This week’s Scottish-flavoured episode of Doctor Who The Eaters of Light an unexpected dive into the intricacies of a little-explained part of Doctor Who lore, with companion Bill ( Mackie) discovering she can communicate with Latin-speaking Romans thanks to the translation circuit in the Doctor’s Tardis. Described by the Ninth Doctor as a "gift of the Tardis, a telepathic field gets inside your brain — translates” in episode The End of the World, the translation circuit has existed in the series for as a handy shortcut for explaining why all aliens and peoples visited by the Tardis team appear to speak in . As Bill notes in this week’s episode, it even lip-syncs (the first time in the series this has been acknowledged), matching people’s mouth movements to the equivalent of whatever they’re saying in their . But over the years the translation circuit has been referenced and explained in various different ways. The first mention came in 1976 episode The Masque of Mandragora, when Tom ’s Fourth Doctor described the translation to companion Sarah-Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) as a “gift of the Time Lord” he allowed her to share. […]

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