the whole “established relationship” vibe going on.

  • Anonymous

    If Pokemon: The Movie 2000 has taught me anything, it’s that pun-based prophecies are never to be trusted. Too many semantic problems, like “but wait, who describes the purpose of their evil organization as falling?”

  • Anonymous

    “Falling” isn’t their purpose, it’s what would happen if the question (Doctor Who?) was asked – as in they would fall, cease, die, join the Choir Eternal, etc. If the question was asked at Trenzalore, and answered, the universe could be destroyed. This would cause the Silence to fall. Cause and effect. And that’s exactly what would have happened but for Clara

    They wanted to kill the Doctor before this could ever happen of course, thereby defusing a potential universe-killing bomb.

  • Tessa Gegg

    Am I missing something here? River was never pregnant with the Doctor’s baby. Amy was the only pregnant one.
    River is older than Amy because of the “wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey” stuff. The silence took her back to the 60′s. She’s lived many more years than her parents because of the time travel circumstances. She’s also part Time Lord, which means when she regenerates, she looks like a different person. Alex Kingston just happens to look and be older than Karen Gillian and Arthur Darvill.

  • Anonymous

    Quick comment on the ratings, since people keep claiming they’ve dropped since Moffatt/Smith have taken over: Xmas specials aside, the highest rated episode of the Tennant/Davies era was watched by 10.5 million Britons; the highest rated episode of the Moffatt/Smith era (so far, also Xmas specials aside) was watched by 11.5 million Britons, or 1 million higher. On the whole, the average ratings are very similar, except with a slight dip immediately after Tennant left, followed by a gradual increase to an average slightly above the Tennant/Davies era.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.hayes.108 Thomas Hayes

    Might give it another try then. Because honestly, your sum-up:
    “What do we do with Clara?!”
    “I don’t know, here’s a filler episode I just wrote, add in the Doctor looking pensive!”

    Is pretty much my feelings on the entire series.

  • Anonymous

    While Clara would indeed know the Doctor’s name from Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, that can be handwaved as her not re-remembering that. That really didn’t happen.

    Actually, I don’t understand how the Doctor remembers that either. Yes, yes, he’s a Time Lord and a time traveler, but our Doctor isn’t that guy with his history rewritten _under_ him, like other examples of remembering non-existent timelines. That version of him actually ceased to exist. Our Doctor is the past version, from what I understand of the ending. If that was the future version of the Doctor, it logically should be the future version of Clara also, and, as a time traveler, she should remember both timelines. So it had to be the past version.

    I can see The Doctor just knowing something happened (He is a Time Lord, he can sense when something weird happened to time.), and he should even remember his future self throwing him the button thingy, which didn’t ever happen anymore but is an alteration to his own timeline so I can see how he remembers it. (And so should Clara, for that matter.) But I can’t grasp how he knows what his future self experienced. (Oddly enough, none of this Fridge Logic about Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS occurred to me until I started writing this post.)

    However, ignoring all that, and assuming we can do the reset button on Clara re-remembering…uh, she _also_ just heard River say his name to open that TARDIS. And that certainly _did_ happen. (And that fact would be nearly impossible to erase from the timeline, considering that without River saying his name Clara can’t do what she did. Clara’s sacrifice is like the ultimate fixed point in time, considering what it is stated to have done. They can handwave something to get the real Clara back, but they can’t undo all those Claras traipsing through history.)

  • Tessa Gegg

    I’ve heard a lot of people saying this, but the Valeyard is a truly twisted character. John Hurt’s Doctor says, “What I did, I did without choice, in the name of peace and sanity.”

    I don’t believe that it’s in the Valeyard to do anything for peace and sanity. He’s a crazy dude who wants to screw up the Doctor’s life. (Which is technically screwing up his own life as well.)

    The current Doctor agrees with John Hurt’s Doctor and says, “I know.” He also says it with a kind of remorse in his voice. This make me think that this is a past incarnation of the Doctor. I really think that John Hurt’s Doctor is the one that had to make the choice to end the Time War.

    The Doctor mentions that he doesn’t consider that part of him to be The Doctor. John Hurt’s character broke the promise to be a healer (like a real doctor would be) when he committed whatever bad thing he did. (Genocide of two alien races would be a pretty bad thing.) So If The Doctor doesn’t consider this incarnation of himself to be “The Doctor,” then Matt Smith would still be the 11th Doctor.

    Although, I really like Susana made about the payout being nonexistent because Matt Smith isn’t might not be the 11th Doctor.

    But then again, The Silence did ‘fall’ in a way because the Doctor had the Human race killing them all.

  • Tessa Gegg

    Except the Time War happened after the 8th Doctor. There were seven other Doctors before that. The Doctor choose his alternate name when he was younger. I’m not sure if they chose their name when they are children or when they graduate from the Time Lord Academy. The 10th Doctor talked about going into the TLA at the age of eight, so they would probably have chosen their names early on.

    William Hartnell was the first Doctor and Patrick Troughton, the 2nd Doctor, is the Doctor’s first regeneration. (I only say that because there are people speculating that he is the ‘very, very first’ Doctor.)

    Also, 11 and Clara were in the Doctor’s time stream/body. Why would there be some random guy be hanging around in the Doctor’s body?

  • Bananas4TheDoctor

    That is so true. I never connected the universe blinking out of existence to the prophecy. If Clara didn’t save the Doctor, the universe wouldn’t have existed. It would have been all Daleks and Cybermen, if that. The 11th did fall because he was basically dying and would have died if not for Clara.

    I feel like they kinda sneaked that in there and distracted us with the whole “Who is Clara” question. You didn’t miss it though.

  • Katy

    Hmmm… interesting point. Still, even if John Hurt isn’t playing the Valeyard, I believe that character will appear somewhere as a possible endgame. It’s been a possibility since “Amy’s Choice” and the whole background for Devils Run, to me, screams that they are trying to stop the Valeyard from existing. I think John Hurt is the type of actor who could easily play the Valeyard, but you’re right, the Valeyard never seemed remorseful for his actions or have a motive.

  • Bananas4TheDoctor

    I’ve read some things about Moffat being irritated that Christopher Eccleston didn’t want to be in the 50th, so he essentially replaced him with John Hurt. That could be and probably is a big rumour, but John Hurt being the real ninth incarnation of the Doctor is the only thing that fits to me.

    There isn’t too much known about the Time War and the period between the 8th Doctor and Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor. So there’s definitely room for improvisation. But we won’t really know much unless someone leaks some serious spoilers. John Hurt has already said some spoiler-y type things.

    I’m really going to have to say away from anything DW related or I’m going to go nuts with all these theories.

  • http://sharqubus.tumblr.com George Trello

    So… a version of Clara told Hartnell’s Doctor which TARDIS to steal. On Gallifrey. There is a version of Clara that is A TIME LORD.

    Am I the only one wondering if that will come in to play later? (Haha! “if”. This is Moffat, more like “how”.)

  • Anja

    I also really liked Dalek Clara, with the sass and the funny comments – and yes, she reminded me too of Donna, one of my favourite companions.
    You’re right though, what came first? Although Dalek Clara, I felt, had a personality, the lack of it seemed to become more pronounced during this last half of season 7. When she jumped into the time-wound I honestly could not feel sad. “Well, there she goes..” And that was it. But I think that could change if she is developed more fully during the next season. I’m excited!

  • http://twitter.com/LanceBravestar1 Lance Bravestar

    Yeah, the show sometimes feel like a parody of sci-fi shows. Then again, that’s why I love it.

  • Al Harken

    There goes my theory that Clara was the Doctor’s daughter from that one series 4 episode.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.musinski Heather Musinski

    Silence did fall Wh

  • Reeves Stroud

    Someone said the highest ratings amoung britons. Doctor who is shown in the united states, parts of canada and a few other countries. Combined the ratings have dipped by 2.2 millon. So they have dropped. As far as one country yes, they have leveled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Three things:

    (1) Dorium already pointed out that the translation is that silence MUST fall. Not silence WILL fall. The Silence kept saying that because they were planning to straight up murderise The Doctor to keep him from talking.

    Why did they do that?

    Madam Kovarian said it clear as day, in ‘The Wedding of River Song’ – they are the Sentinels of Time. If The Great Intelligence was to enter, and disrupt the time-line, then it would potentially end all worlds, ever (we already know the Daleks would spread across the multiverse – it was implied in ‘Army of Ghosts’).

    Why run the risk?

    (2) River is a victim of The Doctor more than anything else. Remember, if she doesn’t love him, there is no reason for her sacrifice herself for him in the library. Now, whether that action back then showed The Doctor just how utterly wonderful River would become, but there is also an element of self-preservation in there.

    (3) Whilst it is heavily implied that Doctor Hurt (my fave name for him, as I can now pretend The Doctor’s real name is Thomas Wayne, and his death of Trenzalore eventually inspires the cosmic Batman of that universe) was The Doctor from the Time War, and that he destroyed the Time-Lords and The Daleks, this isn’t confirmed. Everyone knows about the Time War. So how would that be his secret? However, there is a convention that the older a Doctor appears, the younger he probably is (Matt Smith – youngest looking, oldest actually; William Hartnell – oldest looking, youngest actually), so could Hurt be the original incarnation of The Doctor, who did something so bad, and so secret, he has been running away from it his entire life?

    And, if that is the case, and he did something stupid and dangerous… what could it have been? It has been repeatedly stated during Moffat’s run that his enemies have been victims as much as his allies have been saved by him. Could he have done something unspeakable to his enemies?

  • Reeves Stroud

    As for amy being pregnant yes, we all know she was. I will have to look back at the name of the episodes but i will describe it. It came right at seasons end last year.when people thought doctor was dead. Amy, river and rori are outside talking around in the yard at night with a very big belly river. the implication was that she was pregnant.someone out there has seen this. it would make sense because in the night of silver i believe the doctor brings up to clara that he refers to a grandchild. then clara does a double take and comments. i will go back and review the episode for the name. The reason why river is older i was not debating that. She has been older since she has appeared in the David tenant episode. River could have been romona like others on sites speculated, the rahni, a new hero but Amy’s daughter in love with the doctor.just didn’t fit. If anything to go that route what did fit was when tennant fell in love with the woman behind the fireplace. Now that could have been re visited. Some will say she died. We all know people that people who are assumed dead on shows like these can be brought back

  • Dave

    Ohhh, interesting — I was focused more on this River’s connection to the Library than to the Silence and didn’t realize she still could have been involved. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the Silence, though: their prophecy talks about Trenzalore at the Fall of the Eleventh, when “no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer.” As far as I can tell, Eleven hasn’t fallen AND he failed to answer (River did it for him), so I don’t think the Silence’s prophecy has come about quite yet.

    Of course, Doctor and Clara are still technically ON Trenzalore (albeit in a confused stuck in the Doctor’s timestream kind of way) so that very well may be an upcoming development.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    What was illogical about this episode? The Doctor either goes to Trenzalore, or his friends die. River either opens the tomb, or Clara, The Doctor, Vastra, Jenny and Strax die. Clara either saves The Doctor, or everything in the universe (including her) probably dies. The Doctor either enters his own time-stream, or Clara dies. Most of the major choices in the episode were, well, fairly logical and straightforward.

    Even the GI’s plan was straightforward: having been endlessly frustrated, he would rather die than carry on, so he decides to commit suicide and get his revenge in the most spectacular way possible – by wiping out his enemy and probably everything else, as well. He pays off a guy on death row to tip-off Vastra, grabs some hostages, and then uses one of a bazillion time-travel macguffins to get to Trenzalore. Bosh. Job done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Don’t forget – The Silence could have been there. One glance, and then they would have forgotten them. Plus, if they were, then, from their perspective, The Doctor was the only one who both knew his name, and had a psychic link to the TARDIS, as they wouldn’t have been able to see River Song.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    His name is Thomas Wayne.

    Evidence: “John Hurt is The Doctor.”

    That makes him Doctor Hurt.

    Doctor Hurt is Thomas Wayne.

    Simples.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    The hints are that his secret is one he hs been running from his entire life. I’m guessing this is the original Doctor who did something much, much worse than SAVING all of reality from two armies full of lunatics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    The Great Intelligence broke up all the pieces of the jigsaw, so Clara had to put them back together again. Things are back the way they are in much the same way that this is still the same universe as ever, despite it all being totally destroyed at the end of ‘The Big Bang’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    They are the “Sentinels of Time”, so that does make sense. After all, the Time War wasn’t an act of genocide so much as it was The Doctor saving everyone else in the universe, given that The Daleks and Time-Lords were planning on killing everyone else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    One easy way to develop Clara more: start off with a sequence where we see her usual day, show us one thing that irritates her, and one thing she likes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    The moment where Strax examined and cured Jenny was a great, tiny character moment, solely because everyone seemed to forget he is essentially the new Rory – a warrior AND a nurse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    He finds it funny – it keeps his enemies off balance. They get upset, and then, bam! Vapour Grenades and Anti-Life Danger Drones! All for the glory of the Sontaran Empire!

  • Roberta

    It is not that it is illogical, it is that it is a crazy roller-coaster of logic. To people who watch the show on a regular basis this makes sense. But to the rest of the world, this show (not just this episode) is a series of confusing twists and turns that I am sure even give the writers a headache, that’s all.

  • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast Anonymous

    That’s what I originally thought, but now I’m on the fence between his being the Valeyard and the real #9, which is just as exciting since it means Matt Smith’s Doctor will turn into the Valeyard.

  • Anonymous

    I wanted him to be the Valeyard, but yeah..I think this is more likely to be a ‘Time War’ Doctor. Also, that episode (the name escapes me) where they’re in the maze hotel, each room a different fear? Doctor opens his door, and says something along the lines of “of course it’s you”….perhaps that was John Hurt Doctor he saw.

  • http://twitter.com/Joblynation John Blower

    I thought the idea was that the Matt Smith incarnation is 11th version of himself to go by the name “Doctor”, but not necessarily the 11th incarnation. He did purposefully point out that it’s the name you choose that’s the important bit. Maybe the John Hurt version had a different name, and was merely labelled “The Doctor” to show us he’s the same entity.

  • Roberta

    Amen to that

  • Ursula L

    What I’ve found interesting about Clara’s characterization is that she doesn’t really need the Doctor. She has a life that she is happy with, and her trips with the Doctor are little mini-vacations or day-trips. Her motivations lie at home.

    Clara wanted to travel, and had planned to travel. At the beginning of her trip, she was visiting friends, and the mother of the family unexpectedly died. She postponed her travels in order to help her friends. She does this from simple friendship and compassion. Plus, she’s been there. She lost her mother as a teenager, and empathizes with a family loosing its mother. Particularly Angie, who is having a rough time of it, liking Clara, but still mourning her mother and frightened that Clara might somehow be replacing her mother. Angie is obnoxious, but in an understandable way, combining teenage angst with mourning her mother. Clara handles this in stride, helping and supporting Angie, tolerating her resentful “you aren’t my mother” with calm agreement.

    When the Doctor comes along, and offers Clara the chance to run away, she refuses. She’s happy to be helping her friends, they were already making arrangements to find someone else to help so that she could resume her travels, and she has no need to run away from her life. She tells the Doctor “come back tomorrow, and ask again.” And they negotiate a relationship that is friends having the occasional activity together, but their own homes and lives.Out to the movies, a game night, or a trip to save the world.

    It was a risky choice, to write a companion who is a friend, but not having her life revolve around the Doctor. But in many ways, it is what the Doctor needs, to have a companion who can take care of herself, emotionally, and won’t let the Doctor dominate her life.

    Clara also refuses to explore the mystery the Doctor sees in her. When he tells her that she reminds him of someone who died, she insists that he deal with her as her, not as a replacement, or a mystery. And he tries to honor that, so that we see adventures which aren’t about her mystery, but where the Doctor, when possible, finds out what he can in a way that doesn’t let his curiosity about the mystery directly impact his interactions with Clara, who deserves to be treated as a person and not a mystery.

    Clara is compassionate, and a caretaker by nature, and she wants to travel. She’s happy with her life. The Doctor definitely enriches her life, allowing her to enjoy travels in a better way than she could ever have imagined, and to expand her caretaking to the point of saving the world. She’ll die to save the Doctor, not because she is obsessed with him, but because he’s her friend, and she can see his suffering, and she knows its the one thing she can do to save the world from the consequences of the Doctor’s life being disrupted.

  • Brian

    It’s not that he doesn’t remember their genders, it’s that he has no concept of gender. He remembers that ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ mean young humans, and ‘man’ and ‘woman’ mean adult humans, but can’t work out/doesn’t care about the difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Having read that post, let me address all those issues:

    (1) Just because he didn’t like an apple once doesn’t mean he can’t change his mind. Heck, willingness to give things a second chance is part of the appeal of The Doctor. This is the man who wanted to save Davros.

    (2) The Asylum of the Daleks was a fabled legend, protected by The Daleks. Given that it was full of mad Daleks, and guarded by Daleks, why go there or even talk about it? Then, it was destroyed at the end of the episode.

    (3) The TARDIS doesn’t need a reason to change how it looks. It has many desktop settings. Chances are, The Docto changed it because he didn’t want reminding of Amy and Rory.

    (4) It was implied in ‘The Time of the Angels’/'Flesh and Stone’ that Angels are made – whatever holds the image of one, becomes one. In that way, they were probably created to serve a purpose.

    (5) The Doctor also didn’t light the Olympic Flame in 2012. The world of ‘Doctor Who’ doesn’t line up exactly alongside our own, because our own also doesn’t include The Doctor. The choice was also more to do with recogniseable iconography. Plus, if you’re looking at historical inaccuracies, seriously, go bug something that actually pretends to be factual, like ‘Argo’, or ‘Braveheart’.

    (6) People who are dead stay dead? In a time-travel story? How many times did Pete Tyler get ressurected? Or Captain Jack Harkness? Heck, The Doctor has now died multiple times and come back again and again – permanent death is an alien concept to the entire show.

    (7) Martha has experience working in the UK, whilst The Doctor has experience stopping alien armies obliterating reality – horses for courses, but lets put it the other way: should Martha have been in charge of getting them back the TARDIS whilst The Doctor worked? Sally, meanwhile, puts together the entire mystery, figures out a way past the Weeping Angels, and acts quickly to ensure that The Doctor has the information needed to ensure they can save the day. Meanwhile, it is strongly implied that Kathy didn’t marry “the first man she met”, but that she met someone who helped her with his displacement, and came to love him for it.

    (8) Rose, when she was in the TARDIS, devoted her entire time to The Doctor. After leaving the TARDIS, she researched a way to get back to The Doctor. When he said he didn’t love her, she chose a cheap knock-off version of him as the best option.

    Amy, meanwhile, married a man who wasn’t The Doctor, eventually left the TARDIS and got a career as a model on her own. She dealt with the trauma of Demon’s Run largely on her own, even rejecting Rory because of her depression and projecting onto him. She had a child, who she helped to raise in a rather unusual route, and then she chose to leave the TARDIS behind and instead stay with the man she loved. At which point she became a successful author.

    Now, which person’s life revolved around The Doctor?

    (9) (a) That was a joke, said only semi-seriously. (b) It does contain an element of truth.

    (10) (a) In ‘The Girl in the Fire Place’, the first chance he has of finding a way back to the TARDIS, The Doctor takes it, negating everything that is written here. He then wants to take with him a young woman who has impressed him on an adventure – which it usually the way The Doctor picks up all his companions. Plus, blaming him for the actions of a historical figure is… bizarre. (b) In the context of ‘The Girl in the Fire Place’, most women are needy: historically, women were expected to marry, have babies, and do as they were told in that time and place. There are still a lot of women who believe in this now-a-days. If there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be any need for feminists because that would be called “normal”. But saying that women are needy doesn’t really gel up with, say, Amelia Pond, who waited patiently for The Doctor in ‘The Eleventh Hour’, ‘The Girl Who Waited’, and many, many more. Or Clara, who immediately rejected The Doctor in ‘The Bells of St. Johns’, and who makes him wait for her between their adventures. Finally, as Moffat is the only Who showrunner to have entertained the idea of a female Doctor, I’d say that he isn’t really that sexist.

    (11) Miss Evangelista is not an example that Moffat believes that you can be pretty or clever. She is a character in one episode of one story. In ‘Blink’, Sally is pretty and solves the mystery. In ‘Silence in the Library’, River is attractive and obviously very smart. Amy ends up an author and a model – two occupations that represent both beauty and intellect. Clara is introduced as attractive, rubbish in the kitchen, and a computer genius. Selective reasoning. Anecdotal evidence suggesting a pattern.

    (12) I’m sure that if Moffat had wanted to cast someone less than attractive as The Doctor’s companion the Beeb would have supported him. NOT. Besides, the final decision is never Moffat’s alone. All the reports suggest the BBC wanted Patterson Joseph and Chewitel Ejiofor to play The Doctor, and only went with Moffat’s choice of Matt Smith because he would commit to the role long-term. Suggesting that Moffat just went: “Too ugly. Next!” is a gross oversimplification of something that is a trend across the entire media.

    (13) If Moffat never casts black people, I’m sure Mmoloki Chrystie, from Moffat’s first show, ‘Press Gang’, will be shocked that he is retroactively white. Ditto the family Clara lives with. Or the future Queen, Liz Ten. In fact, this is nonsense, and hateful nonsense. Moffat isn’t racist. End of discussion. However, at least he doesn’t fit in with that old trope of having black people only hook up with black people, like the former UNIT agent and the hacker from the parallel world.

    (14) Again, this is less about Moffat and more about trends within both drama and the media. Literally ever television show has characters with some kind of sexual drive, so they can play the will-they-wont-they ‘Moonlighting’ card. And why characters do get together with someone, they often get killed off soon after (for example, Wash in ‘Serenity’), or forced apart in the most artificial of ways. In ‘Doctor Who’, the trend for romance started with Russell T. Davies in the second episode, and continues to this day. Should Moffat eradicate everything RTD did? Would the Beeb be happy if romance (and the female viewers they assume it brings in) were exorcised from the show?

    (15) They’re saying that the man who introduced the two bisexual characters on the show, Jack Harkness and River Song, is against having bisexual people? For a kids show, ‘Doctor Who’ is massively progressive in this area, and it is disgusting it would be suggested otherwise. As someone who identifies as bi, I am offended. How many other shows have anyone bi as high-profile as Jack Harkness? Or River? (And don’t play the, “River doesn’t count unless she says it on the show”. In a world where Dumbledore is considered a gay icon, I can certainly make a case for River.)

    (16) Dyslexia doesn’t mean you cannot spell, or that you cannot use spell check. I have had more than a few dyslexic pupils that use spell checkers on their work to help them out. I fail to see how this advice would be so offensive, except to people looking to bash Moffat. Heck, I’ve had at least two pupils who will tell you I wasn’t sympathetic to their dyslexia where I teach – because they thought it was an excuse to never have to do any writing ever again.

    (17) Amy: fiery, antagonistic. Clara: accomodating, perky. River: flirty, disgraceful. Vastra: calm, composed. Jenny: conspiratorial, assured.

    That is five major characters. They all speak, and are written in different ways.

    (18) This would be the same River who was introduced as a flirty mystery archaeologist, who spent her time trying to get a rise out of The Doctor whilst having her heart broken by him no longer remembering her? A character whose so often in conflict – trying to remain upbeat and perky, all the while knowing that the man she loves is heading towards nothing but pain and suffering. Having to guard herself and her secrets from a man she wants to give herself to, but knowing that doing so could ruin their future. She has a disgraceful outer attitude, masking the damaged victim within, and her dynamic with The Doctor where she wants him to forgive himself for everything she suffered, but he continues to blame himself? Yep. She’s a total cypher. Excuse me, I just have to roll my eyes endlessly. Besides, io9 really, really seem to have an anti-Moffat bent of late, endlessly putting out opinion pieces dressed up in objective language.

    (19) No. He doesn’t have an obsession with the 51st century. That is just a significant era for the show first introduced in the RTD-era and ‘Torchwood’, as that is when Captain Jack Harkness and the Time Agents are from.

    (20) ‘Silence in the Library’ and ‘Forest of the Dead’ were universally praised when they originally aired, in most UK newspapers, and ‘Doctor Who’ fan sites. River Song was talked about endlessly by fans – who was she? How did she know his name? Would we see her again? It had a fantastic twist ending with Donna seemingly dead, a terrifying, low-budget and inventive villain. David Tennant gave a great performance. It was touching, heart-breaking, and had a rousing and surprising ending. It featured one of the great Doctor moments when he said, “Look me up.” Plus, as RTD was showrunner, this episode didn’t get made or broadcast without his say so, and Davies has always been supportive of Moffat, even commenting that Moffat’s scripts were the only ones he didn’t feel he had to edit.

    (21) Largest library, but privately built and owned. Size doesn’t guarantee access. Cern is massive, but it isn’t open to the general public wandering around whilst they do their work.

    (22) And io9 don’t seem to get the distinction made a few years ago between the definitions of science-fiction (fictional stories based on science fact) and sci-fi (stories which play fast and loose with science). A distinction does have to be made, because once you expect hard science in what is a fantastical series, you are onto a loser. After all, if The Doctor can’t reduce River to code in a futuristic setting, with generations of giants shoulders to stand on, you cannot possibly accept the inclusion of sound in space in ‘Star Wars’, either, or why ‘The Terminator’ couldn’t take back a bomb covered in pseudo-flesh to kill Sarah Connor with. This is, again, deliberately anti-Moffat nitpicking, and understands the creative basis, and intentions of the show (to entertain, educate and inform the entire family, not just those with an understanding of advances in modern science). After all, it wasn’t about artificial intelligence at all – the machine they were hooked up to had a little girl’s brain at the heart of it, and the world was designed to allow people’s minds to be broadcast into it. If you want to pick up on anything – what about the idea that any teleporter, in any show, actually kills the original copy every time it teleports anyone, and just leaves a copy in their place so no-one notices? Oh, that’s right, we can’t focus on that criticism, as that would underline how almost all sci-fi doesn’t work.

    (23) Lady Christina de Souza riding a flying red bus? Most anything in the ‘Harry Potter’ universe? Saving an alien by flying your BMX across the moon? Oh yeah, we should all be jaded and hate any magical ideas.

    (24) Yeah, again, the distinction between science-fiction and sci-fi is important here: if it is based on hard science, like, say, ‘Primer’, it needs to be secure in its ideas; if it is fantastical, like ‘Doctor Who’, it can play fast and loose with its ideas. However, the show doesn’t actually need to explain a lot to the audience – it is just that a lot of shows have such a low opinion of their audience that they assume they cannot keep up with them and so they have massive amounts of exposition being dumped on the audience by characters who don’t need it. Why didn’t The Doctor explain to River why he can’t get Amy and Rory, for example? Well, because River already understands, and he probably doesn’t want to go back over how he lost his friends again. Meanwhile, the idea that a paradox like, “River being named after herself can’t happen” assumes that time is a straight line where cause and effect are absolute – but that may not be the case when time-travel enters cause and effect, because cause and effect is only absolute until it isn’t. Our understanding of physics is still developing, so suggesting an absolute shows a lack of understanding of both science, and fiction.

    (25) ‘The Christmas Invasion’ wasn’t about the TARDIS in any real way. It was a straight up invasion story, and the central idea was, “What would happen if The Doctor wasn’t around?” And, much like ‘The Simpsons’, RTD cannot get credit just for getting there first, whilst everything else is dismissed. Moffat’s work has looked at a lot of different dilemmas: Is it okay to hurt many to get one? How far is going too far when you have the amazing powers The Doctor has? How involved should The Doctor get? Would time-travel take its toll on normal people eventually? Who do the bad guys fear? And what does that say about the good guys? Does The Doctor affect people positively, or negatively, overall? And that is just a brief outline of a few questions posed by Moffat’s episodes. Both Moffat and Davies have a lot of depth to their work.

    (26) “The humour in Doctor Who has always been witty, intelligent and sarcastic” – Farting aliens. Peter Kay. The Kandyman. The show has not always been witty, intelligent and sarcastic. Heck, sarcasm isn’t a massive part of the show – The Doctor is often relentlessly upbeat. Alonsy!

    (27) Amy is a complex character who isn’t a paragon of virtue. Rory is the damsel in distress as much as Amy is, and The Doctor has needed their help more than once. They help each other. And, horrible to Rory? She had pre-wedding jitters. Many people do. Getting married is a big deal. Plus, Amy didn’t sleep with him, she kissed him, and had he not stopped it, she might’ve. As for being entitled… um, how? She waits for a man who keeps letting her down, and then, despite letting her and her husband down, and lying about his death, they still set him a place every Christmas. And which companion hasn’t gotten themselves into trouble? That is one of their main plot functions, aside from being an audience surrogate. Spoilt? Growing up orphaned because the crack in your wall ate your parents? Having your daughter snatched from you and turned into an assassin? Choosing to be trapped forever in New York to be with the one you love rather than seeing all of time and space? Being an author? All these are either things being snatched from her, or things that take a lot of sacrifice.

    (28) “Dinosaurs of a Spaceship” was uneven and disparate, but it also had dinosaurs, Nefertiti, Amy taking charge, Rory’s awesome Dad, and David Bradley’s genuinely scary villain.

    (29) “He’s taken away all chance of love interests by giving the Doctor a
    wife. He’s then allowing the Doctor to essentially cheat on his wife by
    flirting with anything female with a pulse, eg. Clara.” So, has he got no love interests anymore or not? He also did not reveal The Doctor’s name. I won’t even comment on the idea that Moffat has no respect for the show. That is a staggering, maddening comment, to suggest he cares so little for something he puts so much effort into.

    (30) Legitimate sci-fi writing? Like ‘The Phantom Menace’? Or ‘Back to the Future’ (a film with just as many massive, paradoxical problems as Moffat’s “Doctor Who” – I mean, they have a kid who looks like the guy she dated for five minutes back in high school – a guy named Calvin Klein?)? Or ‘Prometheus’? Thanks, but all these films have elements of sci-fi, and all of them have their problems, and all of them are legitimate, too. Moffat may have his problems, but his shows are consistent thematically, and in terms of characters, and work well as both dramas and as articles of sci-fi. It is as legitimate as any other sci-fi.

    (31) I like River. Lots of people do. “Imagine what it would be like if you were just
    having a normal day, maybe sitting on the couch eating a muffin, when
    someone walked into your house, told you they were smarter than you,
    rearranged all your furniture, made you look stupid in front of your
    friends and then told you how shit you are at doing literally
    everything. Then, after all that, they tell you they’re in love with
    you.” This is supposed to be an argument? My Mum, Dad, Nan and sister have all done this at times in the past. Some girlfriends and some friends have. She’s cocksure and flirty. So are some people in real life. She may be full of herself, but that is a front she puts up to hide the damage she suffered at the hands of The Silence for her entire childhood. More important, she has never maintained that she is smarter than The Doctor – knowledge and intelligence are two different things. She knows more, because their past is all mixed up. She never pretends to be more intelligent, hence, “Spoilers!” rather than, “Shut up, dumbass!”

    Both Moffat and Davies have strengths and weaknesses, but I’m starting to get sick and tired of dumping on Moffat for not being someone else. Given the vitriol, I’m honestly surprised people choose to watch something they hate so vehemently, or choose to attack it for so much. I love the show, and will stand up for it. I hope those of you who hate it find something good in it, and come back and enjoy it, soon.

  • http://twitter.com/Proi_RS Robin S

    All of Canada. We get it on Space (our SyFy) on the night it airs. Even people who don’t subscribe to second tier cable can go on Space’s website the day after and watch full episodes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Fair nuff!

  • Anonymous

    The ‘grandchild’ thing is in reference to old Who’s Susan, not modern Who. Susan is also full Time Lady. The ‘talking outside at night’ episode…are you referring to “The Wedding of River Song” where they have a glass of wine and River reveals he’s not really dead? If so, River isn’t big bellied. She’s just returned from the wreck of the Byzantium.

  • Anonymous

    Your review both explains perfectly the problems I had with the episode, and actually regard it a little more favourably. I thought the story was actually pretty good, which is a near miracle for Moffat, and probably a first for this season. The pacing was good, the payoffs had actually been set up, and there was some good emotional stuff.

    Unfortunately – and as others here have said – the effect was rather blunted by very little of the episode having a good emotional foundation in the series. I didn’t believe Clara would sacrifice herself for the Doctor. I’d believe it of any of the other other companions, but they all had a chance to develop a relationship with the Doctor. This season just didn’t give the Doctor and Clara any meaningful interaction – and a lot of that was because there was too much that the writers didn’t want them to talk about.

    I’m still no wiser as to why Moffat thought it was better to have Clara’s own mystery kept from her, even ignoring the issues around agency and paternalism. Just on a storytelling front I can;t see how it was better for Clara to find out last-minute, without there being any time for any kind of pay off. Surely a story where Clara found out towards the beginning of her relationship with the Doctor would have been more interesting – her ambivalence as she gets drawn into the Doctor’s world, while being freaked out about what he’s told her, and what that says about her own future…

    One of the things I noticed about the episode was how much everyone stood around jawing, after stressing how short on time they were. Every action required two of three minutes of conversation first, which could have been avoided if some of these facts and ideas had been established before this episode.

    (That’s probably why I was underwhelmed by Hurt’s appearance and his mysteriousness too – the Doctor had done so much jabbering of pseudo-logical-pretentious-nonsence-that-sounds-like-it-means-the-world this episode that I was rather dulled to what he had to say about the Hurt!Doctor at the end).

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshuapaulhawkins Joshua Paul Hawkins

    Also if time can be rewritten and let’s say if Clara somehow broke the timelock in a way and the time war is all filled of wibbly wobbly it beckons the question in the giant predestination paradox that Doctor Who has become and IF indeed we have to consider that Tennant is the 11th Doctor than is he the one who vanquished the Silence if you really are looking for a point of view? It’s chalked full of your best “Tennant” impression of “What?s” but I wouldn’t put it passed them. Hell if Tennant is indeed playing the meta-crisis Doctor technically his incarnation IS still ALIVE. And if he dies at the end of the 50th then he finally actually dies with no questions left to be asked and also can let their be a Tardis be left at Trenzalore and also gives both the writers and the character a get out of jail free card as to why “MS Doctor” didn’t remember any of it until it happens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshuapaulhawkins Joshua Paul Hawkins

    Also if time can be rewritten and let’s say if Clara somehow broke the timelock in a way and the time war is all filled of wibbly wobbly it beckons the question in the giant predestination paradox that Doctor Who has become that IF indeed we have to consider that Tennant is the 11th Doctor than is he the one who finally vanquished The Silence if you really are looking for a point of view? It’s chalked full of your best “Tennant” impression of “What?s” but I wouldn’t put it passed them. Hell if Tennant is indeed playing the meta-crisis Doctor technically his incarnation IS still ALIVE. And if he dies at the end of the 50th then he finally actually dies with no questions left to be asked an as we know from the past “deleted scenes” can let there be a Tardis be left at Trenzalore and also gives both the writers and the character a get out of jail free card as to why “MS Doctor” didn’t remember any of it until it happens. It also begs the question if Donna isn’t just another Clara that was just able to look different. The same goes for River, etc etc.

  • http://twitter.com/katielynches katie Lynch

    I think that John Hurt is a part of time when the Doctor had to take all of the love out of the world so it could experience hurt, if this is the caseee…>THENNN i theorize that The Doctor is a manifestation of God, either an embodied consciousness like Shiva or the idea of gods. Clara is born to save the Doctor because she needs show the Doctor how to love and that anything is possible, even the Doctor’s ability to love everyone he comes across, without thinking of their deaths or unkindness. Unconditional love. BOOM. Strictly personal theory

  • Anonymous

    I love this response 100%.

  • Bananas4TheDoctor

    I know this doesn’t have too much to do with this comment, but another Whovian mentioned that she was irritated that Clara didn’t save River.

    That got me to thinking (which can be a pretty dangerous thing.) Clara went through the Doctor’s time stream saving him in all these different places. Dalek Clara died saving him in the asylum. Victoria Clara died saving him in Victorian England. They showed Clara in the library with Ten. (At least I think she was in the library with Ten) But I wondered if it would be farfetched to think that Clara might have given her life in the library instead of River.

    I really just want to bounce along happily believing this because I don’t want River to be gone.

  • Mac m

    To chime in here, Yeah, that is the Episode I think you are talking about Reeves. The one astral707 mentioned. She does look heavier but could be fat and I recall some implication that should could be pregnant but it was not confirmed but I get that.

    To your other points, I think Matt Smith is ok. I do agree however as many on here, that the writing of Moffat does at times leaves a lot to be desired

    The Earth stuff you mention, yeah I have heard that a lot to about being on Earth from fellow whovians.

    If you dont like Smith, he is closer to leaving than staying. He probably will regenerate sooner than latter. As for Moffat up in the air. Ratings thing you mention yes and no to that point. At times yes they were down but have stabilized during specials.

  • Reeves Stroud

    Ok, im back from work. Yes, anyone who has access to sci fi or the bbc can watch who. I will have to look over past articles but the ratings have fluctuated since Tenant left. Specials to tend to draw in more viewers as one other said on here because in alot of them then introduce something or someone new or different. There was even a chance that 2013-2014 season was going to be scaled back because of money and ratings. This was mentioned early last year. As of now it looks as if they are moving forward

  • Reeves Stroud

    Yes, I remember that Hartnel had Susan who called him Grandfather, since he did not mention a name it could refer to just her or perhaps not. Yes, this must be the name. River must have gained some weight then. It was not flat out I am having the doctors baby but implied. At any rate, it looks like on my other point one person addressed the earth stuff…that is something I dont think many can argue, find more episode or at least a balance where Smith is not on earth. Whether it be in the past, present, or future . Like me and some others have said to Moffat…Moffat GET OFF THE EARTH…in Smiths epiodes…seems this half of the season he has a bit more or… is there then leaves earth…but he did not write most of the clara/smith season.

  • Edward Tiegs

    So…Idris TARDIS lied when she told the Doctor that SHE chose HIM. It turns out Clara chose the TARDIS for the Doctor. Bummer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alina.martin.5 Alina Martin

    No the doctors orders would stay the same because, as they said, john hurt wasnt a THE DOCTOR. He was that specific timelord, but he didnt go by the name “The Doctor. 12 incarnations of that time lord but only 11 called themselves the doctor

  • http://twitter.com/iamthatjon Jon Who

    Memories I don’t know… As I said it was a theory. Never claimed it to me true, it was just a “Hey… what if it’s this?”

  • Anja

    Oh, how glorious it would be. I’ll bounce along with you.

  • Scorpy

    He did indeed save all of reality from two armies full of lunatics, and as Hurt said in the episode he did in in the name of peace and sanity. Smiths Doctor also agreed that what he did was right and had no choice… However that doesn’t mean he has to be proud and happy about the genocide of two races, one of which was his own. I can’t think of many things worse than wiping out your own people even if it was the best/only course of action.

  • http://www.facebook.com/natasha.k.ramalho Natasha Kim Maria Ramalho

    I think you misunderstood the entire doctor numbering scenario. There are 12 regenerations but eleven doctor because he wasn’t acting as/like the doctor. So i’m pretty sure the number’s should remain the same. And i also believe that silence hasnt fallen as is this really the “fall” of the eleventh? perhaps it’s whatever battle caused the carnage we saw.

  • Ryann Soutar

    Yeah, that’s the interpretation I walked away with, too! Which opens up some fun questions, like: are there more not-Doctor incarnations behind (or ahead of) him? The Great Intelligence did say he would have other names (The Beast, The Storm, The Valeyard). Whole. New. Can. Of. Worms.

  • Anonymous

    Clara doesn’t need to remember Journey to the Center of the TARDIS to know the doctor’s name, Ghost-River said the name while Clara could still hear her.

  • http://twitter.com/spoonfedkitty Kit McGee

    but he has a time machine. so they have as much time as they want/need.

  • Anonymous

    No, Moffat just shit on that continuity.

  • Anonymous

    And I suppose that I’ll just have to assume that, each time, she did it
    with minimal to no actual contact with the Doctor, so that he never put
    it together until now that she was there during, like, all of his
    adventures; and that he just forgot the woman who recommended his Sexy to him.

    Obviously the Timelords erased the memory of him stealing a TARDIS, as a precaution, when they exiled him to Earth. They blocked his memories of how to fix and operate the TARDIS at the time, it’s not much of a leap to block a bit more. :)

  • Reeves Stroud

    A portion of article on who ratings:When the Doctor regenerated onto our screens under the stewardship of Russell T. Davies with Christopher Eccleston as his ninth incarnation, the show repeatedly had ten million people glued to their seats in giddy anticipation.
    But the BBC has now reported that this figure has plummeted to between 4.5 and eight million viewers, and insiders are apparently worried that the show is in decline.

  • Reeves Stroud

    The article was titled:Has Doctor Who lost it? Will the 50th anniversary episode bring viewers back? There are others but a note support what i said about moffat era ratings and smith