Tuesday, 21 October 2014

DW 08-09: Flatline

A Guide to Classic Who references in New Who episodes.

The ninth episode of series 8.  Clara has to save the day when she's separated from the Doctor.

Warning: May contain Spoilers for


Viewing Order

  • 7-06 "The Bells of Saint John" (Suggested viewing - reintroduction of character, plot connection)
  • 8-01 - "Deep Breath(Suggested viewing - reintroduction of character.)
  • 8-02 - "Into the Dalek" (Suggested viewing - introduction of character.)
  • 8-07 - "Kill the Moon"  (Suggested viewing - character arc.)
  • 8-08 - "Mummy on the Orient Express"  (Suggested viewingcharacter arc.)


[1ST] - First appearance in Doctor Who.
[NEW] - Stuff seen previously in the New Series.
[OLD] - Things that first appeared in the classic series (or the film.)  Episode List.

Fan art.
  • [NEW]  People turning into pictures - Also happened in "Fear Her."

They say size doesn't matter.
  • [OLD]  Small TARDIS - "The TARDIS never does this," except the Fourth Doctor story "Logopolis."  But that was because the Master interrupted the Doctor's attempts to fix the Chameleon Circuit.

Good things come in small packages.
  • [OLD]  Tiny TARDIS  - One of the earliest ideas for a Doctor Who story, eventually done as the First Doctor story "Planet of the Giants" in which the TARDIS materialised on Earth tiny and shrank the Doctor and his companions with it.  This time, it's "merely the exterior dimensions have changed."

Romana's sonic kaleidoscope.
  • [OLD]  True Weight - In the Fourth Doctor story "Full Circle" Romana states that the TARDIS's true weight in Alzarius' Earth-like gravity was 5 times 10^5 kg (about 50.000 tonnes on Earth).
Nano-genes, or to used the techical term "glowy things."
  • [NEW]  Nanotech - Appeared in Doctor Who before, such as the nano-termites given to Adam in "The Long Game," the nano-genes in "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" and the nano-cloud that turns humans into Dalek-puppets in "Asylum of the Daleks."  A previous Doctor-lite episode which trapped the Doctor in the TARDIS used special glasses instead of this technology.

Rule #1 the Doctor lies.

Life is a gas.
  • [1ST]  Sentient Gas - Previous gaseous life forms on the show have usually communicated by entering and possessing human bodies and often needed to do so to survive.  Examples include the Gleth ("The Unquiet Dead") and the Family of Blood ("Human Nature"/"Family of Blood.")  Neither seemed to communicate through the firing of fireballs.
  • [1ST]  A Race with 64 Stomachs - Not previously shown or mentioned.

"The Web of Fear" featured giant teddy bears Yeti.
  • [OLD] London Underground - Also featured in the Second Doctor story "The Web of Fear" (which was referenced in "The Snowmen.")

A significantly different Cloister Room.
  • [OLD]  Cloister Bell - A warning bell that sounds whenever the TARDIS or the universe (or both) are in significant danger.  It is found in the Cloister Room which was seen in the Fourth Doctor story "Logopolis" as a room all arches and vines with a nice little bench.  In the 1996 movie it looked different and contained the interface for the Eye of Harmony.

Crossing time & space in the tube from a toilet roll.
  • [1ST]  Siege Mode - First appearance.  The TARDIS turns into what appears to be the love child of a Time Lord Hypercube and a Power of Three cube.  It is a black cube with Circular Gallifreyan writing carved into it.  It's the first time the mode has been mentioned or a TARDIS appeared in this form.  Although stuck as a Police Call Box because of a malfunctioning Chameleon Circuit (first noted in the first First Doctor story: "An Unearthly Child," the Doctor's TARDIS original appearance was shown in "The Name of the Doctor."  The Sixth Doctor briefly "repaired" the camoflage unit in "Attack of the Cybermen" only for it to turn into an elaborate dresser and an inappropriate organ.  By elaborate dresser I mean an overly adorned piece of furniture, not someone who puts too much time into what they wear and by inappropriate organ, I mean it turned into the musical instrument, not that it turned into a giant penis or something.  It later appears in that story as a tomb, before eventually materialising again as a police box.

The Nethersphere is alive with the sound of music.
  • [NEW]  Missy - appears again.

The 10 Rules to Doctor Who.

10.  TARDIS:  The TARDIS is used for basic transport, and spends some time shrinking.  [1]
9.  Meeting Yourself:  No one tries.  [X]
8.  Non-sequiturs:   Yes.  [1]
7.  Serious/Frivolous:  Certainly.  [1]
6.  Series Final:  This is not a series final.  [X]
5.  Companion:  Clara, contemporary British female.  (Contemporary British story)  [1]
4.  Emotionless:  Stop trying to describe them in human terms. [1]
3.  Title Spoilers:  More cryptic than spoilery. [0]
2.  The Threat:  Pretty obvious villain, the Doctor does some exposition, though.  [.5]
1.  Last of It's Kind:  The "Boneless" show no signs of being the last of their kind.  Although the Doctor still is, Clara becomes like him and is dangerous.  [0]

Score:  5.5/8.

~ DUG.

The Time Crash blog was created to help New Who fans understand Classic Who references - and to know if something isn't a reference but a new idea.  If there's a reference I missed or a subject that you feel needs more explaining, please comment.


  1. The 3rd Doctor's TARDIS shrank in "Carnival of Monsters" when it was in the minoscope, too.

    1. Yeah, the TARDIS, like everything else was compressed in the miniscope. Fair point.