Doctor Who showrunner and head writer Steven Moffat has answered some of the questions arising out of his critically acclaimed Heaven Sent, revealing why the diamond wall didn’t reset, where the clothes came from and more.
Writing in this months Doctor Who Magazine, some of The Moff’s comments are abridged below.
On whether the Doctor truly remembers all 4.5 billion years of the experience:
“Well technically, it shouldn’t be possible that he remembers… Well first, memory is a funny thing – we manufacture memories all the time. So in that moment when the Doctor figures out the only way to break through the wall is to keep making new versions of himself, and puts it together with the fact that seven thousands years have passed without time travel, and realises that – oh dear God – he’s been doing that very thing for a long time, it feels like he remembers.”
On where the clothes came from that we see the Doctor change into… was there an original naked Doctor running around the castle?
“Naked Doctor Who?? It’s AGAINST THE LAW, I tell you. Showrunners have been executed for less. No, of course there wasn’t… He always dives into the water. But the first time he clambers out, he finds himself in a room with a fireplace. He lights a fire, and dries his clothes on the rack. While he’s waiting, he finds another set of clothes and puts them on. These clothes are provided by the castle (just as it provides him with soup, and a bed to sleep in) and don’t resemble his own – just your basic, ordinary clothes, but in his size. The first few hundred times he goes back and puts his own clothes on. But then, as the loop gets tighter, there comes the time he never makes it, because he’s too busy to bother. Next time round, the Doctor finds his own clothes drying for him.”
Why the diamond wall doesn’t reset:
“Because it’s not a room in the castle, it’s the outer wall of the dial.”
For more from Steven, including the mystery of the Doctor’s skull, who really painted Clara, who left the “I am in 12” message and where a second message might have been, make sure you pick up a copy of DWM #495, in all good newsagents priced £4.99.