Doctor Who: Who, Doctor?

Doctor Who Word

It is late and I have the kind of schedule that lives me dreaming of having my own Tardis. Instead I am journeying into a library in the silence. Did you know that if you rearrange the letters of Dr Who you get ‘word’, ‘cohort’, ‘torchwood’? This is a sweet-shop for a word geek like me. The enigmatic doctor, who should not travel alone and who inspired the creation of the ‘Torchwood Institute’ has traces of these traits and tales within his alias. There is a power in words; meanings hidden within the epic Time Lord adventure. Within the details like a character’s name can be secrets and connections.

Astrid Peth, from ‘Voyage of the Damned’, whose name can translate as ‘path of stars’ for example, ends up being called ‘star dust’ when a non-corporeal form of her left after saving The Doctor, is released in atoms to travel the universe.  The letters of her name can also be re-arranged to spell  star depth / star tide. The man with the sonic screwdriver has a world of words around him, hiding mysteries and possible character story-lines in names. Names hidden, disguised and revealed are within many cultures and mysteries, rich stories and histories woven around their meaning and cadence.

The threat of The Silence or The Doctor’s Song ending at Tenzalore open up the sense of the force that are words. The nature of The man with blue box; the nature of time, cycles of life and regeneration are held within the words that can be made by all or part of the name for The Doctor’s Tomb. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself in the picture I made below:


The words hidden in one character’s name could help fuel the Whovian theories of a connection between Charlotte Abigail Lux (CAL) and Clara Oswin Oswald. (CAL) and ‘The Silence in the Library’ episode became to me a wordsmith’s dream, flesh munching shadow monsters not-withstanding. As you can see in the word collage I created below, using letters within her name we can create: Helix ( a curve in 3 dimensional space reminiscent of a vortex);Hello Clara; luxate (to dislocate);  locate; oracle; light; alibi; clothe; rotate; locate; theocrat; big; GA – general administrative; lore; oath;  late; rota (wheel / rotation), Tora / Torah (a book of life and law);Taro (the fool’s path / the alphabet in images); chattel; act, heal; hear, heart; core; cell; ear; teach; reach; throat and more. GI (acronym for Great Intelligence is in there) Granted, words such as toe and hallux (big toe) are also hidden in there somewhere and I’m not sure where I could go with that …. but messages hidden in words are very Doctor.  The power of any story is in the listener becoming part of the weaving, opening up to imagination and the power of word and image. There is a great deal of potential with Charlotte Abigail Lux. Brief though her role seems to be she appears part of a ‘clan’ of personalities moving within virtual space in the timepath of The Doctor, shifting between corporeal to non-corporeal form, life and death, memory and manifestation.

Lux on a Name

Lux means ‘light’ but it is also a measurement. It is a unit of luminescence which suggests the ‘Lux Family’ maybe so named for a reason. Especially as this is juxtaposed with the shadow, the silence and The Darkness who will be responsible for future battles involving River Song, introduced in the same episodes as CAL. The term ‘Lux’ puts me in mind, not only of measurements of light or visibility, but a unit, collective or ‘clan’ that embody those qualities.  Whether purposeful or not Doctor Who has created echoes and links with other children of time. These include the aforementioned Astrid. The people drive the story and it is a tale of light and dark, a fairy tale in it’s purest sense, that is timeless.

“The lights are going out” is the warning given by CAL when the library first  ‘malfunctions’, relevant when we find out Cal Abigail Lux, cared for by Dr Moon, is the dreaming warden of the library.


The warning “silence must fall” seems to link to River Song because of both her names and the timing of her first appearance. ‘Silence must fall’ has an ambiguity. It could mean the victory or the destruction of the group known as The Silence. It could mean the the death of The Doctor’s Wife.  Melody is stolen by The Silence. This child, that later becomes River Song, is taken by Silence at Demons Run. We and The Doctor first meet River Song in The Silence in the Library, where she meets him for the final time in at least one lifeline.

The Library is looked after by a family named after ‘light’ and is threatened by silence and shadow. CAL saves people in her memory. They are sequences of data  ready to re-upload; recalculation possible with the moving of a decimal point; saved in lux. They are luxated (dislocated) from the physical in energy form can be returned or relocated. In ‘The Forest of The Dead’ we see CAL return 4020 people from her ‘memory’ into solid flesh and to our knowledge normal human states. We meet the child who will become River Song later in the Time Lord’s timeline, before she is taken by The Silence in a battle of light against Darkness. A pattern emerges: The song is stolen by silence. There is a dance between light and dark, the hidden and the revealed, between music, sound, voice, words and their absence. It echoes the need for The Doctor to have company.

River Song is saved in the memory hard-drive of CAL. We don’t know how she later keeps escaping from prison and there are other mysteries around her. There are other connections with CAL. Notably Clara, whose name means clear, or bright. ‘Clear’, and ‘Hello Clara’ can be made with letters from CAL’s full name. It makes sense that Clara, somehow, is of the Lux (light) Family. In fact Clara Oswald’s name could translate as bright /clear light of the king or even as light of the divine. ‘Torch’ is also found in CAL’s name, the light of the forest which reflects the name ‘Torch Wood’. She also connects with The Ponds, choosing the word ‘pond’ when asked t choose one word to persuade The Doctor to help her. She had not met The Ponds in that life-time.

Clara could have been in the library and saved only to be downloaded in various forms. She could be CAL, the clever girl who in node form cannot run but could deploy herself in luxated form across space and time to save the Doctor. Clara, the impossible girl absorbed the internet as CAL contained the library. The links are compelling. However, another word, ‘coincidence’ may cover it. We are given the explanation that Clara is fragmented into many lives by diving into The 11th Doctor’s timeline at Tenzalore to save it from The Great Intelligence.

Clara Oswin Oswald

Then there is the running and being clever. “Run for godsake run” was CAL’s recorded warning to readers in ‘The Silence in the Library’ when the Vashta Nerada threatened. Clara created a mnemonic device, “Run you clever boy and remember”, to record her Wi-Fi password rycbar123. Calling the tech number a woman in a shop gave her when she still had connection troubles she made contact with The Doctor in the Tardis in ‘The Bells of Saint John.’ Clara said these words before (including when she was the mind of Oswin Oswald trapped in Dalek form) and since. Before she dies she always says it and she dies many times. An Anagram of her name is ‘Crosswinds’. We are told she was broken up in the crosswinds of The Doctor’s timeline when she jumped into it to repair the damage caused by The Great Intelligence.  Clara is then forever runing through time to save The Doctor in his many manifestations.

CAL’s last words were “Aren’t I a clever girl?” River Song says “Watch us Run” in ‘The Forest of the Dead’ just before she gives her life (or believes she is doing) for the Doctor. Song was saved on a sonic screwdriver and uploaded into CAL’s memory. There are other runners of course. In ‘The Doctor’s Daughter’ The Doctor, Donna and Jenny mention how much running the Time Lord and his companions do several times. It was a shared joke between them. After regenerating, un-be-known  to The Doctor, “an awful lot of running to do” Jenny’s final words as she speeds off alone into the known.

Each time The Doctor regenerates he is different, memories and the emotions connected to them altered. We’ve also seen partial regeneration forms of duplication in the Doctor before, and regeneration in his companions. Jenny, River Song, The Doctor Donna and The Tardis herself are examples of this. Regeneration is linked visually with light and so once more we have the Lux connection as The Darkness and The Silence and swarms in shadow form the greatest threats.

Jenny took a bullet for The Doctor before regenerating and setting off to travel unknown galaxies. Could the girl who felt compelled save the doctor so many times, splitting her existence within time to do so, be related or inspired by Jenny. Clara is said to be an ordinary girl but perhaps she is born of an extraordinary heritage. Perhaps there was more of the 10th Doctor’s DNA left on the machine that generated Jenny and after her miraculous ‘rebirth’ and escape those left behind used it to ‘father’ more children. It is not difficult to see patterns and possibilities.

Clara, ‘the impossible girl’ who waits and saves, looses her mother and looks after children without a mother. Jenny is made from Time Lord DNA, traveling alone when The Doctor thinks she is dead. CAL is the child living alone in a virtual world, beloved of her father she can only see in virtual form and whose mother we don’t know of. Amelia Pond, whose name reminded the 11th Doctor of a fairy tale, was an orphan, waiting in an abandoned home as a child for The Doctor’s return.  Later her daughter,  Melody, is kidnapped to become River Song. River Song was stolen as a child and programmed to kill The Doctor, which is a twisted inversion of the will to save shown by Clara and CAL. Yet love blossoms between River and The Doctor and she saves him the first time he meets her. Clara, River Song and CAL protect The Doctor even after their deaths, which can be multiple.

Clara, River and CAL have no human body at certain points. CAL is saved in node form as a sick child and saves River in the virtual world of her library as memory, (energy and thought) as Donna Noble also was. Clara was turned into a Dalek the first time we meet her. All three keep independent thought and feeling in spite of the inconvenience of not having the bodies they thought they had. Possible story-lines are that ‘Lux family’, saved thanks to the one River calls “that impossible man” and the mind of CAL  was downloaded into ‘The Impossible Girl’ called Clara. Clara is a normal girl, according to the Tardis and an empathic, but she lives many lives as if she were the stories in many books in a library or in the memory of a little girl neither living nor dead. That young girl in node form studiously saves people and is rescued by The Doctor. It would make sense that Clara, if they are linked, would have a propensity to save The Doctor at her core, perhaps as well as her passion for looking after children.

The Tardis was the first to run away with the doctor, a love affair we see actualised in the episode ‘The Doctor’s Wife’. This is a title later given to River Song who can travel time and regenerate like the Tardis having been changed in part by Amy being pregnant with her while time travelling in The Tardis. River Song and the Tardis are linked. While the heart of the Tardis is said to be all of space and time, Clara seems to be time fragmented, like light refracted becoming a rainbow.

The Ponds


The Ponds, including River, reflect light. A Pond and the word ‘pond’ are decisive in The Doctor deciding to help Clara when he first takes note of her. Clara and CAL have an electric energy that echoes the Tardis, both end up wired into complex computer circuits. An audience’s love of cars, women and gadgets plays its part in this I’m sure, but there is also a poetry in this collective whose names and natures are electric and fluid, light and reflective. There is a mystery that holds my dreaming mind in this moment. It is sound in the silence and the voices that seem to come from a library where one little girl was able to save people in the hard-drive of her imagination, ready to be re-uploaded into the ‘real’ world when safe from carnivorous swarms in the shadows. Other emphasis on the word geekery of the time traveller with sonic screwdriver and his companions are the use of the term ‘Bad Wolf’, Shakespeare codes and the meeting of  Agatha Christie and books used as weapons in ‘tooth and claw’ .  There is humour and action and gadgets and mysteries, love, universes and a lot of running, but words spin stories within stories and ‘who’ are we to argue with that?

One Comment

  1. Carl says:

    Hello, Guess who!?

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