158 Twice Upon a Time

This is the one where the Doctor and the OG Doctor meet a soldier and a glass lady that teaches them the true meaning of life and then they die. But not before they save the soldier.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet that is stuck in time. It’s the Noobs and the Whovian! 

My name is Austin and I’m the Whovian, and these are my sons Corbin and Tripp and we’re the noobs! 

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t. 

Welcome to Episode 158 covering the 2017 Christmas Special, Twice Upon a Time 

Super-short Recap 

This is the one where the Doctor and the OG Doctor meet a soldier and a glass lady that teaches them the true meaning of life and then they die. But not before they save the soldier. 

Production notes

  • Story #276
  • Originally aired December 25, 2017 to 7.92 million UK and 2.2 million American viewers
  • Written by: Steven Moffat, Kit Pedler, Gerry Davis, Chris Chibnall
    • Chibs wrote the post-regeneration scene, such as it is… 
  • Directed by: Rachel Talalay

Misc Trivia

  • This is the first episode to show two Doctors regenerating
  • This is the third regeneration story in a row with “time” in the title


  • Captain Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart – Mark Gatiss!
  • The German soldier – Toby Whithouse!
    • Gatiss and Whithouse are the only NuWho writers to have also acted in episodes


  • Name of the episode spoken in dialogue?
    • Creature of the week
      • Testimony
    • Jiggery Pokery
      • TARDIS 
        • All those years of being bigger on the inside. You try sucking in your tummy for that long!
        • One says it’s hideous!
      • Sonic
        • A what screwdriver?! An audio screwdriver… 
      • Psychic paper
        • Random 
        • Jibberty Jabberty
          • Needless sacrificial death
            • Attack Eyebrows
              • The Question/Doctor Who?
                • Never tell anyone your name. They can’t understand it anyway. Except children, when their hearts are in the right place and when the stars are too.
              • The Doctor Breaks the Fourth Wall
                • Jammie Dodger sighting
                  • Running count – 4
                • Adventures in closed captioning!
                  • The march towards 13

                    Other stuff we noticed 

                    • 709 episodes ago!
                    • World War One? What do you mean by… “one?”
                    • SNAP!
                      • Do they say that every time multiple Doctors meet?
                    • Helen Clay was from 5,000,000,012
                      • The End of the World was in 5,000,000,000
                      • New Earth was in 5,000,000,023
                      • Gridlock was 5,000,000,053

                    Who’s Who? 

                    • Who is Clara?
                      • Don’t go forgetting me again. That was offensive.
                      • She was totally not on set! She was busy doing Victoria so she shot it on green screen
                    • Who is Nardole?
                      • Now I’m all glass instead of just my nipples
                      • They got the hair wrong. I have invisible hair.
                      • Cuddle
                    • Who is Bill?
                      • How did she know that the Doctor had other faces at all?!
                      • She met Sam Beckett!
                      • Of course I’m real! What are we if not a collection of memories?
                    • Who is The OG Doctor?
                      • If I hear any more language like that out of you young lady, you’re in for a jolly good smacked bottom.
                      • Bill asks him what he was running TO, when he fled Gallifrey. 
                        • He left to find out why good ever wins. It’s not a practical survival strategy. 
                    • Who is the Doctor? 
                      • Always remember where you parked. It’s going to come up a lot!
                      • I may have snuck a glass in the last 1500 years! It’s been rock and roll!
                      • He’s SO embarrassed by the OG Doctor’s “old ways”
                      • I knew you couldn’t be dead, you don’t have the concentration!
                      • The Doctor has walked in blood throughout time and space. He has many names:
                        • The imp of the Pandorica
                        • The shadow of the Valeyard
                        • The beast of trenzalore
                        • The butcher of Skull moon
                        • The last tree of Garsennon
                        • The destroyer of Skaro
                        • The Doctor of War
                      • I died a bit ago but refused to regenerate. It catches up with you, like a big lunch.
                      • I don’t know what to do when it’s not an evil plan!
                      • Don’t die. If you die, I think the whole universe would go cold.
                        • Can’t I have peace? Can’t I rest?
                      • A life this long is a battlefield like this one, because everyone else has fallen.
                      • Silly old universe: the more I save it, the more it needs saving.
                      • Final speech:
                        • One more lifetime won’t kill anyone. Well, except me.
                        • The Twelfth Doctor’s final lines about his name and how humans would understand it are directly taken from a theory Capaldi stated at a press screening interview of The Pilot.

                    Classic Who Connections

                    • It all starts near the South Pole, which is where the First Doctor was when he started to regenerate. 
                    • If I understand the first doctor’s regeneration, he did not refuse to regenerate in the 1966 serial The Tenth Planet. That line was cut from the script. Moffat saw the line and built the narrative around that line.
                    • As Testimony is catching up the First Doctor on his future selves, we see the Third Doctor in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, the Fifth Doctor from Arc of Infinity, The Seventh Doctor from The Happiness Patrol. The rest are from NuWho
                    • We have reference to future names for the Doctor. The Shadow of the Valeyard is from The Trial of a Time Lord and the Destroyer of Skaro would be from Remembrance of the Daleks.
                    • The Fifth Doctor also talked about being embarrassed by the First Doctor’s sexism in The Five Doctors
                    • Villengard is known as the nightmare of the Seven Galaxies by the Kaleds. Skaro used to be/is in the Seven Galaxies. The Kaled’s said that they believed that Skaro was the only plant in the Seven Galaxies with intelligent life on it.
                    • Villengard is said to be at the center of the universe so that must be where the space station Terminus was when the Fifth Doctor was there because it was said that Terminus was at the center of the universe.
                    • The First Doctor recognized a Dalek mutant because he saw them on Skaro in The Daleks
                    • When the First Doctor says he left Gallifrey for many “pressing reasons” he is echoing what the Fourth Doctor said to Adric.
                    • The first mention of Earth being a level 5 civilization was with the Fourth Doctor in City of Death
                    • The astral map was first seen in The Web Planet and the TARDIS databank was seen in Castrovalva
                    • In The Power of the Daleks, we see the Second Doctor trying on the First Doctor’s ring. It no longer fit so he discards it.
                    • The First Doctor reprimanded Bill for swearing as he did with Susan in An Unearthly Child.
                    • The First Doctor told Bill that she needed a “jolly good smacked bottom.” He said the same line to Susan in World’s End.
                    • Testimony keeping the memories of the dead is similar to the APC net in The Deadly Assassin.

                    Overall impressions

                    • Overall rating out of 10
                      • Jared – 9 mildly sexist doctors
                      • Austin – 9 slightly asymmetrical faces
                      • Corbin – 8 invisible hairs
                      • Tripp – 8.5 jolly good smacked bottoms!
                    • Creep Level – out of 500
                      • Jared – 
                      • Austin – 50
                      • Corbin –  15
                      • Tripp – 20

                    The Game Plan 

                    In keeping with our current emergency plans, next week, we’re NOT doing a Timey Wimey. Instead, we’re charging forward covering The first 13th Doctor story: The Woman Who Fell to Earth


                    Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Thing One: Tripp Reason. Our Production Editor is the Other One: Corbin Reason. Special thanks to tardis.fandom.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connection. Shout outs to Victor and Jared for their Patreon support.

                    You can find us at Facebook or Twitter or email us. Consider supporting us. Please subscribe and leave a rating wherever you found us, and share us with a friend not because we’re a great show but because we watch one.

                    Until next time, be safe if you can. But always. Be. Amazing. 

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