troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Headscratchers: Doctor Who Series 3
WARNING! THERE MAY BE UNMARKED SPOILERS!

    open/close all folders 

    The Runaway Bride 
  • The Doctor offers to take the Racnoss queen, and her kin, to a new planet. The queen refuses and continues with the kill-everyone plan. The Doctor responds by killing the queen...and also killing all the other Racnoss at the center of the Earth. Wait just a minute: have they refused the Doctor's offer? Have they even heard it? Is he just assuming that they'll refuse the offer because that's what the queen did?
    • The whole point of that was the Doctor is getting too ruthless. That's why Donna tells him to stop.
    • They draw a direct contrast with this in "Partners in Crime". The Doctor is practically a demigod, considering how much he accomplishes on a regular basis. It's impressive that he hasn't been corrupted by all that power, beyond a few moments like this one where he goes too far.
      • I assumed that since she was the queen and they were her children, it was like a Queen-Bee/Worker-Bee scenario, where her decision was the decision of all of them.
      • And how would they react to finding out that their Empress was murdered, anyway?
      • And that assumes that they were even intelligent enough to understand. IIRC, they were hatchlings who were "born starving." They may have been mindless bundles of devouring instincts. And if they weren't, they were still going to eat everything living, and it's unlikely that they'd be more moral than their mother.
      • And if she had agreed, how would she have gotten through the TARDIS doors? Mind you, the image of the Queen of the Racnoss trying to enter the TARDIS only to get stuck half-way and have her legs flailing helplessly about would have been hilarious.
      • TARDIS doors? What? She has her own spaceship. She teleported into it to try to escape at the end.
  • The Doctor sends the entire Thames into the center of the Earth. Notwithstanding all the problems draining a very heavily used river would cause, wouldn't sending torrents of cold water at the core just mess stuff up? If the water didn't vaporize by the time it passed through the mantle, it would cool the core, making it stop spinning and consequently shutting down the magnetic field, exposing everyone on Earth to deadly solar radiation and probably frying them all within hours.
    • Then again, this episode also portrays Earth's core as a giant star-shaped spaceship, so all that might be null.
      • I'm perplexed as to how a hole of water a few feet across would be able to cool the entire core.
      • The Earth's core isn't a space-ship, just its exact center. Of course, if that can survive the pressure exerted by the weight of the world for 4.6 billion years(along with everything that's happened to the planet), why is the Empress' ship destroyed with lasers?
      • Because it has survived the weight of the world for 4.6billion years on top of everything else; it's perhaps not unreasonable to suggest that even though it had survived this long then it's still probably a bit battered and weakened by now. Plus, Torchwood probably has some nifty gear in its arsenal.
      • Furthermore, being built to withstand great forces of pressure isn't necessarily the same as being built to have strong defensive armour that can withstand full-scale mass military assaults. To compare, there are deep-sea submersibles that are built to withstand the tremendous pressure that is exerted at great depths on the ocean floor, but if you got them onto the surface and fired tank and artillery shells at them for long enough, you'd probably manage to severely damage if not outright destroy them quickly enough.

    Smith and Jones 
  • Why oh why does nobody bring up the fact that the moon is supposed to have one sixth of the Earth's gravity, instead talking about the lack of airtightedness of windows to point out the weirdness of the situation?
    • The Judoon installed artificial gravity to make their search easier. It's hard to look intimidating when you are bouncing around like big Rhino shaped balloon.
    • Because one is a lot more apparent than the other. If you were stranded on the moon with nothing, but plain clothes, your first concern wouldn't be adjusting to gravity, but desperately gasping for oxygen.
  • Okay, so we know that CPR is clean, pretty, and reliable, but how does it bring someone back to life after they've had all the blood sucked out of them? The Doctor's not human, but he's gotta need his blood for something!
    • I think that was the point of the kiss he gave to Martha. It doesn't quite make sense, but I think it only worked because of that.

    The Shakespeare Code 
  • What did the Doctor do to annoy Queen Elizabeth? Or what is he going to do?
    • Apparently, he's just really good at annoying English queens.
    • Tried to overthrow her.
      • Wrong Doctor. That would be Nine; we know he turned into Ten but Queen Bess does not.
    • He married her, as shown in The End of Time.
      • And apparently, had a great honeymoon...which ended all too quickly. In any case, the Doctor says the marriage was "a mistake".
      • That was almost certainly the reason. The last thing you will ever do is make a mistake with a Tudor-era King or Queen. Funnily enough it is actually theorized that a failed relationship with an yet unknown member of her court was possibly the reason why the real life Elizabeth was famous for refusing to marry. An example of the writers doing a little research perhaps?
      • Hell hath no fury like an English monarch scorned.
  • Martha asks how it's possible the the Carrionites could have taken over the world in 1599, when in the future she and the Doctor came from this quite obviously hasn't happened. The Doctor compares they're situation to what happened to Marty McFly in Back to the Future... But in that movie, Marty traveled to the past, and accidentally interfered with the lives of his parents, thus changing his own future. The Carrionites' plan, on the other hand, had nothing to do with The Doctor and Martha; if they hadn't traveled back to 1599, the plan would've still carried out the same way, and the Carrionites would've actually succeeded. So Martha's question is still valid. The only way all this would make sense was if time travel in the Whoniverse worked on the principle of You Already Changed The Past: the Doctor and Martha were always meant to go to 1599 and stop the Carrionites. But based on The Doctor's Back to the Future speech, he doesn't seem to believe this is how time travel works.
    • It could be that rather than offering a completely accurate summary of the mechanics of time travel, he's simply using a fairly relatable and easily understandable (if not 100% applicable) example that Martha (and the audience) will be likely to get; an outside force (Marty / the Carrionites) has interfered in history and altered it slightly, so time travelers from the future (again, Marty / The Doctor and Martha) have to fix it otherwise the future will drastically change with terrible results (Marty will cease to exist / the Carrionites will conquer Earth). It's not exactly like their current situation, but it's just a simple off-the-cuff metaphor to help her / us understand the basics of what's going on, not a concrete foundation for the rules of time travel in the Doctor Who universe.

    Gridlock 
  • The litter of kittens in "Gridlock". Assuming that humans and sufficiently advanced cats can reproduce together, why would a human female bear a litter of kittens? The size of a litter depends on the number of ova available during fertilization, and modern humans tend to only release one or two at a time. The human may have been part cat herself, or otherwise modified to this effect, but surely if livable space is at a premium, you'd want to employ a more conservative reproductive strategy.
    • But sentient beings have been shown not to reproduce "conservatively" in tightly packed urban spaces. In fact, poor people in cities in the Industrial Revolution often had a crap-ton of kids because very few lived to adulthood, due to the squalor. In light of this, the world of Gridlock seems a lot worse. Plus, a species can't "evolve" over the course of what was it, a few decades, unless the trait that's being bred out has become near 100%, immediately fatal. And even then, that's not really evolution, that's just a trait falling out of the gene pool—in this case, the trait of multiple-ova ovulation. Still, your "she's part cat!" theory is the best way to explain the litter, I think.
    • And while we're on the subject, how does a human and a cat-human produce a litter of cats?
      • Maybe they sort of evolve from kittens into adolescent catchildren. Probably more horrifying than human puberty.
      • Come on. A cat person whose offspring are literal kittens? Rule of Funny.
      • "Litteral Kittens" Some puns are obligatory.
      • It was basically the setup for the Doctor's (admittedly pretty funny) "having kittens" pun.
      • I thought it was Rule of Cute. It seemed to me like the camera lingered on that basket of kittens long enough to give us all time to let out a prolonged: "Awwwwwwwwwwwww...".
      • I just assumed they'd reproduced by some means other than the standard mammalian one; uterine replicator, anyone? And that the kittens grow up into cat-humans.
      • Remember that back in "The End of the World" Cassandra's whole deal is the fact that she's the last 'pure' human and, by her standards, everyone else calling themselves human are in fact essentially mixed-race with a whole load of alien and non-human DNA swimming around the gene-pool. It's entirely possible that Mrs. Brannigan is herself part-cat to some degree (or at the very least her DNA is sufficiently non-human to enable her to mate with a cat-human), but it just doesn't look as obvious with her as it does with Mr. Brannigan.
      • Its about 5 billion years into the future. To put that into comparison, that's about 37,000 times longer than the current existence of our species. Even if humanity didn't develop exponentially, cat people and regular humans having a litter of kittens would be easy by this point. Granted, it must've itched like hell...
      • It could have been a reference to Cordwainer Smith's Underpeople, where a Cat Girl like C'Mell would give birth to literal kittens.

  • Do you mean to tell me that five billion years in the future, after trees and cats have become humanoid, the descendants of humanity have survived the natural death of the solar system and colonized the stars, and pompous rich people can live on indefinitely as a bizarre skin-trampoline thing, they STILL have not discovered car fuel that doesn't cause tons of smog? That's just sad!
    • Well remember that the Macra, who feed off of smog, were living at the bottom of the motorway. It's possible that the Macra had manipulated technology in that direction before they "devolved," or (more likely) that the ones who built the cars put in that technology in a misguided belief that giving the Macra a steady supply of food would placate them. Another possibility is presented by the ventilation at the bottom of the motorway, which were apparently intended to siphon off the smog (until they jammed). It may be that the vents took the smog to somewhere where it was recycled into something useful, making dirty engines an advantage (It should be noted that the smog is apparently heavier than air, and thus would always make its way into the vents).
    • Consider that there are some places even today when the automobile is ubiquitous that still use the horse-and-cart. Some technologies persist even when they're technically outdated because they're useful, cheap and convenient for those who need them. In the year five billion, petrol-fueled vehicles are presumably the equivalent; most of the people in that tunnel were fairly poor to begin with, so it was probably the best they could afford.
    • It might be that it is expected any alternatives would be solar or electric which might be difficult to get underground for long periods of time. Perhaps the history is such that instead of extensive research into cleaner burning fuels all, or most, of the eggs were put in the electric/solar baskets.
    • People only colonized New Earth out of a sense of nostalgia, which would be the same reason life on Earth was kept around 4 billion years past its sell-by date and human evolution keeps being reversed back to good old Homo Sapiens. Perhaps they decided to use fossil fuels there for nostalgia as well.
  • Why couldn't the Face of Boe simply say "the Master is alive in human form", instead of "you are not alone"? If he had been less cryptic, the information might've actually been, you know, useful to the Doctor, instead of being something he figures out only when it's too late.
    • Because Boe wasn't referring to just the Master still being alive..

  • Is there a particular reason why the old couple in the beginning is dressed like the couple from the famous painting American Gothic, by Grant Wood?

    Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks 
  • Why did the Cult of Skaro time warp to 1930?! Caan was later shown to be able to travel through time accurately to rescue Davros. Wouldn't it make more sense to go to a future date and therefore have the technology to rebuild their empire?
    • Entering the Time War is near-impossible and almost tore Caan to shreds. He only did it as a last resort. Also, I'm gathering that the Time War wiped Skaro and the Dalek race from time itself.
      • Nope, Skaro is still around and the Doctor and Amy visit it in the online adventure City of the Daleks, which the showrunner has confirmed is in continuity.
      • Okay, I've played that game. Did you miss the part where the Daleks completely rewrote time with the Eye of Time where Amy starts disappearing Back to the Future-style? Or how the Daleks suddenly take on the series 5 forms? Somehow I doubt Caan would have been able to reach that on his own.
    • The last time we saw the Cult of Skaro before 1930 they had initiated an "emergency temporal shift". Odds are they had no choice where they ended up and they didn't want to risk another uncontrolled timejump if they could avoid it.
    • Even if they got stuck in 1930, why don't they just wait until they have the technology to properly rebuild their race? Yeah, Daleks are not known for their patience, but these Daleks are designed to think about the box(which explains why they even contemplated the Human-Dalek project). Also Daleks appear to not age or just live really long(Metaltron managed to survive for 50 years, and the Emperor of the Daleks was in the darkness for at least 200-smoething years), and I imagine that the Cult of Skaro was given immortality. Given how many times the Daleks invaded the Earth, they could probably just wait until the events of "Remembrance of the Daleks" (only 33 years from 1930) and silently steal an Imperial ship/reverse-engineer it if they want to avoid altering their own history.
      • What are they supposed to do in the meantime — play Scrabble? Leaving aside the fact that the Cult of Skaro waiting around uselessly for a more technologically advanced period or some more Daleks to show up wouldn't make a particularly good story at all, they clearly are thinking outside of the box by attempting to solve their current problem with the technologies that are available to them rather than just waiting for some more Daleks to show up and solve it for them.

  • Why oh why did Caan, Thay and Jast think the Dalek Humans (those pale skinned people with Dalek minds) were worthy of the title of Dalek? They look just like people! And this is the race that started a civil war against the Imperial Daleks for having slight alterations, along with going insane from human material.
    • The Cult of Skaro are Daleks who used more creative ways to survive and kill at any cost. Besides, the Emperor formed the Cult, so presumably they're on the Imperial Daleks' side. They're the last four Daleks in existence, so they have to adapt in some way or die.
    • In slight response to the above, that's also something that's a headscratcher. While admittedly it's been a while since I've seen the episode, if I remember correctly, Dalek Sec began to show compassion and other very human emotions upon merging his DNA with human DNA. How could the Daleks, who just witnessed it happen think it a good idea to turn humans, brimming with, obviously, human DNA, into Daleks?
    • I thought they turned the humans into a brain-dead blank slate and the reason they turned against their masters was the Doctor's own DNA getting in the way of the gamma lightning thingamawhoosit.
    • The Dalek Humans were likely intended to have the ideology of a Dalek. Dalek Sec's Heel-Face Turn could've been due to the merging of his and a human's mind. Besides, they'd probably use them as stepping stones to actually making bonafide Daleks.
      • They were "pure Daleks", or near enough, but Sec's original plan was to give them human traits.

  • Apparently Dalek Caan is capable of pinpointing where and when he wants to go, aka The Time War. However the Cult of Skaro ended up in 1930. Shouldn't they transport to a more scientifically advanced period of history, or even another planet? After everything, they probably know the Earth inside-out! "Yeah, let's flee into Depression-era Manhattan instead of a more advanced era and place. I'm sure it won't screw us over!"
    • Why would they need to go to a more scientifically advanced period in history or planet? They seemed to have all the technology they needed and only ended up failing because of the Doctor who might have showed up wherever they went. Also, a more advanced location might have produced people who more readily noticed them and could try to fight them (and even if the Daleks themselves wouldn't have been easily destroyed, their project could have been) while the Depression allowed all those people to go missing without anyone really caring. Even though I'm sure they chose it by random, the time and place they were in suited their purposes just fine.
    • Here's an easy explanation: the first time they did the emergency time shift it was basically random, because they didn't have the technology to make pinpoint time warps on short notice. After winding up in a less-than-ideal place, they made a point of improving their technology so that pinpoint time warps would be possible on short notice. It was this upgraded time-warping tech that Dalek Caan used after the Manhattan plan failed.

  • Way back in The Parting of the Ways, the Daleks detect Lynda behind the asteroid-proof door. In this episode, a Dalek glides right past the Doctor and Tallulah, but it doesn't detect them. Why not?
    • Perhaps scanning that thoroughly wastes valuable power that they don't have since their emergency temporal shift.
    • Also, at the time Lynda is communicating via some kind of communication device with the Doctor and the others; they presumably found her by tracking the signals she was generating. Since the Doctor and and Tallulah aren't communicating in such a fashion they don't track them that way.

  • How is it that Dalek Sec developed a conscience and other "constructive" human attitudes when Mr Diagoras was shown to be a vaguely sociopathic Bad Boss and the literal embodiment of Ambition Is Evil?
    • Vaguely sociopathic and evilly ambitious Bad Boss he may have been, but he probably still had more conscience and humanity within him than a Dalek.
      • The thing is, he never showed any of these traits before he was absorbed.

  • Why does the Doctor act like Sec is the first-ever Dalek to develop a conscience? He should remember what happened to The Last Dalek/Metaltron, who developed a conscience and killed itself out of pure self-loathing and remorse.
    • This kind of depends on your interpretation — it could be clearly argued that the Last Dalek killed itself not out of remorse and conscience, but because it was so disgusted at being tainted with humanity and being made 'impure' that it would rather die than continue on as an impure Dalek. Presumably the Doctor took this interpretation of events.
    • And either way, the Last Dalek did commit suicide, which Sec showed no inclination to do. The Last Dalek might have been good, he might have been evil, but it didn't really matter because he was dead. Sec wasn't just alive and planning to stay that way, he wanted to make up for the past actions of his species.

    The Lazarus Experiment 
  • So a man creates technology that allows a human to cheat death by renewing their entire body near the point of death so they can live longer. Predictably it doesn't work properly. The doctor berates the inventor, saying that mortals shouldn't be doing this sort of thing. He even specifically says it's against the laws of nature. But here's the thing. Time Lords use this technology! He's used it himself 9 times at this point. Hypocritical much?
    • We don't know that Time Lords use technology to regenerate and it's not just a biological ability of theirs. If it is a natural ability, it's not really hypocritical that the Doctor doesn't approve of what Lazarus was doing.
    • Regeneration being down to technology is a plot point in two old school stories (Mawdryn Undead and Underworld).
    • Except the new series has contradicted the old series in a number of places including this. It is implied that the ability to regenerate is a result of prolonged exposure to the time vortex. In A Good Man Goes to War this is indicated as an evolutionary process.
    • Even if the Time Lords' ability is biological rather than technological, why does that matter? You'd have thought the Doctor would be above naturalistic fallacies.
    • You have to remember, the Time Lords (and therefore the Doctor) are the Olympian gods of the Whoniverse. They don't take too kindly to anyone else horning in on their territory (which explains why they were so against Dr. Crozier's experiments in "Mindwarp"—successes on that front would give his patients lifespans comparable to the Time Lords). It's also because the Doctor is only too aware of humanity's effort to screw things up royally. As he tells the Sisterhood in "Brain of Morbius," "Death is the price we pay for progress."
  • Why does Francine side with a complete stranger, who she only has his word for on what he says and the information he gives, over the man who is friend of her daughters and selflessly fought with a giant bug eyed monster to protect her, her family and anyone else.
    • She disliked the Doctor immediately (apparently just because she thought he was dating Martha, which is something that happens with parents), which caused her to blame him for Martha running back into the danger zone, rather than think about how he was risking his life. Unreasonable, of course, but that is a perfectly legitimate character flaw. In addition, as shown in The Sound of Drums, Harold Saxon wasn't just some random guy, and there was a sort of mind control going on. It all just worked together to make her act the way she did.
      • True that, but the man who gave Francine the information had no proof that he represented Harold Saxon. How did she know he wasn't lying about his sources?
      • Who says he had no proof? We didn't see their entire exchange, he could easily have shown her some proof between approaching her and her calling Martha.
      • Francine is pretty clearly not a person who is greatly inclined to question and challenge authority. Plus, why would he lie about something like that to begin with?
    • They probably flashed an official-looking badge at her. People follow authority figures. Especially when they don't like the person the authority figures are targeting in the first place.

     42 
  • Why does the Doctor give the crew such a hard time in 42 for not properly scanning the sun? He himself was surprised when he found out it was a living being and considering that he's supposed to be the most advanced being in the universe how could he possibly expect a few humans to have any reason to scan it (or even the technology to try)?
    • Because the Doctor wasn't illegally using the sun for fuel. It didn't matter if he knew it was alive or not as he wasn't doing anything that could hurt it. The crew was scooping up fuel which would damage a living sun so he thought that they should have at least checked. When he calls them on it, they don't say anything about not having the technology to scan it even though that would have been a great excuse for them not doing so. They just say something about how it's illegal so they just grabbed it and tried to leave.
    • The point was that they couldn't have been expected to know that the star could be alive to begin with. The Doctor clearly had no idea that it could be until well into the episode so how could they?
      • Yes they could have. They specifically say they didn't do it because they didn't have time to. Which means they knew it could be alive but didn't bother to check. Pretty much tells you why the scoops are outlawed in the first place.
      • That also implies that humans have scanned stars pretty regularly yet they don't consider the star a possible reason for the problems. Besides that it seems a bit ridiculous to think that humans would know that the star could be alive when the Doctor (the individual you can expect to know more than anyone else) didn't consider it until near the end.
      • Maybe they couldn't have been expected to know but the Doctor seemed to think that if they had scanned they would have discovered it. Had they done basic safety measures then they would have learned that the star was alive. Of course, given that no one was around them, it really makes no sense that they claimed they "didn't have time" to scan it. Who cares if it's illegal, if no one is going to be there to catch them in the act then they had time to scan it.
      • I can't remember the episode fully and so can't recall what their complete justification was (although IIRC they were running low on fuel, meaning that "they didn't have time" before they completely ran out and thus lost power, were stranded and / or fell into the sun anyway, which does make a bit more sense in the context) but they could just be making excuses there; after all, not only has it turned out that they have just been caught out doing something they really shouldn't be doing, but it's resulted in them injuring and infuriating a sentient sun which is now doing it's best to kill them. They possibly think claiming "we didn't have time!" will mollify things a bit more than "well, we could have done a scan but frankly couldn't be arsed, really."
      • Unless I'm thinking of the wrong bit, he's possessed at that point isn't he? I always figured it was more the sun's anger than his own, although it was blended with his own. So he's annoyed but the sun is really furious

  • Why can't the Doctor just put everyone on the TARDIS and fly to safety? Did I miss a line of exposition somewhere?
    • Pretty much, yeah. The room the TARDIS was in was vented with heat, wasn't it? I don't think they could reach it until the ship was out of harm's way of that sun.
    • Yeah, the first thing the Doctor did when he heard about what was happening was yell that he'd get them out and try to reach the TARDIS. He just couldn't.

    Human Nature/The Family of Blood 
  • A very minor point, but Martha is trapped for at least a month in 1913 in the episodes Human Nature/The Family of Blood, yet her hair remains clearly straightened. How come it stayed like that? Was she keeping straighteners in the TARDIS and going back just to use them? Had she had her hair chemically relaxed, and, if so, how come no-one asks her about it? As far as I'm aware, there weren't really any ways of straightening hair back then that were that effective.
    • Best I can come up with: Women in the 1970's would use basic clothing irons to straighten their hair (to get that super straight, flat hair like Cher), and irons go back to ancient times (originally they were flat pieces of metal you could heat in a fire.) Even if Martha wasn't alive in the 70's she would eventually realize that one could straighten their hair this way, especially if she doesn't like the look of her hair not straightened (which she probably doesn't, since it's been straightened in the first place), or if the people she works for feel that it looks improper. So it's not hard to believe that she would find some way to straighten it. As far as anybody asking about it, should could simply say that she straightens it frequently because it's easier to manage.
    • I assumed she was going back to the TARDIS for all that kind of thing — no reason to live like an Edwardian if you don't have to. And what would the residents of that school/village know about caring for black hair?
    • Chemical relaxers go back to the 1800's, though they contained nasty chemicals like lye.
  • How does Latimer's explanation of "the watch was waiting for you" override the fact that he straight-up stole from the Doctor?
    • The watch deliberately had a perception filter so John Smith wouldn't open it prematurely. He almost certainly wouldn't have noticed its vanishing as it's just a dusty old fob-watch with weird squiggles on the back.
  • If the Doctor wanted to keep the watch safe, is there any reason they couldn't just leave it on the TARDIS? It would have stopped some stupid kid from running off with it.
    • The TARDIS was hidden, and to be properly hidden it had to remain some distance away so that no one would find it by accident. The Doctor wanted the watch to be close by, in case some emergency came up and he needed it immediately. Apparently he didn't think there was much risk it would be stolen. Though on that note, he should've just given the watch to Martha, and then she could just carry it around all the time. But apparently they decided against that option, or they just didn't think of it.
      • One theory I've heard is that John Smith had enough residual awareness that he knew that the watch was his and not Martha's so even if he just sort of left it in his room, he wouldn't let Martha keep it. And depending on how nice the watch was, it might have been too good for someone to believe a maid like Martha owned it.
      • Uhh, no, it's not a particularly nice watch, it's just a dusty old fob-watch. And Martha would hardly keep it out in the open. ([—Also, residual awareness...what.—[)
      • The Doctor told Martha that he should have just enough residual awareness to 'let Martha in' and have her be someone that John Smith knows and has no problem accompanying him. If he saw it before Martha could hide it someplace or caught her having it at some point in the two months Martha had been working there (and given how important it was, Martha was probably going to keep it with her) then his residual awareness of the watch could make him identify it as his and reclaim it. Martha couldn't really fight this or risk John abandoning her. I think the residual awareness of the watch is established later with Yana as there is little reason he'd always keep a watch he thinks doesn't even work with him at all times without some sort of prompting. That the watch might have been too nice for Martha (but you say it isn't) was really only secondary. It could be a complete piece of trash but if John identified it as his piece of trash then he'd confiscate it from Martha.
  • Once John Smith becomes the Doctor again, he dispatches the Family of Blood pretty easily. Why didn't he try doing that in the first place? He could've just skipped the whole hiding thing and used that tactic from the end: Use some Applied Phlebotinum to mask his scent, pretend he's just a human now and the watch is the Doctor, offer to surrender the watch, and then hit some buttons to make their ship explode. If he'd tried that in the first place, nobody would have died.
    • We can only presume that he didn't have the opportunity, or didn't think of that particular plan. Also they mention that he was being kind; perhaps he thought it was better to let the Family of Blood live a few more months rather than killing them immediately.
      • What he was being kind with was that the Doctor was giving the Family of Blood a chance to give up and die on their own. Because they kept pursuing him, taking over bodies and refusing to back down, once it was time for the Doctor to return to normal, the Doctor had full right to punish them as he wished. Thus, him being kind was a way for them to avoid the inevitable punishment.
      • No one said he had to kill them; just capture them using the same technique he eventually used at the end.
      • Without all that mess with the Family seeing him as a human, they probably wouldn't believe that he either was human or was the Doctor and had his essence in the watch. And the Doctor hadn't intended for them to be found. If his plan had worked then no one would have died, either. He also couldn't anticipate that John Smith wouldn't listen to Martha or that Tim would take the watch.
  • When does the Doctor record the instructional video for Martha? It seems like he uses the Chameleon Arch immediately after they return to the TARDIS and he realizes that he has to go into hiding.
    • It could be a 'psychic' thing as a result of using the Chameleon Arch; the Doctor's consciousness records and leaves the message on the TARDIS for Martha as he's in the process of undergoing the Chameleon Arch.
  • The Doctor wraps up Father Of Mine in chains forged from the heart of a dying star. How does that make him immortal?
    • He gave FOM immortality first, and then wrapped him up in the chains as punishment. True immortality, in Doctor Who, is a curse, not a blessing.
  • Why did the Doctor pick a time and place to hide that would be so awful to Martha? It seems needlessly cruel, and more than a little short-sighted (handicapping the person who is supposed to protect you). What the Hell, Hero?
    • He's clearly on the run from the Family when he makes the decision to hide using the Chameleon Arch; it's possible the Doctor didn't have the luxury of choice (since if he had the liberty to pick and choose he probably wouldn't have been in such a hurry to begin with) and just picked the most suitable and quickest-to-reach place at the time. Not to mention that he's clearly going to for low-key, obscure and out-of-the way; in the rush, he probably just didn't consider the possible consequences for Martha. A bit careless and thoughtless of him, certainly, but he's not exactly immune to mind-slips and he's hardly doing it just to spite Martha like you're suggesting; he kind of has urgent matters on his plate at the time, it's not entirely unforgivable that he might not have considered the situation from all angles. Plus, while it's clearly not a very fun experience for Martha, it's also not exactly hell-on-Earth for her either; they could have went somewhere better, but equally there's much worse places they could have wound up as well.
    • Didn't the Doctor say that the TARDIS would take care of the time and place? He probably had no idea where they would end up. It's really not fair to blame him for it.
    • The Doctor wasn't being intentionally cruel but the episode rather ruthlessly deconstructs the nostalgic view of the Edwardian gentry as well as the Doctor's relationship with his companions and with humanity generally. John Smith's insultingly paternalistic and often callous attitude towards Martha somewhat mirrors the Doctor's attitudes towards his human companions at its least sympathetic and he never really acknowledges what he puts her through.
  • Why did the Family just sit there and let The Doctor visit a Fate Worse than Death on them? They didn't seem noticeably injured from the explosion, and The Doctor didn't appear to have any means of restraining them when he walked up to him in his Tranquil Fury state. What stopped them from just getting back up and beating him senseless while he was too busy glaring at the camera?
    • Because all the stuff from a normal episode with the Doctor outsmarting, tricking, and trapping a baddie happened during or just before the narration. The two-parter is basically set up for a regular episode that happens off-screen. You just have to take it on faith that they tried that, failed, and got beaten just after that scene cut and before the punishment montage.

    Blink 
  • Given in the Series 6 premiere The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon that the Eleventh Doctor and company brought up the Silent's "You should kill us all on sight" broadcast in July 1969, how early were the Tenth Doctor, Martha, and Billy dropped by the Angels before that?
    • The Doctor explicitly says it's before the Moon landing, ergo, before the Silence's message.
  • After watching Blink, one can't help but wonder how the Weeping Angels, a race who cannot look at or touch each other, do... er... what's necessary to make more Weeping Angels.
    • "Just close your eyes and think of England."
    • Explained in "Time of Angels". Whatever takes the image of an angel becomes an angel. So statue carving, photographs, and recordings can all become angels. This makes them the only family in the universe to reproduce via photo album.
      • Except the angels in this episode apparently don't have that power, because Sally hands over pictures of the angels at the end and none of them come to life. (See below)
      • Just because the Angels can use an image of them to come to life doesn't mean that they have to. For instance, when there was an Angel in Amy's mind it didn't have to convince her her hand was stone or to count down but it chose to to mess with her. The video feed coming to life and even the one in Amy doing so had a purpose: the Angel whose image it was was trying to kill them all so that it and its fellows could feed on the energy the ship gave off in peace. The pictures Sally gave may have been the ones to steal the TARDIS or, in a stable time loop, become the Angels in the episode. If they didn't then that's because the Angels had already sent the Doctor and Martha to the past and fed on their lost days so there was no need to come alive and do anything.
      • Or that its an intentional choice by an Angel to infuse enough energy into an image for it to become a new angel. Like the Doctor said, these Blink Angels were starving, just barely scavenging enough to survive. If that's true, maybe they didn't have enough energy to "impregnate" the images to let them come alive, and the Doctor knew that. After all, an egg *can* become a chicken, but you still have to fertilize it first.
    • There's no indication that Weeping Angels reproduce by having sex, or even that they reproduce. I think they definitely can see in the dark. The Angel put the bulb out, so the light must have come on again when they were neutralized.
    • Terrestrial fish and frogs manage to reproduce without touching. So do most plants and trees, for that matter. Pollen is just plant sperm, after all. Maybe the Angels pollinate?
    • They're described as "creatures of the abstract", so they may simply be non-biological things like the Eternals and simply not reproduce.

  • How does the basement in Blink go from pitch black with a flickering bulb to filled with eternal Magic Cave Lighting? The Doctor? But then why is Nightingale so confident they're trapped forever?
    • This isn't actually said in the show, but I like to think that the Weeping Angels can see perfectly in the dark. Otherwise, how would they know where to go when they start going towards the two main characters as the light bulb is flickering? Weeping Angels bumping into each other and tripping over wouldn't be very dramatic, would it? Though that still doesn't explain how Nightingale was so confident, as she definitely didn't know this for sure...
      • Of course! The light going off was just so the humans couldn't see them. Makes perfect sense.
      • Except, if the Angels could see in the dark, then they would have been looking at each other while they were advancing on Sparrow and Nightingale.
      • No, they'd just be risking sight of one another. And since they all had a focal point they were looking at (Sparrow and Nightingale) the risk would be small. It's possible one of them briefly glimpsed another in the dark, turning them to stone again. But if so the audience wouldn't see it anyway and it'd likely only last an instant. Probably the weeping angel equivalent of stepping on someone's toes.

  • Sledgehammer anyone?

  • Half the time, nobody was looking at the Angels at all, yet they were still statues. For example, in the scene with Billy, the angels and the TARDIS, he has his back turned to all but the one at which he was looking. Why didn't the OTHER Angels just sneak up and zap him? Then, of course, there's the bit where the Angels are rocking the TARDIS and the light's flickering. Sally and what's-his-face are in the TARDIS, remember? Nobody else is there. The only people looking at the angels is, well... us. Or the cameramen.
    • That's the point - the audience is watching, therefore the Angels are statues as long as we can see them. It's kind of an interactive episode in that way.
      • Agree. This is revealed in the closing monologue, when the Doctor gives us the same speech while images flash of several famous statues in real life. Steven Moffat enjoys Paranoia Fuel as well as Nightmare Fuel.
      • It's made even more obvious when you look at the scene when Sally examines the statues in the house. If you watch carefully, the statues move whilst Sally is between them and the camera.
    • Maybe it's not so simple as that. Maybe looking at an angel forces it to stay still, but just because you're not looking at it doesn't necessarily mean it can move. Maybe there are other restrictions on movement, like angels can only move a certain distance before they need to "rest" for a couple minutes, or whatever.
      • It could also possibly be that the Angels are paranoid and have a small degree of control of being quantum-locked. In series 5 Amy had to walk through a portion of a forest on the Byzantium with angels with her eyes shut. They didn't move because they thought she could see them.
    • In "Blink", at least, the angels pretty definitively treat the camera as an "observer". They only move when they're not visible to either the characters or to the Camera. Moving their hands only when Sally passes between them and the camera during the scene where she gets the key is one example. A much more obvious one is when they're rocking the TARDIS, with Sally and whats-his-face inside it, back and forth. The light continues to blink on and off, and the TARDIS only moves while the light is off. You can kind of see the TARDIS moving, because you can still see the back-lit windows and "Police Box" text. But when the light blinks on, they STILL freeze solid into stone. There's a TARDIS side between each angel and everything else with eyes; quite literally the only thing present that could "lock" them when the light comes on is the camera.
  • Speaking of the Angels, that's a pretty unreliable way to trap them forever. A group of statues (even ugly statues) standing in a circle, not connected or even touching. And it's not like they're in an underground cavern, they're in a freaking impound lot. Even if nobody decides to move the statues (sell them off as a set or one by one), the first time that light goes out those angels are going to not be seen. (It could be another level of Steve Moffat induced Paranoia Fuel).
    • This could be WMG, but who's to say that the Doctor didn't go back to Wester Drumlins after getting his TARDIS back in 1969 and drop off The Lonely Assassins in a black hole or in the perma-day of a planet tidally locked to its star?
      • This is assuming that these highly dangerous, capable, and nigh unstoppable assassins don't have the basic power of seeing in the dark. And they weren't in an impound lot, they were in the basement of the creepy house no one went to that's had all those disappearances. That should keep people away for a while and maybe the Doctor puts a perception filter on them to keep people from moving them.
    • Not to mention, these Angels are nowhere near as bad as their Season 5 counterparts. The Doctor generally serves those kinds of defeats for those that really deserve it.
      • Since the Doctor calls the Angels psychopaths even in "Blink", he probably still thinks the tamer version deserves it. And even if he doesn't, since there really is no other way of dealing with them besides trapping them, I think he'd do it anyway.

  • If the angels can kill someone by touching them and absorb their potential energy — Why did they try to hit Sally with a friggin' stone?!
    • This one's been answered both by Word of God and over the forums. If you could be rendered immovable by someone looking at you, maybe you would want to, I don't know knock them unconscious?
      • Except they move at lightning speed. It took that one near Larry half a second to move right next to him. She had her back to the camera (and presumably to the Weeping Angel) for a good 2 or 3 minutes.
      • It's also been established since — mostly in "The Time of Angels" — that the angels are seriously a bunch of assholes. As far as I can tell, they threw a rock at her because it would freak her out, and that's fun.

  • Did it occur to nobody who was facing the angels to close one eye at a time?
    • Wait, doesn't your line of vision change if you're looking through one eye, and then switch? Maybe there's a blind spot between the two exchanges which would have an effect...
    • Amy Pond tries this in series five. It appears to work.
    • Even though this works it's not an easy fix. Try it now—open one eye, then the other and keep alternating over and over without reflexively blinking once. Now imagine you're doing this while your life is in danger and you're terrified—and just for sadism's sake, maybe there's a slight breeze or a tiny bit of dust in the air. (Most of the action took place in a very old house, after all.) It's hard to keep up for long.
    • Colin Baker actually gave precisely that solution in one of his first Tweets.
      • Except it's not a clear solution. See above.
    • I was wondering why they didn't take turns. Sally runs around looking for an exit while whats-his-name stares down the angel. He should really ask Sally to come back and stare at the angel for a couple seconds so he has a chance to blink and rest his eyes. They could trade off like this for awhile, if they just coordinated.

  • Okay...so the Weeping Angels send the Doctor and Martha Jones back to 1969. Why only 1969? If the Weeping Angels feed off a person's potential life energy, then based on the Doctor's incredibly long lifespan, they should have been able to send them back a lot further!
    • Maybe they were trying to send back Martha and the Doctor got in their way, sending him back to 69 in Martha's place. Then, since she had no protection, they got her. Either that or it's 69 or nothing.
    • I was under the impression each angel sends someone back X amount of years. Each angel has their own amount of years they can't personally change. When Doc and Martha meet Billy they say "probably the same one that got us" meaning the one that sends you back 38 years. It was another angel sent Kathy 100 or so years.
      • Indeed. It might have something to do with the angel's age or power level. In any case, there's no evidence that the angels choose how far back to send you. Maybe 1969 was just the best they could do under the circumstances.
    • Alternatively, they can only feed on time energy when that person dies in their own timeline. Sally Sparrow lived up to 1987, which was around the time she was born and Billy Shipton died the day after he was sent back in time. Martha Jones might've survived past 2008, but over half her life would've been lived before then.
  • Shouldn't the present have an older Doctor and Martha, having lived from 1969 via The Slow Path?
    • No, because they got the TARDIS back with Sally's help.
    • I mean in the preceding timeline, "before" the TARDIS gets sent back.
    • No. Because they got the TARDIS back.
    • Preceding timeline? The only way the entire plot works is if there's a stable time loop in effect.
      • No because they got to leave, but Billy chose to stay in 1969.
      • Chose? When the Doctor apologized and explained that they needed him to wait around for a long to deliver a message to Sally, it sounded like they were kind of forcing him to stay because of the Easter eggs and (possibly) Sally's information included her meeting the dying Billy in the hospital.
      • They do a similar thing in The Time of Angels where River left a message for the Doctor knowing he'd see it in a museum in the future and save her

  • In "The Time of Angels", it's said that anything that carries the image of the angel will become an angel. So what happened to all those pictures Sally Sparrow took of the Angels during "Blink?"
    • They stole the TARDIS?
    • They were the angels in the episode. Stable time loop, see?
      • But the episode after we find out that anything that holds the image of an angel itself becomes an angel we learn that there was no real angel in Amy's mind. It was a threat as long as the real angel existed (and so if that angel hadn't fallen in the crack she probably would have been done for) but if there was no real angel that the pictures were based on then the pictures couldn't have come alive. The angels we meet in the episode were probably just naturally there. They had been causing problems for years before the Doctor gets his hands on the pictures which is why Sally investigated in the first place.
    • I just figured that there are multiple subspecies of angels. So the angels we meet in Time of the Angels just like to kill people, but the angels in Blink like to send people back in time. Similarly, the angels in Time of the Angels have the special power of "that which takes the image of an angel itself becomes an angel", but the angels in Blink don't have that power.
    • My personal favorite mindcanon on that is that Sally's pictures are the beginning of the fall of the Aplans. The Doctor mentions in Time of Angels that he had met their architect, that they were nice, etc. So, when he was there, some of them - most of them - leave to conquer the planet (why didn't they take the Tardis? Surely something/someone stopped them doing so. Even a mice would be enough), and latter TADÁ! - A whole maze of angels.

  • How did that Angel ever leave the garden? Presumably out there there would always be an insect or something that constantly happened to be looking it it?
    • See, that's where this whole thing falls apart because at any given moment, there are many millions of dust mites and other tiny insects teeming on every surface imaginable. But you know, willing suspension of disbelief and whatnot.
      • Maybe it only works on sentients. Which makes me imagine an angel in a staring contest with a cat.
      • Maybe you just have to be able to see it as a Weeping Angel. Dust mites don't have the sight to detect that its a Weeping Angel, and it would just be observing a big, grey blob.

  • In one of the webisodes, Jack himself raised the question of how the Angels would deal with his immortality. He can just live his way to the point where he was sent into the past. Heck, he might even be able to stop them, causing a paradox.
    • And why would he do that? The Torchwood episode "Exit Wounds" shows that Jack's unwilling to meddle in his personal timeline. Plus, they'd still feed off of his lifespan, even if it's not all of it.
    • I imagine that the Weeping Angels would:

  • At the end of blink when the angels all view each other Sally and Larry are in the way blocking the sight of some of the angels so couldn't that mean they could move? At first I thought they saw a part and maybe as long as one part was being viewed the whole body was quantum locked but in Angels in Manhattan when Amy sees the angel behind rory the angel moves the arm behind rory that Amy cant see.

  • Why can't Billy go back to the present with the TARDIS? The initial implication seemed to be that the reason he had to stay behind was to pass The Doctor's message on to Sally in the present. What was to stop him from pulling a Back to the Future and sending her a letter somehow?
    • Billy needed to stay behind to put the easter egg and so it could be possible that Billy wanted to stay behind as he was enjoying the life in 1969-2007.

  • Where on earth are UNIT and Torchwood in this episode? If you listen back to the Easter egg you can basically grasp what the doctor's saying, and the Easter egg was all over the internet. I know the doctor was very careful never to mention Sally Sparrow or Wester Drumlins, but there can't be that many abandoned houses in the middle of London where people disappear. Also, someone must have traced the Easter Egg back to Billy, who was probably reported missing in the area.

  • Also, how did the police find the TARDIS in the first place? perception filter, remember?

  • A lot of people argue that the angels are weak in this episode, and yet they jump across he street in the time it takes Sally to blink. If they really were fast, faster than we'd believe, then Billy should really have been zapped many times, and Sally would have been zapped back when she went with Kathy. In fact, there must have been police here at some point. How did they make it out? Or what if they didn't? But wouldn't this attract a lot more attention if police officers had vanished? In fact, looking at all the cars in the lock up, I'm surprised it hasn't been sealed off or demolished by now!

    Utopia/The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords 
  • Staying with that time period for a second, can any fellow tropers give me a good explanation for this tossing of the Idiot Ball: In "The Sound of Drums", the Doctor states directly that they can't destroy the Paradox Machine before it activates due to the fact that the Doctor's not sure of what the paradox will actually be, and that the cure may be worse than the disease. At that point, they saunter off to the bridge of the Valiant to try to stop the Master. Uh, excuse me? Don't you have a guy who, like, knows what the Paradox Machine is ("Is that what I think it is?"), and who, like, knows how to use weapons, and, like, can't die? Plan A: the Doctor and Martha head up to the bridge to try to stop the Master. If Plan A fails and the paradox activates, go to Plan B: Jack blasts the living hell out of the Paradox Machine after it goes critical. If Plan B fails, Jack is still free to try to do what he can. If Plan B succeeds, the paradox is broken, and the cost is one severely-damaged TARDIS and a dead US President-Elect. Yes, Jack wasn't armed at the time. No problem. They had enough time for Jack to mug a guard, grab his weapon, and get back to the TARDIS. The Doctor's not this stupid. Martha's not this stupid. Jack's not this stupid. And yet none of them could think of doing this?
    • If Plan B fails, the Doctor could be dead. Turn Left tells us what happens next. This is generally regarded as a bad thing.
      • Hell, given that at this point we don't have a damn clue what the paradox is, destroying the paradox machine could blow up the planet. You know what happens in Bad Wolf if there's no Earth? NOTHING. So much for Jack as a failsafe.
      • I'm not convinced. We know that paradoxes in general are dangerous and unnatural (see "Father's Day"), and this one in particular is being engineered by the Master so it probably doesn't have a benign purpose. It should be safe to assume that it would be better to stop the paradox from happening. What really scratched my head further was that the Doctor said he couldn't dismantle the Paradox Machine without knowing what it did (which I actually took to mean that he needed to know the precise nature of the paradox in order to safely deactivate the machine) - and yet when time came, it turned out the way to dismantle a Paradox Machine is to fire haphazardly at it until it blows up. Either way, it's a big gaping flaw in the plot.
      • The Master's Xanatos-y enough that it could have been a trap, wherein destroying the paradox machine haphazardly could've played into his hands. The Doctor could have just been more worried about that happening than about whether the paradox or not the paradox would be better for everyone.
      • I never really saw the problem with this; he didn't want to take a chance causing even more serious damage, and by the time he worked out what the Paradox Machine was for, it was too late for anyone to do anything about it. One year later, when they can do something about it, it happens to be the sort of problem that More Dakka can fix. Lucky for them.
      • I see it being that the Doctor knows the Master, and the Master knows about the Time War. The Paradox Machine actually protecting the planet is actually exactly what I'd do in his position. The Doctor destroys it, and in turn wipes out the Earth. Not only besting him, but making him directly responsible for the genocide of his people, and the destruction of his favorite planet.
    • Ah, that adds another layer to a theory I have. Namely, that the whole thing is the Master's colossal practical joke on the Doctor. It's a sick joke, too...the Doctor saves a whole bunch of people at the end of the universe, and the Master uses those people for his own ends. The phrase, "You're your own worst enemy" comes to mind here—humanity, which the Doctor loves, becomes the enemy. My way of thinking is, the Doctor already knew what the paradox was—hell, what the Master's whole plan was—and had come up with a way of turning the whole joke back on the Master. It's what the Doctor does best: he allows his foes to have a moment of victory only to pull the rug from under their feet at the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) possible moment.

  • Fairly minor, but why didn't Martha take anyone with her when she teleported to escape from the Master at the end of The Sound of Drums?
    • I can't remember the episode really well, but I suspect she didn't know how. Or at least, how to do so without walking over to someone, which would be grounds for being shot at.
      • "Didn't know how" is a poor explanation, because by this point Martha has already seen that all you need to do is touch someone who's teleporting, and you teleport right along with them. There doesn't seem to be anything complicated about that.
    • Reason: Martha was only able to escape from the Master's ship because she was wearing the Perception Filter, to prevent her from being seen. The perception filter can only work on one person at a time.
      • Wait, what happened to Jack's filter? And why does it matter anyway, when the Master isn't affected by the filter and he clearly identifies all three of them? If the Master's awareness of Martha doesn't stop her escape (I think the Master was distracted by his own gloating at the time), then why can't Martha take someone with her?
      • As someone else noted above, the only person she's close enough to touch without moving is the Doctor, the Doctor's probably made it clear he's not going anywhere. If she makes a sudden movement or it looks like she's obviously going to make a break for it one of the Master's lackeys could see past the perception filter and shoot her and the person she was trying to rescue. Staying still and teleporting out of there by herself is probably the safest option.
      • Jack was dead on the other side of the room. Anyone else would be more trouble than it was worth. Plot-wise, Jack wasn't interesting, for it wouldn't take him as much effort as it took her AND it wouldn't be as dangerous. It's important for the hero(ine) to take the lonely path in order to achieve something. The Master wouldn't track her down as crazily as he'd track the Doctor down, and probably even The Doctor has a harder time to hide from him than her, they know each other way too much.

  • Here's one. If Cassandra was the last of the "Pure blood" humans as of the death of the earth 5 billion years in the future in "The End of the World," then who the hell are all of those humans on the "Utopia" planet 100 trillion years in the future?
    • There are the cured "New Humans" in "New Earth"; presumably, they are the ones seen in "Gridlock".
    • Not being 'pureblood' doesn't mean that the humans of the future don't look humanoid, share 'human' characteristics or aren't almost entirely 'human' as we understand it, except with a bit of alien / non-human DNA swimming around the gene pool; they just aren't 'pure' by her standards. Cassandra is a pretty fanatical bigot, after all.
    • As for the humans in "Utopia", it's mentioned by the Doctor that human evolution keeps coming back to the standard humanoid template after they experiment with different forms over the millennia. Quite how realistic that actually is, however, is a discussion for another day.
      • I prefer to think that it has something to do with panspermia (possibly perpetrated by the Time Lords, given that they're Human Aliens who are also sufficiently old as a species to carry it out).
      • The way I see it, the humans that come later are just retro. By about five billion years in the future, humans were split into two camps: those who wanted to keep the human genome pure, which eventually dwindled in numbers, leaving only Cassandra, and those who didn't, and who spread themselves out among the stars and mongrelized humanity; but when we reach year 100-Trillion, fashions change and everyone suddenly wanted pure humans again and decide to bring back Homo Sapiens Classic. Presumably, they had records of the human gene pool from the era to reproduce them properly, and so just revived the pure human race.
      • Said humans may also want to recognize that they're people. After eons of evolution, our descendants would be utterly alien, and could easily forget their origins. Staying human was a good way to do this.
    • I always assumed that there were still others out there at least as pure as Cassandra (and probably a good deal more "natural" in appearance), they just didn't have the opportunity, or, hell, the motivation, to challenge her. Assuming there's anything to the Jack => Fo B thing (which I accept some people will reject wholly), he's got a better claim - he was born long before she was, in a time that probably had seen much less interbreeding and genetic engineering than the year 5 million. On the other hand, is that really a fight that any rational person would want to pick?
      • You've never heard of Captain Jack "flirts with insects" Harkness, have you? On the contrary, the Ninth Doctor has stated that by Jack's time humanity danced with all sorts of alien life. I think Torchwood established genetically enhanced pheromones too.
      • Not to mention, no one ever says that Jack is actually human-pure-human.
      • Torchwood: Miracle Day seems to strongly imply it, given that the immortality-giving Miracle works on humans and not lifeforms like insects (the regular type, not the Chantho type).

  • What exactly is the US president-elect doing in command, anyway? In our universe, the position "president-elect" comes with no formal power to do anything but become president come January.
    • I've always assumed Rusty thought that the American President's full title was "president-elect" and just goofed up.
    • Simply put, RTD didn't care. All it takes is a couple of seconds researching the Executive Branch of the US government to figure out that a president-elect is not the one in power.
    • Everybody else in the story - the Doctor, the Master, UNIT, and newsreaders on both sides of the Atlantic - calls him the President. The only person who says 'President Elect' is the guy himself, and it seems plausible that in the excitement of making first contact he flubbed the line scripted as 'elected President'.
      • Remember that the 'Whoniverse' is distinct from our own and there may be political differences. For example, it's insinuated that the Prime Minister of the UK is directly elected ("Vote Saxon"), the United Nations has a lot more authority, especially with regards to nuclear weapons, and it's suggested that the Queen has some executive authority (she supposedly orders the closing down of Torchwood 1); it's entirely possible that in the Whoniverse United States, the President-elect has some political powers or even assumes de facto power on his election.
      • I thought that Saxon was running as an independent. His party became major because of the cabinet members abandoning their party for the Master's.
      • After Obama's election people abroad seem to have thought that he would take over immediately instead of having to wait two-and-a-half months for his inauguration. It's possible the writers in other countries simply didn't know that there's a delay between getting elected and actually assuming office.
      • Related to the above, in the United Kingdom as soon as the election's over the new Prime Minister essentially takes over immediately (as in, they move into Downing Street, pick the Cabinet and start getting to work); although there's a bit of a transitional period between the opening of the new parliament for obvious reasons, for the leader there's no real 'lame duck' period like in American politics. It might have been a bit of a misunderstanding based on this.

  • So...at the end of "Last of the Time Lords," the Doctor explains that those aboard the Valiant can still remember the events of the Year That Never Was, because they were "in the eye of the storm." Does this mean that the year still literally happened for them? (It sure looks that way: everyone on the bridge of the Valiant is still wearing the same clothing as before, Jack is still battered and filthy, and Lucy still has the black eye the Master gave her.)
    • Yes, that's right. It's why Martha leaves at the end of that story, because her family are traumatized by the events and need to be looked after.
    • That just proves that her family remembers the events of that time period, despite its having been erased from history. What I'm asking is, are all the people standing on the bridge of the Valiant a year older now? It's not such a big deal for the Doctor or for Jack (both of whom are practically immortal), but it means that Martha's parents—who are nearing old age—lost an entire year of their lives, just because they were still on the ship when time reversed.
      • They didn't lose an entire year of their lives, they spent it working for the Master. It was a horrible way to spend a year but they did live through it.
    • It's a horrible ordeal, but it's not like they're Wilf or Mr. Copper's age.
    • Indeed: unless they're supposed to be significantly older than the actors, Clive's about 50 and Francine's in her mid-40s. Neither of them exactly has one foot in the grave.
      • Actually, Martha has gotten more than a year older, given the amount of time that she spent traveling with the Doctor.
    • I assumed time reverted for them too, they just retained the memory of the entire year.
      • Indeed, it is suggested in several later episodes dealing with alternate timelines ("Turn Left", "The Wedding of River Song") that the events of an erased timeline are only "real" to those who remember them. (The quote from Martha's mother when she tries to shoot the Master also seems to support this: "[A]ll those..things, they still happened because of him. I saw them.")

  • Remember at the end of "The Sound of Drums", when The Master switches on the Paradox Machine, the bridge was quite full of people. Regardless of how they died in the Year that Never Was, when the Doctor hits the Reset Button, the only people on the bridge are the people who were there when the paradox was broken, in the "Eye of the Storm". What happened to the rest of the people? Did they just stop existing?
    • And what about the men with Jack whom the Toclafane presumably blasted? Did they stay dead or did they get revived to pre-Master's-reign status?
    • Presumably the "eye of the storm" refers to the entire Valiant, not just the bridge; the year resets itself round the Valiant, so everyone who was on the Valiant regardless of who remembers it. Likewise, everyone who died on the Valiant remains dead when the year resets itself.

  • Back in Last of the Time Lords, why weren't the people in The Eye of the Storm suddenly the duplicates of a them who lived a different year?
    • Because they're immune to the effects of time reversing around them. Hence, they're in the 'eye of the storm'.

  • The Paradox Machine, based on Professor Doherty's understanding of Paradox, was unnecessary (other than as a Reset Button for resolving the plot). We are frequently reminded that history is always being re-written, with Cybermen in 19th century London and such. At first glance, it appears that Professor Doherty's was describing a Grandfather Paradox, when the situation is nothing of the sort. The Toclafane, humankind's future descendants, did not "travel back in to slaughter their ancestors". Well they did, but not to the degree she means. The Master wanted a race of slaves, not a planet of corpses. The Toclafane enslaved humanity, they didn't make a concentrated effort to wipe them, though they easily could have. They killed just 10% of humanity and enslaved the rest. So long as just a few humans survived the Toclafane holocaust to have descendants to reach the year 100 trillion and become the Toclafane, no paradox has occurred.
    • And how an where exactly would they have fled from the bloody Toclafane? It's not like early 21st century humanity has any spacecraft of their own.
    • Complicating things is the fact that the Master's long-term goal extended far beyond earth. He wanted to begin a program of universal conquest. Remember that by the time Cassandra comes around the human race has long since begun breeding with compatible alien races. By the time the Toclafane came around, they probably had ancestors all over the universe. On one hand, this makes their decimation of the human population seem even more inconsequential to their descent. But on the other hand, it means the Master likely had the long term goal of killing plenty more of their ancestors.
    • Think how much history would be altered if you stopped one individual from being born. Given enough time, and that small difference can become quite large. Now, make that one person 600 million, and that period of time 100 trillion years. Even if the Master only ruled for a year, humanity would be changed in such a way it would generate a paradox.
    • Plus, this assumes that the 10% decimated in the Toclafane's first attack were the only humans killed over the course of that year, which is, let's face it, a bit naive. They wiped out the whole of Japan at one point; that in itself has got to have an effect.
  • Why does the Master feel the need to become Prime Minister? The Toclofane were going to come to Earth in any case, and he just could've taken over then. Why go to all that work? Also, how was he not deposed after he killed his entire cabinet? At that point he was still just the Prime Minister, and it was obvious that he was just going about killing people. How did no one call the police?
    • I think the first question can simply be answered: he's the Master, though I think it probably had something to do with attempting to gain trust on the Archangel satellites. On the cabinet front, I don't think it WAS obvious; it was apparently covered up by them "going into seclusion".
      • He was in office for what, a day before the Toclofane appeared and he took over. It wouldn't have been hard to hide the cabinet's deaths for a few hours, especially in light of the new and exciting alien contact.
      • It's the principle of diminishing returns, but enhanced by the Archangel Network. Once the Master made everyone in Great Britain love and adore him, then he could do anything and people would go along with it. Then, when people finally twig on to him, it's too late.
    • By becoming Prime Minister, the Master is able to put himself in a position where the entire world is watching when the invasion starts. That should provide the following benefits:
      • It enhances his telepathic suggestion against fighting back with a single, massive display of force. The people of the world will know what is going on and exactly how boned they are.
      • People will know it is The Master that is now in charge of the world. When this guy shows up and starts giving orders, they will know they must obey him because he is the one that is controlling these strange spheres.
      • It strokes the Master's overlarge ego.

  • How come Martha has never heard of the Valiant? It does not seem particularly secret and it would actually be really hard to keep secret, being a flying fortress and all. But Martha, who comes from the same period of time, is amazed by the very idea of a flying aircraft carrier. The master mentioned he helped design the Valiant, which means its less than 18 months old at the time of the time of drums. Martha however left during the election campaign, when it is doubtful the master would have worked on the Valiant.
    • Well maybe this is the Valiant's maiden voyage, and it was secret during its construction. That might not explain everything, but it helps.

  • During The Empty Child after becoming separated from the Doctor, Jack informs Rose that he can locate him by scanning for alien tech - cue to ten minutes later and Jack's wrist device has accurately and efficiently led them straight to the hospital. So why the hell didn't Jack (using his now fully working wrist device) scan for Time Lord technology, lock onto the Master's laser screwdriver or the stolen TARDIS and teleport himself, Martha and the Doctor straight to his position?
    • At what point? For what purpose? I don't recall the device scanning specifically for Gallifreyan tech, just alien tech, and in a city where Torchwood One once stood which has had no less than four alien invasion attempts, plus the Slitheen encounter, in the preceding three years, it would probably lead to a lot of false leads.
    • Plus, finding the Master isn't exactly the problem; they learn exactly who and where the Master is within seconds of returning to the twenty-first century. The problem is that the Master has installed himself as the Prime Minister of Great Britain; you think it's going to be easy for three people teleporting out of nowhere to get people to accept their word over the Prime Minister's in that situation? Particularly when the Prime Minister's been subtly mind-controlling them?

  • So there's a satellite-based telepathic field used to subtly control people. But apparently, if billions of people all think the same word at the same time, they can use that telepathic field to...give the Doctor superpowers. Specifically, he gets the superpowers of (1) undoing his rapid aging, (2) hovering, (3) telekinesis (he knocks the Master's screwdriver away), and (4) immunity to weapons. Was any of this at all pre-established? Has their ever been a time at which people simply thought about the Doctor, and he gained any sort of special ability as a result?
    • THEY aren't using the telepathic field to do anything. The Doctor has had a whole year to figure out how to manipulate the field so that when everyone's focusing on him he has extra powers. On normal occasions, every single person could be thinking about the Doctor and nothing would happen because normally the entire planet is not connected via a telepathic field.
      • But still, has their even been an occasion where the Doctor used telepathic fields to give himself extra powers? Is that something the Doctor can do? When the Master came back via watch, that concept had been established in "Human Nature". But when the Doctor gets superpowers via telepathic field, that just came out of the blue, unless maybe it was established back in the old Doctor Who stuff I haven't seen. Hence my question: was this sort of thing pre-established?
      • Well, no, the telepathic field thing never came up in the old series, but the Doctor has always been superintelligent. He somehow figured all along that he could tap into this telepathic field and upend the Master's, ahem, master plan. It was all a matter of getting himself and his comrades in the right place. HOWEVER, "Curse of Fenric" has an indirect answer to this problem: it's not the WORD "Doctor," but the ideas and emotions associated with the word that Martha gave to the few remaining people on the planet. In "Co F", the Seventh Doctor says "it's not the cross [that can defeat vampires] but the faith behind it." In that case it's a psionic barrier, but the Doctor has rejigged the effect slightly.
      • Also, it does have a bit of foreshadowing, if not in the form of a telepathic field. The power of words in The Shakespeare Code, anyone?
    • Basically, a Time Lord did it.

  • I know that most viewers think President Winters was a major Jerk Ass note , but was he really that bad? Aside from being rude and standoffish to the Master and trying to take control of the situation (which other characters have been praised for doing), we don't see him do anything especially obnoxious; his behavior is unwise, perhaps, but it doesn't exactly scream "Jerk Ass". And he can't really be blamed for the Toclafane invasion, which would have happened regardless of how he reacted to the situation.
    • One does briefly see him taking the operation from Saxon himself to making it a UNIT based operation, i.e. the right thing. Later you do see him in the background telling people his seal of office must be on the paperwork, not the U Ns. It's a bit of give and take.
    • At the time he was written (and to an extent today, although from what I can tell not quite as much since George W. Bush handed over to Barack Obama), American politicians weren't very popular in Britain thanks to the overwhelming perception (which, however true it may be, is probably something we don't need to go into too much) that the 'Special Relationship' between America and the UK consisted primarily of America bullying the UK into doing what it wanted and following it's lead. It's probably something to do with that.
    • A better question might be this: if President Winters had been any other nationality (but otherwise remained the same in terms of his behavior), would the character have been perceived any differently?
    • Small point; he's not the only victim of the Toclafene to stay dead; I seem to recall a bunch of people disappeared from the Valiant between The Sound of the Drums and The Last of the Time Lords. Since those inside the ship were not affected by the time reversal, they'd still be dead (I can't see what else could have happened to them). Even if I'm wrong on that, there's still the journalist who was killed earlier. Just because it's noted that he's not come back, it doesn't mean there aren't others who are still dead.
  • So, the Master uses his screwdriver to age the Doctor by 100 years. It would've made sense if the Doctor were human. But the Doctor is a Time Lord and shouldn't have aged that visibly. To compare, during series 6, we see the Eleventh Doctor age from 900 to 1100, but he still looks young.
    • Perhaps the Eleventh Doctor simply ages better than the Tenth Doctor?
    • Keep in mind, though, that the Master is aging the Doctor while also inhibiting his regenerative abilities at the same time — it's possible that the Doctor remaining youthful-looking despite living (from a human perspective) a phenomenal amount of time is connected to the fact that his cells are able to regenerate?
    • I think that the Master was ageing the Doctor to what he'd look like as a human.

  • What possible in-universe reason is there for the Yana-You Are Not Alone connection? Dismissing pure coincidence (which it probably isn't, given how the episode took care to point it out so clearly), I can think of three broad explanations: 1) The Master deliberately picked the name to match that acronym. Why would he do that? 2) The Face of Boe was aware of the name, and decided to give the Doctor an incredibly vague hint towards the Master's identity. How did it know that? Why not tell about it more directly? 3) The connection is due to a third factor, such as some superior force directing events to make such connections. If you go with that explanation, well, anything goes.
    • Considering who the Face of Boe is, he probably did do it deliberately, knowing he couldn't give any more of a hint because the Doctor didn't know about Yana until he learnt about the watch. Maybe the Doctor even told him what to say, to keep the timeline together. It was awfully convenient that the letters could be used in that way - there can't be many names which you could make an appropriate statement out of - but it's just about believable. There wasn't really a need for it though, we'd have got the point.
  • Why didn't the Facility Guards just kill the cannibals on sight? If they could shoot at their feet, what stopped them from just killing them and potentially making life easier for any remaining stragglers? To say nothing of discouraging them from trying to break in.
    • Who's to say they normally don't? They might have just missed, or not had the time to line up kill shots and get everyone to safety at that particular moment.
  • The Doctor's stated reason for not being able to undo the changes to the TARDIS until he knew what the paradox machine was for in The Sound of Drums was "Touch the wrong bit, blow up the solar system." So far, so reasonable. But then Jack deals with the machine by shooting the central column/console in the denouement of The Last of the Time Lords. What happened there?
    • Probably just the Doctor being overly cautious.

Doctor Who Series 2Headscratchers/Live-Action TVDoctor Who Series 4

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
98976
34