Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode54Welcome to a spirited episode of Verity! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we vociferously disagree about the relationship and soldier issues in “The Caretaker”. It’s a boisterous discussion in which we once again prove it’s possible to strongly disagree, and yet still remain fast friends. Which Verity thinks Danny is turning into a jerkface? Who thinks he was justified in everything he said and did? Who can barely form complete sentences at the start of the podcast? And who has the plague? Listen and see!

What did you think about this ep? Is the Doctor a huge jerk? Is Danny? Is Clara? All three? And what about Courtney Woods? Let us know in the comments!

^E

Also covered:

Bonus links:
NYCC (if that’s not a Deb happy thing)
Otters that look like Benedict Cumberbatch
The Matrix

Download or listen now (runtime 1:18:45) 

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Comments on: "Verity! Episode 54 – Who Gives a Caretaker" (56)

  1. The Doctor has always been part of the upper class, he is a TimeLORD afterall. This is just the show finally getting it right. Instead of the Doctor pretending to be just another “regular”chap, like 9 or 10.

  2. lbphilly said:

    Going to listen to this wonderfully animated podcast again. Wow, you’ve covered race, class, trust, competition, deception, anti-soldier self-loathing, collateral damage, and lots and lots of alpha male. Which reminded me of nothing so much as two dogs trying their best to cover each other’s scent on a hydrant. Which you’d never get from the Tin Dog.

    And speaking of the Tin Dog: much is being made of the way the Twelfth Doctor keeps calling Danny P.E. Does no one remember “Mickey the Idiot,” belittled across two regenerations?

    Great points about this being more about class than about race — I agree, but I may be seeing this through my privilege, as folks say.

    Yes, the Doctor was repeatedly cranky about P.E., but please consider that he had the whole situation under control until Danny removed the small thingy so his carefully calibrated plan to send robot-thingy billions of years in the future, thereby jeopardizing Clara and the whole school. Danny was pretty high-handed with Clara on the couch, but I’m pretty sure she’ll find a way to put him straight when the time is right — which it wasn’t just then. (Poor Clara, just trying to tamp everything down until her boys got control of themselves and she could sort them out…. any woman with a blended family full of males has been there, done that.)

    I’m with — Lynne, was it? — when she said “I’m a little surprised that you expect them to be good all the time.” All the other doctors and all the other companions had their moments, too — but it was never the focus of an episode, or at least not one that I’ve seen or remembered.

    Someone also commented that the Doctor was “human-blind” in the sense that he doesn’t really see critical differences between humans. On the other hand, he sure recognized the resemblance between Tempest-boy and his earlier self — and I could really see a pleased Matt Smith behind Capaldi’s eyebrows when he made that wrong deduction.

    Also, I saw three Sherlock references: the otters, the Sherlockish we’re-doing-something music, and the Doctor’s comment that he’s the caretaker under deep cover, “Look, I’ve got a brush.” That’s remarkably like Sherlock’s “I’m in shock, look, I’ve got a blanket” toward the end of the debut episode.

    I’m glad that all the Verities are agreeing that this is a great season, albeit an uncomfortable one.

    • To add to the Mickey comparison in one of the earlier episodes Nine kept on insisting that his name was definitely Ricky. With the exact same inability to accept that he could be wrong, seeing it as much more likely that Mickey had just forgotten his own name.

  3. I’ve been waiting all week to hear the Verities take on this episode! The Caretaker, I wanted to love it because I love Gareth Roberts earlier Doctor Who work. Also, I’m a staunch Moffat defender and think much (too?) has been made about his writing of women. However, this story left me feeling disturbed.

    While Lynne discussion of race and class was enlightening and something I hadn’t considered, it was Deb that hit the nail on the head. I don’t need these characters to be good all the time but their unpleasantness seemed much more deep-rooted. The kind of ugliness that people try to hide but their true selves come out in times of great stress. For me, everything took a turn when the Doctor said, “You can come back and finish the job. You’ve explained me to him but not him to me.” Excuse me, Doctor. Clara is not your possession. She does not need to explain why she loves someone. She needs to explain you to Danny because she lied to him. She didn’t lie to you. She told you she was dating someone and you need to suck it up and accept it. From there it went downhill.

    Danny insisting that he needs to see Clara when she is with the Doctor. Clara betraying the Doctor’s trust by sneaking Danny into the TARDIS. Clara insisting Danny isn’t a soldier even though she knows he is. Danny sneaking behind Clara’s back to help if she gets in trouble (would have respected him much more if he said “stuff it Doctor” I’m staying with her). Danny and the Doctor making a deal over the top of Clara’s head as they begin to understand that each is “good enough” for Clara. The fake whip cream on the top of this patronizing sundae was the ultimatum which she agrees to! I wanted to scream and all of them to stop being macho idiots and damsel in distress.

    Okay, back to the podcast. I was surprised that Deb was mostly alone in on this side of the argument but respect the other’s opinions. I am usually like Katrina in that I watch for fun and then I watch twitter (and podcasts) to see what other stuff I missed. However, The Caretaker slapped me in the face with its male privilege. However, the Verities once again gave an intelligent, well-rounded discussion.

    PS Love Graeme Burke recap on Heads over Feels and the Clara’s fashion in Beyond the Browncoat (impressed there models of all shapes and sizes). Good happy things this week!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I can see where Deb is coming from, but this is a drama programme (with strong comedic elements too, especially in episodes like this one) and drama (and comedy) kind of relies on people making mistakes and behaving badly. So if everyone was perfect and nice all the time, the thing would be dull as dishwater.

    I’m really enjoying the grumpy, abrasive Doctor and I hope his character doesn’t mellow TOO much, but he could certainly do with showing his compassionate side a wee bit more. I am sure this will happen in due course. But there’s so much fun to be had from him being horrible that I hope they don’t iron out too many of his character defects!

    I think Moffat is prodding at the Doctor’s hypocrisy about soldiers in this series. He’s being set up for a fall. I have no doubt that the series finale will see the Doctor accept the fact that without soldiers (or someone else willing to be cannon fodder), he’d be unable to save the universe 9 times out of 10. It’s right that he should see violent action as a last resort, but it’s wrong of him to have contempt for the people who do his dirty work for him. I’ll be very surprised if this is not the whole point that Moffat is driving towards.

    But with Moffat you never know! One thing I do know is that there hasn’t been a dud episode for me yet this year. I can accept that the new Doctor and the new dymanics aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but they are to mine!

  5. asajeffrey said:

    One thing I liked about the episode was Danny’s ability to find the Doctor’s weakest spot, which is not only that he hates being called a soldier, but he really really hates being reminded that he’s an aristo. The Doctor’s always had a lot of class issues, what with being a toff, and often using the privilege that it gets him, but also feeling deeply uncomfortable about it and wanting to be just a wanderer in time and space.

    A friend of mine called this “Peter Capaldi as the Doctor as Tony Benn”, which I think is a brilliant summary of the Doctor’s ambivalent relaionship to class privilege. [Aside, possibly the best VAM ever is Tony Benn talking about the Post Office Tower on the War Machines DVD.]

    A different friend of mine has prosopagnosia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopagnosia), a deficit in face recognition, which I think is what this incarnation of the Doctor has

  6. BeckyB said:

    Hello, to my favorite podcast! I love how you all disagree so respectfully and insightfully. Your courteous disagreement gives me comfort room as a listener to change my mind about things. So thanks!

    Interesting music moment in this episode. Did you catch the theme played when Danny first looks into the TARDIS? It was “The Madman With a Box” first played in 5.1, and then periodically used throughout Matt Smith’s tenure, most notably, played when Eleven slides out his bow tie right before his regeneration. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this theme has been played for this Doctor and I know the music is chosen very purposefully, so I’ve been pondering this choice. I’ve come up with two possible interpretations. The first being that this theme is also known as the “Sadman with a Box” and often represented the Doctors loneliness. Danny seeing into the TARDIS was his first glimpse of the real heart of the Doctor, whether he recognized it or not. The other idea is that this theme represented, that as Danny is introduced into the world of the Doctor, it is the final nail in the coffin of the “boyfriend” type relationship that Clara once shared with Eleven.

    I do hope we get to see some softer moments with Clara and the Doctor, there just weren’t any in this episode. And I certainly hope Danny’s “are we clear” comment was more of a “do we have an understanding” rather than “do as you’re told”. If Clara and Danny have had a year together at this point (as some have speculated) then I hope Clara knows his character well enough that they are equal partners and she took the comment as such.

    This was one of my favorite episodes so far and I hope that all these things that make us uncomfortable about the way these three are interacting with each other will work out in the story arc.

    • “Did you catch the theme played when Danny first looks into the TARDIS? It was ‘The Madman With a Box’ first played in 5.1” — Yes! I noted that, too. I especially like your second take on its use. Has Murray Gold introduced a theme proper for Capaldi’s Doctor yet? I think I heard an altered, stripped-down version of “Next Stop Everywhere”/”I am the Doctor” in “Deep Breath,” but I haven’t noticed a recurring theme for Twelve yet. Maybe he hasn’t earned one yet…?

      • BeckyB said:

        He does have a theme, but it isn’t super distinctive and sounds similar to Eleven’s. I wouldn’t mind if they introduced a new one that set this doctor apart and reflected his darker side.

  7. I’ve never commented here before but I so strongly agreed with Deb that I had to post! Even while I was watching the episode, I said to my husband, “I bet Deb is going to have something to say about this!”.

    I don’t like Clara this season. I liked her fine with Matt Smith but this year she is just not likeable to me anymore. I can’t believe how often she lies. It drives me crazy. I know the Doctor lies too, but his knowledge of the situation is almost always deeper and more thorough than everyone else’s, so his lies often further his plans, which are (almost?) always for the greater good. I was so angry at Clara in this episode, for her selfish treatment of BOTH men.

    I also was mad at Danny. Who encounters a man in a time machine, sneaks into his home/spaceship and doesn’t have some degree of respect? Ok, even if he doesn’t want to respect the doctor, doesn’t he at least have some questions for him? Isn’t he curious about time and space travel, and what he and Clara have been up to? No, Danny is an incredibly selfish person too. Don’t like being called “P.E.”? Don’t like the bullying attitude the doctor is giving you? Take a leaf out of Mickey’s book and do the old “actions speak louder than words”. Be a better man, rise above the situation, and if the Doctor doesn’t come to respect you, then that’s his problem.

    Also, Danny was so controlling of Clara, and the last scene with is ultimatum was just awful. I think he was right to be upset and even jealous because of Clara’s double life, and her lies. But I think his line in the sand should’ve been “no more lies” not “if you don’t tell me when he’s pushing you too far so I can intervene and ‘protect’ you, then we’re through.” That would’ve been more reasonable. I get it, when people are mad, they’re not always reasonable, but he was edging into threatening/controlling territory. He doesn’t understand Clara and the Doctor’s relationship, he doesn’t even TRY to understand it. It is so ridiculous that he finds out his girlfriend has been traveling through space and time and his only reaction is anger and possessiveness. I hated the somersault, and Clara’s adoring gaze right after Danny revealed he had been invisibly following her around. Creepy and just not right. It will take a huge turnaround for both Clara and Danny for me to start rooting for them as a couple.

    Ok, the Doctor. He was a jerk in this episode too. I didn’t like his attitude toward Danny in the first scene they have together, when he’s refusing to believe that Danny teaches Math. I think that the Doctor gets frustrated with other men don’t respect him, because let’s face it, the doctor is smarter and more experienced than anyone else, and he is more patient with women. But the thing about the doctor is, even though he is very aware of his superiority in a lot of areas, he doesn’t think anyone is WORTH more than anyone else, and he definitely believes that every person (or alien) has inherent worth. I think that’s one of the themes of the show, and something I like about him. He came kind of close here to devaluing who Danny is as a person, rather than just making fun of his intelligence and his profession.

    The Doctor had every right to kick Danny off the Tardis. Danny sneaked in and then started mocking the Doctor for being a Time Lord (really, Danny, you meet an alien in a time machine and all you can do is mock him/try to rile him up? what is your problem?). The Doctor is sensitive about that and asks him to leave. I would do the same if someone came to our home and acted that way.

    Anyway, I’m starting to get a bit rambley; I could go on and on about things I disliked about this episode. There were some great moments and some funny scenes, and even when I don’t like the way his character is acting, I really enjoy watching Peter Capaldi (especially for those rare smiles as Katrina mentioned, and the way he moves about, as Liz mentioned last week) but when the episode was over, I was just so upset about the way all the characters behaved. I really hope there is some good payoff to this, and everyone’s issues get resolved in a believable (for Doctor Who!) way. Hoping for a more enjoyable viewing experience this coming weekend!

    Love listening to you ladies every week! Your podcast is so fun to listen to and I love all the back-and-forth when you don’t agree 🙂

    • I too, found Deb’s arguments most persuasive, because the drama was so forced little of the negativity the characters exhibited felt natural at all. Of the three leads, Clara’s actions and motivations were the most reasonable. Adding to Anna’s good deconstruction above… Why would anyone react that way when they encounter aliens and time travel machines? WHY would anyone jump right away to the “you’re keeping things from me” line/trope? It didn’t work…especially because throughout the episode Clara never responds to this. Why should she have told him (it’s a new relationship) that she travels through time with an Alien? Why would he take her seriously? Even assuming that he would buy it or she could provide evidence, why does he have to know? He was not a sympathetic character at that point and became very creepy at the end. I don’t mind non-sympathetic character traits, as long as they are supported by the context or the previous text.

      I also find the class argument with the Doctor to be ham-fisted. He is an Alien. He is not English. The writers like to flip flop, from East-Enders character to mysterious all-seeing magic god who can save the universe with his near infinite knowledge. How is that a class issue? Time Lord? Is Time the proletariat? I’m not getting the analogy. What I did observe in this episode was a portrayal of racial minorities (as background characters) that was less than perfect. It wasn’t necessarily offensive, but it wasn’t explored enough either to give the episode any meat on it’s textual bones.

      It wasn’t a bad episode, it had some fun moments, but it didn’t work at any level beyond what Robot of Sherwood did. As Deb said, it was too much at once. I would just add that too much of that too much was forced and artificial.

      • First of all, I am LOVING this discussion! We keep saying how smart, articulate, and awesome our listeners are, and that’s only because it’s true!

        Now, just to address a couple of pedantic points…

        1) Something I meant to mention on the podcast and forgot is how cool it is that FINALLY, aliens are a known thing in the world. We’re not instantly forgetting all the invasion attempts. People actually acknowledge that humans aren’t alone in the universe. It might not be an everyday thing, but Danny wasted no time in realizing that aliens were involved. And it wasn’t a big deal. I thought that was so cool. Felt much more realistic than people fleeing London every Christmas but then being doubtful about aliens in other eps.

        So anyway, I think that says a lot about Danny’s reaction. He’s not as wowed by the mere fact of aliens as we might be. He’s definitely a bit shaken up by it–seeing something is different from knowing it exists. But that explains why he was so quick to get past that and hit upon the thing that really *does* matter–the fact that Clara has been lying to him all this time, which brings me to…

        2) This isn’t a new relationship. Time has been zipping past us this series. They don’t specify exactly, but Clara and Danny have been dating a long time by now. It could be even up to a year, depending on how often they have parents night at Coal Hill. (And that montage at the beginning was to show us that this has been going on for some time.) Regardless of the exact timeline, it’s been many months. You can tell by Clara’s reaction that even she thinks she really should have told Danny about her double life. (Heck, she admits she loves him. Hiding a huge part of your life from the person you love is just a no-no.) Of course, like in all good dramas, she doesn’t tell him as soon as she should have, and it just gets harder and harder to do until it all blows up in her face.

        And a less-pedantic one, 3) I do think the class argument works. Class can be a thing both within species and amongst them. The history of Doctor Who is littered with examples of this (The Ark, Carnival of Monsters, Colony in Space, The Happiness Patrol…and the list goes on). Danny immediately recognizes the superiority complex that’s one of the hallmarks of the Doctor’s character. He really does think he’s better than others (we’re “apes” remember?). And yet he does want to think of himself as an egalitarian cosmic hobo much of the time. So Danny is not only insightful, but manages to hit on a real sore spot for the Doctor. That’s part of why I think that scene works so well, despite being a bit hard to watch. I was thrilled that Danny held his own. I think the Doctor tends to get away with too much sometimes, and in this case, he was downright awful to Danny from moment one. Mickey may have played the long game with the ninth Doctor, but I’d get bored if every character took the same tack. I’m glad we’re seeing a totally different reaction from Danny.

        As I said, there’s a lot in this ep that made me uncomfortable as far as the actions of the characters, but everything really made sense to me from a motivational standpoint. What they did *made sense* for the characters they’ve built over these eps. I don’t want characters who always act the way I want them to–or the way I would. That’s not good television. Now they have a chance to acknowledge their flaws and grow. (Which I hope they do.) We rarely get a lot of that in Who, and I, for one, am pleased to see it.

      • I found the comments Danny made in the Tardis interesting, although they’re loaded with as much personal prejudice as possible he is right. The Time Lords are explicitly the upperclass of Gallifrey they exclusively control every political position as well as the upper echelons of the military. If you replaced Time Lord academy with Eaton you’d get a lot of parallels to the British class struggle.

        The 50th anniversary and its accompanying shorts enforce this with average citizens and frontline soldiers not being Time Lords. Specifically the short following a soldier during the Dalek invasion of Gallifrey shows a fear of death that makes little sense from the perspective of a Time Lord that can regenerate.

        It’s also interesting given the number of socialist and communist writers the show has had over the years that the Doctor has parallels to Lenin. The Doctor is explicitly upperclass but styles himself as a man of the oppressed proletariat that helps those that the elite neglects. It works especially well if you consider the Time Lords tendency to never interfere in the affairs of their lessers unless it benefits them.

      • You’re absolutely right about the Doctor not being English. He’s Scottish. 🙂

  8. Another wonderful discussion! Deb, I’m with you 100% on thinking this episode was a step backward for the character of Clara. Why she didn’t tell the Doctor, “I don’t owe you an explanation” is beyond me. (I can see why she didn’t talk back to Danny even though, as you point out, she quite rightly should have.)

    The Doctor acted so much like every stereotype of an overprotective father you’ve ever seen, it got me cooking up my own weird theory about Missy: Maybe she is the Doctor’s actual daughter (as opposed to DNA daughter Jenny) from Gallifrey, out for revenge because the Doctor was a terrible dad. Maybe she brought a soldier boy home once and the Doctor belittled him without ceasing; maybe he was arrogant enough to assume she would fall for a guy like “dear old Dad,” as the Doctor assumes of Clara (I loved the Adrian bits – so well done!). True, it makes it a little strange that Missy referred to the Doctor (presumably) as her “boyfriend” in “Deep Breath”… unless she was being ironic or snarky. There have been some hints that the Doctor as father is being explored this season (remember his “dad skills” in “Listen,” let alone Danny’s assumption this week that the Doctor was Clara’s “space dad”) — maybe an unresolved relationship with Susan’s mother, now back and unhappy with him as Missy, is part of the stuff he’s working through?

    Probably not. Still, it’s fun to theorize.

  9. This was by far my favorite episode this season, the first I’m looking forward to re-watching. As usual, I’m delighted to hear the Verities make their cases for perspectives I hadn’t even considered! I think what really made this episode work for me was these damaged characters *acting* damaged, behaving in understandable but regrettable ways, then ending up with a “happy ending” despite all that, but in a way which feels unsustainable. Will their forthcoming adventures build respect and trust between these people? Will their battles against the Master (or whoever) instead tear them apart? I am so eager to find out.

  10. Richard S. said:

    I’m a big fan of the episodes written by Gareth Roberts in DW & across all the multifarious RTD SF franchises. Always slightly nervous that Gareth’s latest ep will be the exception, so I was relieved to find that I enjoyed this one as much as any of his best.

    I think it’s down to his skill at using genre and character development to create drama, so he doesn’t have to rely so much on cleverness or hype or cheating levels of misdirection, and the main theme of the story rises above the standard “shooty robot defeated by unseen jabbing at buttons on technobabbly gizmo” plotline that was perfectly acceptable in its day.

    I loved the ep sooo much, I’ve got tons of notes to make it extra perfect on the Special Edition DVD!

    The early publicity photos of the robot… I keep wanting to type Skrillex, but it’s actually the Skovox Blitzer, a name that was mentioned only once if at all on your latest podcast, interestingly… Those photos made the Skovox Blitzer look decidedly naff, maybe even cartoonish, but the combination of the remote-control & the interior performance by Jimmy Vee & the directing & editing made it look incredibly effective and menacing.

    I’m not sure that it needed to be described as the most effective soldier in the Whole Wide Cosmos (or whatever), but it served its purpose to maintain the level of tension throughout the episode.

    I’d agree with Deb that the scene of Danny vs. the Doctor in the TARDIS was uncomfortable to watch, and its effectiveness can’t really be judged until after the season has ended. Having the Doctor ranting about soldiers so much, in a generally prevailing real-world national/Western mood of support for the Armed Forces? (Cue the Prime Minister’s party conference speech today, which included a list of attributes of Enemies of the United KIngdom…) It’s a risky decision to go that far with the Doctor’s supposed-pacifist & anti-establishment leanings.

    In the latest DW magazine, Gareth Roberts mentions that he wondered if his script was going too far, but that this level of viewer uncertainty & discomfort was a deliberate showrunning choice.

    On DW Extra (to paraphrase or misquote), Moffat revealed that the whole TARDIS scene was playing on the Doctor’s past behaviour as the ultimate alpha male, charming all the pretty ladies with his big box of tricks, and bristling when there’s a possibility that he will be out-alpha-ed (alpha double-plussed?) by a bigger & better man. So, that scene had nothing to do with racism whatsoever, as far as any scene involving human interactions can ever have “nothing whatsoever to do” with any particular -ism that the author didn’t really consciously intend to confront or employ or reference.

    As with Deb, I found the final sofa scene to be patronising, and a case of forcing a character to behave out-of-character in order to conform to the needs of the overall story arc. Having said that, I’m prepared to accept all of this as the way the season is playing out. I’m much more willing to believe the idea of Danny & the Doctor each trying to sacrifice the other, in order to save Clara, than I’m willing to believe that the drippy (sorry… no, actually, not sorry) drippy character of Dale “Barbie” Barbara would kill any of the non-evil townsfolk in order to save his beloved Julia Shumway in “Under The Dome” (currently on season 2, episode 6 in the UK, where that piece of character development is revealed).

    Regarding Danny Pink: on the whole, I’ve found Samuel Anderson to be much more likeable as himself (or perhaps that should be: as his on-camera RL persona) than as the character of Danny, but then I felt the same way about Karen Gillan vs. Amy Pond until her second season.

    Ellis George is brilliant. Courtney is brilliant when written correctly & sympathetically. I’m sure she’ll be back next week, and I cannot wait.

    Sidebar: anyone else got the Official DW 2014 Anniversary Calendar, now turned to the Ten-nant-th month of October? Thanks to a dangling modifier, the written bit implies that Chris Eccleston regenerated into the tenth Doctor’s companions Rose, Martha and Donna. I think I missed that scene. Must be one of those Easter Egg things I can never get into…

  11. Richard S. said:

    Oops, almost forgot. Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, Saturday, March 27th, 1993. Al Pacino. Scent of a Woman. And ever since that day, I have never been able to look at a fictional character’s military salute (e.g Danny mock-saluting the Doctor in the TARDIS) without wondering if Frank Slade would approve.

    I just Google that movie scene and was amazed to find it had gone viral due to a recent news event in the US. Amazed… yet unsurprised. Such a memorable movie moment.

    Loving the podcast. Especially loving your constant attentive, bordering on paranoid, questioning of every scene, line, word, gesture and eyebrow.

  12. I loved this episode (both Doctor Who and Verity!), and appreciated how uncomfortable and human it all got (again, both DW and V!).

    My thought on Twelve’s deluxe-sized hatred of Danny’s soldier past is that it’s really projection. He’s really just recently learned of his own past as a soldier, and he did express hating the Architect. Similarly, Danny’s overprotective posturing is a projection of his need for protection, or for a protection that he might have longed for in the past.

  13. I was given a lot to think about from this episode of Doctor Who and also this episode of Verity!, but for me there isn’t time today to talk about it all. The biggest issue raised in my mind is the question of Danny’s “ultimatum”. I think Lynne and Erika shared opinions closest to my own with regard to the interactions between our three principle characters.

    With regard to the final scene with Danny and Clara, I want to offer a contrasting viewpoint to that of Deb and others here on the comments page.

    As a former soldier, Danny apparently is a man who has every reason to feel pain, and to retreat from his own emotions. But let’s look at what he has done in the last scene. He has honestly shared with Clara exactly what he feels he needs from their relationship. He thinks he knows what he will be able to bear, and what he will not be able to bear. Given the depth and breadth of the deception Clara has (perhaps understandably) perpetrated, I have every sympathy with Danny expressing his needs in superlative language.

    If he knows what he needs, and he is not afraid to let her know what it is. Then it is up to Clara to decide if his request is fair, or unfair. Say what you will as an observer, but that is between Danny and Clara. If she accepts his request as fair and reasonable, then it is fair and reasonable.

    Deb, at least once you scoffed at Lynne and declared her interpretation as a “stretch”. I would argue that the real stretch is having indignation on Clara’s behalf when she apparently did not feel it herself. Clara understood what he meant, and seemed to understand what he was feeling. I think I did too. It’s possible some critics of his words were focused more on the method and not the real message.

    As you all seemed to suggest, though, time will tell. In a few more episodes I like to think we will know more about why all three of them are motivated to do what they have done. But I expect it will turn out to be exactly as Erika said it would. The Doctor is dealing with a very painful realization: He is capable of being a warrior, and many people see him that way. But he is a good man, and I think he will symbolically reconcile his own goodness by embracing Danny as a good man—I know I certainly have.

    • James C said:

      Great comment!

    • terminuspodcast said:

      I definitely agree. I am actually IN AWE of how HEALTHY Danny’s relationship with Clara is and honestly was really surprised when I started to hear differing viewpoints. I mean, obviously everyone is going to have their own interpretations, but I think moments like the couch scene show to me that Danny is putting forward his boundaries in their relationship. Which is a hallmark of a NON-DYSFUNCTIONAL relationship. In fact, I’d go as far to say that this might be one of the most mature romances/relationships we’ve seen on the show because of that.

      A lot has been said about the couch scene, but for me that scene seemed like Danny trying to take a stand just in case the Doctor was actually the one being potentially abusive and pushing Clara too far. I get the impression from what he said he’s been in that position before (in the military, at least), so he wanted to show her that he was there for her and could be strong for her if she needed to get out of bad situation. But at the same time, if she was going to be keep being dishonest to him, not only would it be unhealthy for the relationship, but that he would feel helpless in trying to help her out of the situation and possibly only make things worse for them both. I didn’t see anything malicious there, personally. And remember, Danny is working from little information here — he doesn’t have all the facts and has not watched all the Clara/Doctor adventures on TV like we have.

      On the other hand, as I said to a friend on LJ, I was chatting with my husband about the episode and while he loved all of it too, playing Devil’s Advocate, he pointed out that there IS some slightly gendered undertones in Danny basically saying at the end that he needs to protect Clara (which could be something people are reacting negatively to). As if she is helpless or something or that he’s more powerful as the male (not that I think that’s what he’s actually saying, BTW, but culturally those assumptions are there — esp when you take into account switching their genders takes that away mostly).

      But to me, one of the threads throughout this season is ‘What makes a hero?’, so poking at the whole ‘knight in shining armor’ trope could be interesting and possibly intentional. I don’t know.

      FWIW, I don’t think that Danny thinks that Clara is weak in any way (quite the opposite, in fact). Again I think that his PTSD and experiences in the military (I think the ‘being pushed too far [by an officer]’ was where he got his own blood on his hands and he wants to save her from that) are coloring his view on things and, because he cares for Clara, he’s coming from an emotional place and doesn’t want her to get hurt (too). I mean, as pointed out in the podcast, Danny was still in a very upset (justifiably, IMO) at the end of the episode, rather blindsided and in shock from all that has happened, so for him to speak — however in-eloquently — from that emotional place made sense to me. It made him REALISTIC (which I wholeheartedly appreciated).

      At the end of the day, many of us are putting our own experiences on this and projecting ourselves onto the characters and that’s why some interpretations might seem obvious to some or a “stretch” to others. That’s what makes hearing other people’s interpretations so interesting, IMO, as we all see something different depending on our personal ‘lens’.

      Either way, I am very interested in how things play out between everyone.

    • Very well said!

      I hope I’m not being unfair, but I initially read Deb’s comments as a kind of “Clara don’t need no man telling her what she can and can’t do!” gut response. In some cases, that response is appropriate. But I think it was clear in this episode that Danny’s “ultimatum” was coming from a place of vulnerability, not controlling machismo.

      From Danny’s perspective, he is a soldier who has been in combat and been forced to do something terrible by a superior. That experience gave him a unique understanding of the limits of authority, especially in life or death situations. Now he sees Clara being put into a life or death situation (literally used as bait for a deadly monster!) and she was totally accepting of it. She did and said nothing to question the Doctor’s orders. What does that indicate? It indicates that, no mattter how many space adventures she’s been on, she doesn’t seem to have an appropriate grasp of the terrible limits of blindly following orders, or when she’s being pushed too far. In other words, Danny saw his younger self in Clara, and I’m sure that made him terrified for her.

      Deb, you brought up how many crazy adventures Clara has been on with the Doctor, and rightly pointed out that she’s probably had more intense experiences than Danny, and gotten herself out of worse scrapes. In other words, she technically has a better resume. So in that sense, Danny’s experience as a “mundane” soldier dealing with “mundane” human enemies doesn’t compare to Clara’s. But that was not his point. His point was about knowing limits, and the way that Clara acted in this episode gave every indication that she didn’t know hers. When you combine that with the starry-eyed way she explains the Doctor (saying that she goes with him because it’s “amazing”), Danny had every right to be concerned for her, and to assume that his personal experience with a superior pushing him too far gave him warrant to say what he said.

      Now, it should not have been given as an all-or-nothing ultimatum like that. But as others have pointed out, Clara obviously didn’t feel the need to “stand up for herself” and I don’t think we have a right to feel indignant on her behalf in this particular case. Clara probably sensed the vulnerability in Danny, and knew that he still deeply hurt over her lying about such a huge part of her life for so long. That moment would not have been the time to start a fight about how she can take care of herself, etc etc. She responded to his vulnerability by agreeing to his terms, by being gentle and accepting of how he feels. In other words, she was a very good and supportive partner in that moment. There’s plenty of time later for arguing once the high emotions have cooled. If Danny continues to act condescending and offers more ultimatums even after they’ve had time to talk about her trips with the Doctor and he has a better understanding of her “other life”, then she should definitely stand up for herself and push back on his attitude. But in this particular moment it would have been callous and unnecessary.

      And of course, as we discovered in this week’s episode, Danny was right.

      Great discussion as always! Keep up the fantastic podcasting!

  14. I feel like everyone’s forgotten Danny’s single teardrop of shame. His ‘ultimatum’ to end the relationship if she doesn’t tell him if she’s being pushed too far is probably less of a judgement on Clara or even the Doctor but on himself.

    We know that Danny’s killed civilians and presumably under orders from an officer he trusted completely. Consider how it’s basically broke him to the point where he can barely form functional relationships then Danny sees the exact same thing happening to someone he loves.

    I think this’ll be one of those things that’ll look better in retrospect when we delve more into what happened to Danny and how it’s effected him.

    • I agree with you. This is how I read what Danny said. It was more about him and his experience as a soldier that caused him to want to protect Clara from becoming the person he thinks he has become.

  15. James C said:

    That was a great listen. BeckyB made a wonderful comment above: “Your courteous disagreement gives me comfort room as a listener to change my mind about things.” That’s exactly right – you could put that at the top of your webpage.

    On to The Caretaker…

    I am firmly in the group that loves this episode. This and Listen are in a very rare group for me, of those that I enjoy fully on first watch. For whatever reason it’s usually on the second viewing that I get into the swing of things. The only bum note for me was the Doctor’s ‘you haven’t explained him to me comment’. That made him sound like a very unpleasant combination of stern parent and bigot (against soldiers, not racially, I should add. I do think that the Doctor is colour blind, for all the right reasons).

    Concerning the ‘am I clear’ comment from Danny, this felt true to me, as a comment from a soldier to a less experienced soldier. And that’s valid in the context of the story. Danny was a trained professional; Clara is doing it for fun. Yes she is very good at what she does, but Danny saying ‘you should be afraid’ seemed wise to me, a reminder that even if you are highly competent, a situation like this should always be scary. It reminds you of the risks, but also – as we heard a couple of weeks ago – that fear is a superpower. So we had the more experienced soldier communicating to the less experienced one – and using language that would be appropriate in that situation. That the conversation took place on the sofa was problematic, but perhaps understandable for someone coming down from a pretty extreme situation. He wasn’t fully back iin the domestic yet. I do think that Clara could have spoken up more, but maybe she recognised that Danny in soldier mode was best dealt with in a less direct way. A bit of Jo Grant-ness perhaps!

    Finally: Who was the caretaker? The Doctor, taking care of business? Clara, taking care of the Doctor and the students? Or Danny, taking care of the students and Clara?

    • I am rather surprised not to have heard anyone previously point out the delightful poetic ambiguity of the title the Caretaker. It hadn’t occurred to me either. Now that it is pointed out, I have little doubt that the writers had all of those interpretations of “who is the caretaker” in mind as they grinned with pleasure when the title was suggested. Nicely spotted James.

      • James C said:

        I feel very wise. 🙂

        For extra points you can do the same with The Lodger. The Doctor, or the alien in the attic?

  16. terminuspodcast said:

    I babbled about things up-thread, but I definitely have to say this is one of my favorites this season. In fact, it was the first one that I IMMEDIATELY wanted to rewatch and have already rewatched it about 4 times and will watch it again and again, I’m sure.

    I loved-loved-loved the emotional maturity in this episode (something that’s been building all through S8, IMO). Yes, it was a emotionally messy, but that is great drama — and REALISTIC drama — in my opinion. So much meta and deliciousness packed into one episode! I really am so excited about how many layers were going on in the story. I mean, even just my husband and I talking about the multiple layers of the title ‘The Caretaker’ just gives me fannish shivers of excitement. WOW!

    A+++ episode

    P.S. So awesome to see Danny showcasing a mature, healthy, grown-up relationship on TV. I wish we had more of that, so I was so glad to see this here. 🙂 ❤ ❤

  17. I LOVE listening to you women! Such a great conversation about such a complicated episode. I really enjoyed the disagreement and the various theories. You all brought up several issues I had not considered.

    A couple of ideas I had about the episode:
    1) The Doctor planned the whole thing to flush out and suss out Clara’s boyfriend. Remember, the robot wasn’t an immediate danger, he just would be someday. None of this needed to happen. In addition, if the Doctor really wanted to keep Clara out of it, wouldn’t he just draw the robot to a different place and then timey-wimey it so it didn’t appear that he had been gone at all?

    2) The Doctor went through with this complicated and calculated scheme because he is trying to take care of Clara and make sure Danny is good enough.

    3) Not really sure Clara NEEDS taking care of, by either the Doctor or Danny-which may be the ultimate point.

    Thanks again for taking the time to provide an awesome podcast each week.

    • 1. Maybe so, I can definitely accept the theory that this was the Doctor being manipulating.

      2. Probably. To my way of thinking, “I never said it was your mistake,” is one of the most heart-breaking lines ever spoken in Doctor Who. I think the Doctor is trying to make amends for his mistake by (rather misguidedly) adopting the stereotypical role of big brother and vetting the prospective boyfriend.

      3. YES! Clara does not need taking care of, but she is definitely a caretaker.

      And most importantly, perhaps:
      4. There is no question that Verity! is one of, if not THE best Doctor Who podcasts out there. Always thought-provoking, always entertaining, always well produced. We are fortunate these women enjoy doing it. I hope they keep doing it for quite a while.

      Thank you Deb, Erika, Katrina, Lynne, Liz, and Tansy!

  18. Mark Gillespie said:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It’s great when the ladies don’t all agree on an episode. If only others in fandom could have rational disagreements like the Verities. I, in fact, loved this episode. I laughed so many times and I was also on the edge of my seat when the tension was turned up. I like a good script that can give me something to laugh at and something to think about. And boy, was there a lot to think about. I can’t wait to see how the second half of the season plays out. Pity we didn’t see the sand piranhas.

  19. Brick said:

    Great writing and drama, but I don’t think I will watch The Caretaker again. If every episode were like this, it would be a difficult show to watch. Fortunately, Doctor Who had plenty of variety for everyone.

    Did you know Danny Pink thiks he can fix baseball? http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-28/how-to-rescue-baseball-from-itself?alcmpid=view 🙂

  20. Like all the other episodes in this season, I absolutely enjoyed this one. I know that Deb had issues with all the characters this week, but this is how relationships are sometimes. I don’t think Danny was being unreasonable. I think he was scared for Clara and didn’t understand how she could not be. He doesn’t know what she’s been doing. And most men still feel they need to “protect” their women all the time. Clara, meanwhile, was trying to keep all her lives separate and failing miserably. To me, not answering Danny (on the couch scene) was just Clara trying to make the best of the situation. If she didn’t care about him then she could have told him to go off himself, but she cares for the Doctor and for Danny and for the first time, she’s having to deal with all her worlds colliding.

    I certainly don’t think they’re dysfunctional at all either. This is how real people act when they’re disappointed in each other or when they’re annoyed with each other. And a healthy argument is not a bad thing. Dysfunctional would make them all bitter and hating each other in the end, I believe, while at the end of this, I think they sorted themselves out without bloodshed 🙂

    I think I’m going to have to start taking notes as I watch this season of DW. I am so enthralled by the writing! Having a more mature doctor this time around apparently means having to deal with more mature situations and I am loving it all. Even just the varied opinions of all the fans surely indicate that Moffet and the writers are somewhere rubbing their hands together in glee that they’ve sparked such great conversations this season 🙂 We certainly cannot say that we’re bored!

    I didn’t buy any of Matt Smith’s DVDs, having bought Chris Ecc’s and all of Tenant’s and I am so looking forward to buying this season and taking a day off to watch it all back to back!

    Thanks, ladies, for your insight and healthy conversations about Doctor Who. Your podcast is the perfect accompaniment to this season and I look forward to next week’s review.

  21. sostorm said:

    People here are smart and articulate so I feel that I can ask this here. Does anyone have a theory on what Danny meant when he went to the Doctor and said ‘I want to work with you…’? This after finding him suspicious and picking up the small digital things that he’d planted around the place.

    • I’m pretty sure he said “I want a word with you.” Not sure if the subtitles reflect that or not, but they’re often incorrect, I find. 🙂

      • sostorm said:

        That’d make much more sense. I didn’t watch with subtitles so I’m not really sure what they said.

  22. @AnyOldJeff said:

    I didn’t find a big problem with the various interactions between the three, particularly between Danny and Clara; yes, they were often awkward and they reflected the diverse and hefty baggage that they’re all bringing to the interactions, but I could see the bulk of it as realistic and – with luck – building to some serious revelations and eating of humble pie later.

    The one scene I felt was far too clumsy – and out of character for Clara to boot – was the scene in the school hall where Clara is making up a far-fetched story to explain the disappearing monster and the relationship between her and The Doctor. Somehow, even assuming that she was in a panic, I simply cannot believe she would have bluffed it through and particularly bluffed it so badly.

    Apart from that scene, which for me demands the use of the FF button, I rather enjoyed the episode!

    And, thanks to you all, I enjoyed the podcast episode too 🙂

  23. I’m one of the ‘thrilled’ at encountering the deeply complex Doctor with eyebrows that are offensive weapons their own right. But it *is* with the proviso that this is going somewhere.

    His apparent hatred of soldiers? His coming to terms with his life as the War Doctor and how it affected his subsequent incarnations and his reflections on his past actions. His antipathy towards Danny and not recognising Awesome Orson? Don’t buy it – I still think he knows exactly who they are, and it’s all bound up with the fate of Journey Blue too. His assishness (is that a word?) to Clara? His growing into his new personality and words he’ll come to regret.

    Rather like a child learning to empathise (a process that continues into adulthood), I’m assuming that by the end of the series (or later if they hold their nerve) the Doctor will look back on his early decisions and cringe.

    I don’t want him to become Tennant or Smith once more. I grew up with Tom Baker and am comfortable with a Doctor who makes me feel a little uncomfortable. But a big cheer for the Doctor, as well as other characters, getting to grow.

    • Totally agree with you Chloe on Awesome Orson. Is this what the doctor meant with the “You haven’t explained him to me yet” line? She hasn’t explained how she was so mixed up in his (Danny/Orson) timeline.

      • Chloe Hardy said:

        It hadn’t occurred to me that maybe Clara has more to tell about Danny. But you’re right, there’s lots of gaps between the stories we’re seeing – perhaps there’s room for a very Moffat-esque going back at the end of the series and filling in the holes to create a very different take on events.

  24. Lynne! I finally passed the level I’ve been stuck on for two months too! I had to level up my favorite players before I could. I moved up five levels, and am now stuck again. Ack! But hey. I’ve got Orson Pink now, so maybe things will improve!

    I totally missed the Sherlock references. I was so focused on him mentioning River, that I didn’t think about anything else. Also missed the Pink Floyd humming. Looking forward to watching it again next Saturday when they re-air on BBC America so I can catch those. Anyone else noticing that when they re-air the episode, they cut out little bits? It’s so frustrating!

    First, this was a GREAT podcast. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the great work.
    Second, I was disappointed Clara played the submissive role, but mostly I was annoyed with Danny. I did not really understand Danny’s hostility to the extreme in the Tardis. Yes, he was upset, maybe jealous, but why was he not the slightest bit interested in TIME TRAVEL?? This is such a big part of Clara’s life, why wouldn’t he want to ask questions, instead of sneak around and poke the Doctor’s buttons? I don’t get it. Truth be told, I liked Orson Pink better than Danny Pink, and I’m ready for Clara to dump him. Bah . And while this episode had a few hiccups, I still really enjoyed it, and will watch it again, and am loving Series 8 as a whole.

    Really looking forward to seeing the orange space suits. And getting off planet!

    • “why was he not the slightest bit interested in TIME TRAVEL??” – Maybe he’s just not interested in time travel with That Guy. They didn’t really hit it off.

  25. I’ve been liking the “human-blindness” of the Doctor this season, as I’m somewhat face-blind myself and often have trouble telling people apart or recognizing the same person twice. It’s especially bad on TV where people tend to fall into tropes (distinguishing Missy from Karabraxos from Kavorian from Cofelia would be very difficult out of the context of their episodes — though the eye patch on Kavorian would help). I’d totally would not have recognized that Danny & Orson were the same person had I only been going on appearance.

  26. Re: the sofa discussion- I didn’t read it as patronizing at all. I get the feeling that Danny is probably a rather protective personality (likely not uncommon for someone in the military, whether male or female) and that he wants to make sure Clara is being as safe as she can. I could easily picture him saying the same thing to a male friend. And if it IS a bit overdone, possibly it’s a matter of former soldier to civilian, rather than male to female. At any rate, I did not get the “Me man, you woman, you do as I say” vibe in the slightest.

    And in terms of the “laying down the laws” of the relationship- it sounded to me like just about any couple in a fight. The whole “are we clear” is totally something that the more pissed-off person would say. A calm and cool disagreement? No, then you probably wouldn’t talk to another adult like that. But when you still haven’t calmed down, and are seriously brassed-off at your partner? Absolutely. Again, I didn’t read it as a man to woman issue, I read it as an angry person to the partner with whom they’re angry.

    Fabulous discussion, ladies!

  27. One thing I’ve been mulling over is that the Doctor said back in Deep Breath that he’d made a lot of mistakes in his life and it was time he did something about that. But as far as we’ve seen in the episodes since, he’s just been carrying on as usual. So I wonder if he’s been doing something between episodes that we don’t know about yet…

    By “mistakes”, he could have been referring to all the people he’s allowed to die in the course of his adventures, so now I’m wondering if he’s behind the whole Missy business? Maybe he’s set up a sort of “safety net” to catch all the people who become collateral damage? If so, it’s sure to backfire in a spectacular way!

    • Hm. If he was the Architect, he could also be behind Missy, I guess! Intriguing idea, Paul.

      Alternatively, maybe we’re being set-up for some big, timey-wimey reveal in which series 8 is watching us witness the mistakes, and then we’ll see the Doctor go back and tell Clara, “I’ve made some mistakes, it’s time I do something about that”…. It wouldn’t be very satisfying to have it sprung on us that we’ve been watching the season effectively out of order, but it would be a very Moffat trick to pull, a la Matt Smith’s jacketless scene in series 5’s angels two-parter coming back in “The Big Bang.”

      I guess Moffat’s under my bed, too!

      • It’s always fun to try to work out what Moffat is up to, and he generally comes up with something more cunning and devious than anything I could conceive of! 🙂

  28. The interactions between The Doctor and Danny were hideously uncomfortable at times but very realistic. I don’t know if it’s an international boundary thing but most of the guys I know (Northern England) would react with the same agressive belligerance as Danny does and would probably use similar words.

    Clara sneaking him into the TARDIS was a lot more worrying. Lying was mentioned as a problem (was it Erika?) and whilst I agree with that I can see situations where a lie is immaterial (if I swore to you that my grass was purple) or done out of an honest belief that it was better for the other person (however wrong, morally and actually, that this may be). This is worse though, it’s a straight up betrayal of trust. That cuts a lot deeper.

    Overall some very nice character work on a nothing, bobbins, forgettable story.

    As a final note – did anyone else spend the whole time from the trailer and through the episode thinking that the robot was a copy of Sir Killalot form the UK edition of Robot Wars? Kind-of ruined it a bit for me.

  29. Laurissy said:

    I’ve been liking this series overall and especially Capaldi as the Doctor he may be my favourite already. It’s no secret that I didn’t particularly like the 11th doctor era for various reasons and part of the reason I got into classic who was I was sick of Smith and I was sick of the story arcs and I was sick of Moffat. So I started with the hartnell era and I fell in love again and I thought to myself why can’t we have a doctor who is this interesting in the modern show someone who is unpredictable and dark but who still tries to do the right thing. Why can’t we have companions that kick ass but also have flaws and why can’t we have arcs that are to do with the doctor. I basically view the first season of doctor who as the first character arc the show ever had. How did the doctor become a hero and this season has been like mana from heaven with a few exceptions. It’s like Moffat heard me maybe from under my bed and I finally got a darker doctor, companions with flaws but who were still awesome and we get a character arc examining the doctor and his role as a hero reflecting what I liked about the first season.

    Overall I liked this episode I thought it was a great character study and I think the Danny calling the Doctor sir may be one of my favorite scenes. Capaldi is so flawed and I love it when people challenge the doctor and the way Danny does it is so brutal and yet justified I loved it. However one of the problems I have is with Clara’s and Danny relationship as characters I like them just fine and Clara has grown on me but I don’t get them as a couple. I feel like I’m only really seeing the negative side of their relationship. I see him being pushy, her being insensitive towards him, him being closed of and cold. It is rather ironically the opposite problem I had with the Doctor and River’s relationship we only got to see the positive side, the flirting the banter saving each other’s life and it rang hollow to me. This relationship I don’t get why they are a couple. They just seem to rub each other the wrong way more than is healthy and they don’t seem to have fun in each other’s company. It’s unpleasant to watch now I know that couples argue and people aren’t perfect and no one is happier than me that Clara is loosing her Mary Sue status from series 7 but I feel that this relationship shouldn’t exist and only exist because the great Moffat demands it. I also don’t think that Samuel Anderson and Jenna Coleman’s chemistry is anything to write home about maybe it’s because the chemistry between Coleman and Capaldi has been so good that it’s overshadowed everything but I just can’t get behind Clara and Danny maybe that will change we’ll see.

  30. […] always, the Verity! Podcast is a must listen to, this time on “The Caretaker”. In nearly every episode, the team provides a wider range of views […]

  31. Did anyone else notice the sound of the ticking watch in the background of the Danny and Clara “quiet” sequences? Perhaps trying to make us aware of the slower pace of time between the two of them as opposed to between Clara and the Doctor.

  32. Henrik said:

    That was a good episode for the most part. It will probably never be my favourite and it isn’t the best of the season because due to its focus on the relationship between Clara, the Doctor and Danny it’s not much of a story all on its own really. It’s more connective tissue for the rest of the series to rest upon and build on but it’s really good connective tissue.

    Unfortunately, Gareth Roberts just can’t help himself with the endings. His endings always go over the top, and in the case of Danny doing a flip over the robot it was literal. It damn near spoiled the whole thing for me. It’s such a wrong note. It’s worse than the exploding Cybermen in ‘Closing Time’ because that episode had an overall slightly sillier tone but even then he should have stopped, at least, at the Cybermen being overpowered by the emotion and shutting down instead of having them physically explode but he didn’t. In the case of ‘The Caretaker’ Danny could have thrown some chairs about, taken a page out of 11 and Amy’s book and flailed wildly shouting “look at me, I’m a target” or even ran at the thing and slid underneath it but instead he instantly developed super powers and flew over it with a flourish.

    Oh, right, and I think the Doctor’s hatred of soldiers is really just pure self loathing bubbling to the surface. But I could be wrong, I might be giving the character to big a benefit of doubt. He’s fought. He’s made other people fight. He does it all the time and I don’t think he particularly likes what sort of man that makes him. I definitely don’t think he likes that he might like it. Sure it’s always for a good cause but a part of him, the part who goes out trying to help in the first place, probably wishes there were a nicer way to go about doing it. And then here comes someone who’s articulated what he does and wears the title “soldier” openly and it sets him off. The Doctor doesn’t want to be a soldier. That’s not the point to him. That’s not the man he wants to find that he is because there’s baggage with that title he’s not comfortable with. Soldiering and soldiers may be a means to an end for him sometimes (really often actually) but that can’t be it for the Doctor. So he’s needlessly rude to Danny.

    Yeah. I’m reading far too much into this probably. Never mind.

  33. Ari B. said:

    Silly question from an American in the audience:

    How do you spell the town that Liz is from? This has been driving me nuts since the podcast started! 🙂

    Kercoopershire? Kylcoopershire? I’m pretty sure both of those are spectacularly wrong.

    • Hah! Good question. 🙂 I don’t have it memorized, but I know it’s listed on our Patreon page. (Patreon.com/verity) So if Liz doesn’t see this soon and pipe up, you can find it there.

      • Ari B. said:

        Aha! It’s Kirkcudbrightshire. Which wasn’t remotely close to what I was thinking. 🙂 By comparison, all I get to say is “I’m from the same town John Hodgman, JFK, and Conan O’Brien grew up in.”

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