This story of the Doctor Who episode "Heaven Sent" takes place over an outstandingly long period of time, seeing the Doctor stuck in a recursive cycle during which he repeatedly perishes and comes back to life. In the following episode, Hell Bent, it is estimated that this cycle lasts for four and a half billion years,

My question is, if Doctor dies today, and he gets back tomorrow without the knowledge of the previous day, shouln't he met freshly died body, not the skull instead? Shouln't he felt that the skull is recent not old?

I mean..okay, after one billion year it's ok to see skulls, but after one day?

1 Answer 1


It was a fantastic episode of Doctor Who. The storyline was amazing.

My guess would be that the burning of the body at the end of each loop cycle in the episode makes the skull indistinguishable from that of an old one. There was simply too much trauma to the body/skull.

In answer to how often the doctor dies, I would guess that each loop cycle takes days/weeks to complete before it's reset again.

All of the above is just my own opinion/guesswork. Let me know your thoughts.

  • If those were the Doctor's skull and the birth/death cycle was daily then there would be 1,643,625,000,000 skulls by the time of his release/escape. While I can imagine that it might take a daily effort for 4.5 billion years to break through a diamond barrier with one's bare fist, where are you going to store all those skulls?
    – user18935
    Aug 19, 2019 at 23:32
  • 4
    @Jeeped - They're all under the water. When the Doctor dives in he sees the massed ranks of those skulls. There's an awful lot of them. Aug 22, 2019 at 15:37

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