I just watched Time Heist (S08E05). At the end of the episode, we learn that

the Doctor set up the heist, including wiping his own memory

in order to

free the second Teller

Why was the Doctor's memory wiped? Why couldn't

the first Teller read their thoughts and just allow them to carry on, or even help them?

  • 7
    Also, just realized I posted the 600th question with the doctor-who tag :)
    – Yotus
    Sep 23, 2014 at 9:15
  • No @AnonymousMohit, WHO is Doctor. Sep 23, 2014 at 17:30
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    @AnonymousMohit: The reason the text was invisible until mouseover was to prevent spoilers. This is a very common practice here. That edit should be rolled back.
    – apnorton
    Sep 23, 2014 at 18:17
  • 1
    @AnonymousMohit here is another question that uses such hidden texts.
    – Yotus
    Sep 24, 2014 at 5:32
  • 1
    Isn't he prepared all this a spoiler?
    – Huey
    Oct 25, 2014 at 2:13

1 Answer 1


The Doctor answers this himself, in his speech to the Teller, which comes just after the flashback showing who set up the job:

Did you see why we came? Why we’re here? We had to delete our own memories: otherwise you’d have known, and then she’d have known, because you were mentally linked! But she’s gone now; they’ve all gone. They have no power over you now, and you can do exactly what you want to do. Exactly what you’ve always wanted to do!

The specifics of the mental link aren’t really discussed, but there is precedent for it in the episode: when the Teller confronts the suspect on the bank floor, Miss Delphos seems to know what the Teller does without it saying anything aloud.

Once Karabraxos realised what was going on, they’d never get as far as her private vault. Even if the Teller wouldn’t soup-ify them, there are plenty of other ways to kill them. Until the solar storm hits, she expects her bank to keep on going, so why would she free the Tellers?

  • 1
    Oh right.. I guess I wasn't paying anough attention during that part ! Thanks !
    – Yotus
    Sep 23, 2014 at 7:31
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    Except she'd also know that the solar storm is coming and that she's the one that sent the Doctor. So doesn't really work.
    – OrangeDog
    Sep 23, 2014 at 13:04
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    @OrangeDog future her sent the doctor, from her deathbed. Just because she eventually came to regret her actions, doesn't mean younger her wouldn't have killed them all. Her younger self had no idea what she would eventually set in motion.
    – Grant
    Sep 23, 2014 at 13:47
  • The real reason he set up such a plan is really revealed in the last line of the episode - he was showing off. There's certainly any number of things he could have set up to achieve the same ends, but he went for the most mysterious and exciting plan he could come up with, something utterly thrilling and curiosity-piquing. "Beat THAT for a date..." Nov 30, 2018 at 11:58

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