The cinema versionnote And also the DVD version of the episode included a hilarious exclusive "prequel" that was played before the episode started which featured Strax explaining the history of the Doctor; when he reaches Nine he declares he was "all ears" and almost dies laughing.
After the disastrous crashing of the last episode we start with a Tyrannosaurus rex in Victorian London. That's not the oddest thing on this show. Then, it coughs and out comes the TARDIS. Guess we know where the Doctor landed this time in the mouth of a Tyrannosaurus rex in the Cretaceous Period! Which he then accidentally took with him to Victorian London.
Vastra's incredulous response to the Inspector thinking the T. rex laid an egg.
Vastra: ...It dropped a blue box marked "Police" from its mouth. Your grasp of biology troubles me.
The Twelfth Doctor's general demeanour throughout the first third of the episode, which can be attributed to the Doctor still making the transition from his previous personality.
The Doctor:[to a T. rex] Oi! Oi! Hey, big sexy woman!
In addition, the Doctor tells the T. rex to shut it, tries to convince her he's not flirting, thinks Clara is Handles, mixes up Clara and Strax, and then topples over.
As he falls over, the TARDIS rings the Cloister Bell, as if rolling her eyes at just how many goddamn times the Doctor has lost his memory after regenerating.
The post-regenerative loony bin Doctor has no clue what sleeping quarters are:
The Doctor:WHO INVENTED THIS ROOM!?
And he seems unsatisfied with conventional exits, too:
[the Doctor opens a door to exit his bedroom, but suddenly shuts it in disapproval] The Doctor: Door. Boring. Not me. [dashes over to an open window and sticks his head out with a giant grin] The Doctor:ME!!
Also, he doesn't quite grasp the concept of mirrors or his new face at the moment:
The Doctor: Don't look in that mirror, it's absolutely furious!
The Doctor tries to figure out why Clara and Jenny now sound English, and is delighted when Vastra uses a Scottish accent:
The Doctor: Finally, someone who can talk properly.
Vastra: Silly monkey. Jenny: Oh, humans are monkeys now, are we? Vastra: Of course not. Humans are apes. Men are monkeys.
Strax and Clara are really in top comedic form when they're together.
Strax: May I take your coat? Clara:[beat] Not wearing a coat. Strax: What's all that? Clara: Clothes. Strax: May I take your clothes? Clara: Probably not. Strax: Are you wearing a hat? Clara: It's hair! Strax: No, I think it's a hat. Would you like me to check? Strax: Ah, Miss Clara! You look better now you're up. Clara: Thanks, Strax. Strax: Oh. Sorry. Trick of the light. You still look terrible. Strax: Military tactics. The Doctor is still missing, but he will always come looking for his box! By bringing it here, he will be lured from the dangers of London to this place of safety, and we will melt him with acid! Clara: Okay, that last part? Strax: And we will not melt him with acid! Old habits. [holds up newspaper] The Times, shall I send it up? Clara: Yeah, why not? [cue newspaper hitting Clara square in the face]
Made even funnier by how both times he says "melt him with acid!", he says it in the exact same tone, making the exact same dramatic gesture.
A YouTube comment adds to the hilarity: "Strax has a part-time job as long-range artillery."
The Doctor: I'm Scottish! I can complain about things. I can really complain about things now!
One wonders if some of Amy's habits had rubbed off on him. He did say she was seared onto his hearts, after all.
Tramp: What devilry is this, sir? The Doctor: I don't know. But I probably blame the English.
Vastra displays her Covert Pervert tendencies having Jenny pose for her in her (period appropriate) underwear. They discuss details of the case while Jenny very carefully holds a goddess-like pose... only for Vastra to cheerfully reveal that she hasn't been working on a painting at all.
Jenny: ...I thought you were painting me! Vastra: I was working. Jenny: Well then what am I posing for?! Vastra:[smirk] Well, you brighten the room tremendously! Chin up a little...? Jenny: I don't understand why I'm doing this. Vastra:[shrugs] ...Art?
It's Jenny's deadpan look when she realizes the prank that really sells it. Her expression just screams "I married this person and I did it on purpose."
Neve McIntosh's delivery of "...Art?" really deserves highlighting, considering that the woman has previously played two murderous Silurians and is now using her squeakiest, most Adorkable voice for a character who's normally a hard-boiled detective. And the fact that after a visible beat, Vastra obviously realizes that her wife is not even slightly fooled and decides to just move on.
Jenny's increasing exasperation throughout the episode as Vastra keeps teasing her.
Clara and the Doctor's lunch date at Mancini's. Awkward does not begin to describe it.
The Doctor:[having just magically appeared next to Clara while she was looking away] What's wrong? Clara:[coughs] I dunno, maybe the smell? The Doctor: I know, it's everywhere. Clara: ...Where did you get that coat? The Doctor:[shifty eyes] Uh— [cough] I bought it. Clara: From where? The Doctor: Uh, a shop. Clara: No. The Doctor: I met a tramp... Clara: You don't have any money. The Doctor: Uh... [long pause] I had a watch...
Peter Capaldi deserves special mention in this scene for his mastery of comedic timing and expression.
Clara is not best pleased when she realises the Doctor thinks she's an egomaniac, needy game-player.
Clara: That was me?! The Doctor: Never mind that now. Clara: I do mind, actually... The Doctor: Clara, what is happening right now, in this restaurant, to you and me, is more important than your egomania. Clara:Nothing is more important than my egomania! The Doctor: Right, you actually said that. Clara: You never mention that again!
The Doctor: And you're out of your depth, sir. Never try and control a control freak. Clara: I am not a control freak! The Doctor: Yes ma'am.
The Doctor threatens to blow up the Half-Face Man's ship if he sees anything he doesn't like from him or the other clockwork droids. He cautions that the list includes karaoke and mimes, so they shouldn't take any chances.
As we later learn, the list also includes pears.
The Doctor's embarrassment when he realises the Droids weren't the ones who placed the advertisement in the paper for him and Clara to find them.
The Doctor: I hate being wrong in public. Everyone forget that happened!
Vastra and Jenny have a Big Damn Heroes moment. Strax's arrival is... a little more undignified.
The fact that both of them are more annoyed by Strax ruining their dramatic moment than by any tactical disadvantage it gave them.
Clara's first impression of the new desktop theme for the TARDIS' control room: "You redecorated. I don't like it."
The Eleventh Doctor isn't happy to hear that he'll be old with gray hair in his next incarnation.
Clara's playful but rather lame jab at the Twelfth's new accent, when she learns they've landed the TARDIS in Glasgow.
The Doctor, about the "Fantastic Voyage" Plot of the episode: "Fantastic idea for a movie. Terrible idea for a proctologist."
Clara meets Danny for the first time, and tries to get him to come to a going-away party with her. It cuts back and forth between Danny in the hallway turning her down and a Flash Forward of Danny in his classroom saying that he'd love to go, then beating his head against a desk. Becomes funnier when he realises Clara is watching him from the doorway.
The Doctor:[jabs Alan-A-Dale with a syringe] Sorry, blood analysis, all these diseases... if you were real, you'd be dead in 6 months. Alan: But I am real. The Doctor: Bye.
The archery contest with loads of arrow splitting and ending with the Doctor blowing up the target.
Both Robin Hood and the Doctor have a plan to escape the dungeon, but they're too busy cock fighting to explain. Clara tells the Doctor to shut up so Robin can finally tell his plan. It's "bide his time". The Doctor mocks him and then Clara says that his plans can't involve the words "sonic" or "screwdriver" because it was taken from him. He's got nothing. Because of this scene, the guard thinks Clara is The Leader of the trio, much to the other two's confusion.
"GUARD! HE'S LAUGHING AGAIN! YOU CAN'T KEEP ME LOCKED UP IN HERE WITH A LAUGHING PERSON!"
As the Sheriff starts listing places that he's going to take over, Clara suggests Worksop. That whole exchange, really. The Sheriff starts by talking about how Nottingham alone is not enough he'll take over Derby! And next Lincoln!
The Sheriff's deadpan reaction to the Doctor's theory that Robin is another robot created to give the slaves hope, and how he points out that it would be utter stupidity for someone to create their own enemy to fight against them.
Twelve steals a night watchman's coffee, and right after implying it was the "perfect hiding" creature.
Twelve has apparently spent several years searching for Wally in all the wrong books.
Twelve's idea of a bedtime story. He begins with that standard "once upon a time", and then uses his mental powers to put Danny asleep. He calls it "dad skills", implying it's how he got his kids to sleep back on Gallifrey.
Clara gets to see just what she actually looks like from behind with her own two eyes; she's quite pleased with it. Not unlike the reaction Amy Pond had with seeing herself.
When Clara slips up and lets on that she knows Danny's real name, someone in the background drops and breaks a glass.
Clara glomping the Doctor at the end, who tries to run away and waves his hands insisting, "No, not this again!" Clara's smirk as she keeps her hold is the icing on the cake.
The Doctor's insistence that nothing will happen when he answers the phone. The moment he answers it, it cuts to him and Clara in a room holding memory worms. Both scream and drop the worms in abject horror.
Psi asks why the Doctor has to be in charge. Twelve's explanation?
"Basically it's the eyebrows."
The view then switches to Clara, who seems to be in agreement.
Right near the end, the Doctor declares "I know one thing (about the Architect), something I have known from the very start. I hate him!" It is Capaldi's spot on, perfect delivery of this line that makes it totally hilarious. Even funnier he bangs a gong just to let the world know this.
Made doubly hilarious once it's revealed he's talking about himself.
The Doctor describing his costume: "I was going for minimalism but I think it turned out magician." That has to be one of Moffat's contributions to the script.
The Doctor and River had had a fight, so he lived with otters for a month. Who wants to bet the otters either got bored of him or tried to kill him within minutes?
Clara has a lot of fun rants where Jenna shows her Motor Mouth skills. It's hard to pick the best one. One candidate is her trying to ferret out the Doctor's secret mission and then later when he's introduced as the new Caretaker.
"Is there an alien in this school?" "Yes! Me!"
Clara makes it clear that her co-worker Adrian (who clearly resembles Eleven) is not "her type". The Doctor goes wide-eyed.
The Doctor whistles a tune to get Clara's attention. More specifically, he whistles "we don't need no education" from "Another Brick in the Wall".
As Clara's trying to teach a class, the Doctor interrupts her and tells her that she's written the wrong date for when Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice. When an exasperated Clara asks him if he knew because he went back to visit Austen and had a grand big adventure fighting aliens with her, the Doctor deadpans that he read the bio at the back of the book.
It is to be noted that they have this conversation through the window in the back of the classroom, much to Clara's horror.
"He's your dad. He's your... space... dad." It's Danny's expression that really sells it.
"That is, that is really, really brilliant reasoning. How can you think that I'm her dad when we both look exactly the same age?" Sometimes 12 forgets that he's not 11 anymore.
The Doctor's excuse for never getting Danny Pink's name or profession right? "No, no I can't retain that. It's just not going in."
Some fridge brilliance: the series establishes that Ian Chesterton is still alive and chairman of the school governors. How did the Doctor come to be the school's new caretaker? He probably went to his old friend, explained an alien was on the loose (and probably his new face as well), and politely asked for the job. Furthermore, Ian departed from the TARDIS before the first regeneration, so the Doctor probably had to explain that too. Picture him doing the mind-meld that Eleven did.
The various Shout Outs to Tumblr, especially considering the huge fanbase for the show on that site.
Lundvik and Clara are having a serious conversation involving children and eventually the former asks the latter if she wants to have children. Clara replies that yes, she does. Cue Courtney saying "Oh Mr. Piinnkkk..." and Clara's embarrassed reaction.
The Doctor offering Professor Moorhouse a jelly baby from a cigarette case.
The Doctor talking to himself about the mystery. Bonus points for Peter's Tom Baker impression.
The Doctor flashes the psychic paper to convince the conductor that he's his worst fear. Turns out that's a mystery shopper.
The Doctor is hilariously callous towards the doomed Professor Moorhouse:
Moorhouse:[describing the Foretold, which only he can see] Approximately 1.8 metres tall. Actually, seeing it in the flesh isn't nearly as rewarding as I thought it might be. The Doctor: Oh dear, hard cheese. What can you see? Details! Moorhouse:[replacing his glasses] Yes, yes, of course. Well, it just looks like, um, a man in bandages. I... The Doctor: What sort of bandages? Old? New? Moorhouse: Old. The Doctor: Whole? Ragged? Moorhouse: Ragged. Falling off in places. [panicking] I don't know what you want me to tell you! The Doctor: Listen! You can see this thing. We can't. Tell us what you can see, even the smallest detail might help us save the next one! Moorhouse:"The next one"? You mean... you can't save me?! The Doctor:[bluntly] Well, that is implied, isn't it? Yes, this is probably the end for you. [upbeat] But, make it count! Details, please!
The Doctor's use of previous Nightmare Fuel phrase "Are you my Mummy?"
In a meta sense, the fact that it took the good Doctor somewhere upwards of 1100 years and a regeneration to do something about the phone call he got after successfully rebooting the universe.
The sight of the Doctor awkwardly squeezing out of a tiny TARDIS is a riot.
Then it gets even smaller, to the point that the Doctor can't even fit his face through the door. Clara loves this.
Clara: Oh... The Doctor: Yes. "Oh." Clara:[giggling]Oh my god, that is so adorable. You in there? The Doctor: Yes I am, and no it's not adorable. It's very, very serious. Clara: Is this more shrink-ray stuff? Are you tiny in there? The Doctor: No. I'm exactly the same size. It's merely the exterior dimensions that have changed. [The Doctor opens the tiny TARDIS-doors, looking out at Clara] Clara:[bursts out laughing] The Doctor: Stop laughing, this is serious! Clara: Well I can't help it, can I, with you and your big old face!
The Doctor sticking his hand out of the tiny TARDIS to point Clara in the right direction.
Clara:[makes a face] Please don't do that, that's just wrong.
Clara introduces herself as the Doctor and proceeds as such. The Doctor isn't in the least bit happy about this.
Even less so after Clara says that "she" probably picked the name because it made her sound important.
The sight of a sledgehammer emerging from Clara's handbag.
The Doctor winds up on the railroad tracks inside a tiny TARDIS, and a train's rapidly approaching. Solution? The Doctor wiggles his fingers out and fingerwalks himself over to the side, looking for all the world like a Gallifreyan Thing.
Maebh knocks on the TARDIS as the Doctor pops his head out.
Maebh: I'm lost, can you help me? The Doctor:[waves in a direction] It's that way. [he closes the TARDIS door, only to open it again and stare at the forest] Are those trees?
Maebh talks about being with Clara and Danny.
The Doctor: Ms. Oswald? Pale, dark hair, surprisingly round face? Maebh: Everyone says she's in love with Mr. Pink. The Doctor: The PE teacher. Maebh: Maths. I like Mr. Pink. The Doctor: Mr. Pink was looking after you? That explains why you got lost.
The Doctor waving the kids away from the TARDIS console.
The Doctor: That's an antique! Haven't any of you noticed, "oh, it's bigger on the inside"? Ruby: There wasn't a forest, now there is a forest. Nothing surprises us anymore.
The Doctor and Ruby's mutual Freak Out! when they both realize Maebh has gone missing, again.
When Clara finds Maebh, she's standing on the other side of an iron fence with wolves following her. Clara starts trying to scramble over the fence to get to her, Maebh, on the other hand, takes three steps to the right and goes through the gate.
After he finally realizes the forest's purpose:
The Doctor: ...I am Doctor IDIOT!
The Doctor gives an As You Know to the kids, Clara, and Danny to explain that a solar flare is coming to wipe out all life on their planet... only for the kids to stare at him in mute horror.
The Doctor: I assumed your teachers would have mentioned this at some point. Clara: I thought it would spoil an otherwise... pleasant trip!
As the Doctor and Clara prepare to observe the incoming solar flare:
The Doctor: ...I really hope I'm right. Wouldn't that be embarrassing?
The poor Doctor's face once she's let him go. Like a man who's gone hang-gliding over Hell. Also, his truly horrified muttering of "Is it over now?"
Along with Clara staring, then turning away with a "HUH" look on her face.
Bonus points when The Reveal kicks in, and the shippers rejoice.
More bonus points for her offering to do the same thing to Clara before asking if they wanted her to adjust her "intimacy settings".
And there's even more gold to be mined:
The Doctor: You're very... realistic. Clara: Tongues? The Doctor:Shut up.
This sequence about Missy's heart(s):
The Doctor: Who maintains your heart? Missy: My heart is maintained by the Doctor. The Doctor:Doctor who?
Missy:[beat] Doctor CHANG!!
And the best part about Missy snogging the Doctor is the fact that when she kissed his nose, that was improvised!Michelle Gomez just saw Peter Capaldi's big nose sticking out and decided to give it some much needed attention. (Another improvisation by Gomez holding Clara's hand as she snogged the Doctor didn't make the final cut.)
Chris Addison as the Administrator, i.e. the person running the afterlife. His delivery of every single line is precision-guided pork. You don't need to be bombastic or scenery-chewing, just make really ill timed comments.
Missy: I turned the lift off, though. The Doctor: I presume you have stairs. Missy: Well, I'm not a Dalek.
The Reveal itself:
When the Doctor realises Missy is a Time Lady, both he and the viewer are trying to work out who it is. The Rani? Jenny? Romana?? His mother?! Susan!?!... eww. No, it turns out to be a gender flipped Master!
Just before the reveal, the Doctor runs into a crowd of people, yelling at them to all run away as fast as they can, as Cybermen begin to pour out of the cathedral. He encounters Missy, sitting on some nearby steps, quite unimpressed.
Missy: Oh, sorry, everyone! Another ranting Scotsman in the street. I had no idea there was a match on.
Osgood mentions that she already figured out that Missy is the Master regenerated into a female form; UNIT has files on all the ex-Prime Ministers. She also mentions that the man who mind-controlled his way into office, enslaved the entire human race for genocidal galactic conquest using their cyborg children from the future, and at one point overwrote every living human on the planet into a clone of himself (though technically he was no longer in office at the time), wasn't the worst Prime Minister they ever had.
As the Doctor is falling out of the plane to his death, Missy is annoyed that he'll just splat against the ground, calling it boring. When he pulls out the TARDIS key and calls the TARDIS to him, her assistant is suitably impressed... and Missy is annoyed at that, too, so she casually vaporizes him. Becomes even more funny when you remember the Master had previously killed the Doctor by making "him go splat" in "Logopolis". No wonder she's bored of it she's done it before and that's no fun!
Missy's little eyeroll when Danny starts his epic speech. And her completely bored expression as her plans are being torn down to pieces. You can tell she's just thinking "Dammit, I hate it when I lose this way."
Alternatively "Please tell me he's going to finish soon."
The offended scoff she makes when Danny offhandedly mentions her master plan as "the whim of a lunatic" is just icing on the cake.
The episode's credits cut off abruptly after a few seconds to the Doctor looking very annoyed while somebody knocks on the door four times, complaining about how he left things with Clara. Said somebody then opens the TARDIS, causing the Doctor to just stand up and stare in disbelief. It's Santa Claus. Asking him what he wants for Christmas. Doubles as Mood Whiplash, like the endings to "Doomsday" and "Last of the Time Lords". Moffat has learned a few tricks from Russell T. Davies.
Once again, the Brigadier gets to one shot the Master. She's probably glad it's not a punch this time...
Missy has the Doctor's phone number as she gave it to Clara. This implies one of three things Missy has been stalking the Doctor, the Doctor hasn't changed his phone number in more years than he's willing to admit, or, more likely, both of the above.
Missy explains who she is and the Doctor still hasn't worked it out; Missy just rolls her eyes and gives an annoyed "Ugh, please try to keep up!" to him.
One of the researchers compares the Dream Crabs to facehuggers.
The Doctor: There's a horror movie called Alien? That's really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
The Doctor is adamant about not holding hands. He'll only hold Clara's.
Santa states the best present he can give is a tangerine. Everybody replies that nobody likes them.
Shona in general, being a bit Cloudcuckoolander as in not just listening to music to Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody" to distract herself from a life-threatening situation, but then upgrading to head-bopping, then dancing, then jamming, then rocking out and thenfull-on breakdancing. That's right, she pulled a Marty McFly the act of forgetting about a critical situation at hand because The Power of Rock has compelled you and making a complete buffoon of yourself through highly embarrassing dance moves.
Even funnier, it was actually working the whole point being to avoid thinking about the hazard to the amazement of her colleagues ... at least, until Clara and the Doctor broke her concentration.
Then Wolf scolds Ian for his choice of armament, because at least his own equally-useless "weapon" looks scary.
Santa scoffs at the idea of one small team capable of delivering presents to millions of houses in the middle of the night, pointing out that it is completely impossible for him to do that all by himself. That's why he has a second sleigh.
Really, Santa's trolling in general, considering all of his explanations are Voodoo Shark material. Like the one for the flying reindeer:
Santa: Course they can't fly. It's scientifically impossible. That's why I feed mine magic carrots.