Doctor Who Episode From 1963 Quotes an Episode From 2014

Showing some serious foreknowledge, the BBC managed to quote a line from an episode released over 50 years later. You’d think they had their very own time machine or at least help from a certain alien physician.

I know you’re thinking, “Hey man, they just made an episode in 2014 and referenced a 1963 episode. Calm down.” That’s where you’re wrong. Within the story itself, at least.

Be warned, this article and video contain SPOILERS if you haven’t seen the Series 8 episode Listen. And probably also if you haven’t seen the very first episode of Doctor Who. But it’s been over 50 years, where’ve you been?

Here you can see a comparison of the 2014 and 1963 episodes, including the line quoted.

Clara is actually paraphrasing the Doctor’s speech from earlier in Listen, when he said fear is an ally to make you stronger. The young Doctor remembers it, grows up and says it to Barbara. He thinks he’s quoting a dream, but he’s quoting Clara, who was actually quoting him. He’s quoting himself and doesn’t realize it. That’s an ontological paradox, an endless loop.

It’s sort of like when George McFly told Marty in the end of Back to the Future that “If you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything,” which he heard from Marty who heard it from Doc. In the revised timeline, Marty may have actually heard it from George, and started quoting him, not realizing he’s quoting himself quoting Doc.

Confused Doctor

Quoting gets a bit messy with time travel involved, doesn’t it?

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