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In Deep Breath (series 8) the Doctor tries to remember a previous incident with

clockwork androids stealing human body parts to repair machinery.

Yet he can't. During another conversation with the episode's main "villain", he finally remembers a few parts of his own history.

He's looking at the backside of some kind of fuse and reads the name

SS Marie Antoinette

and shortly later combines this with the name of the supposed sister ship:

SS Madame de Pompadour

The actual event he remembers has been depicted in an episode of series 1 (2005).

However, as far as I remember, at the end of The Girl in the Fireplace the Doctor just kept wondering why the droids wanted Madame de Pompadour specifically. As far as I know it's only shown to the audience that the ship's hull has Madame de Pompadour written on its flank, essentially revealing its name.

So did I just miss the Doctor noticing the name? Or is this a plot hole?

marked as duplicate by Valorum, Justin Ethier, Kreann, Shevliaskovic, NikolaiDante Nov 15 '14 at 21:56

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He didn't see the name of the ship before they left the SS Pompadour and it's not apparent from the script of Deep Breath that he's definitively linked the two ships together. He's merely reading the data-chip.

Obviously we know that they're linked (that's the joke), but there's no indication to suggest that he knows:

THE DOCTOR : SS Marie Antoinette. Out of control repair Droids, cannibalizing human beings. I know this is familiar, but I just can’t seem to place it.

The Half-Face Man responds -

HALF-FACE MAN : How would you kill me?

THE DOCTOR : Sister Ship of ... (Squints closer, writing is a bit faded) ...the Madame De Pompadour.

(Considers, reflects)

THE DOCTOR : Nope, not getting it.

Obviously he's noticed the similarity in the design of the robots as well as the situation though but his swiss-cheesed memory is playing tricks on him.

  • Ah okay, that sounds more reasonable. Didn't try to interpret it that way. – Mario Nov 16 '14 at 8:40
  • It's probably because it's been centuries (well over a 1000 years in fact, when you consider how long the 11th Doctor lived), so it's only natural that he'd forget. It's the same with anyone after a long time. – L.J Rob Feb 21 '15 at 21:08

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