We get a glimpse deep into the TARDIS, as Josh gives us his recap of this week’s episode, and Violet throws in her comments (in the pink font). Read more after the jump. Spoilers!
The episode opens in space, with a crew of 3 on a space ship. They receive a notification that there is “incoming salvage” which turns out to be the TARDIS. We have one of the crew members calling one of the crew an android. For the moment though, they are unable to directly see the TARDIS on their radar system. Meanwhile on the TARDIS, Clara and the Doctor are arguing about the TARDIS, while circling its console. After the Doctor tries to convince Clara to drive the TARDIS, he turns the TARDIS to basic mode. This causes it to be visible to the salvage ship, and they launch their “Magno-Grab”, a sort of tractor beam that begins pulling the TARDIS in. Meanwhile, one of the crew members grab an egg-shaped device, and seems to turn it on. The Doctor tries to turn the shields back on in defense, but predictably, he cannot and chaos begins aboard the ship. In the chaos, the device that the crew member had, somehow ends up aboard the TARDIS.
That TARDIS is brought aboard the massive ship via some robotic arms, with the crew members observing it, trying to figure out what it is. They begin using tools to try to break into it, but aren’t able to get into it. They are about to use explosives when the android says they shouldn’t. The Doctor then pops up, surprising the three, with his usual introduction. The Doctor explains how the TARDIS was able to be grabbed, while holding the remote for the Magno-Grab in his hand. The Doctor then realizes that Clara is still aboard the TARDIS. He wants help with the rescue, but the salvage crew want their cut. The Doctor offers them the best haul they’d ever have, but they don’t believe him due to the small outside stature of the TARDIS. They even go as far as almost shooting him out the airlock, but the Doctor is able to convince them otherwise.
Where exactly did the Doctor come from? At what point did he get out of the TARDIS? He just shows up out of nowhere. A crew member also mentioned that if anyone was left inside, they would be dead, which immediately made me think that Clara must be dead and that the Doctor would have to go back and save her somehow, and/or that we might finally start delving into the mystery of the “Impossible Girl.” But then the next scene threw all those thoughts out the window.
The episode flashes to Clara, who has been knocked unconscious, but is relatively unharmed, but has a burn on her hand. She begins moving about the TARDIS. She contemplates how to handle a flashing red button on a door, to which she decides to press. She learns it is the wrong decision, and a fireball launches out. She has to run, and manages to get to safety. She then notes a claw-like scratch mark on the side of the wall.
Back aboard the salvage ship, the crew and Doctor are gearing up for their rescue effort. The Android is grabbing a respirator and blast suit, to which the Doctor asks why he needs it, the first thing that there is something odd afoot about this android. Another of the crew says he would burn up without it. The Doctor opens the TARDIS, and the four head inside. The Doctor ventilates the fumes out so they can breathe. The Doctor then says that they will find Clara within 1 hour. Why one hour? Because he decided to activate the TARDIS’ self destruct system. He then locks down the TARDIS preventing escape. The crew argues and refuses to help, to which the Doctor responds with lowering the timer to 30 minutes. Seems a little dark for our Doctor doesn’t? They do agree though.
Quite a bit dark, but the Doctor can be dark and cold when he wants to be, especially if it’s to get what he wants. We know that Clara (and the mystery surrounding her) is very important to the Doctor, and he will do whatever it takes to keep her safe. However, this scene did make me think of what Emma the Empath said last episode about the Doctor having a sliver of ice in his heart.
Clara has been moving about the TARDIS, and winds up in a room that seems to have a lot of the old Doctor’s possessions. We see that a mysterious, creepy figure is following her. Back with the Doctor, a crew member suggests that they split up to cover more ground. The Doctor agrees. Unfortunately, the crew member was being deceptive, and told another to tear apart the console for salvage. Meanwhile, Clara is attempting to avoid the creepy monster that seems to be following her, as we pass several rooms of the TARDIS (including the swimming pool, brought up with the Ponds!). She continues running, and examines her burn, which seems to be getting worse.
I was excited that we finally got to see the pool! However, I’m still disappointed that we never got to see Amy and Rory’s bunk beds. It would be nice to see more of the TARDIS than the console room more often. If the TARDIS is so infinitely large, why are they always hanging out in the console room? Also, did you notice that one of the objects she picked up in the room was an umbrella? Once again, this makes me wonder if there is a significance to the umbrella, or any sort of connection to the umbrella reference last episode, or if all this umbrella business is nothing more than Easter egg references to the Seventh Doctor?
The crew member to tear apart the console begins attempting to do so. Another is using a device, which tells him to enter a door that has “everything” he “could possibly want”. The Doctor comes in, telling him to not touch anything or “She” (the TARDIS) will stop him. We learn this room is called the Architectural Reconstruction System, and it can build any machine. The other android crew member joins them, and the first takes one of the glowing bulbs that had been hanging in it. The TARDIS removes the door out of what appears to be anger, but then lets them go when the human crew member threatens the TARDIS with an explosive looking device.
Interesting how some episodes the TARDIS seems more “alive” than others. She definitely felt very alive this episode, as well as the last.
Meanwhile Clara has been exploring the library, and reads a passage from “The History of the Time War”, and remarks, “so that’s Who”, sounding like she may have learned the Doctor’s real name. She doesn’t get a lot of time to think about it though, as the monster following her has caught up, and she has to hide. Clara winds up back at the console, but the door seems to not be there. She decides to continue her search, but winds up in the control room again, and then again, being directed there by the TARDIS it would seem.
Back with the crew and Doctor, they continue to search for Clara, but the TARDIS seems to be making them go in circles. One of the crew members is attacked by the monster that was chasing Clara, and is killed. We learn there is more than one monster now, and they have began chasing the Doctor and the remaining crew. They end up back in the console room now, which the Doctor explains is an Echo, a sort of copy of the regular main console room. The Doctor explains that they and Clara are in different instances of the same room, and are “overlapping”. The Doctor begins to search for Clara, but she has been cornered by one of the monsters that had been chasing her. Luckily the device the crew member has been using to locate salvage is able to locate Clara, and the Doctor is able to pull her into their version of the console room. Clara begins yelling at the Doctor, accusing him of keeping those creatures in the TARDIS. The crew members then tell the Doctor to turn off the self destruct when the big joke is revealed! There was no self destruct in the first place! It is a bit odd how the Doctor tries to play this off as a funny joke, when despite the lack of danger the self destruct caper caused, the death of their crew member (and brother) was real.
So he wasn’t being ice-hearted after all! At least, not this time, anyway. That doesn’t mean the sliver of ice in his heart won’t come up at some point in the (near?) future…
The Doctor turns off the fake self destruct system, only to find out that the engine for the TARDIS has been damaged, which is a real problem, that the Doctor seems really concerned about. The Doctor and company then head for the “Center of the TARDIS”. The monsters have followed the four down to where they are. The Doctor seems to know what they are as when Clara asks, he replies with “You don’t want to know”. The burn on Clara’s hand seems to oddly be getting worse, and also seems to be spelling something out backwards.
As they continue wandering around the TARDIS, Clara is separated from the rest, and begins seeing herself moving about the TARDIS, as well as another Doctor. The Doctor explains that there is a leak in time, showing parts of their past to them. The Doctor and Clara are then pursued by the monsters again, and the Doctor refers to one as a “she”. Clara questions the gender designation, but the Doctor tells her to not ask any further questions. The ship begins to be damaged severely, and the android has been impaled by a metal rod. He tells his crewmate to cut him apart, and he can get a new arm as replacement. The crewman is hesitant to cut telling the android that he “don’t understand”. Well, we find out the crewmember has picked about the best time to tell the android about something he probably would have liked to known before he was impaled–he isn’t an android at all. They are actually brothers, and the “android” had his eyes and voice box replaced with cybernetic parts. The brother’s reasoning for doing it was “to relieve the boredom”. What kind of family member DOES that? Do things change that much in the future when forced to live on a spaceship for most of your life? The brother cuts the metal rod that impaled his brother. We also learn that the brother was in an accident, which explains his loss of memory, eyes and voice box. We also learn that the other two crew members “swindled” the “android” brother out of being captain, as he was the intended heir to the ship from their father. The brothers begin to fight, but the Doctor breaks it up. He tells the “jerk” brother to never forget what he did, which is probably meant to be referenced later in the episode.
Definitely an odd thing to do, convince your brother that he’s an android just so you can be captain of a salvage vessel. You’d think that the “android” would figure it out at some point, or that they’d give up the joke sooner or later.
The Doctor, Clara and two brothers head into the power source for the TARDIS, which we learn is a star that is about to become a black hole that has been held in a permanent state of decay. It is fun learning the technologies of the Doctor, despite it usually seeming outlandishly illogical. The four attempt to run across a bridge, but they are surrounded by the monsters. Clara decides that she must know who the monsters are. One of the brothers uses his machine to identify what they are, and we learn that the monsters are the “future” Clara’s and brothers, dying in the engine room.
Okay, so my first instinct was right after all. She was dead all along. I felt like one way the show kind of tried to throw us off in this respect, was when the first monster killed the crew member, and then you see two monsters melded into one, so you think, oh okay, so when it kills someone, their bodies merge together. But no, it turns out that the two-in-one monster is actually the two crew members, because they were touching when they died.
The Doctor tells the brothers to not touch each other, otherwise they will cause their “future” to come true, but unfortunately one brother attempts to save the other from falling, which causes them to turn into their burned, monstrous future selves. Clara and the Doctor manage to escape the room, and end up in another room which resembles a rocky cliff outdoor area, with a river down below. The Doctor feels they are about to die, and begins to go a little mad. He tells Clara about the other two Clara’s and begins to accuse her of knowing what is going on. Clara’s shock and fear of the Doctor seem to prove to the Doctor that she has no idea what is going on. The Doctor then realizes that they have to jump down into the river which will magically teleport them to the engine room.
It didn’t seem likely that Clara would all of a sudden be frightened into revealing who she really was, especially since we already know she has nothing to reveal, as we learned from the Empath that she is just a perfectly ordinary girl. But I can’t say that I’m not disappointed that we didn’t learn anything new here, or that I wasn’t hoping for a split second that maybe, just maybe, the Doctor would trigger some sort of buried realization within Clara. But no such luck.
The two end up in the engine room, which is exploded, and stuck in time. The Doctor does not thinking saving the TARDIS is possible, but the Doctor sees the message on Clara’s hand. The burn now reads “Big Friendly Button”. We learn that the egg shaped device from the beginning was actually thrown into the TARDIS by the Doctor himself. We learn that in order to escape the same fate again, the Doctor of the future makes sure the Doctor of the past sees the devices, and activates it. The Doctor does so, and we go back to the beginning of the episode. Back aboard the salvage ship, all three brothers are alive, and the one told to “remember” what he has done, seems to have at least subconsciously. While he doesn’t call his “android” brother a human, he tells the other brother to treat him better . Meanwhile the TARDIS flies by and doesn’t even get picked up by the ships radar.
Interestingly enough the Doctor seems to remember the events of the episode, but Clara seems to have no idea what has happened. The Doctor seems overly concerned with Clara’s feeling of safety and comfort, to which Clara thinks is rather odd, and tells the Doctor to “press the button”, and the episode ends.
This episode was fairly mediocre to me. I enjoyed it, but I typically am not a fan of movies or TV shows which make the entire timeline erased that the movie or TV episode covered, and you basically end where you start. It pretty much guarantees little to no character development, as they are exactly where left off (with the exception of the Doctor in this episode). Interestingly enough Clara knew the Doctor’s name at one point, but has forgotten due to the time “reset”. This episode basically felt like one long iteration of Groundhog Day.
I liked this episode a lot better than last week’s episode, although I do tend to enjoy the mind bending “timey wimey” type of episodes, as well as futuristic setting episodes, a lot more than others. However, don’t try to think about it too much, or it’ll hurt your brain trying to make everything make sense! However, when it comes to watching this show, you learn to take everything with a grain of salt and just accept things that might not make sense. On the other hand, I feel like we’ve made no progress, once again, due to this “reset” of the day. From what I’ve read, the mystery of the “Impossible Girl” is supposed to be solved by the end of this season, of which there are only a few episodes left. However, it feels like the show has not really been working toward that revelation at all, including this episode, even had the day not been reset. But another thing I’ve learned from watching the show is not to underestimate it. Maybe there have been little clues being scattered throughout this season that we haven’t noticed, but will become obvious once we get to the big reveal. Although, I would have preferred at least a couple of more visible clues, and more working toward solving the mystery, other than the Doctor asking an Empath and Clara, and getting nothing. Another thing that is supposedly going to happen at the end of the season is that we’re going to find out the Doctor’s real name, as the season finale is entitled “The Name of the Doctor.” At least we’ve seen some progress toward that, with Clara discovering his name, even though she ended up forgetting it because of the reset. But maybe she will somehow remember, and that will be a part of how her mystery is solved? Is Clara’s mystery related to the Doctor’s name, and if so, how? I don’t know, but I wish the show would give us something to work with already!