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Headscratchers: Doctor Who Series 4
WARNING! THERE MAY BE UNMARKED SPOILERS!

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    Time Crash 
  • The Tenth Doctor remembers the exact instructions that he told himself as the Fifth Doctor, but doesn't remember that the Master will return?
    • Because he never told himself the exact time-frame, because the instructions "The Master has come back from being dead", is about as useful to the Doctor as Joker back from the dead is to Batman, plus Timey Wimey, Wibbley Wobbly.
      • 10 said that it was recent, so if 5 remembers all of it until he's 10, he should remember that. Therefor, he should be on guard and should have easily believe Boe when he told him he wasn't alone. Perhaps 8 assumed the Time War would prevent it.
    • Maybe he did remember. When The Doctor found out that Yana may be a time lord, he seemed very quick (to me, at least) to start worrying that it was the Master.
      • Plausible, but it could also simply be that there aren't that many other candidates for 'Time Lords who are likely to survive the Time War' other than the Master and himself.
    • The Fifth Doctor simply prioritized what he remembered. The instructions on how to stop the TARDIS from exploding, killing him (twice), blowing a hole the size of Belgium in the universe and, no doubt, doing an incredible amount of damage in the process are something important that he has to make sure he remembers. The discussion about the Master coming back, however, is an off-the-cuff comment delivered as part of a casual conversation when everything's chilled out a bit and isn't stressed by the Tenth Doctor in any manner that gives it any particular importance (It's more "Oh, and the Master came back" rather than "Remember this: the Master will return."). Since, as noted above, the Master coming back from the dead was at this point in the Fifth Doctor's life something that seemed to happen every Tuesday, he just assumed it was a 'same-old same-old' sort of thing and didn't attribute it any particular significance and importance. In the, what, hundreds of years between the two, he made sure to remember the first bit but the second bit simply slipped from his memory.
    • Maybe 5 remembered 10 saying that The Master would come back, but when he dealt with the Master as 6-8 he just figured that that's what he was talking about as 10.
    • I' not entirely sure, but I think some of the older multi-doctor stories mention that the time differential (or other technobabble) blocks their memories when the event isn't in progress. I.e. Ten didn't remember seeing himself as Five until their TARDI Ses collided. Presumably, he didn't remember it as soon as the event was over.
  • How come the Fifth Doctor looks / will look older?
    • Davison looks pretty well-preserved in the publicity shots that have been released thus far, so it probably won't even be a problem.
    • Just last week he stared into the heart of the time vortex and aged 57 years.
    • The scene is called "Time Crash", so expect some time-twisting techno-babble. I'm still gutted that they're doing this as a charity "scene" rather than a big two-part episode, mind you.
    • It was hand-waved away with some techno-babble about time differentials sorting themselves out. And, yes, I know how incredibly geeky it is to be on here five minutes after it ended.
      • Specifically, Tennant had a line about the two of them being in one place "shorting out the differential" or some such.
    • For what it's worth, the Big Finish miniseries "Excelis" (A multi-Doctor, Benny, and Iris Wildthyme story with Tony Head they put together to give fans who refused to accept the movie into continuity something to do while they debuted their Eighth Doctor line) is set, in its first part, just after the events of "The Five Doctors", and has the Fifth Doctor incredibly disturbed and creeped out by the fact that the former selves he's just met all seemed noticeably older.
      • Another possible explanation was offered in a short text story, also starring Iris Wildthyme in which the Eighth Doctor notes that he now has memories of his past incarnations that weren't there before. This also explains why the Doctor's age keeps fluctuating...his own timeline is constantly changing

  • Here's a sort of retroactive one. Why doesn't the Ninth Doctor know what he will regenerate into? He met the Tenth Doctor back when he was the Fifth Doctor. Or does it mean he did know and was just listing completely hypothetical effects of regeneration to Rose?
    • He only knows he's met one of his future selves. He doesn't know where in his personal chronology that self will fall.
    • Plus the Time War and circumstances mean he might have forgotten. Like the Tenth Doctor not knowing he'll meet the Fifth.
    • Also Timey-Wimey Ball.
      • Actually, while the events of The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors may have been erased, Ten explicitly solves the plot of Time Crash through a time loop of Five telling him how to solve the Belgium hole. (see below)
      • Why would the events of "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors" have been erased?

  • Five and Ten meet up, and Ten saves both their TARDISes by doing what he remembers seeing Ten do when he was Five. And he tells Five to remember what he saw so that he'll be able to do it when he's Ten. The gist of it is that Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and pre-"Time Crash" Ten remembered the exchange from Five's perspective. Now the conversation ends with Ten telling Five that he had just fought the Master. So why do Nine and the earlier version of Ten think they are (or I guess he is) the Last of the Time Lords? And why is the Doctor taken completely by surprise by the fact that the Master survived the Time War when he remembers telling himself about it?
    • It's an offhand comment in a brief conversation seconds before the Fifth Doctor returns to his own part of the timeline, and there's hundreds of years between Five and Ten. Chances are, he just forgot that part of the exchange.
    • It's possible that when Five became Eight and fought in the Time War, he figured that the war was so big that it caused a few paradoxes. Specifically, he didn't ever expect to experience Time Crash as Ten, because that Ten had just fought the Master, but obviously all the Time Lords died in the war, so obviously that could never happen. It's only when the Time Crash actually occurs that he (as Ten) realizes that no paradox has erased the event.

  • Ten mentioned just prior to this special that Time Lords can sense each other. How exactly, then, did Five not immediately recognize Ten as both a Time Lord and a future version of himself?
    • While I agree that the Fifth Doctor did seem unusually dense at that point, presumably the 'Time Lords can sense each other' thing is more applicable to other Time Lords rather than different versions of the same Time Lord. Given how even for Time Lords crossing over your timeline and meeting another version of yourself is something that happened incredibly rarely, isn't really supposed to happen and (from what we've previously seen) mostly under specially arranged circumstances, there's probably a lot of Timey-Wimey Ball effects that screw around with things like that, and the effects are probably exacerbated when there's a good chance the future self you're encountering will look drastically different from you.

    Voyage of the Damned 
  • Mrs. Van Hoff reveals that she spent five thousand credits on a competition hotline to get the tickets for the Titanic, to which her husband responds "We'll never make that back in twenty years!". But at the end of the episodes, the Doctor tells Mr Copper that a million pounds is equal to fifty million credits. So the wife spent... what, a hundred pounds? That's a lot for a phone bill, yes, but they'd make that back in a month at the outside. It just annoys me that Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale with regard to economics, either.
    • Also, that would mean that an individual phone-call to a competition hotline cost... 2p?
    • I can't remember the episode or whether this was specified, but maybe they were unemployed or on support benefits? Or had a very low income?
    • One word: deflation. My guess is that money is much more valuable in their world, and one hundred pounds was worth as much as it was a couple of centuries back.
    • It's possible that Mr. Copper (the old man) and the couple were from different countries where the value of credits were different. On Earth for instance we have American Dollars and Australian Dollars with different exchange rates. And it is possible for ridiculously different rates to be present on the same planet (compare the Cypriot Pound (around £1=0.89p) to the Turkish Old Lira (around £1=2000000 Lira prior to the change to New Lira).
      • Or to extend it further, perhaps even planets; if we assume 'credits' to be a planetary or galactic term of use, then exchange rates must surely vary from planet to planet.
      • Mr. Copper and the van Hoffs are almost certainly from the same planet.
    • Perhaps Mr. Van Hoff was simply exaggerating to make the point that he was aghast and annoyed with his wife spending a vast amount of money that on a low income it would take some time to make back; especially since the luxury cruise ended with them struggling for their lives.
    • I think that maybe he meant they'd never make those savings back in twenty years (with a little exaggeration), since they're on a shoestring as it is (with low pay and high food budget) and would no more than break even after twenty years or more unless they seriously cut back on everything but the absolute necessities, plus previously-agreed to contracts such as the mortgage/rent. Alternately, Fridge Brilliance: Fore Shadowing. Alternately alternately: The Doctor was wrong, and mixed up his decimals. The steward could not only afford a house, with a yard, and a [[Mondegreen dog/door]] plus living far more than comfortably for the rest of his life however long it is, he could afford a semitropical island, with a police force and canine unit plus opulent luxuries without matter to cost.
      • Alternately alternately alternately; the Doctor knew all along, but considering his next reaction to Mr. Cooper's windfall was to tell him not to get up to any trouble that the Doctor would have to sort out and just to have a nice quiet life, he decided to limit the possibility of Mr. Cooper getting tempted to become some kind of tropical dictator by understating the amount available to him; Mr. Cooper clearly didn't know the difference anyway, and when he revealed his actually rather humble aspirations the Doctor just decided to let it lie.

  • So it's revealed that the Heavenly Hosts' primary goals are blocked, if only temporarily, by 'Override One'. This allows the person to ask three questions (no matter whether it's directed towards the Hosts), before their primary mechanisms take precedent. What would have happened if the Doctor had said 'Security Override One' - then left without asking those questions?
    • My guess is that there's also a time limit on Override One - perhaps five minutes or so - since when Override One was actually coded that would probably have been considered.
    • Why wasn't his first question "What is your shut down command?" Never mind that the answer would probably have been "Information: No such command exists" or "Information: I'm not telling you" it's a still a valid question, particularly from the in-universe perspective of them being robots that you just triggered an override on by voice alone and you don't know there's still 20 minutes to go in this episode.
      • The Doctor knows that someone has intentionally smashed very large rocks into the Titanic. He figures that the same someone has reprogrammed the Hosts to kill everyone. He wants to find that someone, and explain to them that smashing very large rocks into space cruise liners is not a good thing to do when the Doctor's around. Thus, he leaves the Hosts on in order to gather the necessary information and find said someone.
      • As for why he doesn't ask "what is your shut-down command?", he figures that whoever's programmed the robots has also programmed them not to respond to such a blindingly obvious question and decides not to waste either his question (of which he only has three) or his time in asking it just to get an answer he already expects. It might be a valid question, but that doesn't mean it probably wouldn't be stupid to ask it.

  • If the human race doesn't start exploring the rest of the galaxy (never mind living there) until the time of Adelaide's granddaughter then how in the world could humanity have built the space Titanic and had it almost crash in 2008? I don't think we hear anything about it being a time-traveling ship. Did humanity happen to coincidentally evolve on two different planets far away from each other and one of them discovered the rest of the universe before the second one?
    • Humans didn't build any such thing. It was built by a race of Human Aliens, and hardly the only ones; most are from the classic series, granted, but the Time Lords blend into human society just fine, noting that humans look Time Lord rather than the other way around. I think it's stated (in the Expanded Universe) that the Time Lords caused the humanoid template to spread across many sentient races. The Titanic's passengers hail from the planet Sto, and lived far away enough that most didn't know anything about the Earth.

  • So the hosts are loyal to Max Capricorn, but once Capricorn is dead they switch their allegiance to...the Doctor? Why? He makes some reference about being the "highest authority" sans Max, but it's not really explained. If anything, Alonzo should be in charge now, because he's actually a crewman.
    • Alonzo's not actually there, though.

    Partners in Crime 
  • I've been able to excuse this question in almost every other episode of the new series, but in Partners in Crime why the hell did Miss Foster choose to infiltrate London? Why the hell not, I don't know, Birmingham? Or Jackson? The only reason I can think of Miss Foster didn't go to America is because there would be more chance of that if someone saw a little Adipose they'd just shoot the varmint. Plus, is it really a good idea to infiltrate a city that's already been attacked by aliens half a dozen times in the past two years and who's people probably lost at least part of their amazing capacity for self-deception?
    • Didn't you know? Earth is only London. And Cardiff.
    • Because the Doctor will hunt her down and kick her ass wherever she goes. She might as well go with tradition.
    • According to a later episode, Miss Foster DID go to America after the Doctor died, in an alternative timeline. That's likely because London was a radioactive wasteland due to the Titanic crashing onto it.
    • Maybe London's the only place that has decent info available to the cosmos, considering how everyone else and their dog has tried to invade it at some point or another. Or maybe it was just a testing ground- First get off a smaller area, then go on to America for mass baby production.

  • Something always bothered me about this episode - is Miss Foster meant to be a villain? Because, really, all she wants is to convert babies from fat. Humans don't want fat; The Adipose want babies, so win-win. In fact all the bad events of the episode are the fault of the Doctor- if he and Donna hadn't stuck their noses in, Miss Foster wouldn't have had to use full conversion, and left after getting enough babies from the 1kg-a-week plan. The first death is actually caused by Donna fiddling with someone's pendant, and Miss Foster was killed because the Adipose got scared because they knew The Doctor found out about it; again, if they'd kept out of it, humanity would be fitter, and the Adipose get their babies, everybody wins.
    • The very fact that she decided to use full conversion in the first place rather than, say, abort the current plan in favor of one less lethal to the native population of the planet she was on, suggests that Miss Foster is at the very least a raging sociopath.
    • Plus, the first death was very much premeditated murder on Miss Foster's part. When Donna fiddled with the pendant, the woman produced one Adipoe and was appropriately terrified but otherwise unharmed - and then Miss Foster stated the Adipoe has been sighted and ordered for a full conversion. Regardless of whether or not Donna did something wrong, Miss Foster was the one who mass-distributed those pendants and then her response to someone witnessing an extra Adipoe was to kill that someone. Now that I think about it, Doctor Who has a lot of episodes where the villains don't go out of their way to be evil, just have a complete disregard for (human) life.
    • I might be wrong, but in the episode, didn't the Doctor say something about how what she was doing was illegal on Earth due to the state of humanity and their relationship (or lack of one) with the rest of the universe.
  • Why didn't anybody just ask the humans? If they'd given the humans a full explanation of what they were doing, people probably would still have gone along with it without any need for secrecy or killing people.
  • Why throw away a perfectly good sonic pen?

    The Fires of Pompeii 
  • I understand the Doctor not wanting (well, that's not quite the right word...understanding he can't?) to save Pompeii. My problem with this is just that all he tells Donna is that it's a fixed point. He's seen the effects of saving one ordinary man, namely space bacteria that nearly wipe out the human race. Why doesn't he tell Donna something like "I get that you want to save them, but we CAN'T, last time I took someone back in time and she tried to save someone who died, humanity was nearly destroyed, so imagine what could happen here"? Sure, with Donna's personality, it might not entirely work, but it's still better than nothing, right?
    • Donna would have kept insisting, saying stuff like "But there were survivors of Pompeii, Doctor! You can't just leave them all. Please, just save one family! Just one!" In any case, the Doctor would've saved that family anyway...
    • I believe that it's literal. It literally can't be changed, and Pompeii must die one way or another as a rule of time, similar to Adelaide's death in "The Waters of Mars". The Pyrovile cult's soothsaying abilities is even powered by a paradox, or something like that.

  • Rose saves her dad, and we all get attacked by Clock Roaches. The Doctor saves a family from Pompeii, an event he's specifically established as being unchangeable, and there are no negative consequences.
    • Timey-Wimey Ball. It probably helps that the Pompeii family has no direction to the Doctor or Donna, so we avoid the whole "changing your own time line" bit. Also the deal with Rose's dad involved duplicate Doctors and Roses co-existing, which helped to weaken the fabric of time.
    • Rose's dad surviving created a paradox - the TARDIS didn't end up there by chance, and in a timeline where Pete didn't die Rose would have no reason to go to that street corner on that exact day. So Pete would die. And Rose would save him. So then she wouldn't go there, so she couldn't save him, etc... there's no such problem with the Pompeii family.
      • It's actually a DOUBLE paradox: Rose only wanted to go back and try again after the first time because she blew her chance. Having just watched herself save her father she's now got no reason to try again. When the 'past' Doctor and Rose, look at each other and then simply blink out of existence, it's pretty clear there's some seriously bad temporal mojo happening. The third paradox, Rose holding herself, is a much weaker one, because it entirely depends on the first to be a Paradox: Rose can't hold herself if she never traveled back to that day, otherwise it's well within timey wimey ball territory(although there is the hinted-at but unmentioned Blinovitch Limitation Effect, but that's not really a paradox). Interestingly, all three could be repaired with a working time machine with minimal rewrites: the first two could easily be rewritten as ontological paradoxes(which are stable in the Whoniverse per Blink). Give her a motivation to specifically go to that day (which she probably wouldn't know was special without her father dying), then, after she and the doctor watch her save her father, have her loop back around again to do the saving part. With the first paradox fixed, the third ceases to be a paradox(but still might cause Bad Things per the aforementioned Blinovitch Limitation Effect). He actually COULD have fixed it if he'd managed to get into the TARDIS!
    • Stable Time Loop: If it's a fixed point and cannot be changed, that means that everything that happened in that episode is how it was supposed to happen. The Tenth Doctor was always there, always threw the switch, and always saved the family. He didn't change anything.

    Planet of the Ood 
  • Okay, we find out that Ood have three brains: their regular brain, hind-brain and a giant Hive Mind brain. A few headscratchers come to mind. First, hind brains apparently are held in their hands and connected via those tubes. In that case, wouldn't Ood end up having their hind brains lost in an accident, destroyed by weather or mishandled?("Oops, I tripped and squished my hind brain. I feel odd.") Secondly, how can the giant Ood brain send a signal throughout the three galaxies? It's a biological phenomenon, and I doubt it could send FTL messages by its own accord. It would take years before reaching the nearest star system.
    • The first is acknowledged to be a problem and part of why the Ood evolved to be so peaceful and trusting; they can't afford to risk it. As for the second, psychic-ness doesn't need to match up with science.
      • The Oods still need the Ood Brain to think, so Halpen would've needed to augment the main Ood Brain with FTL-otherwise he couldn't export them.
    • A similar Hive Mind concept shows up in Ender's Game. The general explanation is that thought can, indeed, travel faster than light.

    The Doctor's Daughter 
  • Why the Hell did Martha leave at the end?
    • She never wanted to go with the Doctor in the first place — the TARDIS door locked before she could exit it.
    • She's got a career, a family to be part of, and she knows traveling with the Doctor isn't healthy for her, no matter how much fun it can be.
    • On top of that, she's also got a soon-to-be husband now, and is no longer in love with the Doctor as she was before.
    • On top of all that did the first guy miss the point of her departure at the end of "Last of the Time Lords"?

  • I can guess why (Rule Of Sexy), but the cloning machine sticking everyone else in drab fatigues.
    • They possibly all come out pretty, but become drab after a few hours of fighting.

  • In The Doctor's Daughter everyone except the main cast are "Children Of The Machine", and their entire mythology is "Chinese whispers passed down the generations". The kicker is that it's been 7 days since they started using the machines to breed the armies and have had thousands of generations in 7 days. For this to work out, the original crew and at least the entire first half of the generations must have been killed. The background PA system says, "Generation 6671: Extinct" indicating that the first 6000 or so generations have been completely killed off. This is all supported by the fact that all of the human soldiers, except for General Cobb, are very young. So why the hell is General Cobb so old? Even if he were from an early generation, he'd be 7 days old, and so should appear no older than Jenny! I can only think of two explanations: 1) He's from the original crew, and is playing the mythology to the soldiers even though he knows full well what the "Source" is. 2) He's from somewhere in generation 6,000, and being copies of copies of copies (times 6,000) means that he's aged 30 years in 2 days, which leaves little hope for the colony.
    • I always assumed Cobb was one of the original crew who lost his mind when everyone around him died and adopted the "General" persona to cope. He pretended to be one of the clones because that was easier then remembering his entire life being destroyed. Alternatively, the cloning machines, once turned to "Make a huge army" mode, would occasionally create a general unit. Since people are created so quickly they may not have time to be introduced. By making the "General" an old man, it's easier for people to identify him as leader.
    • Easy answer: why are you assuming a day on whatever planet they were on is the same length as an Earth Day?
      • Because they mention (and it is important plot-wise) that they're using the New Byzantine calender?
    • My assumption was always that the new clone soldiers were physically the same age as their "parents", so Cobb happened to be descended from an older original crew member. The reason there were so many younger soldiers is that the younger ones did better in battle and thus survived a little longer to produce more copies, whilst the older ones were killed off more quickly and thus their numbers diminished. Sort of, natural selection with age treated like any other physical characteristic.
    • Didn't you notice that Jenny, despite being two minutes old, has the body (and mind) of a 19-year-old? Obviously the machine speeds up the aging process so they don't have a bunch of babies to take care of. Once we realize that, we can easily explain Cobb's apparent age: When the machine created Cobb, there was a brief malfunction and the super-aging process went on too long, so Cobb came out looking old.
  • Half the soldiers were male! Women have XX chromosomes; men have XY. Thus, if you were to clone a person by taking their DNA and "mixing it up a bit", a female parent will always produce a female offspring (because all you have to work with are X's), while a male parent will produce a male half the time, a female a quarter of the time, and "miscarry" the rest of the time (since this quarter consists of YY pairings, which won't make it past the zygotic stage. You need an X to exist. But we'll assume the machine knows this and avoids pairing Y's, so it's producing boys 2/3 of the time and girls 1/3 of the time.) So for a starting population of 100 men and 100 women, the first generation of clones will have around 67 men and 133 women, the second will have 45 men and 155 women, the third will have 30 men and 170 women... you can see what's going to happen by the time we get to generation 6000. This whole scenario can easily be avoided, of course, if you simply program the machine to always produce male offspring from male parents... but we know it doesn't, because the Doctor produces a daughter!
    • Perhaps, Time Lords have a non-genetic sex-determination system.
      • Perhaps. But in that case, somebody should have been surprised to see a female emerge from the machine, since it's not obvious he's not human. But they just calmly handed her a gun and let her get on with things.
      • Now that I think about it, however, I've realized that that method of cloning won't work unless you're careful to preserve the sex chromosome combinations, since pairing an X with a copy of itself won't work; your chromosomes are marked as being either from your mother or your father, and you need both types to develop. Two father or two mother chromosomes will be just as effective as two Y's. Therefore, they have to always produce males from male parents. But the Doctor still screws it up!
      • Again this could be explained by the fact that the Doctor isn't human. How do know that timelords have chromosomes that work the same way ours do?
    • Maybe they were just as (or almost as) cool with "alternate" sexual stuff and whatnot as 51st-century humans had been, would be, or were, and assumed that the Doctor was a transvestite, transgender, or transsexual? Especially since surgical processes would also explain why they went from being light brown to blonde, since a Punnet square doesn't work if there's only one dimension to it instead of two. You just wouldn't notice since it's considered perfectly normal to them (and not in a condescending way like in some time periods), and they're in the middle of a war so everyone's in battle gear and not allowed to snog.
    • Maybe the machine does something similar to taking your own DNA and swapping it around, but that's not exactly what it does. So it makes a few adjustments along the way to avoid crippling genetic defects etc., and it's also capable of producing any gender from any gender. (Probably it picks one or the other at random.) This, incidentally, explains how Jenny can be based off the Doctor without having his regeneration power (well, not entirely); that particular bit was overwritten by the machine (which naturally hasn't been calibrated for Time Lords).
    • Since Time Lords can regenerate both as male or female, depending on their will, I don't think it would have been a match that close to ours.

  • I've heard this both ways: Did Jenny regenerate from latent Time Lord energy or was it something to do with the Source?
    • According to the Time Traveler's Almanac, it was the Source that did it. But that might be contradicted later.
      • Well, doesn't TV canon trump the Almanac? She was still in the first 15 hours into her regeneration cycle, so she should be able to shake the bullet off, her father did grow a new hand, and his hand grew another human being, according to that rule! Of course The Doctor was too distraught to think about -that-. What I don't understand is how could he think she'd die with just one bullet to one of her hearts. She did have two, after all. It's clear during the previous finale that The Master just died because he wanted to. Oh, well...
      • You can die from getting shot through a lung, even though you have two lungs. The bullet can cause other damage along the way, and it all adds up until you die. The Doctor figured that Jenny was dying through a similar process. And he really didn't expect Jenny to have regeneration powers after that first minute of being dead.
      • They have two hearts because they NEED two hearts. For whatever reason. It's not like she's human and has an extra, spare heart in case anything goes wrong with he first. They use both hearts.
      • Although "The Shakespeare Code" shows that a Time Lord CAN survive with one heart disabled, he just can't really function.
    • I thought it was pretty obvious the gas inside the Source healed him. We don't see the sort of effects that happen when the Doctor regenerates, nor does Jenny get a new face and body. The hand thing is different, because when it was cut off, the Doctor didn't die; there's no evidence that during the first 15 hours of the regeneration cycle a Time Lord can shake off a fatal injury without regenerating again. Also, the whole "first 15 hours" rule might not even apply to Jenny's situation, because she wasn't born by regeneration rather than by cloning. On the other hand, what we did see was some gas that looked exactly like the gas inside the Source coming out of her lungs, so the implication was clearly that the Source healed her.

    The Unicorn and the Wasp 
  • Alright, let me get this straight: an Englishwoman got pregnant from her relationship with a shape-shifting space wasp. While the shape-shifting prevents Hot Human on Space Wasp Action, but it doesn't explain how they produced a kid. Especially considering there's no implication of highly advanced breeding tech, but just your standard dancing.
    • I'm pretty sure the Doctor Who Universe has made inter-species offspring canonical. Granted that was in the year 5 billion rather than the 1880s. Though if they can shape-shift into a human (not just a perception filter or a gas exchange skin-suit, but actively changing the physiology back and forth), would it not be too far off to have human reproductive organs too?
    • Alternatively, the Vespiforms can change their species to be genetically compatible. The Firestone could've function as a way of turning the child into a Vespiform, though Christopher was a nice guy and probably would've talked about it with Lady Edison.

    Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead 
  • In "Silence in the Library" the Doctor makes this huge deal about most creatures being afraid of the dark and it's supposed to be all ominous sounding and what not. But don't most animals thrive in the dark (predators, many insects, badgers, &c.)? It would seem unlikely then that in all of the cosmos such a vast majority were afraid of the dark, would it not?
    • Presumably, for nocturnal species, the fear is more about the unknown things in the dark, rather than the darkness itself.
    • The Doctor was just wrong about it. He is on occasion, you know. He took the Human/Gallifreyan fear of the dark and extrapolated from there to all life in the universe— a logical fallacy that many people fall into in Real Life too.
      • I'd considered that myself at the time. It just seems rather odd that an incorrect theory had a whole two-parter episode dedicated to justifying it (generally, if Doctor's wrong, he gets proven wrong).
      • I don't think that episode was so much about whether the Doctor was right or wrong, as it was about how incredibly broken he was. Also, establishing River Song.
    • There's an implicit restriction to sentient creatures. You can't have irrational fears if you're not a rational, reasoning, being. Besides, in a universe where any random shadow could potentially strip you to the bone, nocturnal creatures would be rarer, and much more wary.
    • Do most animals thrive in the dark? Sure, there are plenty of nocturnal creatures, but I'm pretty sure they're in the minority.
      • Hell, the mere existence of the Vashta Narada probably prevents the existence of sentient nocturnal life, with only a few exceptions.
    • In a universe where any shadow can strip you to the bone, fear of the dark is perfectly rational.
      • It's irrational if you don't know why you're afraid of the dark, though.
  • In Silence in the Library Donna's stuck in the computer world, with simulations of children. There's only one male and one female model of each. This only makes sense if every person with simulated children is white (or unless all the black people have simulated adoptions, or other unlikely scenarios).
    • It probably just didn't include them. The world seemed to work on dream logic, with each "on camera" scene being a real moment, and the others just kind of added by your subconscious.
    • You're talking about a computer simulation in which the inhabitants are reprogrammed not to notice anything wrong with it.

  • In 'Silence in the Library' and 'Forest of the Dead' it turns out that the huge computer at the core of the planet saved everyone to disk before they could be eaten by Vashta Nerada and this time, for once, Everybody Lives. But if the Vashta Nerada never managed to kill anyone, then how did anyone know that they were so damn dangerous? Although, admittedly, that information was probably in the Library somewhere... I don't think this would scratch my head so much if the Apocalyptic Log the Doctor and Donna found at the beginning of the story hadn't sounded so terrified. And if the library staff knew what the Vashta Nerada were, and they had time to send out a distress call telling people never to come back to that planet... then why didn't they state exactly what the problem was?
    • Also: Vashta Nerada feed on meat. The "planet" has been sealed for a century with all sources of meat beamed away. How have the Vashta Nerada survived so long without any food? Have they been feeding on each other?
      • Perhaps, they enter a dormant state when their isn't enough food.
    • Presumably the VN pigged out so sneakily and quickly, leaving nothing but bones, that the survivors who transmitted the warning didn't know what was stalking them. This is the Whoniverse: there's bound to be a lot more possible suspects than just the Vashta Nerada, that could've been killing people and leaving skeletons behind.
    • I just realized...They say that the amount of people saved was exactly the number of people in the library that day, but how on earth did that message the Doctor and Donna heard have something going "arg, slick, snarg"? And how could everyone outrun shadows in a library?
      • Data ghosts, maybe? Just 'cause the Vashta Nerada got them, doesn't necessarily mean that they couldn't be "saved". Look at Miss Evangelista.
      • I think you're thinking of two different forms of "saved". The library patrons that were saved were teleported back in the 51st century. Miss Evangelista, River, and the rest can't do any such thing.

  • I can't believe no one's mentioned this. How is it that, in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, River Song seems to recognize The Doctor on sight - even commenting on how young he looks, compared to her memories, which implies that she's met this incarnation before - but David Tennant won't be returning for the next season? There's never a point at which River Song and this incarnation of the Doctor can be together!
    • There's no reason the Doctor can't have a hoard of adventures off-screen, especially when traveling without companions. Such as, say, between the end of the last season and the most recent Christmas special?
    • Two of these are even explicitly stated: Traveling to China just before The Long Game and Woman Wept.
      • ?????????? That's physically impossible. The Long Game quite clearly follows directly on from "Dalek". The nearest I can think of was Kyoto before Bad Wolf.
      • Well, of course. It just seems lazy; all this development of the character of River Song, the mystery with the other sonic screwdriver, the tension of the non-relationship, and we never get to see any of the backstory on-screen. I mean, the Doctor River Song knows is completely different from the Doctor we know. He keeps entries in that journal, he has an entirely different sonic screwdriver, and he can open the Tardis with a click of the fingers. Admittedly that last one is easily explained as a stable time-loop; the Doctor does it because River told him he could, she knew that he could because he'd done it before... but that doesn't even begin to explain all the other little bits and pieces. Unless we accept that the Doctor is going to fly around for who knows how many years, companionless, off-screen, dabbling with River Song. It just seems lazy.
      • Doctor Who has always been big on implicit backstory. It's nothing to do with laziness, it's just mystery, and fodder for the imagination. We're nearly half a century in to the show's run, and we still don't know the title character's name. One reason I dislike most of the Doctor Who EU is that it tries way too hard to fill in the mysteries for the sake of doing so. In addition, The Doctor doesn't have to drift companionless for years; the whole episode implies that River, unlike any other companion, experiences the Doctor's life in random bursts, rather than a contiguous period. She could even have adventured with him while he was with other companions. I've no doubt the EU (my disdain for it aside) will pick up on her story at some point, if the complete picture is more to your tastes.
      • Further to the chap above me's post - I actually really like the idea that the Doctor has loads of adventures off screen. One of the minor niggly issues I have with the new series is how so many episodes take place directly after the previous one, which takes a bit of the mystery out - the idea that we're only seeing a small selection of adventures (albeit the most important ones) works great.
      • Remember the line "Judging by the face, it's early days." She knows the Tenth Doctor and at least one subsequent Doctor.
      • Actually, no. "The Time of Angels" states that she knows all of the Doctor's faces, but not the order. She could mean his facial expression.
      • If we accept that they may have interacted at least once or twice off screen between that time and his next regeneration, it could be that she remembers Ten as the one that is still trying to figure out what's going on with her - it must be early days, because the only other time/times she's seen this face, he explicitly told her that he'd only seen her once or twice before.
      • Considering that two parter was written by Stephen Moffat, who will be taking over the show when the next doctor is adventuring, I would have thought it'd be picked up at some point on-screen. I wouldn't have thought he would bother having River Song be such an important character if she'd never show up again. She's clearly more than a bog standard companion, since she knows his name, so we more or less have to see her again.
      • Maybe she just took a guess? I mean, she and her crew enter in spacesuits to find a man in trench coat and blue suit, and a strange woman just standing there, when there was no way for them to be there at all. She expected the Doctor to be there to help and probably just assumed it was him. Up until she realized it was a very early version of the Doctor, she likely just assumed it was a new regeneration. Hell, considering how well she seemed to know him, it's possible that he showed her a way to recognize him even in a new (or as the case was old) regeneration.
    • Explained in "The Time of Angels" — it's revealed that the Doctor will at some point provide River Song with a 'spotter's guide' of what he used to look like in order to enable her to recognize him in his different incarnations. Presumably he either didn't mention or she forgot which one he was wearing the first time they met.
      • That explains things a little, but it still doesn't explain why she didn't realize that the version of the Doctor she was talking to wouldn't recognize her, especially if the Doctor she met had shown him what his past selves looked like, but then again, maybe he had reasons not to mention it considering what he knew about her ultimate fate.
      • Anachronic Order people.
      • Now that we know what River is, isn't it possible that she just recognizes the Doctor regardless of regeneration and just made the "Spotter's Guide" thing up to conceal her identity?
      • Because she's part Time Lord? But in that case wouldn't the Doctor look at her and see her Time Lord aspect even if he didn't know who she was?
      • Yeah, that is strange, I admit, but in Series 3, the Doctor recognized the Master even though he hasn't met him in that regeneration, and he also says that a Time Lord always recognizes another one. Maybe a Time Lord is only able to connect the regenerations to a single person, but does not actually see that someone has Time Lord aspect, so they need t know at least two regenerations to know someone's a Time Lord. Probably wouldn't make much sense, but otherwise, there is a plothole.
      • And that theory wouldn't work out either, since we saw a girl regenerate who was possibly River and the Doctor saw her, didn't he? But then maybe a Time Lord only recognizes a "pure" Time Lord, or I really don't know how the Doctor didn't know that River's part Time Lord.
      • A DNA scanner needed a closer inspection to tell that River was part Time Lord. On first inspection, she seemed human.
      • For all intents and purposes, she's fully human with some Time Lord tendencies.
    • Anyway, they can still meet on an special, I'd bet they'll meet in the 50 year special.
      • They already did the Crash of the Byzantium in The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, but they still have to do the picnic at Asgard, and her last appearance in the Doctor's timeline will be at the Singing Towers.

  • In Silence in the Library, why is the Doctor so surprised by the count of a trillion ("million million") lifeforms? He's probably got more lifeforms than that in his colon!
    • Obviously the scanner doesn't count bacteria etc.. Otherwise having such a scanner would be utterly pointless.

  • When The Library fell to the Vasta Nerada, there were only 4,022 on the planet. Isn't that an incredibly small number for a library the size of a planet? There should be more staff than that (and there's no sign that it's all automated). It could be considered a commentary on how people have stopped caring about libraries, but the Doctor makes it clear that even in that era people love books. So why so few visitors that day?

  • Rewatching the episodes, something occurred to me. River says that judging from the Doctor's face, it must be early days for them. This implies that she knows that this is the earliest incarnation of the Doctor she ever met. So, she knows that this one came before Eleven. So why does she ask if he's done the Crash of the Byzantium yet? Of course he hasn't! She also mentions a picnic. Now, it's possible that Ten could have taken her for a picnic off-screen; I actually subscribe to the theory that they did meet a few times before his regeneration, because when Eleven met her for the first time, he seemed to have grown more used to the situation. However, he did not seem happy with it, and I have a hard time believing that they had had friendly picnics before this. Basically; why is River asking if the Doctor has done stuff yet, when clearly he couldn't possibly have done those things?
    • At first she just assumes it's a new regeneration, which is why she was confused as to why he was pretending he didn't know her, and he doesn't really answer her. She then flips through her journal naming events that he doesn't remember before it finally dawns on her that he doesn't remember her at all.
      • Part of it might be the fact that the coming of that meeting, when the Doctor had never met her before, was one of her worst fears. She didn't want it to be true, so she was grasping for anything that would provide some other explanation.
      • But she says the early days line before she starts listing off events, and she seems pretty calm and oblivious as she's doing it. It's plausible she was in denial, but she must be really good at hiding it, because she shows absolutely no sign of it until after listing off some things.

  • Two things I donít understand about the Vashta Nerada one is their apparent weakness to light not only do they seem perfectly capable of moving in light they can also block out any lamp so why does the doctor still treat light like their natural weakness? when a swarm of the things could easily block any light in their supposedly safe room and in fact the swarm thatís imitating Daveís shadow seems to do fine which brings me to my second problem the imitating shadow trick, why do they imitate shadows? it still means that they are exposed to light and most sentient creatures would notice a second shadow why donít they instead jump onto somebody shadow use it to sneak up on a person and attack them even if there in the light? also why did the doctor tell Dave to stand perfectly still would running across the room to try and shake off the Vashta Nerada not have been a smarter choice?
    • What apparent weakness? When did the Doctor say anything along the lines of Vashta Nerada: weakness: light?
      • I said they threat it like their weakness I donít remember if they said it outright also the Vashta Nerada have a entry on the weakened by light page.
      • Well, that entry's wrong, then. And how did the gang treat light as a weakness (as opposed to "any shadow" being a weakness to themselves)?
      • The fact that they spent a lot of time in a room that has sunlight combined with the faulty entry is what led me to that assumption but I appear to be wrong.
      • I think spending time in the lighter room was probably just so they could see if the Vashta Nerada were coming; if you're already stood in shadows, you can't tell if a shadow is moving towards you, whereas if it's light, a shadow stretching across the room is more noticeable.
      • The Doctor says that light slows them down but doesn't stop them.
  • Hey! Who turned out the lights?
  • The computer stored all the minds of the employees of the planet along with their bodies... somehow. Meanwhile, River Song's team was stored apparently just as their minds, though somehow that doesn't seem to make any difference in how they manifest inside the computer's world. If the computer can zap back the people who were stored with bodies, what's to stop it from reconstructing the bodies of the rest and restoring them too? Or if that fails, why couldn't the people outside procure some kind of mindless surrogate bodies for them to inhabit?

    Midnight 
  • Midnight was a thrilling, powerful gut-punch of an episode, that much is universally accepted. But one thing scratched my head about that episode; why didn't the Doctor use his psychic paper on the other passengers? Considering that they were rapidly turning angry and questioning his intelligence, wouldn't he have been able to simulate whatever credentials necessary to placate the others, before they turned on him?
    • They expected false papers, they would have perceived false papers. The Doctor presumably knew about the necessary flaw in how the Psychic Paper works and didn't bother.
    • In line with the above, perhaps psychic paper doesn't work if the targets are sufficiently panicked?

  • The episode. What was the point of it? To show that Humans Are the Real Monsters? I mean, an alien creature makes someone repeat the same thing everyone else is saying and the humans are "KILL IT! KILL!!!" Why does the Doctor even bother sometimes?
    • The point of Midnight (besides what you mentioned) was to scare the pants off of us, something Who has specialized in since almost the beginning. I don't see why it needs to be anything more than that. Entire shows have existed based on far less substantial intent. You could also ask what the point was of a LOT of who episodes, and the answer would probably be along the lines of "entertainment."
    • On the Humans Are the Real Monsters front, remember that the driver and mechanic both died before anybody really freaked out. Freaking out is a pretty reasonable response to death (especially when you might die next), so the human's weren't really being bastards at all.
    • I believe it said in the commentary that the point of the episode was to strip the Doctor of all his special abilities and leave him utterly powerless.

  • This has bugged me a lot since I watched the episode. Why did everyone immediately agree that the "thing" had left Sky and entered The Doctor? She still didn't talk nor emote anything like a free-willed human being in her situation should - instead she was smiling and gloating, talking about the cold and the stars and encouraging casting a fellow traveler into certain death. Her words and body language were still uncanny and incredibly alarming to an onlooker. Why didn't any of the passengers address it? If anything it would've looked less like it had moved on and more like it was spreading.
    • They're panicking and getting caught up in mob groupthink; those mindsets generally aren't very conducive to logical, rational thought along these lines. If they'd stopped and thought about it for a minute they probably could have come to a similar conclusion, but they got swept up in the panic so didn't stop to think.

    Turn Left 
  • Before anyone asks it- The absence of the "Year That Never Was" in the parallel world depicted in "Turn Left" is because with no Doctor, there's no way for Yana to revert to the Master and get to the present.
    • Thank you for getting there before me. I would have also stated that it was Martha who convinced Yana to open his watch, but of course without her and the Doctor, he never would have heard those drums, and he couldn't have used the TARDIS to get there, etc etc.
      • This is also why there is no mention of Prof. Lazarus in the "Turn Left" world.
    • There are still some problems with that episode though, most noticeably that The Doctor saved the world in Earth's past at least three times during the two years that were changed ("The Shakespeare Code", "Daleks in Manhattan" and "The Fires of Pompeii") and we are given no explanation as to why it's not set on the Planet of the Witchy-Dalek-Rock-Monster-Things.)
      • No real clue about witches or rock monsters, but as for the Daleks in Manhattan, it's possible that Old-Timey Torchwood did it. It's definitely in the interests of the British Empire to stop Daleks from conquering the world.
      • On the other hand, the Daleks' plan might have been doomed from the start, given the effect that humanization had on Sec, and the way the other Dalek's reacted to that.
      • Word of God (in Doctor Who Magazine) is that the Pyrovile were stopped by "UNIT time commandos", but there wasn't room to explain this in the script.
      • They wouldn't have to-Pompeii being destroyed by Mt Vesuvius is a fixed point in time
    • By this logic, you could say that even back in the First Doctor, the 11th Doctor was saving the world around him. Not to mention all the heroic things that a Doctor written decades from now is doing. When one thinks about it, killing off the Doctor kind of screws up everything no matter what, which kind of screws up any drama with the Doctor's life being at risk. The only real solution is that "time is in flux", which would mean that everything was fine until the Doctor arrives and oh god I think I just ruined the series.
    • Why are Owen and Toshiko still dead in Donna's divergent universe? If Martha died before she could join UNIT, then the events of Reset would have played out differently due to her absence and with the world going down the proverbial drain, the future where Grey comes from would cease to exist. On the other hand, Captain Jack would still exist, and does, since he arrived in the past before the point of divergence.
      • Did Rose know this?
      • Well, I'd guess so, considering that the Torchwood on her world would probably diverge much further considering Torchwood London is still intact.
    • By the same token, the Master should still logically exist as he was also in the past with his Paradox Machine prior to the Doctor's death.
      • Perhaps, but the scene with the tank shooting down the Racnoss ship was shown in the divergent universe, and no mention is made of Mr. Saxon - unlike in the original universe.
      • No; as the original post points out, the events of "Utopia" never took place in the "Turn Left" alternate universe; the Doctor never met Professor Yana at the end of the universe, so he never became the Master and never returned to 21st Century Britain. The Paradox Machine prevents the Toclafane from disappearing when wiping out their own ancestors; it doesn't protect the Master.
    • The only weird thing about all this is that Harold Saxon is established throughout season three, before the Doctor has made him happen, similar to the joke about wondering how he made an enemy of Elizabeth I and things like that — so that when the Doctor is dead in the alternate timeline, the fact that "Utopia" et al didn't happen is represented by not having those pre-"Utopia" Saxon references. Either the Doctor can encounter things he'll cause before he's caused them — seemingly meaning that in those cases at least, he actually has no choice about whether he will eventually cause them — or history doesn't change until he makes it change — which is pretty much the assumption most of the time, including in an episode that revolves around the question of what would have happened if he hadn't been around to change our history after a certain point. Having it both ways — with the odd Stable Time Loop — doesn't make sense. (I know: wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, Rule of Cool.)
      • Well, it was a weird kind of alternate universe created by a bug, so maybe the laws of time weren't the exact same? In the actual timeline, the creation of Harold Saxon could have been a fixed point, while the turn left universe might not actually have those.
      • It's not so much that he doesn't have a choice what would happen in Utopia so much as that's what did happen. When something timey-wimey happens, its ramifications echo through the universe. When Martha inadvertently unleashes the Master, that echoes and the Series Three Saxon references are placed there retroactively. Sure, they weren't there before, but time travel has a tendency to change the past. When the Doctor dies, he can never do what he otherwise would have done, and so when that echoes, the Master's echo un-echoes. It's not consistent with some of the other time travel we've seen, sure, but it never is in this show. It's implied that the time travel is inconsistent because in the Whoniverse time itself is either itself inconsistent (hence 'wibbly-wobbly') or too complex for normal humans to comprehend.
    • And unless I'm mistaken, didn't Luke Rattigan live in London? OK, so the Sontarans could have found someone else to design something similar to ATMOS, but wouldn't it be called something different?
    • Could you clarify this a bit? ATMOS stands for "Atmospheric Omissions System". Why would it have made a difference where the creator came from?
      • Umm, London just got nuked by the Titanic and irradiated most of Southern England a few months earlier. Luke is dead so the Sontarans work with someone else.
      • Maybe he was bored one weekend and conveniently constructed a fallout shelter under Rattigan Academy?
    • The taxi that shows up in "Partners in Crime" has an ATMOS sticker clearly displayed in the window (I am sad to admit that my first thought was of a Doctor FF 3 (it will always be #3 to me) crossover), so we can figure that it was probably well established before the alternate history of "Turn Left."
      • ATMOS had presumably been in development for a while, maybe the name was already picked by the time his successor started on it.
      • Point. Though how come Torchwood used the same method as the Doctor for defeating the Sontarans when the Doctor only thought of that because Rattigan had a terraforming device lying around at the time?
    • Most of this stuff can be explained by history trying to "heal" itself, as the Doctor mentioned would normally happen with people the bug-thingy got, though in this case the changes were so big it couldn't repair them fully. So, in the same way that causality moved Sarah Jane to the hospital and Torchwood onto the Sontaran ship to replace the Doctor, someone took his place in each of the other incidents, though probably not as successfully in each case. Someone must have reversed the polarity of the neutron flow or whatever in the Titanic's engines to moderate the effect of the blast, but wasn't able to stop it from crashing, etc.
      • Of course, the easiest way for history to fix itself would be for the Doctor to not die anyway, but whatever.
      • Time doesn't fix itself by blatantly reversing the incident that is causing the disturbance, you know.
      • Yeah, but the original incident was Donna not meeting the Doctor, not the Doctor dying, and apparently all it would have taken to avoid that is for him to have, you know, hurried. Although we don't really know exactly what happened down there in the alternate version of events.
      • If the Doctor didn't need Donna (or someone else) to make him hurry then it wouldn't have been a big deal that Donna didn't meet him and in the special it's pretty clear he would have just kept standing there until Donna called to him. He wasn't really in a good place hours after losing Rose forever. Presumably, Lance dosed someone else who probably didn't insist on a wedding. Perhaps she died during the adventure or maybe she just ran off to save herself and trusted the Doctor would do the same.
      • Russell T Davies mentioned in Doctor Who Magazine that he was planning to put a line in about UNIT sending agents back in time to stop the Carrionites. He decided, however that it was "a reference too far" and said that he left "that sort of stuff up to fan-fiction".
    • In the Sarah Jane Adventures episode where the Trickster erased her, it said it intervened to divert all the disasters she'd prevented in earlier episodes. The Beetle is one of its creatures, so it presumably worked the same way, preventing the Earth from being destroyed or invaded too early so that Donna would be able to make her fateful choice.
      • Except why didn't the Beetle go out of its way to prevent all the other disasters, and thus dissuade Donna from unmaking her fateful choice and ultimately killing the Beetle?
      • The Trickster, and possibly the beetle, feed off of chaos and destruction, which the pile-up of disasters created in enormous quantity. While not preventing them would increase the risk of being stopped, it could very well seem worth it on their side. They simply underestimated Donna from there.
    • Also, if history prior to 1963 had been severely changed, the first Doctor would never have settled on Earth with Susan, changing the entire cause of his life, which in turn throws the entire history of the universe into turmoil. The 21st century could easily have ended up with Sutekh and the Fendahl fighting over a Silurian dominated earth, where the dinosaurs never went extinct. Since this didn't happen, something must have been enforcing ontological inertia.
      • Or, the Earth would just be a ball of rock that was never set alight with life by the Jagaroth spacecraft because Scaroth reunited himself.
      • Also factoring in Rose's appearance in Donna's world. The Trickster and the Time Beetle probably couldn't have foreseen her jumping dimensions to reach Donna, since without Rose showing Donna the beetle and her time travel, Unit (or whoever reworked the TARDIS) would never have known that she was the key moment. Anything else that happened after was for The Evulz.
      • Unless the disasters were linked by causal events, The Doctor could have stopped any of them before dying underneath Torchwood, Because, you know, Time Machine.

  • The Master's existence should have been preserved by the effect of the Paradox Machine, which puts him out of time and space.
    • I thought it was implied that the stars were disappearing due to the reality bomb detonation in the primary Whoniverse, which as Davros stated, would effect parallel realities.
    • The paradox machine did absolutely nothing to the Master. It was used on the Toclafane. Pay attention.
  • Except without The Doctor in the future, the Master would surely have died as Professor Yana, yes? He wouldn't have noticed his watch without Martha, that's for sure, and that would have stopped him from regenerating. Notice that the scene with the Army shooting down the Racnoss ship doesn't mention Mr Saxon, almost pointedly. And incidentally, doesn't Rose say something about the stars going out everywhere - in multiple dimensions, not just Donna Time?
    • The Master had his Paradox Machine by the time that the Doctor died in Donna's World, so his existence should have been stabilized, even if the time loop that brought him into the present day was broken.
      • The Master doesn't have a paradox machine in Donna's World because he's not there. The Doctor dies before he can go to the end of the universe, so Professor Yana doesn't open the watch and doesn't come back to the present to become Prime Minister - in the scene with the tanks firing on the Rachnoss star, the line about 'Mr Saxon' has been cut.
      • Alternatively he DOES have the Paradox Machine. As such the Paradox Machine preserves The Doctor and all of last season's finale too, so nothing changed. So the Year That Never Was still happened, and STILL never was. You can't maintain one paradox and ignore the other, because the other is central to the first coming to be.
      • Aha! That makes sense! Parallel universe!
      • Yes, but the paradox machine's effects were removed completely except for a select few immediately around the machine, once it was shut down/destroyed. The paradox machine also still needed somebody to build it. I point to one of the lower items. The Daleks hadn't put their plans into motion yet when the Year that Never Was...(didn't?) happen.
      • The purpose of the Paradox Machine is to prevent the Toclafane from being wiped out when destroying their own ancestors. At no point does anyone mention the Paradox Machine having anything to do with protecting the Master. Why should it? The Master's plans don't interfere with his own resurrection. Therefore, the Machine wouldn't protect the Master from being erased from history if the Doctor never meets Professor Yana in the first place.
    • The Paradox Machine is retrofitted from the Doctor's TARDIS, which Rose and those UNIT people have been busy doing their own scavenging from to make Donna's trip to make her turn left. It's not something Yana has lying around like the fob-watch. The Doctor's TARDIS is stated to be the last TARDIS in the universe, too.

  • The chronology of new who is pretty confused, but I'm pretty the events of this episode should also have taken place during the year that never happened - Davros squaring off against the Master. However, the Doctor would have known if they had, so they didn't, but why not?
    • That too. The Master's rule lasted beyond the date in which Davros' plan went into motion, so the absence of the events of "The Stolen Earth" in the Year That Never Was are indeed conspicuous.
    • I believe it's because the Doctor (and the Master) were both on Earth during that whole year...if the Daleks are trying to avoid him showing up, they would normally want to try to wait...plus, the Toclafane were in charge, and the earth's population was getting severely stomped. The Daleks seem to want subjects for experimentation...and who knows what would've happened if the Daleks had taken on the Toclafane. As advanced as Daleks are, the Toclafane are from the year 100 trillion, and there's an awful lot of them.
      • A Toclafane can be beaten by baiting it into an electric barrier. If this is all it takes, how are they going to withstand a Dalek laser-gun? By comparison, Daleks have been seen to block lasers with their force-fields before, which gives them the advantage in a theoretical Daleks V. Toclafane fight.
      • The electrical barrier is a specific frequency through a freak chance. You just just kill a Toclafane with any old electric charge and hope for the best.
      • While this is true, it only disabled the Toclafane, it didn't kill it...and those lasers the Toclafane had caused some pretty hefty explosions, didn't they? It took three Daleks firing at once at maximum power to blow up a small house. Anyhow, the point is, if the Daleks had considered it at the time, they'd almost certainly have gone for caution versus bringing those potential threats to their home base...and I think that, the simple fact that the ripple effects...something the Doctor did right after the Paradox Machine was shut down..changed something that triggered the Daleks going planet-snatching. Think about this...in Donnaworld, the Doctor died fighting the Racnoss, before he met Martha..that would've meant he wasn't there to stop the Pyroviles from doing their thing in ancient Pompeii. But the fact the world still exists means that Pyrovillia must not have vanished yet. In other words, the Daleks hadn't stolen it from time. The fact the Adipose event still happened is a little bit of a mystery though, I admit...but I think it can be hand-waved by the fact that they needed America to be effectively crippled in order to make it a true Crapsack World. Besides, they're so cute. But anyway...my point is...the Daleks hadn't pulled the planets out of time yet, so none of the effects were felt during the Year That Never Was. It was only after the Year That Never Was....Never Was...that they started their plans. Time Travel Sucks. That has to be a trope, sometime, if it isn't already.
      • Okay, I'm going to rephrase what I just said...it's a little wandering. Basically...the fact the world still existed during the Year That Never Was, despite the Doctor not being there to stop the Pyroviles...was because Pryovillia hadn't been yanked out of time yet. In other words, the Daleks hadn't started their plans until after the Doctor had made The Year That Never Was...not happen. Or happen...or...Time Travel Still Sucks.
      • I'd point again to the Trickster's involvement in this plot. He feeds on chaos, so it would be in his best interests to prevent the destruction of the Earth at the time of Pompeii's fall so that more chaotic events can potentially occur. He may also be affected by linear time - events that occurred after Pompeii that he fed on would no longer have occurred had Pompeii survived (and the Earth destroyed in its place). He gets weaker if he does not consume chaos, so if the Doctor hadn't destroyed Pompeii, the Trickster may have found that a sequence of events that allowed him to become powerful enough to steal Sarah-Jane did not happen, thus causing a paradox.
      • I hadn't thought of that part with the Maximum Extermination. Point. Toclafane lasers do seem more powerful than Dalek ones, plus there's the fact that the Toclafane that Martha and Pals captured was merely subdued. And as for the stolen planets, this is one of those instances where the Doctor Who model of time travel doesn't make sense. Though as for the Master's Paradox Machine in regard to "Turn Left", it should have been possible for the Master's existence to stabilize according to the show's own internal logic.
    • Upon further reflection, and with the season finale's revelations, I think I've figured it out. Because the Doctor didn't go to Manhattan with Martha, Dalek Caan didn't perform another emergency temporal shift that brought him to the Time War...thus, in Donna World, the Daleks weren't there to do anything with the planets (Again, the Adipose are a bit of a problem, but perhaps their breeding planet was just erased by the 'prime' Reality Bomb's effects). So, no Pyroviles, Pompeii didn't happen the same way...the universe 'rearranged itself' around the lack of the Doctor and Pyroviles. Likewise, Dalek Caan couldn't go with his plan during The Year That Never Was, because Donna wasn't there, and the Doctor was busy being the Master's House Elf.

  • Turn Left pisses me off to a degree I didn't think possible. So, London is destroyed - how exactly does this lead to Britain becoming effing Nazi Germany?! And what's the deal with France not taking in refugees? What, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the rest of the Commonwealth, and the United States just refused to let in educated, English-speaking immigrants?!
    • In our defense (okay not really, I'm just trying to explain what I think might've happened), one of the most powerful world capitals was destroyed... the governments of the world probably knew more about how deep the crap they were in was that the public were told about. And when humans are scared, confused, hurt, and have had their pride dented, then they often panic and start looking for convenient people to blame (see the episode Midnight for details): in the 1920's the convenient targets for Germany were the Jewish, physically disabled, etc. It's depressing to consider, but I don't think it's entirely unlikely that we'd take an "okay we have to look after our own here and fuck everyone else" stance (remember even Nazi Germany had a really horrible recession and post-war bankruptcy -people were literally starving- motivating the kind of attitudes that got Hitler into power). Have you seen how the BNP has been rising in polls lately, in spite of their reputation as... well, dicks? That was just because of the recession and a couple of terrorist attacks. Just imagine how we'd react to the entire city of London being wiped off the map? It was horrible, but not entirely unlikely. (Just think how many people were scoffing at what Germany had supposedly turned into, before figuring out that it was all true?)
    • America was hit with the Adipose, so they're out. They also said the seas were closed off for some reason, which prevents everyone else from taking anyone I guess.
    • Nightmare Fuel to you, despite how terrible it was... Nazi Germany people aren't all that different from regular people, there was probably a Anvilicious statement that it could happen again.
    • Points to consider: (1) There might be other nasty stuff going on that the episode simply didn't have time to tell us about. The Butterfly Effects of the Doctor's death could be quite big, especially considering the various off-screen adventures that he has. (2) The Britain we saw wasn't as bad as Nazi Germany. For all we know, the people being sent to work camps are actually being sent to work camps, not to secret death camps. In which case, we're witnessing the beginning of a slow transition into Nazi Germany, but it's not that bad yet.
      • What work, though? Donna pointed out that there were no jobs to be had. Even if there were only really crappy jobs available, it still seems like they'd offer them to the British first before forcing the non-citizens to do them.
      • I assume everyone is getting rations (food etc.) so they can live. If you can find a job beyond that, you can earn some money to buy luxuries beyond food. The Brits get rations automatically, without having to work for them. But the foreigners are forced into slave labor at work camps, and if they don't work they starve. So nobody wants to go to the work camps, because it just means doing more work without receiving any benefit in return.
      • Or, as someone pointed out on the Nightmarefuel page, the theme of the Cybermen is playing when the family is taken away. Could be that they are to be turned into experimental Cybermen. So there is no work to do, Wilfred (correctly) recognizes the pattern and takes a guess about what's going to happen, he just doesn't have all the information.
  • For Turn Left, why does the Doctor end up dying without Donna? There must have been some other man or woman that Lance dosed who ended up on the TARDIS (though probably not on their wedding day like Donna) or the Doctor never would have gotten involved. Similarly, he must have succeeded in destroying the Racnoss. Did the replacement-Donna die at some point before the Doctor managed to kill the Racnoss (possibly since they didn't manage to get away the first time so Lance wasn't also exposed and so the replacement got eaten instead) or were they just the sort to run at the end and trust the Doctor to get himself out alive?
    • Whether or not she died, I believe the time changing point was that she didn't tell him to "stop".
    • I think it was implied that the Doctor let himself drown that day with the Racnoss. Remember, by the Doctor's timeline, the whole Racnoss incident happened right after he lost Rose, so he probably didn't really care about living anymore. Donna saved his life by snapping him out of it. So if she's gone, and the replacement-Donna ran without the Doctor, then he probably let himself die.

  • If London was so deserted in Voyage of the Damned because they were expecting aliens then why was the death toll so high in Turn Left? The Doctor didn't appear to have anything to do with people realizing that the past few Christmas' have led to alien invasions in London and so they should get out while they could.
    • The humans simply fled from CENTRAL London (Westminster, the Square Mile, etc.) to avoid Christmas shopping there. The storm drive affected ALL of London.

  • In "Voyage of the Damned," the ship was going to kill everything on Earth if it hit. In "Turn Left," it has the effect of one nuclear bomb.
    • It was possibly just "a way of putting it", you know, the doctor does exaggerate a bit sometimes in order to get the help he needs. And, maybe, Alonso & the rest just managed to dispose most of their fuel before hitting the atmosphere, so the explosion would be billion times smaller (and the crash, inevitable, which wasn't the doctor's point.)
      • I dunno, wasn't the drive powering down part of what would have destroyed Earth in "Voyage"?
    • I was actually really glad they did it this way. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous for the Titanic to wipe out the whole world's population in "Voyage of the Damned," especially after seeing how relatively small the ship was when it almost crashed. This seems to have been fixing a stupid statement in what I saw as a kind of weird episode. In-universe, someone must have been exaggerating.

  • Why wasn't the TARDIS' translator working at the start of the episode? The Bad Wolf's weren't there at the start, so I assume it hadn't been paradoxed yet, so what's with all the untranslated Mandarin-looking writing?
    • No idea, but nothing looks Mandarin. The symbols that are written down are always called Chinese. Possibly a stylistic choice?
    • It may well have been for Doctor and Donna. Showing it that way to us was probably just shorthand for "Welcome to Space China!"

  • So how did the Bad Wolf signs get around the area and onto the TARDIS?
    • Yeah. I was expecting this to be explained in the season finale, but it wasn't. Apparently the only reason Rose said "bad wolf" to Donna was so that the Doctor would believe Donna really met her, but that doesn't explain how all those Chinese signs and the "police box" text in TARDIS changed all of a sudden.
    • I think they went over this in Confidential, though my memory is a bit fuzzy. It was supposed to indicate that the universes were colliding and that the Bad Wolf entity (or rather Rose), had returned. Apparently the Bad Wolf Sigil Spam is only occurs in whichever universe Rose inhabits.

  • If the stars are just starting to go out, we shouldn't be able to see them gone until several years have passed. Were they going out for a while before it became visible or is Doctor Who science just even more ridiculous than usual?
    • The stars going out is a result of them being wiped out by the reality bomb, which causes them to never have existed in the first place. We aren't seeing the stars go out just as their destroyed, they're going out because THEY WERE NEVER THERE.
      • Don't muddle the reality bomb with the cracks in series 5. The reality bomb stops the electrical field of matter. Nothing was said about erasing events from time.
      • The reality bomb is being detonated in the Medusa Cascade, which has a space/time rift. Davros says "And the wavelength will continue, breaking through the rift at the heart of the Medusa Cascade into every dimension, every parallel, every single corner of creation. *This* is my ultimate victory, Doctor! The destruction of reality itself!" If it's breaking through a space/time rift, then it should destroy all reality in past, present and future. And if it does that, then the stars are going out because they never existed.
    • The Reality Bomb is capable of cancelling out electromagnetism. It isn't just destroying the stars, but the light coming from the stars.
    • The light would still have reached Earth years before the Reality Bomb destroyed the stars. If the Reality Bomb wave was moving so fast it should have destroyed Earth right after destroying the stars.

  • Minor point here but one that has bugged me for a while. At the start of the episode we see Donna buying drinks for all her friends and mentioning how flush she currently is. She then mentions she earns £20,000 a year. Now, granted she lives with her mother and her grandfather, which would save her quite a lot of money, but Sylvia doesn't seem the type to let Donna live in her house rent-free (or even bill-free). It's even more ridiculous when you consider she lives in London. Did anyone else think the same thing?
    • Even people who have to pay rent and bills can, with reasonably careful management of money, afford to buy a round of drinks for their friends every so often, especially if they've just had a windfall.
  • Why would 60 million Americans die due to the Adiposians' plan? Wasn't the only reason it would have killed anyone stemmed from there being too few people taking it at the time The Doctor forced their hand in the normal timeline (a "mere" one million)? The worst that should have happened was A bunch of freaked out, formerly overweight Americans staring incredulously as the pounds walked harmlessly away from them.

    The Stolen Earth/Journey's End 
  • One of my friends pointed out this one, and I think its a pretty valid point: since Jack occasionally seems to be able to kiss people to keep them alive, why didn't he just kiss Ten when he was about to regenerate in "Journey's End"?
    • Because he can't? Seriously, if you mean the kiss he gave Ianto when he was unconscious.. ''he was unconscious!
      • Well Barrowman himself has implied that there may have been some truth to the whole Kiss of Life thing, but even if it were true, then I'm not sure how a perfectly natural Time Lord Biological Reaction like regeneration would react when it came into contact with a Living Fixed Point in Time and, via Jack, the vortex itself... that doesn't sound like it would necessarily be beneficial.

  • Alright. In the episode "Journey's End", Donna's brain is burning up due to being half Time-Lord. but wouldn't the clones brain burn up too? Or does that change because the main part of the clone is Time-Lord?
    • That might be it. Also, he was born that way, not modified.
    • Also, we kind of know that if a Time Lord chooses to regenerate into a half-human form, it's not the end of the world. Jamming all that knowledge / power into a preexisting human brain had consequences, however.

  • In the series four finale, how is it that the reality bomb hits Rose's universe first, then Donna's alternate universe despite being detonated in the Doctor's universe? Shouldn't it hit the Doctor's universe first, or at least all of them at once?
    • For that matter, if the universes are constantly splitting, in a parallel universe the bomb would have gone off, no matter what.
    • In answer to the original question, it's mentioned that Rose's universe is running ahead of Donna's. In answer to the second, that depends on whether the Daleks exist in any other universe. We've seen no evidence that they do, indeed they, like Time Lords, seem to be one of a kind.
      • Ah, yes, but there exists somewhere a universe where the Daleks exist and the bomb did go off. However, Davros and the Daleks from THIS universe would be screwed if it did go off. Come to think of it, isn't it possible that there are multiple universes where these bombs go off?
      • Just because you can imagine a universe where X is true does not mean there is is actually a universe where X is true. Otherwise, yes, there would be plenty of universes where reality bombs successfully detonate. We have to assume that there is limited variety among universes, so that some things simply don't happen in any universe whatsoever. And one of the things that ends up not happening at all is the successful detonation of a reality bomb.
    • Fridge Brilliance-Davros only lived long enough to make a Reality Bomb thanks to Dalek Caan. Every version where this happens has a Caan that looks into Time and manipulates the timeline after decreeing no more. Every Reality Bomb has a Dalek Caan who will prevent it going off.
    • And remember, according to the early classic series the only reason the Daleks exist on the scale they do is because of The Doctor...
    • I believe Word of God dictated that the first strike of the Time War was when the Doctor refused to kill the Daleks in Genesis of the Daleks.
      • Unbelievably pedantic, but the first strike would be the Time Lords sending the Doctor back to kill the Daleks, not his refusal.
      • I think by that I meant that without any Daleks (if the Doctor went through with it), there wouldn't even be a Last Great Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks because the Daleks' creation was stopped.
  • When you really think about, the Reality Bomb is flawed by nature. The moment it detonates, its going to destroy one of its transmitters. Not to mention, how could you possibly wipe out an infinite amount of atoms with that thing?
    • Obviously, the reality bomb is designed not to affect itself, or any of the Daleks for that matter. As for how you could wipe out an infinite number of atoms, it's probably a chain reaction somehow, so one atom "detonates" in some way which causes other atoms to "detonate", and this pattern continues forever.
      • In that case, the Reality Bomb would take eternity to go off. The Daleks want to wipe out non-Daleks as soon as possible-forever is not a viable substitute. Not to mention, how is a single rift able to send matter-destroying waves to every corner of existence? Especially since the multiverse is infinite, and thus has countless universes with no connection to the one the Reality Bomb inhabits
      • Well maybe the detonation wave moves at FTL speeds and continually gets faster, thus destroying the universe over a non-infinite period of time. And who says that this hypothetical detonation wave can't breach the walls between universes and thus kill the multiverse? But more to the point, it's a Reality Bomb and it just works, because the writers said so.
      • Or the Medusa Cascade rift is capable of opening a portal to every other universe simultaneously.
  • Didn't anyone else think the Doctor trying to "save" Davros in "Journey's End" was incredibly stupid? Not the Save the Villain concept, mind you: basically the Doctor reaches out his hand and says "Come with me!". Davros was IN A WHEELCHAIR! ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM! A ROOM COVERED IN RUBBLE! What did the Doctor expect him to do? Did he think his chair could hover like the Daleks despite it not having been shown to do that? Or was he going to wait around in a crumbling space station while Davros slowly went through the maze of rubble?
    • Davros' chair can hover as seen in "Revelation of the Daleks" and subsequent Expanded Universe stories.
    • Not to mention the question "What the Hell am I going to do with Davros when I've rescued him?" As I've seen before on this site, "OK, off you go. Oh, and try not to destroy reality again, there's a good boy."
      • It's possible this was actually an elaborate Bait and Switch; the Doctor has seen Davros crawl out from under rocks before, so he figured he'd keep Davros in a place Death Is Cheap can't help you escape...because you aren't dead. Considering the fates of the Family of Blood, he's got at least ten levels of wizard.
      • I imagine the plan is like what he was planing in that one non-canon animation. He kept the Master contained in the TARDIS (and their voice-mail was suggestive to say the least) so why not Davros?
    • To answer the above question, there are two possibilities that would make sense, although neither is really mentioned. For a start there were "higher races" who knew about the time war. Presumably The Doctor could have dropped Davros off with one of them and asked them to imprison him. The other option is that he would have kept him in the TARDIS. He mentioned doing this to The Master in the previous series finale, so he could have tried that with Davros. The inside of the TARDIS has more than enough room to put him somewhere.
      • Also, the offer was to parallel the Doctor's offer to the Master at the end of the third season - that the time for wandering around was over, and he needed to take responsibility for someone. Davros being arguably more the Doctor's fault than the Master, since he had the chance to finish him off back in Genesis of the Daleks and couldn't pull the metaphorical trigger.

  • Why did the Doctor not inform any of his other companions about Donna's fate? She'll apparently die if anyone ever so much as mentions her adventures with the Doctor to her ever again. Wouldn't it have been a good idea to let his other friends know about this? They all seemed to be getting along quite well when they parted ways. Does the Doctor think that none of them will ever contact her for whatever reason? They probably still think she's the super-smart Doctor-Donna, and may very well come to her for help at some point, or ask her why she isn't with the Doctor anymore, or even just ask her to get a cup of coffee with them. Heck, sending her a Christmas card that says "P.S. good work with the Daleks" could mean the end of her life. You'd think The Doctor would give them the heads up about this.
    • He was knee deep in denial when he said goodbye to his other companions and didn't face what was going to happen until it, you know, happened. One assumes that between the end credits of "Journey's End" and the opening of "The Next Doctor" he gave his friends (well, the ones left in this dimension) a quick FYI Re: Donna.
      • He did. They addressed this in the IDW comic series when he visits with Martha yet again.

  • Why was the Doctor so worried about there being another Doctor who had committed genocide in Journey's End? Let us remember that the genuine Doctor once thought he should have exterminated the Daleks when he had the chance (the Fifth Doctor in Resurrection of the Daleks) and has actually exterminated the entire Dalek race on two different occasions (indirectly in "The Evil of the Daleks" and the Seventh Doctor did so directly in Remembrance of the Daleks, and the Ninth Doctor alludes to having done it in Dalek). It seems a little hypocritical of him to get annoyed at a clone of his doing it.
    • I think that's exactly why he exiles the clone. He knows that's an aspect of his character — he came close twice in the first series, before Rose's rebuke and the Dalek Emperor's taunting made him realize what he was doing — and is deeply ashamed of it. If you take it a bit symbolically, you could say he's trying to exile or excise that element of himself, or perhaps distance himself from the act, since while it was the human Doctor who technically did it, in any practical sense, it was The Doctor who exterminated the Daleks. (Also, while pointing out that Nine alludes to committing genocide in Dalek, it's worth noting that Ten compares the human Doctor to Nine during that final scene, which I think furthers that idea.)
    • People can change. The Doctor feels ashamed of some of his past actions. He has certainly moved on from "Dalek". In "Genesis of the Daleks" the Doctor explicitly chose not to destroy the entire Dalek race (or try to anyway) before they got going.
      • Actually, he was saved from having to make that choice at the last moment.
    • My theory is that the genocide thing was just an excuse - The Doctor had just seen many of his former companions ready to blow themselves into oblivion in his name, before being subjected to some major Mind Rape by Davros. And he probably knew what would happen to Donna. At this point, he was probably convinced that he is a horrible monster and destroys everything he touches, and he just wanted Rose as far away from him as possible so she'd be safe - He probably trusts his clone not to get her killed as the duplicate appears to have some personality traits of someone the Doctor has a very high opinion of, namely, Donna.
    • Sending Daleks and Cybermen to the Void didn't actually kill them.
      • He did at least consider the morality of what he was doing, though. He spent a few moments wondering whether or not it was justified - it was the human character in the same scene who convinced him it was necessary to save the rest of the planet from that fate, and looking at the alternative...
      • And how many died while he "Considered the morality" of it?
      • Presumably floating around in the Void is a Fate Worse than Death - as it's likened to hell but then, it's later remarked up by the Doctor that everything in the Void is killed by the effects of the Reality Bomb... or something.
      • Basically, going with the "excuse to get rid of him" reason here. Maybe the Tenth Doctor really thought that being with Rose would help 10.5 not turn into a total psychopath, the way that she helped Nine. I mean, if it's called an exile or whatever in the script, I guess that makes it so but it didn't honestly seem to play out that way ("You're being exiled to an alternate universe, and yeah you're stuck on the slow path but you're with that women who I KNOW you're in love with and can build a life with and her dad's a billionaire so I don't think there's gonna be a limit on what technology you can build"), frankly, I think we're reading too much into the "this is your punishment for committing genocide" thing. Ten knows what a dangerous thing 10.5 can be, because he was that dangerous thing himself, and he's really just giving him a chance to heal. (Let's not even get started on the cut scene in which he gives 10.5 a piece of TARDIS coral to grow his own... Keeping that scene in would've solved a lot of this, frankly.)
      • Except that the energy in that universe was poisonous to the TARDIS, to the point where the Doctor had had to donate some of his own life energy to save it. Are we supposed to believe that the Doctor would leave a baby TARDIS in an environment where it was guaranteed to die?
      • I don't think it would die. The Doctor said the TARDIS died because it was in a foreign universe without Time Lords to make that okay or weakened walls like in the end of Season 4. But if a new TARDIS was grown from a coral in the parallel universe then that would become its primary one and it would be just fine there but have problems if it accidentally ended up in our universe.
      • Ten was angry because the Daleks weren't in a position to be genocided-they were reduced to flailing and being pushed around. Also the Doctor had already seen two of the Cult of Skaro gain a sense of humanity along with Metaltron, so I can imagine him trying to re-engineer them to be more peaceful beings.

  • Related to the genocide point above, the Doctor says that the Metacrisis Doctor was born out of war and is full of anger, just like the Ninth Doctor was on the day he met Rose. So now Rose can love Metacrisis Doctor the way she loved Ninth Doctor, and teach him not to be so dark and angry. But the actual first meeting of the Ninth Doctor was entirely the opposite. It was Rose who suggested murdering the autons with the anti-plastic, and it was the Doctor who insisted on trying a more diplomatic approach. Just saying.
    • The Doctor could be looking back through Rose-tinted glasses on their first meeting since she's so important to him. And even if Rose was more prone to genocide in the beginning (though I doubt she thought of it as genocide), she's likely changed her stance by now after traveling with the Doctor and the Doctor clearly felt that having Rose around helped him, even if it was more her presence than anything she actually did.
    • And while possibly true, it more likely refers to "The End of the World" and "Dalek" where is genuinely IS that brutal once his guilt over the Time War REALLY hits him.
    • The Doctor might have left Handy there as he knew Rose might try to come back through to him, the dialogue shows she was trying to before the barriers broke down, despite the Doctor telling her coming through would destroy both worlds. It could be him subconsciously preventing further danger to both worlds.

  • Why are the Daleks and their plan all connected to that one computer? And why keep it down there with Davros and Dalek Caan, the crazy cousins they've locked in the basement? And why do they let him keep prisoners down there?
    • Davros is too cunning to be caged. He'll have schemed his way to a control terminal with which he could hack into the Dalek computers, a terminal he probably managed to hide from them. Donna simply took it over, using it in ways he never expected.
      • Or, it's a Dalek version of Everything Is Online, coupled with use by a trio of Magical Hackers.
      • I think the whole Vault is a sort of prison cell for Davros and Dalek Caan. If you phrase it as letting Davros keep prisoners, that keeps him happy at no real cost to you so he doesn't try to escape or hack the computers. Or it's part of a plan to make the Supreme Dalek head honcho without Davros noticing.
      • In keeping withthe Daleks = Nazis symbolism, it's just that they're crazy, arrogant, and utterly convinced that since it's their "destiny" to win, nothing they do can make them lose.

  • In "The Stolen Earth:" why doesn't Ianto recognize the Daleks right off the bat like Jack does? He was at Canary Wharf, after all. Or did Russell just forget that detail?
    • It's completely possible that Ianto never did encounter them at Canary Wharf. The Cult of Skaro were the only Daleks to actually appear inside Canary Wharf itself, and the Genesis Ark was opened outside of the building, so it's possible that the Daleks who were released from the Ark didn't get a chance to get very far inside Canary Wharf before they were sucked back into the Void. Additionally, at Torchwood, Jack recognized the Daleks from an audio transmission. Even if Ianto was able to recognize them by sight, he might not have ever heard one say "Exterminate!" and therefore wouldn't have recognized them in this case. Granted, it's a lot of "mights," but it's certainly possible. Also keep in mind that Ianto was probably extremely distracted during the Battle of Canary Wharf, what with being attacked by Cybermen and trying to rescue his girlfriend. (On the other hand, you'd think that "Dalek Invasion" would have been one of those scenarios that Jack would have mentioned to the Torchwood team at some point, seeing as that was what killed him the first time around...)
    • Gwen is the only one who asks what they are. Ianto even knows that the guns won't work on them. I assume he knew about them.
      • Yeah the look on his face when he heard them (you can just about see, though the camera focusses on Jack) suggests he knows exactly what they are. He has kind of an 'oh shit' expression going on.

  • If Davros' return is the result of Dalek Caan going back into the Time War, then in Donna's World, why would the disappearance of the stars, which is presumably a result of Davros' plan to destroy reality, still happen if the events that led to Dalek Caan's escape at the end of "Evolution of the Daleks" were averted by the Doctor's death prior to the events of "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" in the Doctor's own personal timeline?
    • Clearly, Dalek Caan and Davros were in a place outside time when 'Turn Left' happened, giving them immunity to the ripple effect
    • There was no reality bomb in Donna's World. The stars went out because of the reality bomb going off in the regular world. A single bomb in a single world causes all the other worlds to be destroyed (though apparently in random order).

  • At the end of The Stolen Earth, why is Rose so traumatised by the Doctor's apparent regeneration? She reacted as if he was actually dying, which she of all people should know wasn't the case. She seemed to be equally fond of both the Ninth and Tenth (even if her feelings for the Ninth didn't have time to develop before he regenerated) so why should she be so afraid of him becoming the Eleventh?
    • Because she's seen first hand how much he can change between regenerations, and just because she got lucky once doesn't guarantee that Eleven will still have awesome chemistry with her.
      • And she's seen what regeneration can do to the Doctor. One thing they could not afford at the moment was having him in the same state as in "The Christmas Invasion". Granted, he didn't have his entire system poisoned with Heart-Of-The-TARDIS-stuff this time around, but I'd say it's pretty understandable if Rose didn't think of that, considering the circumstances.
      • I like to think of it as the fact that her Meadow Run got horribly skewered after setting up for a heartwarming moment.
      • Because he is dying, it's not said specifically until a later series, but when a regeneration happens it's "a new man who gets up and walks away". It feels like death, and I don't see how anyone can claim previous doctor's (who often had several very different personality traits) were exacly the same person when several of them were clearly very different. Effectively, the Doctor she knew would be dead, and Rose has seen that happen before so she knows how it works. (Whether this is a new suggestion placed there by the modern series or was always a fact doesn't matter. Just because it's ret con doesn't stop it now being canon, whether we like it or not).
      • The second doctor was punished by the Time Lords by being forced to regenerate (presumably into someone who wouldn't commit the same crimes). The idea that a new doctor is a new person was very much a part of classic Who, even if it wasn't explicitly stated.
      • Unless of course you're Paul Cornell, then Doctor Who doesn't have a canon at all.
      • The idea of 'a new man walks away' doesn't work here as when the Doctor regenerated in front of Rose he said he would be the same. Rose is a selfish person, and hates the idea of the Doctor changing at all.

  • Davros says that his reality bomb would destroy all existing universes. Since there is probably an unimaginably huge number of universes in existence, what's to prevent someone else like Davros being successful with constructing such a device in an another timeline? Granted, we don't know how long multiversial destruction would take, but still...
    • Nothing in particular would stop that from happening, however Darvros's plan required three things to be true: 1) the reality bomb has infinite (or at least long enough to hit every universe) range, 2) all universes have contents such that the loss of electromagnetic fields would destroy everything of significance, and 3) no one has figured out a way to defend against the reality bomb; and its extremely unlikely that all three were true.
      • Even if the claim is wrong, it fits in with Davros's arrogance, and the weapon would still be one of the most horrific constructed in the entirety of fiction.
      • Alternatively, the Doctor notes, in "Age of Steel", that when the Time Lords were around, travel between universes was easy. From this, I'm willing to assume that the Time Lord civilization, the one that's been wiped out, was pan-universal, which is why there isn't an alternative Doctor in Rose's universe: the Time Lords of that universe are the same civilization as the Time Lords of the main universe, and were wiped out with them during the war. By extension, since we are to assume that the Daleks and Time Lords had similar spheres of influence, there's only one Davros in all the multiverse, and only one Dalek Empire. (In fact, though it's a different canon, the Big Finish Dalek Empire series actually is about the Daleks trying to unite with other Dalek empires from parallel universes.)
      • Assuming the Time Lords exist in other universes, or something like them, they'd immediately intervene when someone creates something like the Reality Bomb, unless of course they're a reality bomb in themselves, which would have everyone at war against them. For the Daleks, there was a)make a Reality Bomb in a universe where Time Lords still exist, and be royally owned, b)make a Reality Bomb in a post-Time Lord universe, which I imagine that the Time Lords would've killed themselves in a war to stop that and thus make the Time Lock of the Time War, hence whoever rescues them would see through time and assure this never happens. or c)considering how much the Time Lords have affected the universe at large, any reality where they could build a Reality Bomb without them would end up failing because it wouldn't have the laws of physics or planets needed to make it work. The Earth, for example, needed the Racnoss chased by the Time Lords to form the absolute centre, and even if it didn't(hence why our Earth doesn't have a Racnoss spaceship inside it) the Earth wouldn't have the exact qualifications needed to be a viable transmitter. It's a wonder that the Reality Bomb was even feasible, considering how many variables were needed to get right.
    • Just because you can imagine a universe where X is true does not mean there is is actually a universe where X is true. Otherwise, yes, there would be plenty of universes where reality bombs successfully detonate. We have to assume that there is limited variety among universes, so that some things simply don't happen in any universe whatsoever. And one of the things that ends up not happening at all is the successful detonation of a reality bomb.
      • It's also just as possible reality has been sucsessfully destroyed, but it can't be ended permanently. It'll always reform from the ashes, which might go to explain how an infinite number of universes doesn't have one completely successful Omnicidal Maniac-for a time, they were.. Not to mention, the Reality Bomb may be utterly unable to annihilate the multiverse in its entirety. Its likely a multiversal fact the weapon is flawed, or at least can only hit a handful of universes.

  • I have trouble understanding why Davros wanted to destroy the universe, as it seems that he'd be destroying himself along with it.
    • I know this is a pretty uninspired answer, but basically: Davros is flipping nuts. As in, serious God Complex, kill everyone crazy. In his first episode, in a very memorable speech, the Fourth Doctor asked him what he would do if he was holding a small vial containing a lethal virus, capable of wiping out all life everywhere. Davros's answer was to break it open. Being able to wield such power over life and death, and then using it, makes him a god in his mind, so wiping out the universe would be like all his Christmases come at once.
    • Because it wouldn't have killed him. Like the Daleks, he'd be safe in the Crucible.
    • Yes. Destroying the universe is a dumb idea. Basically, the whole point of the Daleks in the new series is that they are incredibly dangerous, and locked into a mode of thinking that leads them time and again to pursue a goal that just flat out doesn't make sense. There is a flaw at the very core of the Dalek psyche that keeps them from ever realizing what should be obvious: that destroying the entire universe is a dumb idea. Basically 2/3 of the Dalek appearances have spoken to the idea that the instant a Dalek gains any sense of proportion, they're totally fucked, because the last thing the Dalek mindset can cope with is a sense of proportion. Metaltron is able to experience human emotions and totally freaks out and commits suicide. The Emperor's flunkies get religion and it makes them crazy. Sec becomes part human and starts having treasonous thoughts like "Hey, maybe just finding a peaceful planet where we can settle down and live quiet happy lives". Caan sees the entirety of Dalek history and (a) goes stark raving bonkers then (b) engineers one hell of a plan to bring his extinct race back from the dead for the sole purpose of wiping them out again. Dalek thinking does not make sense, and the reason is that they owe their existence to a dude who thought that wiping out all life was like kicking God in the junk.
    • Besides, Dalek Caan said the Reality Bomb not destroying everything would have always happened. This means that either it's physically impossible for such a device to destroy the multiverse (either because they're a second out of synch, or the Reality Bomb would destroy its planetary transmitters), or it simply wouldn't work (we only saw it erase a group of people,who's to say it can do more?)
    • Also, it can be easily missed, but just before Davros begins the countdown, an announcement tells all the Daleks to report to "shelters" that can presumably tank the Reality Bombs effects.

  • In "Journey's End", why not just hook Donna up to the Chameleon Arch and technobabble at it until it works with her unique case? Problem solved.
    • Because they had to get rid of Donna somehow. Or if you're looking for an in-universe explanation, they didn't know if that was possible- there was never another hybrid like her, which means no precedent to work off of, and she wasn't a full Time Lord anyway- who knows what a Chameleon Arch would do to her?
    • The Chameleon Arc was designed to be used with Time Lord anatomy, not human, or human-time lord metacrisis, anatomy. The Doctor and the Master were able to turn themselves into humans because they were Time Lords in the first place, while Donna was effectively half-Time Lord.
    • In any case, the Doctor does know (or at least thinks) that the surfacing of Time Lordish memories would be a bad thing, so he's probably familiar enough with the meta-crisis situation to know that an Arch won't work right. The real question is how he knows anything about the unprecedented situation to begin withÖ
    • How would that help at all? When the Doctor used the Chameleon Arch, his lost his memories and became human. If Donna used the Chameleon Arch somehow, she'd lose her memories and become human. Which is exactly what happens to her anyway. (Well technically she's probably still got a bit of Time Lord DNA but she can't actually use it for anything). The Arch helped the Doctor to escape from a temporary problem, but Donna's problem is permanent. It makes no sense to seal part of her in a fobwatch because she could never ever open the watch without dying. In fact, using the Arch on Donna would be worse than the solution we end up with, because then she'd lose her memories of her immediate family, too.

  • Sure the Daleks could take the Lost Moon of Poosh, Pyrovillia, and the Adipose Breeding Planet out of time and have them disappear before the other planets they took did but why would they? What is the point in taking three planets at different points in history and then taking the other twenty-four all at once?
    • Presumably because something was scheduled to happen to those worlds anyway before the Dalek plan went into effect — Lost Moon of Poosh, for example, implies that it went bye-bye for some reason, and for all we know Pyrovillia and the Breeding Planet could have been destroyed centuries before the Dalek plan occurred anyway) and they needed them. The others, however, were more or less around anyway, so why not just get them all at once?
    • Stable Time Loop my friend. The planets vanished because of the Daleks. So the Daleks went back and stole the planets from the last moment they were seen.
      • But there was no reason for those planets to have been taken earlier in the first place.
      • As I said, Stable Time Loop. History said they vanished long ago. The Daleks not knowing or caring why, went back right before this and took them. As it turns out, they were the culprits behind it.
    • Two theories: (1) They had limited resources, so at first they could only steal 3 planets (well one of them is a moon but whatever). But they arranged those planets to create a mini-planet-engine thing, which eventually gave them enough power to steal all the others at once. (2) From the Dalek's perspective, they did steal all the planets at once; it's just that their planet-stealing mechanism can steal things out of time as well as space. Three planets, for whatever reason, could not be stolen from the present, so instead they were stolen from the past.
      • As far as theory two goes, the reason they could only be taken from the past was likely because they weren't around in the present to be stolen creating a Stable Time Loop.

  • In Journey's End didn't The Doctor use up a regeneration when put the excess bio-energy into his severed hand? In which case, doesn't that mean that Matt Smith is the penultimate doctor? If not, why not? The 'only 12 regenerations' rule is pretty much an established piece of Doctor Who continuity, and can't be discarded with a throwaway comment that he can do it '507' times.
    • Wasn't the Master on his last regeneration cycle a few regenerations ago? It might be possible for the Doctor to find some way to get more regenerations as well or perhaps we'll find out that the limit on regenerations was an imposed one and since the Doctor's the only Time Lord left...I can't imagine they'd cancel the show if it's still popular a few years down the line because of something like that.
    • The Master can be explained as starting a new regeneration cycle either when he took over Tremas' body in The Keeper of Traken or when the Time Lords brought him back to life for the Time War (I may be mistaken, as I don't have that much knowledge of the classic series). So far as I can tell, the only actual regeneration after Geoffrey Beevers was from Derek Jacobi into John Simm in "Utopia". But yes, even if the 12 regenerations thing still stands, it can be circumvented.
      • Still, it could be a legal rule, since we've seen The Master getting more and more regenerations during the Classic Series; also, it's hinted during End of Time, that those abilities were revoked during the Time War.

  • Ok. I get Caan's deal. Use ridiculous plotting to destroy the Daleks. Ok. But...the Cult of Skaro were made by the Emperor, and are therefore Imperial Daleks...who are at war with Davros' Daleks. So, ok, even if Caan is able to put that aside, wouldn't Davros be AWFUL SUSPICIOUS when an Imperial Dalek shows up to save him? Even so, wouldn't it make more sense to use Caan's DNA for your new Dalek race? Sure, he's crazy, but what's a little insanity among Daleks? It's not genetic, anyway. You've got pureblood Dalek, and instead you use...mutant Davros nipple? The whole thing is a little wonky.
    • Why would Caan need to get past it? If anything, the fact that he was used to despising Davros' Daleks would make it all the better to bring back Davros and his Daleks and then destroy them versus destroying Caan's own kind. And maybe Davros thought he'd get better results with Daleks that came from him versus the Imperial ones that wanted him dead.
      • But Dalek Caan isn't pure Dalek. He's one of the Cult of Skaro, which were modified to have independent thinking and imagination. Presumably it would be a risk to recreate Daleks from him (never mind the fact that he was insane), as they might all have some independence. Pure Daleks are soldiers who have no independence apart from following orders and "exterminating".
      • Pure Daleks aren't always soldiers who have no independence, that's just the drones. Presumably, the Dalek higher ups(Dalek Supreme, Dalek Emperor) are allowed some more personality than the drones in order to lead the Daleks. Nothing says the Cult of Skaro weren't altered biologically, and its possible the Emperor just altered their minds. So long as the Cult of Skaro kept the ideals of a Dalek and 100% Dalek DNA, they'd probably just be considered eccentric.
    • Umm, no. Imperial Daleks are loyal to Davros. Davros was once a Dalek Emperor too, you know. It's the renegades that are at war with him.

  • It's been established before that multiple people can teleport using a single teleport device, so long as they're touching each other. Why does no one think to do this? Why does Jack warp out of Torchwood alone, when he could take the others with him and evacuate the whole base? When Jackie teleports away from the testing room, she's pointedly sad to be leaving the crying girl next to her. So why doesn't she just put her arm out and teleport the crying girl along with her, thus saving her life?
    • The crying girl would have been useless in trying to stop the Daleks and may have drawn attention to them so they couldn't afford to bring random people they met along.
      • The crying girl doesn't need to be useful. You could just rescue her and then leave her alone in that random hallway and tell her to keep quiet. And if Jackie can teleport away without attracting attention to either herself or to the people she's joining, how hard would it be to bring someone along? And none of this explains why Jack left the rest of Torchwood behind; surely they would be useful.
      • In Doomsday the yellow alternate universe teleporters are stated to "only carry one".
      • So how does Pete manage to warp in, grab Rose, and warp her out? And besides, in this episode we're not talking about warping between universes; we're talking about teleporting between two locations in the same universe.
      • Pete had two devices with him: one around his neck, and one in his hand. Apparently you don't need to push both of them, carrying them is enough to be warped. That's how the Doctor is warped when he first meets Pete: the Doctor doesn't push the device.
    • Rose stated that Torchwood of Pete's World had been working on and using the Dimension Cannon for some time before finding the right world. AND THEN the starts began to go out. No one, including The Doctor makes the connection that Rose perforating the universe may well be what enabled Dalek Caan to reach the Time War in the first place.
      • Nothing seems to imply that the Time War is multiversal. "The Doctor's Wife" seems to state that it definitely isn't given the Doctor's hope of the Time Lords' survival. I can't especially see how a lock in time and space would be perforated by devices that hop between universes. Plus, Rose's universe "runs ahead" of Earth-prime and the world in "Turn Left". I think it's implied that the stars are already going out when Rose makes the Dimension Cannon. Either way, I'm not sure what this has to do with the scene in the Crucible.
  • Why does the Doctor do absolutely nothing in this episode? Torchwood does things, UNIT does things, Sarah Jane does things, Rose does things. The Doctor, aside from finding out where Earth and the rest of the planets are, spends his entire time in the episode caged, not trying anything but whining. Trying something against the Daleks and failing would have been fine, showing that the stakes were that high. Instead, we get him complying completely with Davros and the Daleks. Or showed that this was all part of the Doctor's plan, and he intended to get captured. Nope, he just stands there mouth open, staring at what's going on. Good thing for the Doctor-Donna, otherwise the universe would have been screwed.
    • Maybe it was intentional, to emphasise the point made in Midnight; the Doctor is nothing without his companions. It would fit with them all being brought back, and provides another side to Davros' speech; yes, the Doctor did turn these people into weapons, but weapons that saved all of reality. If it had just been the Doctor, he would have failed, so he and everyone else needs him to have companions, or we're all doomed. Plus, finding the planets was actually pretty important, once he was captured there wasn't a lot he could do without being killed, and he knew Jack was freely moving around the Crucible; he was probably waiting for him to make a move, rather than rushing into something and ruining all chances of stopping the Daleks.
    • Possibly, but it was still handled poorly, with the Doctor doing little and another Deus ex Machina stopping the villain after all the companions fail.
  • How is Davros alive during the events of The Stolen Earth? His Daleks clearly aren't loyal to him, and by this point Davros installed the Reality Bomb and triple-checked it. Davros isn't a Dalek, and he's of no use to them. Yeah, the Supreme Dalek kept him as a "pet", but I'm pretty sure Davros isn't trustworthy enough for them to keep him alive. Were they just being thematic or something?
  • Why would Richard Dawkins be consulted on the events of the episode? He's a biologist. He'd have no more to say about aliens stealing the planet than the Pope would on whether Applejack or Rainbow Dash is best pony.
  • Why does Davros keep making new Daleks? They betray him every bloody time.
    • Mostly because he's just so damned convinced he can fix the 'errors' of the previous models, or that the Daleks are just the perfect machines ever. Interestingly, though, one of the audio dramas in the Unbound series takes a look at this and makes Davros almost an entirely different character in execution. Not only is he less monomaniacal, but he even shows a desire for his Daleks to be more than the exterminating beasts we love.
    • Alternatively, he doesn't care deep down if the Daleks betray him. He invented them to be the ultimate survivors, kill all other lifeforms and reign supreme. Trying to control them isn't as high of a priority, and probably thinks their dominance makes him God even if they exterminate them(plus being in a near-And I Must Scream decreases the priority of life).
  • Why doesn't the Doctor react to Rose saying she was building the dimension cannon to come back? He told her that coming through would destroy both worlds, yet the dialogue shows Rose was trying to come through before the barriers broke down.
  • How was Rose able to project herself on the TARDIS screen and onto a screen in Midnight, light years from Earth and centuries in the future?
  • The Doctor says that him and Donna meeting for the second time in "Partners in Crime" (as well as him meeting Donna's grandpa in the previous episode) was no accident, that something caused all this to happen. And in the end we find out it was a good thing they met, since Donna ends up saving the universe... But if she indeed didn't meet the Doctor by chance, if all this was intended to happen, it's never explained who or what caused it to happen. Donna suggests it's fate, but the Doctor doesn't seem to believe in fate. So what was it?
    • Fate. Destiny. Some kind of higher power. Take your pick. Just because the Doctor doesn't believe in something doesn't mean that something doesn't exist; he didn't believe in The Beast in "The Satan Pit" either.
    • One of the Guardians? The Shopkeeper's Boss? There is a Pantheon of Discord containing the Trickster, there could be a counter organisation.
  • The Doctor tries to save Davros, a Complete Monster who is responsible for everything bad that happens in the episode, yet makes no attempt to save Dalek Caan, who tried to help stop it. Seriously, What the Hell, Hero?!
    • The 10th Doctor does have quite a hypocritical and odd moral code around saving people.

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