In series 9 episode 6 of Doctor Who, when the Doctor revisits


she’s known across the land as the Nightmare.

I watched a YouTube video which goes through Doctor Who easter eggs, and it says that she is the Nightmare Child, as in the one Davros flew his command ship into the jaws of.

Now surely that is totally wrong. She’s human, the Time War is over, and she can’t grow to a size a command ship would fly through. Doesn’t it have to be the writers using a play on words? Or is


really the Nightmare Child?

  • 3
    “she can’t grow to a size a command ship would fly through” — and why not? Humans don’t usually live forever either, but she’s seems to be making a decent job of that so far. Nov 27, 2015 at 13:15
  • 2
    @PaulD.Waite Supporting the idea of her growing, look how big the head of Captain Jack Harkness got as the Face of Bo when he couldn't die. It seems that immortality in Doctor Who is accompanied by gigantism after a certain amount of time. Nov 27, 2015 at 13:17
  • 2
    @DrRDizzle: this is an excellent point. She gets a little bigger, Davros gets a little smaller, and before you know it, she’s munching on a Dalek sandwich. Crazy things happen in war. Nov 27, 2015 at 13:20
  • 5
    Am I the only one who noticed her actual name was KNIGHTMARE? A combination of KNIGHT and NIGHTMARE. There even was a "Wanted" Poster shown.
    – tilley31
    Nov 27, 2015 at 17:47
  • 1
    Yeah, and her name is spelled Ashildr, with only one i.
    – Mr Lister
    Nov 27, 2015 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


Highly unlikely.

The Nightmare Child is a vague, unspecified threat that the Tenth Doctor mentions, along with a laundry list of other horrors, that the Daleks or Time Lords unleashed during the Time War. We have no idea what kind of creature this was, or if it was even alive. But what we do know about it is:

  • It was "born" during the Time War. Ashildir most definitely was not.
  • At one point, was was going to be called "The Dalek Emporer's Nightmare Child"; though that never made it on-screen, it reinforces the general principle that the Daleks Created this thing to fight the war. Again, Ashildir began her life as a normal human child.
  • It was gigantic enough to swallow a Dalek craft. Barring some ridiculous physical transformation, that's not Ashildir. It's not out of the question for something like that to happen, but it certainly had not by the time she earned her nickname.
  • The Nightmare Child is locked away in the time-locked Time War. This was the entire purpose for The Doctor's actions in "The End of Time". The return of horrors like the Nightmare Child would have meant the end of the universe; Ashildir's presence hasn't done that

Nightmare is a very generic, commonly used term in fiction to describe something terrifying. There's almost certainly no relationship between the two things.

  • that's what I thought I was kinda looking for confirmation as i was watching the you tube video and I just thought "you what?!?!? no way that has to be wrong" so I came to the best place to get answers .
    – daniel
    Nov 27, 2015 at 13:44
  • 2
    @daniel: the best place to get answers on this is the TV show itself. We’re really just speculating about what the writers might have written, or what they might write in the future. In Doctor Who even more than other shows, they can (and do) write whatever the heck they want. Nov 27, 2015 at 14:04
  • When you mentioned "Emporer" I immediately drew a scene in my head of some Dalek working at an emporium. Nov 27, 2015 at 16:48

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