176 The Haunting of Villa Diodati

This is the one where the Doctor and her companions meet fake ghosts, real ghosts, Mary Shelley, and the cybermen’s monster.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet wearing a fez! 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 176 covering series 12 episode 8: The Haunting of Villa Diodati

Super-short Recap

This is the one where the Doctor and her companions meet fake ghosts, real ghosts, Mary Shelley, and the cybermen’s monster.

Production notes

  • Story #294
  • Originally aired February 16, 2020 to 5.07 million viewers
  • Written by: Maxine Alderton
  • Directed by: Emma Sullivan who also did Can You Hear Me?

Misc Trivia

  • There was an Eighth Doctor audio adventure called Mary’s Story that also took place on this night. However, in this episode, there was a throw away line about time being flexibly around this night.
    • Apparently, Mary Shelley became a companion for a bit, even encountering another lone Cyberman known as the Silver Turk


  • Lone Cyberman/Ashad – Patrick O’Kane – played a First Order officer in The Last Jedi


  • Name of the episode spoken in dialogue?
    • nope
  • Creature of the week
    • Lone Cyberman
  • Psychic paper
    • Didn’t work – I guess it needs a blowdry?

Other stuff we noticed

  • Spider hand, spider hand!
  • Lord Byron was Ada Lovelace’s father
  • I don’t think they’re from the colonies. No they’re from somewhere much much stranger. The North… 
  • Frankenstein’s monster is a Cyberman, a composite of other men, a modern Prometheus
  • Percy Shelley died in a boating accident 6 years after this story

Who’s Who?

  • Who is Ryan Sinclair?
    • We’re great at sorting out things like this. Oh, it touched me. It’s a ghost, a ghost!
  • Who is Graham O’Brien?
    • There’s never any food
  • Who is Yasmin “Yaz” Khan?
    • In the absence of the Doctor, she steps up
    • Technically, she only told us to NOT to follow her
  • Who is the Doctor?
    • I’m flattered, Mrs. Doctor. Just the Doctor!
    • Sometimes the team structure isn’t flat. It’s mountainous, with me at the summit, in the stratosphere

Can we talk about the cyberium?

Classic Who Connections

  • The Doctor refers to losing past companions to the Cybermen. While this has happened a couple of times in NuWho, the only Classic Who companion that would refer to is Adric.

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10
    • Jared – 7.5 liquid metal microfiche
    • Austin – 8.5 broken cyberhelmets
    • Corbin – 8 scooby-doo mysteries
    • Tripp – 8 spoopy ghosts 
  • Creep Level – out of 500
    • Jared – 120
    • Austin – 300
    • Corbin – 130
    • Tripp – 150


  • Who is the Timeless Child?
    • Tripp – a past regeneration of the Doctor of the Master, hidden by the Time Lords. The timeless child relates to the lone cyberman 
    • Corbin – it’s that little girl, who is no one we’ve ever met (hopefully, but not likely)
  • Who is the Fugitive Doctor?
    • Tripp – the Timeless Child! Who is being hidden from Thirteen by the Time Lords. And the Master Found out
    • Corbin – 
  • Fate of the companions
    • Tripp – they’re hinting at an exit for Ryan; Graham & Yaz stay
    • Corbin – all staying until next season

The Game Plan 

  • We have a Series 13 premiere date! Series 13 will be called Flux and is one, six-episode long story premiering October 31st, 2021!
    • As it happens, if we had been diligent, we would’ve ended ON October 31. However, we fell a week behind (sorry, guys).
    • We’re not sure if we can pull it off, but we’re gonna try to double up over the next two weeks. So watch your feeds and you may get a surprise episode in the middle of the week soon.
  • Next time, we’re covering the series 12 finale two-parter, Ascension of the Cybermen and The Timeless Children?
  • After Series 13, we want to do a Best Of series. We’re going to cover our favorite story from each NuWho Doctor, and then our favorite Festive special! And by “our” I mean “all of us”. Go to noobsandthewhovian.com/bestof to take the survey and help us pick the very best of NuWho.


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.

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