This looks like a very self-contained episode. A "monster-of-the-week" episode. But there were actually some really big classic series references in this episode. Not to mention a few more big clues about the mystery of Clara. So let's dig in.
It might have seemed like technobabble when the Doctor said that he could open the "well" using an aspect of the Eye of Harmony and a blue crystal from Metebelis III. Well, it was technobabble, but it wasn't made up by the writer of this episode. The Eye of Harmony was first introduced in the redundantly named 4th Doctor episode "The Deadly Assassin." I can't quite tell you what it was used for then, because I don't care enough to remember. The more memorable use of it was in the horrible made-for-TV movie, where it was said that the TARDIS had its own Eye of Harmony in a back room that powered it:
|In a completely impossible twist, the Eye of Harmony could only be opened|
by the retina of a human, a species that the Time Lords had little contact with.
Honestly, this movie made less sense than an M.C. Escher painting.
Okay, so the Eye of Harmony is kind of a bizarre and random thing that doesn't mean much of anything other than it's a power source. But the cyrstal from Metebelis III is fully legit. The Doctor first picked up the crystal in "The Green Death," but it didn't become a problem until the Third Doctor's final episode, "Planet of the Spiders." The crystals have the ability, as the Doctor pointed out, to enhance certain abilities within a creature. Metebelis III became the "Planet of the Spiders" because some spiders who were left behind by human explorers, and the crystals caused the spiders to become larger and hyper-intelligent.
|The Third Doctor regenerates into the Fourth Doctor|
out of fear after finding this thing in his shower.
The crystal turned a mentally disabled man into a genius. It also helped a psychic to enhance his abilities. So I was very happy about this episode using pre-established technology rather than some random bullshit that the writer made up. It may have looked that way to the casual viewer, but I promise you that it was cleverer than that.
I was wondering what the Doctor was doing at this completely random house. Someone on Gallifrey Base (the Doctor Who forum) suggested that maybe the Doctor was going back to the house that he met the 19th Century Clara. It doesn't seem that it was the same house, but it's perfectly possible that it was and I missed it because I have no spatial awareness whatsoever.
What he did seem to come there for was an empathic psychic to tell him what the fuck is going on with the Claras. She seems to think that Clara's perfectly normal, which is probably a clue, but she also thought that the Doctor had a "sliver of ice in his heart," so maybe she's just the worst psychic in the world.
But the fact that the empath thinks that Clara is a perfectly normal girl has to be a huge clue. What could it mean that Clara isn't unusual? My guess is that if Emma met either of the other two Claras, she wouldn't have had said that. I think that whatever is going to splinter Clara across time, it hasn't happened to the 21st century Clara yet, putting versions of her in both the future and the past.
The problem is that Emma sees nothing wrong with Clara, but the TARDIS clearly does. The running thread of the past few weeks, that the TARDIS doesn't like Clara, seems to be for an obvious reason: The TARDIS can't handle temporal paradoxes, like Captain Jack in "Utopia," the alternate Amy in "The Girl Who Waited," and Clara Oswald, the impossible girl. It even seemed to insult her because it said that the person she would most esteem would be...herself. To which Clara called the TARDIS a "grumpy old cow."
You'd think the one that the TARDIS really hated would be the Doctor's real wife, River Song.
Then there's the whole weird creatures that are in love. Aw, love can outlast time. I don't think that matters in the long run. Unless it's Clara's parents, and their great love story, that was splintered across time.
Next week, we go deep into the TARDIS to places the show has never been. Moffat said he thought the classic series didn't show enough when it went inside the TARDIS. There's a little bit in the 4th Doctor episode "The Invasion of Time," and a little more in the 5th Doctor's introductory episode, "Castrovalva," but nothing like what I think we're about to see.
See you next week!