In the Doctor Who episode "Before the Flood",

Clara, Cass, and Lunn are surprised to discover the Doctor popping out of the stasis chamber, having been in there for over 100 years since the dam broke.

We also see that

when the dam breaks (in the past), an emergency protocol of the TARDIS activates and takes Bennett and the TARDIS elsewhere (presumably somewhere safe). The episode is not clear where the TARDIS is going.

At the end of the episode,

Bennett and the TARDIS have clearly been reunited with the Doctor and the other people in the undersea base.

All this taken together seems like a loose end that was not tied up in the episode. How did the TARDIS get back to the Doctor?

  • 1
    Times-wimey? :-D
    – user46509
    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:46
  • Guess: if the TARDIS stayed in exactly the same place for a century or two, it might be in the base in the future. So The Doctor could walk over to it at the end of the episode. Oct 13, 2015 at 11:49
  • @Wikis, if that were the case Bennet may have died of old age (unless the TARDIS made time run at different speeds inside and outside, similar to what is seen in "The Girl Who Waited") Oct 13, 2015 at 13:47
  • @Joshua: indeed, good point. Oct 13, 2015 at 17:46

3 Answers 3


an emergency protocol of the TARDIS activates and takes Bennett and the TARDIS elsewhere (presumably somewhere safe)

The "elsewhere" was probably the last 'safe' location the TARDIS had been in, namely the underwater base in the year 2119. It automatically rematerialised there, and Bennett was able to disembark and rejoin the others as we saw later.

Either that, or the TARDIS rematerialised elsewhere and then the Doctor summoned it to him, as we saw him do in the previous episode Death in Heaven (series 8 finale) after falling out of an aeroplane.

  • 2
    But earlier on in "Before the Flood" we explicitly see that the TARDIS doesn't consider the base a safe location thanks to the presence of the ghosts. Oct 13, 2015 at 11:51
  • 1
    @DrRDizzle But it's safe again after the Doctor pops out of the suspended animation chamber and takes charge of everything! For all we know, the TARDIS might only reappear after the ghosts have all been locked up in the Faraday cage - that's the first time we see Bennett again IIRC.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:53
  • 1
    But at the end of "Under the Lake", The Doctor can't go pick up Clara or the other crew members because the TARDIS won't go over there, and all the ghosts are stuck in the Faraday cage at that point. Oct 13, 2015 at 11:55
  • 5
    The reason the TARDIS won't go back to the base has nothing to do with the presence of the ghosts. It is everything to do with the bootstrap paradox. The Doctor must stay in 1980 because he has actions that he must perform in order to create the conditions that he's already witnessed. Remember -- he causes the flood. He sets the entire series of events in motion as a result of trying to unravel them. Cause follows effect. The TARDIS knows this -- to the TARDIS, the future is no different from the past -- and takes the necessary steps to keep the Doctor where he needs to be.
    – Roger
    Oct 13, 2015 at 14:38
  • 2
    The Doctor may have programmed the TARDIS to go back to the base in the event of the emergency protocol being activated. Oct 13, 2015 at 19:06

The ghost of the doctor was repeating the words as a message to himself. Following the list of names, were instructions to get back. He explains this, then notes the Beethoven thing.

  • 2
    I've watched it again. He mentions messages to himself but I'm struggling to see where he explains anything about the TARDIS
    – Valorum
    Oct 13, 2015 at 19:26

But the emergency protocols HAVE been explained in the past.

They do take you to the last safest place, plus to your OWN time line when not comandeered by the Doctor.

And the TARDIS does not think the place isn't safe. Indeed, as some of you have already pointed out, the TARDIS doesn't want THE DOCTOR to leave 1980. The rest can go where they like :).

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