7.239 "The Name of the Doctor" - MAJOR SPOILERS

Been a while since I was on the boards, but just had to come on and discuss.

Overall not a bad episode, so far this season has been sort of hit and miss, but the reveal at the end of John Hurt as The Doctor, most likely his final regeneration, The Valeyard. If you are an old Whovian like me you will remember that the 6th Doctor was placed on Trial for all of his 2nd season. The Prosecutor was The Valeyard who was revealed to be the person trying to sentence the 6th Doctor to steal his remaining regenerations.

The question now becomes why was he surveying the battlefield, and how is he a traitor to the name “The Doctor”?


Then maybe…


Hmmm perhaps this is the Doctor who ended the Time War?

Yeah, my initial thought was that it was a future incarnation of the Doctor, possibly the Valeyard, as it would be possible (and likely) to encounter post-Eleventh Doctors there unless he never regenerated further. Then I had a couple of further thoughts.

At first, I wondered if this was some sort of pre-Doctor incarnation. Who he used to be before he became the (first) Doctor we know.

Then, from the dialogue, it did sound like something that had already been done, so not a future Doctor. Smething that required great sacrifice. And Clara did read something concerning the Doctor and the Time War in that book.
At the moment, I am suspecting an incarnation between Eight and Nine, something that was so bad that the Doctor doesn’t acknowledge it as being himself.

(via Tapatalk on iPad)

synopsis from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Name_of_the_Doctor

In the beginning of the episode, Clara is seen falling through time and space, and appearing near several of the past Doctors. She claims that she has been running throughout history in order to save him, and that he rarely hears her.
Madame Vastra and Jenny learn of a prophecy told by an insane man regarding the Doctor; in particular, he claims to have a “secret” about the Doctor. They hold a “conference call” to bring themselves, Strax, and Clara Oswald across time and space into a dream realm using soporific drugs, where they explain the prophecy relating to the planet Trenzalore (“The Wedding of River Song”). The consciousness of the deceased River Song, saved in the Great Library in “Forest of the Dead”, also joins them. While in the call, Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are attacked by Whisper Men, strange faceless creatures. Thinking quickly, River forces Strax, Vastra and Clara to wake up. Clara wakes up back in contemporary London to find the Doctor looking for her.
Clara quickly explains what she remembered to the Doctor, including the apparent deaths of his friends. The Doctor decides that they must go to Trenzalore to save them. As he fires up the TARDIS, the Doctor explains that the prophecy relates to his death, and Trenzalore will be the place he is buried, and is the one place he should not go. The Doctor plugs Clara into the TARDIS’ port, allowing it to access her memory of the coordinates. The TARDIS resists, unwilling to cross the Doctor’s timeline, but he manages to crash the ship onto the planet, ravaged by a giant war in the past and covered in gravestones. One of the stones looks like an enormous, monolithic effigy of the TARDIS. The Doctor points out that the structure is not a tombstone, rather it actually is the future TARDIS, dying and thus unable to control its transdimensional functions.
The Whisper Men appear to attack the duo. Clara notices the gravestone of River Song, something the Doctor calls “impossible”, due to her physical death at the Great Library. River appears to Clara, and tells her that although she can see her due to the conference link, the Doctor cannot. With River’s help, Clara suggests that the gravestone is actually a secret entrance. The Doctor accidentally reveals River to be his wife, and he and Clara crash through the stone. Elsewhere, Vastra and Strax find themselves outside the giant TARDIS, along with Jenny’s comatose body; Strax manages to revive Jenny before they are surrounded by Whisper Men. The Whisper Men are part of the Great Intelligence and are led by Dr. Simeon (“The Snowmen”); although he has died, he remains as a conduit for the Whisper Men, who can shift their appearance to look like him. While Clara and the Doctor are running through the telepathic fields of the dying TARDIS, Clara begins to remember the events of “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” through the telepathic link with the TARDIS. The duo soon arrive outside the giant TARDIS, where they are held along with his allies by Simeon and the Whisper Men.
Simeon demands the Doctor say his true name or else he would have the Whisper Men stop his friends’ hearts. The Doctor refuses but River Song appears at the last moment, having said his name and allowing the doors to open. Inside, a pulsating column of light sits where the console would normally be. The Doctor tells them that it is the scars of time travel that he has left on the universe. Simeon declares his intention to climb inside and undo the deeds of the Doctor’s past; though Simeon knows he will die, the act would destroy the Doctor. His entrance into the column sends the Doctor to collapse on the floor, as he is “dying all at once.” As the Great Intelligence disappears, Vastra, Jenny and Strax find that stars outside are going out, erased from existence by the new timeline. Jenny also disappears, and Strax denounces Vastra as “reptile scum,” forgetting that they are friends. Vastra is forced to kill him to save herself, and she runs back inside.
Clara’s knowledge about her existence deepens, and she realizes that if she also enters the timeline, she will be able to save the Doctor from Simeon’s meddling. River appears and tells her that she will not be able to come back, and the Doctor tells her not to go, but she decides to enter the timeline anyway. She calls to the Doctor, “Run, you clever boy. And remember me.” before she enters. The events from the episode cold opening play out, where she witnesses events from all of the previous incarnations of the Doctor and helping him along (including from “Asylum of the Daleks” and “The Snowmen”). Having saved the Doctor’s timeline (subsequently restoring Jenny and Strax along with the rest of the universe), she finds herself falling indefinitely and considers her role as the “impossible girl” done.
The Doctor is able to wake up, and he decides to rescue Clara by entering the column of light. River, who believes he cannot hear her, yells at him to not be so stupid and tries to slap him; however, he is able to catch her wrist. She sadly asks why he has been ignoring her, and he tells her that he does not know how to say goodbye to her. River says that she will only accept a goodbye spoken as if they will see each other again; the Doctor does this, and River fades away. The Doctor jumps into the timeline in an attempt to save Clara.
[i]Clara falls into a cavernous place, and sees ghosts of the past Doctors race past her. The Doctor’s voice guides her to catch the leaf that was responsible for her life (“The Rings of Akhaten”) and helps her to find him as the space around them collapses. As they are about to leave, they spot one more figure nearby, whom Clara has never seen before. The Doctor reveals this is an incarnation that didn’t even hold the moniker of “the Doctor” due to his actions in life. He explains to Clara that his real name is not the point; he chose the name “the Doctor” and the name a person chooses is like a promise, and this unknown incarnation is “the one who broke the promise. He is my secret.” This unknown incarnation responds by defending his actions, stating he had “no choice” and that he did what he did “in the name of peace and sanity,” which the Eleventh acknowledges to be true but not “in the name of the Doctor.” The figure (John Hurt) turns to look at them, as the screen credits identify him as “The Doctor”.


Well this is a fine mess to leave us with. He acknowledges that he is part of him. But that he is not the Doctor. Is this the last or the first? I don’t think he is part of the time war. It will be interesting to see where they take the 3 of them in the 50th.

It was a nice touch when River realized he could always see her. I doubt this will be the last we see of her. One big bugaboo I have though and it goes back to the library episode. Yes he saved her, with his knowledge a future self should be able to clone her and restore her from the library. I know it’s a nitpick but it’s one of those plot holes that is too darn glaring.

Anyway, I look forward to the new series.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

I am wondering if John Hurt’s Doctor is 10.1. There was a scar on the universe where he resides. He killed the daleks when the 10th didn’t them to die. Technical the Time Lords killed themselves by turning the Master into the monster. So I cannot see this Doctor being 8.1.

I’d be surprised if he was some sort of missed regeneration. Considering how if this is from the time war anyone who participated in it recognizes him as the doctor are being a general in it. Not some other name for it. Personally I’m hoping this is what made him become the doctor. Possibly [SPOILER] The Other [/SPOILER]

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

It is an interesting prospect. I’m struggling with this because it means the end of the Doctor Who IP unless they do a reboot of some kind. The struggling part is because of the financial aspects of the show. It’s wildly successful, popular and more to the point PROFITABLE. However, we are now at a time when that storyline must be dealt with, one way or another. I’m excited to see where it goes.

I could be wrong, but my take on where we see John hurt was inside The Doctor’s own timeline. So I’m not sure he was surveying the battlefield per se, he could have just been checking up on Matt Smith. since he was inside the time lines as well.

This is also an interesting prospect. Either way I’m really looking forward to November 23rd. I might even go ahead and buy some of those BBC 50th Doctor Who dog tags they are always advertising on BBC America.

I hated how it ended with River in the library. If this is the last we get to see her I’m grateful that they ended it this way.

The Doctor did mention that the version he was seeing was only an echo. Not the real River. My guess is that it would be hard to clone from an echo. And I wouldn’t want a River that wasn’t 100% River anyway. I DO hope we get to see her again but I am fine if we don’t. It was a touching and fitting goodbye indeed.

It was good but there was no emotional resonance for the Doctor and Clara to me. They don’t have enough history. This plot line should have been the 2nd or 3rd season with Clara.

Like can you imagine Amy watching as Rorie stops existing and The Doctor writhes in pain and knowing she’s gotta sacrifice herself to save the men she loves.

I agree. I think this series could have been set up better both with The Doctor-Clara’s relationship and with scenes intermixed with the previous 50 years of Doctor Who.

Still, for the lack of proper set-up it was a good episode with a lot of reveals. The franchise is very sucessful and they had written thenselves into a corner with The Doctor and his final regeneration(s). They had to deal with it sooner or later for the franchise to continue. I have no idea what they are going to do but I’m excited to find out.

That’s a great picture you painted with Amy, Rory and The Doctor, though. That’s the sort of feeling I wish we would have been led to.

All and all I think this was an excellent episode. It neatly tied up the “Impossible Girl” arc with a really interesting explanation and teed up what we knew was going to be an epic 50th episode.

I know this will seem petty, but when I think about it I can’t help shaking the thought: As we now know completely that Clara is a totally normal woman, how is it that she in a thousand forms is able to defeat the Great Intelligence over and over across time? She lives each life linearly with no prior knowledge or insight, how is she such a valuable asset to the Doctor?

It’s one of those “never mind he’s on a roll” moments. They do their best to give a good explanation. Best way I can wrap my head around it was this way. When she entered the time stream. Echoes of her were placed where the fractures are located. She would meet all the doctors at the age she is now. In some respects she has lived almost as long as he has. All those crucial moments making that change needed. The echoes don’t know about her but she knows them. It will either be fleshed out next series or just dropped and they will carry on from there. We will just have to wait.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

Once, a long time ago, I wanted to be The Doctor’s companion. I wanted to have all the wonderful adventures and help countless people and help defeat the mortal enemies of The Doctor and the mortal Big-E Evil enemies of the universe. I wanted to Time Travel. I wanted to explore the TARDIS. I wanted to be with The Doctor. Modern Who has cured me of that.

The trail of pain and the suffering and the tragic endings of almost all of The Doctor’s companions since 2005 is flooring. Rose is first forever separated from the Doctor at first in a parallel universe, but then gets to live out the rest of her life (pre-50th Anniversary episode) with a human, aging clone of the 10th Doctor. Neither prospect is entirely optimum. Donna Noble, Doctor Donna, successfully saves The Doctor and the universe from Davros by touching The Doctor’s partially regenerated hand yet is unable to handle all of The Doctor’s knowledge and is forced to live the rest of her life without the memories of The Doctor or what she has been able to accomplish with him. Martha Jones is perhaps the most unaffected by her travels and time with The Doctor. Martha’s tradegy was that she was clearly romantically interested in The Doctor but he was not interested in her. Amy and Rory Pond’s farwell was heartbreaking. It was difficult to watch the final few episodes with them. The Ponds almost seemed in pain from their divided life and growing older while the Doctor didn’t. Clara almost ended up scattered across time and space attempting to save The Doctor. We’ll see where her story really ends. Also River Song’s ending in The Library never sat well with me. If her true ending is this episode I can live with it and think it was well done but I had always hoped for more from River.

Admittedly Sarah Jane Smith does not fit this mold very well. But since she is both a limited new Who companion as well as a companion from Tom Baker’s days in the 70’s I can’t really include her in the New Who Companion mold of tragic endings. Although she is separated from K-9 forever (an artifact of the development of an additional series staring K-9) Sarah receives a proper story ending in series 5 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. I’ve heard her referred to as the public’s favorite Doctor Who companion of all time. I personally agree with this but I also grew up watching her with Tom Baker. If you are someone that’s come to Doctor Who recently I can understand if you don’t agree with this assessment.

In any case if you are a companion of The Doctor your story has great odds against ending well. That is not a chance I’d be willing to take. I like happy endings and they do not happen often in The Doctor Who universe. At all.

~Shooter Out

“All those crucial moments making that change needed” - that is where I stumble. How? What special ability does she have to save The Doctor against the Great Intelligence? She knows and is compelled to help the Doctor and protect him from the Great Intelligence without actually knowing it. I smell a plot hole that is being covered up by the cool idea of her entering the rip left by the Doctor’s death.

This post should be its own thread Shooter. I would move it myself but for some reason this specific post cannot be moved. Don’t know why. I can edit it, just cant move it. Care to start a new thread? This is too big an idea to get lost in an episode thread.

My original post is now in a new thread: <<CLICK HERE>>.

I don’t know if the series just passed by it or if it is meaningful, but Clara WAS joined with The Great Intelligence in the episode The Bells Of St. Johns. Twice. The first time was only partially but the second time was a complete joining and she was altered when she came out. Perhaps she took with her knowledge from The Great Intelligence on how to help The Doctor with his plight against The Great Intelligence. Perhaps she was still linked to The Great Intelligence somehow or as they were in The Doctor’s time stream at the same time they became linked again and she had the knowledge to help him. Perhaps it was as simple as Clara being everywhere and everywhen with The Doctor that gave her the knowledge of how to help him. I don’t know. If there is more to the story I’m confident we’ll see it in the 50th episode on November 23, 2013. If there isn’t more to the story then maybe one of my suggestions would work.

In the meantime I don’t know where I am.

Oh. Good call. So she does have a bit of special sauce after the merge. We know the tech / hackerz, perhaps additional unexplored traits. Also could be a slipperly slope that could lead her to her own magic wand dilemna. Strike that.

Here is a new and exciting problem: There are now an infinite number of Great Intelligences out there, right? How does that work? A Quintillion of them now exist (or is it simply one per Doctor? GAH!)