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Headscratchers: Doctor Who Series 2
WARNING! THERE MAY BE UNMARKED SPOILERS!

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    The Christmas Invasion 
  • The ending of "The Christmas Invasion" really scratched my head. The Doctor battled for the planet, the leader of the antagonists was dead, and the rest were flying off to supposedly tell the rest of the universe not to mess with Earth, all before Torchwood had done gotten their laser set up. Yay! (Almost) Everybody Lives! Happy ending! And then Harriet Jones (Prime Minister) tells Torchwood to fire anyway, after which the Doctor gets mad at her and sets out to ruin her political career (or at least make her miserable about it), one that he had already said was supposed to be a golden age. Both of those actions seemed pretty mean-spirited. And then it starts raining ashes of the aliens. But everyone is still happy! How are we supposed to feel here?
    • Conflicted.
    • Wait. I thought all the fans sided with Harriet Jones (Prime Minister) when she shot down the Ship. With her whole spiel about how the Doctor won't always be there. You mean there are some that disagree with what she did as well?
      • Of course. When you get down to it, she didn't have to shoot them out of the sky even. The Doctor's anger was actually pretty understandable, even if it resulted in his ruining our so called "Golden Age". Harriet may have been thinking sensibly in the long term, but maybe she wasn't thinking long term enough: she can't see as far beyond her present as the Doctor can. He knows a helluva lot more about what humanity is destined to become than she does. Whether you believe that or not, there are still consequences for Harriet's actions. With that one act she'd shown that the human race will happily shoot people down when their backs are turned -what kind of a message does that send to all the other species in the universe? Not just that we can defend ourselves (which was all Harriet Jones probably intended) but also that we're untrustworthy; and dangerous, rather than a fairly reasonable, fair minded bunch with a scary demi-god who you don't want to piss off on our side. And she didn't seem very conflicted by this choice. There was nothing to say that she wouldn't keep making such bold and dangerous gestures of humanity's power until we'd scared off all potential allies, and pissed off all potential (and many much more powerful) enemies. (The Doctor's morality may be often skittish, but mass murder on that scale is always going to get his goat. I reckon he's been living with the guilt of what he had to do to Gallifrey for so long that he has a knee jerk reaction to anyone else doing something similar: he's desperate to stop it ever happening again.)
      • The whole thing was a spit at Maggie Thatcher, who notoriously sent the order for a retreating warship to be sunk.
      • Which is ironic, because the warship Maggie ordered sunk was planning to turn round and come back (according to its Captain). Its 'retreat' was a maneuver.
      • Which is even more ironic considering a good point someone raised on a forum somewhere. The Sycorax had already shown themselves to be untrustworthy; their leader attacked the Doctor from behind after swearing on the blood of his species that the fight was over and he'd leave peacefully. What's to say that the rest of the ship wouldn't have turned around and came right back to Earth with a huge invasion force one day when they were sure the Doctor wasn't there despite the outcome of the fight and their tribal laws and rules? If this was Harriet's train of thought it lends a lot more credence to her blasting the retreating ship. I think the fact that the Doctor's idealism that they were gone for good is portrayed here as "right" is incredibly naive.
      • While I agree with your point about the threat the Sycorax obviously posed and think Harriet's actions were perfectly understandable, I don't think the Doctor was naive because I honestly believe he knew more about that whole situation than we did. I mean, isn't he supposed to be this rather clever timelord with a knowledge of all of time and space in his head? Granted this ability isn't perfect but having traveled time so much and seen all kinds of myriad universes I think the Doctor has (or at least thinks he has) a pretty good idea of humanity's "destiny" long term - more of an idea than Harriet did. It's possible that HARRIET was the one being naive, at least in terms of her attitude towards alien races. In fact, when I think about it she was actually behaving more like the old Torchwood, albeit with somewhat more justification -she was only thinking long term up to a certain point and in terms of species protection and survival. Our so called Golden Age probably isn't going to come from the fact that we just stayed alive, or because we were tough buggers who smashed up whatever came to stop it. The Doctor was thinking about how humanity is going to look before the entire universe for the rest of time. And right now we, just like the Sycorax, look like we're the kind of species who will shoot down people who's backs are turned. Going with the theory that at least SOME species out there have sense of decency and honor, that's going to put off people who might wanna deal with us peacefully. No species came out of that situation looking any better, to be honest.
      • But there's also the fact that the Sycorax are slavers. So the only chance that an explanation of what happened isn't going to work is that the lack of slave providers pissed off a potential ally. Personally, I don't see humanity working with them in the short term and if enough time has passed for humans to start using slaves again, the incident could well have been forgotten. Oh, that and slavery is wrong. Anyway, Word of God said that the Doctor messed up that time.
      • Heck, if you want to get all worked up about the poor misunderstood alien slavers getting shot in the back by the bastard humans, you might as well go all the way and raise the question why Earth should bother to resist the Sycorax at all. It's not like they even wanted to blow up the planet or commit mass murder or anything like that, after all, just give about half its human population a new purpose in life. Surely there's no way in which simply going peacefully along with their plan could do any harm at all, right?
      • If you take a good look at history, Harriet Jones' decision makes sense. When a bunch of psychotic murderous voodoo slave traders and mass murderers who had killed innocent people and would go on to attack other planets prove that they can't be trusted, you don't let them go. You shoot them dead. The Chinese, for example, have several sayings and stories about letting people like that have second chances is a Very Bad Idea. (Brings up the question of why the slavers get a second chance but not Harriet) If they come back in bigger numbers, which they certainly could, she won't have enough superweapons to defend Earth with.
      • His actions are also directly responsible for the Master becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain as he altered history. Harriet Jones was MEANT to lead Britain into a golden age. Thanks to the Doctor, Britain's next PM was an Omnicidal Maniac with delusions of godhood who killed God knows how many innocent people both before and during the Year that Never Was.
      • And the death of the Master (and everyone in his cabinet) paved the way for the weak, corrupt government we see in Children of Earth. You know, the one that negotiated the deaths of millions of human children? And the Doctor wasn't there for Earth that time. Which is exactly what Harriet Jones predicted would eventually happen if they just continued rely on the Doctor to show up and solve everything.
    • I think the problem is that they fired the laser at the Sycorax when they were retreating. It's perfectly understandable to keep a super weapon on hold if they come back, but shooting the enemy in the back when they have agreed to leave is the sort of underhandedness the doctor wont accept.

  • How does the Doctor telling Harriet Jones's aid (who should have been standing close enough to hear the Doctor threaten Harriet that he can take down her government with six words) "Don't you think she looks tired?" lead to her getting thrown out of office? The aid ignores the fight they were having and the Doctor's threat and takes the six promised government-bringing-down words at face value and telling everyone that she was too sick to keep her job and they all listened? Rumors of ill health - which could be easily disproved by a doctor - really don't seem like enough for a vote of no confidence. And if the aid was working for her, why would they deliberately sabotage her career? I know it's supposed to show how powerful the Doctor is but it really doesn't make much sense. At all.
    • As far as telling him, there are two options. One: After the Doctor leaves, the aid genuinely acts confused when Harriet asks, "What did he say?" Possibly the Doctor didn't "tell" him, as much as plant the idea in his subconscious, where he's less able to actively ignore it, like a subliminal message. Two: He wasn't saying it to him, he was saying it into the earpiece he just took out of his ear, broadcasting it back to the people on the other end of the connection.
    • As far as the rumors of ill-health not going away, that can be chalked up to what's known as confirmation bias, where people will believe anything that supports their opinion, and disregard anything that doesn't. A good real life example are the rumors that President Obama is secretly a Muslim. There are photos of him drinking alcohol, eating pork, going to a Christian church, and doing multiple non-Muslim activities, and believers just claim that it's all a cover-up to "hide the truth." If people want to believe that Harriet is ill, no amount of medical reports is going to change their mind. They'll just assume that they're faked by Harriet's political bandwagon to help her cause.
    • Note that she was acting like a Prime Minister until he spoke to the aide. As soon as the Doctor walked away, she rushed up and got all hysterical. "WHAT DID HE SAY?! WHATDIDHESAY?!" She looks threadbare as shit in that moment. Some dude asks you if a person looks tired, and then they flip their shit out of stress? You're right. She DOES seem tired...
    • I just assumed that "Don't you think she looks tired" was a secret Torchwood codephrase, meaning "throw the Prime Minister out of office." (Remember, Torchwood is so secret that even the Prime Minister is not supposed to know about it. They operate on a very high level) The aide works for Torchwood (he has them on the phone, after all), or perhaps the Doctor was speaking into the earpiece directly. Torchwood then starts spreading rumors, planting false evidence etc. to get Harriet Jones thrown out of office.
      • The problem with that theory is that it would have been entirely accidental on the Doctor's part. The Christmas special takes place between Seasons 1 and 2 and the Doctor doesn't find out it exists until the end of Season 2. Not to mention that since they were formed specifically to protect Earth against people like the Doctor and once they get their hands on him, immediately try to hold him prisoner, I don't think they'd be willing to take their orders from him.
      • Well maybe then he wasn't talking to Torchwood, but he was talking to the aide, and the aide has some sort of agreement or partnership with the Doctor. So then the aide starts spreading rumors etc., intentionally trying to bring down Harriet Jones, because he understands that that's what the Doctor has ordered, and he's more loyal to the Doctor than to Jones.
      • Even if he was her aid, it doesn't make a difference. He looked pretty confused afterwards. All it takes is for him to say to someone "Hey, guess what this strange man said to me today." and then the idea begins to spread. Even if he doesn't think she looks tired/ill/whatever, the person he tells might start thinking it and then eventually it will spread until the media hears about it etc
      • That makes him a rather stupid aid, then. The Doctor very loudly and in his hearing tells Harriet Jones that he can bring down her administration with just six words and says those six words to the aid. The aid does not understand so he decides that the best thing to do was to tell other people what the Doctor said in case those words really can bring her down? Even if it seems unlikely, NOTHING good could come from sharing those words with people.
    • I can understand if the Doctor somehow used a telepathic, subliminal suggestion on the aide (because otherwise, his refusing to simply tell Harriet Jones what the Doctor said is inexplicable), and I can understand if the Doctor knew enough about the timeline to know just how narrowly the Golden Age avoided a "don't you think she looks tired" scandal, and that he could throw a monkey wrench into her career by saying that. What I can't understand is the extreme Cartoonland Time effect that has Harriet Jones go from saving 1/3rd of the human race and destroying the alien invaders (as far as the public knows) to facing a media frenzy of people demanding her ousting due to health concerns in a matter of hours! The ship was still literally raining down from the sky as she was defending her job! How is that possible? Assuming the Doctor's goal was to plant a rumor, that sort of thing would take weeks, months, maybe years to pay off, not a single afternoon. Did the aide immediately start calling and texting everyone he knew to form "I think Harriet Jones looks tired" websites and single-handedly turn the whole political tide against her even while she's coasting on what should be the single greatest PR victory any world leader's ever claimed? I get the idea behind what happened, but to have that situation unfold that quickly in just a few hours (not to mention that it's the exact same few hours that "giant alien spaceship tries to kill us, gets blown up" should've just started hitting the newspapers) is mind-boggling.
      • He seems to have started the scandal, though. Or perhaps her enemies who were trying to get her removed jumped on the fact that the Doctor agreed with them.
      • That's a possibility. Maybe the rumor wasn't meant for the public so much as a subtle message to Torchwood, Parliament, the royal family, UNIT and every other organization that knows about the Doctor that Harriet no longer has his support. In that case, what we saw on television was just the public spillover from all her inside supporters suddenly dropping her like a hot potato.
      • How would they trace a rumor about tiredness spread from an aide to the Doctor?
      • It depends how the story got out from the aid. He probably noticed what the Doctor was called and, regardless of if he understood the significance of the name, started mentioning how the Doctor said that about Harriet Jones and the people in the know heard it that way.
      • Or it might have even happened during the aide's debriefing by those organizations, which would explain the quick time frame at least. During their questions later that afternoon about how the invasion ended, the aide suddenly remembers and mentions something offhand like "oh, and he said something odd as he left. Something like 'doesn't she look tired to you?' What do you suppose that means?" The agents all give each other worried looks, the news goes right up to all the Doctor's allies in the upper echelons of the British government and the shake-up begins. In that case the media firestorm isn't the cause of her troubles, it's just a sign of what's going on behind the scenes.
      • I personally assumed it was something The Doctor had worked out with either UNIT or the Queen (who, considering the existence of Torchwood, is implied to wield a lot of secret power in this universe). Chance are, the Queen doesn't hate The Doctor, and if anything, they might be old friends, considering just how many times he's saved her nation under her rule.

  • If Torchwood is so secret that even the Prime Minister isn't supposed to know about it, why are they still waiting for her permission to fire the weapon? Wouldn't they just go ahead and fire it themselves?
    • Perhaps, once it became clear that she knew of their existence, Torchwood decided to play nice and pretend to follow her orders. But they would've prepared the laser whether she asked them to or not. And they would have fired it whether she asked them to or not. They were just putting on an act.
    • Once she found out they existed, they fell back under her jurisdiction in a hurry. Otherwise she can call on the military to throw them all in jail for treason.
      • Of course, if Torchwood has all that alien tech and the military doesn't...I'm not sure how effective that would be.
    • A better question would be 'why didn't Torchwood fire the laser as soon as the Sycorax ship was in range?' They had already sent hostile messages to Earth, so why not just a-fire their laser straight away and solve the problem before it started. It wasn't as if anyone was going to complain, or even if they did, one assumes that everyone panicking about the apparent existence of aliens is preferable to the Human Race being wiped out.
      • By the time the ship was in range, Torchwood were probably just as badly affected by the "everyone with B+ type blood is on the roof" effect as everyone else and were sufficiently weakened / distracted to be able to deal with it..

  • Maybe I missed something, but why was everyone saying that the Sycorax were humanity's first encounter with alien life when everyone very clearly knew about the Slitheen invasion? Wouldn't it be their SECOND encounter so far with aliens?
    • The end of "World War Three" clearly implies that the government is framing the invasion as being a hoax; no one except for the main characters actually encounters the Slitheen and lives to tell the tale (except that one cop at the end, I suppose) and since the 'alien' that crashed into Big Ben is actually a modified pig, it wouldn't be too hard for the government to basically say that it was a fraud, albeit an extremely convincing one, and that it was basically the launchpad for an attempted coup. So the Slitheen are humanity's first completely unambiguous, no-way-we-can-paint-this-as-a-hoax contact with an alien species.

    New Earth 
  • Somehow, the lab-people have every disease ever, simultaneously. So the Doctor grabs a few bags of chemicals, apparently containing the cures for every disease ever. He then mixes them all up and sprays them on some lab-people, and somehow they (a) work in combination, (b) cure all diseases instantaneously, and (c) the cure can be spread from person to person by touch. How did any of that happen? And if it's so simple, why didn't the cat-nurses just cure their own lab-people rather than letting them die every day? (I know they've come to think of the lab-people as sub-human, but it's mentioned that the cat-nurses used to have more morals in that regard.)
    • It's probably less about "morals" and more about scientific detachment. It's also something of an extension of the curmudgeonly surgeon (see Doc Martin for a prime example)—rather than seeing the patient as a human being, the surgeon must see the patient as a problem to be solved. Surgeons objectify their patients in this way because their skills have to be more than second nature; more than reflex. The Cat Nurses' callousness to their test-subjects is the logical if unsettling extension of that. If they start to treat the specimens as more than specimens, it might start to compromise their research.
    • It would've made much more sense if the cure the Doctor used would have been the nanogenes, last seen in the previous seasons episodes "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances". Unlike the intravenous medicines the hospital was using, nanogenes could have cured unknown diseases, and they also would have been able to jump from one diseased person to another. Of course, bringing in the nanogenes would've made another headscratcher (one that was already implicit in the episode) more explicit: why wasn't the hospital using nanotechnology to heal the patients? Everything else on New Earth seemed to be extremely high-tech, so how come they didn't have a technology that we know was invented millions of years earlier?
      • That same episode also illustrated several glaring potential flaws and problems with using nanogene technology as a medical tool (i.e. rewriting the DNA of a species into something completely different based on a flawed first diagnosis and a lack of understanding of that species), so it's possible that after several similar calamities with nanogene technology, it was abandoned. After all, we still have the technology to perform lobotomies, but those have been increasingly abandoned.
      • But the problem with the nanogenes in that episode was that they were working all on their own, and didn't have the proper knowledge of human physiology. Once they acquired that knowledge, they were able to fix everyone (including a boy who had suffered mortal injuries, and woman who had lost a leg) so that they were perfectly healthy humans again. A hospital, on the other hand, wouldn't have such problems, as it would have the medical knowledge the nanogenes need, and hospital workers could control their operation.
  • Why on earth was Cassandra pleased to be in the Doctor's body? She's a transsexual woman (as stated in "The End Of The World," "when I was a boy on Earth") so by all accounts being in Ten's body would have horrified her, not made her go "Hey, I'm a man now!" and strut about.
    • Woah. Isn't that line about being a boy just to show that she's so far removed from being what we consider human and from so far in the future that she uses the wrong words most of the time and people just accept it because she is the last?
    • Cassandra has one, single defining feature beyond her vanity: she's a liar. Just because she claims to be something doesn't mean she actually was. Besides even if it is true, given all the other technological marvels that exists in the year five billion of the Doctor Who universe, changing gender is probably as easy as changing clothes. It's never stated that he ever had true gender dysphoria and just doesn't prefer being female.
    • Also, transgender can be more complicated than that. Trans people can identify with both genders, and it's possible Cassandra identified as both but mostly a woman, so being in a man's body wasn't that bad then.
  • To be fair, cat nuns are not expected to be the best of scientists, but their methods are baffling. When looking for a cure for a disease, you only need the test subject to have that one disease - others just get in the way or complicate biological processes that could affect the effectiveness of the cure. It's highly impractical, and it's a wonder they've made any progress at all.
    • It might be that each one doesn't have every single disease. One might have two or three; another might have another two or three, etc. Different combinations of diseases require different combinations of "cures" and all that.
      • I doubt it, since they all looked alike - either they all had the same single disease and the Doctor's line doesn't make sense, or they all had all of them. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because even if a test subject has two, it's going to mess up the experiment. They have to have one each in order for science to work (unless you're studying the interaction of diseases).
  • Nothing in this episode made any sense, but the worst to me was that the people being tested on were so desperate for contact with healthy humans, when they had thousands of people who wouldn't run away from them easily available. They could have just stood around and hugged each other. They would have gotten a lot more contact and had it a lot faster You can't say that they were just grossed out by each other, because they don't know anything else. They even chased the Doctor and Rose up a ladder, spending so much time and energy to not get what they wanted, when they could have hugged each other on the ground and been happy!

    Tooth and Claw 
  • Why do they make a big deal about the wolf bite causing hemophilia in Queen Victoria, when the story was set in 1879 and Prince Albert's death was specifically called out in the episode? She never had children after her husband's death, so any hereditary disease she may have contracted afterwards would not pass down to her preexisting children.
    • As the Doctor points out, she might bite the children. It's what werewolves do, you know.
    • They don't make a big deal. They joke and laugh about it.
  • The founding of Torchwood: so, Queen Victoria has learnt that there is more in Heaven and Earth than previously dreamt of, and has resolved to establish a top-secret defense organization specifically for the purpose of battling extraterrestrial and supernatural threats faced by the British Empire. Itself, not an unreasonable step. Having also been greatly offended by the Doctor and Rose's smug glibness to the horrific events around them, she has first rewarded them by ennobling them, and punished them by banishing them from the Empire. The latter perhaps a bit drastic, but again, not entirely unreasonable. So why, then, does she go on to essentially declare the Doctor — the man who, glibness aside, has still just saved her life from a fecking great werewolf — Torchwood's Enemy Number One? A bit of ungracious overkill, surely?
    • It's probably because how creepy it would be to see two people enjoy being chased by a Werewolf would be more creepy in real life. Also maybe she was afraid they knew she was a werewolf now.
      • Maybe it's a bit of roundabout logic on her part - she knows now that trouble follows the Doctor like flies follow honey. If she makes him the focus of her campaign against evil forces out to destroy the world, then she figures that they'll probably catch most of the actual trouble-makers by default.
      • Or (no intended offense to the U.K) the Queen Victoria of the series might just be that hypocritical.
    • Think of it this way. Queen Victoria's just met an extremely powerful and uncontrollable sorcerer and she just banished him from her kingdom forever. So if he ever ignores her order and returns anyway, England would have a very dangerous enemy to contend with. From a defensive standpoint, putting Torchwood on red alert against the Doctor's return is a logical first step: if she's going to banish him, she needs to have some way of making sure he stays banished, and that's where Torchwood comes in. Of course, the Doctor pays pretty much no attention to her orders and, because he's a time traveler, he already had broken it many times without even realizing it, but she doesn't know that.
      • And yet for some reason Torchwood never bothered to apprehend him (even with all that time he was stuck on Earth) until after we saw the founding of Torchwood on screen. And since there were two mentions of Torchwood beforehand (once in that Weakest Link game and once right before the Doctor destroyed Harriet Jones' career), we know that it existed before the Doctor stopped by to get it founded. And it's not like Victoria didn't know he was benevolent or he wouldn't have knighted him or felt secure in kicking him out. She also banished the powerless Rose. That was clearly more some sort of moral judgment on them enjoying the danger than it was viewing them as a real threat.
      • I didn't write the show myself, I'm just reporting what it said. Victoria exiled him and declared him Torchwood's public enemy #1, presumably at least in part to enforce said exile. I'm not inventing her statement about the Doctor being Torchwood's biggest enemy, she said it right there in the episode. That the statement didn't get enforced and never got mentioned before now is on the writers. I'd guess that a later royal command lifted the exile once the Doctor showed up in later times, or Torchwood spent a long time looking for the Tenth Doctor before they learned that he doesn't always look like that, or the order only stood as long as Victoria herself was alive. Or, though she seemed decisive in the ending, Victoria might have had a change of heart by the time they got Torchwood up and running.
      • I understand that the show can't have the Torchwood thing come into play in the years before the writers came up with the idea. The Torchwood people actually did nothing to track down the Doctor, if I'm remembering correctly, and it was only when he was hunting down the source of the "Ghost Shift" and literally showed up in Torchwood that they found him. What Queen Victoria actually says is this "I rewarded you, Sir Doctor. And now you are exiled from this empire, never to return. I don't know what you are, the two of you, or where you're from, but I know that you consort with stars — and magic — and think it fun. But your world is steeped in terror and blasphemy and death and I will not allow it! You will leave this shores and you will reflect, I hope, on how you managed to stray so far from all that is good. And how much longer you will survive this... terrible life. Now leave my world. And never return." And then she says "I saw last night, that Great Britain has enemies beyond imagination, and we must defend our borders on all sides. I propose an institute to investigate these strange happenings and to fight them. I would call it 'Torchwood'. The Torchwood Institute. And if this Doctor should return, he should beware — because Torchwood will be waiting." It seems like she sort of blames Rose and the Doctor for the werewolf but mostly she just feels that they are dreadfully immoral for enjoying themselves amidst all the death and terror. Personally, I think that they were over-the-top in this episode and of course the regular people would be offended by this but also if they're not going to have at least a little fun then they'd probably stop showing up to save people from these things. Victoria doesn't actually trust them and knows that if they come back it means that they don't respect British sovereignty and are thus probably a threat. But since at this point all she knows about other worlds is one dead werewolf and the Doctor, of course he'll be the one listed. She can't put Daleks or Cybermen or anything else as a specific enemy of Torchwood if she's never heard of them, can she?
      • You're assuming that Victoria's command is the be-all end-all. Either of the King Georges or Edwards, or even Queen Elizabeth, could have lifted the exile or changed Torchwood's orders. If the Prime Minister by Harriet Jones' admission isn't "supposed to know about" Torchwood, than it stands to reason that it is under the direct control of the crown. And later, in "Voyage of The Damned", Queen Elizabeth just assumes that the starship which almost hits Buckingham Palace was somehow directed away by the Doctor, even though she has no idea he's even on it. That also gives an in-story explanation for why Torchwood never "went after" the Doctor before. Out-of-universe, of course, it's because they hadn't been created before Davies came along. In-universe, apparently someone cut them new orders.
      • That's true. Liz 10 mentions that Queen Elizabeth II liked him, I think. But then when he does walk right into their headquarters, they do take him prisoner.
      • The Queen knows he's the one on the Titanic ship, he called her before he managed to pull it over the palace, remember? And, of course, liking him doesn't equal bothering to talk to Torchwood about it. And it might also have been later (on her time stream) the Torchwood One fiasco
      • It is also possible she was caught in the moment and years later she cooled down and came to regret her decision once she had time to think about it and tried to lift the banishment. or at least, make sure Torchwood did not actively try antagonize him, but still have them around just in case the doctor decided to go against the kingdom.

    School Reunion 
  • The Doctor originally left Sarah Jane behind because he had to go to Gallifrey and humans weren't allowed. Why did he never come back for her?
    • He explained it in this episode: as an immortal, he couldn't bear to watch her grow old. It's not a particularly nice reason, and he does get called out for it and tries to make up for it at the end when he invites her to rejoin him, but that's the reason. For what it's worth, he didn't just drop her off and leave her waiting for him; she knew it was goodbye when she left in "The Hand of Fear".
      • Yeah but he ditched her before she even got close to the point where she'd be middle-aged so it's really premature.
    • The Doctor has another reason for abandoning companions (especially in light of "The God Complex"): he's afraid that eventually something terrible will happen to them during one of his adventures, so sometimes he abandons a companion in order to keep them safe.
  • Cracking the Skasis Paradigm allows total control of time and space, and the Krillitanes want the Doctor to help them crack it, and he refuses. I could understand if he said that so much power would be too much for anyone, and that it would inevitably (perhaps accidentally) be misused. But he doesn't say that. Instead, we're told that "suffering is a part of life", and it's implied that, somehow, using Skasis to undo the deaths of billions of people would somehow be "wrong". How does that make any sense? You'd never apply that logic in any other circumstance, would you? The Doctor is perfectly content to undo The Year That Never Was when he gets the chance, so why not undo the Time War? (Assuming you could undo the Time War without simultaneously bringing back the Daleks, which is presumably something that Skasis can do).
    • That sort of "suffering is necessary so let's not shake up the status quo by changing things for the better" aesop always bugs me too. But to be fair, that's just the logic Sarah Jane invoked and Sarah Jane, even with her resentment of being abandoned, probably idealizes the Doctor too much to think he could ever be corrupted. The Doctor never verbalized his own reasons for refusing, and it may have had more to do with his awareness of how easily he could lose himself than what she said.
    • Consider his reaction at simply "defying" time in "The Waters Of Mars." Now imagine what he might do with the power to back up "Time Lords Victorious." Or what the Time Lords turned into with their massive amounts of power. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that the Doctor is one of those people who should not have omnipotence.
      • To expand on that simple fact. First of all, yes, the original counter of how "pain and suffering are as much a part of living as anything" is easily argued against. Of course, it's only so because we, being the fleshy, "path of least resistance and pain" creatures we are (like every other living being we've made contact with ever) don't quite see things that way overall, and as a species find such an argument to be rather, well...lacking. At least, in our armchairs, away from the sudden realization that we could change the whole of MOTHERFRAKKING CREATION with a mere THOUGHT if we just said "yes" to Finch's offer. That's NOT saying that Finch's offer isn't valid, or at all appealling—it is very MUCH appealing AND its reasoning valid. However, here's the inherent problem. For one, it's a bad guy giving this offer. Now, we have no reason to assume that he's not making that offer genuinely, but this is a top-notch, head-of-invasion-group Krillitane we're talking about. These guys CHOW DOWN on any species they conquer *simply to add evolutionary benefits to themselves,* and that's just when they're at war. Finch himself goddamn snacked on an orphan seemingly out of being slightly peckish. It's never really made clear who gets control of the Skasis Paradigm and how. Nor is it made clear how that power, and thereby the control of it, is distributed. Of course, you can simply say "it makes them GOD, so that doesn't matter", but that only brings up the question in response, "Then what DOES matter?" It's obvious that Finch wants the Doctor to share this power, we get that the moment the Wham Line comes into play—and it's a good idea from a short-sighted, practical standpoint. What isn't so obvious is the simple fact that, like the rest of us, the Doctor is (despite his longevity and experiences) still a relatively mortal and emotional being of sentience. Sarah Jane's speech wasn't so much about the status quo, as it was about the fact that we humans, as a species, have to go through horrible, terrible things to evolve and develop in a good direction. It also doesn't stop the fact that, with a Ten as sudden Big Daddy over all the whole of time, space and creation, who's to say what goes and what does't? The point here wasn't so much that Status Quo is God, but rather that, in order to develop properly, species like our own, and even the Time Lords, have to experience all of the bad sides of creation as a whole as well, so that we know what NOT to do when it really matters. At this point, the only remaining arguement against such an idea is that, with the Skasis Paradigm solved, these rules no longer matter, but that again is also the point: the rules wouldn't matter, solely because they're in the hands of Finch and the Doctor—AND THEM ALONE. This would effectively make these two dictators over all existence. So all of existence would end up fitting THEIR ideas, wants, needs and desires, rather than letting us (and several other species out there) forging our own path—with all the "growing pains" that entails.

Does it make a LITTLE bit more sense now, why the Doctor ultimately said no?
  • Wait, The Doctor and Sarah Jane had a romantic relationship? Since when? (it also bugs me that Sarah doesn't mention that her doctor was a middle-aged man with an overly long scarf)
    • It was never actually said, but "School Reunion" implies that Sarah was in love with the Doctor, and Tom Baker and Lis Sladen both theorized that Sarah and the Doctor were "boinking all over the TARDIS," to put it one way. And Sarah had two Doctors, don't forget (and met One, Two, and Five).
      • They did?! When?
      • Not sure who the "they" you're referring to is, but if you mean Lis and Tom's theory, I don't remember exactly when but I think they were at least half-joking, and if you mean meeting One, Two, and Five, that was in "The Five Doctors."
      • And you'd be on pretty dangerous ground if you took everything Tom Baker says entirely at face value.
      • Especially on the subject of shipping - Tom Baker seems to be just a bit of an old perv, really.
      • Besides it wouldn't have to be overtly romantic to be very intense. Micky Smith was totally changed by his time with the Doctor (going from a Series One scene in which he yelled after a retreating Rose to go to the Doctor, since "it's always going to be the Doctor, it's never going to be me!", to an exchange in Series Two where he virtually reiterated his dialogue from the earlier conversation - only this time telling the Doctor to go after Rose, bitterly stating that "it's never going to be me, is it?") and he was straight and had all of two days actually traveling in the TARDIS.
      • Wait, I may be missing a scene here or something, but at no point during this episode do I remember a romantic relationship being outright stated... Sure, "you were my life" and "getting your heart broken" can be interpreted as romantic, but... we're not exactly talking about two normal people in a TV soap opera here. We're talking about people who traveled all of time and space together. That's got to broaden your interpretations of language a bit...
      • There aren't many other ways of interpreting it, and it does seem to be the writers' intention to claim they were in a relationship.
      • Jack Harkness would probably disagree with your saying "there aren't many other ways of interpreting" it. And there's at least ONE other interpretation: a deep, loving but primarily platonic relationship (read, the word relationship obviously does not just refer to romance) which came about as a result of their having seen all the wonders (and terrors) of time and space together. I think people are reading too much into this, I don't think they've ever done more than vaguely implied this stuff.
      • I just thought they meant it as a very intense Romantic Friendship, which I get a very firm vibe for from pretty much every single episode with 4 and Sarah with no other companions...
      • Why Jack Harkness?
      • Because he clearly has more complicated (or simplified, depending on how you look at it) ideas about how romance and love work. By his time period the kind of relationships that are considered strange or otherwise unusual amongst many cultures seem to be easily accepted. It probably works the other way around too. Present day television always seems to present Love as being a 'one or the other' thing (you're either romantically involved, dealing with UST or both, or you're entirely platonic). Nothing concrete, but I doubt Jack would see it that way.
      • Sarah Jane started her run with the 3rd doctor on his show. The romantic relationship was implied with the fourth doctor. One of the things that shows how important she was to the Doctor is Sarah Jane got K-9. The Doctor cared about her so much she got advanced tech that would protect her. That in the old series. In the new one they were just fleshing out what had been implied with looks and so on.
      • She got a K9. Romana and Leela got K9s, too. For those keeping count that's every companion the Fourth Doctor had parted company with before he regenerated. Plus she was the last to get one, too. Seems less special in that light.
      • Harry Sullivan didn't get a K-9.
      • Except that K9 Mark I chose to stay with Leela; the Doctor merely relented in that case. And in Romana's case, K9 Mark II had to stay with Romana in E-Space, because if he ever returned to normal space, the damage done to him would end up destroying him. It should also be noted that we never see the Doctor traveling with K9 Mark III, which suggests that he built him for the express purpose of sending him to Sarah Jane.
      • Considering that K9 was planned by the writers as being sent by the Master, and ended up actually being from the Doctor only because there was no K9 and Company series to continue the plot thread, that's unlikely. Any series contains "looks" and gestures and random plot elements and random dialog that can be used by sufficiently motivated fans to conclude that there's something romantic between just about any two characters—it's impossible to produce a series where fans can't find this "evidence". This ended up as canon in the new series because RTD was Running the Asylum and got to write fan theories into canon, not because it was really in the original series.

      • The Sarah Jane Adventures made it explicit that it was never a romantic relationship.

    The Girl in the Fireplace 
  • Why, in The Girl In the Fireplace, did the Doctor give the technobabble explanation, then "I didn't want to call it a magic door"? Couldn't he have just as easily said, "You came here from the twenty-first century in a phone box that could hold your house. Yet you still ask 'What is that?'" And it's not like Gallifreyans are the only ones with the technology to warp space and/or travel through time.
    • Rule of Funny.
      • Or possibly Rule Of Lampshading, since not wanting "to call it a magic door" is why writers come up with technobabble in the real world.
    • The Doctor seems to use 'magic' as a catch-all term to describe 'anything which I don't know and can't explain how it works'. And the Doctor hates it when anything makes it look like he doesn't know absolutely everything. Hence, the technobabble explanation. Someone just happened to call him on it for once.
      • On a related(ish) note, the Doctor frequently explains that magic doesn't exist. However, it is canon that magic exists in most universes. Before the Doctor's universe there was a universe run with magic. Afterwards there is a universe run with magic. Everywhere around the Doctor's universe, magic. The Timelords didn't like it, so they eradicated it from this universe and made science the replacement dominant effect. Considering that the Timelords are now gone, magic could be seeping back. Maybe it really could have been a magic door.
      • When was any of that established as canon?
      • The Doctor MADE UP the technobabble because he hadn't seen anything like it before.

  • Why didn't the Doctor just TARDIS into Versailles instead of using the fireplace? It makes no sense. He knows full well that a few seconds on the ship is equivalent to anywhere up to weeks in France, so why use something as unreliable as that when he has his (relatively) pinpoint precise TARDIS?
    • He says something to the effect that with all of the time windows on the ship, using the TARDIS at all would break the same rules as using it as a magical plot-solving time machine normally. Presumably there are a couple windows open that "undershot" the correct date, so he's part of the post-Versailles-raid causal network just by being on the spaceship.
    • "We're part of events now!" The Doctor's official excuse for not using his time machine to solve any actual problems.
      • Using the time machine to solve actual problems that he is a part of has happened twice before in New Who and probably happened a crap-load of times in the old series (I confess to never seeing a full episode of the old stuff). The first time, reapers nearly killed everything. The second time, the Doctor damn near became the unstoppable dictator of all reality and his misguided attempt at justice caused the very person he saved to kill herself. Solving problems that have already affected his past is NOT a good idea. EVER.
      • Small note here: In the Waters of Mars he saves three people who otherwise would've died, and only one of those commits suicide, so there's still a net gain of two people and no adverse effects on history. Clearly the intention of that episode was to show that the Doctor shouldn't mess with certain things, but it didn't really play out that way when you consider the Fridge Logic.
      • Is that Fridge Logic? Remember, the reason we were given for the destruction of the base being a fixed point was that Adelaide had to die to inspire her very important granddaughter to go into space. The deaths of every other crew member were never fixed points, only Adelaide's. Adelaide's death changed slightly but since ultimately she did die and her death did leave her granddaughter with unanswered questions she went to space to look for the answers to (only now it's what she saw up there that made her kill herself instead of simply what happened) so the net result is the same. It's like the difference between Donna turning left because she wanted to marry a rich man or her turning left because her past self caused a traffic jam and she was impatient: it's the same net result.
      • Also, the TARDIS is notoriously unreliable, perhaps in part because of rules like this; he tries to go back over his own time stream to get to Versailles, there's a reasonable chance he ends up halfway across the universe.
    • When he opts to take The Slow Path, does he even think about Rose and Mickey? He'd have to live through a few thousand years before getting back to them, and there's no guarantee he could. Note that he didn't know about the door with the loose connection.
      • He doesn't mention them, but let's be fair here; the robots are about to cut the head off of someone he's become quite close to, and by the point he's able to slow down and think about things he doesn't really have any other options but The Slow Path. Note that as soon as he discovers the door with the loose connection he goes straight back to Rose and Mickey.
      • It wouldn't have to be thousands of years, anyway. This episode's set in 1727. At some point in 1794, the TARDIS is abandoned for at least a few days in a wood outside Paris while the First Doctor and companions are off getting mixed up in the French Revolution (The Reign of Terror) - if he doesn't risk taking it in case he crosses his own timeline there might at least be some way of remotely retrieving the future-TARDIS, or recording some Emergency Program One-type instructions for Rose and Mickey to fly the TARDIS. (Actually, scratch all of that, I'd completely forgotten the existence of Emergency Program One; it's canon there are safety measures to return the TARDIS to Rose's home, so they weren't stuck anyway.)

  • One thing that really bothered me was the Doctor's treatment of King Louis XV, especially coming right on the heels of "Tooth and Claw" and his adoration of Queen Victoria. He says precisely two sentences to him, both in pretty much the same snarling tone: "yeah, and I'm the lord of time" and "where is she?", while Louis himself is never anything less than a gentleman toward the Doctor (their final conversation, which is really just Louis giving a monologue while the Doctor glowers, is particularly uncomfortable to watch). There are several seemingly natural reasons for this, but none of them quite hold up. The first is that the Doctor's jealous of Louis's relationship with M. Pompadour and sees him as a romantic rival. That'd make sense for a normal guy, but the Doctor has no less a romantic affection with Rose, and yet he treats Mickey like an old friend and invites him along on their adventures. The second is that the Doctor doesn't approve of Louis having an affair. Fair enough, but he cheerfully hand-waved that issue early on as "it's France, they do things different" and pretty much forbid Rose and Mickey from passing moral judgement when they heard the news. That leaves one last, somewhat petty possibility, which is that it's the show itself throwing a Take That at France by having the Doctor gushing over British historical figures and snubbing French ones. That'd make sense too, but the Doctor's a fan of M. Pompadour herself, and what's more, the story plays Louis XV so sympathetically that he's practically a woobie. So what the heck is going on with the Doctor and Louis XV in this episode? It could conceivably be any of the above reasons, but none of them feel quite right given the storyline and the way the Doctor usually handles people.
    • The Doctor was pretty hostile to Mickey at first (perhaps even more hostile). By the time that Rose repeatedly leaves Mickey behind to go traveling alone with the Doctor, I think he can be pretty safe in assuming that Mickey's not a real rival for Rose's affections while Louis is the man that M. Pompadour is the mistress of.
    • I didn't think the Doctor glowered during Louis' monologue because he disliked Louis; he glowered because he realized he had made a terrible mistake and he was mad at himself. As for any feelings he has towards Louis, it's entirely possible that he's had some previous unrelated encounter with Louis which justifies those feelings.
    • He also glowers during the final monologue because someone he cares deeply for has died, and has died before he could get a chance to see her again and say goodbye, and on top of this he has inadvertently broken his promise to come back for her before he could ever get a chance to see her again, and he's a bit upset by all of this, and Louis' monologue is not helping things for him. It's hardly that unreasonable that he be a bit blunt under the circumstances.
    • As for the first example, that's him basically being cocky by pointing out that the King of France of all people pales in comparison to being, well, him. Being a huge cocky show-off about how great he is compared to everyone else in the room has pretty much been a fundamental aspect of the Doctor's character since almost day one.
    • Note that the Doctor never glowers at the King directly in their final meeting; he just glares out of the window while he's watching the cart carrying the coffin ride away, which is rather understandable seeing as it's carrying away someone he cares deeply for. Before he receives the letter and has confirmation that M. Pompadour's dead he is, if not exactly friendly, then reasonably polite to the King.

  • Why, exactly, did the Doctor read M. Pompadour's letter? A huge point of The Angels Take Manhattan is that reading something makes it a fixed point, so why was that the first thing he did upon getting back to the Tardis? The sane option would probably be to toss it into a box sight-unseen, go take her on a few adventures, bring her back, and THEN read the letter. Instead, by reading it right then and there, he guaranteed that he would never be able to go have fun with her.
    • He already knows he doesn't come back for her because the King has pretty much just told him so before even giving him the letter ("She spoke of you many times, often wished you'd visit again..."). The point is already fixed, the letter just confirms it. A letter is also not exactly the same as a gravestone; if they'd ever met and traveled together before her death, either the King or the letter could have easily said so.

    Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel 

  • So, "Rise of the Cybermen". First, realizing you're a Cyberman kills you from horror? People have learned to live full lives communicating only with a twitchy left toe! The idea that a cold, unfeeling, but invincible and super-strong, body, would universally kill humans from shock is, well, dumb. But apparently, the Doctor is right; Cybermen need emotional suppressors to resist the horror that they've become. So, lets take him at his word. This means that his plan to stop the Cybermen involves subjecting six thousand innocent victims to horrible death by insanity. What the hell, Doctor?
    • Galaxy Express 999 got around this obvious objection by having it take many decades for the horror to set in in earnest, and it usually took the form of some sort of ever-deepening neurosis rather than screaming and flailing around. I wonder if the writers had something like this in the back of their minds but resorted to something more dramatic but less believable due to story constraints (or perhaps presuming that Viewers Are Morons.)
      • Uhh, the entire point is that their emotions were absolutely suppressed and without outside influence they would still be such for centuries, never mind decades, so the two stories seem to have absolutely nothing in common. And why are you trying to add "realism" to Doctor Who, a show about a time-traveling "lonely god" who destroyed his race in a "Time War"? I'm not saying it invalidates every argument, you can make complaints about Willing Suspension of Disbelief of course, but by its own laws; Doctor Who is very soft sci-fi. It puts characterization and horror and action before accurate science.
    • Well, they were also trapped inside metal bodies with really rather creepy faces, allowing them no degree of facial expression. It's also apparently very cold in there. A Dalek felt sick because it became able to feel. This is not at all the most unlikely explanation the episode has ever thrown at us.
      • Not everyone panicked and died. That universe's version of Harriet Jones didn't.
      • What??! What does that even mean? Was Harriet Jones converted into a Cyberman? I don't understand what the above point is getting at.
    • Long story short, it was a mercy kill. Being dead is preferable to being a Cyberman and knowing exactly what you are.
      • Driving them so insane that the horror kills them is a 'Mercy Kill'?
      • Not really. But is living as a Cyberman a good thing?
      • And as we all know, the answer is a resounding "no." It's basically the lesser of two evils- either let the Cybermen live and probably doom thousands (if not millions) more to the same fate, or at least give them the admittedly bittersweet comfort of death. The Doctor did the right thing, but nobody has said he liked to do it. I'm sure that if he could've found a way to kill them without using trauma as the weapon (or even better, a way to get them out without killing at all) he would've found it.
    • Going back to the "would universally kill humans from shock is, well, dumb" comment, while it is already explained that some Cybermen could survive, it should remember that they aren't only humans, but humans connects to machines that are designed to not deal with emotions, I understood that what happened was a overload in whatever mechanism connected organic and cybernetic parts.
    • It might not universally kill humans, but these humans have become Cybermen by this point, and strictly speaking are no longer human. It might not universally kill humans because humans are psychologically and genetically variable, but aside from a bit of genetic content each Cyberman is essentially the same as another. So, if something overloads and destroys one of them, it can conceivably destroy all of the others as well. As for the Doctor's morality in destroying them, 'lesser of two evils' springs to mind; it's been clearly established since the first appearance of the Cybermen that becoming one is itself a Fate Worse than Death, never mind what the Doctor did.
    • Not only are Cybermen not designed to deal with emotions, suddenly the human being that Cyberman used to be now remembers the emotions they felt while being... converted. Nothing about that process is pleasant, and it's easy to assume that it's incredibly traumatic.
      • It's also the suddenness of the conversion. These people had lives at point "A" and then found themselves locked in metal exoskeletons at point "B." Between points "A" and "B" is an enormous black spot that they just can't seem to fill (the Ear Pods having switched off their conscious brains).
    • In the Doctor's words: It hurts. The chip is installed to prevent the Cybermen from feeling that pain, so it can't simply be an emotion manipulating device. So, when the device is deactivated, it is so painful that the excess nervous system activity, pain from the severing of every nerve or otherwise, overloads the brain and kills them. Or maybe not.

    The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit 
  • Early on the Doctor asks what the name of the planet is. The crew replies "It doesn't have a name. How could it have a name?". Then like 3 minutes later, they mention the name of the planet. Huh?
    • "The Bitter Pill" is just what the crew calls it, not an official name.
  • They all act like it's impossible to orbit a black hole. It's not. You can orbit a black hole in exactly the same way you can orbit anything else; just don't cross the event horizon. Also, I'm not so sure the term "geostationary" has any meaning when black holes are involved; there aren't really any distinguishing features to be stationary with respect to. (And yes, I know Doctor Who plays fast and loose with physics. Just thought I'd mention it.)
    • Perhaps they meant to imply that the planet's orbit wasn't decaying in the way that a normal orbit should.
    • Look how huge the event horizon of the black hole is in the sky-the planet is clearly way too close to be in orbit.
  • What was wrong with the alien civilization in The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit? They apparently can rig a planet to collapse into a black hole if the prisoner ever escapes, so why didn't they simply collapse the planet long ago? Why would they leave any chance that the prisoner might be able to eventually escape and only leave such a weak failsafe?
    • Umm, you've not explained at all how it was a weak failsafe. Once the planet started collapsing, the expedition's ship (with the Beast inside) started to fall into the black hole too.
    • As for why they just imprisoned him permanently (with failsafes to kill him if he escapes) rather than killing him outright, same reason we imprison criminals IRL in prisons guarded by men with guns rather than just shooting the the criminals immediately.
      • You mean, so they can serve their time and be released again after they've learned their lesson?
      • The failsafe was weak because it obviously didn't include a way to prevent the creature from mentally leaving the planet and it depended on several jars without a definite way to activate them. As for the prisoner itself, this is a creature claiming to be Satan which clearly freaked an incredibly advanced civilization out enough that they went so far as to lock a planet around a black hole. I find it hard to believe that killing the creature was out of the question.
    • Maybe, for whatever reason, it was impossible to kill the Satan-creature at the time they built the prison. The creature only became vulnerable after billions of years, by which time the original jailers had died out. Now as to how any creature would have an immunity to black holes, or as to why they couldn't just build at automatic kill-switch to activate at the proper time, I don't have an answer.
      • Maybe the black hole didn't exist at the time they built the jail, but somehow they knew that it would exist billions of years in the future. So they set up the kill-switch with the idea that they (or potentially someone else) would use it to kill the Satan-creature once the black hole was ready. And they couldn't do this automatically because...well, maybe they just didn't have any robots (or rather, any robots that would still be operable after billions of years).
      • Maybe there was an automatic kill system, by the Satan-creature managed to disable it somehow, either at the time of the prison's construction or sometime later. So the Doctor is basically using the backup system.
    • It's possible that the prisoner couldn't be killed, or at least not permanently. It even says that "Nothing shall ever destroy [it]." Either it's incredibly durable, or it can somehow reconstitute itself, possibly by possessing someone like it did Toby. The only way to subdue it, if this were true, would be to imprison it. The black hole is simply to ensure that even if it gets out, it's not getting away.
  • Who were those two random people on the base who were killed by the Ood and why are there no other mentions of them?
    • The TARDIS wikia calls them guards.
  • Was this episode the first one that established the Doctor was responsible for the deaths in the Time War and wasn't merely the last known survivor? Nine talked about being the last one left, but I don't think he mentioned that he was the reason why.
    • No. The Episode 'Dalek' the previous season covered this:
      9th Doctor: You all burned, all of you. Ten million ships on fire. The entire Dalek race, wiped out in one second.
      Dalek: You lie!
      9th Doctor: I watched it happen. I made it happen.
      Dalek: You destroyed us?
9th Doctor: I had no choice.
Dalek: And what of the Time Lords?
9th Doctor: Dead. They burned with you. The end of the last great Time War.

    Love & Monsters 
  • Doesn't Ursula's fate seem to be a fate worse than death? And The Doctor knowingly and purposefully did it too!
    • I recall an argument somewhere that her fate was, in many ways, ultimately little different than that of a paraplegic, many of whom despite the hurdles they face nevertheless go on to have fulfilling, happy lives. It could be argued that, since Ursula does not seem to regard her state as being worse than death, then it isn't; from what little we see, her life might not be ideal but she seems quite content with it. And if she is, then who are we to argue otherwise?
      • But if Ursula is right about her never aging (which admittedly she might not be since it was less than two years ago that she was trapped) then what's going to happen to her once Elton's gone?
      • Maybe the Doctor will come by and bring her to a new caretaker someplace.
      • Less than two years between when and when, exactly?
      • And she'd live for all of eternity stuck in a stone slab. She might be okay with this but she wasn't even given the option to choose. The Doctor just forced it on her and maybe it's not what she would have wanted.
      • But again, though — if she's actually okay with this, then what's the harm? And she didn't have an option to choose because she was kind of dead at the time, and the Doctor was saving her life — it's not like he put her into a paving slab for the hell of it. Furthermore, for all we know after reviving her the Doctor explained the situation to them, and she agreed with what the Doctor did; we didn't see.
      • If she hadn't, what was the Doctor really going to do? Kill her? It seems out of character for him. He gets it into his head that something is a happy ending and will not be dissuaded. Plus that still leaves the problem of what will become of her when Elton moves on or dies. Will either of them have any way of contacting the Doctor or is she just stuck?
    • Word of God says that Elton stretched the truth a little bit in his video, including the Scooby Doo Doors scene. This could include Ursula's fate in general. Note that her face is never shown to Elton's camera, implying that he lied about her demise to A) make the story more interesting (its not like anyone will believe what he said in it), B) give the ending a more bittersweet feel, or C) to help cope with the death of his love.
      • Wasn't her face in a paving stone one of the people the Doctor saw during Davros' "The Reason You Suck" Speech in Journey's End? Maybe those images are just to remind us, but I thought they were actually people that the Doctor remembered. If so, then Ursula in the paving stone did in fact happen.

    Army of Ghosts/Doomsday 
  • This is something that's been bugging me for a while, now. At one point in Army of Ghosts, Yvonne says that Torchwood is supposed to work for the benefit of "The British Empire." When Rose says there is no British Empire, Yvonne says "Not yet." This implies that at some point, England was planning on taking some serious territory. Two questions: 1) How did they think the rest of the world was going to react to any plans like that? I mean, when you stack the UK's military against the combined armies of the rest of the world, England is gonna get curbstomped, alien tech and SAS be damned. and 2)More importantly, Yvonne acts like The Doctor is just supposed to be totally cool with this. Ten deposed a prime minister with six words, did Torchwood think he would just take an attempt at world conquest lying down?
    • ....less than a year ago, they salvaged a weapon that destroyed a gigantic spaceship. Plus, Torchwood's imperial motives doesn't mean that England were ever planning to take back the empire. And what would the Doctor have done. He's her prisoner.
    • I assumed she was talking about a space empire, stretching across the stars, not across the Earth.
    • She's also supremely patriotic and confident, did you see her during the "ghost shift?" It's not much of a stretch to assume she'd want the old colonies back.
  • Okay, so in 2012 Henry Van Statten has found a "Metaltron". He has no idea what it is, or that it is dangerous. Neither does anyone else but the Doctor. But in 2007 there was a giant battle between Daleks and Cybermen that was seen by everyone. Wouldn't one of his employees have chimed in with "Hey, I think I saw some of those things blasting people and robots a few years back at Canary Wharf. It was on the news. You might remember, thousands of people died." Okay, so it hadn't already happened yet, but the way time travel works in Who it seems that it should have been part of history.
    • The way time travel works in Who is not even nearly consistent. It's the trope namer for Timey-Wimey Ball, after all. Sometimes trying to change the past will work, sometimes it won't, sometimes it will destroy the universe, and sometimes it'll make giant bugs appear out of thin air. Ask the Doctor about it, and he'll tell you something about time being multidimensional.
      • Okay at this point I think we're just all going to have to stop thinking about how confused these timelines are altogether, or else go nuts. I'm just gonna go with the whole "Time can be rewritten" to explain various universe changing events not impacting on other events, and accept that I can't expect these various writers to keep fifty years (or even just two or three years really, it's THAT complicated) of equally confused canon in order.
    • As the good Doctor keeps telling us, "Time is in flux." If you look at Classic Who, you will find literally hundreds and hundreds of examples like this, for instance how the Cybermen invaded earth in the '80s. It's all explained by the Doctor's mantra: "Time is in flux."
    • Wait, everyone saw them? They were high in the sky, and even then, how long was the gap between the opening of the Genesis Ark and the closing of the Void? An hour? Half an hour? There was laser death raining down on London (and not much further than London), but the Daleks weren't in everyone's homes the way the Cybermen were. People would just not have had a clear sight of them the way they did in "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End".
    • As of "Victory of the Daleks" Amy Pond doesn't recognize the Daleks, having mysteriously forgotten the events of "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End". Presumably either Canary Wharf has been likewise forgotten, or nobody outside Torchwood noticed the relatively brief appearance of the Daleks because they were too busy with all the Cybermen stomping about.
      • Emphasis on relatively brief. As above, how could anyone outside of 1 Canada Square seen anything apart from the weapons they fired?
    • Explained finally in "Flesh and Stone". The Cracks did it.
      • Yes and the Cracks are by their very nature messed up. Instead of being part of the natural universe where timelines (with the exception of those dratted Fixed Points) are rewriting themselves every day, the cracks were eliminating events from existence, like removing threads from a tapestry (and you know what happens if you remove enough threads - the whole thing falls apart). They erased Rory but didn't erase photos of him in Amy's house, or his engagement ring. The cracks don't actually have to make sense because not making sense is the point, so.. um... yeah. I think Moffat just attempted to provide an answer for many of the confused time-related instances mentioned below. How well he succeeded is entirely up for debate but... I guess hats off to him for trying.

  • In Doomsday, how does Pete Tyler know the exact place and moment at which he's required to reappear in the regular universe in order to save Rose?
    • The only way I can see it making any sense is that the alt-universe Torchwood figured a way to view the regular universe from the alt-universe. They were obviously more advanced anyway, since they had the armband teleporters while the regular universe Torchwood couldn't do much other than weaken the hole left by the Daleks.
    • Or he teleported to another part of the room where we didn't see him and then to behind Rose. But the above idea is plausible.

  • Also in Doomsday, what was with the "void stuff"? How can a void have stuff? Particularly a void which has already been stated not to contain any stuff at all.
    • In its pure state, it wouldn't contain any stuff. I guess it's flotsam and jetsam from the universes surrounding it. Or else void is, paradoxically, a substance.
      • "The Void" is a name the Doctor came up with, not a clinical designation.
    • Maybe it's not stuff from the Void, as such, but rather a reaction by the mass around an object to the phenomenal lack of stuff around it after passing through the void? Universal antibodies, as it were, that attach themselves to anything that's been anywhere that's not this universe, that is to say, foreign bodies. You don't get it in the Void, you get it coming out. Hell, you could probably combine this with background radiation from the Big Bang- you've got stuff attached to you that doesn't gel with the mass that was here at the beginning of the universe, so you stand out when viewed through 3-D glasses.

  • This one has been bothering me awhile, and I don't think it's been mentioned yet. Why does Torchwood exist in the Alternate Universe? As far as we can tell, there was no Doctor there to piss off the Queen, so unless Handy Doctor and Rose were stupid enough to pull the same stunt again (Ten gave Handy a piece of Tardis so he could grow his own one), there's no reason for there to be a Torchwood in both worlds.
    • Best guess is something alienish happened that cause a TW to be formed in the universe.
    • The werewolf might still have been there at the Torchwood Estate, inspiring Queen Victoria to found the institute. Presumably after someone else saved her.
    • There a WMG that says that's when our world and Pete's World split (specifically, whether or not Queen Victoria actually was bitten by the werewolf). Thus Torchwood was founded in both.
      • Okay, but why did it lead to that conclusion? There STILL wasn't a Doctor there to piss off the Queen.
      • That doesn't mean there's only one way Torchwood could be formed. Presumably this Doctor(if he ever existed) died on New Earth, during the 2002nd century or even before it. That Torchwood was formed to deal with the werewolf queen, hence why Britain has a president.
    • Maybe Clone Doctor and Rose went back in time, and caused Torchwood to be formed.
    • A central part of the premise of an alternate universe is that, while some things are different, most things have to be the same. The two universes must be linked in such a way that allows certain things to stay the same even though others are different. If they weren't, the differences between the universes would butterfly out until the Cybus universe wasn't recognizable as an alternate of ours.

  • How come Rose said she didn't remember a thing after changing from Bad Wolf!Rose back to her normal state, and then gloated about killing the Dalek emperor in Doomsday? Not saying that it's not possible she and the Doctor talked off-screen or that she regained her memories later, but still.. doesn't make any sense.
    • But you just explained it. There wouldn't be any reason to show that conversation onscreen, since the audience already saw it and knows what happened. (She does actually bring it up earlier in School Reunion as "met the emperor", too.) I'm sure she wanted to know what actually happened. Besides, how long do you think "I sang a song and the Daleks ran away" was going to last as an explanation against Rose's questioning?
    • I've since rewatched The Parting of the Ways. She met the emperor before the whole heart-of-the-TARDIS thing. Right when she strolls out the TARDIS (behind the extrapolator shield) after it materializes around her and an unassuming Dalek, the Emperor reveals himself.

  • The Doctor says the Void has "Nothing—no light, no dark." But dark isn't a thing—it's just the absence of light. You can't have no light, but also not have an absence of light. Probably over-thinking this a bit, but what did he mean by that?
    • It's difficult to put the full meaning of "nothing" into words. Most people can't grasp the extent of the concept, and he was just trying to put it in terms they'd understand.
    • It also sounds like the kind of place where the normal rules and boundaries that make up the physical universe no longer apply; he's stressing that it's an insane and nightmarish hell dimension where nothing makes sense and nothing works as it should.
    • In order for there to be an absence of light, you have to have space for that absence to be. Presumably the Void doesn't have any actual space, and so no "dark" as we would perceive it.

  • If everything that has "void stuff" on it gets sucked into the void when the portal is reversed, why didn't the TARDIS get sucked in? It had been to the alternate Earth in Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel, so wouldn't it be riddled with void stuff too?
    • Bit of a cop-out answer, but it's highly advanced Time Lord equipment; the Time Lords may have made it more resistant to the pulling effects of the Void since they crossed universes more than the Daleks and the Cybermen (if memory serves the Dalek prison didn't get sucked in either). Alternatively, while everything that was sucked into the Void was pretty much floating around freely outside, the TARDIS was deep within the Torchwood base at the time the Void was opened up, so it might in fact have spent a bit of time bouncing off the ceiling in the Torchwood storage facility trying to get through or might have smashed through a few floors trying to get there but simply didn't reach the opening to the Void in time to get sucked through before it closed off.
    • Maybe it realised something weird was happening and decided to jump forward in time an hour or two? Or just stuck it self out of sync?
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