Doctor: Matt Smith (Eleventh Doctor)
Companion: Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswald)
Alex Kingston – River Song
Richard E. Grant – The Great Intelligence
Neve McIntosh – Madame Vastra
Catrin Stewart – Jenny Flint
Dan Starkey – Strax
Eve de Leon Allen – Angie
Kassius Carey Johnson – Artie
Nasi Voustsas – Andro
David Avery – Fabian
Michael Jenn – Clarence
Rab Affleck – Archie
Samuel Irvine – Messenger Boy
Sophie Downham – Young Clara
Paul Kasey – Whisper Man
John Hurt – The Doctor
Directed by Saul Metzstein
Written by Steven Moffat
Script editor John Phillips
Produced by Denise Paul
Marcus Wilson (series producer)
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Series Series 7
Length 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 18 May 2013
In 1893, the Paternoster Gang (Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Commander Strax) are given information concerning the Doctor by Clarence DeMarco, in return for a stay on his execution. They use soporific drugs to hold a conference call between themselves, River Song, and Clara Oswald in a dream realm. Vastra repeats DeMarco's words: "The Doctor has a secret he will take to the grave, and it is discovered." During their conference, faceless humanoids called Whisper Men attack the gang and kill Jenny; River wakes the others to save themselves.
Clara awakes in contemporary London to find the Doctor visiting. She tells him the events from the conference call; the Doctor, deeply shocked and disturbed, decides that he must go to Trenzalore, the planet holding his future grave, to save his friends. Not wanting to go there, the TARDIS resists the Doctor's efforts to land on Trenzalore, but they eventually arrive after the Doctor forces it into a crash landing. The planet is covered with tombstones, the result of a great war, while a future version of the TARDIS (having deteriorated and grown to enormous size) stands above the graveyard. The duo are attacked by Whisper Men. An echo of River, still telepathically linked to Clara but apparently unseen by the Doctor, helps direct the two to an escape route that leads to the giant TARDIS. Strax, Vastra, and Jenny (who is revived by Strax) are awakened by Whisper Men and meet their controller, the Great Intelligence, in the form of Dr. Simeon from "The Snowmen".
The Great Intelligence threatens to kill the Doctor's allies unless the Doctor says his name to unlock the TARDIS doors. The Doctor refuses, but as he speaks, River says the Doctor's name and unlocks the TARDIS. Inside, the Doctor reveals a pulsating column of light to be his timestream. The Great Intelligence enters it in order to undo the Doctor's past as revenge for all the defeats it has been dealt. The Doctor warns that this will prove fatal to the Intelligence, but it sees its own death as a peaceful release, while the Doctor will be forced to suffer. The Great Intelligence and its Whisper Men disappear into the timeline, and the positive effects of the Doctor's travels begin to be nullified by the Intelligence's interference. Jenny and Strax both disappear.
Clara recollects that she has helped the Doctor in other places in time and space ("Asylum of the Daleks" and "The Snowmen"). She enters the timestream to restore the Doctor's timeline. Clara falls through space and time and appears in adventures of the Doctor's previous incarnations.
The Doctor, Jenny, Strax, and the universe are restored to normal. The Doctor prepares to save Clara, revealing that he could hear, see, and even touch River all along, but did not out of pain. As River fades away, the Doctor enters the column of light to save Clara.
Clara lands in a cavernous tunnel where she sees several previous incarnations of the Doctor running past her. The Doctor calls out to her, informing her that she is caught in his timeline, which is now collapsing in on itself. He sends her the leaf that was responsible for her existence ("The Rings of Akhaten") to guide her to him. Reunited, the two spot another figure in the shadows which Clara does not recognise as the Doctor's. The Doctor explains it is another past incarnation of himself, but not "The Doctor". Clara suddenly collapses from exhaustion, and as the Doctor picks her up the stranger addresses him, defending unknown actions: "What I did, I did without choice... in the name of peace and sanity." The Doctor angrily replies "But not in the name of 'The Doctor'." As he carries Clara away, the stranger turns around to reveal an elderly bearded man (John Hurt); an on-screen caption identifies him as 'The Doctor'...