the Time Lords

give Ashildr that power?

I assume it was them, since she says she gets to retain that power in exchange for delivering the doctor to them.

But another thing Ashildr mentions is that they have a deal: she gets the power and they get a soul (in this case Rigsy's). What would they do with a soul?

  • Great question. I'm afraid I'll have to watch all three episodes again, back to back this time. I hope you don't mind me putting the names of the villains in a spoiler tag though.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 9:11
  • Won't be an issue as I've already watched all three. Thanks :)
    – Ivan
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 9:18

4 Answers 4


I'm pretty sure that you're correct, Ashildr was given the power of the Quantum Shade in exchange for securing The Doctor in the teleport bracelet on behalf of

The Time Lords.

However, I was under the impression that the Quantum Shade was an independent being, with whom Ashildr negotiated her own deal.

This deal was that the Quantum Shade would perform the execution for her after an allotted time has elapsed, and in return is allowed to claim the soul of the victim. AFAIK this is the deal that was made for any execution that was dealt.

Ashildr has the power to renegotiate that deal at any point, which was her plan with Rigsy. She never intended to kill him, she just wanted to have a countdown so that The Doctor would have a time limit to solve the puzzle that she had laid out for him. This is why she staged the elaborate framing of the murder on Rigsy.

However, when Clara accepts the Quantum Lock from Rigsy, she is essentially renegotiating the deal with the Shade. The soul that was promised is now Clara's instead of Rigsy's, and Ashildr has no say in that transaction. Therefore she has no way of rescinding the deal with the Shade.


Almost certainly yes.

From the transcript of Face the Raven:

DOCTOR: It's called a Quantum Shade. It's kind of a spirit. Once it's bound to a victim ... you could flee across all of time and all of the universe, it would still find you.

A creature that can lock on to a signal and follow it across all of time and space? Who does that remind you of? That's right, the Time Lords. They have more advanced abilities in travel through time and space than any other civilisation we know of. It sounds as though the Quantum Shade may have some of the abilities of a TARDIS.

The fact that the Doctor has such familiarity with the idea of a Quantum Shade could also be seen as suspicious ... or maybe not, since he knows an awful lot about all sorts of creatures.

Finally, again from the transcript:

ASHILDR: I made a deal to protect the street. They take you, I take the key so you can't be traced. I do as they tell me, and the street is safe.

What did the Time Lords give her in exchange for her capture of the Doctor? It must have been something that enabled her "to protect the street". And what does she use to preserve the peace on the street, other than the Quantum Shade?

So it looks like yes, the Time Lords supplied Ashildr with the Quantum Shade.


Probably not.

I believe it wasn't

the Time Lords

who gave her the Quantum Shade.

To begin with, the episode Face the Raven leaves implied that the Quantum Shade has been present since the inception of the Trap Street, otherwise there would be no way to ensure cooperation of the very dangerous alien individuals taking refuge there. Second, it acts like an independent being, as @Mike.C.Ford mentioned. Third, in the episode it seemed to me that the deal to protect the street is rather a threat by

the Time Lords

that they'd intervene unless Ashildr did as they wanted. There's nothing saying they can't run a protection racket, after all.


Not to throw a hiccup in these Time Lord theories, but I am currently rewatching and in The Power of Three episode (the cubes with Amy and Rory), Kate Lethbridge-Stewart at UNIT was mentioning as they were walking down into the tower of London: "...yes I've got officers trained in beheading... also, ravens of death..." So idk if this was just them making hints at what's to come or totally coincidental, but...

  • 1
    Welcome to the site! This answer could benefit from more fully describing your theory to answer the question in detail.
    – Milo P
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 21:21

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