It explained the mystery of Clara's multiple lives and marked the reveal of a previously unseen incarnation of the Doctor. It featured cameo appearances and flashbacks of all of the Doctor's previous incarnations, and for the first time, on-screen showed the First Doctor stealing a TARDIS and leaving Gallifrey, showing that the Doctor had a number of TARDISes to choose from and needed a version of Clara to point out the right one because she knew that its navigational system "was knackered" but he would "have much more fun."
More about how the TARDIS worked was explained in the episode, also revealing what ultimately becomes of the Doctor. The fate of the Great Intelligence was also shown.
The Name of the Doctor was the first instalment of three episodes titled ___ of the Doctor that formed an arc pointing toward the end of the Eleventh Doctor's life. It was followed by The Night of the Doctor (a webcast mini-episode), The Day of the Doctor (the 50th anniversary special), and finally the Eleventh Doctor's departure in The Time of the Doctor.
While this episode resolves the Impossible Girl arc, the question of who brought the Doctor and Clara together was not resolved until Death in Heaven the following year. Also, 2017's The Doctor Falls revealed Clara's involvement with the Doctor was part of a complex time loop.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Crew
- 5 References
- 6 Story notes
- 7 Continuity
- 8 Home video releases
- 9 External links
- 10 Footnotes
A prophecy is coming true. The Eleventh Doctor is summoned to Trenzalore where it was said he would fall. But what does the alleged site of his final battle have to do with the mystery of Clara Oswald? Can the Paternoster Gang help him avoid his apparent destiny? And most of all...Doctor who?
In a workshop, two engineers hear an alarm. One reports that it is from the repair shop. He wonders what kind of idiot would try and steal a faulty TARDIS. The workshop is at the base of the Capitol on Gallifrey. When the technicians look on their monitors, they see the First Doctor and his granddaughter entering a capsule. Someone calls to the Doctor, stopping him. He turns to greet Clara Oswald, who tells him he is about to make a very big mistake.
Clara is seen falling through a golden vortex. She remarks that she does not know where she is, but remembers one thing: the Doctor. She is shown at several different points in his various incarnations, but few of them ever notice her presence. However, the Eleventh Doctor does notice her when she yells at him in Victorian London. Clara notes she blew into this world on a leaf and doesn't believe she'll ever land. She's the Impossible Girl and she was born to save the Doctor.
Also in Victorian London, a man locked in a jail cell rants in rhythmic fashion about "the Whisper Men". Suddenly he is disturbed by a veiled figure, Madame Vastra, standing outside the bars of his prison. The man, Clarence DeMarco, says that she could save him from being hanged with a single word, but Vastra promises him only silence. She points out that he has murdered fourteen women, and is therefore doomed to be executed. As if holding a pardon from the Queen, DeMarco mentions the Doctor, saying he knows all about him. Speaking about one specific secret among the Doctor's many, the convict says, "He has one he will take to the grave — and it is discovered."
Later, Vastra is with Jenny, who protests that they must not let the man live. Vastra states that he will live until she understands what he told her. They'll need a "conference call" to investigate further. Jenny leaves the room to fetch the candles, and hears a mystifying whisper coming from outside. Vastra wonders where Strax has gotten to, to which Jenny says "the usual" as its his weekend off. Sighing, Vastra expresses her displeasure at Strax having found a certain place.
In Glasgow, chanting is heard. Strax tackles a large Scottish man through the window of a fighting club. Each grabs a blunt weapon, trading threats with each other. However, a messenger boy interrupts them, much to Strax annoyance as he was enjoying the fight. The boy tells him an urgent telegram has come for him. Strax reads it, learning Vastra has called a "conference call", Strax apologises to Archie, his opponent, for not being able to finish, and asks the man to render him unconscious. He gives Archie his shovel, telling him that it could take awhile as Archie whacks him on the head.
Vastra and Jenny are seen sitting at a table, lighting a candle to enter a trance state. Vastra is pleased to notice that their surroundings have changed from the last "conference call", as she was getting a bit tired of the Taj Mahal "desktop theme". The pair begin to pour tea, which Vastra states should be superb as it was created from her best memory of it. Strax soon appears, anxious to return to his fight with "very pleasant primitives". Vastra apologises but tells him there's an important matter concerning the Doctor that they need to discuss. When Strax asks who else is coming, Vastra says simply, "The women."
On an April day in 2013, Clara prepares to make a soufflé in the Maitlands' kitchen. She offers her charges a maxim from her mother: "The soufflé isn't the soufflé, the soufflé is the recipe." Her attention then wanders to a nearby letter, which the children say was left for her that day. Opening it when alone, Vastra's message admonishes her to light the enclosed candle and enter a trance state. That way, she can talk to the Paternoster Gang across time. Clara is plainly sceptical, but Vastra has outwitted her. The letter itself is infused with the soporific in the candle, so Clara's compliance is not required.
Clara promptly passes out and awakens in the same "room" as Vastra, Strax, and Jenny. Vastra tells Clara time travel has always been possible in dreams, and that she is exactly where she was, but sleeping. She then says that they are still waiting on one more person. Strax groans, wondering if it's "the one with the big head", only to be corrected by Jenny that it's "hair", not "head". At this point River Song appears, and is greeted by Vastra. Changing her teacup into a glass of champagne, River is then introduced to Clara. Although having heard the Doctor mention her, Clara states that she was unaware Professor Song was female. River appears to exhibit some mild jealousy when Clara is referred to as the Doctor's "companion"; Vastra hastily corrects herself and changes it to "latest travelling assistant".
Using some floating dust, Vastra displays and recounts the information given to her by the prisoner. It shifts into Gallifreyan symbols, which River identifies as space-time coordinates. Vastra tells the group that the coordinates lead to the location of the Doctor's greatest secret.
Meanwhile, Jenny experiences some discomfort as a figure walks past her in their house, outside their dream. River says that the Doctor had told her his name and that she was "a little more than a friend" of his. She also says that he hasn't contacted her, as he doesn't like endings.
Vastra says to River that Clarence told her one word that connected to the Doctor: Trenzalore. River asks her to describe what the old man told her, and Vastra plays back Clarence's prophesy in the floating dust. River claims they misunderstood what he was saying. Jenny suddenly says she forgot to lock the door in their house, a factor Vastra dismisses until Jenny tells them that someone has broken in. She discovers, to her own dismay, that she has in fact already been killed. Her form flickers and fades away.
River informs Vastra that she is under attack and must wake up, and then slaps her to shock her awake. Vastra awakens surrounded by the Whisper Men and demands they tell her who they are. River wakes up Strax by throwing her champagne in his face, and he finds himself also surrounded by the Whisper Men upon waking. The Whisper Men then enter the trance with River and Clara, and order Clara to tell the Doctor something: The face of Dr Simeon appears in the dust, to say, "His friends are lost forever more unless he goes to Trenzalore." River protests against this and Clara wakes up.
Clara goes downstairs, finding the Doctor walking around the Maitland house blindfolded and calling for the children. The kids have tricked him into playing blind man's buff so that they could sneak out to the cinema. Learning this, the Doctor can only call them "the little... Daleks" in annoyance. Clara asks the Doctor about River. He calls her his ex before changing the subject to Vastra's message. As Clara repeats it a visibly distraught Doctor asks her if it really was Trenzalore. Brought to free-flowing tears, he abruptly snaps out of it and runs off to the TARDIS.
Clara finds him below the console. The Doctor mentions he heard the name Trenzalore before, from Dorium Maldovar and a few others, and that River surely knew as she always did. He links Clara to the TARDIS' telepathic circuits, then cryptically remarks, "When you are a time traveller, there is one place you must never go. One place in all of space and time you must never — ever — find yourself". He tells Clara that she misunderstood the message. It was not the secret the Doctor will take to his grave which was discovered, but the grave itself. The final resting place of the Doctor has been found and it is the one place he must never go. Despite this, he has to save Vastra, Strax and Jenny — if the latter is still alive — as they were there for him during his dark times and never judged him, only showing him kindness.
As the Doctor sets course for Trenzalore, the TARDIS realises what he is about to do and protests by fighting the coordinates while the Doctor forces her onwards. The Doctor explains that the TARDIS is fighting him because no-one should be able to see where they are buried in the future. Explosions shake the console room, and the TARDIS powers down to stop him. The Doctor states they've arrived.
They open the doors, finding the TARDIS stopped in orbit around Trenzalore. The Doctor muses that it's where he ends up, as he thought he would retire and become a bee keeper. Clara asks him if they are going to jump, which he dismisses as silly. He proclaims that they're going to fall. The TARDIS has powered down everything, aside from the anti-gravs. Declaring "guess what I'm turning off", he sends the TARDIS plunging down through Trenzalore's atmosphere to the surface.
They land in a graveyard hastily assembled during battle. The rough landing cracks one of the windows in the TARDIS exterior, which upsets the Doctor. They exit into the graveyard, to find their friends. Clara asks why the graves have headstones of unequal size. The Doctor explains that the more important the warrior, the bigger the tombstone.
A giant TARDIS shell looms on the horizon, which Clara says is one hell of a monument to the Doctor; he clearly was worthy enough to get such a great tomb. However, the Doctor tells Clara that it's not a replica of the TARDIS; it actually is the future version of the TARDIS. He explains that sometimes when a TARDIS is dying, its "bigger on the inside" qualities begin to leak out, in what is known as a size leak. "What else would they bury me in?" the Doctor sarcastically asks, heading towards his own tomb.
A psychic echo of River Song appears to Clara, saying that only she can see or hear her and to not mention her presence to the Doctor. On River's words, Clara directs the Doctor's attention to a grave that shouldn't be there, marked "River Song". Realising that his wife's grave would only be there to cover up something like a secret entrance to the tomb, they enter, just as the Whisper Men are closing in on them.
During their climb up through the catacombs, Clara suddenly starts to remember wandering through a broken down TARDIS. The Doctor tries calming her, as the broken down TARDIS is starting to reawaken memories of a timeline that got erased. However, Clara soon backs away from the Doctor, as she remembered that he confronted her about meeting her in the Dalek asylum and in Victorian England, and that she died both times. The Doctor tells her it will have to wait. The Whispermen begin chasing them again.
Inside the TARDIS "monument", Strax and Madame Vastra awake, and Strax is able to revive the nearby Jenny. The Great Intelligence, using the appearance of Walter Simeon and his Whisper Men arrive and surround them, telling them that they were taken to this place to lure the Doctor there. The Great Intelligence describes this location as the Doctor's final battle, and denounces him as the "slaughterer of the ten billion". The Doctor's final battle was not as large as the Time War but he has blood on his hands. He also remarks that the Doctor will be known by names such as the Beast and the Valeyard. Shortly, the Doctor, Clara and the River echo also arrive. The Great Intelligence stands at the door to the Doctor's tomb, hissing that only the Doctor's real name will open it. Repeatedly asking the question "Doctor who?", he tells the Whisper Men to stop the hearts of the Doctor's friends if he does not answer. As they comply and the Doctor pleads with them to stop, the door suddenly opens. The Whisper Men release their victims, while the Doctor seems confused. He did not speak his name. River Song's apparition comments that the TARDIS is fortunately still able to hear her; she is the one who opened the doors by saying the Doctor's name to the TARDIS, unheard by anyone else.
Inside is an overgrown TARDIS control room, with a glowing, writhing beam of blue-white light where the main console would usually be. The Doctor explains that this is his "mark" on the universe, rather than his body. He has travelled in time more than anyone else, and this is the "scar tissue" left from it. It is his own personal timeline, past and future, and everything that resulted from it. The Doctor collapses from the influence of being so close to his past and future in this way. He points his sonic screwdriver at the light and several of his incarnations speak from it. The Great Intelligence reveals his plan to re-write the Doctor's entire history, turning all his victories into failures. He knows that he will be killed, but the Doctor will surely be destroyed, as part of his ultimate revenge. The Great Intelligence steps into the light and is destroyed, the light turns red, and the Doctor falls to the floor, visibly in terrible pain as he is being destroyed all at once.
Horrified, Vastra declares that a universe without the Doctor will have consequences. She flees outside and sees the stars go dark as entire star systems are erased from history. Jenny, having been saved by the Doctor previously, is also erased, while Strax turns hostile. Grief-stricken, Vastra is forced to vaporise him.
Against both the Doctor's and River's protests, Clara decides to act. With the words, "Run, you clever boy, and remember me," she follows the Great Intelligence into the Doctor's timeline to save him. A million copies of Clara appear throughout history, each one correcting the Doctor's timeline in her own way. On Gallifrey, one of the Clara echoes tells the First Doctor he's about to make a very big mistake — by stealing the wrong TARDIS. She then directs him to the proper TARDIS, saying that even though the navigation system is broken, it will be much more fun...
With everyone restored except the Great Intelligence and Clara, the Doctor says he's going to enter his time stream, risking its collapse to get her back. Vastra remarks that the process killed Simeon, but is answered with the fact that Clara has one advantage over the Great Intelligence: she has the Doctor.
A frustrated River moves to slap him, but the Doctor catches her hand. River is astonished and asks him how he did that, as she isn't even really there. The Doctor says that she's always there to him and that he can always see her. He never said anything before because he was worried that talking to her would hurt too much. When she tells him she believes she could have coped, he tells her, "No, I thought it would hurt me. And I was right." He kisses her passionately, which the Doctor jokingly says must look strange to Vastra, Jenny and Strax since nobody else in the room can see River. River tells the Doctor that he never said goodbye to her and he admits he didn't know how. So she explains the only goodbye she would accept is one which promises their paths will cross again. They banter for a moment like they used to, and she reminds him that she was telepathically linked to Clara, and wonders how she could still be there if Clara was really dead. He asks, "Okay, how?" and River smiles and simply states: "Spoilers." She dissipates with a final "Goodbye Sweetie."
The Doctor then steps into his own time stream.
Clara lands in a dark, misty and cavernous place. As she stands up, various incarnations of the Doctor run past her on all sides. She hears the voice of the Eleventh Doctor talking to her. He urges her to focus on the sight of her leaf. If she'll follow the leaf, he promises, he will, at last, be able to save her in the same way she's been saving him for centuries. The leaf successfully guides her to their welcome reunion.
As they embrace, however, he notices a shadowy figure standing nearby. His smile melts away and is replaced with intense fear. Clara notices the figure but does not recognise him, despite having thought she'd seen all eleven of the Doctor's faces. The Doctor, showing great apprehension, explains that the figure is, in fact, him, but isn't the Doctor. He continues that his real name was not the point; he chose the name "the Doctor" himself like a promise, and this mysterious man was "the one who broke the promise". He is his secret. After Clara collapses, the Doctor picks her up in his arms. The figure defends himself, saying that he had no choice and that his actions were "in the name of peace and sanity". The Doctor acknowledges this, but defiantly and angrily states that those actions had not been "in the name of the Doctor".
As the Doctor carries Clara away, the man turns around, showing his elderly face as an on-screen caption reveals his identity to be "the Doctor"...
- The Doctor – Matt Smith
- Clara – Jenna-Louise Coleman
- River Song – Alex Kingston
- Dr Simeon – Richard E Grant
- Vastra – Neve McIntosh
- Jenny – Catrin Stewart
- Strax – Dan Starkey
- Angie – Eve De Leon Allen
- Artie – Kassius Carey Johnson
- Andro – Nasi Voutsas
- Fabian – David Avery
- Clarence – Michael Jenn
- Archie – Rab Affleck
- Messenger Boy – Samuel Irvine
- Young Clara – Sophie Downham
- Whisper Man – Paul Kasey
- The Doctor – John Hurt
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner|
|Series Producer Marcus Wilson|
|Director of Photography
Andy Pryor CDG
Original theme music by Ron Grainer
• With thanks to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales
• Conducted and orchestrated by Ben Foster
• Recorded by Gerry O'Riordan
• Mixed by Jake Jackson
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
BBC Wales VFX
Cultural references from the real world
- Jenny and Madame Vastra play "Spring" from The Four Seasons as they enter — and presumably during — their "conference call".
- The Doctor says he hoped he'd retire and take up bee-keeping - which is what Sherlock Holmes did when he retired.
- The Maitland children sneak out to the movies on a babysitting Doctor by tricking him to play blind man's buff, then running off while he can't see them. When the Doctor learns this, he retorts, "The little... Daleks!"
- Because the Doctor was responsible for saving Jenny's life and turning Strax into a nurse, his absence from the universe makes Jenny disappear and Strax revert to a more typical Sontaran before Vastra kills him. Vastra herself does not immediately change or vanish, however. Vastra has stated before that the Doctor convinced her "not to give into to [my] anger" when he met her, implying that her personality was not all that different.
- Strax has found the village of Oldmeldrum, Glasgow to be very pleasant regarding his tastes for violence. He frequently has destructive brawls with a muscular individual named Archie.
- Clara hates catacombs.
- Vastra sends Strax a telegram addressed to Oldmeldrum that reads:
- TO| Commander Strax
- Have new information regarding Doctor stop
- Urgent conference call required stop
- Render yourself unconscious stop
- Madame Vastra
- "The fields of Trenzalore" are shown to be the Doctor's final battlefield.
- The Doctor's TARDIS is used as his tomb after his death, but instead of his body, holds his timestream.
- A previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor is revealed in his memory. This incarnation is the Doctor's greatest secret and one he fears greatly, who is not regarded as the Doctor for breaking the promise of his namesake. His existence is also suppressed to the point Clara only sees him after travelling through the entirety of the Doctor's timeline.
- The Doctor is identified as the eleventh incarnation. However, this is technically untrue due to the secret incarnation.
- As she is being retrieved by the Doctor, Clara does not appear to recall encounters with any future (i.e., post-Eleventh) incarnations. This is explained in The Time of the Doctor, which reveals that the Eleventh Doctor is actually in his final incarnation.
- The First Doctor is shown with Susan Foreman entering a TARDIS in an attempt to steal it. Clara then points him to the "correct" one in its default form, before the chameleon circuit broke.
- When talking about the Doctor's future, the Great Intelligence says that the Doctor's final battle is a "minor skirmish" compared to the other "bloodsoaked" battles he's fought in. This is presumably a reference to the War Doctor's involvement in the battles of the Last Great Time War, especially as The Time of the Doctor shows the battle to be a massive one that stretches for hundreds of years. It is also possible, as the tomb represents an alternative timeline, that it is from a version of the Siege of Trenzalore where the Doctor was defeated earlier than seen in The Time of the Doctor.
- When a TARDIS decays, it may begin leaking some of its interior dimensions to the outside, in this case causing the TARDIS' shell to expand to enormous size. This is referred to as size leak.
- One of the windows of the TARDIS' police box disguise breaks slightly when the TARDIS falls from orbit. That same crack can be seen on the Doctor's grave shortly after.
- The Doctor's future, dying TARDIS is still able to sound the Cloister Bell, but the sound of the bell has grown ragged. Its ringing is discordant, slowed, muffled, and out of tune.
- In this episode, it is revealed that Clara has lived thousands of lives throughout the Doctor's history, saving him from the Great Intelligence's sabotage in each life, finally revealing why the Doctor had previously met two versions of her at the Dalek Asylum and in Victorian London, respectively. However, according to her, he almost never notices her. The First Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor do interact with her, and the Third Doctor and Seventh Doctor appear to notice her, but only for a moment. Despite the First Doctor actually carrying on a brief conversation with her, it would appear he later forgets this as the Eleventh Doctor doesn't recognise Clara.
- This episode had the record for the most incarnations of the Doctor portrayed in one episode — twelve, including the War Doctor played by John Hurt, revealed in the final moments of the episode. However this was broken by The Day of the Doctor, which featured thirteen, possibly fourteen Doctors due to cameos from Peter Capaldi and Tom Baker.
- The original plan for the ending was to have the Eleventh Doctor carry Clara out of his time stream, but due to Matt Smith's knee injury it could not be shot (DWM 469).
- Ultimately, Clara's companionship with the Doctor is an ontological paradox; the Doctor might not have invited 21st Century Clara to travel with him if he had not met the echoes of her in the Dalek Asylum and Victorian London, but if she never travelled with the Doctor, those echoes would never have existed.
- This episode shows clips of different versions of Clara scattered throughout the Doctor's timeline: advising the First Doctor to steal his Type 40 TARDIS on Gallifrey (TV: The Aztecs), calling out for the Third Doctor as he's driving away in Bessie (the Great Intelligence is also seen in this part of the sequence, also observing) (TV: The Five Doctors), chasing after the Fourth Doctor on Gallifrey (TV: The Invasion of Time), finding the Fifth Doctor trapped in the Matrix (TV: Arc of Infinity), trying to find the Sixth Doctor on his TARDIS, watching the Seventh Doctor hang on to his umbrella (TV: Dragonfire), running after the Second Doctor (TV: The Five Doctors) and the Eighth Doctor, watching the Tenth Doctor as he stands in the Library, and seeing the Ninth Doctor run past her while she was inside the Doctor's time stream. Other than the First Doctor, the story does not reveal how the echoes directly interacted and aided the other incarnations, though both the editing suggests the Third and Seventh Doctors, alongside the First did see her.
- When the Great Intelligence is in the Doctor's timeline we additionally see the First Doctor examining the seal under the tomb of Yetaxa (TV: The Aztecs) and the Great Intelligence's former henchmen, the Robot Yeti, from the London Underground. (TV: The Web of Fear)
- While many of these appearances are taken from actual footage of the original actors in character, many of them are lifted from different contexts than they appear here. As mentioned below, for example, there was no previous footage of the First Doctor stealing the TARDIS that would become his (or, as argued in TV: The Doctor's Wife, the TARDIS stealing the First Doctor). Similarly, the Second Doctor was never before seen running across a palm-tree lined beach in a fur coat, although he was seen running in a fur coat, in TV: The Five Doctors.
- The audio of the First Doctor answering Clara; "Yes? What is it? What do you want?" is taken from TV: The Web Planet.
- This story features for the first time on television the Doctor prior to stealing the TARDIS. The event had previously been portrayed in the comic strip adventure Time & Time Again. His granddaughter Susan Foreman appears briefly when the First Doctor helps her into a TARDIS before the Gallifreyan Clara suggests he take another one because it will be more "fun".
- While trapped in the Doctor's time stream, the First, Sixth, Ninth, Fifth, and Fourth Doctors move past, behind, and in front of Clara. Unknown actors portrayed them. The actor portraying the First Doctor resembles the appearance of Richard Hurndall, who replaced William Hartnell in The Five Doctors and who died the year after the story was first shown on television.
- This is the first televised story in which we see the Doctor's TARDIS in what appears to be its "default" form, in the scenes set on Gallifrey. We also see it flying through the vortex soon after the First Doctor steals it.
- The default form is slightly different from, but similar to, those seen in the TARDIS bay on Gallifrey in TV: The War Games during the Second Doctor's time, though the Doctor's own TARDIS was already stuck as a police box then. Plus, it has been long established that the Doctor's TARDIS is an obsolete model, whereas the TARDISes seen in The War Games were likely more recent styles.
- This is the second series finale of the revived series not to feature a Dalek (TV: Last of the Time Lords), though the Dalek Asylum is mentioned and appears in a flashback. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
- This marks the first television story in the revived series to use the complete moniker of "(Number) Doctor" when Clara says "You're the Eleventh Doctor". This has arguably happened before, however; in The Three Doctors, Sergeant Benton specifically refers to Patrick Troughton's character as "the Second Doctor" (albeit not really due to him being the second incarnation). Many previous stories, such as TV: The Lodger or The Five Doctors have either used just the number ("Eleventh") or regeneration ("Fourth") respectively. John Hurt's unknown Doctor notwithstanding, this could be seen to finally put to bed speculation as to whether the unknown faces during the "mental duel" in TV: The Brain of Morbius were pre-Hartnell incarnations of the Doctor.
- This is the first episode to use colourised footage of black and white material originally filmed in the 1960s.
- The original televised premiere of this episode ended with the message, "TO BE CONTINUED... NOVEMBER 23rd", as in 23 November 2013, the date of the series's 50th anniversary. Some home video releases of series 7, which can be viewed separately from the scheduling conventions of television, had this message shortened to simply read, "TO BE CONTINUED". The caption is retained on streaming releases, as well as the 50th Anniversary Collection box set.
- This is the first season finale in the revived series to be set primarily on another planet.
- There was speculation about the title of the episode as many fans thought and assumed that the Doctor's real name would be revealed for the very first time on screen. However, this wasn't the case as a shocking twist at the end of the episode revealed instead a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor. The history of this incarnation, as well as his role in the Doctor's life, would remain unknown until The Night of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor showed he was the incarnation of the Doctor that fought in the Last Great Time War.
- This is the only series finale of the revived series before Chris Chibnall's tenure as showrunner to not be directly followed by that year's Christmas Special. Instead, it is followed by the 50th Anniversary Special, then the Christmas Special.
- This is the last episode to feature Angie and Artie Maitland.
- This is the last episode to not have Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor appear in some capacity until TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth.
The Name of the Doctor received overnight ratings of 5.46 million viewers on BBC One. When viewers who watched the episode, later on, were taken into account, the figure rose to 7.45 million, making Doctor Who the third most-watched programme of the week on BBC One. The episode received an Appreciation Index of 88.
to be added
- When Clara sees the Fifth Doctor trapped in the Matrix, the ring on her left-hand switches to her right between shots.
- When Clara is following the Fourth Doctor on Gallifrey, she does not have a reflection on the floor. This is also true of the Great Intelligence when he appears in the same sequence later in the episode.
- Clara's position changes while held by the Doctor multiple times.
- Vastra's letter to Clara has the requested date for delivery as "Twenty thousand & Thirteen" (20013). This is barely visible when freeze-framed, but can be clearly seen in a photograph of the prop printed in the 2013 book The Vault.
- The Sixth Doctor believed himself to have seen his gravestone before, musing that he had never thought precognition of his own death would be so disturbing. This turned out to be a fake set up by Davros. (TV: Revelation of the Daleks) On a later occasion, the Eighth Doctor encountered his genuine corpse, then known as the Relic. (PROSE: Alien Bodies)
- The Great Intelligence refers to the Valeyard (TV: The Trial of a Time Lord), as well as The Beast, and Storm, as names for the Doctor, mentioning the Sycorax Leader (TV: The Christmas Invasion), Solomon the Trader (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship), Daleks and Cybermen as examples of the Doctor being "blood-soaked." This is another instance of the Doctor's actions being perceived as such by his enemies.
- Clara regains her memories of being trapped in the TARDIS. (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS)
- The Doctor mentions the dimensioning forces can make one a bit giddy when he and Clara explore the very deeps of the TARDIS. His fifth incarnation previously told Adric that the dimensioning forces deep down the TARDIS could make one giddy. (TV: Castrovalva)
- The "most important leaf in history" is shown and is returned to Clara while she is in the Doctor's timestream. (TV: The Bells of Saint John, The Rings of Akhaten)
- River Song appears from the databanks of the Library Data Core. (TV: Silence in the Library, Forest of the Dead) The Doctor has apparently not attempted to contact her since her death in her own timeline.
- The Whisper Men bear a strong resemblance to The Trickster in appearance, barring the clothing, the colour on the face and the style of their teeth.
- Among things that were explicitly undone were saving Jenny and making Strax good. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)
- Vastra mentions the Great Intelligence attacking the Doctor in the Dalek Asylum, (TV: Asylum of the Daleks) on Androzani (TV: The Caves of Androzani) and in Victorian London. (TV: The Snowmen)
- The prophecy of the Question is referred to again. (TV: The Pandorica Opens, Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song)
- River Song and the Doctor both mention the Doctor's hatred of goodbyes and endings. (TV: Logopolis, The Angels Take Manhattan) River states this as the reason for him not saying goodbye after saving her to the Data Core. Ironically, this took place in the same story in which the Doctor exclaimed, "You need a good death. Without death, there'd only be comedies. Dying gives us size." (TV: Silence in the Library)
- Clara screams "I don't know where I am" several times while going through the Doctor's timeline. She's said this before after being downloaded by a Spoonhead and as a copy of her was being converted into a Dalek in the Dalek Asylum. (TV: The Bells of Saint John, Asylum of the Daleks)
- Clara attempts to make soufflés and states that her love of them stemmed from her mother. Interestingly, her Oswin Oswald self in the Dalek Asylum made a soufflé specifically on the occasion of her mother's birthday, and the character's ongoing attempts to make the dish help the Doctor make her remember that she had been converted into a Dalek. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
- Strax expresses that he did not know that River was a woman, once again demonstrating his difficulty of separating human genders as he did in TV: A Good Man Goes to War, The Snowmen and The Crimson Horror. He also thinks the boy with the message is a girl. While preparing to fight the Whisper Men he refers to Clara and Jenny as "boys".
- Jenny also indicates that he has an inability to distinguish River's "big hair" from her "big head".
- Another Victorian undertaker previously tried to rewrite the Doctor's past using his lifeline, which also appeared as a scar in space and time. That time, the Doctor's companion Sam Jones also threw herself into the scar to save the Doctor. (PROSE: Unnatural History)
- Whilst discussing the Doctor's secrets, Vastra states that the Doctor doesn't share his secrets with anyone and that if Clara is under the impression that she is an exception, she should ask herself what his name is. The Dream Lord had a similar exchange with Amy Pond (TV: Amy's Choice), as did Lady Peinforte with Ace (TV: Silver Nemesis); River reveals that she, knowing the Doctor's name, is one exception to the rules.
- When the Doctor connects Clara's memories to the TARDIS through her hand, he reassures her saying "This won't hurt", only to apologise afterwards with "I lied", inadvertently repeating the same lines that Rory had said to his father (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship) and the lines River said to Amy after injecting her with the radiation vaccination in TV: The Time of Angels.
- When the Doctor points his screwdriver towards the wound in time left by his travels voices can be heard, similar to the scene in the console room in Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, among them:
- The First Doctor asking "Have you ever thought what it's like to be wanderers in the fourth dimension?" to Ian and Barbara (TV: An Unearthly Child)
- The Sixth Doctor saying "Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us," to the Time Lords (TV: The Trial of a Time Lord)
- The Second Doctor saying "There are some corners of the universe that have bred the most terrible things" (TV: The Moonbase)
- The Fourth Doctor saying "Do I have the right?" to Sarah Jane Smith (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
- The Ninth Doctor saying "Absolutely fantastic" to Rose Tyler (TV: The Parting of the Ways)
- The Tenth Doctor presenting himself in TV: Voyage of the Damned.
- The Fifth Doctor saying "So you see" to Stotz (TV: The Caves of Androzani)
- The Eleventh Doctor saying "Hello Stonehenge!" (TV: The Pandorica Opens)
- The Third Doctor saying "It was the daisiest daisy I'd ever seen" to Jo Grant (TV: The Time Monster)
- When the First Doctor steals the TARDIS, neither he nor Susan are wearing Gallifreyan clothing, but instead Earth clothing similar to that which they wear later after leaving Gallifrey. The Doctor has mentioned a dislike of Time Lord dress sense in previous episodes. (TV: Time Crash, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS)
- The Whisper Men sing about Clara "the girl who died will die again", which sounds similar to what the Silence said about Rory on the previous season finale, TV: The Wedding of River Song - "the man who dies and dies again. Die one last time."
- The Whisper Men at one point refer to the Doctor as "the man who lies". In A Good Man Goes to War, Colonel Manton also refers to the Doctor as "the man who lies". Also in The Big Bang, River tells Amy that the first rule regarding the Doctor is that he lies.
- The Capitol and the Citadel during the First Doctor's time looked slightly different from those shown in TV: The Sound of Drums and TV: The End of Time showing the Citadel and the globe resting on a bigger structure below, where the workshop is located.
- Jenny refers to the different appearance of the "conference call" as a change in the desktop theme, the same terminology used to describe the TARDIS Console Room's appearance by the Fifth Doctor. (TV: Time Crash)
- The concept that time travel leaves scars upon the universe was alluded to in the description of the horrors of the Time War mentioned by both the Doctor and one of the members of the High Council in TV: The End of Time. Both of them suggest that the writing and rewriting of time in the course of the war had created those horrors, among others, as an unintended side-effect.
- Clara Oswald's splintering into multiple copies resembles what occurred to Scaroth in TV: City of Death, although in this case, Clara made a deliberate choice to put herself into a situation where she would become so divided. Scaroth, on the other hand, was forcibly splintered by the destruction of his spaceship.
- A full address for the Maitlands' home is given in this episode. A closeup on Madame Vastra's hand-written envelope reveals that they live at 30 Oak Street in Chiswick. This squares with The Bells of Saint John, where there are no fewer than three exterior shots of the house number — 30 — on the right doorjamb. A previous companion, Donna Noble, had also lived in Chiswick at about the same time.
- The unidentified incarnation seen in the Doctor's time stream has a full beard and moustache, as three incarnations of the Doctor also did, each for a short time. (TV: The Leisure Hive, Day of the Moon, PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street)
- The Doctor acknowledges that the TARDIS has a fast return mechanism, possibly referring to the fast return switch, (TV: The Edge of Destruction) or Emergency Program One. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)
- River has met Vastra, Jenny and Strax before. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War) Vastra appears to be aware of River's fate in the Library (TV: Forest of the Dead) as it is the CAL-saved, postmortem version of River whom she recruits for the conference call.
- The Doctor mentions Vastra, Jenny and Strax caring for him during what he called "The Dark Times" - the period he spent in Victorian London after the deaths of Amy Pond and Rory Williams. (TV: The Great Detective, The Snowmen)
- After fending off the Whisper Men, the Doctor says, "Yowza." He once kept blurting this word while reading Melody Malone: Private Detective in Old New York Town. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
- A decrepit Cloister Bell sounds within the Doctor's dying TARDIS as the Great Intelligence approaches the Doctor's time tunnel. (TV: Logopolis, et al.) Whether the bell is sounding because the TARDIS is dying or because it senses the intentions of the Great Intelligence or the universe is now in danger and about to be destroyed by the actions of the Great Intelligence is unclear.
- The origins of the unknown incarnation are explored in TV: The Night of the Doctor.
- Before he departs Gallifrey, Clara tells the First Doctor to steal a particular TARDIS. He had previously intended to steal another. His granddaughter Susan Foreman had entered the first TARDIS but he pulled her out of it. (AUDIO: The Beginning)
- In its original form, the interior of the TARDIS cannot be seen from the outside when the doors are open, as was the standard for the classic series.
- The events on Trenzalore that led to the Doctor's death and the battlefield graveyard are explored in The Time of the Doctor. However, with the help of Clara and the Time Lords, the Doctor changes the future so that while the battle still occurs, he doesn't die in it and Trenzalore doesn't end up the desolate wasteland shown here.
- As of 2021, this episode marks the final event in River Song's timeline, coming after TV: Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead.
Home video releases
The Name of the Doctor was released as part of Doctor Who Series 7 Part 2 on May 22, 2013; as part of the Complete Seventh Series on September 24, 2013; and as part of the 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition on 8 September 2014.
(As DVD releases.)
- Failes, Ian (22 May 2013). Doctor Who: Stargate’s adventures in time. fxguide. Retrieved on 20 November 2018.
- Doctor Who Ratings - UK final