The Name of the Doctor (TV story)

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The Name of the Doctor was the thirteenth and final episode of series 7 of Doctor Who.

It explained the mystery of Clara Oswald'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.


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?


The Doctor steals a TARDIS and tries to leave Gallifrey.

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.

Jenny realises that she's been killed.

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.

The Doctor sees where his final resting place will be.

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 (or more accurately, anti-gravities). 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.

The Intelligence demands that the Doctor speak his name.

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.

"The one who broke the promise."

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"...


Uncredited cast[[edit]]


General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


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.

Uncredited crew[[edit]]

Stargate Studios[[edit]]

BBC Wales VFX[[edit]]


Cultural references from the real world[[edit]]


  • 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 Doctor[[edit]]

  • "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.

Story notes[[edit]]

  • 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.
  • Steven Moffat stated that he wanted to have a new monster in the finale, after the series had seen the reappearance of old monsters such as the Ice Warriors, Cybermen, and Daleks. The idea of the Whisper Men came from "the thought of stylish, whispering, almost faceless creatures" which seemed frightening and appropriate for "an episode that looks forward and back".
  • The episode was leaked early after a BBC America store accidentally sent out the season seven box set two weeks before the episode aired. Despite Steven Moffat asking for people to not reveal anything, one newspaper revealed spoilers from the episode including the reveal of John Hurt as a new Doctor.
  • Alex Kingston actually slapped Neve McIntosh for real when River slaps Madame Vastra to wake her up. The stage direction for the moment ended with a cheeky "Good luck, Neve!".
  • In Steven Moffat's original conception, the Doctor would explicitly identify the time rift in his tomb on Trenzalore as leading back to the final day of the Time War. Once Clara had been splintered and scattered throughout the Doctor's life, he didn't enter the rift to save her. Instead, Clara emerged from it on her own, but then started screaming about knowing who the Doctor really is. This convinced the Doctor to return to the Time War via the rift, leading into The Day of the Doctor.
  • Steven Moffat suggested using footage of Amy falling from the Pandorica in The Big Bang and the Doctor being shot at Lake Silencio in The Impossible Astronaut. In both cases, a crewmember had inadvertently appeared in shot, and Moffat thought that carefully-staged cutaways could give the impression that this was actually Clara.
  • Steven Moffat's first draft depicted Clara living in a remote cottage, where the TARDIS lay abandoned in the garden. There she would awaken from dreams in which the various echoes of herself interacted with the many incarnations of the Doctor. As of the second draft, this setting was replaced by an empty void. Another abandoned notion was the arrival of an earlier manifestation of the TARDIS on Trenzalore, from which an unidentified figure emerged.
  • Steven Moffat considered resolving the puzzle of the help-line woman who had provided Clara with the TARDIS phone number in The Bells of Saint John. He contemplated revealing that this mystery figure was, in fact, an aged version of one of Clara's echoes, but he eventually decided to wait until Series 8 to revisit the mystery.
  • At one point, there would have been more substantial appearances by Oswin Oswald and Clara Oswin Oswald. Oswin would have told her mother about feeling that she belonged amongst the stars, leading to her decision to join the Space Corps. Similarly, Clara would have realised that she was meant to be caring for children, referring to the original Clara's role as a nanny to the Maitland family, prompting her decision to seek work as a governess.
  • The episode comprised Block Eleven of season seven.
  • This was the last of four episodes produced by Denise Paul, while Marcus Wilson turned his attention to The Day of the Doctor; he would instead be credited as series producer.
  • Production overlapped with the last week of work on Nightmare in Silver. Saul Metzstein had to organise the early part of his shooting schedule very carefully, to account for the days when Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman were still needed for that episode.
  • The last scene was recorded during production of The Day of the Doctor. For this reason, and because many major details of the special had not yet been finalised, the shooting script ended at the point where River disappeared and the Doctor entered the rift.
  • Strax's pub brawl in Glasgow was the first scene to be shot.
  • The Doctor's burial chamber was the TARDIS set redressed.
  • Some footage of Clara appearing througout the Doctor's timeline was achieved by recording on physical sets, with stand-ins representing the previous Doctors, while other instances were created using green screen effects to insert Jenna Coleman into archival footage.
  • Clara was originally going to witness the Eighth Doctor regenerate into the War Doctor. This was instead depicted in The Night of the Doctor.
  • The episode was supposed to end with a scene of the Doctor carrying Clara out of his timestream and back into reality. The scene had to be cut before filming due to Matt Smith injuring his knee.
  • Matt Smith recalled that and he Jenna Coleman were told not to swing on the bars during the TARDIS's fall to Trenzalore. He went and did so anyway.
  • The scene where the Doctor and River say their final goodbyes was filmed in just one take. By the end, both cast and crew were in tears.
  • This was the final episode in Matt Smith's original three season contract. The production team was unsure whether he would want to return for The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor.
  • John Hurt was only confirmed a month before filming was to begin. When Steven Moffat wrote the script, he had a placeholder that said "The world's most famous actor turns around, revealed as The Doctor."


The episode 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.[3]

Filming locations[[edit]]

to be added

Production errors[[edit]]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • 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.


Home video releases[[edit]]

Series 7, Part 2 DVD cover.

DVD & Blu-ray releases[[edit]]

Digital releases[[edit]]

  • In the United Kingdom, this story is available on BBC iPlayer.

External links[[edit]]

The Name of the Doctor at The Locations Guide