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    "The Magician's Apprentice" 
  • Why did Missy need to stop the planes? She could have just used the channel.
    • Maybe she wanted to hold a large proportion of people hostage so UNIT was pressured into helping her. I suppose she likes theatrics and making a big show.
    • It's probably dual layered - Missy/Master has always needed to make a show out of everything, and when she contacts UNIT she addresses immediately that they'll need 8 snipers so Clara will feel safe enough to talk to her. If she'd just showed up at Clara's house and tied her down to talk to her, Clara probably would've been less willing to go along with what Missy wanted.
    • The last time Missy got anywhere near UNIT, they tranqued her in the neck without even waiting to ask who she was. Now that they know what she's capable of, she probably figured they'd open fire on sight unless she took a couple million airline passengers as hostages, first.
    • The Master once hijacked Concorde jets and diverted them to the Jurassic era, millions of years before humanity evolved, on the off-chance one was carrying the Doctor, whereupon the Master disguised himself as an Arabian sorcerer solely to fuck with his arch-nemesisnote . The Master does not understand restraint; s/he goes large or s/he goes home.
    • And in general, the Master is no stranger to doing evil things just for the hell of it.
  • When the boy says his name is Davros, how is the Doctor certain he is THAT Davros? It might have been a common name on Skaro once.
    • The Doctor knows that even his luck isn't that good.
    • Possibly the Doctor was lying about the bookshop, and was actually mucking about with the TARDIS's telepathic controls just before he arrived on the Skaran battlefield. It'd certainly fit with how Clara kept inadvertently steering the time-space machine to the childhoods of the men in her life, when she got distracted mid-flight in "Listen". So naturally if the Doctor meets a Davros while piloting that way, it'd have to be the one he's personally met before.
    • There's a One Steve Limit.
  • Um, the Doctor knows that killing boy!Davros will pretty much rip apart the universe due to the resultant paradoxes, right? Seems awfully extreme to do that just because Clara, Missy, and the TARDIS are gone...
    • The Doctor has done some pretty freaking extreme things to save his friends from torture or death before, and Davros knows that (because he's been the one to place said friends in peril of such, a few times). Plus, Davros probably figures he'll win the moral argument either way: either the Doctor repudiates compassion for a little boy trapped in a hand-mine field, or he repudiates loyalty to his friends.
    • Fridge Brilliance: There's a third option, though! The Doctor already regards that young boy as his friend in the prequel shorts...so if he saves him, he repudiates neither and might be able to save the others in the bargain! And he uses the singular "friend" in his final speech of the episode!
    • In the next episode it's revealed that he's there to save Davros, not kill him, averting the paradox (in fact it requires him to do so to avert a paradox as he believes that doing so is why the Dalek travel machine is able to express a desire for mercy in that episode's climax)
  • Why is the Doctor on Karn while preparing for The Last Dance? He's already died there twice. And been saved from it both times.
    • The Sisterhood are experts at regeneration, whereas by himself the Doctor's regenerations are difficult at best. Plus, they can defend themselves to some extent (at least from Colony Sarff).
    • Karn is one of the only places left with close historical ties to Gallifrey, and the Sisterhood have Seers and wisdom of their own. After abandoning boy Davros, it's a natural place for him to go to think about the consequences of one's actions.
    • The Doctor Out-Gambitted Davros when Davros tried to steal his regeneration energy. Maybe the Sisterhood topped the Doctor off with some FAKE regeneration energy for Davros to steal. As if Davros thought he was stealing "blood," but all he actually stole was "stage blood."
  • In the Series 5 finale, destroying the TARDIS caused the whole universe to collapse. In this episode, the Daleks destroy her, but nothing of the sort happens. Explain?
    • Simple: It has not actually been, or will not be, destroyed. We just have to wait until "The Witch's Familiar" to find out how it's been saved (The Doctor changes the past and this point never comes up, it's an illusion to begin with, etc.).
    • Depends on how you destroy it. Not all explosions are the same. The Daleks' laser cannon in this episode destroyed it from the outside-in, just like when they hurled it into the core of the Crucible in Series 4. Whereas the explosion in Series 5 that tore apart reality came from within the TARDIS, seemingly from the very Heart of it.
    • This is answered in the next episode. And that aside, remember Ten specifically stated that Time War era Daleks were experts at destroying Tardises so it's safe to assume that they had ways of desposing of them safely otherwise the Time War would had annihilated the entire multiverse rather than significant chunks of it.
    • If you blow up a nuclear bomb with conventional explosives, nothing happens. Well, not nothing, but it certainly doesn't go up in a mushroom cloud. Neither does a meltdown at a nuclear power plant. It takes ramming two chunks of radioactive material together in a very specific way to cause a nuclear detonation. Likewise, in The Pandorica Opens, the TARDIS wasn't just destroyed, it was targeted for destruction in a very specific way that accidentally caused it to explode at every single moment in space and time. The idea that Time Lords would tolerate a little design flaw like annihilates the whole universe if destroyed in TARDIS manufacturing seems highly unlikely.
    • Apparently no one is expected to remember that Rose was "killed" by the Ann Droid, and we later learned she had just been transmatted. I took for granted that Clara, Missy, and the TARDIS had all been transmatted somewhere. Which would explain why the Doctor didn't howl with despair when his best friend, his best frenemy, and his "wife" all vanished before his eyes.
  • The Doctor's guilt trip in this episode doesn't make sense... The War Doctor seemingly killed his entire race and all the Daleks to prevent a universe-wide catastrophe, and Nine was able to live with that guilt. (Ten and Eleven eventually found out Gallifrey survived, but Nine didn't know that.) But Twelve refuses to save one kid (he doesn't even kill Davros, just leaves him at the mercy of the hand mines) to prevent that kid from becoming a Space Hitler, and this guilt is somehow enough to make the Doctor give up his life? The reveal in the next episode that the Doctor did eventually save Davros doesn't explain it either, because that only happens after the guilt trip seen here.
    • A Million Is a Statistic. Not to mention that Nine, Ten, and Eleven didn't exactly manage to just live with it; it really mucked them up in the head, especially Nine.
    • A Million Is a Statistic doesn't really apply here, because among the (supposedly) dead Gallifreyans were numerous characters who'd appeared in the series before. Also, while his war guilt certainly had an effect on Nine, it still didn't make him consider suicide, so it doesn't make sense why something much less significant does so for Twelve. Killing all your friends and relatives and your entire race? I can live with that. Killing a kid who grows up to be responsible for countless atrocities (including the war which forced you to commit the aforementioned genocide)? That's awful!
    • Possibly Twelve wasn't ashamed because he'd consciously decided to leave boy-Davros to die in the hand mine field: he was ashamed that he chickened out of seeing the moral dilemma through, rather than acting to save or to kill him. He'd failed to live up to either the compassionate idealism of his pre-War selves or the demons-better-run determination of his war-traumatized selves, and succumbed to moral cowardice.
    • It's not that Davros will grow up to become Space Hitler, but rather that the Doctor is guilty because he thinks he could've stopped Davros from becoming Space Hitler if he'd shown a little bit of mercy. Although the next episode reveals that's not true, ultimately the Doctor was right to feel guilty, because showing mercy was what allowed him to save Clara.
    • If Twelve had abandoned Davros to die, Davros would have died. Therefore the Doctor did not abandon Davros to die. Maybe the Doctor feels guilty because he didn't do ENOUGH to prevent boy-Davros from growing up to become evil-Davros.
    • Also consider the state of mind the Doctor's in during this incarnation. He's regenerated into an old man. He's tired. He's no longer the last of his race and doesn't have to uphold everything their legacy anymore. He's been doing this adventuring business for hundreds if not thousands of years. This could easily be the straw that breaks the camels back rather than the one singular event. I imagine most immortals would eventually go through periods of suicidal depression before deciding to get back up on the horse.
  • Why the heck didn't the snipers shoot Missy? She totally starts murdering people in cold blood while she's talking to Clara. There's no telling what she'll do next if she isn't stopped. But Kate tells everyone to hold their fire. What's the point of having snipers at all if you're not going to shoot Missy in a case like this? Under what circumstances would they actually decide to open fire?
    • Because they still need to talk her down to save the planes' occupants. If she was about to blow up the city, then they'd shoot.
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    "Under the Lake" 
  • The Diagnostics on the door locks tests every few seconds, but stop at night, part of the base going into a lower energy state to help maintain sleep cycles. So the very time when everybody is asleep and unable to react is the exact time when the base's integrity isn't being checked!
    • Although that could make sense, if the current technology is so reliable that human error or malfeasance is to blame for any failures that still occur.
    • If the base is in night mode, people are sleeping. Under normal circumstances, there's no activity being performed, no doors being opened, that would compromise the base's integrity. The worst thing that could happen is somebody leaving the loo door open, which could cause a kind of flooding, but not the kind that threatens the base.
  • It's established that the reason the ghosts can't appear during the day cycle is because the diagnostics are running continuously then. How exactly can some diagnostics stop immaterial ghosts from appearing?
    • Possibly the scanners operate on some sort of EM wavelength which interferes with the 'magnetic containment' that allows the 'ghosts' to manifest. It's clear that they operate on some sort of EM wavelength, hence why the Faraday cage was able to contain them and why the Doctor realised they could only manipulate metal objects.
    • Electromagnetic energy is known to interfere with or disrupt the workings of electronic devices (this is what EMP weapons are based on), so it seems highly unlikely it would be used in scanning such devices.
    • Electromagnetic energy can disrupt an electronic device, or it might do just the opposite and actually cause the device to function. It all depends on the details, like what wavelengths you're using and what intensity they're running at. After all, when your cell phone receives a call, it's receiving it in the form of electromagnetic energy. But getting a call is quite different from being hit with an EMP weapon.
    • Not an expert on such things, but isn't it only unshielded electronic devices that are disrupted by EMPs? If the electronics of the base were shielded then they'd be protected from the EM scanners. Also, light is a form of electromagnetic radiation and that doesn't interfere with electronics (especially light sensors otherwise they'd be unable to work at all) so a scanner that uses EM radiation could operate on wavelengths which don't damage electronics.
    • She specifically says the door locks are electromagnetic. Those are what the system is testing. And the episode establishes that EM fields interfere with the ghosts.
  • When we see the ghosts "talking", the alien ghost's lips form the same English words as those of the two human ghosts. Shouldn't the alien be repeating those words in his own language?
    • Not unless The Tardis can still translate its silent language!
    • It didn't translate Cass's signing for the Doctor.
    • Watch the episode again - the Doctor says that he 'deleted' sign language so that has no bearing on whether the Tardis could translate the alien's language. Also, considering aliens are always shown lip synced to the English translation the Tardis provides, it's plausible that the Tardis 'translates' lip movement irrespective of whether the speaker can be heard.
    • If the TARDIS knows what the ghosts are saying and is translating the lip movements accordingly, why doesn't it make everyone immediately understand what the lip movements mean? Why does it make them wait for the lip-reading character to translate the message? If there hadn't been any lip-readers around, would the TARDIS have refused to translate the lip movements to anyone, even though it knows what they mean?
    • Just speculation on my part, but probably the same way it translates written words but probably wouldn't make an illiterate person be able to read it. Lip reading is not a skill that everyone possesses, so someone who doesn't have the skill would have difficulty understanding it even if the lips are synced to a language they understand.
    • Or if it simply knows English. The Tivolian does seem to be dressed like a human, albeit one from a different time period.
    • Even if he knows English, why would his dead soul be speaking in English instead of his native tongue?
    • If Tivolians are as prone to surrendering as the Doctor suggests, English might be his native tongue. Conquered peoples usually do wind up adopting the language of their conquerors, not vice versa.
    • Given that the next episode reveals that the message was actually subconsciously imprinted on the readers' brains from the moment they saw it, it could be that Prentiss's lips weren't really forming English words at all: Cass just saw them that way, because the message was skewing her perceptions. (Remember how Lunn kept getting his sign-readings wrong, and correcting them? She was vascillating between what the words actually looked like, and what the message in her brain insisted it was!) Indeed, there's no reason to assume a Tivolian's lip movements would correspond to a human's in the first place: their mouths and teeth aren't the same shape as ours, so even if they vocalize similar phonemes, they'd need to shape those sounds with movements appropriate to their rodent-like oral cavity, not ours.
  • The Doctor's old UNIT protocol still works, even though this episode takes place in the 22nd century. Shouldn't an organization like the UNIT change its passwords evey once in a while, so you can't use ones that are over a 100 years old?
    • Not when your main VIP is a time traveler.
    • True. And we learned in the previous story that UNIT still has its "Doctor channel" operating ~2015, even though the Doctor hasn't been consistently working for them for decades.
    • At least as far as we know, anyway. Plus of all organizations to know to keep lines of communication open with the Doctor, regardless of the era, it's UNIT. The fact the Doctor doesn't hesitate to identify himself to the topside authorities suggests he's well aware of this fact already.
  • Why was Clara using an older iPhone, when in series 8 she had a newer device?
    • Maybe she lost it or it got destroyed? Considering the adventures she has with the Doctor it wouldn't be implausible for her phone to meet a bad end. Alternatively she forgot it and left it at home and has a spare that she keeps on the Tardis which just happens to be an older phone.
    • Or the last time she had to replace her phone on short notice, she and the Doctor had popped back a couple of years and only older models were available.
    • Or maybe the BBC doesn't care if they use different models between series to advertise Apple products as long as they're iPhones. I doubt there's an in-story reason.
    • Actually it has nothing to do with the BBC advertising Apple products as they are expressly forbidden from advertising to the point where the only ads on any BBC channel are for their own shows. The only way the BBC "didn't care" would be in the form of the props department screwing up and giving the actress the wrong phone.
    • I was only referring to my gut feeling that certain BBC series feature a disproportionate amount of Apple products. For example, the opening scene of the first episode of Series 7 part 2 only featured Apple laptops and nothing else. The point that they didn't care and there is no in-universe reason still stands, though. And I am aware of the BBC being forbidden from advertising. Still, sometimes the overuse of iPhones in Doctor Who feels like product placement to me even if it isn't.
    • Except there are in universe reasons as hypothesised above, they're just plausible ones rather than explicit ones. There is no need for it to be brought up unless it is plot relevant, which it isn't. Also, just because it feels like product placement to you doesn't mean that it is product placement so it's not a case of the BBC not caring so long as they advertise Apple products.
    • It is problematic for me to see those examples as intentional in-story reasons. Those are excuses at best, and I feel the production team doesn't deserve to have excuses made for them. That said, I concede that the whole thing only feels like a product placement, since they wouldn't get away with it if it was. It still bothers me. The props department on the other hand did screw up.
    • For all we know, the props people could be taking turns putting their personal phones in an episode, just so they can point to the telly when the episode airs and say to their children, "Look, there's Mummy's phone!"
    • To be honest, if one in a million viewers can tell the difference (I can't) I'd be amazed. This is a fictional world; maybe in the fictional world the "new" iPhone looked older than the old one. Or maybe Clara thought the new iPhone was bad. I know people who went back because they didn't care for the new model.
    • Remembering also that Clara's phone has been upgraded (this isn't seen on screen for her but ever since Rose Tyler it is now taken as read for any modern era companion that their phone gets upgraded by the Doctor so they can communicate), it's very possible the Doctor's enhancements worked better on the older phone model.

    "Before the Flood" 
  • The Doctor tells the Fisher King that he's already stopped him, that the words have gone, and the future he'd seen won't happen. In the context of the Stable Time Loop, the Doctor's boast makes no sense. Did he not yet realize that it was a Bootstrap paradox, or was he lying, or something else?
    • It was a Batman Gambit to get the Fisher King to run outside and see if the words truly were gone, in order to give the Doctor an opportunity to get inside the suspended animation chamber.
  • If the Ghost Doctor was just a hologram projection, then how did he open the Faraday cage?
    • Maybe the hologram is an electromagnetic projection, too. That would make it very similar to the ghosts, which can also interact with certain objects. Maybe this also explains why the ghosts fell for it so easily.
    • Technically it is an electromagnetic projection considering it is a projection of light and light is part of the EM spectrum. In Star Trek, holograms are a mix of light projection and force fields with the force fields able to be adjusted to allow the hologram to pass through matter or interact with it as needed, so maybe holoDoctor was the same, allowing him to phase through walls when needed and then interact with physical objects.
    • He didn't need to. The Doctor said the hologram was being projected by the base's systems which were linked to his sonic sunglasses "via wifi". So, his sunglasses were already connected to the computer and able to open the cage. All the hologram did was pretend to type on the screen to make it believable.
    • There have been "solid" holograms on Doctor Who before. Most recently, the holograms from "Mummy on the Orient Express" were presumably able to handle solid objects, as the "people" who vanished when Gus dropped the facade included some of the restaurant car's wait-staff and the porters. Hard to deliver someone's meal or bag if your hands can't grasp things.
  • Shouldn't the Fisher King have become a ghost?
    • Presumably he wouldn't want to turn himself into a broadcasting device, so either he's immunized against the effect or, possibly, he's arranged things so he'd come back as a free-willed ghost. Sequel Hook?
    • Also, his name: "The Fisher King"? Maybe he's an aquatic creature. Maybe flooding the town didn't kill him. Maybe he's still out there... (Also Sequel Hook)
  • The Doctor spent 200 years in suspended animation. Does that mean he is now 2200 years old? (For any given value of 'now'.)
    • Perhaps we're not supposed to count years spent in suspended animation. For example, in "The Day of the Doctor", he was suspended in the same painting for hundreds of years at three separate points in his life, but that didn't change his count.
    • He'd be 2200 chronologically, but biologically he'd still be 2000. And considering he's probably lying about his age anyway (remember in The Day of the Doctor Eleven specially says he can't remember what his age is and can't even remember if when he does give a value whether it's a lie or not) the count is really whatever he wants it to be regardless of any factors we'd normally apply to ages.
  • Why didn't O'Donnell's ghost show up until "the moment in the past" when she died? Shouldn't she have been accompanying the Undertaker from the beginning?
    • Possibly ghost-O'Donnell was there, but stayed out of sight because she didn't remember any encounters with her ghost prior to her own trip back in time. The ghosts did seem to be intelligent, after all.

    "The Girl Who Died" 
  • Electric eels live in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins — they are equatorial. What are they doing in a pond in medieval Scandinavia, besides freezing to death?
    • I can't think of an in-universe justification. Maybe that particular village had impossibly great warriors who could wage war on South-America and brought some electric eels with them to keep as pets? I think the writer thought European eels are electric, too. Even though Wikipedia claims electric eels are not eels at all, but knifefish, so they don't have to have anything in common with the European eel. So it's not surprising that European eels are not electric if they are not even related to electric eels in the first place. But I suspect that the writer did not know this, and thought, well, eels are eels, eels are electric, eels live in Europe as well, so electric eels live in Europe, too.
    • More plausibly, they could be torpedo rays from the Atlantic, and the Doctor only called them "eels" because he hadn't gotten a look at them yet, and he's so caught up in thinking about his plan that he flubbed the biogeography. (He had speculated that some of the Viking villagers were web designers earlier in the episode, after all: Twelve often confuses context on side-issues when he's distracted.) As for why the village would be keeping such things: unscrupulous fishermen IRL sometimes mass-kill fish by delivering electric charges into the water, so maybe this particular Norse village's fishermen have been using the rays in the same way.
    • Vikings ranging all over the world to South America isn't that far-fetched, actually.
  • Was that a Bible the Doctor picks up (big tomey book with a cross and gems on the front) and starts flipping through while talking to Ashildr? It's not completely impossible that one of those is lying around there but it is rather absurd. Would love some WMG-ing on that.
    • Given the era and the rarity of books in general at the time, the odds of it being anything other than a Bible are probably a lot lower. It's a portable object with gems on it, ergo something the village's own raiders would have happily snatched from a Christian settlement.
  • If the Doctor knows that Ashildr is probably (the dialogue suggests that he's not sure it's going to work out that way when he makes his choice but knows it's possible) now functionally immortal and that she thus will be lonely, why doesn't he take her with him? Is he afraid of Love Triangle forming between Companions, like what happened with Sarah Jane and Rose?
    • And take a little girl away from her father?
    • He also explains why not in the next episode.
      "People like us, we go on too long. We forget what matters. The last thing we need is each other. We need the mayflies. See, the mayflies, they know more than we do. They know how beautiful and precious life is because it's fleeting. Look how Sam Swift made every last moment count, right to the gallows. Look how glad he is to be alive. I looked into your eyes and I saw my worst fears. Weariness. Emptiness. "
  • If the Doctor is so concerned about his "duty of care" to Clara, why doesn't he give her one of the Mire medkits? No more worrying about her getting exterminated/upgraded/brainsucked by a love sprite etc.?
    • The Doctor expresses his reasons for not doing so in the finale of this episode, and also explains why not to Ashildr in the next episode.
    • As it turned out, giving Clara the other medkit wouldn't have saved her anyway. The devices only heal damage to bodies, they don't prevent death-by-soul-removal.

    "The Woman Who Lived" 
  • The Doctor is reluctant to take Ashildr/Me with him because "it's not good for immortals to be with each other, because they lose perspective". But he previously spent quite a long time as the 4th Doctor travelling with Romana, who was just as long-lived as he was, being also Gallifreyan. The 4th Doctor didn't seem particularly lacking in joie-de-vivre or excitement about reality, which seems to be what he thinks hanging around with shorter-lived species does for you...
    • That was earlier in the Doctor's life. It only really seemed to be after the Time War that he became wary of the effects a person like him can have, and it became a theme in the new series that he needs humans to keep him grounded, like Donna in "The Runaway Bride" and "The Fires of Pompeii", Amy in "The Beast Below" and Clara in "Day of the Doctor". The Fourth Doctor, at his point in life, would have seen no problem in travelling with someone like Romana or Ashildr. The Twelfth Doctor knows better.
    • Plus, it's practically canon that Romana would come back to become President of the Time Lords, and depending on which parts of the AU you look at, led Gallifrey through one to three wars, becoming the person who "reminded the cowardly, vain curators that they had teeth". It's quite likely that her fate's the reason the Doctor doesn't want to travel with another immortal.
    • It's not clear, though, that he needs humans to keep him grounded, or short lived species in general. Even post-New Who, this theme is vacillated upon, depending on the writer (and most writers seem to think that it's humanity, not just any old species which lives for less than a few hundred years, which The Doctor needs). In fact, at least some of the time, the argument seemed to be that The Doctor just needs to have some kind of companionship, regardless of their actual species, nature, lifespan or whatever; essentially, he gets broody, distant and disconnected without someone else to talk to. This is most consistent with the Original Series, but unfortunately least consistent with the treatment here.
    • Its not inconsistent at all. The Doctor of the original series is not the same man he is in the new series. He may be a 52-year-old character but he still develops all the time. Comparing the 12th Doctor's attitude to an immortal companion to the 4th Doctor's attitude is to forget that characters, like people, change.
    • For what it's worth, Word of God has it that the Corsair kept pets instead of companions. Which have a human-like lifespan in the case of the parrots and a far shorter one for the cats, hence presumably kept him/her grounded, just as well. Moreover, Twelve himself did just fine having Nardole as a sole companion for decades prior to the events of "The Pilot", so a Human Alien who's 237 still seems sufficient to the task.
    • Romana may have been a Time Lady, but she was a very young one, not long out of the Academy, and had not seen much of the Universe first-hand yet. That qualifies her as a young and un-jaded Companion for him, at least for a while. She left him before they reached the dangerous stage.
    • Also, Romana was assigned to him by the White Guardian, a being far more powerful than him, he didn't really choose to have her along.
    • Romana, being a Time Lord, is subject to the same 13-life limit as any other Time Lord (barring special circumstances like that afforded the Doctor). She was not immortal and could have died naturally or via violent action. So she's not really an accurate example to use here.
    • By that standard, the Doctor could have been Ashildr/Me's Companion without any problem.
    • The Doctor has been shown to be prejudiced against (human) immortals before. Maybe it's no coincidence that the name of Jack Harkness was brought up in this episode...
    • Jack Harkness is explicitly a "fixed point in time" - his continued existence is an unalterable truth of the universe, after Rose's meddling while high on Time Vortex. It's Jack's inevitability which The Doctor found distasteful, not his immortality per se. Ashildr is merely possessed of an infeasibly effective colony of medical nanotech.
      • Also, count how many times the Doctor has travelled or been seen with Jack Harkness voluntarily since Jack became immortal.
    • Also, given how Series 9 ends — with the now functionally-immortal Clara letting Ashildr travel with her, which is treated as a happy ending for both of them — maybe the Twelfth Doctor's just wrong and things can work out okay between the right immortals!
      • Eh, they can pop back and invite Jane Austen to join them for a spin around the cosmos. Problem solved.
  • Couldn't Ashildr have committed suicide, as she's Ageless and has an improved immune system but is not invulnerable and as far as we know has no healing factor, if she was really fed up with life or too grief-stricken couldn't she have pitched herself off of a cliff or been beheaded.
    • We don't know that she hasn't tried. Neither this episode nor any other indicates what it would actually take for her to die. And we don't know that she doesn't have a healing factor.
    • The Mire med-kit would be pretty useless to the Mire themselves if it didn't convey a healing factor of some degree.
  • Why does Ashildir completely drop the gruff, male voice of her Knightmare guise when Sam Swift and his gang ambush them?
    • However practiced, she surely wouldn't find doing that voice for prolonged periods to be very comfortable: her vocal cords are still feminine and not built for such pitches. Also, it's probably a lot more intimidating when used when the Knightmare is looming over people from horseback than when she's standing at ground level and everyone can see how short she is.
  • Why doesn't the Doctor bring up to the embittered Ashildr that he saved her from becoming a Cyberman? Remember — had she died, she would have ended up in the Nethersphere, where Missy and co. would have (probably easily) tricked her into giving up her emotions and trapping her in "life" in an even worse way. The Doctor's seen a lot of death in his lives and accepted that there's apparently no happy afterlife of any kind, but he has a soft spot for the young and couldn't send a sweet maiden to a fate like that!
    • We don't know how far back into Earth's past Missy was downloading human souls into the Nethersphere, so can't assume that Ashildr would have been downloaded had the Doctor not revived her with the Mire medkit. It's unlikely that even bone-dust would remain of her body by the time the cyber-pollen falls over Earth's graveyards, even assuming she wouldn't have been cremated as per Norse tradition for battle-casualties. And even if she would have become one of Missy's Cybermen, reminding of her about that would hardly put her into a better mood: after all, it'd also remind her that her own family may have met the same fate.
  • Here's a problem with the immortality thing - Jack Harkness was made immortal on a deep ontological level (Doctor said he was made a "fact" whatever this means), but Ashildr is made immortal by technology. And yet Jack's immortality is implied to fizzle out somehow, even though it's part of the nature of reality, while hers remains in effect to the end of the universe. Has anyone ever seen a piece of technology that works (against entropy!) to the end of the universe? Who science has always been dodgy, but that's stretching the suspension of disbelief a bit too far, especially that the other med kit is so easily depowered (okay, so maybe they take the energy from the owner, but then Ashildr could starve to death like all of us).
    • Agreed, the explanation is a little plot convenient, especially considering this previous canon. You can, however, talk yourself into suspending your disbelief. The explanation seems to be that the reason the Mire technology is working so bizarrely on Ashildr is not because it's Mire technology, but because it's Mire technology combined with a human. Accepting that the Mire die out before humans start exploring space and that the Mire don't normally come anywhere near the solar system, it's a little easier to accept that this technology-granted immortality can occur. Ironically, there is actually precedence for this form of immortality: in an episode of "Sarah Jane Adventures," Sarah Jane hints that Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, the Doctor's first companions, were made immortal (or at least ageless) due to contact with some alien technology during their travels. So if you think in terms of 'which plot point is better supported by previously established canon,' the bigger headscratcher is "Why does Jack Harkness eventually die?" Here's one suggestion (though I can in no way back it up with evidence): perhaps Jack Harkness, after years of working with Torchwood and fighting more hostile aliens than Ashildr, came in contact with some alien technology that damaged him enough to cause him to eventually, slowly age. 'Cause this alien technology can do some weird stuff!
    • Indeed, whatever turned him into a giant tendril-haired head in a vat may have messed up Jack's immortality enough to reduce it to "lifespan in the billions of years", rather than "can't die no matter what". Plus, the Face of Boe voluntarily let his life force be drained for decades to keep New New York's survivors alive. Ashildr may never have gotten into a situation where she faced a similar sort of choice.
  • Ashildr seems to make two different requests to the Doctor: 1) she asks to travel with him, and 2) she wants to travel the stars. She explicitly mentions that's she's tired of what Earth has to offer, and her deal with Leandro all about her being able to leave the planet. Now, the Doctor provides Ashildr with fairly compelling reasons why they can't travel together, but he never really explains why he can't fulfill the other request. Even if he doesn't want Ashildr as a companion, why can't he just drop her at the nearest space port and let her travel on her own?
    • Probably because, in the wake of her epiphany that she does care about mortal human beings after all, the worst possible thing for Ashildr's psyche would be to permanently take her away from the very people she's finally remembered to value. Drop her off in a spaceport full of strangers with whom she doesn't even share the same basic biology, let alone personal history or cultural ties, and she'll be back to heartlessly robbing and conning others for a living within a decade. It'll take a few more centuries of learning to be compassionate to other humans before she's ready to extend that to Earth's aliens-in-hiding, by which time she's embraced caring sufficiently that she's no longer tempted to bunk off to the stars with the first alien she meets.

    "The Zygon Invasion"/"The Zygon Inversion" 
  • So, how does a Zygon's mentality when assuming someone's identity actually work? They must be able to tap into the subject's memories to some extent in order to perfectly replicate their personality, emotions, and interactions with associates. However, the Zygon impersonating the soldier's mother cannot recall any details about his childhood, despite Kate's Zygon in The Day of the Doctor gaining complete knowledge of the Black Archives and other personal details.
    • Osgood explains that the Zygons are now able to copy someone without having a living subject (the live subject being only needed to tap into their memories). So either the soldier's mother had already been killed, having only remained in Zygon's custody long enough for them to take a physical imprint, or she never was in Zygon's custody, and they simply copied her appearance. However, it is implied that most of the british people have been captured and replaced by duplicates, so if the UNIT soldiers were british, their family members may have been already all replaced. It is possible though, that not remembering the name of her son's favourite teddy bear was the answer the real mother would have given.
    • Alternately, the soldier's mother had indeed been replaced by a Zygon, but that particular Zygon was still back in Britain and not at the site which UNIT had under surveillance. Another Zygon duplicated her looks and was sent some preparatory information by the duplicate in London, but nothing as detailed as the soldier's childhood teddy bear.
  • Why was Clara blowing off the Doctor's increasingly desperate calls when throughout this season she's been as close to the Doctor as she's ever been? io9.com reviewer Charlie Jane Anders suspects something happened between "The Woman Who Lived" and this episode — what might that have been?
    • She was on her motorcycle and had her phone on silent. She didn't know about them until later.
    • And she was just about to listen to (at least one of) the Doctor's voicemails when the crying kid distracted her.
    • Given her make-up, it's also possible that she began seeing someone again and really did not want to be disturbed.
      • Doubtful, given there's no indication of this in any episode, as opposed to every indication that it's the Doctor she's in the relationship with now.
    • It's a joke: the Doctor appears to have been calling over and over in a very short period of time because time travel.
  • Did they really just label Osgood's grave as "My sister"?
    • It's probably a private cemetary, and the surviving Osgood likely arranged for the tombstone herself. Not only does it keep the epitaph ambiguous enough so that nobody knew whether it was the Zygon or the human whom died. It may also be a visual expression of how the Osgoods saw each other. It wasn't Osgood who died, nor was it a Zygon. It was her sister.
    • Where I live, there are plenty of graves labelled "My mum", "My love", etc. in every cemetery. It's not unusual. After all, it's not like strangers are going to visit, and relatives can find it anyway.
    • For that matter, it'd probably be far harder to explain it if the gravestone did have Osgood's name on it, as so far as anyone outside of UNIT's inner circle can tell, there's just one of her and she's still alive.
  • There's no explanation given for the Osgood Boxes having "Truth" and "Consequences" in them and that also being the name of the Zygon rebellion, who didn't know what was in the Osgood Boxes.
    • The phrase may have some significance in Zygon culture that wasn't addressed specifically in the episode, that made both the rebels and the Doctor think it was appropriate.
    • The Zygons want to reveal the truth of what they are, and force what they see as their human oppressors to feel the consequences of their oppression. The Doctor wants both parties to understand the truth of what war really is, and the consequences starting one will inevitably unleash. He also wants them to understand the truth behind their motives beyond self-righteousness and ideological rigidity, and to understand the consequences of their actions and the forces they intend to unleash. It's simply a parallel (and no doubt a partially intentional one, given how it's revealed that both sides have been there several times before).
  • The Family of Blood kills a few innocent people for selfish reasons, and the Doctor rewards them with horrific punishments. Bonnie gets way more innocent people killed for selfish reasons, and the Doctor rewards her with amnesty. What happened to his sense of justice?
    • You're in the wrong folder; but no matter. The key point is that the Family of Blood are just… evil. Utterly immoral and reveling in it. Bonnie on the other hand is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who ultimately pursues her idea of "right", even if that idea of "right" is warped and terrible. Another fact to remember is that this was "Time Lord Victorious" David Tennant!Doctor. Smith's Doctor already looked down on his previous incarnation's god-complex, and Capaldi's Doctor is one thousand years older than that. You cannot overlook that his personality and morals vary slightly between regenerations and naturally evolve over time either way.
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    "Sleep No More" 
  • Where did the Doctor draw the idea to access the camera footage with his Sonic shades, if there aren't actually any helmet cams? Where did he get the inkling that some sort of filming was happening?
    • Since the sonic specs see a whole range of data presumably he saw there was a strange wifi network without a password and decided to check it out.
  • How does watching this turn you into a sand monster? I can understand messing with electronic signals in the brain = trick brain into thinking you've gotten enough sleep/don't need sleep, but how would it make a human become sand?
    • I imagine that the signals react with something that Morpheus does to you to trigger the transformation into the sandmen. Most likely it's creator figured out what was different about the Mark II version and how to apply that to people who had used the Mark I.
  • Clara says the Doctor never sleeps. In "The Tomb of the Cybermen", Victoria lets the Doctor sleep in because he's over 400 years old and she thinks he needs his rest. I can't recall which one it is, but there's a Hartnell episode in which the Doctor is seen napping.
    • He only sleeps a few hours a night. It's why in Twelve's intro episode, he finds the idea of a room for nothing but sleeping baffling (of course, he had post-regeneration confusion). Clara knows the Doctor sleeps, but since he's awake when she goes to bed and awake when she wakes up, it's easy to hyperbolize it as "you never sleep." Their conversation in this episode was basically (translated):
      The Doctor: Sleep is important.
      Clara: You barely sleep. How is this different?
      The Doctor: It just is. I still sleep, everyone sleeps. This machine removes that.
    • Clara never says the Doctor doesn't sleep. She asks him when does he sleep. The Doctor's statement about sleeping in "Deep Breath" can't be taken at face value as he's still in the throes of post-regenerative psychosis at the time.
  • So, the signal just goes out at the end of the episode and the Doctor flies away while exclaiming that nothing that just happened made any sense. Seems like the perfect lead-in to a part two where the Doctor figures out why the events he just witnessed didn't add up and cancels the signal, saving millions if not billions of people. But there's no part two. The villain enacts his plot to destroy humanity and the Doctor moves on. So, are millions of people slowly turning into sandmen now? Or are we just to assume the signal didn't work somehow?
    • The point was to scare the viewer, not anyone in-universe.


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