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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later.Support Elizabeth on Patreon.

51 Comments

  1. Homunculette
    August 6, 2018 @ 10:09 am

    I slightly disagree with you about Tregenna – I think she’s more radical new blood than Gaiman or Curtis or Nye. All of those people are Doctor Who fans and they have a deeply inrained sense of what Doctor Who is. Tregenna is one of the few Doctor Who writers who isn’t a fan of Doctor Who at all. Making the jump from Torchwood isn’t particularly common either – I think Chibbers is the only other writer to do that.

    As for this story, it falls into one of my favorite categories: rip-offs that are better than the thing they’re ripping off. In this case, the Hob Gadling issue from Sandman.

    I’d rank this one at the series’ halfway mark – better than both the opening two-parters and sleep no more.

    Reply

    • Tintinnabulum
      August 6, 2018 @ 10:14 am

      Phil Ford, too, though one could just as easily (and probably more accurately) say he made the leap from SJA, not Torchwood.

      Reply

    • Titus Brendronicus
      August 6, 2018 @ 10:35 am

      New blood (especially in a series such as Doctor Who, which in its present post-Buffy form has been going since 2005 – not many shows from 2005 are still airing) is always crucial, and it’s good to see new writers being courted for the series. Old hands might be reliable, but not every writer is good enough to escape falling into a pit of familiarity and sameness.

      I haven’t rewatched this episode (or this season really) since it first aired, so I don’t want to go into the nitty gritty but the concept of Ashildr/Me is deeply fascinating and the casting of Williams a coup. Perhaps El is right to look at these (Died/Lived) as not two parts of the same story but two seemingly distinct episodes. On my original watch I think I recall thinking this didn’t feel like a resolution to the previous episode (which framing it with a ‘to be continued’ kinda leads you towards doing): perhaps being viewed as a ‘stand-alone’ (albeit the second episode in the ‘Me arc’) rather than a continuation of the previous episode does this story more justice.

      Reply

      • AG
        August 6, 2018 @ 8:35 pm

        What are the shows still going?
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest-running_United_States_television_series

        Setting aside the crime procedurals and the cartoons, the standouts are Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Big Bang Theory. Also Power Rangers, but that’s more of an anthology series, despite a loose shared universe.

        Otherwise, modern genre shows with 10+ seasons would include Smallville, X-files, and Stargate: SG-1.

        Reply

  2. Tintinnabulum
    August 6, 2018 @ 10:11 am

    Great write-up; even greater title.

    This story is, of course, even better if you remember that Sam Swift is actually the Rufus Hound incarnation of the Monk messing with the Doctor and Me for shits and giggles.

    Its oddity is definitely appreciated, though, like you say. I wonder if excising the Leonian and using the spare runtime to pair Clara with Sam Swift (that same joie de vivre, cherishing life, laughing all the way to the scaffold? – they’re both the mayflies, at this point at least) might have been a sensible choice. On the other hand, the off-kilter, Clara-less nature of this story at a time when we get so much excellent Clara material elsewhere is what makes it so distinctive. Tough call.

    Reply

  3. MattM
    August 6, 2018 @ 10:33 am

    I struggle with this story. I thought it was okay on watching it, though nothing special, and… yeah it’s pretty ‘okay.’ It strikes me as something that’s trying to do three different things, and the three things are all pulling against each other. It feels like when a story gets constantly rewritten so much that it loses the main core of what made it unique.

    1 – There’s the Doctor-Me stuff, which I remember being quite good
    2 – There’s the painfully unfunny comedy stuff which is never good but the era keeps trying to do (whenever Murray Gold’s plinky plonky ‘comedy’ music comes on, I cringe) and is tonally out of place with the first point
    3 – There’s the alien cat plot which I mean, okay but it’s a bit rubbish, isn’t it?

    There’s some nice scenes, but it really could have done with a different story (and I’m the sort of person who enjoys a good experiment!)

    The show’s still too scared to do a pure historical, but to be honest it would have been better if it was!

    Reply

    • Titus Brendronicus
      August 6, 2018 @ 10:40 am

      Now you mention it, doing this episode as a pure historical (or as pure as you can get when it’s anchored on the double-act of two immortals connecting over the concept of immortality) might have given it a lot more focus and been a lot more interesting than trying to find a way to feature a lion alien. The episode also already has Maisie Williams, which at least in the context of Williams also being on GOT is already something of a publicity draw in and of itself even if the episode doesn’t have a fancy new alien to trot around (and arguably GOT was at its strongest when it was leaning towards being more of a ‘pure historical’ in its own way rather than the sort of fantasy metal aesthetic its increasingly been adopting).

      Reply

      • MattM
        August 6, 2018 @ 10:59 am

        Yeah, I just felt that the whole “How did she realistically deal with immortality in the middle ages” is undermined by the “also she is running around with lion aliens” bit

        Reply

        • mx_mond
          August 8, 2018 @ 6:17 am

          Although then you’d lose the mirroring with the previous episode. Ashildr died to protect her village from an alien invasion. Me helps to bring an alien invasion on a helpless village. This helps her realise that she’s gone too far.

          Reply

          • Przemek
            August 8, 2018 @ 7:26 am

            Yes, but is this mirroring done well? I never noticed it before you pointed it out. Which might be my fault, but still.

          • mx_mond
            August 8, 2018 @ 7:52 am

            I never noticed it before writing the comment, so ;).

            The villain of TWWL is interesting in the larger context of the Moffat era. It’s been said many times that it’s not very interested in monsters and villains as such, and yet most of the time it works despite that, maybe because it’s usually hidden better? Here the villain has to appear front and center in the finale, where he draws attention to how underdeveloped he was.

  4. Lambda
    August 6, 2018 @ 11:17 am

    I liked this story. But as a nonconforming dialogue-driven story with considerable talent driving it and no large blunders, I should be loving it. The unavoidable problem it has is that magical immortality (and hence the ethics of making someone immortal) is just an impossible topic to make generally interesting. Without any real-life current or speculative phenomena to relate to, or any logical constraints, it’s just something every writer makes up stuff about, and you get to see what they decided to make up, and decide whether you would have made up the same things.

    So when, for instance, the writer decides that immortals forget large chunks of their life, I’m not thinking “yes, that’s a problem with immortality” or even “no, that’s wrong”. I’m thinking “given how memory is so much more reconstructive than most people realise, rather than being like filling up a hard drive, what I’d do is to have them become massively unreliable after hundreds of years of iteratively being reconstructed as something slightly more different each time”. Which isn’t the kind of thought the story is going for.

    The fewer objective constraints you have, (which includes things like “the politics which actually improves people’s lives” as well as obvious things like “science” or “the real world”,) the more chance there is that the viewer will just make different arbitrary decisions.

    Reply

    • Przemek
      August 7, 2018 @ 9:35 am

      Why do people insist that immortality is a topic “without any real-life current or speculative phenomena to relate to”? In most instances I’ve encountered (and certainly in this episode) immortality is used as a metaphor for longevity and world-weariness. The forgetfulness you mentioned ties directly to the issues of old age.

      Reply

  5. Daibhid C
    August 6, 2018 @ 11:37 am

    Regarding “is this a two-parter?”: I kind of disagree that they’re any more connected than “Utopia” and “Drums” — in both of them the main connection is “the person the Doctor met in this place is now in another place and the Doctor finds them there”.

    Also, “Utopia” ended on a cliffhanger; if there was no “To Be Continued” and the next story had just been business as usual, we’d feel there was something missing (like, oh, how the Doctor got the TARDIS back). Whereas if we never got back to Ashildr, the last scene would be one of those open-ended “Oh, she’s out there somewhere, maybe Big Finish are interested” things.

    (Come to think of it, this season also boasts a one-part story that ends on a definite cliffhanger that isn’t resolved.)

    Which, to be clear, isn’t to say they’re not a two-parter; it’s pretty clear that part of Moffat’s aim with this season is to explore the question “So what is a two-parter anyway?”

    Reply

    • Daibhid C
      August 6, 2018 @ 11:40 am

      I’ve just realised I deadnamed Me above. In my defence I think I was thinking “If we never got back to her we wouldn’t know she was called Me”, but I wasn’t actually writing from that viewpoint, so no.

      Reply

    • Aylwin
      August 6, 2018 @ 2:00 pm

      Also of course Utopia and Drums are tied together by the Toclafane, it just isn’t explained how until LOTT. Utopia turns out to be the source of the big payoff resolution of the mysteries that Drums sets up.

      Whereas TGWD is only connected with this in as much as its last few minutes provide an origin for what is effectively a whole new character, pretty much unrecognisable from the one in that story.

      Reply

      • Aylwin
        August 6, 2018 @ 5:27 pm

        Between this pair and the Monks trilogy, the efficacy of having different writers separately doing linked stories seems a bit unproven (let’s not even get into Trial of a Time Lord). I could attempt an opinion on how this might relate to the approach to writiing season 11, if I actually had a clear or up-to-date idea of what that seems in fact to have been.

        Reply

        • Lambda
          August 7, 2018 @ 8:20 am

          I make the same sort of observation about the “individual stories linked by an arc” format generally. I don’t think it’s an accident that all my favourite stories are things driven by the same creative force for their entirety without having periods where someone else takes over, whether on television that’s a self-contained (or reasonably so) Doctor Who story or an anime serial stretching over tens of episodes.

          Reply

    • CJM123
      August 6, 2018 @ 4:42 pm

      I’ll say it now that my headcannon for Sleep No More is that the Doctor found the broadcast, high-jacked it and replaced the signal with static but forgot to put a disclaimer saying he had. Just his signature in the opening code field.

      This episode is the opposite of Sleep No More. A well-made off-kilter story that looking back isn’t actually that interested in doing more than just setting up things for the surprise second half, without having a lot to say. But I’d be lying is I didn’t say I loved it for what it is, and Maisie Williams and Peter Capaldi are excellent with the dialogue. I easily preferred this “two-parter” it to the Zygon story, even if that’s more for the first half.

      Reply

    • Douglas H
      August 7, 2018 @ 8:15 am

      If I remember correctly, Gatiss actually did intend to follow up Sleep No More with a proper sequel later on where the message would’ve somehow reached Present-Day Earth, and then he ended up putting it off and doing something else when he realized Moffat and Capaldi would both be leaving after Series 10.

      Reply

      • Prole Hole
        August 8, 2018 @ 4:21 pm

        No spoilers etc but I’m going to end up defending Sleep No More next week. Not as a good episode of Doctor Who, because I don’t think it’s that, but I think there are real elements which deserve to be defended, and if SNM had appeared in almost any other season than this I think it would get a lot more praise – it may be the weakest episode this season, but that speaks more to the strength of this season than anything else.

        Sucker for punishment, me.

        Reply

        • Wilmur
          August 8, 2018 @ 4:57 pm

          I maintain that familiarity with E T A Hoffmann’s “Der Sandmann” is extremely helpful in appreciating Sleep No More as a really, really good episode of Doctor Who.

          Reply

          • Przemek
            August 9, 2018 @ 7:41 am

            That may be so, but “If you know this obscure work, you’ll really appreciate this popular work” is really not a good thing for Doctor Who… If only because, historically, in regards to this show the obscure work in question was usually also Doctor Who.

            Prole Hole, I’m looking forward to your comments then!

    • Dan L.
      August 7, 2018 @ 1:14 pm

      I think the closest parallel would be “The Lodger” and “Closing Time”: like those stories, TGWD and TWWL are entirely separate apart from sharing a main guest star, whose story we continue to follow despite the absence of the plot elements and other supporting characters from the earlier story. TGWD and TWWL could have been in different series, like the Craig stories, and still would have worked individually.

      Reply

      • mx_mond
        August 8, 2018 @ 7:54 am

        The Lodger and Closing Time also share a writer, which is pretty significant.

        Reply

  6. Anton B
    August 6, 2018 @ 5:45 pm

    The Leonian was a bad misstep and probably the worst example of shoehorning an alien into a historical since the Terreleptils who at least had the decency to not have a (Sci-fi cliche number one) Latin name which described their appearance.

    As for Sam Swift, was there ever a character whose actor’s name was a better fit than the writer’s choice? Rufus Hound IS an 18 Century Highwayman. Sam Swift sounds more like a hard bitten 1940s gumshoe.

    This, along with the whole ‘Me’ thing which, sorry, just causes some awkward sentence structures and never quite works off the written page, exposes a writer uncomfortable in this genre not just in Doctor Who.

    I also think Maisie Williams drops the ball here tonally. She is fine in The Girl Who Died where she is pretty much playing Arya Stark as a Viking. She is rather splendid in Hell Bent as the final immortal at the end of the Universe. But here I don’t really buy her as either a credible Highway robber or a Lady of the Manor. ‘Wicked Lady’ is slightly beyond her range just yet.

    Also, wasn’t it a missed opportunity to have Me witness her children’s death not from the plague but simply from old-age? The oft reiterated, curse of the Immortal Time Lord, posited numerous times as the reason the Doctor gets emo about his mayfly companions and, like Peter Pan, never returns for them.

    I agree, Clara is a vital missing ingredient here. She was present at the creation of Me from Ishildr and is destined to travel the Universe with her in the Diner TARDIS, she should be here to witness this part of her story. For Clara to see and understand the horror of immortality before being granted her own, between the heartbeats, version would have balanced her arc wonderfully and made more sense of the lessons of her journey.

    Reply

    • Dan L.
      August 7, 2018 @ 1:20 pm

      “was there ever a character whose actor’s name was a better fit than the writer’s choice?”

      Not the writer’s choice, but ‘Nick Frost’ is a much better fit for the character than ‘Santa Claus’.

      Reply

  7. Mark Pompeo
    August 7, 2018 @ 4:46 am

    I know I’m generally the odd fan with this story because I positively love it to bits. The actual rubbishness of the plot has never bothered me in the slightest. I love the quirkiness, the eccentricities of it. It just suits me. One of 3 stories from this season that I rate 10/10.

    Reply

    • Dan L.
      August 7, 2018 @ 1:25 pm

      I agree with literally every word of this, down to the ratings. Out of curiosity, are the other two 10/10 stories the opening and closing two-parters?

      Reply

      • Mark Pompeo
        August 10, 2018 @ 12:40 pm

        The others are Heaven Sent and the Zygon two-parter. I don’t consider the end of the season to be a multi-part episode, just separate but connected stories. I do collectively like to call Face the Raven/Heaven Sent/Hell Bent the “Clara’s Death Suite.”

        Reply

  8. Przemek
    August 7, 2018 @ 9:28 am

    Another great essay… but I don’t think it managed to redeem this episode for me. I like new and weird ideas, especially in DW, but here all that weirdness and uniqueness seems to amount to a slightly disappointing piece of television. And since I don’t enjoy weirdness for weirdness’ sake…

    In addition to the strange structure, the not-very-interesting time period and the unnecessary alien plot, I was disappointed that DW took the opportunity to explore immortality at lenght and then basically repeated things I’ve already heard elsewhere. Maybe I was expecting too much, having been brought up on strange, thought-provoking Stanisław Lem’s stories that often addressed the topic of immortality, but the amazingly acted Williams-Capaldi scenes was the only thing that saved this episode for me.

    I also think it was a mistake to have Me keep asking the Doctor why he wouldn’t take her with him and to have the Doctor not give an actual answer until the end of the episode. It made him seem cruel and intentionally unhelpful. It reminded me of the scene where the Doctor just listens silently to Davros’ silly accusations that they’re alike. Either give the Doctor a chance to voice his reasons or don’t raise questions you don’t want answered.

    Still, I enjoyed the acting and the set pieces. I just don’t think I’ll be rewatching this story anytime soon.

    Reply

    • Wapscallion
      August 7, 2018 @ 1:35 pm

      Would disagree strongly that 17th century England is a not very interesting time period. It’s ripe for fascinating historical exploration and I recommend Simon Guerrier’s audio drama “The Settling” as a good instance of Doctor Who doing it rather well (Cromwell during the invasion of Ireland in 1649). I understand there will be a James-the-First story for Whitaker’s Doctor this year, so that will no doubt be set in the 1620s or thereabouts.

      If we’re talking specifically about The Woman Who Lived, surely this is where all the silly Rufus-Hound-isms become completely appropriate? Because the mid-17th century is best known for bawdy Restoration-era comedy and that’s exactly what Tregenna is going for here?

      Reply

      • Wapscallion
        August 7, 2018 @ 1:37 pm

        • Whittaker, of course. The curse of this show having 2 prominent Whit(t)akers!

        Reply

      • Przemek
        August 8, 2018 @ 8:02 am

        I’m sure the time period itself is very interesting (they all are), but as far as representations of historical periods in popular culture go, 17th century England is surely not as exciting as 19th century England or the Middle Ages. Or at least it never managed to excite me on-screen. I feel the same about 18th century France in “The Girl in the Fireplace”. All pretty costumes, very little substance. (The episode itself is wonderful, of course).

        It also probably doesn’t help that, being Polish, I only know the broad strokes of English history and culture and so “bawdy Restoration-era comedy” means very little to me. We’ve had our own comedies at the time, of course, but they mostly revolved around middle class families or courtly matters and I don’t think they included many characters like Sam Swift.

        Reply

    • Greg S.
      August 7, 2018 @ 2:19 pm

      Although I think I enjoy this episode much more than you, Przemek, I do agree that the Doctor’s behavior is a huge flaw.

      This episode presents the situation as if the two, and only two, possible choices for the Doctor are to take Me on as a full time travelling companion or leave her to her fate (as he essentially does at the end of this episode.)

      Two other options that easily come to mind are the Doctor takes Me to a point in Earth’s future or to another planet where day-to-day existence isn’t quite so soul-crushingly difficult. This might require some time where he sticks around while Me gets acclimated to the new time (or planet), but it does not require them to stay together forever (or even for a particularly long time). Certainly you can achieve the same outcome as the existing episode by having the Doctor make the offer and Me declining (any good writer could come up with a plausible motivation why she would refuse).

      It doesn’t bother me that the Doctor didn’t move her to a new time or place, but it bothers me a lot that the episode acts like that possibility doesn’t exist.

      Reply

      • Przemek
        August 8, 2018 @ 7:40 am

        Exactly! And if the Doctor doesn’t want to babysit Me in another time period/on another planet, he doesn’t have to. He can just do what he usually does: drop her off somewhere and then just leave without saying goodbye. Her life would still be better. Win-win.

        The funny thing is, I can imagine this story working well with Matt Smith’s Doctor. Creating an immortal and then just leaving without a care in the world is 100% Eleven’s style. After meeting her again he would awkwardly try to fix his mistake, not understanding how much resentment she has for him and making her even angrier. But with Capaldi playing his scenes with Me in “The Woman Who Lived” like he’s this wise, stoic hero who just knows better, the Doctor comes off as paternalistic and unsympathetic. Which Twelve definitely can be, just… meh. Didn’t work for me here.

        Reply

        • Aylwin
          August 8, 2018 @ 12:20 pm

          Of course, it’s even more of a Nine/Ten thing to do, given Davies’s preoccupation with that idea of the Doctor throwing things up and then irresponsibly walking away without checking how they land. Ten especially – early Nine does also spend some time clearing up odds and ends of the Time War mess, and with him the unfinished-business idea features as an aspect of how the Doctor operates generally, whereas with Ten it’s more closely aligned with more his arrogant and frivolous personality. Introducing that notion again here was maybe a matter of coming back round to an idea that had perhaps been done to death before, but that hadn’t been used for a few years and was therefore ready for another turn.

          I suppose the antithesis of that sort of thing is Seven, with his tendency to tie up the loose ends left lying around by his own past and future selves.

          Reply

          • Aylwin
            August 8, 2018 @ 12:22 pm

            “with his more”

          • Przemek
            August 8, 2018 @ 12:51 pm

            You’re right. I mentioned Eleven specifically because I feel like Nine/Ten would at least apologize to Me after seeing her so unhappy about her immortality. (And I feel like Nine tended to make such mistakes more by accident than by design – I wonder if he would even consider making Me immortal). Eleven would be clueless while also trying to be charming and/or smug.

      • Lambda
        August 8, 2018 @ 8:04 am

        I seem to remember Waters of Mars having a similar problem, where everyone concludes someone has to die because they were reported dead and that was all inspiring, not even with any body being found because Mars, and nobody suggests just taking her to a different time period, or a different planet, or even just giving her a new identity and hiding her on Earth in her own time.

        Though that was even worse because “now she mysteriously appeared back at her home then shot herself” does not actually fix history.

        Reply

        • Aylwin
          August 8, 2018 @ 11:23 am

          I do try to moderate my readiness to care about things not making sense, or at least to put it in perspective, but I have no intention of ever cutting the end of Waters of Mars any slack. It’s just stupid.

          Reply

        • Greg S.
          August 8, 2018 @ 1:44 pm

          I agree with you that a similar solution could have been used for Waters of Mars and that the ending is a huge flaw that mars an otherwise excellent episode.

          My bigger problem with the ending of Waters of Mars, though, is I’ve never bought that the Captain (or leader, I forget her rank) has heard or seen anything like enough evidence that what the Doctor says about the future is true, to seriously motivate her to TAKE HER OWN LIFE!

          The only thing she directly experiences is that the TARDIS can instantaneously travel from Mars to Earth. If she MUST kill herself (which I agree with you is not the best [or even a very good] solution, given the parameters of the show), then there needed to be a side trip where the Doctor takes her to the future and she sees/experiences enough to convince her that the Doctor is a true time traveler and not a con man.

          Reply

          • Przemek
            August 9, 2018 @ 8:17 am

            I think “people just immediately accept the reality of time travel/space travel/monsters” is just a part of the adventure genre. And I don’t think it’s a part you want to get rid of. The constant explanations would get tiresome very quickly.

            Regardless, wouldn’t you believe an extremely clever alien who arrives in a magic machine and seems to know exactly what’s happening? It also seems to me that Adelaide was reacting more to the terrifying attitude of the Time Lord Victorious than his words about her personal future. She wanted to prove that monster wrong and stop him in his tracks.

          • mx_mond
            August 9, 2018 @ 6:51 pm

            The way you phrased this made me realize that Waters of Mars resembled Extremis in this regard, Extremis being the other episode about defying an omscient and omnipotent god (or rather a host of demiurges) by killing yourself.

  9. Austin G Loomis
    August 7, 2018 @ 4:41 pm

    I have nothing to say about the episode itself. I just wanted to point out, because my level of anorak neepery leads to me keeping track of these things, that this is the eighth time you’ve given a TE post a title quoting The Caves of Androzani, bringing it ahead of its closest competitors (The Dalek Invasion of Earth and The Curse of Fenric). Are these your favorite episodes, or just the best sources of usable quotes?

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      August 10, 2018 @ 8:16 pm

      Dalek Invasion of Earth certainly isn’t a favorite. Curse of Fenric comes closest to being explicable on those terms. In this specific case, I was uninspired for a quote so went “well, I don’t think I’ve done Sixth Doctor in a while,” pulled up his WikiQuotes page, and then immediately saw an obvious winner in his second line.

      Reply

  10. Rodolfo Piskorski
    August 7, 2018 @ 9:39 pm

    There are two glaring questions that this episode raises but it only addresses one of them.
    I mean the Jack Harkness one. It would be preposterous if the Doctor didn’t refer to Jack as another immortal that he also shunned occasionally. I wonder if the only reason we actually got that reference is that Tregenna wrote Torchwood. Sometimes I feel they avoided referring to Jack just to hide the fact that Me is so much like him.
    And the second question is: what the hell happened with Sam Swift, if he was also made immortal???

    Reply

    • Aylwin
      August 7, 2018 @ 11:59 pm

      Drawing attention to Jack might end up drawing attention to the problem that for all his Time Vortex-enabled “fixed point in time and space” thing and seemingly limitless reconstitutive powers, he apparently ends up growing old and dying, whereas, as far as we can tell, Me “survives to the very end of the universe, to the end of time itself”* on the basis of some bunch of comically-inept third-rate axe-murderers’ tu’penny-ha’penny barring-accidents healing device, which somehow never wears out or breaks down. But probably no one involved was actually nerdish enough to worry about that.

      • No, that quotation is not in fact about Me, nor indeed from Doctor Who at all, but it seems apt enough. And while using it may not provide me with what could strictly be called an excuse to start quoting lines like “So! The mortals seek to challenge my mastery!”, it does at least provide, shall we say, an occasion.

      Reply

    • mx_mond
      August 8, 2018 @ 9:15 am

      “How would immortality affect a person like Sam Swift?” is definitely one of the most fascinating implications of this episode. Because Me is a known type (even if the writing and acting keep her fresh and interesting) insofar as she’s a brooding, melancholy immortal – at least at this stage. But Sam Swift? I imagine him becoming a sort of folk hero – not particularly clever or brave, or noble, but posessing his own brand of smarts, not to mention a lot of luck, so that he’s always fine in the end. Sometimes doing good, sometimes serving his own selfish ends.

      Damn it, BBC, where is my The Tales of Sam Swift anthology?

      Reply

    • AG
      August 8, 2018 @ 6:51 pm

      I believe they clarified that opening the portal drained the chip, so Sam was not immortal.

      Reply

      • Przemek
        August 10, 2018 @ 7:44 am

        From Wikipedia’s plot summary: “Afterwards, the Doctor explains that Swift may or may not have been rendered immortal by the chip as its power could have been drained when closing the portal”. So mx_mond’s very nice idea is still on the table.

        Reply

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