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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 495 (Jan 16) > ASK STEVEN MOFFAT


Answering the burning questions posed by DWM readers – the man in charge of Doctor Who!


BOJUN REY GUNN asks: After Heaven Sent, does the Doctor have 4.5 billion years’ worth of memories? He says he can remember ‘it all’ at the end of every cycle, which leads me to believe he can remember every second of it, but some people think that he only has memories of the last iteration. Also – how long did each cycle last, from the Doctor’s perspective?

Well technically, it shouldn’t be possible that he remembers. Each time he burns himself up to power the teleport, he prints a new version of the man he was, with only the memories he had on arrival. So what does he mean, when he says he remembers, when clearly he can’t? Well first, memory is a funny thing – we manufacture memories all the time. Stories your parents told you about you when you were a baby become memories you can’t really have. The party you remember going to at school, and then discover you could never have attended. Memories become stories, the Doctor tells us. But I think stories become memories, too. So in that moment when the Doctor figures out the only way to break through the wall is to keep making new versions of himself, and puts it together with the fact that seven thousand years have passed without time travel, and realises that – oh dear God – he’s been doing that very thing for a long time, it feels like he remembers. In that plunging moment, he feels the weight of the centuries behind, and the horror of the millennia ahead. In other words, he makes a memory where one can’t exist.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: Steven Moffat answers questions on Heaven Sent; Alex Kingston and Paul McGann interviews; a feature on Doctor Who Weetabix cards of the 1970s; Fact of Fiction – Death the Daleks; Time Team – The Eleventh Hour; reviews of The Husbands of River Song, The Wheel in Space and The Face of Evil; Christmas Quiz answers; Comic Strip – The Dragon Lord Part 2.