What connects the nightmares of a young girl from 1380 Aleppo to strange happenings in the present day? Who is the shadowy figure who appears in the night? And what have they got to do with a young woman in the far future, trapped in an impossible prison? Time catches up to the Doctor's friends, whose wants and dreams are set on colliding. They must now embark on a mission that will draw out their innermost fears, to be confronted.
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- The Doctor - Jodie Whittaker
- Graham O'Brien - Bradley Walsh
- Yasmin Khan - Mandip Gill
- Ryan Sinclair - Tosin Cole
- Zellin - Ian Gelder
- Rakaya - Clare-Hope Ashitey
- Tahira - Aruhan Galieva
- Tibo - Buom Tihngang
- Sonya Khan - Bhavnisha Parmar
- Grace O'Brien - Sharon D Clarke
- Maryam - Sirine Saba
- Anita Patel - Nasreen Hussain
- Gabriel - Everal A Walsh
- Fred - Michael Keane
- Mum - Amanda Liberman
- Old Tibo - Willie Jonah
- Andrew - Anthony Taylor
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- Aleppo in Syria 1380 has a huge secluded citadel with a bimaristan and souks surrounded by the far larger outer city. The two areas are connected via a single viaduct.
- The TARDIS returns to Sheffield in 2020.
- Yaz returns to her flat in Park Hill.
- Yaz's Mum and Dad left to go to Whitby for the night.
- Graham jokes that he's the fastest card dealer in South Yorkshire.
- Yaz says she's been to Madagascar, California, Hong Kong and Gloucester.
- Graham jokes that the Doctor could just give him an A to Z of the universe, and he'll know where they should travel, before saying he has no idea.
- Graham's vision leads the TARDIS into deep space in the distant future, half a galaxy past the Geskon Straits.
- Graham notices the two planets from his vision are in the process of an extinction event.
- Yaz has a nightmare of having run off to a lonely road.
- Ryan has a nightmare about an Earth surrounded by flames.
- Graham has a nightmare that he is in Sheffield City Hospital.
- Zellin and Rakaya meet up to drain people at Spencer Street at night time.
- Yaz visits ex-police officer Anita Patel at her home at 79 Pomeroy Street.
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor says blundering is top of her CV along with playing well with others and being excellent tap dancer in a crisis.
- The Doctor has a nightmare about the Timeless Child memory and the Master's voice echoing his message about his discovery to her.
- If its way is cleared, the Doctor can summon the sonic screwdriver to her hand.
- The Doctor says she's still socially awkward.
- The Doctor says that while her friends are gone, she will do maintenance and correspondence.
- The lighting in the TARDIS turns off and the glassy hexagonic roundels turn red when it is in danger.
- The TARDIS cannot register the fur strands because they're not in the database nor can it see them as they do not exist nor will ever exist.
- The Doctor hooks Graham up to the telepathic circuits, which is now a head-piece connected to the console.
- The TARDIS has a jacuzzi.
- The Doctor notes that Islamic physicians were known for their enlightened way to treat people with mental health problems.
- Zellin likes his humanoid form, considering it fascinating to live within molecules and atoms.
- Zellin considers humanity at its best with their doubts, fears and feelings of being unworthy and incapable; built-in pain.
- The nightmares are induced via Tranquillising psycho-extraction.
- A shopowner is being robbed and threatens to chop off the robber's hands.
- Tahira and Maryam walk around the bimaristan discussing her mental health and her nightmares.
- Sonya calls Yaz a loser and she in turns calls Sonya a no-mark.
- Ryan goes to visit Tibo at his flat.
- Graham has invited his old bus driver friends Gabriel and Fred to his house to play a game of poker. Graham gets a full house.
- Graham has pretended to be on boat cruises while travelling.
- Graham is sent a vision from Rakaya claiming she is trapped inside a prison-ball.
- Sonya has been sacked from her new customer service job.
- Sonya says her dad claimed that the Gloucester-thing was to do with Russians, which Yaz denies.
- Tahira says her family was killed.
- Graham has a nightmare about Grace.
- Zellin and Rakaya identify themselves as Immortal Gods.
- Rakaya calls humans tiny, ephemeral flashes of existence.
- A mother assures her daughter that there are no bogeymen.
- Tibo enters a group therapy session to talk about his mental health issues. A man says he's not alone.
- Three years earlier, Yaz was persuaded by a police officer to return home. She was getting bullied and had low grades at the time. The pair made a deal about owing the other 50 pounds or 50 pence.
- Ryan talks to Yaz about being unsure about continuing being part of Team TARDIS, worrying about missing bits of his friends' lives and not being there for them.
- The Doctor arrives in Aleppo where she finds Tahira hiding from the creature from her nightmares.
- Zellin is capable of detaching his fingers, which can work separately.
- Tahira finds a Chagaska aboard the ship.
- Zellin alludes to the Eternals and their games, the Guardians of Time with their power struggles, and specifically references the Celestial Toymaker and how he would approve of Zellin using the normal dimension as a board for a game.
- The Doctor treats the finger she takes over as a dog.
- Rakaya can energy transfer the nightmares from others into herself and feed.
- The Dregs feature in Ryan's nightmare.
Food and beverages Edit
- Ryan brings chips to Tibo's flat.
- After winning the FIFA game, Ryan goes to make tea.
- Sonya has been cooking tikka masala and rice for herself and Yaz.
Medical ailments and remedies Edit
- Graham is afraid that his cancer could return.
- Ryan, Graham and Yaz all call the Doctor on her "message device" across time from the 21st century to the 14th century. The Doctor makes a call merge so they all can talk simultaneously.
- Zellin's space platform is in geostationary orbit and is operator activated.
- The two planets are kept apart by an energy field around a tiny geo orb with a quantum fluctuation lock on it.
- The space platform is connected to the geo orb via a power-transfer orb.
- The sonic screwdriver can tap into the bio-organic code of the fingers.
Popular culture Edit
- Ryan and Tibo play a FIFA video game.
- The Doctor says she was thinking about Frankenstein for their next adventure.
Story notes Edit
- This marks the first Doctor Who television story to have a question mark in its title.
- The episode had a "cold opening", the first for the series since the two-part opener Spyfall.
- The shot of the Tardis arriving in Sheffield is recycled from Arachnids in the UK.
- The episode features an animated segment during Rakaya's tale of her and Zellin's coming-to-be up until her imprisonment. This is the first in-story animation since series 2 story Fear Her[disputed statement]. It was created by Nina Chakrabarti and DNEG.
- Eight months before the episode's broadcast, the production team contacted the mental health charity Mind's media advisory service for feedback concerning their tackling of mental health issues.
- Zellin's hand effect was achieved via a combination of a fingerless prosthetic hand and digital effects.
- Some fans voiced disdain towards the Doctor's apparent dismissal of Graham's fears about his cancer returning, saying it was out of character. The BBC Complaints department later addressed the situation, saying the scene's intention was to show the Doctor struggling to deal with the subject matter properly, thus not being able to find the right words.
- It is ironic that Graham is among those who fall victim to Zellin, an entity who feeds on fear, considering Bradley Walsh's previous role as Odd Bob the Clown, a similar villainous entity, in The Sarah Jane Adventures story The Day of the Clown. However, Zellin's modus operandi, subjecting his victims to nightmares, is more similar to the eponymous villain of The Nightmare Man, also a story of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Filming locations Edit
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- Ian Gelder's Zellin was connected to the Remnants from The Ghost Monument due to Gelder voicing them. This turned out to be false. Gelder was promised that voicing the Remnants would not block him from appearing on the show in person.
Production errors Edit
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- Yaz tells Sonya that she has been to California, (TV: Spyfall) Madagascar, Hong Kong, (TV: Praxeus) and Gloucester. (TV: Fugitive of the Judoon)
- Sonya recalls hearing about the recent events in Gloucester, and that her dad thought the Russians were responsible. (TV: Fugitive of the Judoon)
- The Dregs appear in Ryan's nightmare. (TV: Orphan 55)
- The Doctor recalls the Master speaking of the Timeless Child. (TV: Spyfall)
- Zellin mentions the Eternals, (TV: Enlightenment, et al.) Guardians, (TV: The Ribos Operation, et al.) and the Toymaker. (TV: The Celestial Toymaker, et al.)
- The gods refer to human lives as "ephemeral". (TV: Enlightenment, et al.)
- Yaz was bullied at school. (TV: The Witchfinders)
- The Doctor previously met two immortals who enjoyed "playing" with people. (PROSE: Falls the Shadow)
- The Doctor talks to herself at length. (PROSE: Things She Thought While Falling, TV: Orphan 55)
Home video releases Edit
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- ↑ https://cultbox.co.uk/news/nightmare-episode-of-doctor-who-will-include-an-animated-segment
- ↑ Mind information support story
- ↑ https://cultbox.co.uk/news/doctor-who-can-you-hear-me-behind-the-scenes
- ↑ https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-02-10/doctor-who-can-you-hear-me-graham-cancer/
- ↑ https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-02-12/doctor-who-complaints-doctor-graham/
- ↑ Can You Hear Me? - Overnight Viewing Figures
- ↑ Can You Hear Me? - Official Ratings