Ten thoughts. No more, no less. Okay maybe a few more smooshed in. Go with it.
1. The Deadpool
So a checklist as the the Bleeding Cool favourite theory Clara is dead, the Doctor was in some way responsible and he is now spending his time visiting her while she was still alive? Well Clara is gone for most of this episode, with Ashildr, the Knightmare or Me, as his guinea pig for the idea of interfering in time and saving her life. Well, to add to the hoodie and the shades, he rides a horse, grim reaper style, the Black Death is upon them, they have the Eyes Of Hades, which uses death to lever open reality, purple is the colour of death (the Doctor’s jacket?) and, as Me says of Clara, “She’ll die on you, blown away like smoke” “Save your breath”. So there is no point in saying it, she is already dead? Clara is the Impossible Girl, she has died many a time, but will she not be about to die finally? “How many have you lost? How many Claras?”
2. Me And Amiability?
Everyone remember that episode of Blackadder The Third? The female highwayman who sounds very much like a man? And both a elderly gentleman and her daughter who seems rather eager to be ravished? Someone on Doctor Who seems to have….
3. Mirror, Mirror
If the Doctor is going through an existential crisis about his existence, it can only help for him to find a like mind. Or an exaggerated version. A woman not built for immortality, she has lost her sorrow, her name her memories, her body may heal but her brain can only go so far. She is apart from humanity bow, withdrawn, calling herself simply ‘Me’, Is this the Doctor’s fate? One that he has avoided, but one that continues to call?
4. A Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell may have popularised conclusions from a study by K Anders Ericsson of the notion that 10,000 hours are needed to master any skill, but it seems that nineteeth century highwaymen/gentlewomen who had lived for a millenia or two got here first. Though it has been demolished as a theory since.…
5. The References
Terileptils did indeed start the great fire of London, in Fifth Doctor adventure The Visitation. Didn’t even have to google that one. And a mention of Captain Jack Harkness, the first since Moffat took over the show… there’s also a history of Greek and Roman mythology having its origins in the stars.
6. Thunder Thunder Thundercats
Thundercats Ho! “My tribe was overthrown, my world destroyed”… he’s even got an amulet. Is this Leandro? Or is it Lion-O? It’s rather close…
But could the conversation with Me and the Doctor in the pub be closer to that between Dream and Hob in Sandman? One immortal granted that life by another…
7. Well Scheduled
Is this why Doctor Who is on a little later in the day of late? So they can get away with a below the belt gag from Rufus Hound? Well hung and promiscuous with it…. but an excellent stage for a stand up comedian. Highwaymen were very much the stars of the day.. or a day relatively soon to come.
A tricorne hat decades before they came to England? Cocktails in the 17th century? Setting this fifty years later might have helped a lit bit, more of the golden age of Highwaymen in Britain, but even then they didn’t get killed hung quite so quickly after being arrested. And the Tyburn gallows were of a much more industrial design, they could really go through them. Nicely fits in with horned, short haired Vikings and Northern European electric eels though… maybe the Doctor is making more and more tidalwaves?
9. Stars, My Destination
Death, with the Eye Of Hades opens a portal to another dimension? I don’t suppose that’s how The Doctor could find Gallifrey? Is that why Clara dies? Is that why the Doctor dies? And is this why the Doctor has trouble turning back the tides of time to change things, with tidalwaves that could wipe away Gallifrey forever?
10. That Necklace
Yes everyone looks at the background of the selfie for Me. But check out Clara’s necklace….
… a little like the Eye Of Hades? Thankfully it’s not the colour of death.
Bonus Thought: Next Week, Zygons As Immigrants
As we have Syrian refugees entering Europe in the hundreds of thousands, this couldn’t be more timely. Except, you know, the revolution and kidnap bits