In the new episode we see that the "memory eating parasite" feeds off The Doctor. Now my question is that if he feeds of the memories of The Doctor, are those memories erased from his mind? ( like the leaf was "erased" from existence when the parasite fed on it")

If he does lose memories wont they affect his personality and also how many memories are erased from his brain?

8 Answers 8


I don't think that this is a particularly well constructed or thought out episode, but the doctor apparently suffering no ill effect from the parasite is probably best explained in terms of his unique timelordly phsyiology. It's wibbly-wobbly-timelordy-wimelordy stuff.

  • 8
    +1 for 'I don't think that this is a particularly well constructed or thought out episode', but I got the impression that the sun-creature-parasite-god refused to take the Doctor's memories, for fear of them (oh the Doctor shouting at the monster SO AWSUM). That may not actually be supported in the episode, though - I have no desire to rewatch that trainwreck to find out.
    – evilsoup
    Apr 7, 2013 at 13:41
  • I didn't get that impression (the parasite refusing to take the Doctor's memories) myself. I did like the singing though.
    – Christi
    Apr 7, 2013 at 13:43
  • I signed in just to upvote this answer :) Apr 8, 2013 at 13:50
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    @Sheph Wibbly Wobbly answers are not very helpful... unless they're the best answer available.
    – Beofett
    Apr 9, 2013 at 12:11
  • 1
    @Sheph Sorry, but ever since the quote aired, "wibbly wobbly" will ever-after be a recurring Doctor Who meme.
    – Beofett
    Apr 9, 2013 at 16:55

We don't know yet, whether the doctor is truly unaffected. Not a whole lot has happend since he met the parasite, but he was kneeling down and obviously not feeling so well having met that thing.

Yet, as the doctor makes a point of telling the parasite, he is so full of stories that we (and probably he himself) would never notice if he lost a few generations of experiences. If the Doctor was able to control which memories to give away, the effect would be even less.

There is also the possibility, that the parasite didn't really consume the Doctor's memories because it was afraid what it might see.

The Queens of Ages apparently only know songs, tales and other literature.

Real memories of what the Doctor has seen and done could be quite different (and harder) to digest than a thousand kids bedtime stories.

Last point. He is the Doctor and gets a kick out of visiting all those wonderful places in the universe. If he rids himself of some of his unspectacular travel experiences, he will get to visit all those places for the first time, again. I believe that would actually be quite appealing to him.


It could be that the memories were the reason why he did not remember how many kids died on galafrey and why he was the doctor that learned to forget.

  • this i really dont get how did the parasite feeding his memories explain how he did not remember how many kids died on galifrey Apr 9, 2016 at 23:13

He might be affected. He might have lost decades of memories but just not ones that were relevant to what he was doing there and then.

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    Given that the Doctor's stated intention was to gorge the creature on a lifetime of memories, and his plan didn't succeed, this explanation seems unlikely. It is likely that he would have fed all of his memories to the creature if he really was trying to do what he said he was.
    – Christi
    Apr 9, 2013 at 1:40
  • Wasn't he interupted whilst doing this? I thought that people were 'consumed' which implied that whatever the creature took was gone from the victim?
    – Stefan
    Apr 10, 2013 at 8:19
  • what do you mean decades of memories Apr 10, 2016 at 16:20

It's likely the "taking" of memories here is similar to the way the Pensieve is used in Harry Potter. Taking memories and putting them in containers to be examined later does not wipe the memory from a person's mind - as shown by Professor Slughorn being able to give a piece of his memory twice (even though one was edited, it was still mostly the same memory).

I think the Old God was taking the Doctor's memories in the form of sharing or seeing them. Merry was worried about forgetting what she had to sing to Grandfather, not about having her memory wiped. (It's possible she wasn't told what would happen afterwards, but I think that's not the case here.)

Absolutely no idea why the leaf crumbled though!


The psychic(?) connection between the parasite and its hosts is not well-established and it doesn't need to be(more exposition is worse than less). However, there are a couple of possibilities:

1) The parasite cut off the flow of memories to preserve itself. I consider this just not to be very likely. It seems to be lapping up the memories greedily, even after the Doctor tells it his plan.

2) The memories given to the parasite could just be copies of memories. There is no strong evidence for this, but then there is no strong evidence that it strips a person of their memories, either. The way the Doctor refers to it as "feeding off of the lives of others" in his final speech makes me think that the parasite just siphons off some of the experience, sort of living vicariously through true living beings.

3) The parasite, after it ate that stupid leaf's memories, released the memories that it had stored. Again, no real evidence for, none against. The memories wouldn't be able to return physical objects that had been destroyed, but the memories could be returned to the living, still.


Maybye the 'parasite' gave back all the memories it had taken when it died?

Or it could be that the parasite didn't take the most 'wild' memories, just some the smallest ones (cause it were scared off), so no one could see a difference? I'd think that the most important memories are the most unbelievable and scary ones, also the purest ones.

Or it's just some Wibbly-wobbly-time lord stuff?


i had a thought, maybe what really happened was his memories were takes, the number of kids on gallfrey were so precious to him he forgot, because if you remember currency is something valuable to you. Yes some of his memories where lost because of him, but all his adventures were precious as well. It explains a lot why he has forgotten so much more then before.This wouldn't change his personality as he already had the personality from the beginning, even with some lost memories, it may be different if he experienced them again but he was the one that formed the personality and would stick to it no matter what.

  • Okay, what? This is difficult to understand.
    – Obsidia
    Apr 13, 2018 at 19:49

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