So the Heaven Sent castle is designed to progressively scare the Doctor until he would give up the Hybrid's identity. The logical assumption is that there is someone watching or at least listening (at the end of the episode, the Doctor remarks that there's probably someone still listening), because, well, it's an interrogation.

But if that's the case, shouldn't the watcher have noticed what the Doctor was doing? Shouldn't they have realized that the Doctor was slowly escaping the place like, billions of times over?

Why is no action taken? Surely after a few million times the watchers would understand that there is no way he's going to confess. Why was he allowed to continue?

I imagine we'll need to see the final episode for a proper answer.

  • Well, you answered yourself in the last sentence.
    – Ragnarok
    Dec 1, 2015 at 7:50
  • What I can't get over is how incredibly patient they were, waiting millions and millions of years for an answer.
    – Mr Lister
    Dec 1, 2015 at 7:54
  • 1
    Speculation: Why does there have to be a "they"? Maybe the purpose is to get the Doctor to stop suppressing his secrets from himself...
    – user24601
    Dec 1, 2015 at 8:41
  • @user24601 Ooh, spoilers...
    – Mr Lister
    Dec 1, 2015 at 8:48
  • @MrLister Not necessarily: remember the Time Lord "pocket universe" technology. It's plausible that the Doctor would have emerged into the same time zone regardless of how long he spent in there. See my answer.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 1, 2015 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


It seems the entire system was automated (which is how the Doctor managed to fool it): the Veil stalking him, freezing when he made a confession, and the castle resetting. There may be surveillance in the castle to pick up everything he says, or the Veil may be programmed to remember his confessions and report them to its masters at the end. Either way, it's unlikely that someone is actively watching and listening to him all the time, since for most of it he's just running around and not saying anything interesting. The plan was presumably that the Doctor would eventually make his confession, the wall of Azbantium would break or disappear, and then the Veil would make its report to its masters.

Recall also that the entire castle and the ocean around it is just a pocket universe inside his confession dial (Time Lord technology!) Like the TARDIS, it has much more space on the inside; and it's also reasonable to suppose that like the stasis paintings, it's temporally bigger on the inside too. An entire universe, all of time and space, inside a small metal box. It's quite possible that whoever put him in there didn't even realise how much time had passed, and that when he steps out of it onto Gallifrey, he's in the same time zone as when he entered it.

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