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Headscratchers: Doctor Who Series 8
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    Deep Breath 
  • Why is Clara having such a hard time adjusting to the Doctor's regeneration, since she saw all his incarnations in "The Name of the Doctor"?
    • Well, she understood the concept of regeneration, but that's not to say she accepted it or was okay with it happening—we're very much in "Some new man goes sauntering away" territory here, it's just that it's the companion rather than the Doctor who can't help but think of the regeneration as a death. Especially given the stark contrast. If Eleven had regenerated into someone more like, say, Ten, she likely wouldn't have such a rough time of it, but instead he became someone who (as we can see quite quickly) is a darker, less personable Doctor. ~Celi
    • Oh, and Clara didn't see the Doctor's future incarnations—at that time, the Doctor was fated to die on Trenzalore.
    • We're talking about the woman who went through his entire time stream and saw every iteration of the doctor that has existed thus far, who personally MET nine, ten, and ten 1/2, and who has had the whole regeneration thing explained to her multiple times. She should be the LAST person shocked by this. I'd understand it as a panic-in-the-moment kind of thing until she gets used to the new doctor, but even at the end she's treating him like a completely different person who she doesn't like or trust until she gets the phone-call from 11.
      • She wasn't shocked by the regeneration exactly. It was because she fancied him, no matter what she might say, and was overreacting because of it (and Eleven fancied her, too, judging by his comments.) Everyone always tries and takes the high ground in these kinds of situations but, be honest, if your boyfriend/girlfriend suddenly and visibly aged 30-40 years wouldn't you be on the verge of breaking? Like it or not, love is always half physical. Or to put it another way: Imagine if Tennant regenerated into Eccleston; would Rose have still fancied him? She certainly shows no sign of it beforehand.
      • The above is basically it; it's not the regeneration itself that upset her, it's the fact that this man she thought she knew is now completely different. Even removing the shipping aspect, if someone you knew well and were incredibly close to suddenly became an entirely different person, it would throw you a bit no matter how much you were intellectually prepared for it. There's a difference between having knowledge of something and experiencing it directly firsthand.
      • Moreover, she'd only just seen Eleven aged nearly to death, and honestly believed until the very last minute that he was going to die permanently in "Time of the Doctor". For one brief conversation, she sees him young and well again, only for him to change again into a visibly-aged man. On some level, she'd already equated the Doctor becoming old with the Doctor being gone forever.
      • She also saw the First, the original form of the Doctor, and an old man (older than any other version other than the dying Eleventh). In fact, she has seen all of his 2000 years of life, by jumping into his timestream. Grieving over the "death" of Eleven would be fine, but her reaction is completely incoherent with what she has gone through on a very basic level, and this annoyed me greatly too. This episode would've made much more sense with Amy as a companion (even if it would remove the "boyfriend" thing), as she is the one who is familiar with only Eleven being the Doctor.
      • It was established in "The Day of the Doctor" that Clara only remembers "a bit" of her time in the timestream; apparently not even enough to recognize the Tenth or War Doctors on sight. In this case, it was kind of a combination of two things. 1) Even though she understood that he could regenerate, she had not experienced a regeneration first-hand. I understand that somebody could break into my house and try to rob me, but that doesn't mean that I would automatically know how to react in such a situation. When she met War and Ten, it wasn't for a terribly long time, and she made it clear then that they weren't "her" Doctor. She had no ties to them, because she effectively saw them as different people (not that one could blame her; seeing the Doctor interact with two strangers who look and act differently would give one the perception that he was interacting with two strangers who look and act differently, not literal copies of himself). She may be consciously aware of the fact that they are his past, but that's just it - they're the past. He has changed since then into the person that she has become attached to. She may not know about post-regenerative trauma and may not know why he was acting like he was. Plus, she had just been with him on Trenzalore when he told her that he once regenerated and kept the same face, and then she later saw that for herself when he regenerated on the clock tower but came out looking like... Matt Smith. So it's possible that she didn't know that those were unusual circumstances. And moreover, 2) she understood the concept of regeneration, but what threw her for a real loop was the fact that he got older. As I said, she's never experienced a regeneration first-hand. What reason would she have to think that he should go from young to old if he's being "renewed"? She saw War, yes, but she knew that he'd been in a high-stress war zone for his entire life and may have (correctly) assumed that he started out looking younger. In this case, she had just seen Eleven age tremendously over the time on Trenzalore, and she clearly didn't understand why he was starting out aged here. So there are a lot of factors present that could contribute to her mindset in this episode.
    • She's not having difficulty with the concept of regeneration, she's having difficulty facing the fact that "her" Doctor, Eleven, is gone and not coming back. She's not snubbing Twelve on purpose, she's upset that she's lost the Eleven she knew so well.
  • So the robots were the same kind as those aboard the spaceship in The Girl in the Fireplace? But in that episode the robots went crazy and started replacing the spaceship parts with human parts only because they were stranded in space, and had nothing else to use. However, the robots in this episode would have had all the inorganic raw materials they need, yet harvesting organs now seems to be their default mode? Does not compute.
    • You can't say the robots on the SS Madame de Pompadour had nothing but human parts to use, at least not by the time of the episode. The spatio-temporal hyperlinks gave them at least as much access to raw materials as the SS Marie Antoinette had but they still insisted on using people—or at least Reinette—for the repairs.
    • Okay, but if that's true, the question still remains: why were these robots programmed to use parts taken from living humans to repair things? If it had only happened with the robots of Madame de Pompadour, you could brush it off as a malfunction, but since the same happened with this other set of robots too, it seems to part of their basic programming. However, they were built and programmed by humans to help humans, so why introduce an element to their programming that can cause them to kill humans?
      • We don't know how widespread that bug was. All we can say is that it turned up on two sister ships (specifically noted in this episode that it is the Pompadour's sister ship) that had the same type of accident. For all we know those ships were purpose built, using the same code, and sent off together to explore strange new worlds and boldly split infinitives. Then they ran into a temporal anomaly, and the robots (for reasons of sloppy coding; good old GIGO) both defaulted to the same technique. It is entirely possible that this bug existed only on these two ships because they were paired.
      • For that matter, it's possible that the two ships were traveling in convoy when whatever mishap that disabled the Pompadour occurred. A control Droid on one of the ships suffered a malfunction that told it to using organic materials for repairs, and passed this instruction on to its counterpart on the other vessel. Both ships' crews were broken down for parts, but it wasn't enough to restore the vessels. The Marie attempted a time-jump to acquire the needed material for both ships, but crashed upon its arrival on Mesozoic Earth. The Pompadour's Droids, seeing that their sister ship hadn't come back, tried using time-windows instead of jumping their whole vessel into the past.
    • Remember that these Droids had been rebuilding themselves since the time of dinosaurs, and that incorporating parts of humans had led the Half Faced Man to acquire human qualities. Possibly, when they first arrived in the distant past, these Droids had begun incorporating Silurian tissues into their bodies, and inadvertently acquired the ancient Silurians' attitude towards hominids — namely, that they're livestock to be bred and slaughtered for meat — from their tissues. (Note that, when the Half-Faced Man says they'd repaired their ship with "you", he's addressing a group that includes Vastra.)
  • Why was it left ambiguous whether or not the Doctor killed the cyborg guy? The Doctor doesn't have a "no killing" code like Superman, we've seen numerous times that he's perfectly willing to kill when necessary. And in this case he was fighting for his life (as well as the lives of his friends, if he realized stopping the head cyborg would stop the others). So why is it all of a sudden ambiguous whether or not he's a killer?
    • Because different doctors have had very different attitudes to killing, so the question here is if this particular doctor is a killer or not.
  • How did the dinosaur survive the trip through time time vortex unharmed?
    • The time vortex isn't necessarily fatal; so long as you don't try to absorb the thing, it's survivable. It's not like she was going to lose her grip in transit, what with the TARDIS stuck in her throat and all.
    • Probably the same way that Clara survived being exposed to the Time Vortex in the previous episode: The TARDIS reflexively extended its force field.

    Into the Dalek 
  • Why did the other Daleks let Rusty kill them without firing a single shot at it? Sure, it must be shocking to see one of your own turn against you, but are the Daleks really so inefficient they couldn't process this new information and try to shoot Rusty back?
    • I'm pretty sure at least one of them started to say "exterminate" or something, but was blown up. Even if they didn't, Daleks don't really seem to kill Daleks unless they're impure or something. In this case, I think they were just surprised and were struggling to understand why a Dalek (who they were sort of coming to save) would start killing them. It probably takes something drastic to make a Dalek kill another and these just couldn't react in time. I mean, when they had that planet full of insane Daleks, I'm sure it would have been better for them to be wiped out, but the 'sane' Daleks didn't want to kill them (and probably viewed them as being fantastic, if uncontrollable Daleks). They also seem to need ordered to do a lot of things and maybe found it difficult to attack without a superiorly ranked Dalek saying "stop killing humans, start killing that Dalek!".
  • Why is the Doctor so insistent that a 'good' Dalek cannot exist? Hasn't he met a fair few in his time? Alpha, Beta and Omega, Dalek Sec, Dalek Caan, Oswin, etc.
    • None of those really qualify as "good Daleks" in any proper sense. Alpha, Beta, and Omega were given the Human Factor, Sec turned himself into a human hybrid, Oswin was transitioning from human to Dalek and her ability to resist is shown breaking down at the end. They're not really good 'Daleks' in the same way a mule isn't really a horse. And Caan is legitimately insane rather than 'good'.
  • How did they enter the eye? Isn't it solid glass? Or at least, something solid?
    • Apparently not. That glowing curtain of light that they pass through upon leaving the shrunken capsule? That was the same blue dot that's in the center of a Dalek eyestalk.

    Robot of Sherwood 
  • Are the robots really stupid enough to launch their ship into air without having enough gold, even though this means it won't reach escape velocity, so it will explode? And even they are that stupid, shouldn't the ship itself have some safety measures, so it won't launch until there's enough gold?
  • When the golden arrow hits the ship, it now has enough power to reach space. So why does it explode anyway on Earth's orbit?
    • No amount of gold would have been sufficient, since the engines were so damaged it would have exploded whatever happened - they were leaking radiation everywhere. The robots didn't realise this, and thought they could fix it with enough gold.
    • Lift and explodeyness are two separate problems. The ship is going to explode because of the faulty engines and also the engines are not going to be able to deliver enough lift to gain orbit. The Doctor can fix the problem of not being able to gain orbit, but nothing can stop the explosion. It was just a question of where the explosion happened.
  • If Robin Hood was not a robot or a simulation, how was he able to split multiple arrows in the archery contest? As proven by The Mythbusters, the Splitting the Arrow trick is physically impossible to do as it's done in the Robin Hood legend, and in this episode. Even the Doctor had to cheat to pull it off.
    • He's just that good. Also, no one watches Mythbusters in 12thC England, so he doesn't know it won't work.
    • Because he is the Robin Hood legend. The whole point is that the legend, in this case, is entirely true, no matter how absurd or implausible it seems. Granted, it's completely physically impossible, but then so's housing a massive spaceship and time machine within the confines of a telephone booth, so if we can stretch our willing suspension of disbelief to accept the Doctor's TARDIS despite the fact that it's completely physically impossible, then we can (or should) accept Robin's ability to split an arrow despite it also being completely physically impossible. As Robin says to the Doctor, they're both just as real as each other, and that includes the utterly impossible things they can both do.
    • I saw another similar show test it out, and they determined it actually was possible, just incredibly unlikely. After around thirty tries the expert archer they got managed to split one arrow with another (though not the whole way down) as Robin Hood is the best archer in England, at a time when boys were trained to be archers from around seven, I guess we can assume he is just that good.
  • Why is the episode titled "Robot" of Sherwood when there was more than one robot?
    • Parallelism to "Robin of Sherwood", no doubt. Possibly also because the pressing question throughout the episode was less about how many robots and more about whether Robin was himself one.
  • Why was there a gold arrow at the archery contest when the robots needed the gold?
    • Because the Sheriff wasn't intending to give it away, he wanted to lure Robin Hood there.
    • The Merry Men explicitly say they nicked it in the confusion too.

    Listen 
  • The Doctor is determined to solve the mystery of what hides in the darkness under the bed... but he already knows that the Vashta Nerada are monsters that hide in the shadows. Why would he think there's another one?
    • As far as we know, Vashta Nerada can't write on a chalkboard, which is what got the Doctor spooked and suspicious in the first place.
    • Because Vashta Nerada under a child's bed would've come out and eaten the child, leaving nobody to tell stories about the monster under the bed.
    • The universe is vast. Many different species could share similar traits. And the Doctor was also curious about why people speak aloud when they are alone. Really, he was just trying to determine whether or not his theoretical "perfect hiders" actually existed. He was looking for something specific.
  • I thought TARDI Ses weren't able to travel into Gallifrey's past?
    • Could the Moment's actions have altered the locks on the TARDIS?
    • Stable Time Loop forcing the TARDIS to break it's normal rules, seeing as without it she probably won't be saved?
    • The Doctor mentioned that the safe-guards were turned off in the TARDIS earlier. Safeguards regarding Gallifrey's past must have been among them.
    • We already know that traveling through someone's personal timeline can bypass the time lock on Gallifrey, as one of Clara's duplicates got there to help One choose the right TARDIS. Twelve seems to have adapted the TARDIS to navigate by the same means, without the inconvenience of being shattered into thousands of copies of one's self.
      • Adding onto this, we have never seen the TARDIS (specifically the Doctor's, which is outdated (and therefore probably has inferior security features) and was stolen from a repair shop) piloted telepathically instead of mechanically before, no less with the safeguards deactivated. It already went one place that it wasn't supposed to (the end of the universe), why not another?
    • Who said that was necessarily on Gallifrey?
      • Indeed. The sky was not burnt orange in the clip from The Day of the Doctor; it could be a sister planet or moon that the Doctor lived on for a time as a child.
  • If the "silent companion" meant to reference Clara, why did the Doctor talk as if everyone had them? What was the point of everyone having the dream of someone grabbing their ankle when they step out of bed? What was under that damned blanket? What was trying to get into the TARDIS? Seriously, was this episode an entire accidental What Happened to the Mouse? or was writing everything off as "maybe, maybe not" just good enough that day?
    • "Maybe, maybe not" was more than "just good enough that day"; it was sort of the entire point of the episode. Whether there's actually a perfect hider or not there are answers both ways. As the Doctor says, the thing under the blanket could be the thing he's looking for or it could just be another kid trying to play a trick and deciding that it was better to take the free pass to leave rather than get in trouble with the two adults that were unexpectedly there. The noises at the end of the universe could—again, as the Doctor suggests—basically "pipes banging", pressure equalising, the hall cooling, and a pressure lock on automatic after it's been released. As for the dream that everyone has, it's possible for everyone to have the same dream without having a basis in reality; in fact, this pretty much is the case in reality. Maybe there's actually a creature, maybe the Doctor is playing up the importance of something unimportant because of his experience as a kid. The entire point of the episode is "maybe, maybe not" and resolving it either way would have been rather silly.

    Time Heist 
  • The Doctor is a time traveller, and it seems the Bank of Karabraxos was the most famous bank in the universe. So wouldn't he have known it was destroyed in a solar storm in 2014?
    • The Doctor has always been indifferent towards money, and the Solar Storm seems to be a natural event so there is nothing he would consider exciting in its destruction. It is probably just one of those things he was vaguely aware of having happened but because it didn't impinge on any of the things that do interest him, he doesn't really know much about it. The universe is full of great institutions rising and falling, in and of itself it is not an attention grabbing thing.
    • He clearly knew about it since his plan hinged on it. But it's probably not 2014—augmented and mutated off-world humans probably aren't around at that point—and, thanks to the memory worm and the whole 'traveling through time' thing he can't know *when* it is while pulling off the heist.


Doctor Who 2013 CS 'The Time of the Doctor"Headscratchers/Live-Action TVDog With A Blog

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