‘Doctor Who’: Questions We Have About Season 12 Episode 8

Doctor Who Season 12 Episode 8 continued to delight and intrigue sci-fi fans. The episode, titled “The Haunting of Villa Diodati,” left us with some interesting questions to ponder — and possibly some clues about where Doctor Who is going. 

[Spoiler alert: The following contains major spoilers for Doctor Who Season 12 Episode 8.]

How did the Cyberium end up where Percy Shelley found it in ‘Doctor Who’ Season 12 Episode 8?

When Graham O’Brien finds Shelley hiding in the cellar during this episode, he asks for the Doctor. She comes down to talk to Shelley and hopefully figure out what’s been happening. Shelley tells the story of how he went walking by the lake. He saw something silver in the lake and took it out.

Once he did, it took over his body. This silver object turns out to be Cyberium, and it is what the Cyberman is looking for in this episode. This makes us wonder: How did the Cyberium get in the lake that Shelley found it in at all? The Doctor suggests, according to Radio Times, that “someone took it from the Cybermen, sent it back in time here in an attempt to change the future.”

That’s definitely a possibility, as the Doctor is often right about things like this. However, there are still more questions that this answer raises. Who took the Cyberium and sent it back in time? What did they want to change?

The answer to the latter question of what this person wanted to change is probably the rise of the Cybermen. Cybermen usually want to convert every person into a Cyberman and they can be very destructive. The former question is harder to speculate on. It could be anyone, including the Thirteenth Doctor herself, due to the nature of time travel in Doctor Who.

Did Graham O’Brien actually see ghosts in ‘Doctor Who’?

Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker, and Bradley Walsh of Doctor Who season 12 episode 8
Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whitaker and Bradley Walsh at the premiere of Doctor Who season 11 | Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

Graham mentions, according to Radio Times, a “maid” and a “creepy little kid.” These two people even bring him a sandwich. Yet no one else sees these spirits if that is indeed what they are. It’s possible that the Cyberium stopped working properly, as Radio Times suggests, and caused Graham to see these figures.

That would be the most typical Doctor Who-like explanation for what happened. There have been ghost-like figures in the show before but there’s usually been some sci-fi explanation for them. In this case, there was no explanation given which might mean that they could indeed be ghosts. At the end of the episode, the Doctor even tells Graham that she doesn’t think they fit into the rest of what happened in the house.

She even suggests that ghosts might actually exist. Of course, given the fact that past Doctors have always dismissed ghosts, and even the Thirteenth Doctor herself did during the rest of the episode, most likely she is just messing with Graham at the end.

Why did the Thirteenth Doctor ignore Captain Jack Harkness’ warning not to give the lone Cyberman what it wants in ‘Doctor Who’ Season 12 Episode 8?

During season 12 episode 5 of Doctor Who, Captain Jack Harkness returned to tell the Doctor something important. His message, delivered to the Doctor by her companions, was to beware the lone Cyberman and to not give it what it wants. She is reminded of the information Jack gave her friends several times during this episode and ultimately decides to ignore Jack’s warning. Many fans are probably wondering why.

The way the Doctor herself explains it is that Jack isn’t there, in the moment, making the decision with her. She also feels that Shelley’s life is not just his life as his words influence many people who come after him. Letting him die would mean that the world that her friends come from would no longer exist, that perhaps they would no longer exist. She doesn’t want to sacrifice the lives of her friends.

The last part is perhaps the most important. She doesn’t want anything to happen to her companions. The Doctor cares deeply about Ryan, Graham, and Yasmin and wants them to be alright. She also says that “Sometimes even I can’t win” and that the team structure is not always flat.

Sometimes she is alone, forced to make an impossible decision. This is probably one of those cases.