- Classic Series
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- The 2009 Specials ("The Next Doctor" to "The End of Time")
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- "The Day of the Doctor"
- "The Time of the Doctor"
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- "Last Christmas"
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Show in general (Classic Series moved to own page)
WARNING! THERE MAY BE UNMARKED SPOILERS!
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- This has been bothering me for a while, but is the 12th Doctor's coat (in season 8 and most of season 9) navy blue or black? The initial publicity photo shows it as navy blue, and most of the merchandising show it as navy blue, however onscreen it appears black. Does the prop department have more than one coat that they use? If so, what color is it in canon?
- He's had multiple versions of the same outfit before (4 had a red coat and a grey coat, 10 had a brown suit and a blue suit, etc.), so the most likely answer is both. Even now, 12 has started wearing a red jacket, so maybe he has 3 of them.
- It's navy blue. It just really depends on the lightning. Most of the time it looks black, but it can be clearly seen in "Robots of Sherwood" that it's blue.
Why not more animated episodes?
- Since the BBC has the audio of all the episodes they stupidly erased the video for, why haven't they had an animation studio animate all of the "Lost Episodes?"
- Because it's presumably not quite as easy as all that. Good animation can be fairly costly and time-consuming to produce, particularly if it's just for something like a one-off DVD release and if the animation is intended to replicate the missing TV episodes rather than re-imagine them (as most of their audience would demand — in which case, you've got to find animators who can replicate the reality as closely as possible, sufficient reference material to enable them to develop an accurate impression of what the visual elements of the episode were like, etc). The missing-episode animation we've gotten so far has largely for cases where there's only one or two episodes of a story missing and where sufficient reference material exists to allow the animators to reproduce what's happening; that's a lot less work (and thus a lot less to spend) than reproducing an entire missing serial from scratch.
- They are making more animated episodes. Tenth Planet, Ice Warriors, I think they are working on Moonbase.
- It's actually been stated that with the budget constraints they have now, they can only afford to animate up to two episodes per serial. Any serials with more than two episodes missing have to be shelved for the time being.
- So you're saying, the creators of Doctor Who, the longest running sci-fi series in the world, currently most popular sci-fi series in the world, one of the biggest British pop-culture icons there is, can't afford more than three animations at a time?
- So you're saying that it's surprising to you that the people responsible for Doctor Who and all of this don't have a lot of money?
- The BBC is regularly strapped for cash. They don't want to spend what they can't make back.
Time Lords predating Time Travel
- It's been established that the Time Lords didn't start out as such; their mastery over time was cemented by the likes of Rassilon and Omega, with technology such as the Eye of Harmony. So, who or what were the Time Lords before they were Time Lords? What did they call themselves? How did they develop such things as the "time sense" that the Doctor mentions in The Fires of Pompeii, among others? This Bugs Me.
- The natives of Gallifrey are referred to as "Gallifreyans", and their ancestors as "Ancient Gallifreyans". Only a very few of them get to become Time Lords. All Gallifreyans have telepathic powers, including being sensitive to time. My source is the following labour of love: Gallifrey Stuff.
- Technically it's mostly based on Expanded Universe stuff (i.e. it's of arguable canonicity), but it's a very interesting read nonetheless.
- The thing many people forget about Expanded Universe stuff is that, in the absence of other information, it's the best anyone but the writers/creators have to go on. Thus, in many cases, questionable canonicity items, if they're officially branded and approved, can be considered canon until proven otherwise. Canon is mutable even within the original universe, after all. The most recent information concerning something should be considered the most canonical.
- Except the bits that do nasty things to or kill off former companions. That's just mean.
- Everything is canon unless it contradicts the TV show. How's that? (Or unless, as one person said, it kills of loveable characters. So Jamie McCrimmon did NOT become a mentally ill pariah and die horribly, no matter what Grant Morrisson says. So there.)
- At least that saves Liz Shaw! But what about when two Expanded Universe sources contradict each other? How many pointless deaths has Jamie actually had?
- The fact that not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords is canon as of "Listen".
- I always assumed that the Time Lords got time stuff from the TARDISes.
- Well, if you want the short version, they were indeed Gallifreyans, and they were ruled by this entity - part Hive Queen, part high priestess to the Menti Celesti (i.e. Time and Death and Pain), part queen - called the Pythia. This was before history and all the accompanying messes (including time travel) was invented, so there's really no way to tell how long this period went on for, but eventually Rassilon showed up with the rest of the founders (Omega, Pandak, Apeiron, Lazuline, Eutenoyar and the Other, according to the Cartmel Masterplan) and overthrew the Pythia. The Founders then, in short succession, created the Eye of Harmony, built the Time Lords (an engineered species), invented time as a structured and reason-powered thing, invented the vortex / the web of time / history to keep it all orderly, invented TARDISes as a way of travelling across this new dimension, basically set up Gallifrey as we know it today (transduction barrier and all), and then all died / disappeared in quick sucession. It's unclear what happened to the 'original' Pythian Gallifreyans, but none of them survived, which makes it pretty likely that Rassilon murdered them all to ensure the success of his new master race (and then probably invented the Pythia's Curse to cover up for himself but that's headcanon really.)
TARDIS legal status
- Are the TARDIS es a slave race? They don't seem to have any rights, and we're told they're a race in their own right despite being in the form of ships and literally unable to move on their own, which seems a little like Time Lord engineering to control them to me. What does a "wild" TARDIS look like? Do they always have to be "owned" by a Time Lord? Basically, are they slaves?
- I'd suggest that, so far as we know, it's possibly more a form of domestication rather than slavery. Similarly to the relationship humans have with dogs, horses and other working animals; those are, after all, also species in their own right, but they've been bred and developed over time to have a symbiotic and more-or-less mutually satisfying relationship with humans. If nothing else, since the TARDIS seems (again, so far as we can tell) perfectly happy to bumble around with the Doctor, and arguably has more control over the situation than he does (it's pretty heavily implied that the TARDIS more frequently decides where the Doctor goes rather than the other way around), 'slavery' seems a questionable way to describe the situation.
- Well, actually, probably, yes. There are no real wild TARDISes, as they were very definitely created by Rassilon and co. way back in Founder's times, but it seems likely that given that they are definitely sentient (if such an alien kind of sentience that no time-linear being can really communicate them - even the Time Lords have difficulty.) Interesting, in certain bits of the EU, the Eighth Doctor accidentally turns one of their companions into a linear TARDIS - and she starts what could probably be called a timeship revolt (at least, if you believe Faction Paradox.) I seem to remember that according to the Book of the War she actually ends up demanding a Loom and a 'breeding pair' of pilots, a.k.a. presumably Time Tots / chronarchs off the War King - which is to say, turn the slave race thing right back on them - and then she turned Lolita (the Master's TARDIS) linear too and then Lolita practically took over Gallifrey, so there you go, I suppose.
Time Lord mass problems and regenerating in the TARDIS
- When a Time Lord regenerates, how do they change size? Where does the extra mass go after, say, Tom Baker regenerates into Peter Davison, and where does it come from when Peter Davison regenerates into Colin Baker?
- You're trying to apply logic to a process where a dying man completely changes his look and personality?
- I think that one of the Doctors said that the TARDIS was required for the process. If it's dimensionally transcendental, I'm sure it can take or give a few pounds.
- The TARDIS is required, yes. Also, Time Lords possess the technology to transmit energy and convert energy to matter and vice-versa. The TARDIS is powered by a stabilised black hole, meaning that they can get as much energy as needed for the regeneration, or dump any extra back into it.
- Also, there's an enormous release of glowy, orange energy when the Doctor regenerates which could at least partially explain changes in mass.
- In "The Doctor's Daughter", Jenny doesn't have a TARDIS, so she shouldn't be able to regenerate. If she took energy from the Doctor's TARDIS, she would have done a full regeneration, not just an energyburp, and the Doctor would have noticed if someone just stole some energy anyways. And when the Doctor regenerated last, he only enerygyburped because he absorbed the heart of the TARDIS. The Master's regeneration into Harold Saxxon shows us that these aren't necessary for normal regeneration...so why did Jenny energyburp?
- Because she got her power from the Source. The energy that escapes her lips looks like the gaseous form that escaped the globe with the Doctor threw it onto the ground. Think "Search for Spock". She didn't actually have to regenerate, the Source probably just helped along with regenerative powers of its own.
- Perhaps they need to stop using that same gas effect because to me it looked like effect used in "The Christmas Invasion" that was drawing the pilot fish... er Santas, so I've always thought that it looked more like Jenny was "still in the first 15 hours" window and was simply healed rather than fully regenerating.
- Nope, different gas effect.
- Jenny wasn't fifteen hours old, so she probably did the same 'We Can Rebuild Him/Her' thing that the Tenth Doctor did in "The Christmas Invasion".
- She didn't need to regenerate. She had another heart, remember? She was in a healing coma, which is a canononical Time Lord ability.
- Stop, stop. If a TARDIS is needed for a regeneration, does that mean all the people on Gallifrey who DIDN'T have a TARDIS were just S.O.L. if they needed to regenerate? That just doesn't sound right. I can believe that a TARDIS helps considerably with the process, but not that a Time Lord needs one to do so.
- Well, presumably Gallifrey is wired up with whatever technology is needed for regeneration since it's the source of the remainder. But there's a couple of close-enough "regenerations" outside a TARDIS anyway (the 7th - 8th switch being the most prominent, as while it started near the TARDIS it certainly didn't culminate in there) so it's no real issue.
- Then again, it's not like that regeneration went perfectly or anything (I mean, according to Caerdroia, Eight's actually kind of brain-damaged by Time Lord standards.)
- I doubt that a TARDIS is required. After all, the Doctor half expected Jenny to regenerate then and there, a significant distance from the TARDIS. Same with The Master. He seemed to indicate that he believed Jenny did as The Master and refused to regenerate because she was "too much like [The Doctor]".
- The whole thing about a TARDIS being required for regeneration seems ridiculous to me. All the TARDIS would do is provide an energy source, but Time Lords are so tapped into the flow of Time it seems they might be able to do that on their own. For instance:
- Three to Four was right outside the TARDIS, yes, but not inside it.
- Four to Five was nowhere near the TARDIS. It was on the ground - but I can't remember if it was on Earth or Logopolis.
- It was on Earth, just across a field - at the beginning of the next episode they get up and run over to it. It's not far.
- Six to Seven was nowhere near the TARDIS. He was being held captive at the time.
- BZZT! WRONG! Six to Seven was right there in the TARDIS! He banged his head on the console (lamest regeneration ever, I know).
- To be honest, death through severe head trauma during a vehicular crash is pretty believable.
- Seven to Eight, as mentioned before, was nowhere near the TARDIS. He was actually in the morgue.
- I think this whole deal is just because the TARDIS is just about the safest place in the universe, so when the Doctor regenerates (read: in his most vulerable state) he prefers to be there.
- This, and the fact that it's his home — when you're feeling unwell and vulnerable, don't you like to be at home surrounded by familiar things?
- I don't think a TARDIS is necessary for regeneration, but it does appear to have a stabilizing effect on a newly regenerated Time Lord (especially when it has places like Zero Rooms). Didn't seem to help the Tenth Doctor, though ...
- The first Doctor needed "help" to Regenerate (Kind of a TARDIS Jump-start), but only because he was very old. If a TARDIS is ever required for regeneration, it is most likely only in special circumstances.
- It's likely that the Time Lord either transmits the excess energy into the local area (as shown when Nine turned into Ten and practically exploded into a ball of light and plasma) or absorbs extra energy from the local area (as shown when Seven turns into Eight, complete with Frankenstein-like electric pulses). The Rassilon Imprimatur (which I think is some kind of addition to Galifreyan DNA) supposedly handles regeneration (likely in a same way that the Heisenberg Compensator [[Star Trek]] gets around the problem of quantum mechanics in teleporting something).
- The answer, as of "Day of the Moon", is a resounding "no". 1103 Doctor starts his regeneration cycle with no TARDIS in sight, and somehow I doubt a little girl, even if she's a little River Song, would be able to apply for a TARDIS, especially not one which the Doctor himself failed his exams at.
- No, since that was the Tessalecta all along, not the Doctor.
- Here's an idea—it's complete cellular regeneration, which means the cells probably multiply at a rapid rate to create more cells if the next Doctor is taller or fatter, and...ummm...unmultiply if he's shorter? When Hartnell became Troughton I think the cells that came off were at least in part used to give him his new second heart, but yeah, the loss of mass is confusing.
- With the 4th and 7th Regeneration outside the TARDIS, there were complications.
- Probably the nature of Gallifrey helps regeneration. TARDISes contain properties of Gallifrey therefore help regeneration. Time Lords don't need to regenerate in a TARDIS but that helps. You may not need medicines for some conditions but they help. The idea of properties of Gallifrey would explain River Song more.
- To actually answer the original question: conservation of mass isn't real. Neither is conservation of energy. There *is* conservation of mass and energy, however. Energy can turn into mass and vice versa. Regenerating Time Lords are known to have massive amounts of regeneration energy, presumably part of it goes into mass creation.
- Also: it's canonically artron energy, which is time-active, and likes to cause little paradoxed. So it's very possible that the artron actually just grabs some atoms from a couple seconds into the future and then leaves them both there, or sends the other into the future and makes sure it never actually arrives, and generally screws with causality.
- Does no one else question why the Daleks have the exact same "round things" as the TARDIS?
- I mean... they're both round but that's really were the similarity ends; 'exact same' is overdoing it, I think. The TARDIS roundels are wide flat indents, wheras the Dalek bumps are... Dalek bumps, and therefore basically a golden metal half-sphere.
- The real question you should be asking is: What are the round things?
- "I love the round things!"
- Assuming they're not purely decorative like the various add-ons for the new series, some classic episodes feature the Doctor fiddling with various wires and things behind them. Presumably they're compartments for various controls and functions of the ship.
Too Dangerous to Kill?
- What exactly is the Doctor's standard for "too dangerous not to kill?" He can forgive the Master despite not believing in second chances, and yet doesn't care about Solon's death and blows up the Daleks, Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Zygons, Sontarans, and Nestenes without batting an eye.
- Well, I suspect it varies from regeneration to regeneration. You know, changes in opinions with changes in personality.
- He actually failed to blow up the Sontarans himself, was very conflicted about blowing up the Daleks, questioned blowing up the Cybermen, and tried to parlay with the Nestenes before blowing them up (even saying, "I wasn't going to use it!").
- And, you know, he's probably kind of messed up from the death of his entire race.
- Not forgetting that he claims to be around 450 years old in the first seasons of the original series, while being other 900 years old in the new series: a few centuries spent wandering, escaping death and watching his own species dying while being in the front line of a losing war might have had an influence as well. Actually, I tend to consider the changing of personality (from the more prudent first doctor to the more aggressive and somewhat crazy tenth) to be a consequence of his past experiences more than a secondary effect of the regenerations
- Don't take what he says his age is as gospel. Romana outright stated that the Fourth Doctor lied about his age (he was older than he claimed to be) and he's been claiming to be '900 years old' since he was the Seventh Doctor.
- Since he was the Sixth, at least.
- The odd thing is, is that in the old series The Doctor was not exactly fond of his people. In one episode he actually claims they are worse than Daleks and Cybermen because they have all this power and sit around and do nothing. As it is implied that it was the Doctor himself who killed his own people, however, it's entirely possible he feels REALLY bad about his feelings and in an attempt to make up for it, he overcompensates on the one Time Lord left, ironically the only Time Lord who would have deserved the destruction of Gallifrey.
- Also, the Master is the only other Time Lord left. I'd be damn lonely and inclined to forgive someone if they were the only remaining human.
- Exactly! He forgives the Master because if he doesn't he'll destroy the Time Lords AGAIN! He can't bring himself to destroy his own species a second time.
- The show is also pretty open that it doesn't necessarily endorse what he does. It may be completely irrational that he'd value the life of the last living Time Lord regardless of how dangerous that person is, but he's not necessarily a purely rational person. After all, he pretty much destabilized the entire government of England and allowed the Master to get into power in the first place out of petty revenge against Harriet Jones.
- I didn't think this was petty revenge, I thought it was wanting to get someone who would commit mass murder without batting an eyelid out of power. That didn't turn out too well.
- Firing back against an enemy who attacked without provocation and has already shown to be untrustworthy and may not really be retreating, that's not mass murder. The Doctor is at fault for the The Master taking over, he's in the wrong for taking down Harriet Jones.
- Mass murder against the race of psychopathic voodoo using alien monsters that were planning to loot and pillage the Earth and murder everyone who got in their way. Oh yes. How terrible of her. Clearly they should have been allowed to live to kill some more innocent people.
- So you're saying it's okay that Harriet Jones had basically "proven" that humanity were backstabbers who would break their own deals, thus scaring off potential alien allies, and irritating anyone who could actually pose a threat (which is oh, roughly 60% of the species in the universe)? I'm not saying what the Doctor did to her was right (if Harriet were still in power I'm pretty sure Children of Earth would've been a different kettle of fish) but Harriet showed she was quite willing to commit genocide again and again, rather than choose a peaceful solution, just because the aliens still posed a potential threat. That's Cold War talk: firing a nuke at the retreating soviet warships because they "might" come back (sorry for the blunt analogy, it was that or Godwin's Law). Harriet was thinking mostly of the safety of humanity, and she was obviously right to not utterly depend on the Doctor's help in every crisis, but her actions would've had consequences, not least of which was making us look untrustworthy. Plus the Doctor probably knows far more about the "future" of humanity than she does. The human race is going to be around long after she's gone and eventually we're going to get involved in the diplomacy of the galaxy. And thusly, we will now be remembered as "Humans? Oh. Humans! That's the species that murdered a retreating army and then kept the person who ordered it in power... Um, maybe we should go trade with someone else/not defend them in case they stab us too". I like being alive and all, but I wouldn't want our so called Golden Age to be built on that kind of origin.
- The Sycorax were already fleeing. Of all the monsters he fought, I don't think the Doctor ever struck one who had already backed down. Sure, this doesn't explain why he didn't get Davros and the Master, who aren't likely to ever be convinced of retiring from the Destroy/Take Over the Universe business, out of the picture for good.
- Agreed. There are several examples of the Doctor clearly not being in the right, including his ridiculous actions in Journey's End, Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords and, most noticeably, Family of Blood/Human Nature where he puts an entire village of innocent people at risk just so he doesn't have to get his hands dirty killing the bad guys, then proceeds to trap them in a LIVING HELL just because they killed a few people he cared about (Compare this to how he's happy to forgive the Master and Davros, people who have slaughtered BILLIONS. But hey, they weren't people he knew personally so no harm done, right?)
- I don't agree. Oh, I agree how bad those things are, but I don't think the writers meant it that way. It's easy to explain any inconsistently written character by saying "the character is really a hypocrite and doesn't keep his own principles". Except for Harriet Jones, I think the way these actions were presented screams "the writers didn't think about that". It's Fridge Logic—for instance in Family of Blood you're just supposed to think about how awesomely inhuman the Doctor is, and not even notice that his actions are wrong.
- No you're not, Joan quite openly called the Doctor out on exactly how many people he'd gotten killed by choosing to hide in their village as a human and openly turns down his request that she travel with them at least in part based on that. Donna did a simialr thing during that bit with the Racnoss Queen.
- Harriet was many things (including rather stupid, thanks for Children of Earth there, Doctor, Harriet wouldn't have stood for that giving away the kids crap) but I really don't think petty revenge was one of them (I do think he was personally affronted but that wasn't the motivator behind his actions - he was personally affronted about Jenny, too, but he made a point of not shooting the guy who killed her). By shooting someone when their back was turned (and effectively committing genocide, which is always gonna get the Doctor's goat) Harriet showed that humans were untrustworthy and violent and would probably have done so again, thus scaring potential allies off, and irking even more powerful enemies. The Doctor also knows more about time and space than she does, while I feel her actions were somewhat justified, I don't think she was seeing the bigger picture quite as well as she thought she was (or rather she was seeing the bigger picture in so far as their survival depended on the Doctor, but nor about earth's future on a whole).
- The writers in Family of Blood most certainly did think about the implications of the Doctor's actions, since one of the characters gives the Doctor a pretty big What the Hell, Hero? at the end of it all. However, one has to keep in mind that the Family where the last of their kind, and while the Doctor could easily deal with them, doing so would be a genocide. Since we already know the Doctor really hates committing genocide, even when the lives of billions may depend on him doing so, his gambit of going to ground and letting them die out naturally makes perfect sense. It's not that he didn't know there would be risks, but he decided the risk was worth running in order to avoid being responsible for an atrocity. Unfortunately for the people in town, the Doctor lost his bet.
- We also have to think about what the Family would have done had they gotten hold of him: chaos and death throughout the galaxy. They were dangerous, we saw that in the episode. it was either stop them, or let them get hold of a Time Lord which was heavily implied could have had ridiculously bad consequences for all of time and space, rather than just one village (yes, yes I know morality doesn't work according to numbers but one village vs. many many villages all over time and space). He chose a fairly unlikely hiding place (he could have picked anywhere but it had to be somewhere he and more importantly Martha could at least blend in, which limited him mainly to earth) and did his best to prevent an even worse tragedy happening than even the slaughter of a village.
- I also want to point out that the Doctor was highly unstable throughout his time as Ten, with the culmination of his "degeneration" of character hitting right at the time of his death. I actually believe all the things he said and did were because he was afraid to regenerate again, knew he would eventually, and led himself down a road of destruction via Self-Fulfilling Prophecy - the evidence is all there: a) His attitude with the Rachnoss AND his actions if Donna hadn't been there in Turn left. b) His reaction to the Sycorax leader who yielded then tried to backstab him. c) The way he was terrified of being possessed in Midnight (he would have in his other regenerations either stopped talking to the creature, or talked to it in a way more likely to help it understand, but only made a passing effort.) d) His method of dealing with the victim of the absorbaloff - instead of trying to get her out of the stone, he just leaves her? Not the sane doctor we know. e) Waters of mars. All of it. His delusions of grandeur were him losing his grip on reality. f) Donna. If he had hypnotic powers and could block her mind, he could also reduce a lot of that Gallifreyan/time lord knowledge WITHOUT "killing" her memories of him and her times together. It also meant he wouldn't need the bloody "booby trap" which would be a lot more work to do mentally on a person, than to just remove the knowledge.
- Ten may have been unstable, but some of your points don't add up. In Midnight, of course he was terrified of being possessed. Who wouldn't be? And he did talk to the creature in a way to help it understand; it's just that this was a very strange creature so his efforts didn't get very far. Regarding the absorbaloff, obviously he left the girl in stone because it was physically impossible to restore her completely. There's no way he left her in stone-form just for kicks. You've got Waters of Mars backwards, too. The Doctor's actions involved gradeur, but few illusions. The end result of his actions was that two people were alive who otherwise would have died. It would have been three, but the third one committed suicide. It's not like the Doctor made things any worse. As for Donna, just because the Doctor has psychic powers does not mean he can erase Donna's knowledge in this particular instance! What gives you the impression that he had that specific ability, especially considering that nothing similar to Doctor-Donna has ever happened before?
- Leaving Ursula a stone slab with a face may not have been the kind action he was intending. She'll never be able to talk with anyone who isn't Elton, Elton will never get to have a normal life, there's this expectation they'll be together forever or Ursula is screwed even though they hadn't even started to date yet, and she might be trapped as an unaging piece of concrete FOREVER. What's she supposed to do once Elton dies? She's helpless and she's a secret. That he considers this a happy ending and a good thing to do doesn't speak well for his sanity and this was before he lost Rose! And yes, the end result of his actions on Waters of Mars might be a mostly unchanged history but that is because Adelaide had the courage to commit suicide to keep time on track and he got very lucky there. If she hadn't killed herself or her killing herself hadn't been enough to restore the time line, who knows what might have happened? He was careless and reckless and playing hard and fast with human history even though he knew it was a fixed event. The Doctor's actions there aren't meant to be applauded or defended. He went off on a rant about being the Time Lord Victorious, after all, and he was supposed to clearly be in the wrong.
- Love and Monsters didn't happen, so it doesn't count.
- Yes, why doesn't the Doctor kill the Master after all that? (whistles innocently.)
- Aside from the intense sexual tension, the Doctor himself said it best: "Everything that John Smith was capable of, so am I." It's possible, after a lot of work, and a little love, he could have brought the Master back to his Professor Yana mindset.
- Sexual tension?? What are you talking about> There's some attraction between them, but nothing sexual. I'm not even sure if the Doctor feels sexual towards anyone. It just doesn't seem to be a part of his personality. (Rose may be an exception, but even then it was romantic rather than sexual)
- Well, it certainly looks like it will go there with River.
- Yes, all genocidal sociopaths just need a cuddle.
- Are we talking about the Master or the Doctor?
- Let's be honest here, they're both genocidal sociopaths.
- Yeah, but the Doctor's the nice one.
- The nice but criminally negligent one.
- Criminally negligent IS nicer than maliciously negligent!
- What we need to remember when thinking about things like this is that the Doctor's a complicated guy. He's ruthless and merciful, passionate and cold, old and young. The decision of whether to kill isn't an easy one. Each time he makes it the different aspects of his personality are at war inside of him. Sometimes he's ruled by his head, sometimes his hearts, sometimes by logic, sometimes emotion. Is it really any wonder that his behavior is inconsistant? He's just like a human in that regard. Maybe that's why he's both fascinated and disgusted by humanity: he sees himself in us, just like we see ourselves in him. And is this really such a bad thing? We've seen individuals and entire races without this inner conflict, who have no problem deciding whether they should kill. The result isn't pretty. EXTERMINATE!
TARDIS and the Space Between Spaces
- Where does the TARDIS go between dematerializing one place and materializing in another? Where was the TARDIS between, for example, "Dalek" and "The Long Game"?
- The Time Vortex. You don't think they show the fancy swirls in the opening(s) for nothing, do you? ;-)
- This was even confirmed in-show when Jack hitched a ride with the TARDIS by clinging onto the outside. It showed him holding on for dear life while the swirlies buzzed around him and the TARDIS.
- Although it doesn't happen too often in the new series, the TARDIS used to take quite a while to "lock in" on a landing point in the old series; during the Baker era, he'd often wait for the randomizer to actually find a landing spot.
- "Often"? The randomizer only saw service from the end of "The Armageddon Factor" to "The Leisure Hive", where the concept was swiftly abandoned—the ship's perfectly unreliable all by itself.
- In the Classic series, it varies— at the end of "The Enemy of the World", the villain is defeated by being flung out into the Time Vortex after they accidentally flip the dematerialisation switch while the TARDIS doors are still open. In many Fourth and Fifth Doctor stories, they are simply shown to be floating around deep space before they actually get anywhere. A couple Fourth Doctor stories ("The Stones of Blood and "Nightmare of Eden") actually deal with the concept of Hyperspace. Take your pick!
The Doctor's regenerations and clothes not fitting
- When a Time Lord regenerates, one would expect most of their physical dimensions to change- height, weight, shoe size, waist size? How come the Doctor never complains that his shoes don't fit or his pants are too tight?
- Advanced Gallifreyan technology. And Magic Pants.
- The Seventh Doctor spends a lot of time tripping over Colin Baker's clothes in Time and the Rani.
- This was brought up in the very first regeneration shown in "The Power of the Daleks", Ben refuses to believe that the new man is the Doctor, and challenges him to wear the First Doctor's ring, which ought to fit if they're the same man. It falls off.
- Although this doesn't explain why the Doctor's clothes apparently regenerated with him that time.
- Well, if Romana's regeneration is any indication, a Time Lord's regeneration can include change of clothing... if you're good at it. The first regeneration seemed to go off without a hitch, explaining the above. There seems to have been a spanner thrown into the works since then, because all the others since have been... problematic.
- Practically the first thing the Doctor does after regenerating is don a new costume. There was a Doctor Who Magazine comic strip in which, when the Doctor apparently regenerated, he immediately headed to the TARDIS wardrobe muttering "These shoes don't fit at all" (a Continuity Nod to the Eighth Doctor's line "These shoes fit perfectly!") Although, it later transpired he wasn't really the Doctor at all.
- A Big Finish Doctor Who Unbound alternative Third Doctor (played by David Warner) says the same thing at the end of his story.
- Alternative explanation: Time Lord clothes are bigger on the inside...
- Or Time Lord shoes are designed to automatically adjust to their wearer's feet. Not unreasonable, as it's surely been a post-regeneration problem for plenty of them before the Doctor.
- It's pretty likely that Time Lord clothes are designed to be, literally, one-size-fits-all: capable of adjusting themselves if the wearer regenerates. Apart from what the Doctor usually wears, though.
- Given what Gallifrey is like not exactly a Planet Of Adventure most regenerations probably occur in hospital, due to old age or accident. Both Borusa's voluntary regeneration ("The Five Doctors") and the First Doctor's line about delaying too long may even indicate that Time Lords frequently plan their regenerations to keep themselves in their prime. Regenerating abruptly in street clothes is probably vanishingly rare, so it may never have occurred to them to go to any effort to make it comfortable.
"The Doctor" not being a strange name
- Why do so few people in the show find it odd that the Doctor's name is "The Doctor"?
- Presumably, that's slightly lower on the list of priorities than such questions as "Why are aliens invading?' or "Why is this police box larger inside than out?". In any case, plenty of people ask about it, the Doctor's just good at changing the topic.
- They look at a guy with two hearts wearing a multicoloured patchwork coat or a twelve-foot scarf or a question mark jumper or whatever and who's babbling about all kinds of insane things about aliens and the end of time and space and the fact that he's just changed his appearance, and reason that, okay, the fact that he just calls himself 'Doctor' is about the least odd thing about him. Besides which, if they did always question him as to this, then we'd have that "Doctor? Doctor who?" joke nonstop, thus making it even more irritating.
- What? They can see that he has two hearts?
- Also note that he doesn't always say "my name is the Doctor" he often just says "I'm the Doctor", which many people take as him stating his profession. In emergency situations (which the Doctor usually finds himself in) people wouldn't find it strange for a real MD to introduce himself like that in an emergency, letting people know that you're a doctor so that you can get to where you can help is more important than letting people know your name. This doesn't apply in every situation though, obviously.
- The Doctor is his Time Lord title. Almost all Time Lords start using a title rather than a name (Romana being the only counter-example I can think of), examples being The Doctor, The War Chief, The Master, The Rani, and so on.
- It's one of his superpowers: "Regeneration", "Shared Instant Translation", "No Questions Asked" (no-one ever asks his name, or if they do ask, they don't press the matter), "Appearance of Authority" (whole armies will follow his orders even if they have no reason to), and "Uninterrupted Monologuing" (when the Doctor is talking, no-one, not even Daleks or non-sentient creatures, ever interrupt him or invoke Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?).
- Except for that blue guy who shot Bill while the Doctor was mid-speech!
- It is often questioned in some way, although it seems as though most of the time people just assume his introduction of "I'm the Doctor" is him saying his occupation. In the case of characters like Martha during her initial appearance, it seems as though him declaring that his name is literally "The Doctor" is just seen as him boosting a massive ego. Clara herself suggested this (in jest), when she pretended to be him in "Flatline".
The Doctor's Age
- What's up with the Doctor's age, anyway? Even if we ignore that him being 900 would mean that he's regenerated 4 times, destroyed 2 planets, fought in a war, fallen in love, and gone through companions like chips all in one year, he can't seem to decide whether he's 900 years old, lived through 900 years of time and space (which would mean since he first drove a TARDIS), or been traveling in a phone box for 900 years (the very first episode was the first time, according to Susan, that the TARDIS didn't change its shape, which would put him at a few years younger than 450, and would make his current age 1,350 years old).
- How long is a Gallifreyan year? In Earth time? Compensating for the renewing factor of regenerations (each regeneration is theoretically physically younger than the last, although Three and Six are both problematic in that respect)?
- For that matter, the Doctor said he was 756 years old when he first met Romana in "The Ribos Operation". If he's over 900 as of the 2005 series, that means that from the Doctor's perspective, over 150 years have passed between the 1978 series and the 2005 series. What was he doing that whole time?
- The Time War lasted a long time, I guess. And then there's the mourning over the lost civilisation of the Time Lords, redecorating the TARDIS, learning how to speak with a Northern accent, this all would take ages. The real question is: why did he come back to Earth in 2005 and not, say, 1989?
- He had to stop the Nestene Consciousness from taking over the planet.
- Nine came back to earth several times before meeting Rose in 2005. Remember the Conspiracy Theorist in "Rose" who had evidence of Nine appearing on Earth at several points in the past. Since he was by himself, it would mean this was all before the point in Nine's time-line where he meets Rose.
- The Seventh Doctor said he'd had 900 years' practice. It's easy enough to fit any number of years between "The Trial of a Time Lord" and "Time of the Rani", but they doesn't quite fit with the Tenth Doctor being only 900. Squint a little, and the new series comments can be interpreted as referring to how long he's been travelling in the TARDIS, but this still leaves Pertwee's apparent claim to be several thousand years old to be explained.
- The Seventh Doctor actually gives his exact age. It was in the 920s.
- Actually, it's 953, given in "Time and the Rani". He mentions that the Rani is the same age.
- The Doctor has lied about his age in the past Romana's called him on it, although she wasn't exactly innocent in that herself...
- We don't know how long the Doctor and Romana travelled together, and both of them were Time Lords, so they both age slowly. On fact, you could make a case for the Doctor and Nyssa traveling with each other for a long time, considering that we don't know how long Trakenites live and how fast they age.
- And assuming we're not counting Expanded Universe novels and audio plays and the like, there's been plenty of times where the Doctor was by himself or otherwise engaged in adventures we don't know about (his sixth self before 'meeting' Mel after "The Trial of a Time Lord", his seventh self after "Survival", his entire eighth self pretty much), so there's room for a few hundred years to have passed there.
- And there's the time between "The Hand of Fear" and "The Face of Evil", where he travels alone (as far as we know) and between "The Invasion of Time" and "The Ribos Operation" accompanied only by K-9, who doesn't age at all...
- Well, not much. K-9 had "aged" a bit by the time of "School Reunion".
- That's a different K-9. There are four in all.
- And there's the time between when he tells Rose that the TARDIS travels in space and when he tells her it travels in time at the end of the first new series episode.
- You know when ladies and gentlemen of A Certain Age claim that they're actually 30 years old despite all evidence to the contrary? Like that, but with a few extra digits.
- This comic is probably the best explanation.
- Also this one
- He was measuring in Gallifreyan years.
- Alternatively, due to the chaotic, nonlinear nature of his life, the Doctor lost count of his age, so he picked a plausible number and started counting from there.
- Steven Moffat has publicly given the opinion that the Doctor has no bloody clue what his age is any more. And since he's in the top job right now...
- I, personally, think that the Doctor is just embarrassed from finally reaching the big 1000, so he keeps setting his age back a bit.
- According to the TARDIS during "The Doctor's Wife", he's been travelling with her for 700 years (and being designed for timey-wimeyness, she'd know). Given he was in his 400s when we first see him, I'd say that the Doctor is most likely two centuries older than he claims, making his supposed current age of 1107 about 2 centuries off.
- I found an excellent page on this which I greatly prefer to what Moffat said and the writer even says he dislikes that theory. 
- Perhaps when the Doctor said 1200 in "A Town Called Mercy" he was deciding to finally be honest after setting his age back.
- I thought the same thing. Though something we must consider is what manner of dating the Doctor uses. It annoys me when people assume that years mentioned in Doctor Who always mean Earth years. Also I am uncertain the Doctor really has aged nearly 300 years as he barely seems to have aged, while the First Doctor was about 450 at regeneration. I know the Time Destructor aged him and the Doctor may have better control over his age, but still I think the Doctor would have shown more signs of aging. Recently the Doctor has said he has been travelling for 900 years.
- Newer incarnations could have a longer lifespan.
- "The Doctor's Wife" has the TARDIS/Idris/Sexy saying that they've been together for 700 years. Sexy is probably the only thing that serve as a reliable calculator for the Doctor's age. In "The Name of the Doctor" we have edited footage of William Hartnell/First Doctor given advice by Clara to steal the TARDIS, meaning than in "The Doctor's Wife" a lower estimate for his age would be the 1100s range. Add the 200 year-older future Doctor in Day of the Moon and the 900 years of the Siege of Trenzalore, and at the very least the 12th Doctor is in his 24th century.
- Well calculated, but... who's to say that Sexy is any more reliable at telling the passage of time than the Doctor? Remember, she gets 'past' and 'future' mixed up as well.
- Now, of course, the Doctor is, at least mentally, four and a half billion years old, as of "Heaven Sent"!
No "?" in Title
- Why isn't there a question mark at the end of the title?
- Because it's not a question, the "who" is just a placeholder to emphasize his mysteriousness. It's like calling the show "Doctor X" and "Doctor X?" would make no sense.
- Why is the Doctor so rarely seen saving aliens? Logically authorial species bias shouldn't apply to a protagonist who's a Sufficiently Advanced Alien with the powers of a god, so why make him apparently speciesist?
- As the Doctor himself noted in "The Ark in Space", "It may be irrational of me, but human beings are quite my favourite species." Small wonder then that he should show some favouritism.
- Bothers me, too.
- Just because he likes humans the most doesn't make him negligent to other species; I'm pretty sure the writers are just going for relatable cast members, and therefore is going for humans first instead of aliens, assuming (wrongly or rightly, I don't know) that we would find non-human entities less relatable. Also, less make up involved.
- In the Original Series he saved quite a few aliens. It's just that most of them were Human Aliens.
- The recorded Doctor Who stories are only a small portion of the Doctor's adventures, even if you factor in all the expanded universe stuff. Probably the Doctor does visit totally alien planets often, we just don't get to see it.
- Note that the Doctor does try to save aliens when they aren't the antagonists. He tried to save the two crewmen in "Planet of the Dead" (failed but tried) and "Voyage of the Damned" could arguably count. (Alien planet, humanoid appearance.) Not only that, but in "The End of the World" he saved a bunch of aliens. He just doesn't hang around other aliens much.
- On this note, I am more bothered by the lack of non-human companions. Or for that matter, c=human companions who are not from present-day Earth. Can we have some more aliens and time variations in this show now, please? There are plenty of eras to choose from.
- On that note I'd like to point out that he does get them from various eras. Katarina, Leela and Jamie McCrimmon were from past eras, Zoe Harriet (I think) was from the future.
- Zoe was from the (then-distant) 21st Century. I don't think anyone expected the series to catch up with even the 1980s, let alone the 2000s. And then it did...
- Leela was actually from the far future. Katarina, Jamie and Victoria were from the past. Vicki, Steven, Sara Kingdom, Zoe, K9 and Captain Jack were all from the future. Some companions blur the line by being from (what was then) the near future, Grace Holloway from the TV movie for example, she appeared in 1996 but she's from 1999. And then there's Liz, Jo, Sarah Jane, Harry Sullivan and the whole UNIT dating controversy. Alien companions, again all of whom are Human Aliens, start with Susan and then there's a fourteen year gap until Romana who was quickly followed by Adric, Nyssa and Turlough.
- Technically, every companion between Adam and Donna (in series 4) are from a year or more into the future.
- What about the Ood? He saved them. What about the glowy thing in "Fear Her"? He saved it. What about the Vashta Nerada? He didn't kill them, and understood they needed a breeding ground, so he let them stay instead of obliterating them. Or the Star Whale, and how he agonized over his choice? He might be a jerk at times, but he does have compassion. Also look at the above entry for the Fly Beings from Planet of the Dead.
- To be fair, there would be major logistical problems with bringing a completely non-human companion along on his adventures. The Doctor himself can survive and blend in on planets of humans or Human Aliens, so he spends most of his time on those sorts of worlds. Many of the worlds and eras he visits aren't yet in contact with other worlds, and a non-humanlike companion would stick out like a penguin in a falcon sanctuary. If he brought, say, the Ice Warrior companion who'd hung around with Eight to medieval England, he'd be too busy trying to keep the poor guy from being burned alive as a "demon" to deal with the Monster of the Week.
- The Doctor is currently 1100+ years old the Doctor has plenty of time to save non-humans(both human-looking and alien-looking) when we aren't watching.
- From a Doylist point of view, it's because an episode set on Earth with human characters will be more interesting to the audience than one set on Planet Zog with spiny purple-skinned space gorillas (or whatever). Most of the audience is human, after all.
- Speak for yourself (about the "more interesting" bit, not the "most of the audience is human" bit). There are a lot of excellent and popular stories about weird sci-fi/fantasy cultures.
- Many of which, if we're being brutally honest, are basically just exotic depictions of human cultures (or personalities) where the "humans" are given a fancy coat of paint, some quirks and/or a pair of funny ears, interesting though they otherwise may be. Humans are naturally drawn to stories that in some way reflect humans or human concerns because we lack a context or frame of reference for the truly alien, because we've never experienced it. Even science fiction writers will usually either make draw on human cultures as inspiration for their alien species or else present a truly alien species through human eyes (and even then they still mostly draw on other animals that humans would recognise). There is a reason why "The Web Planet", which is pretty much the show's only stab at exploring a truly alien culture, does not exactly appear at the top of many "best stories ever" lists.
The Doctor pre-doctorate
- What did they call the Doctor back in his University days? "Hello, I'm the Sophomore."
- Theta Sigma. Were not sure why (Its confirmed as NOT being his real name).
- We hear that that was his nickname in "The Armageddon Factor". In the Doctor Who gamebook "The Garden of Evil", it's revealed that all students at the Time Academy are referred to by two Greek letters, representing their physical and mental abilities. (In the book, you play a student called Delta Delta.) A gamebook is about as far from canon as you can get, but it was written by David Martin, who also wrote "The Armageddon Factor".
- I've heard they came up with "Theta Sigma" because ?? looks sort of like "WHO"... or "WO" sideways at least. Probably unintended, though, was that ?? (with an overline) was an ancient Greek code for "God" (that is, THeoS minus vowels).
- And, as a side note, funnily enough that was exactly who the writer of "Silver Nemesis" was hinting that the Doctor really was. Yes really.
- Maybe he was the Master before he got his PhD... oh boy, there's a WMG...
- And before that, The Bachelor?
- And even BEFORE that, The Graduate...
- Joking aside, the Doctor does have a real name, he just never uses it, and almost no one knows what it is (the viewer included). Part of what makes him mysterious.
- Which, of course, makes it rather mystifying why the Carrionites couldn't detect any real name associated with him in "The Shakespeare Code".
- The latter's probably because of a Psychic Block Defense, rather than him not having one.
Sontaran neck vents wide open
- Why haven't the Sontarans developed an armored cover for that vent on that backs of their necks that seems to be their only weak spot?
- Flatly answered on-screen in "The Sontaran Stratagem". Their weakness to attack from behind means that they can never retreat; they must always charge forward. In other words, macho crap.
- It also means that a Sontaran attack can be flattened by any rudimentary flanking maneuver. You'd think a race touted as the greatest soldiers in the universe would understand the need to both attack and defend in any direction as the battle dictates. I guess Sontaran tactics haven't evolved beyond Napoleonic Era line formations.
- Possibly their usual tactics account for flank attacks. Besides, Sontarans are pure Proud Warrior Race Guy death before dishonour, any day. Life is probably cheap to the Sontaran generals anyway, when they reproduce by cloning.
- It's a vent. By it's very nature, it must vent something. Presumably, it is something the Sontarans would prefer to have vented, rather than have it build up inside because they covered the vent.
- The Sontarans are essentially an entire race of football hooligans... arrogant, posturing, testosterone fueled thugs who think that they can take on every other race in the universe and win. Their also all completely insane to the point of loving war so much it borders on Cargo Ship.
- I've always seen the Sontarans as, essentially, representing the "Blimp-ish" type of pre-war British militarism. They're very fond of war and aggressive but they're also rather pompous and weighed-down by tradition. The "vent" seems to be a part of that it's to stop them retreating or turning-away from the enemy but despite the obvious impracticalities they don't get rid of it because that's the way it's always been.
- Go back to the first response for a moment it may not be possible for every clone to be free from fear. It means that even the most cowardly, well, especially the most cowardly will face their enemies. They only have to stand back to back and try to bump into each other.
Time Lord mutilation and regeneration
- This might have been answered in an episode I haven't seen, but what happens if you cut a Time Lord's head off, or tear out its hearts, or do some other thing that would render it almost immediately dead? Would it still regenerate? Would it regrow its head/hearts/whatever? Would it regenerate and then immediately die?
- I'm not sure, need to find a source, but I believe they just die permanently.
- They do. In "Turn Left", the Doctor dies 'because it happened too quickly for him to heal. Remember, regenerating takes time.
- Or in that scenario, without Donna there to pull him out of his dark place, he just preferred (like the Master) to not regenerate.
- I could be wrong, but from what I recall Regeneration is used to save a Time Lord from death, not overcome it (okay, yes, the movie does explicitly that, but lets not confuse ourselves). If the Doctor was ever hit full in the face with a Dalek ray, for example, that's it. Finito. All the times the Doctor has regenerated previously, he's been dying, not dead (...except the TV Movie. Stop bringing it up).
- "Heaven Sent" obliquely implies that Seven wasn't actually dead when he was put into the morgue drawer, he just looked dead enough to fool human doctors. Apparently it's not unprecedented for Time Lords who get sick or hurt away from Gallifrey to get buried prematurely.
- In the commentary for "Smith and Jones", Russell T. Davies mentions they set 'guidelines' and one of them is that Doctor would die and not regenerate if shot in the heart. Um one of them.
- Time Lords in the EU can be taken out immediately, permanently, and irrevocably if you stab them through both hearts.
- Time Lords can be killed by stuff that kills instantly. Dalek exterminations kill instantly, as is demonstrated practically every time they shoot someone. The Doctor is hit by a Dalek extermination. He is not killed, or, apparently, physically harmed at all. Wha?
- What do you mean not physically harmed? The Tenth Doctor was struck at the side (not hit head-on like most Dalek cases) and began to partial-regenerate, while the Eleventh was hit by a ray from a severely weakened Dalek, and was still incredibly short of breath and injured when the gang found him in the Pandorica.
- Add that to the fact that Dalek gunsticks absolutely do NOT kill instantly. If there's time to scream for several seconds while your skeleton flashes, it wasn't instantaneous. I also seem to recall that Daleks actually tone down their blasts against weaker targets like humans just to prolong the agony, although this might not be canon.
- All of this aside, isn't it said that regeneration is not a foolproof process (at his impending death the fifth doctor says that he "might" regenerate, but he's not sure.) Maybe sometimes it just doesn't work.
- "The Caves of Androzani" had the Doctor, poisoned, say that he "might regenerate", implying that with too much damage, regeneration is not certain and he could just die.
- In "The Impossible Astronaut" it's stated that a Time Lord who is killed again while regenerating is down for good.
- What's the minimum amount of damage needed to trigger regeneration?
- A bump on the head.
The title is more trouble than it's worth
- So his name isn't "Doctor Who", I get it. So why is the show called "Doctor Who"? I mean, seriously, it's a rather weak joke that creates more confusion from the ignorant than amusement from the informed. And if they're going to use that name it should have a question mark at the end!
- Because "Doctor Who" was sort of a pseudonym/false name for him. The credits referred to him as Doctor Who for ages (until Peter Davison's era, I believe, and it was listed as such during Eccleston's time). It's really only fans who get so picky about it. Either way, it made a lot more sense back when the Doctor was much more mysterious, and we didn't know anything about his home planet, race, or back-story. Back in 1963, we didn't know anything about the Doctor except what was shown directly onscreen. And if creates confusion for the ignorant, well, that's their fault for not being able to figure it out. It's really pretty simple.
- "Doctor Who" is a catchier title (and easier to trademark). It would be weird if the title was just "Doctor", or "The Doctor".
- And I always thought that if the show was just called "The Doctor", It would sound more like a hospital drama rather than a science fiction program. And since the Doctor isn't an actual doctor, it would make no sense.
Doctor reacts more to Cybermen than Daleks
- Despite the Daleks being infinitely more dangerous than the Cybermen, the Doctor reacts to the latter with a lot more fear, always saying "Do as they say!" and "DON'T fight them!!" With the Daleks, you have to stop him from getting into a sarcastic, light-hearted conversation with them. Not once does he ever look truly scared for his life. The Sontarans are the same "YOU CAN'T FIGHT SONTARANS!!!!" why the fear, you'll let them blunder into a fight against the cult of Skaro no problem, but against an enemy they can actually beat... they better fall back.
- The Doctor probably knows that the Daleks aren't just mass murdering psychopaths (they're organized mass murdering psychopaths), and he's been fighting them much more then any other enemy, so he knows something about their strategies and weaknesses. Cybermen however, he hasn't seen so much and even though he knows their weakness, he isn't likely to carry gold dust/bullets/anything with him on his person. As for Sontarans, they are militant, stubborn and their only weakness is directly behind them. Sontarans and Cybermen he can deal with easier but shows more fear to since he doesn't know exactly what they may be up to, but Daleks he usually has a pretty good understanding (i.e., them killing everything not Dalek).
- Resisting a Cyberman gets you immediately "deleted", but surrendering gives you until they get you to the conversion chamber to act. Fighting a Sontaran means dealing with them on their terms, terms that are very much in their favour, but surrendering might put them off guard long enough for you to think of something clever. With Daleks, on the other hand, it's the other way around surrendering gets you immediately exterminated with extreme prejudice, whereas baiting them, especially if you're their long-established enemy, might confuse them long enough for you to get out of the situation.
- My theory? The Doctor's filled with such hatred for the Daleks by this point that it's more powerful than any fear he might feel towards them.
- Re: The Cybermen. Personally, I think it's because of the Squick factor involved in creating Cybermen and the inherit Body Horror of the concept. To an invidivualist like the Doctor, the concept of a monster that turns you into a mindless drone while still leaving you technically alive has got to be a horrifying idea far worse than the simple extermination you'd face at the hands of a Dalek. As for the Sontarans, the Tenth Doctor more than most incarnations was a Technical Pacifist who had serious issues with military authority. The Sontarans bothered him because they were even more of a mindless soldier race than the Daleks. Put simply, Sontarans are generally too single-minded to be fast-talked, unlike the much more paranoid/scheming Daleks.
- Sarah Jane observed in "The Masque of Mandragora" that the more worried the Doctor is, the worse his jokes get. When he's not joking, he's not really worried.
- In "Dalek", Nine looks at the severed head of a Cyberman and gets downright nostalgic, calling it an old friend before correcting himself "More like an enemy the stuff of nightmares, really. I must be getting old." When he sees the Dalek, though, he starts pounding on the door and begging and pleading to be let out of the room until he realizes it's disabled. (Yes, the decapitated Cyberman head was disabled, too.)
- Going back to the original question it's very simple, really. The Daleks may be more dangerous than the Cybermen and the Sontarans, but there's one major difference: the Doctor scares the absolute crap out of them. He's their version of Satan, and he *knows* it. That gives him leverage.
- At least, it used to. Clara!Dalek may not have been doing him any favours, erasing the Daleks' memories of him....
First Doctor longevity
- Way back at the very beginning, the first Doctor had survived for goodness knows how long without regenerating. The second the show's time-line begins Doctors start dropping like flies and he racks up ten regenerations in just a few decades. I get that it's just a TV show and some suspension of disbelief is required, but how did he survive for 900+ years without having to regenerate until relatively late in his life?
- Possibly because the show's starting point marks the time the Doctor began hanging out with humans? Companions tend to cause a lot of trouble for the Doctor, and now he's got friends to protect. Any adventure becomes more dangerous when you've got a bunch of hangers-on who constantly need rescuing.
- The Doctor never dies without companions. Between companions, he adventures for months (or years) before picking up another. The months rack up. Simple enough.
- I like the idea this brings up of a Doctor-companion Death Range. :D
- Also, in the old days at least, things were a lot safer on Gallifrey than out facing Daleks, Cybermen and such. Presuming the Doctor and Susan hadn't been too long gone from Gallifrey, it makes sense that the Doctor would've spent more time in his first incarnation without any dangers in his way.
- 1 wasn't 900 years old. 6 claimed to be "around 900", Romana remainded 4 he was 759 while he claimed to be 756. He's been travelling for much longer than the show eh... shows.
- And, as Steven Moffat has pointed out on at least one occasion, the Doctor doesn't exactly keep a calendar in the TARDIS. The most logical explanation is that he lost track at some point, and around his ninth incarnation started over again at 900 because it sounded good. The Doctor could be a million years old now, for all we know. After all, Eight could have had a long time before the Time War came about...
- If you go by the Big Finish audios, he spent six hundred years trapped on an oceanic planet, with another bout of partial amnesia (Eight really is prone to that, poor guy).
- Adding on to this, the Doctor fought in a massive war against the Daleks and only had to regenerate once, from Eight to Nine. A huge war against the Daleks, and the Time Lords, and he managed to avoid everything being thrown from both sides, save for one time (presumably near the end, before the events of Rose)?
- "The End of Time" reveals that why the Time War was not a nice place to be was because the dead were revived over and over. Who's to say the Doctor wasn't?
- I've sometimes wondered if the First Doctor is not really the first Doctor, if there were others before the show started. But I haven't watched much of the old series, so maybe that's about the dumbest thing a person can say.
- I had a weird idea watching "The Impossible Astronaut" that the little girl in the astronaut suit right at the end of the episode is actually an earlier version of the Doctor, before the Hartnell version. I don't think I'm dumb, but I may well be crazy.
- Not that dumb, as the little girl did indeed turn out to be someone's previous regeneration. Namely, River Song's.
- The Hartnell version was the Doctor's first incarnation.
- Decisively confirmed in "Twice Upon A Time".
- The production crew decided to imply otherwise in "The Brain of Morbius", stating that the other faces we saw (theirs) were "even earlier Doctors and past Morbiuses,'' but this was Jossed.
- The adventures that happen on screen aren't his whole life. Most of his incarnations lasted at least 100 years (on his personal timeline) going by his age given in various episodes. The first doctor died at 450, the third at 748, the forth was 813, the sixth was 953, and the 7th was 1009. The new series threw these references out the window with Steven Moffitt pretty much saying that any reference the doctor makes to his age in the new series is meaningless because the Doctor doesn't really know how old he is anymore. The show has been on for nealry 50 years, and what we;ve actually seen of his life is still just the tip of the iceberg.
- Well see the speculations on the Doctor's age elsewhere.
Human-hand-operable Dalek ships
- In the classic series, on several occasions the Doctor and companions escape by stealing Dalek ships. (Examples: the end of "The Chase", "The Daleks' Master Plan".) Why do Dalek ships have controls that you can work with hands?
- In the Expanded Universe book Alien Bodies, the Doctor, needing to turn the lights on in a Dalek ship, produces a sink plunger from his pocket to use the controls.
- Maybe they have slaves for menial jobs? One can't really imagine Daleks doing the dusting.
- Perhaps they keep the Ogrons around for more than just killing people.
- Possibly the controls are for the "robomen" that'd appeared in one of the early Dalek stories.
- Same reason Time Lord tech in the new series can only be worked with Dalek plungers, presumably.
- THEY WILL EXPLAIN LATER! *Curse of the Fatal Death Referance.*
- Possibly Daleks don't bother to build ships from scratch, if they can retrofit the vessels of beings they've wiped out.
- This has been seen by some as a Fanon explanation for why the Daleks seemed to have TARDIS's of their own in "The Chase" and "The Dalek's Master Plan", but not in later appearances. The Dalek TARDISes are actually captured Time Lord TARDISes that have been retrofitted for Dalek usage. But somebody who knows how could revert the "desktop theme" to provide controls usable by beings with hands. That the number of available Dalek TARDISes was limited supports this theory.
- Possibly, most of their technology was either adopted from existing Kaled technology, which was designed for beings with hands. A better question would be why Davros didn't design the Daleks with some sort of appendage more akin to a hand.
- This is Davros we're talking about.
- As of "The Magician's Apprentice", it seems plausible that Davros is subconsciously afraid of mechanical hands, given that a bunch of them almost killed him when he was a little boy. So even if he intellectually sees their advantages, he just couldn't stand putting hands on his "perfect creations".
The Doctor and money
- The Doctor being "vague" about money. Huh? Even if Time Lords don't use money, doesn't he know that it's very important for the late 20th/early 21st century humans (and society) he tends to hang around with? Doesn't he understand the idea of bartering for something he needs but doesn't have? A sonic screwdriver and a piece of psychic paper will only get him so far. Besides its only basic math! When he needed, say, 400 pounds for the rent in a recent episode why didn't he just realize, "oh that's just 8 of those little pieces of paper that say '50' or 20 of them that say '20'", instead of just handing a whole bag of money over asking "is that enough"?
- I don't think he's really that vague on understanding it (though granted, it must be tricky to remember all the different types of currency in the universe). The Doctor is the master of Obfuscating Stupidity. We've seen him manipulating cash venders and so on with reasonable understanding of what to do. When he handed Craig the bag of a crazy amount of money he probably knew it was at least a crazy amount of money. He just had to get into that particular house and knew a human probably wouldn't say no to that much cash.
- It also makes it much more likely Craig would accept the crazy amount of money and let the Doctor stay, if Craig can see that the Doctor has enough money to not know what it's worth. A good person wouldn't want to take advantage of someone who was handing over their life's savings, but to accept a large sum from an eccentric millionaire or spoiled rich kid, who clearly won't miss it? No problem!
- Especially if you consider that someone who looks like he knows exactly how much money is there is more likely to raise suspicions than someone who just throws it around without understanding how valuable it is.
- One word: inflation. Ask your parents if they ever have problems with how much they remember a dollar as being worth compared to how much its worth now. Then look at the Doctor, who never spends more than three days in any given century. It'd be a bloody miracle if he was somehow able to keep track of the absolute spending power of the pound for every time unit of entire duration of its existence as a currency.
- And not just pounds. Even the Doctor couldn't remember the exact value of every denomination of currency at every point in time for every civilization he's ever encountered and still have room in his brain for everything else he has to know!
- My thought: The Doctor does know currency values, he just tends to throw it away because it's paper, and he knows where to get more of it if he needs. After all, in "Voyage of the Damned" he is quick to point out to Mr. Copper the conversion of pounds to credits, making Mr. Copper rich.
- I don't think it's that the Doctor doesn't understand money. I think that he just doesn't *care*. He's basically a space hobo, by nature and inclination. If he really cared about little things like money, he wouldn't be the Doctor, now, would he?
- Craig Hinton's "The Crystal Bucephalus" posits that he makes obscene amounts of money through the Time Travel Compound Interest Gambit. So much, in fact, that he has to deliberately make terrible business deals just to siphon some of it away!
- The Doctor is a Time Lord. The 'Lord' part implies a certain amount of privilege, if not wealth, and the tale of an extremely wealthy and privileged person being kind of vague with regards to money and how much things cost because they're simply so wealthy that they don't need to really think about it is an oft-told one for a reason. If he's not actually so wealthy and important that he genuinely doesn't worry about money matters because he thinks he doesn't need to, then he presumably finds it very useful to act as if that's the case.
- I don't think he's really that vague on understanding it (though granted, it must be tricky to remember all the different types of currency in the universe). The Doctor is the master of Obfuscating Stupidity. We've seen him manipulating cash venders and so on with reasonable understanding of what to do. When he handed Craig the bag of a crazy amount of money he probably knew it was at least a crazy amount of money. He just had to get into that particular house and knew a human probably wouldn't say no to that much cash.
- Why does the Doctor not remember what happened in multi-Doctor episodes?
- Timey-Wimey, Wibbly-Wobbly.
- In "Time Crash", Ten saved both his and Five's TARDISes in the nick of time. When Five asked him how, Ten said, more or less, "When I was Five I watched me do what I just did, and I've remembered it all these years. Now you'll remember it when you're Ten." However, Ten also says "By the way, I just fought the Master," and even though he remembers the exchange from Five's perspective, he's still surprised that the Master survived the Time War.
- Well, there was quite a long time between Five and Ten. There's nothing unusual from Five's perspective about fighting the Master and at most he'd be like "God, he is never going to quit, is he?" By the time the Time War happens and he kills all the Time Lords, he's not going to remember every little (seemingly) unimportant detail of a meeting with his future self. Ten might have even completely forgotten about it until it happened again. Even if he didn't, more information about how the TARDIS works is going to be of a little higher priority than details about his life five regenerations hence.
- I guess, but a lot happened in that intervening period to bring it to the Doctor's attention. Before he met Rose, Nine spent a lot of time thinking about how lonely he was with his species extinct, and surely he would have had at least a fleeting "Oh wait, that's right." Neither is there such a moment when Nine and Ten are so very frequently moping about their Last of the Time Lord status. Not even when Ten looked in the mirror for the first time and presumably thought "I've seen that face before ... This must be the life in which that exchange took place." And "You Are Not Alone" didn't ring any bells. Also, in the movie both Seven and Eight seem to think the Master's gone for good. Eight in particular had the amnesia thing going, and both of them could have the concerns you describe, but you'd think the postwar Doctor would think be reminded of the comment at SOME point, given how often his "last of my kind" status comes up.
- Because "Time can be re-written." The Doctor probably just assumed that the Time Lords' getting eliminated from the normal flow of space and time would also eliminate any future interaction he would've had with any of them.
- Plus, for all Five knew, Ten could have fought a previous version of the Master, rather than one of those that'd survived the Time War. If a prior Doctor can show up for a storyline, why not a prior Master also?
- Doesn't one of the earlier multi-Doctor episodes imply that meeting your own regenerations is against the rules, and that you'll forget it once the event is over?
- It does, but this episode pretty explicitly makes clear that the Fifth Doctor will actively remember this meeting.
- Maybe using his telepathic powers the Doctor makes sure he forgets. With Time-Crash he made sure he would forget until the event happened.
- Five had no knowledge of the Time War wiping out all Time Lords, so saying "Just fought the Master again!" is about like saying "Just encountered a Dalek again!" i.e. pretty meaningless to Five. And Nine had no way of knowing which regeneration Ten was. For all he knew, as Five he met Eleven, Twelve, or Thirteen that would go and fight the Master (if he even did remember the mostly insignificant exchange) and that he had rewritten time with how he ended the time war.
- Seems like when you meet different incarnations of yourself, your past self only remembers vague details until you become the current version, who will remember stuff. Which is why 11 recognized the time fissure thingy in "The Day of the Doctor", and 10 remembered seeing himself manipulate the controls in "Time Crash".
- Every other time multiple Doctors came together, the older incarnations had no memory of experiencing events from their younger selves' perspective. Between this, and the blatant abuse of the Fourth Wall, we can only conclude that "Time Crash" isn't actually canon. As for explanations of why they can't remember, the explanation in "The Day of the Doctor" was that "the timelines are out of synch" and Ten "can't retain the new memories." It's quite possible that the full explanation simply cannot be translated into English, hence the technobabble effect. We don't have the requisite vocabulary and concepts.
Changed My Jumper
- Why does no one ever question the Doctor or his companions' clothes? Sure, I can accept that a suit is pretty multipurpose, and maybe that nobody would notice it doesn't quite fit current styles, but why doesn't anyone react to Martha and Rose running around in pants, or Amy with a lot of leg exposed, when they're in Elizabethan London or Renaissance Venice? Or Four's mile-long scarf, for that matter?
- They do comment on it occasionally, but most of the time they are concerned with more pressing matters such as the crisis going on, or the mysterious guests acting strange enough to begin with that clothes are the least of their worries. (Remember, Shakespeare's biggest surprise about Martha was that she supposedly came from a land where women could be doctors!)
- Yeah, they do comment on it occasionally. I specifically remember an episode called "Tooth and Claw" or something.... Where they call Rose a naked child (due to the fact that she was wearing short-legged overalls and a t-shirt), and The Doctor makes a comment that Rose is a feral child. LOL!
- And Captain Jack commented on the inappropriate clothing worn by Rose and the Doctor when he first met them in 1940s London.
- Well, I hate to be That Person, but for the Doctor at least .... perception filters make it really hard to notice there's something wrong if the wearer doesn't want you to, just saying
- The TARDIS provides an automatic translation, why shouldn't it also provide a mild perception filter to make people gloss over little things like inappropriate clothing or weird names?
- They just assume that the Doctor and his companions are nomads from somewhere else where the fashions are different. Which is actually true, in a manner of speaking.
The Doctor's lingual skills
- So the TARDIS translates everything anyone says unless the Doctor is unconscious or whatever; I get that. What I'm wondering (and I don't know if it's ever been addressed), can the Doctor himself speak English? Because presumably he could just be hearing his companions as speaking whatever language they spoke on Gallifrey. Seems most people (fanfic writes and stuff) assume he can speak English, but I'm wondering if they're ever explicitely explained this?
- (Same as above) OR, is it that the TARDIS can only translate when the Doctor is around because it somehow... uses him? I mean, like if the Doctor actually knows many, many languages, and the TARDIS can only translate what it gets from his brain, and does it for the benefit of his companions and not the Doctor himself? And if he came across aliens who spoke a language he didn't know, the TARDIS wouldn't be able to translate it? Or what?
- We do know from "The Christmas Invasion" that the Doctor is linked to the TARDIS translation functions...
- Well, in "The Satan Pit" a man had writing on him that the Doctor didn't understand so it appeared as random symbols, and we have seen him flat out speak Judoon. So I'm gonna go ahead and say; Yes, the TARDIS only translates languages the Doctor happens to know, he just happens to know ALOT of them and yes, if he came across a language he didn't know then it wouldn't translate it.
- Actually, the Doctor specifically says that if the TARDIS can't translate the letters, they must be a very ancient language. So that seems to confirm that the TARDIS translates whatever languages he doesn't understand.
- Wasn't that a reference to Old High Gallifreyan, which is a special case anyway considering it's actually mildly illegal in Time Lord society anyway?
- That, and the Doctor is still able to speak English when separated from the TARDIS.
- Well, what's your definition of "separated"? A little thing like a couple hundred years or an alternate dimension isn't going to stop something as strong as a timeship pilot-bond, after all.
- My understanding is that the Doctor is able to personally understand most languages telepathically and it is the TARDIS that allows him to share that ability with his companions at will. This would also explain the occasions where the Doctor speaks to someone in a foreign language (i.e. the Third Doctor speaking Chinese to a fellow Time Lord, who is also fluent in the language) but his companions do not understand what is being said.
- If you want go darker you can always point out that the pilot can probably control the TARDIS circuits remotely, which means that whenever the Doctor's speaking a foreign language and the companions can't hear it, it's probably because the Doctor doesn't want them to hear it...
- Do note that in "The War Games", the Doctor had not yet learned French.
- Also, in "Planet of the Dead", the Doctor says he speaks every language.
- Though if he really does or if the TARDIS just translates for him is debatable.
- For what it's worth since most people don't take the books as canon one of the novels has the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory stranded in France, and the Doctor states that if they lose contact with the TARDIS entirely "you'll have to learn French and I'll have to learn English".
- Would that mean that the Doctor already knows French?
- According to Susan, he's a big fan of French history... maybe some time after The War Games he made the effort to learn the language?
- He definitely speaks French, he identified the time period and language Madame de Pompadour was speaking in during "The Girl in the Fireplace".
- Could easily have been via the translation circuits too, the TARDIS is telepathically bonded to her pilot
- In a novel I've forgotten the name of it's mentioned that the Doctor doesn't strictly speak any human language (although they could probably 'download' it from the translation circuits if they really wanted to, or just learn it really quickly (Time Lord brains can apparently do that kind of thing.) The translation circuits, on the other hand, know any and every language they work, like most TARDIS systems, telepathically, and therefore don't translate the actual words being said as much as the meaning behind them, i.e. what the person thinks they're saying. Somewhere else it's also mentioned that the dr's telepathic enough to generate the translation field on their own if they really have to (i.e. the Divergent Universe, etc.) although it's kind of hard to keep up w/o the TARDIS long-range circuits Time Lords are extremely powerful touch telepaths, but normal telepathy (while possible) is not really their strong suit.
- Considering how old he is and how fond of hanging around Earth and the United Kingdom he is, it's fairly safe to assume that in addition to the telepathic translation circuits he probably also made a point of learning English at some point.
- It's implied at several points that the Time Lords seeded humanoid life-forms around the universe to establish them as the dominant template because they were humanoid. It's not out of the realm of possibility that they would also seed around languages that Time Lords would be familiar with in order to make sure that Time Lords could understand what was going on. In other words, the Doctor's not speaking English; we're speaking Gallifreyian.
Sontarans should curb-stomp Rutans
- Why are the Sontarans taking so long to beat the Rutans, much less losing to them? The Rutans are green jelly! Green jelly that can shapeshift, but Sontarans are cloned super soldiers being cranked out at millions every 240 seconds. Its like if the 501st was on the losing end of a battle with the Slime monsters from Dragon Quest.
- The answer is in the question. The Rutans can shapeshift. Their natural form is that of a huge jellyfish, but I seriously doubt they'd ever go into battle like that. They can turn into any number of nightmare creatures to fight the Sontarans. What's more, who says they can't shapeshift into Sontarans to infiltrate their ranks and take them down from the inside? The question then becomes, with that kind of power, why are the Rutans taking so long to beat the Sontarans?
- In "Horror of Fang Rock" it's revealed that the Sontarans ARE curb-stomping the Rutans. Most likely the war goes back and forth. To make things worse, the Sontarans have time-travel technology, and for the Rutans to be an even vaguely credible threat to them the Rutans must have time-travel too. There's no reason either race's appearance should be in chronological order.
- Not to mention Rutans could generate lethal biolelectrical shocks to defend themselves and seem to be able to absorb electrical energy directly. They could also use this energy to produce a force field to absorb energy from weapons, not to mention Rutans can survive in the vacuum of space, meaning they're pretty damn resilient, and none of this is taking into account their technology beyond shapeshifting, or their ability to reproduce via a method very similar to cloning. I'd say it's a pretty fair fight, not really a curbstomp either way
- Also, their major battles are taking place in space between spaceships... if their hardware and shipboard artificial intelligences are good enough, how they'd match up in hand-to-hand combat tells you only a little about how the war should go.
- That being said how long has it been since we've even seen a Rutan. The truth is we've only seen them once on TV and in that story they were heavily implied to be losing. It could be that after "Horror of Fang Rock", the Sontarans quickly wiped them out but whatever government the Sontarans have quickly covered it up realizing that the war with the Rutans is all there clones have to live for. That or they intentionally do not wipe them out for much the same reason.
- Why assume the Rutans reproduce any more slowly than the Sontarans do? For all we know, they spawn just as rapidly as the Sontarans crank out clones.
Time Lords aging
- This is more of a question, but do Time Lords age normally? I mean, I imagine One had a pretty long life before he left Gallifrey, but how long, exactly? During "An Unearthly Child" One looks about 60-70, but is he really, or is he much older? Will a regeneration age normally? My theory is the 'original' will age, then regenerate before it dies, and regenerations don't age. Any canon/fanon theories?
- According to the wiki, he described himself as having been "a kid" at age 90, having been a "teenager" for 50 years, and having spent several centuries at the Academy, so its pretty sure that they age slowly even before the first regeneration.
- The First Doctor was around 450 when he died of old age, so I would assume that's the natural life span of each regeneration.
- Well, that number is highly suspect anyway, but it's worth mentioning that One also quite some time in the presence of a... Time Destructor, was it?... in "The Daleks' Master Plan" the same amount of Time that aged Sara Kingdom to dust and then some, in fact, which probably ups that number by at least a couple centuries. Unless they're immune anyway due to Time Lord-y stuff.
- Actually, it would depend on what "age" each regeneration was when they were "born". For example, I'm willing to bet that the Eleventh Doctor would have a much longer natural life span than the Third Doctor, as the latter was "born" older than the former.
- Speaking of, how old is River Song/Melody? Her orignal incarnation seemd to be the little girl in the space suit, then she became Mels when she regenrated at the end of Day of the Moon, then River during Let's Kill Hitler. So to me, when she becomes River, she's about 30 years old. My problem is, how long did she spend being trained as "the perfect weapon"? Eight or ten years i don't think will cut it.
- 1969 + 42 = 2011 (the rough year "Let's Kill Hitler" is set). So, she's probably at least that old, and spent that long trained as a weapon.
- I was under the impression that she aged like a normal human, mostly due to the fact that Mels and Amy grew up together. I don't know a lot about psychology, but from birth to ten years old seems like a good amount of time to impress upon her ideas about the Doctor. With those opinions of the Doctor, Mels could have very well trained herself to be more dangerous in order to kill him.
- Melody wasn't born in 1969, as far as we can tell from the show. She was born on Demon's Run, and we don't know in what year. We do know that she regenerated from the little girl to Mels in 1969, yet she grew up with Amy and Rory in the 1990s/early 21st century. That's NOT normal aging.
- That could explain it, but considering she seems to have grown up ordinarily with Amy maybe she was simply taken to the future.
- River isn't a full Time Lady, so she ages at a more human rate. Full Time Lords age much slower. Perhaps River keeps younger in the future using future technology.
- Simple reason why Mels grew up alongside Amy and Rory: in 1969 when Melody regenerated, she did not turn into Mels, but another incarnation whom we didn't see. This incarnation then traveled to England, and regenerated again into Mels and grew up as Amy's best friend.
- I was initially under the impression that since River Song had two human parents, she would age at a normal human rate and simply regenerate after 100 years or so, ageing naturally. This would mean that the natural Gallifreyan lifespan is far longer (and their ageing slower) given how long the Doctor goes between regenerations. As the new series went on it became pretty clear that this wasn't the whole picture: River's third incarnation lives for hundreds of years. I have a theory that after the final regeneration (remember, River gave all her regenerations to the Doctor) perhaps there is some residual regeneration energy which extends the lifespan of the Time Lord's final incarnation beyond what would be natural for their original species (human, Gallifreyan or otherwise). This would also go a way towards explaining the ridiculously long time Eleven lived before he was granted a new regeneration cycle.
- To get back to the actual question, canon is completely inconsistent on this (among other things Eight spent something like five hundred years on Orbis and didn't age a day) which leads me to believe that Time Lords are also inconsistent i.e. they only age when they feel like it (River / Mels's 'take the age down a little' comment in "Let's Kill Hitler" implies that this is possible anyway) or they only age in certain situations (kept away from the TARDIS?? stuck in Outer Time?? who knows.) Also, One's definitely not 60-70 in "An Unearthly Child", and 450 is also unlikely given what we know of their time on Gallifrey.
Companion episode timelines
- Why is the series so adamant on making every episode between companions come immediately after the last? Tennant isn't going to stick around forever, so we need some time for his Doctor to age. Going further, isn't the Doctor kinda pissed that right after defeating the Master after a year's wait, he bumps into two crisises in a row? When does this man sleep anyway.
- As for sleeping, we're not actually sure he does...
- Taking into consideration just how "canon" the new novels are, in the book The Last Dodo, the 10th Doctor mentions he doesn't sleep much.
- I think he dozes off in "The Tomb of the Cybermen", thinking about his family at the back of his mind.
- Yes, everyone was supposed to be taking turns standing watch, and Victoria took a longer turn than she was supposed to have in order to let him sleep longer.
- One slept right through a landing at the beginning of one storyline, IIRC.
- Well, the VN As straight-out say several times that Time Lords don't actually need sleep, like, at all, and even when they do sleep it's generally a kind of healing-trance-style doze in which they are still alert but also not really aware (helps to pass the time, I guess.)
- Practically speaking, it's so that the writers can throw in a teaser at the end of the season that will get everyone to come back for the Christmas special. Not that it matters we don't know how much time elapsed (er, so to speak) between Ten defeating the Queen of the Racnoss in "The Runaway Bride" and him meeting Martha in "Smith and Jones". He could have been moping about elsewhere for a while. I imagine there will be a similar gap between this year's Christmas special and the start of season four.
- They used to do this back in William Hartnell's era, as well. Every new serial would begin with everyone standing exactly where they were at the end of the old serial, in the same costumes, even if those costumes were never seen again in the new serial.
- I believe they did this right up to the end of the Second Doctor serial The Invasion, and even then it was production troubles that meant the serial that would have directly continued from then wasnt made.
- I'm pretty sure 6 years have passed for the Doctor. (In "Aliens of London", he says he is 900 years old. Then in "End of Time Part 1" he says he is 906. Pretty safe to assume some time has passed for him.
- If there's anything we can be certain off about the Doctor's age it's that they're definitely not 900 years old as Ten so that's out of the window anyway. (I mean, compare pretty much any time the Doctor talks about their age and tell me they're not lying like a dog.)
- Especially if we take into account the Cartmel Masterplan, which would put the Doctor's age at 'literally, actually, older than the universe in its present form...'
Doctor meets all time-travelers in order but River
- With so many time traveling characters, each with their own time stream, why is River Song the only one whom the Doctor meets out of order? (And the woman from "Blink", I guess, though she wasn't a time traveller.)
- She's not. There was at least one in the old series. Melanie Bush was her name. There's also a character in the expanded universe who met and traveled with the 8th Doctor, then later became a companion of the 6th Doctor.
- Thanks, I haven't seen too much of the classic series yet and there are like sixty companions so I lose track. But still, you'd think it would be more common than it is.
- Not sure if it's official, but if you wanna accept that Jack is the Face of Boe, the Doctor met the FoB first, then Jack.
- Most other companions only ever travel in time together with the Doctor, which I guess makes it easier for him to keep their timelines in sync (perhaps the TARDIS herself keeps that straight for him). River Song has traveled back and forth quite a bit through other means, which probably scrambles their history together. Though other time travelers seems to stay in sync, but since the Master and the Doctor grew up together on Gallifrey I suppose their timelines sticks together. Only Jack Harkness seems to be completely without an excuse.
- If you want to accept the Jack is the Face of Boe theory, then he has a legitimate excuse. The Doctor meets the Fo B with Rose. Fo B tells Martha and the Doctor his last message. When they end up at the edge of the universe, Martha reminds the Doctor of Fob's message, with Jack standing right behind her. Later, after the Master is defeated, Jsck mentions to the Doctor and Martha that "Face of Boe" was a nickname from when he was younger. Eons later, when Jack is the Face of Boe, he meets up with the Doctor and Rose to finish his side of the time loop. Also, Jack has the time manipulator, which works as the plot demands.
- Jack and River have had access to time travel without the Doctor; most other companions haven't. (Though Ian and Barbara ended up in possession of a Dalek ship, so...).
- It's because the entire series runs on San Dimas Time, for some reason. Don't get me started...
- Could be it's the TARDIS's fault. Sexy doesn't perceive Time linearly, but she knows humanoids do, so she could be arranging things so the Doctor usually meets his companions in the same chronological order as they meet him. River is the exception, because if the Doctor had first met her as the Ponds' baby daughter, their subsequent relationship (of which Sexy approves) would've felt too creepy for both of them.
- And likely would never have happened. The reason the Doctor comes to trust River is because she proves that in the future he'll trust her more than anyone, and so he should come to trust her even though he doesn't know her. It's basically a case of him taking his own word that she's not only trustworthy, but one of the most trustworthy people he's ever met. The other reason they become close is that she knows how close they'll be, and so keeps calling on him and showing up in his life, bringing him closer to her (even as she gets further from him). If they had met sequentially, none of that would be the case, he probably wouldn't feel any stronger about her than any of his other friends, and they likely wouldn't have a romantic relationship at all.
- Well, going off EU Who, generally 'Inner Time' (a kind of 'free time', disconnected from history as a whole, the kind Gallifrey runs on) regulates this kind of thing keeps Time Lords meeting each other and generally regular mortals in the right order. It's kind of like an in-universe San Dimas Time, which gets pretty interesting at times. Inner Time can't be time-travelled through either (well, I mean, the Doctor does it a lot, but they're kind of weird like that; it probably comes with being a dangerous renegade). It seems very possible that the relationship between Inner Time and Outer Time and generally everything else has broken down a bit in the absence of Time Lords to maintain it and the Eye of Harmony (the original on Gallifrey, by the Caldera) to anchor it, which results in River i.e. the first and only Time Lord born in a universe without Gallifrey being completely disconnected from Inner Time and meeting everyone in weird order. And Jack only has a vortex manipulator, which works by connecting to the Web of Time (i.e. the structured history Rassilon created) and therefore only functions within Outer Time anyway. (It can be argued that he should have been locked to Inner Time just by virtue of meeting the Doctor the same lock caused by the Faction Paradox interfering in the eighteenth century, the kind caused by any contact with the Higher races but a) time's kinda screwed-up after the War, as said, and b) honestly it's Doctor Who, it's not going to be that internally consistent.
- Those are all the Watsonian explanations. The Doylist explanation, of course, is that the New Who showrunners are much more into exploring the plot-bending potential of Time Travel Tropes than Old Who. Also, that New Who's propensity for prolonged story arcs makes it possible to play with the companion-met-out-of-order concept. Even so, most companions still need to be met in order, just so audiences don't completely lose track of the separate characters' timelines: it's hard enough just keeping the River/Doctor flowchart sorted out.
First Doctor leader by default
- In multi-Doctor stories, why do they all defer to the First (even when he doesn't even bother showing up, like "The Three Doctors")? The usual response is he's the wisest and has the soundest judgment. I guess that could be based on something other experience, but for the most part they tend to act like they're deferring to his age, and while he may be the oldest physically, every one of them has memories of all his experiences and then some. The most recent Doctor should be the one who takes the lead.
- I think its less "knowledge and experience" and more "psychological stability". One is measurably less insane than his successors, who seem to become more unhinged and damaged by their life experiences each time they regenerate. One is, while more eccentric than the average man (or average Time Lord for that matter), still the Doctor best able to keep focused on task, think things through clearly, and avoid needless shenanigans. He has the soundest judgement not out of experience but out of not being as guided by his emotional scarring and coping mechanisms as the later ones.
- I'd say it's his ruthlessness. The Doctor has experienced considerable character developement since the early days of the show. He knows that, if there are multiple versions of himself running around, time is seriously messed up. When things get that bad, the various Doctors will defer to the one with the least experience but also the least emotional baggage and the fewest moral qualms.
- I always assumed it was out of feelings of nostalgia. He was their first body and, in some ways, his true incarnation. The First Doctor was the one who had a childhood, grew up on Gallifrey, married (presumably), and raised his children and, eventually, Susan. When the other Doctor's see the First, they remember all that. It's respect to the man he was born as.
- It could just be because the First is the crankiest and bossiest of the lot, and they all know it. In the first multi-Doctor story ("The Three Doctors"), all three attempt to assert leadership, and the First ends up smacking down the other two ("So this is what I've become? A dandy and a clown?"). Later incarnations presumably remember this and decide that discretion is the better part of valor.
- Makes you wonder what would happen if One met Twelve.
- You were saying...?
- It's a respect thing. He's not just the First Doctor he's the First Doctor. He's the one with whom it all started, the one who took the TARDIS and started the whole adventure to begin with. While the later Doctors have developed more experience and knowledge, despite egos on some level they all know that if it weren't for him, they wouldn't be the Doctor because there wouldn't be the Doctor to begin with. So when they encounter him, they treat him with just that little bit more respect and defer to him where they wouldn't defer to a later-but-earlier incarnation. This works on a meta-level as well; it's the writers acknowledging that the First Doctor was where it all started.
- They defer to him because, consciously or not, they remember being him watching themselves defer to him. They do it because they've already done it.
- For all their wider experience, the various later Doctors' lives are already led in accordance with One's decisions: he's the one who chose to leave Gallifrey in the first place, who stole the TARDIS they all share, who chose Earth as his honorary home-away-from-home, who started bringing companions along with him, and who first saw fit to intervene in crises other Time Lords would have just ignored. If they weren't naturally inclined to follow his example, they wouldn't have kept up the wandering-hero lifestyle he initiated.
- It's the cane. Don't mess with the cane.
- Alternatively: Because reasons of it hadn't been written in Hartnell's time that he was the first, to the point it was getting implied all the way in the Fourth Doctor's run that Hartnell wasn't the first, Hartnell is the Doctor most likely to have whatever non-existant memories previous Doctors would have had, and their experiences. But this might be getting too close to WMG.
"Pull to Open"
- Here's one that I didn't notice until it was pointed out to me. The TARDIS clearly says "pull to open" on it but has a push door. Was this intentional as far back as "An Unearthly Child" or just a mistake that they ran with all this time?
- I thought "Pull to Open" is for the small door with the telephone behind it.
- It refers to both. Real police boxes definitely opened outward.
- That might be true about real police boxes, but the rest of the "Pull to Open" sign is only about the phone, so it doesn't mean the TARDIS's fake-police-box doors are supposed to open outwards, regardless of what was said in "The Doctor's Wife".
- I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I do know that the writers are aware of this. They brought it up in "The Doctor's Wife".
- The very first TARDIS was deliberately 'wrong' as a police box in many ways - the door opened inwards, the lock was on the wrong door, and there was a St John's Ambulance logo on the door. I think this was to suggest that the Chameleon Circuit, even when it was working, was an unreliable as the rest of the TARDIS.
- Further research shows that real police boxes usually weren't made of wood either, so this seems to make a lot of sense.
- Or it could just simply be that the BBC props department, never the most lavishly funded of bodies, was simply making the best it could under the circumstances and to get around potential filming problems. To take a Doylist view on the subject, while it would be lovely if this theory were true practically speaking making the TARDIS out of wood was cheaper than stone or concrete (and also easier to take apart, transport and put back together again), having the lock on that particular door might have been an oversight and having the doors open inwards makes it more mysterious regarding what's inside while also making it easier to conceal from the cameras that what's inside is actually nothing but some cramped actors and wiring, which is nothing to sniff at if you're on a budget and have to convince a sceptical audience that what's inside this box is a quasi-magical time machine. (As for the St. John's sticker, one of the functions of police boxes was to act as a mini-base for police officers and emergency personnel in case of emergency; they often had first-aid kits at the very least). While this is a nice bit of Fridge Brilliance, unless there's some source to confirm this that I'm not aware of we should be wary of reading it as being intentional.
- It could also be that the props department was Writing Around Trademarks, as presumably the real police boxes were built by a company that would've demanded royalties if it were an accurate duplicate of the genuine article.
- I always thought it was just part of the disguise. The TARDIS doors open inwards, but the sign itself was simply copied from a Police Box. Or maybe the sign prevents people from stumbling inside. When they pull to open it they can't, so they assume it's broken and move on.
- If it was an accident, it's a very persistent one. Every time the TARDIS has been redesigned the words 'Pull To Open' have got slightly larger, as though she's trying to get the Doctor's attention. ◊
- Well, according to "The Doctor's Wife", both the Doctor and the TARDIS are also aware of this, and she's a bit ticked off about it.
Davros not encoding Daleks with anti-backstabbing orders
- Davros has been established as a genius at genetic engineering(and an Omnicidal Maniac), who managed to create one of the most feared races in the universe. In that case, when he was designing the Daleks, why did he not encode their DNA so that "It is your destiny and purpose to destroy all non-Daleks. Your creator, Davros, is the exception. He is your commander and leader." Yeah, he's arrogant, but not stupid. What gives?
- Same reason he keeps making them, and making them the exact same way, and then being surprised when they turn on him despite the same thing having happened like three times before. He's insane.
- Alternatively, he's insane and subconsciously doesn't care. Given Davros' "virus speech", he's more interested in the Daleks being a successful experiment than them obeying him-that's just an added bonus he'd like.
- Back in "Revelation of the Daleks", he created the Imperial Daleks, which were conditioned to be 100% loyal to Davros, and went to war with the original 'Renegade' Daleks.
- Perhaps he assumed that as they were created from Davros's own flesh, the Daleks in "The Stolen Earth" would naturally obey him, which worked out very well indeed.
- His most recent Daleks (as of the Capaldi era) seem completely loyal to him out of respect for their father, which he refers to as a genetic defect meaning he probably didn't hard code it in. I guess he would just consider them less perfect if their free will (for lack of a better term) was taken from them and they were forced to serve something that wasn't a Dalek, even if it's him. Course that makes this troper wonder why he never went and made himself a Dalek which might solve all those betrayal problems. It's not like he's the paragon of health in his current state.
Invasions the Doctor hasn't thwarted yet
- If something only happens when the Doctor goes and experiences it, why is the world not in ruin from all the alien invasions the Doctor has yet to stop?
- That's not true. River's gone through all sorts of things that the Doctor hasn't yet. And even if that were the case then presumably those invasions also didn't happen until the Doctor showed up if he were a part of the events at all.
- Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey
- Perhaps the TARDIS keeps events in a roughly linear manner.
- Inner Time (canonically) keeps that kind of thing in order.
- To quote the Doctor from "The Shakespeare Code", it's "the mechanics of the infinite temporal flux", "like Back to the Future". Martha questions how the world could have ended in the past when she comes from the perfectly normal 21st century. The Doctor explains that it's like how in Back to the Future, Marty isn't already fading away before he's gone back in time, even though those events have already technically happened. He only starts fading away when he begins experiencing those events himself. It's the same thing here. The events don't technically "occur" and thereby affect history until the Doctor becomes part of them in his own time-stream, since he's part of them himself.
What happens to people who experience events that have been internal-retconned?
- If time is in flux, then are people vanishing in and out of existence? For example, the Cyberman invasion in the 80s must not have happened, so what happend to the people who went through that?
- Timey-Wimey Ball. That's the best explanation you're going to get,
- If the Doctor were here, he'd probably be able to give an explanation, not that we would understand it at all.
- Multiple time-streams. Take the effects from the Cracks, for an example: They wipe out everything, but that doesn't mean they wipe out what people do. Amy was still born, but her parents were not. River Song still existed in an universe without the Doctor, so did Amy, and pretty much everything. Only the events were retconed, the number of people is probably the same. People who died are still dead and people who were still alive probably are still alive. Now, the guys who were still alive probably formed other time-streams, different from the original one, by the Multiverse Theory. So yeah... Timey-Wimey Ball.
- The universe just decides the simplest solution is to ignore it ever happened.
- Easiest explained by my favorite Doctor Who handwave ever: Time Wars (The Second War in Heaven in Particular) Fuck Everything Up.
Traveling to before the Time Lock
- The Time Lords are all dead, right, but can one time travel to before the Time War? Could a Time Lord travle TO the Time War? I mean, the Time War can't be THAT locked, the Dalek Emperor from the first series of NuWho and the Cult of Skaro where able to get out. In fact, one of the Cult was able to go back in and get Davros!
- Both those examples would indicate that yes, it's possible to break through the time lock... provided you don't mind ending up completely insane.
- The Medusa Cascade is described as being the oldest thing in the Universe... perhaps it IS the Time Lock.
- There is no "before" the Time Lock. The events of the Time War were almost completely written out of the timestream. As for how the Daleks (and later, the Time Lords, however briefly) were able to leave it... well, anything that can be locked can be unlocked, if you know how.
- It is implied several times that the Doctor doesn't want to travel back to save the Time Lords, and that he might be lying. The Doctor has messed with time locks before, so it is possible, considering the monsters that tried to kill Rose and the Doctor when they saved her father were said to be kept in check by the Time Lords by the Doctor. He says several times that the Time War changed them, and that the Time War caused countless deaths.
- The Time Lock may have been upgraded during the war. At first they just made it so you can't alter what happened in it, but after people started getting out they probably created a space lock with it. As for the survivors:
- Dalek Caan went back to save Davros, but that doesn't necessarily mean he altered time. All the Time War combatants know for sure is that the Nightmare Child ate him I doubt they found a body. Thus Dalek Caan arrived when Davros vanished from view and scooped him up, not changing history
- The Master didn't seem to know of the Time Lords going FaceHeel Turn, which was likely what led to such a secure lock. Since humans weren't part of the War, being human meant the lock let him go. Metaltron fell through time because of what happened in the war and luck. As for the Dalek Emperor, the Moment wasn't completely accurate and he got lucky.
- The Cult of Skaro escaped with the Void Ship, which was designed to explore outside time and space. The Time Lords weren't fighting in the Void(yet), so they could get the hell out of dodge. The Time Lords didn't use Void Ships because only one was built/all the ones that were built were used by other Time Lords and they were too crazy to notice at the time.
- Traveling through someone's personal timeline seems to let you bypass the Time Lock, as per "The Name of the Doctor" and "Listen".
- INNER TIME GUYS INNER TIME
- To clarify, Gallifrey functions outside of normal time actually, the Time Lord founders invented normal time, i.e. history, i.e. the vortex, whatever you want to call it. Instead, it runs on a kind of fundamental 'free time' that can't be time-travelled through, called Inner Time. That means, time-lock or no, there's no way for the Doctor to go back to the age of the Pythia - unlike common history, which is cleanly laid out and flat from a Time Lord perspective, Inner Time past is inaccessible even to time-active species. The War is the past via Inner Time, which means it's really truly gone it's not that the Time War blocks you off, it's just that there's no point in history were you can actually go back and see the Time Lords and the Enemy (Daleks, if you prefer, depending on where you fall in the Second War in Heaven / Last Great Time War debate) fighting it out, because that version of history is long gone. And besides, no time-active species would fall so low as to actually fight within normal space anyway most of the War took place on a level that humans can barely conceive of.
- Except the Doctor totally DOES go to the past, to the age of the Pythia, in one of the novels. Although this was only possible due to the Hand of Omega overriding the security protocols preventing time-travel into Gallifrey's past, because it recognized the Doctor as one of the founders, before he "suicided" into the genetic pool of Gallifreyans, only to re-emerge later into one of the Families.
- Yeah... be careful about bringing up evidence from the novels. The BBC refuses to acknowledge them, or the audio stories and comic books, as canon. Though they might inspire or have influence on future episodes, we cannot treat them as we would an actual episode, especially considering many of them directly contradict canon. But even for the sake of argument, does the Doctor have access to the Hand of Omega? Seems to me that it would still be on Gallifrey. In the Time Lock. Along with probably any other doomsday device that could allow him to travel into Gallifrey's past.
- Except as of "The Night of the Doctor", the BBC at the very least acknowledged the Big Finish audios as canon (at least Eight's adventures in them anyway).
United Nations Intelligence Taskforce becoming Unified Intelligence Taskforce
- Why was UNIT changed from being a UN set up? Another troper on the 2005 Headscratchers said "complaints", but why?
- I haven't heard any specific complaints. I think they were just concerned that there might be something to complain about in the future, so they decided to head things off and make the change now.
- Considering that Tosh's origins in Torchwood had her locked in a Guantanamo Bay-style prison by UNIT, it's probably for the best.
- According to an interview with Russell T Davies in Doctor Who Magazine, the United Nations weren't happy being associated with the fictional alien-hunting agency. I can't remember if the exact reason why was elaborated on (possibly something legalistic to do with trademarks and copyrights), but it necessitated a name-change.
The Doctor's belly button
- Why does the Doctor have a belly button? For humans, it's basically a scar left over from cutting the umbilical cord. Yet we've seen that his later incarnations still having one when it should have been healed from regenerating. If we assume it's not a scar, what do Time Lords use it for?
- To pass for human. presumably. There are remarkable number of human-looking species in the galaxy. It wouldn't do to have such a standout feature.
- But as the Doctor always says, "you look Time Lord". Presumably the Time Lords had that appearance before humans ever existed.
- Had the appearance, yes, but (since I'm fuzzy on their timeline) they didn't always have the regeneration. At some point they may have felt it wise to make sure their regenerations fit in with the natives, so to speak.
- Also, there have been some hints that not all Galifreyans became Time Lords; as a result, there may have been some Uncanny Valley and fitting-in-with-the-masses going on.
- Because the actors who play the Doctor all have belly buttons.
- For the same reason he has body hair, toenails, and nipples: regeneration doesn't eliminate normal bodily features just because they serve no physiological purpose.
- [coughs] The Cartmel masterplan explained this, it's a biological throwback to pre-Loom Pythian times caused by the interference of the Other's biodata with the Loom systems, the rest of Lungbarrow called little baby dr 'snail' because of it (pretty hilarious tbh)
- Well, problem is that Lungbarrow's been retconned, what with the Master mentioning his "father" and a few other things. Let's just go with the above that it's kept for the same reason as body hair, nipples, etc.
The Daleks succeed in exterminating everything, now what do they do?
- The Daleks' mission is to exterminate every other creature in the universe and prove their own superiority, but what are they planning to do once they've accomplished that? What happens to them once their sole reason for existing is gone?
- Nothing. All they care about is the extermination of other life, they don't really plan beyond that. Maybe they wait for new life to evolve and then exterminate it.
- So the Daleks are the first Reapers?
- As Davros said 'Then there will be peace.' The Daleks would just keep living.
- I can imagine the Daleks just sitting there, trying badly to entertain themselves.
- The Big Finish story "Jubilee" gave an answer to this the Doctor argued that without other inferior species to kill, the Daleks would invent distinctions among themselves and kill each other off until only one was left.
- And then what?
- For the next several hundred million years, that Dalek slowly reinvents the concept of invention. Thirteen or fourteen hundred years later, it invents a rudimentary deck of cards. Within forty minutes, it is throwing fits because it hasn't yet won a single game of Solitaire. And slowly, ever so slowly, life returns to the universe.
- Great as some of the answers in this section are, to be serious for a moment, this is the whole point of the Daleks their whole purpose for existing is utterly insane, because they are utterly insane. They have no idea what they'd do next, because they're psychotic zealots programmed with an utterly insane purpose by a complete lunatic who basically wanted to kick God in the junk. Like someone said above, once they exterminate all non-Daleks, given how fractious we've seen them get in the past about purity the most likely guess is that they would no doubt find or invent reasons to consider other Daleks as being 'non-Daleks' and start exterminating each other, until there was one Dalek left, at which point that Dalek basically hangs around until entropy and the universe does it's thing, makes the Last Dalek unable to survive any longer, at which point it dies, leaving behind a universe completely devoid of life. Basically, the Daleks succeed in exterminating everything. Literally everything. Including themselves. It's the only plausible ending.
- There are other universes in this Verse, possibly an infinite supply of them. If the Daleks exterminate everything in this universe, there's still pocket realities like E-space and parallel worlds like the one Rose ended up in to go after.
- Davros never thought that far ahead originally. Their initial purpose was to survive, and win, the war on Skaro. The extent of life throughout the multiverse was completely off his radar screen. The Daleks just needed to kill the Thals, and any Kaleds that refused to accept them as the next step in their evolution. After that, as they spread into space, and later through time, then they became Omnicidal Maniacs. Since Davros was completely insane anyway, the idea of a "culture" would have been way down his list of design priorities. First and foremost, the Daleks are meant to survive. Hence the opposite approaches they and Rassilon had about destroying everything. The Dalek's would have erased everything so that they continue to survive exactly as they were, unchanged, basking in their own awesomeness. Rassilon instead wanted to end everything, but Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, something the Daleks could not even imagine doing (because they have very limited imaginations).
- One could as the same question about anything. Why do doormice continue to eat and breed? What's their survival for? All life strives to survive and evolve with no known goal in sight. Humans are the only creatures (in our reality, so far) that has the leisure to consider something other than survival. The Daleks take their survival programming to extremely insane lengths but they're essentially doing what everything else in the universe is doing.
- To be honest? Self-destruct.
Classification of the Time Lords
- The Time Lords — Humanoid Abominations or The Fair Folk?
The 51st century
- Why does Steven Moffat seem to be so fond of the 51st century? I can think of at least six or seven of his episodes which take place in that particular era, and he has introduced two major characters from then as well. Does this century have some sort of significance in the Who canon? Or does Moffat just have some particular affinity for the number 51?
- No special significance, it's just a convenient shorthand for "far enough future that everything could have changed". Just like RTD had a fondness for the 42nd century and the era of 5 billion years from now.
- I always thought that the 51st century ws the Doctor's Second Favorite time period (because obviously the 20th-early 21st is his favorite. he spends so much time here!) because it was his home century. in "An Unearthly Child" there's a throwaway line where Susan says she was born in the 51st century, so i always assumed the Doctor was born then too, or at least associated it with happy times. He goes there so much because it's his home.
- I don't remember that line, sure you're not confusing it with the Peter Cushing dr who movies?
- The poster is referring to the original taping of "An Unearthly Child", the original 1963 pilot. In the original version, Susan tells Ian and Barbara that she was born in the 51st century. Sydney Newman didn't like the episode, and made them rewrite it. It was basically the same episode, with a handful of minor changes, including the 51st century line being changed to, "I was born in another time, another world." I guess they thought it was more mysterious and the 51st century was too specific.
- The Doctor's home era would actually be in the distant past we know that the Time Lords had a billion years of history before the Time War, and that they existed long enough ago to fight the Racnoss, who were wiped out when the Earth came into being. Thus the Doctor's era is probably about 3.6 billion years ago.
- I think it was actually 'ten million years' of absolute power. Also the Doctor could have been using years of Gallifrey, and I doubt those are the same as those of Earth.
- More likely Rassilon was using Gallifreyan years when he referred to "a billion years", as he'd apparently never even heard of the Earth before he met with his Council to discuss the four-beat signal.
- Or Gallifreyans (Time Lord or otherwise) had a very, very long history before they achieved "absolute power". At the very least, they had to defeat the Great Vampires, the Racnoss, and the like before they could make any such claim.
- "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" had the Man Behind the Man Magnus Greel, a time traveling serial killer from the 51st Century. We're exploring a culture that had been namedropped, and it's a tie to the classic series.
A Temporal Non-Interference Clause... as long as it's something big and historical
- The Doctor clearly can go to any place and time he wants to. He (allegedly) is a very moral person who will act to stop things he thinks are wrong. So why does he never seem to show any interest in going back in Earth's history to stop small things like the Holocaust, the famines in Maoist China and the Soviet Union, the Rwandan genocide, the entire war in Congo or the Spanish and Portuguese conquest of South and Central America? Obviously the real reason is that the writers can't just write them away but considering how clear it has been made that the Doctor can interfere why doesn't he? The Doctor somehow makes the Meddling Monk look good, one suspects that in 1066 the people in England wouldn't have been too happy about William's victory.
- Canon says: TARDIS is alive, Doctor goes where he needs to go, not where he wants. Besides, fix points in time. All those terrible things are canon by history, can't ever be erased. When you think about it, The Silence probably created these fix points in time so the Doctor couldn't alter human history that much.
- There are at least several times where the Doctor shows that he can go exactly where he wants to and in "The Waters of Mars" he decides to break a fixed point in time with no apparent consequences. Admittedly the woman he saved decided to kill herself but one would assume that beforehand he knew whether or not there would be consequences.
- No apparent consequences? The bell was ringing inside the TARDIS. If history hadn't been quickly fixed by Adelaide, we would have probably had a scenario similar to when River tried to rewrite another fixed point in time. And we all know how well that went.
- Apart from the above, there's the consequences of any change he makes. Don't destroy Pompeii? Pyroviles take over the Earth. We know he can sense fixed points, so he can probably tell when it's safe to mess with time and when interfering will make things go kablooey. Then there are things that will happen no matter what, a la "The Aztecs". Finally, there's the whole "changing a fixed point will break time itself" thing from "The Wedding of River Song". Take your pick.
- There's also the issue of how much intervention in the development of human civilization is justified. The Doctor is here to protect humanity from external threats, not to circumvent our own decisions as a species. If he takes steps to prevent an atrocity that was engineered by aliens, or to stop humans from exploiting alien technology they can't build on their own, that's protection; if he starts re-writing our history to avert tragedies that were entirely our own damned fault, then he'll wind up ruling the Earth instead of defending it. He needs to let us grow, and learn, for ourselves sometimes, else we'll never be anything more than his hapless pets.
- Protection? From using extraterrestrial technology to advance as a species? That sounds more like repression. Aside from that, based on his treatment of Harriet Jones humanity already isn't allowed to do anything he doesn't like. Getting past his opinion on human sovereignty what about when humans get off the planet? Is he going to stop interfering?
- Harriet Jones used a weapon Torchwood stole from aliens to attack other aliens. If she'd used a human-built guided missile, that might have been more acceptable to him as a species defending itself with its own technological resources. And, despite what he said to her, he wasn't the one who removed her from power; he didn't bad-mouth her publicly or charge her with a war crime or even vote against her in an election. He'd inadvertently helped place her in authority to begin with. If anything, it reduced his own level of interference to depose her, as she'd still be a minor local figure if they'd never met. As for getting off the planet, by Time Lords' standards that's barely any greater an advance than our learning to cross the oceans; maybe when we start time-traveling by our own means, he'll consider us ready to fend for ourselves against technologically-superior exploiters.
- "He simply acted to plant doubts in the minds of a few humans from her own political party, and let us decide if those doubts were sufficient cause to supplant someone" no way. Not believable. She was the hero of the world and a couple of people hearing that she seems worn out by a crisis that would have left anyone exhausted causes the whole country to turn against her? No. The Doctor clearly (and his own intonation in the threat implies he has some special ability here) has some unexplained telepathic or hypnotic power behind that suggestion, because it would not have worked if anyone else had uttered the same sentence.
- Based on the Doctor's own statement that he could bring her down with just a few rounds (and how she was brought down was ridiculous enough) he clearly expressed the opinion that he could and should interfere in U.K politics. Beyond that, what is humanity supposed to do after the events of season 6? Based on that the Doctor is going into hiding and the planet (or at least the U.K which is the same thing) has been left with the impression that the Doctor has taken over Earth's security and will bring down politicians that he gets angry with.
- I'm not sure how this impression would come about, given that after Season 6 the planet and indeed, the entire universe has in fact been left with the impression that the Doctor is dead. Kind of hard to take over Earth's security and take down politicians when you're six feet under. In fact, unless I'm misunderstanding something this seems to be missing the point a bit, since the Doctor explicitly notes that he's developing a lower profile precisely because he "got too big" and this presumably includes intervening in a major way in Earth's political processes. Far from taking down politicians he doesn't like, this would seem to suggest that he's in fact going to be interfering even less unless it's something he can get away with doing low-key.
- And let's not forget that the whole point of the Tenth Doctor's character arc was that his arrogance and hubris ended up getting a bit out of control and causing some very bad things to happen. And that this particular example ended up backfiring on him rather horrifically when the Master ended up becoming Prime Minister instead. Other Doctors might have and probably would have shied away from meddling in Earth's internal and domestic politics, but Ten simply decided that he was awesome enough that this didn't apply to him.
- This is a problem you're going to run into with time travel, Time Lord Victorious or not. Sometimes bad things happen, and we need to be able to learn from them. Let's say the Doctor (or any time traveller, really) goes back and prevents the Holocaust. He's saved millions of lives, but he's also erased it from humanity's consciousness. So what's to stop someone else from committing similar or worse atrocities in the future, with no one being able to recognise the warning signs? With that in our recent history, it will be really hard for someone else to try and kill their way to the top like that without someone saying, "Hey, does this guy remind you of anyone?" Evil will always exist, and with experience comes the ability to recognise it when we see it, and hopefully put a stop to it. For a more technical, timey-wimey explanation, the events you mentioned pretty much all had a huge impact on history. If you go around changing major historical events, you're going to seriously screw up the way things develop. Six million is a huge number of people, and their collective fate is going to have a huge impact on the world depending on what happens to them. The more people whose fate you change, the more likely it will be that there's going to be a huge change to the future, and you'll have no idea whether the changes will be good or bad. The reason the Meddling Monk was seen as a villain was that despite his good intentions, he was recklessly changing history with no regard for the consequences. The sad reality is, you can't always save everyone.
- You never know what will happen if you try to change history. There were human time travellers who went back to try to stop the Dalek conquest of Earth and ended up causing it. Could the Doctor have stopped the St Bartholemew's Massacre? Perhaps, but his meddling could also have caused it. Instead, he simply got the hell out.
- You never know what will happen if you do anything, not just change history. Besides, the Doctor changes history (or shapes history, if you prefer) each time he thwarts an alien invasion or overthrows a space empire. My money is on the "Time Lords have a special time sense and know when it's safe" explanation.
- How do we know that things like the Holocaust aren't actually a result of the Doctor's interference? Maybe he stepped in to stop worse happening and the Holocaust was an improvement, or he interfered and made things worse, tried to correct it, made it even worse and so on until he gave up not wanting to make it even worse again. There's also the problem that things like the Holocaust and other such historic atrocities aren't things that can be fixed with a quick fix; there's a Terry Pratchet quote about this - 'Shoot the dictator and prevent the war? But the dictator is merely the tip of the whole festering boil of social pus from which dictators emerge; shoot him and there'll be another one along in a minute. Shoot him too? Why not shoot everyone and invade Poland?'. The show has even shown multiple times how the Doctor sometimes only addresses the immediate issue and not the long term issues (e.g. the Ninth Doctor removing an agent of the Daleks in 'The Long Game' didn't fix things and resulted in the mess Earth was in in 'Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways', and the Fourth Doctor's interference in helping a survey ship in an unspecified adventure resulted in the mess he found himself in in 'The Face of Evil' along with screwing up the society of the crew of said ship), so it's plausible that things like the Holocaust are similar side effects of his interference.
- As a Time Lord, the Doctor can sense what changes to reality will cause harm to the Web of Time and what they can risk; presumably they go off that
Questions about River Song
- It's heavily implied that River is running into the Doctor in a completely reverse order, e.g. the first time he kisses her is the last time she kisses him. If that's the case, then what's the point of comparing notes with the TARDIS journal? If their timelines are completely reversed, there would never be a case where they already shared the same adventure in their own personal pasts since any event would always be in one participant's past and the other's future.
- I have a feeling it's not completely reversed, only as a general rule. Not to mention that 1103 Doctor's meeting kind of fudges that.
- Exactly. Its mostly back to front and in general. from their perspectives, the Doctor and River keep meeting younger versions of each other, but there is a ton of wiggle room. For example we know that an older version of the doctor (probably 11 possibly 12) who knows River very well, visits her and gives her his screwdriver just before 10 meets her for the first time in the Library.
- I assume some ambitious fan out there has compiled (or will soon) a list entitled "episodes in order from River Song's POV". If anyone creates or finds such a thing, please link it here. kthx.
- Chart: ◊
- Here you go:
- Melody Pond: "A Good Man Goes to War"
- Little girl: "The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon"
- Mels: "Let's Kill Hitler"
- River Song: "Let's Kill Hitler", "Closing Time"/"The Wedding of River Song", "A Good Man Goes to War", "The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon", "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang", "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone"/"The Wedding of River Song", "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead", "The Name of the Doctor"
- Actually, River Song shows up twice in the same episode, but not necessarily around the same point in her time stream. The final appearance in "A Good Man Goes to War" seems to be set after "The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon", she's wearing the same dress, which she got from the TARDIS wardrobe, while birthday!River Song seems to come from before the events in the season premiere.
- Which she got from where? When?
- What's to stop the Doctor and River from just traveling together and cutting out all this back-to-front business? Why doesn't River just hop aboard the TARDIS and they can be together just like it is with all the usual companions, and then they'll experience things in the same order? And why does River keep going back to prison, of all places, when she could easily just stay free?
- Because if they travelled together in the TARDIS it could ruin their fixed points, namely when they meet each other and their adventures. If River travelled with the Doctor, then eventually she would end up meeting a younger version of herself. As for the prison, I'm gonna go with the same reason that the Joker keeps going to Arkham, she likes it there and she has no problem leaving.
- The Joker is insane and River doesn't seem to be any more so than some of the other characters (who aren't what we'd call stable, perhaps, but are certainly no Jokers) so I highly doubt that she enjoys prison. In the Angel episode she mentions she's working towards a pardon and if she liked prison so much she either wouldn't bother helping or would help for free. She said that she was going back because she had a promise to keep. What that promise was and to who are still a mystery.
- Now that we know who River Song is (as of S 06 E 07), and can deduce from that how she was brought up, this 'prison' is likely her home of sorts.
- Maybe she feels like she has to be punished for what she did and thus goes back to her prison. I guess it's a bit of psychology playing here.
- It has been suggested here and other places that she stays in the prison to help maintain the illusion that the Doctor is actually dead. (Mostly) staying in Stormcage helps her feign penance over his death, and if she is doing that, it must mean he is really dead to the eyes of the world.
- I guess the deal is that, somehow, the back-to-front meeting order has "already" happened. At any point, all events in their relationship (past and future) have already been personally experienced by one of them. If they try to muck that up, they'll end up causing some kind of time paradox and the Reapers won't be happy about that.
- Yes, it's all already happened for at least one of them IF you go by the exact back-to-front meeting (which the existence of diaries and ritual comparisons seem to suggest is not the case) but there's still free will involved for both parties within limit. The Doctor can never tell River how she dies as she didn't know when she got to the library, for instance, but if Rever decided to go around traveling with the Doctor (assuming she hasn't been told she never will) then that will have always been the case.
- Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey, so basically it's whatever the writers want to do
- Speaking of the "First Kiss/Last Kiss" thing, we know that the Doctor takes River to the Singing Towers of Darillium sometime after this episode (from her perspective) and before she goes to the library. Wouldn't, at some point, he kiss her then? So this wouldn't be her last kiss, it would be at Darillium.
- River doesn't know that she'll be going to the Singing Towers of Darillium, she doesn't know that she'll be meeting The Doctor any more times than he knows he has. The Doctor only said that it was the first time she's kissed him because from his perspective at that time, it is the first time she's kissed him and she is too shocked at that moment to think they might kiss any other times in both hers AND The Doctor's futures. After The Doctor finds out why she's in prison, he goes to visit her while Amy and Rory are asleep as shown in "Night and The Doctor." Basically any time between episodes, The Doctor could be traveling with River and they have their own adventures and dates. However, River doesn't know this and assumes at the time that when The Doctor said "first time," it meant "last time" for her.
- River herself explains it: "One psychopath to a TARDIS". She refuses to travel with the Doctor permanently, as she knows she's as bad an influence on him as he's a good influence on her. If they spent too much time together, rather than separately associating with normal people who can keep them grounded, they'd wind up causing more trouble and destruction than they'd ever resolve.
- So now that the Doctor and Amy know that River is Amy's daughter wouldn't you think he would mention that he saw River die in the Library? True she isn't strictly dead thanks to a McGuffin Sonic Screwdriver but you would think Amy would find it pertinent information.
- The exact same reason why Amy and Rory didn't want to tell the Doctor about his death. Yes, the Doctor knows about being invited now, but that was an accident.
- Good point, but thinking further I unfortunately have some other problems with this situation. We now now that River can regenerate; so doesn't that make her death in the Library problematic? it also makes a farce of the fact that the Meta Crisis Tenth Doctor explicitly claims that he can't regenerate because he only has one those are his exact words. Seeing as we know River only has the one, wouldn't that logically mean that either River shouldn't be able to regenerate but can, or the Meta-Doctor can't regenerate but should be able to?
- She specifically says in the Library that the Doctor wouldn't be able to regenerate from this type of death. That now implies that neither could she.
- Does River only have one heart? Anyway, you're forgetting something Handy was the result of the metacrisis, whereas River is a human who has begun the process of evolving into a Time Lady because of her conception inside the vortex, just like the early Time Lords. She isn't a half-human, half-Time Lord hybrid, she's a proto-Time Lord. Plus, according to the classic series, Time Lords are as they are now because Omega or Rassilon, or one of those ancient Time Lords, I forget which, diddled with their DNA, presumeably that's why they now have Two Hearts. Actually, it might have been EU stuff rather than classic series. Presumeably he did that to make regeneration more likely to occur, or to impose the limits, or because he likes drums or something.
- The first Doctor only had one heart before he regenerated, didn't he? I always thought that their second heart grows during their first regeneration.
- "Time Lords grow a second heart on regeneration" is from one of the novels: it originates from a bit of overly complicated fanon to explain why there's a story where Ian listens to the unconscious Doctor's chest and doesn't comment on anything strange about the heartbeat.
- He never stated that two hearts was part of the regenerative process, just that he had one heart AND had a normal human lifespan. The two hybrids are apples and oranges as to how they came about, especially as River was born that way and Donna/the hand wasn't. Also, what problematic bits in the Library are you talking about? She can't regenerate from that she said that even the Doctor couldn't come back from that... that's why she sacrificed herself.
- Possibly she was on her last life?
- It wouldn't matter if she was as Ten had lives to go and it didn't sound like she was dying so that he wouldn't have to regenerate. I mean, Ten really didn't want to but ultimately he was willing to regenerate for the sake of saving other people. If he canonically did it just to save the eighty-year-old Wilf, of course he would do it for Donna and over four thousand people.
- It's been answered now by canon. River Song has no regenerations left after the events of "Let's Kill Hitler". So even if she could theoretically have survived through regeneration (even though it was explicitly stated she couldn't, so I don't get why people are debating this), she didn't have any further regenerations to use. End of.
- Would you tell your best friends "Oh hey, not for nothing, but I know how your kid's eventually going to die. And there's nothing you can do about it." Why would they want to know or thank him for that?
- Especially when River dies in his place. That's awkward to mention in the first place. And while Amy might be cool with that (as much as she could be), River doesn't die for HER Doctor, but for a regeneration. So her daughter essentially dies for a man she never knows.
- I think River dies for Eleven as well as any regenerations she meets. If you mean she died for Ten, who Amy doesn't know, then if it hadn't been for River then Amy never would have met the Doctor and Amy's life would have been completely different, as would River's. She wouldn't even be a part Time Lord if Ten died then.
- Ten or Eleven, he's still the Doctor. I don't think she meant "my Doctor" in the way we use the phrase. He was still the man she loved, even if he hadn't yet grown into the person he would become. And she flat-out stated that she refused to let him change her past by dying.
- I think that Eleven still hopes that somehow he would be able to save River, that's why he said "Time can be rewritten" in Time of the Angels. Plus he doesn't want to upset Amy without any point. Plus Amy might be long dead by the time River dies.
- River is already dead from some perspectives and Amy is most certainly dead by the 51st century but with all the time travelling that doesn't really matter. She can still find out about it from the Doctor or by going to the future and hearing about the death.
- In "The Return of Doctor Mysterio", shortly after parting ways with River on Darillium, Twelve is seen assembling a device in New York to repair the temporal damage that prevents him from time-traveling in that city. Although it's not stated, it's possible he was doing that so he could go back and tell Amy and Rory the last prior traveling companions he could then remember about their daughter's last days.
River revealing her identity
- Why the secrecy why didn't River reveal herself as Melody right from the start? or indeed, why does she refer to herself as River and not as Melody? the Tenth Doctor, past Eleventh Doctor, past Amy and past Rory wouldn't know who she was anyway... she could have called herself Betty and it wouldn't have made a single bit of difference.
- She's called River Song because that's her adopted name for most of her life due to translation-wation and "the only water in the forest is the river", or whatever it was.
- Her whole name/title now makes perfect sense. Doctor River Song. As was pointed out by River Song, Doctor means 'Warrior' to the people who raised her. (Which makes all those quips where people would ask her 'doctor of what?' and she would just smile and evade the question all the more meaningful.) I caught the name similarity as soon as The Doctor said 'Melody Pond' that there must be some connection, but didn't make the big reveal any more dramatic.
- She's quite open about the fact she's a doctor of archaeology. But...if the Doctor came to that soldier's planet when she was young and they have 'doctor' mean warrior because of what the Doctor did then, why was she surprised when Amy said he wasn't a warrior because his name means warrior to them? The Doctor came and acted like a warrior so they define 'doctor' as 'warrior' but why should that mean that the guy who introduced them to the word doctor referred to himself as the Doctor because he was a warrior. She seems to be mixing up cause and effect.
- I'm finding it really hard to parse that sentence, but it's Lorna, not River, who assumes the Doctor is a warrior, and she may not know that he's the whole reason the word "doctor" means that in her language.
- Lorna does have a quote along the lines of "If he's not a warrior, then why do they call him Doctor?", however River Song's the one that tells the Doctor how because of him and his actions, Doctor does not mean medic or wise man, it means warrior. You have to remember that the only characters actually speaking English are Rory and Amy, and that etymology can be quite different in another language, even if the word roughly means the same thing, the 'back meaning' of a word might not be relevant (this is why jokes are rarely funny when translated, because double-meanings are lost)
- It's unlikely that the Doctor's visit to Lorna's planet was the specific event that caused people to use the word "Doctor" to mean "Great Warrior". He's been showing up everywhere and all throughout time, there are probably myths about him on thousands of planets which all contributed to the meaning of the word.
- To answer the first part of the question: Spoilers.
- Do you realise how that may affect her timeline? It could delay her... erm, beginning, and another child could have substituted. Even if that doesn't happen, it would alter her own history. For an example, her life suggests she was a Child Soldier for quite some time. When mommy and daddy learn this, they will do all they can to prevent this. River changes her timeline, leading to a completely different person. And then the Reapers descend. Now is likely the only possible date she can tell them this without creating a massive paradox. Indeed, it could lead to a Stable Time Loop where an earlier River meets her parents and they know who she is. Their surprise and questioning makes her realize the next time she meets them, she will tell them who she is.
- So the River that just confessed she's Melody doesn't explain anything so the next time they run into her they pester her about everything? That seems pointless because any questions that a past River can answer, the current River can answer.
- As of "Let's Kill Hitler", it seems that River got her name (well, both names) as a result of a stable time loop: Amy named her after her best friend who turned out to be her daughter, and the Doctor was the first person to call her River Song. Given her relationship to the Doctor, she prefers this name to Melody Pond (probably).
River in "The Impossible Astronaut"
- Why didn't she know what was happening in "The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon" if she'd already been there as the little girl; why didn't she immediately recognize the time and place of the phone call and her suit, and why was she surprised when she (or at least her old suit) shot the Doctor? Is she just that good of an actor?
- The same reason she didn't gush over seeing Amy and Rory (her parents). Alerting them to the future would endanger her own existence.
- I have a WMG about that. Remember that River Song was designed as a weapon to kill the Doctor... and what did she do on that beach? either she knew and wanted it OR she knew and knew how the Doctor gets out of this situation (we all know he isn't really dead...)
- We don't yet know for sure if the person wearing the space suit that killed the Doctor is River Song, since we never see their face. We assume from the rest of the episode that it is the girl who wore the space suit, but yet we never see who is inside it when the Doctor is shot. Assuming it is River Song, I'm inclined to believe she forgot due to trauma, which is the only thing that truly makes sense to me, based on her other reactions.
- The ending of "Closing Time" confirms that it is River in the spacesuit, in her familiar third body. "Tick tock goes the clock, 'til River kills the Doctor..."
- Well she's regenerated since then hasn't she, so she's a different person, one that might not feel the same way about Amy and Rory because of that.
- That entire event involved the Silence especially for young!River. While you forget about any Silent you've seen when you look away, information about the Silence erases itself over time as well. So simply put, River forgot.
- Not to mention that Time Lords' younger regenerations never remember much about encounters with older regenerations of themselves. No reason why older-River's proximity to little-girl-River wouldn't affect the latter in the same way.
- She did know. She later said she was lying to maintain the illusion of the Doctor's death.
River not being erased
- If River really is Amy and Rory's daughter why is she in "The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang"? Wouldn't she have been erased from time?
- Since Amy continued to exist after her parents were erased from time by the cracks, presumably it doesn't work that way.
- Easiest way to think of it is that the "cracks" are basicaly massive Paradox Generators, they remove something from time, yet don't remove any effects it had, yet nothing existed to cause those effects, which still happened, etc...
- "How can it be a duck pond if it hasn't got any ducks?"
- Wordof God confirmed this.
River as a weapon
- Exactly what is it about River that makes her such a great weapon to use against the Doctor? She hasn't done anything that a well-trained normal human couldn't do.
- There's a reason they kidnapped her (and by extension, her mom) soon after she was concieved in the TARDIS: she's a proto-Time Lord. All that extra timey-wimey stuff she's got cooked into her DNA makes her the perfect candidate to cement the Doctor's death into a fixed point in history, guaranteeing that he stays dead. Didn't exactly work out for them, but hey, you can't say they didn't try.
Time Lord DNA
- Maybe I'm missing something but how does River have Time Lord DNA?
- She doesn't. Her Time Lord properties are a side-effect of being conceived in the Time Vortex (i.e. while the TARDIS was in transit). There are non-Time Lord Gallifreyans, so presumably Time Lords are made, not born. This is corroborated by the fact that if the old series hadn't gone on hiatus, Ace (a non-Gallifreyan) would've enrolled in the Time Lord Academy.
- Except she totally has Time Lord DNA. It says specifically that in "A Good Man Goes to War". They say she is Part-Human, Part-Time Lord. River is part Time Lord because she was conceived in Time Vortex, something that took most evey other Time Lord billions of years to do. River can regenerate, but has, as far as we know, a human body. We don't know if she has two hearts, but it can be assumed she doesn't, because her parents are human. Time Lords are apparently made at first but born thereafter, because the Doctor is not billions of years old, but is a Time Lord who can regenerate, ergo they can be born if one is more than half Time Lord- the Doctor is stated at one point to be part human on his mother's side during the classic run. River, being River, probably qualifies as a Time Lord/Lady.
- "Time Lord DNA", it seems, may not be something inherited biologically, but a specific and recognizable alteration to an existing DNA pattern. These changes can be induced by the Time Vortex's energies, whether by conception in the Vortex or some as-yet-unseen method during Academy graduation ceremonies on Gallifrey. Heck, it might even be induced via the right fluke interaction between Time Lord tissue, Dalekanium and a solar gamma strike, if you really want to try to make the ending of "Evolution of the Daleks" seem less idiotic.
River and the suit
- In regard to River Song being raised to kill the Doctor and the spaceman suit. I thought that she was selected for this purpose because of the fact she's part Time Lord or whatever, and that she would have been carefully trained for the task, and appropriately brainwashed. Yet the in the episode where she actually shoots the Doctor, she's put in a spaceman suit that she can't control and does all the killing for her - or intends to, anyway. Surely they didn't need River for that at all? Couldn't have just put any random person in the suit and let it do its thing?
- Wasn't it stated that Utah was kind of like a linchpin for making fixed points? Maybe the Silents and Madame Kovarian wanted to get as many Time Lord-like people in that area just as extra insurance that it happened. The Doctor is known for being trick, after all.
- Perhaps it was Madam Kovorian's way of punishing River?
- The idea that she was selected b/c she's part Time-Lord and it's more likely to make the Doctor's death a fixed point makes sense. However, I have a cheekier explanation. Count the number of episodes where the Doctor only survives because there's nobody on the bad guy team saying "Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?". HINT: it's quicker to compile a list of episodes where this isn't the case. So, in-universe, the urge among evil beings to let an enemy monologue, or to hold fire just because someone said "Wait wait wait a second", must be so strong that they had to brainwash River and train her for years just to get her to where she could overcome this urge and to simply pull the dang trigger right away!
- At what point did she acquire the name "River Song"? It was supposed to be a mistranslation of "Melody Pond" by the forest people right? But at what point was she raised by those people? If it was some time before Day of the Moon, and hence before Let's Kill Hitler, then how come in the latter, even when she regenerated into the adult form we know, she had never heard of that name? She seems to have only known herself as "Melody" up to that point, hearing the name "River" first from the doctor. And she didn't seem to need any more raising by then. And for that matter, even if knowledge of the name isn't an issue, when would she have gotten to those people at all, between her time with the Silence and Day of the Moon?
- I think it's a bit of timey-wimey. She never heard the name before the Doctor mentions his friend River and she finds out she's River when she orders the TARDIS to show her a projection of River Song. When she sees it's her, she starts going by the name. She was never with those people.
- In that case, what do they or their lack of a word for "pond" have to do with anything?
- That girl gave Amy a cloth prayer leaf with Melody's name on it, but they didn't have a word for either bits of her name (and for some reason reversed the order) and that's how she revealed who she was. Then it's just a stable time loop. She went by Melody until she found out the Doctor knew her as River and then she started going by that because that was how he knew her. She needed to go by something other than Melody Pond because had she introduced herself like that and then the Doctor met Amy the mystery of who she was (especially once Amy had that whole Schrodinger's pregnancy thing going on) would have been solved before it should have been. River seemed to know exactly when he was "supposed" to know. The mistranslation of her name was as good an alias as any and River is a big believer in doing things because time travel says she already has.
- That's sort of my point; it then has nothing to do with the girl, not even that Amy liked the mistranslation and applied it to Melody at any point. As far as we know the Doctor never became aware of the mistranslation, and it was he (through the database) who informed Melody that she was known as River. There's a stable time loop, yes, but not everything's explained. There's then a weird and irrelevant coincidence involving her assumed name. And why in A Good Man Goes To War did River explain to Amy that the former's name had something to do with the forest people, if it wasn't true. Granted, I know she "lies all the time", but in this case there was no reason (such as spoilers) for her to tell that lie.
- River was using the prayer leaf to prove who she was. She could have just said outright she was Melody, but she needed to prove it somehow, so pointed to the leaf where 'Melody Pond' had been mangled due to translation and retranslation into 'Song River' and Amy looked at the Pond/River side first resulting in it getting switched around to 'River Song'. The leaf itself doesn't really have anything to do with why she started using the River version of the name (as a previous troper stated, that's down to the Doctor &Co. knowing the name first and introducing it to Mels, who adopts it and using it from then on so that when she meets earlier versions of the Doctor that's how she introduces herself to him, which closes the loop).
Doctor and girls
- How is it that the Doctor seems to attract pretty girls like a magnet would attract metal?
- As far as Nine and Ten go, they're Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant. And I say that as a straight man.
- David Tennant may get a pass here, but what about all the other incarnations of the Doctor?
- The TARDIS is a chick magnet.
- Paul McGann and Peter Davison weren't bad looking, let's not forget. And whilst the other Doctors might not necessarily have been conventionally attractive, they weren't exactly beaten with the ugly stick either.
- Hell, McGann has his own real-life Estrogen Brigade.
- Charisma and free exotic travel go a long way, and probably put him well above most other guys who'd probably try to feel them up at the bar on Friday nights.
- "Want to see my time machine?" is an awful chat-up line though.
- Not if they believe it, it isn't. And he wouldn't want to bother with the ones who don't anyway.
- Is this guy boring you? Why don't you come talk to me instead? I'm from a different planet.
- Why hasn't Captain Jack Harkness gone insane from dying so many times? For god's sake, he was buried underground for almost 2000 years, and lived through a large part of it. How does he manage that?
- Who said he didn't? Also, the Master may have realized that Jack might go crazy from killing him over the year, so he decided to use some Time Lord science to make it so that Jack can't go insane. After all, what's the fun of torturing someone if they're too crazy to notice?
- Much the same question could be asked of Rory, and in fact the Doctor did ask him about it. Basically, the answer is that he does't remember all of his past most of the time, but those memories are there when he needs to call on them.
- Rory keeps sane because he's the new Chuck Norris.
- The Bad Wolf probably screwed with Jack's mind to make it resistant to PTSD.
- Considering how long Jack's lived for and how much he's been through, maybe he's long since passed insanity and looped back to sanity. And after all he's been through maybe after so much he's just become numb/desensitised to the trauma? As for the being buried for nearly two millennia, is it confirmed that he was actually conscious for all that time? Maybe he died, revived but died again before he had time to become conscious again?
Amy's parents and her adventures
- Now that the Pandorica has reset the entire universe, Amy has had parents who have taken care of her her entire life. Why haven't they checked up on her? Yeah, I understand that they're involving time travel and they could be back before they actualy left, but Rose, Martha, and Donna all had episodes that involved the people left behind picking up the pieces. Especially considering her childhood imaginary friend just materialized out of thin air in a relic from the 1960s, danced like a raver at their wedding, and then appeared to kidnap both of them on their wedding night. It just seems jarring that Amy hasn't gotten a frantic "Where the hell are you!?" call, that Eleven hasn't gotten one of his "Mother Slaps" yet, and that Rory hasn't had to awkwardly explain how Amy has already conceived, gestated, and delivered a child.
- Amy presumably got the whole imaginary thing explained away satisfactorily enough between Eleven materializing and everyone dancing at the wedding. In series five, Amy was only gone for five minutes between going off with the Doctor and picking up Rory which proves that it is possible to just not be gone for very long. Martha, too, went half a season before stopping back at home the morning after she left. It was only when she spoke with her mother on the phone a day or few days later that it was established that Martha was gone for longer than a few hours. Obviously, no one would think that they were kidnapped on their wedding night, as they did say goodbye and for all we know the Doctor dropped them back off the next morning after who knows how much adventuring. Remember, Amy and Rory comment on how the Doctor dropped them off two months ago at the beginning of season six so they have had time to sort out any misunderstanding involving the wedding couple leaving the wedding (though people probably assumed honeymoon) and continuing to live their lives. Since Amy and Rory haven't contacted home yet, we don't know when they will return. Perhaps they will return five minutes after they left. And don't forget, not only do Amy and Rory not actually live with their parents so they can be gone for a few days without everyone freaking out, but they had also travelled to America and presumably informed people of their intention to do this. For all their families and friends know, they're still on vacation in America. And when, exactly, should Rory have explained anything about the baby? He only found out about it right when Amy was dissolved and then it was more important to build an army to go after her than to check in and after he went after her, the episode ended so he hasn't had an opportunity to. Assuming Amy gets Melody back to raise and returns home, she'll need to be gone a year thus inviting questions and worry, claim Melody is adopted, or explain what really hapened. And for that matter, does either Amy or Rory even have a phone that's been modified to call anyone at any time?
- Does Rory have any kind of extended family? Amy at least had a mention of how odd it was that her parents weren't around and she didn't seem to remember them, but Rory's had nothing. Not even after sitting around for two thousand years does he mention missing anyone but Amy. I guess not everyone has to be close to their family but that all of his emotions seem to be focused entirely on her strikes me as a little odd.
- That's how it was with Mickey up until their first trip to Pete's World. I think Rory is the production team's attempt to redo Mickey without turning him into a complete Butt-Monkey. Thus far they haven't done too well, though since he's married Amy at least he's not a complete and total third wheel.
- Also, after Amy said "Hey, cool, my parents are back!" she hasn't gotten in touch with them since. Neither has she reached out to the aunt who raised her, even in the episodes where they were in contemporary London anyway. Maybe they're trying to move away from the heavy familial involvement that Rose, Martha, and Donna all had and are instead playing with the OT3 dynamic.
- Even ignoring the fact that her aunt probably doesn't live in London (Leadworth's closer to Gloucester), I'm still not entirely sure what you mean by "in contemporary London". The only story to my knowledge set in "contemporary" London was part of "The Big Bang" (which was still 14 years in the past) and "The Wedding of River Song", and even the latter's London scenes focused on the Doctor and Winston (not to mention Amy technically not being Amy).
- We don't really need scenes of Amy or Rory visiting relatives. While Martha's family never knew until the Master showed up and Donna's mother found out around the time Donna lost her memory, they implied that Rose visited her mother more often than was spelled out on screen. Amy in series 5 couldn't really visit her family as it all took place in one night. Amy and Rory had two months after their wedding to spend all the time they wanted to with family and as they keep traveling they might stop back and say hi at some point.
- As of series 7, Rory's dad has become a minor character, helping out on a few adventures. He's also gone through a new arc for a family member, going from "I think traveling with the Doctor is bad" to "Rory and Amy should be traveling with the Doctor."
The Time Lords/The Time War
- What's going on with the Time Lords being wiped out? It's implied that they weren't just destroyed yesterday, they were wiped out of history. Does that mean that if you were to go in the past and tiptoe past some scenes you'd now see the Doctor being exiled to Earth by nobody, the Doctor having to leave Sarah Jane on Earth because he had to go and do nothing, the Great Vampires being destroyed by bowships built by nobody, etc.? And how does the Doctor still exist?
- The Racnoss Empress' reaction to the word "Gallifrey" proves other people remember the Time Lords too. I got the impression that anything they did in their own subjective timeline before the Time War still holds, but they can't have any new effect in any era. It depends on the entire universe working on something like San Dimas Time (so time marches on, even for time travelers), but it's the only explanation I've found that sort of works.
- The first season stated that while the 'Higher Races' (whatever that means) retained some memory of the Time Lords, to most of the universe it's as if they never existed. Prying too far into how this interacts with the Earth and the Doctor sounds like a recipe for killer flying time monkeys.
- It's all about the Ontological Inertia. Gallifrey wasn't part of normal spacetime to begin with. The Time Lords fail to have ever existed, but in such a way that anywhere they actually interacted with the universe at large, the interaction still occurred it's grounded to the universe's continuity. But rather than a Time Lord having left Gallifrey and shown up somewhere in the normal universe, he's just literally popped into existence out of nowhere. Of course, he doesn't know that, on account of he's popped into existence with a full set of memories. If you believe that history as a whole has some kind of inertia-like property, it shouldn't be too hard to conclude that the necessary force to cause something to cease to have ever existed would be far less than the necessary force to cause it to cease to have ever existed and cause the rest of the universe to change such that its interactions with it did not occur. The arguments against the Time Lords having been yoinked entirely out of existence all hinge on a notion of purely linear causality in which there is a "before" and "after", which, we are told outright in "Blink" is not the case.
- And, as a result, I like to think that the reason the Doctor survived is because, thanks to his travels out in the normal universe, he had a substantially greater Ontological Inertia than the rest of his race he was just too tightly wedged into history to be excised without smashing the whole universe to bits. Erasing a species from history is like vacuuming them up off the floor. The stuff that's on top gets sucked up easily, the stuff that's ground-in takes a lot more work and leaves some spots behind. The Doctor's a stain on the carpet of time that's soaked in so deep that you'd have to just tear it up and buy laminate.
- The "greater Ontological Inertia" bit is canon. "Invasion of the Dinosaurs": Even when the entire history of humanity has already been erased, the Doctor still has a few seconds left to act before history catches up.
- EVERYONE remembers the Time Lords. From talking trees to the Shadow Proclamation. They weren't erased from history, they were just wiped out. And, because it was a "Time War" this apparently means it's no longer possible to travel to points where they still existed. Simple.
- The same Shadow Proclamation that called Time Lords "a myth"?
- We're forgetting that San Dimas Time and Timey-Wimey Ball are tropes, not explanations. They don't actually make sense. Imagine someone going back in time to watch the Great Vampires being defeated. They'll see one of four things: they were never defeated (in which case history is changed), they were defeated by someone else or just never existed (in which case history is changed), they were defeated by the Time Lords (in which case the Time Lords aren't wiped out of history after all), or there's some day on which they suddenly disappeared for no reason at all (which is silly). "The Time Lords were erased from history, but the past didn't change" just isn't a coherent concept.
- OR it becomes impossibe to travel back to see it.
- It makes perfectly good sense to me. The Time Lords weren't erased from history; everything they did time-travel-wise before still exists, but they can't create any new effects.
- I agree. I think of time travel in Doctor Who (and specifically the part about not being able to go back in "Smith and Jones". He could have the been consequence of a time traveller travelling in one MORE dimension than exists. So, just as a topo map is a two-dimensional trace of a three-dimensional landscape, a video is a three-dimensional trace (two dimensions + time) of a four-dimensional experience and a time traveller's memories are a trace of his travels in five dimensions. You can freely travel in four dimensions, but not the fifth. Think of Back To The Future II: once Marty is in Bad!1985, he can't go back to warn himself not to buy the almanac because to do that, he'd have to go to Good!2015, and that timeline isn't accessible from Bad!1985 (Bad!1985's future is Bad!2015). So the Time Lords *did* exist, in all the timelines that the Doctor remembers, and they * have* been wiped from history inasmuch that any timelines with them in it are inaccessible from the Doctor's present timeline.
- Actually, this entire explanation makes no sense within the model of time travel used in BTTF. (Note that after Biff changed the timeline, 2015-A replaced the original 2015 so Marty and Doc departed to 1985-A from 2015-A. Word of God asserted this as well.) Marty could have warned himself not to buy the almanac, but it would have created a paradox. There's a lengthier explanation for why exactly it would have created a paradox, and I could write it in detail, but I'm leaving it out as it isn't relevant to this page.
- You need to read more Pratchett and Gaiman. The idea of the past being malleable is an old one. Both feature variations on a shop that appears out of nowhere, but has always been there, prompting people to ask "I know it's always been there, but had it always been there yesterday?" If you can't suspend your disbelief and accept that kind of logical illogic then you might as well give up on the series as a whole and go read some Arthur C Clarke.
- The shop that disappears has nothing to do with time travel per se. (A trope in itself, actually.) But yes...
- Actually, the novels present a related theory, namely that the presence of a time traveller "crystalizes" time: any bit of history that a time traveler hasn't visited is still in flux, and could be changed, but once someone actually steps out there, that bit of history has to happen: crystalized history can't be changed no matter what or the whole universe breaks down. (I gather this was largely inspired by that scene from "Pyramids of Mars" where the Doctor shows Sarah a destroyed 1980: since he'd never been there yet, that bit of history was still in flux) The two theories together can give us a view where any bit of normal spacetime that a time lord has been to is fixed, and therefore their presence remains even after the Time Lords are written out, but now those bits of history are anomalies, and thus wherever the Doctor goes now, the Time Lords can't be there, as they don't exist (And, of course, crossing one's own timestream is forbidden, so he can't travel to any of the bits of previously-crystallized time).
- Coughcough "Father's Day" coughcough
- Yes, and look what happened there.
- I liken it to having two layers of time Time being what we live in, which we normally experience at a forward rate. Add in a concept of Overtime This is the time that exists in line with the stories. Overtime is still sequential It's the subjective time experienced by time travelers, and to be convenient, the timeline of the show. In Overtime, the Time Lords were destroyed everything they did prior to their destruction happened and you can see them throughout time. They just can't do anything else.
- It's all the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. The Time Lords jumped around time so much in the conflict that they tied all the time they occupy completely taut. Any time-traveller attempting to interact with any one of the events leading up to the Time Lords' extinction would, through butterfly chaos, have an influential effect on Downfall events past, present, and future. Since the Blimovitch Limitation Effect makes it impossible for a time-traveller to alter his own past, time-travellers just can't visit any of the events. Persistence might be rewarded with either equipment failure or an object lesson in Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act.
- The Time Lords were a race whose hat was utter indolent arrogance. Damn it if the Sontarans can invade, even if it was only for a day, the Daleks have far more than an even chance of wiping them out. Remember that the Time Lords seem to have no weapons to defend themselves with, they managed to lose their killer statue and FORGET that their city is built over the Eye of Harmony. They had no sodding clue how to fight a war.
- I should point out that most of the wiping out was the work of either the Eighth or Ninth Doctor.
- Personally, I actually prefer the lack of explanations about what exactly is up with the Time War. It makes it feel like this vast, mythic event.
- Sort-of like the Eon War during a random Marvel Comics time traveling event during the fourth Captain Marvel comic series."The Eon war. The massive temporal conflict which brought an end to what you call the First Heroic Age. But history includes none of the details, because the war erased all records of itself after it occurred. It was the Chinese food of war. Half an hour later, it was as if there hadn't been one at all."
- Let's be honest here: The Daleks would SLAUGHTER the Time Lords. A bunch of jumped up old men in fancy robes, with about half a brain cell between the lot of them, versus the ultimate killing machine, BORN to destroy everything and anything that doesn't have tentacles and a plunger for an arm. It's no wonder they needed the Doctor to save the universe. An average Time Lord couldn't change a light bulb without express written consent, signed in triplicate, let alone fight a decent battle.
- I wouldn't be surprised if the Eternals took sides during the war too. I can see Death (no, not of the Endless) wanting to give the Daleks a little nudge in the right direction, in the interest of sending more work her way.
- Expanded details in one of the Annuals state the Eternals fled this universe during the Time War.
- Death would almost certainly side with the Daleks for the obvious reasons. Although I wouldn't be surprised if she helped the Time Lords too, just to keep the war going longer and keep the body count rising.
- I think you're all forgetting something: the post-Time War Doctor can, and does, go back to Gallifrey pre-Time War. He did so in Season 23, as the Valeyard. So the Time Lords must exist in history.
- The Valeyard was called "a distillation" of his later selves, and was called back by the High Time Lord Council. THEY created him and brought him back.
- Kind of-sort-of explained in "The End of Time". Apparently Gallifrey and the events of the Time War are sealed in a kind of pocket of time... presumably this applies to Gallifrey throughout its history. As to going back to view events that the Daleks and Time Lords were involved in before the Time War, it's implied in Prisoner of the Daleks that it's very hard to do this, or at least do this deliberately. And the events of the Time War are supposedly impossible to travel back to, not that this stopped Dalek Caan.
- As a side note, the "time lock" has been known of eighteen months earlier in "Journey's End" (or was it "The Stolen Earth"?.
Complete death of the Time Lords
- How can all of the Time Lords be dead? If the Master managed to flee to the end of the universe, wouldn't some other Time Lords have fled as well? I'm pretty sure a whole bunch of them would've done that. Not to mention, what would have happened to Time Lords vacationing right before the Time War? Did the Council, douches that they are, conscript the whole race? And not leave any contingencies?
- The Master didn't just survive because he fled. He survived because he fled and turned himself human so that when all the Time Lords were wiped out he was immune. Sure, there could be more survivors but they'd probably be trapped as humans with no idea that they should open that old thing they've had forever but never really looked at.
- Considering the incredible threat that the Daleks posed to the Time Lords (and thus the rest of the universe), it's not hard to imagine that the council conscripted every Time Lord to help fight (whether on the front lines or just helping with supplies and such). They were so desperate to win the war that they weren't really thinking about contingencies. And besides, whoever would've planned for a scenario where both sides lose and get trapped in a Time Lock?
- Well, it depends on how you define a Time Lord. After River dies, there's still Jenny left.
- And the Master's attempt to create a "new Gallifrey" in "Last of the Time Lords" wasn't doomed after all. The Gallifreyan Time Lords may be erased/dead/banished/whatever, but anyone with a TARDIS, a lot of time on their hands, and no scruples could breed Human Time Lords fairly easily. (Or Time Lords of any other race that practices sexual reproduction. Might be a better idea to start with Minyans or Tharils.)
- That makes the Master's plans for a new Time Lord Empire either very disturbing or really hot.
- Alternatively, in keeping with what we know about River Song, plus the Forgotten Phlebotinum from "The Doctor's Daughter", one realizes that the Doctor himself could have repopulated the Time Lord race quite easily. If he did it inside the TARDIS, presumably the clones would be true Time Lords in all respects. What's more, the cloning machine would pre-program them to be much more badass than the old Time Lords. The only thing preventing such an effort is the Doctor's chronic inability to focus on long-term projects. Now, if the Master ever got wind of it...
- Considering the looooong history the Doctor's had with seeing artificially-engineered races become a rampaging menace to the wider universe, he may have ruled out any such plans on ethical grounds, for fear he's screw the pooch as badly as Davros, Cybus, or the Kaveetch.
- I don't think Time Lords could reproduce with non Time Lords; I think it was mentioned in something that Susan and David adopted. It's possible that the Doctor couldn't do this method, even if he wanted to. Of course, now that the Master's a woman...
- Of course, now that the Master's a woman... I'm sorry but of course what? There was always a bit of Ho Yay going on between them, particularly with Ten and the John Simm version, but enough to want to have sex? Enough to have a child together? At best that is silly and out of character; at worst it is a fanfic penned by a horny teenager. Unless of course you are suggesting some kind of rape or forced impregnation on the Master's part which is a bit heavy for a Saturday night family TV show don't you think?
- I was merely pointing out that now that the Master's a woman, they could theoretically make more Time Lords. I wasn't suggesting for one second that it would happen, just that it was possible, unlike the theory I was replying to, that the Doctor could simply make more Time Lords with a human in the vortex, because that would require Time Lords and Humans to be biologically compatible. I'm NOT saying that Master and the Doctor would have sex.
Torchwood One and previous un-encounters
- Why does the Doctor never run into Torchwood during one of his many visits to Earth between 1879 ("Tooth and Claw") and 2007 ("Army of Ghosts")? They don't seem to notice even when he's been exiled and is officially working for UNIT.
- Possibly, going back to the San Dimas Time issue, Torchwood didn't exist until after the Doctor influenced Queen Vic to create it in Tooth and Claw. Of course, it's also possible that and it has to be said, judging on the available evidence Torchwood, for all the hype, are a massively incompetent organization.
- Torchwood existed in "The Christmas Invasion", which was set chronologically (er, by the Doctor's time... you know what I mean) before "Tooth and Claw". Blame it on the Timey-Wimey Ball.
- If it weren't for the fact that Torchwood occasionally gets results and when push comes to shove they can be somewhat competent than chances are Torchwood would have been disbanded or at least given new membership.
- Possibly, Torchwood were working under the auspices of UNIT until just recently.
- No. UNIT is, by definition, a UN organization, while Torchwood is specifically and uniquely British. Possibly Jack's been running interference all this time, waiting for the right one to come along. Don't ask how he'd know which one that was. Or they just didn't recognize the Doctor as the Doctor. He looked quite different when he worked for UNIT, after all.
- He'd know about "the right one" because he'd arrive at the Cardiff Rift sometime after the events of "Boom Town". In Torchwood, he was also predicted to meet him sometime after the turn of the 21st century.
- Actually, they've dropped the UN aspect due to real life complaints. UNIT's still United Nations-funded (I think), but as of 2008 it's the Unified Intelligence Taskforce.
- I think that's probably the best explanation, although it still leaves the "The Christmas Invasion" plothole: why didn't Torchwood nab the Doctor while he was chatting to Harriet Jones,
MP for Flydale NorthPrime Minister? Oh well, probably because they were busy firing the giant laser.
- I assume Torchwood (or, for that matter, any British government agency) would have had a rough time trying to observe the Doctor due to technological limitations (no CCTV in London, etc) until he came back to Earth during the era of CCTV London and did some cool Timey Wimey stuff to get noticed.
- They answer to Queen Elizabeth and have contacts with the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, but Torchwood aren't a government agency.
- The answer to this one is amazingly simple: messing with the Doctor at any point before the Tenth would potentially cause Torchwood to cease to exist; obviously an outcome they would rather not have. Additionally, we know from Torchwood (the series not the organization) that Jack Harkness was associated with Torchwood 3 from the turn of the twentieth century and even if they were dumb enough to try and create a paradox, Jack certainly would be smart enough to realize just how monumentally bad that would be for both the Earth and himself personally. He probably tried his hardest to try and protect the past Doctors; maybe even going as far as to explain the whole destruction of the universe thing to Torchwood 1 during Third's stay with UNIT. Finally there is the question on how they would have messed with him; I get the impression that Torchwood was never particularly large their power came from their vast connections to the British government more than anything. Attacking/kidnapping Three would have meant getting through the Brigadier and his ability to amass a very powerful army at a moments notice he would have found Torchwood and he would have caused some serious damage before the British government told him to back off. Every other Doctor had a fully working TARDIS and, like stated above, without CCTV or GPS, finding an out-sized blue box would be next to impossible.
- Now you've got me wondering if it was Torchwood's fault that Three and the Brig were always running afoul of bureaucratic hassles and jerkass military superiors. Maybe all those times the top brass refused to endorse or assist UNIT's actions were because Jack hadn't yet managed to rein in Torchwood's lingering anti-Doctor agenda.
- Then there's the fact that he's rarely in one place long enough for Torchwood to get their hands on him. As for the big exception to that pattern, can you imagine the shitstorm that would ensue if they tried to nab a UNIT employee? I imagine there's sort of an unspoken rule that the various major alien-fighting organizations don't interfere with each other, lest they wind up spending more time and resources fighting each other than the aliens.
- Torchwood One only knew the Doctor in his Tenth Form. Torchwood One didn't know the Doctor with UNIT, looking for someone different. They may have heard of a Doctor involved with aliens, but he looked completely different.
- It's also possible that the whole "deal with the Doctor!" part of the mission became a bit of an artefact over time as Torchwood expanded into an outfit focussing more on collecting alien tech to preserve the British Empire. As in, it was something that they were officially required to do, but something that didn't really end up being a priority for them. The only person connected to Torchwood who really appears to have a passion for capturing and dealing with the Doctor, after all, is Queen Victoria; in "Army of Ghosts" Torchwood kind of stumble over the Doctor while they're preoccupied with the ghosts and he ends up basically falling into their hands rather than them actively trying to capture him, and in "Voyage of the Damned" Queen Elizabeth II's attitude to the Doctor suggests that the official position towards him from the Royal Family has improved over time. So they included that because it was basically Queen Victoria's pet project / personal bugbear, but once she was out of the picture they might have just decided to quietly overlook that part of the mission statement over the years until he basically ended up falling into their laps.
- Why do they keep saying Daleks have no emotions? They show plenty of them. Aside the obvious (hate), they have agitation/anxiety (shown by speaking in a higher-pitched tone), surprise/fear (a little scoot backwards), smugness (saying each word with a tiny bit more deliberation), and panic (when rendered immobile/sucked into a vortex/whatever. "Help! Help!"). And, of course, Dalek Caan laughs it up all the time after he goes nuts (if he did - he might have been faking), which you shouldn't be able to do if your emotions have been "genetically removed", even if you are insane.
- Who's "they"? The Ninth Doctor once told Rose the Daleks had removed every emotion bar hate.
- In that same episode, a Dalek didn't kill Rose when he had the opportunity, because there was an element of human in him.
- And Dalek Caan (who was nuts, your words not mine) was a member of the Cult of Skaro. Those four Daleks were explicitly said to be Daleks whose emotions were unaltered.
- Daleks have some emotion, just not very much. And they like to claim that they have no emotion at all.
- Why are the Daleks created by the Dalek Emperor considered insane? They don't seem any less hateful/crazy than other Daleks.
- Because they're religious fanatics worshipping their leader as God, and not tearing their flesh apart from being impure. From a Dalek perspective, that's insanity
- In numerous episodes of the new series we see an American network reporting on the alien attacks, but what's an American network doing in Britain?
- British TV news programmes often report on events taking place in America, so surely US news networks have "International news" too!
- If someone blows up something in Europe we see it on the news in Costa Rica, I assume that if London was invaded by aliens the guys from CNN Español and others would be there taking notes
- One word: Sky. I could get FOX News in the UK if she wanted it. I don't particularly, but I could.
- Exactly. The American network isn't "in" Britain. Its signals are sent live to a satellite to satellite dish into a TV.
- In "Aliens of London" we see the Ninth Doctor getting all sonic screwdriver on Rose's TV, flipping to AMNN a second later. Presumably he did the exact same thing to it as he did with her cellphone, allowing him to pick up international TV, which is further evidenced in Army of Ghosts when they view broadcasts from France, India, and Japan with it. Any other time we see an AMNN broadcast after that its never presented from the character's point of view either, meaning its just exposition at work.
- This American Troper just assumed that prominent American TV stations could be bought as a sort of package of extra channels from the provider, in the same way here in America you can watch the BBC and other foreign stations if you're willing to pay the extra money. Are you saying that this isn't possible over in the UK?
- In terms of news channels at least, that is completely correct. No idea about foreign channels that broadcast drama, sitcoms and sci-fi though.
- The pure exposition explanation is the most likely. It's something of a common trope in America to have roughly the same story being told by different reporters in various languages (Like France, India, and Japan above). It's used as a quick and easy way to show the danger of a situation, basically saying "The ENTIRE WORLD is watching!" It's basically just to say, "This isn't a UK problem, it's a world problem."
- Why don't people just smash the angel's statues to bits while they are looking at them and they can't fight back?
- You can't kill a stone". While it's not explained exactly what that means, apparently it's to be taken seriously.
- Smashing a stone isn't the same as killing it, because a stone is not a living object to begin with. Smashing it just creates a lot of smaller stones (dust is, technically, still a form of stone). The Angel is not a living stone, that's just the form it takes when it's quantum locked. The Angel is still 'alive' and you haven't gotten rid of it, you've just changed its shape. Chances are, even if you do smash it, the moment you turn your back and turn around again, it will have reformed.
Image becomes an angel
- Okay, we know an image of an angel is an angel. But how exact need that image be? Unless televisions in the future have infinitely fine resolution, there's obviously some room for approximation. Would a detailed painting create an angel? Would a doodle? Could someone who had never heard of the weeping angels depict something that happened to look enough like an angel to create one?
- The most straightforward answer I can think of is that it's the same threshold as "observing" an angel, whatever that may be. Forgetting about the "image" thing for a moment: if a totally blind person is near an angel, they're screwed. Someone who needs glasses but doesn't have them on hand is probably okay. It should be similar when it comes to the detailed-ness of the image, only in reverse (the less detail you can percieve, the safer you are). Still, it's not totally coherent how this works anyway.
- It may have to do with intent too. The book can't have illustrations, since even if you make them abstract you still mean for them to be an angel, it's like not thinking of the word Hippopotamus. Whereas the statues on Earth that just happen to look like angels are harmless, we hope, because there was no intent to make them a Weeping Angel.
- If you look back at Blink, Sally gave the doctor a photo of an angel.
- Maybe since the photo was only from the waist up, that eliminates it. Maybe the whole "image of an angel is an angel" thing only works if it's a complete (however abstract) image of an angel. The looped video clip began with a full body image.
- As for the pictures in "Blink" not coming to life, I just figured that there are multiple subspecies of angels. So the angels we meet in Time of the Angels just like to kill people, but the angels in Blink like to send people back in time. Similarly, the angels in Time of the Angels have the special power of "that which takes the image of an angel itself becomes an angel", but the angels in Blink don't have that power.
- As the Angels are specifically stated to be 'Creatures of the Abstract' it's possible that creating an image that's INTENDED to depict an Angel is enough for it to become one. Potentially this could even include a Stick Figure if you intentionally label it as "A Weeping Angel".
- The image would have to be precise enough that you can identify its nothing but a Weeping Angel. Draw a scary Weeping Angel but without texture or color? Could be mistaken for any angel. Draw a scary Weeping Angel with enough color and/or texture to show that its stone and scary? YOU FOOL, YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL!
- The picture that Sally gave The Doctor was of an Angel that was looking at another Angel, permanently time locked, right? The real question is, how did the many Angels in all of the other episodes move when they were in each other's sights.
Image without an angel
- Regarding the "image of a angel becomes one" thing: is it actually any "image" of an angel, or does it have to be an image of a pre-existing angel? Like, someone who's never actually seen an angel making a drawing of an angel statue covering it's eyes and saying "This is a Weeping Angel" versus someone taking a photograph of a Weeping Angel - we know the photo would probably turn into an angel but would the drawing do the same if the artist had never seen an angel and never had the "image" of one "imprinted" on them? Also, does it matter if the angel was aware that an image existed of it? What if you took one from the back while it was covering it's face? What if you only get part of it in the picture?
Angels and mirrors
- OK, Moffat has stated that he's tried to work in a scene that mentions being able to trick the Angels with a mirror. So, with a little patience, we'll have an answer to that theory. However, there's another fan theory that consists of basically "Have someone look at Angel until it's stone. Grab large sledgehammer. Pound on Stone Angel until Stone no longer has shape of Angel." I could see an Angel recovering from losing a limb, but what if it's pounded to dust?
- It's often been theorized that the Angels don't actually turn into stone; it just looks like stone. The actual material is this weird "quantum locked" stuff that is literally indestructible. (Well, Angels can lose their form after awhile as we saw in The Time of the Angels, but that's the result of starvation rather than being smacked by an external force) This makes sense when you remember that the freezing-solid thing is supposed to be a defense mechanism. How can it be an effective defense if it allows your opponent to just stand there and smack you to death? (Unless all your predators are cat-like in that they have trouble perceiving a motionless object, of course). The obvious answer is that standing still isn't the defense mechanism. The defense mechanism is making yourself indestructible, and standing still is just a side-effect of the indestructibility. (Heaven help us if they ever develop a way to be indestructible and mobile at the same time.)
- Even if they are stone when you see them and you smash them, that's just when they're being looked at(and I doubt they're alive enough for that to kill them). When you aren't looking at them, they'd revert back to whatever they look like when not being observed-which we have no idea.
- Angels Take Manhattan shows that the Angels can be harmed in their stone forms and that damage can be sufficient enough that it'll be too weak to send you back in time. However apparently Angels can silently scream in that state and it draws the attention of other Angels.
- Seriously, why don't people wink when they're keeping an eye on the angels?
- Seriously, how is that so easy to do?
- Close one eye, keep the other open. Better than having the two closed. While it's natural instinct to blink, I'm pretty sure the circumstances can prove to be an exception.
- Amy tried in "Time of the Angels." It's not as easy as it looks, you have to actively remember to do that (as opposed to blinking, which is something of an automatic response.)
- To see just how hard it was, I tried it myself and it is bloody hard. However, I also discovered a trick to it. By holding one eye open no matter how hard I instinctively tried to blink the eye held open would not close. Doing this an alternating every so often would be a pain but would at least provide a longer term solution (well, at least it would for me, bar side attacks but then you're screwed either way).
Potential energy and time machines
- If an Angel sent someone back in time to feed on their potential energy, what happens if they got a hold of a time machine and went into the future and lived out their lives there? Would there be a pull of energy from the Angel, weakening it?
- The fact that the central character of this show has a time machine has always bugged me about the Angels. Why can't the Doctor just go back and get everyone they displace? I just rewatched "Blink" and he explicitly tells Billy that he would take him back to his time if he had his "motor", suggesting there is no reason he can't do this.
- Because he doesn't always know when or where they've gone. The Doctor has a time machine, yes, but the Angels appear to send people back in time to more or less random points in history, meaning he's got to figure out when in time this one person has been sent, then he's got to figure out exactly where they've ended up, then he's got to go back in time and actually find them, and hope the TARDIS doesn't screw up and send him halfway across the universe or to their death bed or something, and then he's got to do this for all of the people the Angel has touched... the phrase "needle in a haystack" comes to mind.
Shooting and blinking
- So, watching "Flesh and Stone", I couldn't help but wonder— did no one think of "blink as you pull the trigger"? The angels are implied to become flesh (or flesh-like) when not observed. Assuming (and, admittedly, this is a big assumtion) that they have muscles and skeletons and perhaps even a few energy-processing "organs", they shouldn't be Immune to Bullets. Against a few angels (large groups would swarm you even if you took down several) it's at least worth a shot.
- Remember, the Angels are extremely fast, even the scavenging ones in Blink. Just blinking would probably get your neck snapped right away.
- But not that fast. In Blink, Larry turns away for a split second and the Angel only moves a few feet toward him, being stopped when he turns back. Scary, yes, but probably also enough time to pull a trigger.
- Also, a lot of things in the Whoniverse are Immune to Bullets anyway. And who says the Angels become flesh when they move? For all we know, they turn into pure energy. (Which would help explain their speed, incidentally...)
- Toward the end of the two-parter, when River teleports Amy away from the angels, they're shown to be able to move when in stone form. Whether this means that they are always stone, even when unobserved, is an open question.
- It's worth mentioning that different angels move at different rates at different times. I have always taken their movement speed as relative to what they're doing. With Larry, they were tormenting him for fun. Who's to say they aren't fast enough to dodge bullets handily but move slower just to torture their victims? They are, after all, described as psychopaths. Maybe they enjoy seeing the terror slowly build as they move toward you bit-by-bit until they touch you. "Oh, it's a statue." "Wait, it's closer now. What?" "Oh shit, it's moving every time I blink." "Must. Not. Blink." "Oh god, how do I not blink?" "Help, someone, please." "Oh god, oh god, oh god!" And dead. They enjoy the torment you go through trying not to blink, trying to do something, anything, to keep them from moving closer. They enjoy watching hopelessness slowly well up. Then, when they face something dangerous to them in one way or another, boom, suddenly they have a huge upgrade in their motive potential.
Angels in New York
- In "The Angels Take Manhattan", the Doctor says that New York is the perfect place for the Angels to feed because it's "The City that Never Sleeps". Actually, that's why it's the worst place for them to go. People always looking. On a similar note, when is it ever the case that no one is looking at the Statue of Liberty? It seems generally that they've given up on the whole "no one looking" thing in favor of "the relevant victim can't be looking" for them to move; at the end, when the Angel takes Rory, it looked like Amy was looking at it.
- This totally took me out of the mood. When is it ever the case that the Statue of Liberty is totally unobserved? Furthermore, wouldn't the fact that it had just moved across the city cause some people to look at it? Rule of Scary, I guess.
- Or maybe the number of observers required is related to the size of the angel.
Angels and Jack
- Weeping Angels send you back to live your life in the past. You die in(or before) the present, and the Angels consume that potential energy. In that case, what would they do if they tried this on Jack Harkness?
- Good question. Relatedly, did they actually derive any nourishment from Martha or the Doctor, considering that they did in fact end up living lives in the future of when the Angels sent them back? (And if they didn't, did that clue them in to the fact that something was up?) It sort of depends on what exactly they're feeding on, and what the whole system is based on. If the rule is that the victims would have lived a life in the future, but now they won't, then it seems that sending Jack back should not give them any nourishment. I guess it's possible, alternatively, that it's simply the years in the future that the victim would have lived at that point in the victim's relative timeline, in which case Jack doesn't get to live those in the future (yet), and so maybe they would still be fed. Still not clear then how Martha and the Doctor's case fits in there. A third possibility is that it is really the years the victim lives in the past that feeds them, but that's not at all how it's explained on the show, and in any case then the Doctor and Martha *still* shouldn't have fed them (much).
- Remember that DI Billy Shipton died after he his younger self was zapped back. This doesn't make the mechanism a whole lot clearer, but it does seem to indicate that, at the very least, if Jack was zapped back and took the slow path back that they'd be fed just fine.
- I'd suggest it happens something like this; someone is zapped back in time say, thirty years. That's thirty years of a potential future from the point they were sent back that the victim now no longer has, which is what (I'm assuming) the Angels feed on. It doesn't mean that the victim would have been guaranteed to live those thirty years (they could have been hit by a bus five minutes after they'd encountered the Angel or lived another ninety years or whatever); just that particular victim doesn't the potential future they otherwise would have from that point on had they not encountered the Angel. Most lifeforms have short-enough lifespans to not last the full length of time they've been sent back into the past, but if Jack had encountered an Angel and been sent back thirty years, he would still live those thirty years, but the potential future he would have otherwise had had he not encountered the Angel at that particular point still no longer exists because the Jack who has lived those thirty years in the past is now technically a different person by the time he gets back to the future than he would have been had he not met the Angel, simply by virtue of the fact that he's lived another thirty years of life that he otherwise wouldn't have (and has experienced different things and changed in some ways that would butterfly into different decisions and so on). I'd imagine it's something similar with time travellers like the Doctor and Martha, since they could potentially have chosen to spend those thirty years on Earth; they can get their time machine back, but the potential futures they had at that point are still gone. I think.
- That's probably what they had in mind. But it seems a bit overkill if that's all it takes. Because technically, the Angel could just slap you in the face, and it could butterfly-effect a different future than you would have had if they hadn't slapped you in the face. So why can't they just feed off that? And granted, sending you into the past would tend to change your future a bit more, but how much is enough? It's possible, in theory, that Jack could be sent back, but happen to live his 30 years from the sending point exactly as he would have otherwise, for example if Torchwood had a pressing problem at that point and he would have no time to devote to revenge on the Angels or anything. Would they *then* not get fed, or still be fed because being sent back to the past is still the sort of thing that *usually* changes your future quite a lot? I guess you could get around this by saying that the act of sending you back in time is the only way they can do any feeding. But now there's two things.
- Torchwood had a similar scenario with a demon called Abaddon, who consumed the life energy of all underneath its shadow. It ate Jack's, but the excess killed it. A Weeping Angel feasting on Jack would probably end up with it exploding from sheer power.
- Did it bother anyone else that the Angels in The Angels Take Manhattan seemed to be able to move without covering their eyes. There were two Angels either end of the corridor with the detective at the start who moved closer together and later some of the other Angels did it too. I know it's a small detail, but it just stuck out to me.
- Perhaps they evolved blind-ness.
- That bugged me too, but I kind of tried to hand-wave it by assuming the detective was blocking both the Angels from each other's view, and thus whichever one he wasn't looking at was free to move closer to him. Of course, this raises the question of what the two Angels did when he went inside his room...
Angels and the blind
- What happens if a blind individual tries to fight a Weeping Angel? I assume quantum locking only works if they're being observed by someone who can actually see, so does that mean someone with no sight could theoretically hit one and do damage?
- Maybe. We don't know what they look like off-camera, so the damage is unclear. Plus the angels are really fast, so it'd probably kill you before you can do anything.
- How's the blind person supposed to know where the Weeping Angel is to begin with? They are, let's face it, at a massive disadvantage in that particular fight.
Non-living and Angels
- If someone isn't a living creature with a future/timeline (say a robot or the like), what happens if a Weeping Angel tries to send it back in time?
- The Weeping Angels wouldn't bother. Though in the case of a robot they could feed off the time it takes for them to break down. Probably blast them to a pre-industrial era so they'll quickly rust. That is assuming sentient robots are considered "living" to them.
- Probably depends on the robot - someone like K9 or Bracewell or D84 (or, from different fiction, Data or C-3PO or Optimus Prime) is capable of making decisions, experiencing and affecting the world around them, and having a deliberate effect on history. Thus they would have potential energy of the sort Angels feed on. A remote-controlled drone or something like a motion sensor wired up to a gun that the Sontarans, for example, might set up to defend their base probably wouldn't.
- Similarly, what counts as something 'observing' one? Would one be fooled by those fake glasses with open eye pictures on the front? Painted on/drawn on eyes? How about the eyes/sensors on a machine?
- Can a creature/being be too darn large to be affected by one? Can an angel sent something the size of a building/mountain/star back time? Because I doubt it could snap their neck or anything...
- As long as they can touch them, they could send a huge creature back in time. Also we don't know what they look like when nobody's observing them, so maybe they can shift to break a star's "neck".
- I assume that any Weeping Angel that got caught by the gravity pull of a star would have been evaporated by the sheer heat long before they got into position to touch it, much less snap whatever passes for a star's neck.
- What's the big idea with quantum-locking "observation" being restricted only to eyesight, in the first place? People have more than one sense, after all. Why wouldn't an Angel that touches someone be locked in place immediately upon making physical contact, given that the person they grab can feel exactly where it is?
- One touch from an Angel instantly sends the person they touch back in time. At that point, it doesn't matter whether the person knows where the Angel is; they're as good as dead already, and the Angel would essentially be frozen for maybe a second or two at most before the person disappeared.
- Are they called the Silence or the Silents? Because I think the answer to this question has massive plot connotations. For instance, their little catchphrase, "Silence/Silents will fall", takes on completely opposite meanings. If it's "Silence", then we can assume that they are using that word to represent their goal, they are Silents, and they bring about Silence - "Silence will fall" is the same as saying 'we will bring about Silence'. BUT, this does not work if they are saying "Silents". If they are saying "Silents will fall", then they are not boasting, but instead they are predicting their own defeat - "We, the Silents, will fall". I personally prefer this second reading, as it implies that not only were they aware of their upcoming defeat at the hands of the Doctor and the feet of Neil Armstrong, but, perhaps, they have actively planned it! My guess is that 'Day of the Moon' has taken place at an earlier point in the Silents' timeline than the events of the last series, and that the events of 'Day of the Moon' have actually CAUSED those later events. For some reason the Silents wanted to get thrown off the Earth, in order to enact some grander plan of universal domination, and have used the Doctor to bring this plan into action. (I'd also like to think that the fact that the Doctor is under strong hypnotic suggestion excuses the moral disonance his ordering humanity to engage in what is essentially a Rwanda-style genocide against another sentient race).
- Their race is called the Silence. An individual is called a silent. 2 or more of them together are then silents. bringing about "Silence" is also their goal.
- This troper wouldn't call it a "Rwanda-style genocide". If there's one thing a silent would be good at, it's hiding from humans: they already did so on a regular basis, to ensure witnesses forgot about them. Unlucky silents that were surrounded by armed humans watching television when the initial Armstrong broadcast took place may have died, but the rest would've just needed to duck around a corner or dive into a closet for the pursuing insta-mobs to forget what they were chasing. From that point on, the silents simply had to conceal their nature from Earth's populace to survive, same as hundreds of other aliens in the Whoniverse have managed to do.
Signora and Silence
- "We ran from the Silence" "Through some we saw worlds and people. Through others we saw Silence." Signora Calvierri references the Silence, but how did she remember them? I suppose it could be that the memory wonkerz just don't work on...Saturnynians(?), but it works on Time Lords just as well as on Humans and they're way different on the inside, so why wouldn't it work on the fish people?
- Who says they remember what it is that they ran from? They probably remember as much about the Silents as the Doctor and friends did during Day of the Moon when they weren't looking- knowing its something, but having no idea what that something is. All they probably really remember is that they had to leave due to something called The Silence; if they knew any details or could remember seeing them they'd never have settled on pre-moonwalk Earth.
- Or maybe the Silents followed Saturnynians to Earth and that's how the Slients got here. (I know, I know, belongs in the WMG page)
- Personally I've always assumed that the Silence we're talking about on this page are not The Silence that Calvierri was talking about- for one, it doesn't explain that bit at the end when all noise stops, and neither does it explain the TARDIS being taken over. More likely, it's some sort of mysterious, powerful, and literal Silence that represents, um, silence.
Name of order, name of species
- As of "Let's Kill Hitler", "The Silence is not a species. it is a religious order, or movement." So what is the species (the one that you forget) called, then? Unless this is some sort of Fridge Brilliance about how they forgot the species.
- Maybe people of any species can join the religious order, and when they do they convert themselves into proper Silents like we've seen before.
- Or maybe the Silents were originally working alone, but once the Doctor turned humanity against them with the moon-landing video, they had to start recruiting proxies from other species, who could carry out their agenda among humans without being attacked on sight. The religious order developed from there.
Will and post hypnotic suggestion
- Is it possible for strong willed individuals to resist a Post Hypnotic Suggestion? The case of River Song suggests so (with time only collapsing because she is half Time Lord. Otherwise her case suggests so, but its never outright stated...
- So, in 1969, the Doctor tricked the Silence into using their post-hypnotic suggestion powers to turn the entire human race into a Silence-killing machine. Does it not follow, though, that the hills should be alive with Silence on any trips into Earth's past pre-1969 (e.g., "A Town Called Mercy")?
- I have an idea that the Silents weren't constantly influencing humanity, they just did so at certain moments. The Silents could have been mostly withdrawn but leave a few Silents to see how humanity are developing, and only occasionally influence humanity as a whole. If they said something that sounds different they could be exaggerating, they hardly seem trustworthy.
Silents and spacesuit
- The real question is why they have to go to such great lengths to get a spacesuit, with such technological advancements. They have access to time travel and they have to manipulate humanity on a whole to get a spacesuit? Which has so many other advancements that it is barely like an Apollo spacesuit. Meaning that these were added secretly so they could have just made the Spacesuit secretly. Talk about Complexity Addiction, the Legion of Doom would call this overly complicated.
- "The Time of the Doctor" establishes they started out as priests of a human church, so it's likely they were forced into a Stable Time Loop for their plan. Manipulating humanity also has the bonus of giving them general power in case the spacesuit fails.
Silence and Angels
- If a Silence looks away from a Weeping Angel, does the Angel move closer or forget the encounter?
- The Weeping Angel only forgets if IT looks away.
- Better question: What happens if a Silent looks at a Weeping Angel that cannot see it? It's implied in "Flesh and Stone" that an Angel's awareness of someone observing it is tied to the quantum-locking.
Silence and Suits
- Why do the Silence wear business suits?
Doctor and force field
- The Doctor gets shot at. Alot. Why doesn't he get himself some kind of personal force field. Good for avoiding random Daleks while you're doing a meadow run, or say, when you land in the middle of SanFrancisco (he really could have used it then). Hell, during The Parting Of Ways, Nine did put a forcefield on the Tardis when he busted onto the Dalek ship to save Rose. What the hell happened to that thing?
- It was still attached to the TARDIS console in Journey's End, where it proved to lack the power to block a tractor beam capable of moving planets. No idea what's happened to it now that the TARDIS control room has regenerated.
- As for why The Doctor doesn't use a personal force-field, I can think of two good reasons. First, a force-field would - in theory - require a massive amount of energy to run reliably and that much energy flowing around a person would attract attention that The Doctor would prefer to avoid in the high-tech futures where unusual energy signatures are probably monitored at spaceports like metal detectors are used at airports today. Secondly, most of The Doctor's regular enemies use weapons that no force-field could reliably defend against for long. It's much more economical to just RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!
- And if there's one character who would consider a personal forcefield a bit of a cheat, it's the Doctor, who is after all a bit of a thrill-seeker.
TARDIS and random danger
- Speaking of the TARDIS, you're telling me an advanced Sentient spaceship that can take any form and travel in time has no autopilot that allows it to conviently materialise over The Doctor's body when say, A Sontaran decides to go Sontar Ha! on his face? That would be a good way to more easily escape certain situations. I mean really Doc? You've never tried any of these things? You're much smarter than that.
- Actually, he isn't. It's like how there are many people who are capable of driving a car but not so many who can repair/assemble one themselves. Lest we forget, the Doctor originally stole the TARDIS and the particular model he stole was an older TARDIS which was about to be recalled and that particular TARDIS also had a wonky Chameleon Circuit, which completely broke down shortly after the first televised adventure. Basically, in Earth terms, The Doctor stole the equivalent of an 1999 Camero with power windows that didn't work and a broken radio.
- It has also been a running gag since the original series that the Doctor really isn't able to pilot the TARDIS all that well. Apart from the rather spotty control that most of the Doctors seemed to have about reaching precise points and locations the Fourth Doctor admitted to having shot the owners manual for the TARDIS into space at one point and Romana was a much better TARDIS pilot than the Doctor was. This continued into the new series, with Journey's End revealing that the TARDIS is meant to be piloted by six people and that the Doctor did a lot of jiggery-pokery to get it to where he could run it by himself. Not to mention River Song's revelation that the infamous grinding noise of the TARDIS materializing is due to The Doctor leaving the parking brake on.
- Re: The TARDIS' sentience. There is quite a bit of debate as to just how sentient the TARDIS is and to what degree it can control itself. It could be that the very nature of the TARDIS prevents such an auto-pilot from being possible since it would tantamount to Mind Control of another sentient, which is something The Doctor would personally be against.
- Fair enough on all points. That being said, he still could have tried something. I mean, there must have been a way for him to figure it out. Heck, if the TARDIS is sentient to some degree, why not do a mind meld or some kind of psychic whammy to establish a system: say, if you hear something yelling EXTERMINATE!!! DELETE!!! or SONTAR HA!!! come running. And if you see statue of a Angel, THEN FOR GODS SAKES, HAUL ASS AND SAVE MY TIME LORD BEHIND BEFORE I'M RETGONED!!!See, simple. Heck the TARDIS having a brain makes it even easier.
- A TARDIS and its Operator are psychically bonded to the Operator's Symbiotic Nuclei. It would theoretically be possible to accomplish all this on pure mental control alone, as has been hinted on some models of TARDISes, but the Doctor is more of a hands-on kind of a guy, preferring manual means. In fact, IIRC, the TARDIS is fed with all the data from all the inputs the Operator has, including eyes, ears, nose, touch and so on. They are symbiotically bonded, after all.
- ......Angels don't Ret Gone? Are you confusing that with the cracks they fell into in one episode?
- Considering how unreliable the TARDIS is at the best of times (twelve months too late, over a decade late, oops, this is Cwmtaff, not Rio), the last thing I'd want is it trying to materialise around me on autopilot. Squashed Doctor, anyone?
- No, because the TARDIS materialised over Rose and a Dalek in "The Parting of the Ways" with no ill effect (apart from an exploded Dalek by unrelated means).
- I assumed that was due to Bad Wolf's influence.
- Note that in "The Parting of the Ways", the Doctor is clearly piloting the ship to materialize around Rose (and, unintentionally, the Dalek). That's very different from leaving the same task to the autopilot. The Doctor might have gotten very good at doing it himself, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't be wary of letting the TARDIS do it by itself — it's presumably a very intricate task and very easy to go wrong, and as mentioned above the TARDIS is clearly unreliable in many ways.
- And how would the Doctor and Jack know that?
- Maybe the TARDIS has one of these, but it's never needed to use it because The Doctor hasn't ever been in a situation he couldn't escape from. Maybe one day we'll see it used, and the companion at the time will wonder why he didn't use it in a previous deathtrap, and he'll say "because the TARDIS knew I'd get out of that one".
- My understanding is that the TARDIS actually has, as part of the Cloister Bell system, a directive to bring its user to the site of temporal dickery that needs fixed, which means that when the Sontarans decide "SCREW IT! WE'RE INVADING 12TH CENTURY CHINA!" The TARDIS will interrupt the Doctor's trip to Space Florida and drop him unceremoniously in 12th Century China and wait patiently for him to fix what once went wrong. Or is about to go wrong. Or might go wrong. Time travel.
- As of The Doctor's Wife, the TARDIS is DEFINITELY sentient, and does indeed drop him off wherever he's needed.
- Sentient, yes, but not necessarily the same kind of sentience as you or I, what with seeing all of time at once and all that.
- Since we see the Idris Tardis as a sort of Cloudcookoolander Bitey Mad Lady, I assume that the TARDIS is like her, sort of the machine equivalent of mentally ill. A well working TARDIS would be able to do all those things, but Sexy is not.
- Remember that prior to Forest of the Dead, The Doctor opened the TARDIS doors manually. After that, he just clicks his fingers and the doors open for him. This indicates that, over time, The Doctor's ability to control the TARDIS without manual manipulation (all the frantic running around throwing levers and pumping bicycle pumps) will increase. Whether this is an extension of the psychic powers of Time Lords, their bond with their TARDIS, or something else, who knows. After all, The Doctor failed his TARDIS driving test and he threw the owner's manual into a black hole. There's a chance he might have learned how to do all the things listed above if he'd been a better student.
- There was a Jon Pertwee episode where the Master dematerialized the Doctor's body somehow, but the TARDIS was able to bring the Doctor back. However, the TARDIS required Jo to pull a particular level first, to "give it permission" to do it. Apparantly, the TARDIS can act on its own, but requires some sort of user input to allow it to do certain things. Which makes sense: Think about moving files around on your computer. Sometimes you accidentally drop a file into the wrong folder. When the message pops up that says, "Move this file: Are you sure? Y/N" you can just click "N" to stop it. The TARDIS has the same kind of safeties. Imagine this: A Dalek confronts the Doctor. It's about to shoot him. Suddenly, the TARDIS materializes around the Doctor and saves him. And the Doctor screams, "Nooooo! I was just about to do something really clever! You messed it up!" You know that's what would happen.
- The TARDIS actually did have a remote control once upon a time. What happened to it and where it came from is subject to an epileptic forest that eventually resulted in the "Season 6B" theory.
- What is the difference between the Heart of the TARDIS, the Eye of Harmony, and the TARDIS personality matrix? In "The Doctor's Wife", House removes the TARDIS' personality matrix and implants it within a human body, and it appears to be the TARDIS' sentience or consciousness. However, in "Boom Town", Blon Slitheen looks into the Heart of the TARDIS (as does Rose in "The Parting Of The Ways", who states that the TARDIS "looked into her" as well), and the Doctor states that the TARDIS is telepathic and that the Heart is the ship's "soul." This sounds like it would suggest that the TARDIS' consciousness resides in the Heart, but I don't think that, if the Heart really were its consciousness, House could have piloted the ship after removing it, because the Heart also seems to be the ship's link to the Time Vortex. To further complicate matters, the Eye of Harmony is frequently described as the TARDIS' power source, but in "Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS", the Heart is stated to be the engine room, so what's the difference?
- The last sentence is easy enough: your petrol tank and your engine are not the same thing, so why should they be on the TARDIS? The rest of it is a bit more complicated and full of WMG and hand waving but perhaps the personality matrix is a part of, but not the whole of, the Heart? This would imply that House would be kind of plugging himself in where it used to go and taking over its functions, not entirely different from swapping the CPU in your computer. The only thing I find uncomfortable about this possibility is that the Heart seemed to be quite exploded and the explanation for why it wasn't actively exploding was based on the TARDIS' personality and it doesn't seem right that something exploded would be stopping itself from exploding further. Then again, it is the TARDIS.
- The Eye of Harmony is the Fuel Tank. The Heart is the Engine. The Personality Matrix is the AI/Interface to operate the Vehicle.
Talking to the TARDIS
- At the end of "The Doctor's Wife" the Doctor says he cannot let the TARDIS speak again. However, in "Let's kill Hitler" he is able to speak with the TARDIS. Did I miss something?
- That was not the TARDIS. That was a voice interface.
TARDIS and the Time Vortex
- What would happen if somebody looked out a window of the TARDIS while it is in the Time Vortex? If a TARDIS is in the shape of a car or something, what do you do about the windows?
- It doesn't matter what the outside looks like. The inside of the TARDIS doesn't have windows.
- If somehow a TARDIS, any TARDIS, had windows inside, what would happen?
- You would see the Time Vortex. It looks like the colored swirlies in the intro sequence. It's been seen from inside a TARDIS a few times: sometimes the Doctor has had the monitor on while in the Time Vortex, and Ramon Salamander got sucked out into the Time Vortex when the TARDIS dematerialised with the door open.
- Why do the older versions of characters always look taller? They are fully grown adults, apart from Amy in The Eleventh Hour and River in Let's Kill Hitler.
- In The Girl Who Waited Older!Amy is at least 1/2 an inch taller than Present!Amy.
- Older!Amy may have been wearing thicker shoes, as part of her armor.
- In The Wedding of River Song the Doctor seems to have grown by about 4 inches. This is never explained.
- He didn't seem taller to me, so I'm not sure what spot you're referring to, but I'll note that the Doctor is actually the Teselecta for much of that episode, so maybe that explains physical differences.
- Is the Doctor when he regenerates taking on a new A Form You Are Comfortable With and his Human Alien body is just an attempt at that - and is that possibly true for all Time Lords? Sure this is a wacked-out theory, but...
- No. In the new series, when somebody mentions that the Doctor looks human, he answers "You look Time Lord", adding that Time Lords came first. So Time Lords looked like humans before humans existed.
- It was stated somewhere, probably Expanded Universe, that the Time Lords established some sort of psychic field that causes intelligent life to tend, by and large, towards appearing outwardly similar to the Time Lords.
- There have been a few Expanded Universe authors who've sort of raised the OP's theory (Dave Stone being one, if memory serves), but the more common implication — as suggested by the responses above — is that Time Lords were the first intelligent species in the universe and thus influenced the others in some way.
- We've seen non-Time Lord Gallifreyans, including children who've surely never regenerated. They look completely human.
Time traveler who knows nothing about the future
- Why doesn't the Doctor know more than he does about the major events in Earth's future? He's traveled all over time, and he obviously loves our planet, so he should have heard a bit about the future of the Earth (and the other planets he's had adventures on), but he always acts surprised when anything huge happens (for example, when Earth is moved across the universe in the series 4 New Who finale). Does he just put his fingers in his ears whenever future people are having a conversation about a historical event?
- The method of time travel in Doctor Who has a morphable timeline, so many events in the past haven't happened yet in previous futures.
- That can probably explain 'The Stolen Earth' since the Daleks were using time travel, but what about when the only time travel involved was the TARDIS getting the Doctor to the event? In 'The Christmas Invasion', for instance, the alien threat reached Earth by space travel, so time can't have morphed to include that event until after the Doctor experienced it—that doesn't really make sense—so why hadn't the Doctor heard of an event as significant as a straight invasion of Earth and the, er, way it was handled?
- From what I can gather, even events that can happen through regular passing of time may not have happened yet in previous futures. If I could speculate, I'd say that these events were actually caused by time travelers, but often indirectly, through the Butterfly Effect.
- "Previous futures". Wow. That very concept is essential to many time travel scenarios, but I love how you highlighted its ridiculousness so perfectly.
- My working theory is that he doesn't know everything for a number of reasons. The first is that he travels on a regular basis through tens of thousands of years and often through hundreds or even millions of years and as smart as he is he doesn't know everything nor has he been everywhere. Notice he seems to almost always have a more than passing understanding of when and where he is. His knowledge is specific enough that he recognizes when Earth's technology is a behind by a few hundred years. It's possible, probable even that he simply doesn't know everything about every single situation ever. I imagine that everything that happened ever anywhere on Earth is a lot for a Time Lord, even one who seems to love our planet.
- The Doctor say something to that effect to Amy in the Good Night short - time is being rewritten all the time and we feel it whenever we are not sure of a memory. Basically it would mean that the timeline is not fixed (apart from the "fixed points in time") and that the past could change without warning.
- This is somewhat clarified in Amy and Rory's last episode: what makes a fixed point is whether you know about the event from before you went back in time, and defying a fixed point generates a paradox that is, while not insurmountable, damaging enough to the fabric of reality that it is a Bad Idea to do it more than absolutely necessary, and anything he's never seen or heard before is fair game for changing. Therefore, the more he learns about history, the less he can change while wandering around. Knowing his hero complex, it'd be surprising if he didn't actively avoid as much history as he could (or avoid as many details as he could) so he could meddle in it if need be when he inevitably gets around to visiting.
- In short, he wants to avoid spoilers.
- One of the old Past Doctor Adventures suggests that the Doctor and his companions change history — and thus the future — every time they step out of the TARDIS, sometimes in small ways, other times in large ways. So the answer simply might be that everytime he goes to the future, he's got no idea what to expect other than some Broad Strokes.
Only one Doctor?
- Maybe this is answered at some point the series that I haven't seen but why is there only one Doctor despite there being multiple dimensions that are expressly never supposed to interact with each other? Where was the Doctor from Rose's World? When she was dropped off after the events of "Doomsday" I fully expected a TARDIS to appear next to her and him to politely explain how he'd just dropped off a Rose to replace her. It seems clear that everybody else has or at least had a double.
- Somebody on the Series 4 Headscratchers page suggested that "our" prime-reality Time Lord society is unique and pan-universal. Or maybe there are more Doctors, Masters, Rassilons, etc., and that, with the Time Lords' trans-universal technology, every TL society from every alternate universe came together and operated as one. By that theory, all of the alternate Doctors would probably have been sealed within the time lock as they would have presumably taken part in the Time War, and speaking of, it's possible that the time lock doesn't just apply to our universe, but to other universes with Time Lords as well. Or perhaps prime-Rassilon just felt it necessary to eliminate every alternate TL permutation in order for his Time Lords to become the Time Lords. However, my pet theory is that the untempered schism on the prime-Gallifrey is a unique occurrence within the multiverse; being described as a "gap in the fabric of reality." It is also said that the Time Lord's evolved into what they are after being exposed to the schism for billions of years, so if there were only one untempered schism on only one, single planet throughout the entire multiverse, then the people who lived on that planet would be unique, as no other universe would, or even could, have enabled the emergence of the Time Lords as we know them. So I guess, in a way, I too subscribe to the "unique and pan-universal" idea. Now, I'll admit, my theory may not exactly hold up in a court of law, so to speak, but it works for me.
- Keep in mind that the idea of The Multiverse is based on the idea that, as every particle in the universe is in every conceivable location it could be(which is a LOT), the reason we don't notice is because they're simply in another universe. This means that every possible variation of the history of Doctor Who bound by the laws of physics exists. Meaning that there must be alternate Gallifreys, Doctors, ect. Of course, this means there'd be parallel Last Great Time Wars
- Time Lords can Regenerate. Each regeneration is a different version of the same being. Perhaps each Time Lord is a composite being composed of multiple iterations of the same individual from multiple different realities?
- We know at least one alternate Gallifrey exists with Merlin(suggested to be an alternate Doctor) in the episode "Battlefield". Also, any universe even remotely like the main one (Pete's World for an example) would have to have at the very least a heroic time traveller with Time Lord-level technology: the Doctor has saved the Earth a bazillion times, and the universe quite a lot. Granted the "universe being saved a lot" isn't that a problem since most times someone tries to end it has a history with him, but about 99% of the alien invaders up to, during and beyond the 21st century both had no contact with him and lacked another group that could've helped save humanity. The Doctor or someone just like him is basically the nail of the whole world. Hell, going by the "Time Lords came first" implications you'd have to be part of a completely different fiction to find people in another universe lacking the Time Lords.
K- 9 and the Doctor
- Why doesn't the Doctor feel uncomfortable when K-9 calls him 'Master'? I mean, it's his arch-enemy's name.
- 'Master' can be used in more than one context.
- And the Master is his arch-FRENemy.
- Why does the telepathic field from the TARDIS never translate it when the Tenth Doctor says "allons-y"? That is perfectly valid French, after all. It can't be an exception to just the Doctor, since the same went for the Fake Doctor in "The Next Doctor". If it is dependent on the intent behind what is said, then any instance of "I'll speak in a different language to hinder eavesdroppers" should work. Another alternative is that while it sounds French, the meaning behind it is still transmitted telepathically. But in that case you should have characters around the Doctor wondering why they suddenly know French.
- When he says 'allons-y', it means something different to if he said 'let's go'. The language switch carries some of that meaning. Compare when he insults the Sycorax in their native language in The Christmas Invasion ('Do you accept my challenge, or are you just a [alien stuff]') - there is meaning in the Doctor's use of a native insult.
- Same question as why Klingons in Star Trek can throw in Klingon phrases every now and then.
The Constellation of Kasterborous
- "In the constellation of X" means "in the rough direction of the constellation, when seen from a particular planet". So what planet is the constellation of Kasterborous seen from? By definition it can't be Gallifrey itself (you can't see your own planet in a constellation while standing on it), and it seems unlikely to be Earth (if Kasterborous were an Earth constellation at any point in Earth history, then the Doctor could have named whatever contemporary constellation it coincides with, instead of this anachronism). And if it's some random third planet, why give directions relative to it?
- Not quite a planet, and a bit WMG, but my personal guess would be that Kasterborous would be the star (or a planet in the system of the star) that was turned into the Eye of Harmony, which allowed the Time Lords to engage in time travel in the first place. Gallifrey is in the constellation that can be seen from this star system, and it's referred to in that fashion as a kind of homage.
- Maybe the word "constellation" means something different for space-faring races? For a race that can't leave its planet, a constellation is a group of stars that appear to be next to each other (from the surface of that planet). But a race that can actually visit the stars in question needs navigational terms, so maybe "constellation" is the nearest English analogue to a term that means "a group of stars that actually are next to each other" in real space.
- Makes sense. It'd be the space-travelers' equivalent of "archipelago" for sea-travelers.
- Not that I think this is the case, but maybe it's like how we're in the Milky Way. We have a word for a thick, diffuse band of stars and apparent gases visible around much of the world, perhaps they called the stars closest and most visible from their planet "Kasterborous" and it was a fortunate coincidence that they turned out to actually be nearby stars and not just bright, distant ones. Milky Way aside, there are human constellations that stretch across much of the sky and can only rarely through the year, if ever, be seen from a single location all at once, like Draco (Hmm... Kasterborous sounds a bit like Oroborous... Must ponder this a bit more...)
The Hounds of Tindalos
- It has already been established in the EU that the Cthulhu Mythos is real in Doctor Who. So why don't the Hounds of Tindalos come after the Doctor? He's the most frequent time traveler in the Whoniverse, and the TARDIS is FULL of angles. So why aren't they hunting him?
- Because by this point the Doctor is the kind of person that even nightmarish Eldritch Abominations are terrified of.
- The Doctor is a nightmarish Eldritch Abomination - from a certain point of view.
- "FULL of angles"? A-HAHAHAHAHA! That's what you think, dear, sweet, three-dimensional creature. There's likely not a single angle inside the TARDIS within the Hounds' materialization range, it just looks like they're there. There might not even be any proper "angles" inside the average TARDIS, given that they may be creatures of curves, not edges, even more so than humans and Time Lords.
- Maybe the Time Lords found a way to stop/counter the Hounds and whatever is it comes pre-installed in TARDIS'?
- The Time Lords have been time traveling for many millions of years of Gallifreyan history. They probably found a way to leash the Hounds, ages ago.
- Why does the Doctor just give up on something just because the event is predetermined? He managed to pull off Tricked Out Time in "The Impossible Astronaut", so how come he doesn't even consider it in "The Angels Take Manhattan"? In both cases of so-called predetermined events (River's arm being broken, and the gravestones), all that's really predetermined is what's written in the book and the names on the headstones. It would be very simple to, say, not break River's arm, but say that they did when writing the book, thus preserving predetermined events. This is especially egregious with the graves, as it would've been easy to just go back in time with the TARDIS, pick up Amy and Rory, then plant the headstones for their future selves to see, and be on their merry way.
- What we saw in "The Impossible Astronaut" was not Tricked Out Time. It was always the Teselecta that got shot at the lakeside, so the Doctor was really just fulfilling a Stable Time Loop, exactly like the ones in "The Angels Take Manhattan". If he were to alter the events that led up to his decision to alter them, then he would change the circumstances of his decision and create a paradox which, in that instance, he could not afford to do because it would have destroyed New York.
- This sounds like the perfect time for a discussion of "fixed points". For whatever reason, certain events- births, deaths, battles, meetings, algebra tests, whatever, are meant to be fixed in the time stream. They MUST happen, and cannot be interfered with; if a time traveler were to do so, it may lead to dire consequences in events of the future, or maybe even the past! (Refer to any wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey discussion). Doctor Who doesn't seem to have made as big a deal as other time travel shows about time travelers having knowledge of future events, so I found it odd that it suddenly became the main issue of this episode. The ideas mentioned in the previous points of how to possibly circumvent a paradox seemed sound- until I started considering all the other wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey issues packed into this episode. First, I'm working off of the assumption that Time Lords, having lived on a planet with a gap in the fabric of reality, have some sort of ability to sense fixed points when time travelling. "The Angels Take Manhattan" doesn't just feature a cheap novel with future knowledge; there are also Weeping Angels, which seem to be space-time anomalies unto themselves, and a few paradoxes from Rory dying. While any one of these paradoxes on their own might be easily dealt with by a clever Time Lord, all of them lumped together seemed to have been enough for the book to constitute a fixed point- it was so bad, apparently, that the Doctor can't even LAND in 1920's New York. I can point out another example: Father's Day. A lot of tropers on the headscratchers page trot out this paradox-ridden episode as reasons why such-and-such an action on the part of the Doctor or a companion should have resulted in the descent of reapers. A single paradox- the Doctor meeting himself, or another regeneration, interfering with his own timeline, etc. are apparently allowable, "For cheap tricks", and such. But the universe apparently won't allow Rose to run past a previous version of herself and the Doctor, and save her supposed-to-be-dead father. Back to "The Angels Take Manhattan": It's likely that the Doctor recognized the signs of a fixed points, hence why he didn't try particularly hard to try to change it. Why wouldn't he try? Look what happened in "Waters of Mars"! Yeah, I don't think he's going to be messing with a fixed point so callously for at least a few regenerations. Wait for the 13th, then he might be insane enough.
- How do Daleks, who spend, we are told, their entire lives sealed in their travel machines, reproduce? For that matter, what sort of life cycle do they have?
- They come out of cloning vats thanks to Davros's mucking about with the original Kaled race's DNA. Their life cycle is basically; be cloned, sealed in armour, EXTERMINATE-EXTERMINATE-EXTERMINATE-EXTERMINATE, meet the Doctor, die.
- "Genesis of the Daleks" showed us that in Davros' lab on Skaro, Daleks are grown in incubators. One would presume that once all the Kaleds were gone reproduction became a thing of the past and the Daleks were somehow able to automate the incubation process.
- In "Revelation of the Daleks," one of the supposed advantages of the new Daleks is that they can reproduce freely (suggesting that the normal Daleks can't, and that their cloning process is for some reason much quirkier than the Sontarans' mass hatching). Also in that story, Davros takes a leaf from the Cybermen's manual by converting humans into Daleks (one of whom babbles about the "seed" of the Daleks spreading everywhere...and maybe we're better off not knowing what he meant by that).
- Artifical cloning is also the only plausible way the Dalek production line in The Power of the Daleks could have worked.
- "The Witch's Familiar" shows how their life cycle ends, barring a violent death. And given what the outcome of their old age is like, it makes a lot more sense that so many Daleks tend to die fighting...
Angels watching Angels
- In "Blink" when we are first introduced to the Weeping Angels, it establishes that if you get Angels looking at each other, they are trapped: They can't move because they are being observed, and they can't look away because they can't move. However, in later episodes with Weeping Angels we've seen plenty of them in groups where they can see each other, and that doesn't seem to stop them as long as no one else is watching. What's the deal here?
- If a solid object (such as another Weeping Angel) stood between two Weeping Angels who were making eye contact with one-another, then they would be able to move. This is because there would no longer be anyone observing the Angels. Thus, it would be fair to conclude that the Weeping Angels we have seen observing each other are able to move later on thanks to another Angel standing between them, blocking their view of one-another.
- When several Angels move as a group, the ones in the back ranks probably pause to cover their eyes or look at the ground intermittently, giving the Angels in front of them the freedom to move. We don't see them do it for the same reason we don't see them moving when characters blink on-screen: they're too fast to see.
The Time War Makes No Sense
- We have the Time Lords, a race of Gods in all but name. who can Retcon entire galaxies out of existence, use black holes as weapons, and whose primary form of transport is the TARDIS, a pan-dimensional entity, essentially riding the omnipresent Yog-Sothoth from the Cthulhu Mythos as your personal magic pony through the stars, and if you ever blew up one, you unmake all of existence as the episodes The Pandorica Opens/the Big Bang aka "Amy Pond is Haruhi Suzumiya" demonstrated. The only entity that could actually threaten the Time Lords were the Forces of Yahweh, the Outer Gods from the Cthulhu Mythos, the Q Continuum from Star Trek, or pick any Cosmic Omnipotent from the Marvel Universe. Then why, out of all possible entities out there, given that there are an abundance of Lovecraftian horrors in the Whoniverse, why did the Time Lords lose to the DALEKS? Previously one of the wimpiest species in the universe, and in the beginning they were dependent on the static electricity of their city, and could not even climb stairs. The Time Lords, if they really saw these space saltshakers with plunger arms as a threat, could have easily retconed Davros out of existence. Then why the fucking hell did the Daleks, space trashcans, manage to exterminate the Time Lords to the point of forcing Rassilon to use the Ultimate Sanction to sacrifice Time itself to ascend as Energy Beings? The only sense I got here was that the entire Time War was a lie, perpetrated by Rassilon and his allies to force all other Time Lords to accept the Sanction so that he may become God, and that the Doctor was right in the Time Lords becoming the greater evil...
- As far back as the Hartnell years the Daleks were time travellers, and they were explicitly said to be a threat back in the Tom Baker years. It is canon in the Doctor Who-verse that being able to time travel gives you some form of paradox protection too. Chances are that by time the Time Lords, whom we are told way back in the Pertwee era are indolent and arrogant, noticed and moved against the Daleks openly that it was already too late to seriously remove them from time. In fact The screw-up over Genesis of the Daleks where they tried to remove them covertly may even have given them a degree of protection through creating a fixed point in time which meant they could not delete them. As for how the Daleks won even though they apparently had a lesser mastery of technology (although since the Daleks could steal planets just as easily as the Time Lords means lesser is a relative term, that is still obscenely powerful), I'm going with sheer numbers. We don't know how many Time Lords there are, but Daleks can reproduce by the trillion off production lines. Even is the Time Lords killed at a rate of a million Daleks to each Time Lord, that is still a rate of attrition that favours the Daleks. They could win every battle but still lose the war through no longer having numbers or resources to hold each "won" objective. They are far from wimpy or puny, the Daleks have always been a credible threat.
- That still does not explain how the Daleks managed to destroy the Time Lords when destroying a Time Lord's TARDIS destroys the entire universe as the Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang episodes demonstrate. There was no way that can allow the Daleks to devastate Gallifrey into a Crapsack World without unmaking all of existence first, because if a Dalek blew up a TARDIS, then goodbye Existence. As I have said, the only being that can destroy the Time Lords without unmaking all of Existence, is an Omnipotent such as Yahweh.
- The TARDIS explosion that destroyed the universe was implied to be a VERY specific kind of overload. Basically, the TARDIS was set to overload the engines and self destruct in a very specific way. Most likely via a post-hypnotic suggestion the Silence gave River Song (since it was after HER first solo trip in the TARDIS in that episode that it started acting up). Destroying a TARDIS with an anti-TARDIS weapon just destroys it. Making the engines overload and explode (the engine actually hurtles something large enough on the inside to contain a STAR big enough to collapse into a black hole - so minimum 3 times the size of our sun - through time and space) basically causes it to rip time and space apart.
- You need to re-watch "Journey's End". The Daleks have TARDIS-killing devices. They drop one in, and it fizzes away to nothing. Plus the Timelords would have a vested interest in containing any TARDIS explosions because the universe is where they live (up until Rassilon went crazy anyway). In fact that could easily be one of the contributing factors to the Timelord's defeat, Daleks turn up and blow away a TARDIS and the rest of the high council back on Galifrey spend a few hours containing the explosion instead of defending the nominal objective. Remember one of the other things about the Timelords is they prefer to act through remote devices instead of Time-Boots on the ground. That does tend to leave their opponents with options.
- Remember that in the classic series at least, it's heavily implied that most of the Gods-in-all-but-name stuff took place long long ago in the ancient Glory Days of the Time Lords, and they basically went through millennia of Badass Decay prompted by petty political in-fighting, loftily isolating themselves from the rest of the universe and coasting on their past glories (and most of the Doctor's lofty pronouncements about the glories and abilities of the Time Lords in the new series can be just as easily explained, as he admits himself, as the Doctor simply choosing to remember that part of the Time Lords rather than the less-impressive truth of what they ended up as). The Daleks, meanwhile, may have basically been just blobs in armour, but they were blobs in armour who spent centuries-if-not-millennia basically devoting themselves to becoming basically the best at killing things in the entire universe. Look at it this way; you have two competing boxers. One of them is an old pro, and he has a feared reputation of utterly mauling his opponents in the ring, but it's been a while since he's been in any serious kind of fight, he's gotten a bit long in the tooth, he's let himself go a bit, and he hasn't really been training because he over-confidently expects that he can hammer whoever takes him on and his reputation will keep everyone at bay. And you have a younger upstart challenger, who might not be equal to the old pro on the surface but ruthlessly trains himself every day, strategises every possible approach he can take in detail and has basically devoted himself utterly to beating this guy no matter what. The odds become a lot more even; maybe the old pro still wins, but reputation alone isn't going to win the fight.
- So the Time War was basically the first half of Rocky III?
- Everyone thinks it. I'm just brave enough to say it.
- As for how the Daleks managed to do it without destroying all of reality by destroying TARDISes — who says they didn't? Isn't the whole point of the Time War that reality itself was beginning to completely fall apart unless the Doctor intervened to stop it? That sounds kind of like a lot of TARDISes might have at the least gotten pretty badly smashed up...
- Not all explosions are identical. We don't know why the TARDIS explosion that the Silence triggered caused all of reality to collapse. It may have had something to do with how it was destroyed, since there was never any prior indication that destroying a TARDIS would yield that result (see "Journey's End" when the Daleks drop the TARDIS into the Crucible's core to let it melt; nobody is panicking about reality being endangered). When the Silence took over the TARDIS and forced it to explode, the explosion looked as if it was coming from the Heart/engines. But in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS", the engines exploded once again but the TARDIS managed to freeze that explosion in time. So it's seems quite probable that the method used to cause the explosion is a big factor in how it affects everything else, which could explain why the Silence got more than they bargained for — they may not have known that exploding the Heart would cause an explosion of that magnitude. Plus, the Doctor's TARDIS is an outdated model. It's possible that newer TARDISes, like the ones that the Time Lords would probably have been using during the Time War, have better safety protocols that can prevent such catastophes from occurring. At any rate, a war between the Daleks and the Time Lords needn't necessarily see the universe un-happened just because TARDISes were destroyed in the process, and I always got the impression that reality was falling apart during the Time War because of the Eldritch Abominations that were involved in it, as well as the constant, reckless, paradoxical revisions of history that were being made by the combatants.
- And as for the Time Lords being able to snap Davros out of reality with a click of their fingers — they basically tried that, remember? "Genesis of the Daleks". It didn't exactly work out that way.
- In fairness, sending the Doctor to personally avert the creation of the Daleks might have seemed like poetic justice. He's the one that first showed them that there was life beyond Skaro after all. But in "Image of the Fendahl" we see a case of Time Lords not bothering with such niceties and simply sealing an entire planet into a permanent time loop to contain the hideous Fendahl. It remains an open question why the Time Lords did not do this to pre-Dalek Skaro, although perhaps the Doctor's interventions on the planet somehow made that impossible.
- But the later episodes have shown that the regeneration cycle of the Doctor can be reset, with Matt Smith transforming into Peter Capaldi, effectively making Time Lords immortal. Then why the hell did the Time Lords die off from Dalek extermination when they can make themseves immortal? Also, I think the making of the Doctor as an immortal God, or Eldritch Abomination whose TARDIS can unmake all reality itself with just an explosion, rather than just another Time Lord who can be exterminated by something as wimpy as a bunch of soft brains in saltshakers and whose TARDIS an be melted by ordinary Dalek weapons as "Journey's End" has demonstrated, is Steven Moffat's fault to insert as much Mind Screw as possible and replace the Daleks with the Cthulhu Mythos, in the example of the final villain the Great Intelligence who is in fact an alias of Yog-Sothoth, as the primary villains of the series, because only those beings would be able to be as Anti-Logic and reality-killing as what the Doctor has become. Or the BBC who plans to make Doctor Who immortal to make them money forever despite destroying the internal logic of the series and making it an entire series of Mindfuck.
- The ability to reset the Regeneration cycle was revealed all the way back in "The Five Doctors" from the Peter Davidson era so it's not some new thing that the BBC invented in order to make more money. As for making Time Lords immortal, the technology is not perfect enough to allow it. If you kill a Time Lord too quickly, or take out both hearts simultaneously, or disintegrate him it is impossible to come back to life. Also given how often the Doctor has talked about how finite the thirteen-limit is, it would appear that resetting your cycle is something that is extremely difficult to do — which is backed up in the aforementioned "Five Doctors" where Borusa was willing to turn traitor in order to try and find out Rassilon's secret of Perpetual Regeneration instead of just trying to hijack whatever system that bestows new ones.
- Also, let's not lay all the "blame", such as any be needed, at Steven Moffat's door; it's not as if Russell T Davies exactly shied away from adding copious amounts of god-like imagery and mythology to the Doctor and the Time Lords either. As did the TV movie, the Doctor Who New Adventures and heck, even the latter years of the classic series (the Cartmel Masterplan, remember?). This is hardly a new thing.
- I still think that ever since Moffat took over, the Doctor and Time Lords have become immortal Gods whose TARDISes are omnipotent enough to kill all reality ("The Big Bang" just bugs me), instead of a race that can be exterminated easily in the Time War by bunch of soft brains in trashcans with plunger arms called Daleks, and as in "Journey's End", whose TARDISes could be dumped in an incinerator without destroying reality. If the Time Lords have reached that level of mindfuck omnipotence then the Daleks would have been nothing but insignificant Time Lord toast, which would destroy the point of the Time War in the first place because the Time Lords cannot possibly lose to such a comparatively primitive species as the Daleks. Only the Cthulhu Mythos (I know from the Tardis Data Core that they were confirmed to be canon in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, and that the Great Intelligence, who tried to kill the Doctor in the episode "The Name of the Doctor", is in fact Yog-Sothoth) could defeat the Time Lords by this time.
- The Daleks may not be the level of the Time Lords in overall technology but they are or at least were in terms of weaponry. Before the Time War the Time Lords were nothing but stagnant dusty old senators as Giles the Krillitane from "School Reunion" put it. They relied solely on their defensive technology to keep them safe — remember how easily they folded to the Sontaran ground forces once they gained a foothold in "The Invasion of Time"? the Daleks on the other hand probably pumped pretty much everything they had into war production. It wasn't so much that they defeated the Time Lords defences using superior technology but rather by exploiting their own complacency. Only then did the Time Lords start using all of that great knowledge of theirs to repel the Daleks and fight them into a stalemate. That is one of the reasons why they initially needed men like the War Doctor and the Master because they were the exact opposite of more or less every other Time Lord in the universe.
- The Time Lords being defeated due to complacency and being "dusty old senators" makes perfect sense. This (and far superior numbers due to cloning) is exactly how the Wraith defeated the technologically superior Ancients in Stargate Atlantis. An inferior enemy that has much greater numbers can win, especially if the higher technology race is complacent.
- Indeed, for a real life example of this, just look at the likes of the British defeat to the Zulu's at Isandlwana in 1879. The most advanced army in the history of the planet losing to one that was still using swords and spears. The Barbarians defeating Rome is another good example.
- The Time Lords suffered from a major case of Creative Sterility. They had achieved so much technologically in the distant past that they no longer felt the need to innovate. Consider the mere existence of the Omega Arsenal, which was filled with Lost Technology that the Time Lords were scared to even touch until the worst of circumstances. If they built something like The Moment once, why not do so again? Why is Rassilon the only one wearing bling of mass destruction? Why doesn't every single Gallifreyan at least wear something like a Vortex Manipulator and carry a Sonic/Laser Screwdriver? Why don't they develop their massive potential for Psychic Powers? The answer is cultural. To prevent them from all developing A God Am I issues, the Time Lords self-limit their innovation and use of the technology and powers at their disposal. It is a cultural blind spot that even the Doctor and the Master are prone to falling into sometimes. When a Time Lord pulls out all the stops they can become a Person of Mass Destruction.
For this reason they were not well-suited to fight an actual war. All the Daleks really needed to do was survive Time Lord attacks long enough to lay siege to Gallifrey itself. Based on the existence of things like the Genesis Ark, the Time Lords were playing softball at least during the early part of the Time War. As the war escalated, the Time Lords started dipping into the Omega Arsenal, and huge numbers of Daleks were probably obliterated. But they had vast numbers to draw upon, so they could weather the losses. Hence Rassilon, the only Time Lord really allowed to truly innovate, decided to bail on the whole thing and do something the Time Lords had always had the potential to do, but never the cultural will — become YHVH. Of course, his proposed method required him and the rest of the High Council to adopt the Omnicidal Maniac trope, which is probably why they had never done it before.
- The one reason why the Daleks were able to exterminate a race of Gods? Popularity. Even omnipotent level time manipulation is no match for the power of the Audience. Who cares about Time Lords and their near omnipotent technology? The Daleks are cultural icons and they have become an integral part of Real Life British culture like Harry Potter and tea. And that is why the Daleks will always survive and be able to exterminate Gods. Daleks are just too integral in British culture and therefore the BBC cannot afford to lose them to a bunch of near omnipotent space elves nobody cares about.
- This is validated by the fall of Arcadia in "Day of the Doctor". Why would the Time Lords be fighting with what is, for them, primitive technology like Frickin' Laser Beams? The answer is because the showrunners wanted to have a Rule of Cool battle scene with lots of laser bolts getting sprayed around, stuff exploding and flying Daleks blasting gun-toting Gallifreyan foot soldiers. It was pure FX eye candy. Abstract, time-manipulating technology would just be confusing for viewers. A starship trooper with a laser bazooka on the other hand? Perfectly comprehensible. Notice also that the Doctor was the only one with a TARDIS in that entire battle scene, despite this being the planet where TARDIS's are built/grown? This was really all about the Doctor and the Daleks, with the Gallifreyan Red Shirt Army just there for cinematic effect.
- Or maybe the troops with the Frickin' Laser Beams are the Gallifreyan equivalent of a citizen's militia, putting up a desperate guerrilla resistance with the equivalent of popguns after the real soldiers have been slaughtered. Time Lord society was pretty dictatorial even before the war; it's very unlikely that ordinary Gallifreyan citizens are permitted to keep advanced weapons. Time-contorting tech and galaxy-eating superweapons are for the military and the Time Lord elite, not a bunch of refugees trying to get their kids to safety.
- Another very salient point here is that Time Lord society wasn't just complacent during the classic series, it was falling apart. The last time we see the Time Lords before the Time War is in The Ultimate Foe where the High Counsel had just been deposed, insurrection (ie civil war) is running wild on Gallifrey and they've suddenly lost access to the matrix. The Daleks managed to get the upper hand because the Time Lords were too busy fighting among themselves. It was basically Japan vs China circa World War II.
Why All the Human Empires in the Future?
- I've watched both the original and revival Doctor Who series, and theirs one thing I never really understood. Why is the future of humanity always depicted as a living hell? I mean humans all the way into the 51th century still condone bigotry, oppression and slavery for god's sake! Their usually always "ruled" by an emperor or empress. One would think (especially with The Doctor running around, saving humanity and encouraging them to do better) humans would evolve into a society of Crystal Spires and Togas, basically the kind of future humanity has in Star Trek or something. But instead of global unity, all humanities different futures seem to have a very Dystopian feel to them.
- The only time The Doctor visits utopias is when they are about to fall, or have a dark secret, otherwise they would be very boring places to visit. Presumably they do exist, we do see Earth is united at various points in the future, and there are peaceful human galactic populations, just the Doctor doesn't visit them very often.
- And when he does visit such pleasant settings, they don't bother to make an episode of the show about it because it's not very exciting.
- So the net result of the Rule of Cool plus the rules of time travel (see above) is that the Doctor visits all Earth's future dystopias, effectively cementing the errors leading up to them as fixed points of time, while leaving all Earth's future utopias open to being tampered with by time travelers. I guess I do see why the Master/Missy thinks of him as a kindred spirit.
- The TARDIS takes the Doctor where he needs to go. And maybe, like a lot of real-life empires, Human Empires start out good but end up corrupt and oppressive. Then they fall, then a new Empire starts, and so-on.
- It's frequently suggested that the Doctor does frequently visit very nice periods in humanity's future — whenever he goes on holiday. And there's a reason why holiday videos almost never make particularly exciting viewing in general, never mind the basis for an action-adventure series. They're all about relaxing and unwinding, which are very nice for those involved but usually aren't particularly fun or interesting for other people to watch.
Why not just one name for multi-episode stories?
- Why is it that, except for "The End of Time", for the new show they use different names for the episodes in multi-part stories instead of using one name for the whole story like during most of the old show? I'm asking because I think it would be more convenient to refer to them by one name than by both episode names separated by a slash, like "Aliens of London/World War Three".
- I think it's just artistic choice, really; in the example you mention, the first episode sets up the fact that there are aliens arriving in London, the second hinges around the possibility of the aliens starting World War Three. It's just a more interesting choice for the writer to call each episode something different that nevertheless thematically or narratively connects to what happens in it rather than going with something like "The Farty Aliens Part One and Part Two". It also helps avoid spoilers if that's an aim of yours, I guess; if you're expecting "Aliens of London" to just be a one parter, it's more of a surprise when it ends with a sudden cliffhanger, whereas if you see the title card "The Farty Aliens Part One" first thing, it's less of a surprise when there's a cliffhanger.
Infinite Alternate Universes
- It's been implied several times when we get alternate universe versions of people or things that there aren't just a few alternate universes, there are uncountably infinitely many universes, and that the show subscribes to the "every outcome that can happen, does happen, in some universe". In other words, any time the heroes save the day, it's also equally valid to say they didn't, and we just happen to get shown the one where they did. So in another universe that is just as real as the one in the show, just to pull an episode out of the air because it works for any of them, Rose gets shot by an AA gunner while hanging from a barrage balloon. And in yet another universe Jack doesn't appear to save her in time. The universe we see is no more "the real one" then those, if every outcome always happens somewhere.
- I have to be honest, I'm not sure what the headscratcher you're addressing is. Beyond the philosophical implications of the "many-worlds" theory, the universe we see is no more "the real one" than any of the potential variants by simple virtue of the fact that that all of them exist within the confines of a fictional TV show. The universe we see is just the one the makers of the show happen to show us.
- To be specific, the show's universe logic seems to be based on the "many worlds theory" as the above troper mentioned. The idea of "every outcome that can happen does happen", doesn't mean that there's a universe for every single imaginable possibility. The theory holds that every momentary decision results in a different branching universe. For example, there would not be a universe where I woke up one morning and then started throwing apples at random people, because there would be no point in the morning where I'd make decisions that could lead to that outcome. On the other hand, there would be a universe where I decided to eat an apple for breakfast, and one where I ate a banana, one where I had ceral, ect. This would not affect the outcome to specific events though: For example, in the scenario with Rose hanging from the barrage balloon, whether there's a universe where Rose got shot down depends on whether there was a moment for those involved where they could have made a different choice that'd have lead to that. With Rose it's hardly logical to suggest it was a choice as to whether to hold on for dear life or not, so it really depends on whether one of the pilots had actually made the momentary choice to not try and shoot her down or not. The same logic would be applied to every scenario as well. There isn't just an outcome for everything though.
- I have to be honest, I'm not sure what the headscratcher you're addressing is. Beyond the philosophical implications of the "many-worlds" theory, the universe we see is no more "the real one" than any of the potential variants by simple virtue of the fact that that all of them exist within the confines of a fictional TV show. The universe we see is just the one the makers of the show happen to show us.
Time Lords and Kids
- If The Doctor dies as a kid, would he generate into another kid? Or immediately jump into an adult body? In that case, could The Doctor possibly become a kid again anytime? One could argue that The Doctor has to go through a ritual to become a Time Lord, and thus owouldn't be able to regenerate until he is physically an adult, but that didn't stop Melody, who was a kid that regenerated into Mels, another kid
- It was probably rare for Time Lord children to regenerate from anything but old age — they didn't all live the action hero life of The Doctor. So, I imagine prior to the Time War, when they started living more dangerous lives, this rarely came up. One advantage of regenerating into a child's body is a longer lifespan. However, that has been a sticking point with how regeneration is depicted in the series. Is Capaldi's Doctor in a body that is already centuries older than Smith's Doctor's body was in The End of Time?
- The Master apparently turned himself into a child before subjecting himself to a chameleon matrix, thus taking on his "Yana" identity to hide from the Time War. (At least, that's what his account of being found as a child suggests, and so long as he still thought of himself as Professor Yana, he didn't have any evident motive to lie about it.) It's unclear whether the Master did this via regeneration or not, but it's certainly a possibility.
- I personally interpreted that more as the Chameleon Arch giving "Professor Yana" a vaguely credible seeming back story that he wouldn't really question, kind of like how "John Smith" in "Human Nature / Family of Blood" was raised by "Sydney and Verity" as a kid. It basically explains how he basically appeared out of nowhere in a way that no one will really question (who'd question another abandoned orphan at the end of the universe?).
- Yes, based on what we saw in Human Nature/Family of Blood, I'd even suggest that it was the "Derek Jacobi Master" who was resurrected by the Time Lords and fled to the end of the universe. He hid using the Chameleon Arch and was Yana for at least as long as Chantho knew him.
Where are the Rutan?
- It's been over 40 years since the Rutan were mentioned and they're a pretty immense part of the Sontaran's lore. One of the Doctor's biggest and most recurring enemies. So why on Earth have they only appeared in a single episode in all that time? Are electric, space fairing, shape shifting jellyfish particularly hard to work into a story? It's kind of baffling they just haven't been used again when the Sontatan are so popular. Seems like an easy enemy to use for either a half assed script or a genuinely in depth one.
- I seem to recall the Tenth Doctor mentioning the Rutans when describing the Sontarans, that's hardly 40 years ago. If you meant why they haven't appeared... Well they did look rather silly, but then so did many of the Classic series' monsters and we loved them any way. I don't know, maybe they will show up in the future as their war with the Sontarans hasn't ended yet.
- 40 years since they were first mentioned I mean. In The Time Warrior when the Sontarans first showed up. Indeed that's part of the thing that makes their absence so egregious. They're quite often mentioned in Sontaran stories yet they themselves have only shown up once.
- Fridge Brilliance: The Rutans are shapechangers. Who's to say we haven't seen hundreds of them every season? Maybe they just got a lot better at passing, and at keeping out of the Doctor's way.
The Angels Cover Their Eyes
- If weeping angels use their hands to cover their eyes, wouldn't they see their own hands and therefore turn themselves to stone?
- Who says they don't? We only ever see them with their hands covering their eyes after they've already turned to stone, after all. Maybe they close their eyes as well as covering their eyes so as to prevent this.
Controlling a TARDIS
- If TARDIS units are sentient, why exactly do they need pilots? And how could the pilots be expected to control something as powerful as a TARDIS, especially since a TARDIS can fly itself and choose not to do what its pilot wants? Episodes like "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" make it very clear that the Doctor's TARDIS is far more powerful than she lets on, so how are pilots supposed to do anything if a TARDIS decides to rebel or ignore commands?
- Same way someone can use a horse to pull a cart or ride it. A horse can go wherever it wants if it really wants to, but if it and the human directing it have both been well-trained, the horse is sufficiently tamed and under control, and a bond of trust has been established between the two, then the human can direct the horse to go where they want it to go. The TARDIS in this case is the horse, the Time Lord(s) controlling it are the human, and presumably the TARDIS console acts as the 'reins' by giving the Time Lord the medium to direct the TARDIS.
Reality is Doomed
- In "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End", Davros tries to destroy reality and fails. BUT episodes like "Doomsday" make it clear that every possible outcome generates another universe where the outcome was different. So if Davros failed in the "main" universe, doesn't that mean there's now another universe where he succeeded? Doesn't the idea that every outcome generates a new universe guarantee that someone will try to destroy all reality and succeed? Doesn't that mean reality is doomed and not even the Doctor can do something about it?
- Doomsday doesn't exactly make that "clear". Certainly, it's implied that the difference between two universes can be as simple as Sally Winters from Chiswick eating an apple for breakfast on Monday morning rather than a banana, or as complicated as the big bang not... banging. However, (as I believe it's suggested elsewhere on this page,) just because it's possible for such a universe to exist, doesn't automatically mean it does exist. Now, this leads to one speculation, that in every universe where Davros tried out his reality bomb, someone, be it the Doctor, Time Agents, tap-dancing Cybermen coming out of the sky, Q, or Harry Potter stopped it, (take your favorite, write a fanfiction). One other theory is that the reality bomb was such a BIG FREAKING TIME-SPACE EVENT, and that because it had such a huge impact on the other universes, it occurred once and only once in all the multiverse.
- Have we actually heard any reference to the Medusa Cascade, the interdimensional rift that Davros claimed would let his Reality Bomb destroy alternate universes, since "Journey's End"...? Possibly the Doctor found a way to seal it off from his universe and all the others in the wake of that story, because he realized that leaving it open would pose just such a threat.
Bad for the Universe?
- There's a lot of fans claiming that the Doctor is a messed-up hypocrite and that he does all these terrible things with time and space. So does that mean the universe would be better off if the Doctor never existed? Would the best thing he could do for the universe be to go back and kill himself as a baby so that he could never leave Gallifrey in the first place? Sure, Earth might be doomed a few hundred times over, but what's one planet next to all of existence? Plus, if the Doctor was never around, that means a lot of bad stuff on Earth would never have happened, and all of his companions would live happy, normal lives.
- It's perhaps fair to say that a lot of these fans — and, to a degree, this question itself — might be suffering from Ron the Death Eater syndrome where the Doctor is concerned. It would be a stretch to describe the Doctor as perfect, and his actions might sometimes have potentially harmful consequences. But that's true of everyone without exception (it's just on a slightly larger scale for the Doctor), and it's overly-reductive to focus on the Doctor's flaws, mistakes and problems as if that's all there is to him. The fact that he's not a paragon of untouchable and unquestioned virtue who has never set a foot wrong doesn't mean the universe would be better off without him and that he should kill himself as a baby (BTW seriously?); it just means that knowing what the right thing to do in a given situation isn't always easy to know, even for the Doctor. Whatever else you say about him, the Doctor is someone who tries his best to do the right thing, who stands up for those who can't stand up for themselves, who tries to fight oppression and injustice wherever he finds it, and tries to make people's lives better. The universe arguably needs more of that type of person, not less.
No More Karate
- After the Third Doctor left, why did the Doctor stop using Venusian karate? It's not like he could have forgotten it, and it would been useful in tons of situations, so why doesn't he use it anymore?
- Perhaps 4 didn't want to use it, since he wanted to find non-violent solutions?
- Because the Fourth Doctor has different perspectives and attitudes than the Third Doctor, and those different perspectives / attitudes don't include an interest in using Venusian aikido. Same reason the Tenth Doctor doesn't carry around a question mark umbrella just because the Seventh Doctor found it useful and why the Fifth Doctor doesn't play the recorder just because the Second Doctor did. They look at the world differently and have different tastes and approaches.
- Also, with a different body the Doctor's muscle memory is probably a bit off, and the moves he was expert at in Jon Pertwee's body might be more difficult for him to perform in all the others.
Why is the future so British?
- Why is it that, when the Doctor travels to the future, most of the time he meets humans who are British or at least speak with a British accent, even in times where the current nation states have ceased to exist long ago? (Given how influential the USA is, you'd think American accents would be more dominant in the future, just as they are now.) The most egregious example is of course "Bad Wolf", where not only does everyone speak with a British accent, but we also learn that British 21st century reality TV shows are still popular in the year 200100! Though that episode is hardly the only one where this happens.
- Because the show's made in Britain, by British people, for a primarily British audience. Same reason that American sci-fi shows tend to emphasise American accents and American influence and American culture; they're reflecting the world of their intended audience and the frames of reference that they possess. It's one of those "just suck it up and move on" things that you have to just run with if you want to watch the show. Particularly since, let's be honest, given the sheer amount of American sci-fi shows and movies, it's not as if there's a shortage of media which positions America and Americans up front and centre in futuristic settings.
- Well yeah, all that is quite obvious, but that's just the Doylist explanation, and Headscratcher pages usually deal with Watsonian ones. So I'd still like to hear some Watsonian answers to the question.
- The TARDIS translation circuitry. Notice how almost everyone speaks in some sort of British accent; because the TARDIS has decided the translation will be more effective if it's in an accent that both we the audience and the vast majority of companions can understand. The only people who don't have their accents changed are the ones already speaking English, or who otherwise need to sound foreign, like the Americans or Tegan.
- That doesn't really explain it, because there are several episodes ("Gridlock" and "Planet of the Ood" are the first to come to mind, but there are many other examples) where we first see humans of the future before the TARDIS and Doctor even arrive on the scene, and they are still speaking with a British accent. Nor does it explain why, as mentioned above, the reality TV shows of the year 200100 are based on British shows of the 21st century.
- What language do you expect the people to talk in the scenes before the Tardis shows up? Because they're almost certainly not speaking English as we recognise it in any story set more than 500 years in the future. Translation Convention is a trope and it's in effect for the audience with or without the Tardis. In universe the people are no more speaking English in the future than they are in Ancient Rome.
- But there are also many episodes that only take place only a few decades in the future, such as The Waters of Mars or Kill the Moon, where the English spoken wouldn't have changed so much the viewers couldn't understand it, so the Translation Convention shouldn't be in effect any more than it is in the episodes set in the near past, and yet everyone in the near future is still speaking with a British accent. Also, if it's the Translation Convention that gives everyone a British accent for British viewers' benefit, why do American accents still occasionally pop up, such as with Henry van Statten in Dalek?
- Because it doesn't bother translating the English for us. Van Statten is speaking English, so it leaves him alone.
- If it doesn't bother translating English, then everyone who we hear speaking with a British accent really does have one... Which was the original headscratcher: why are so many people in the future British?
- There is clearly only one answer. At some point America screws up so badly it decides that it would be best if it just re-places itself back under British care and governance, and its people learn how to speak with proper accents.
- Stories set in the near future with British actors are probably meant to be British characters. There's nothing surprising or strange about that. Britain is a major world power, this is even more true in the Doctor Who universe where they had a space program and hosted world peace negotiations in the early 80s (or perhaps the 70s, look up the UNIT dating controversy if you don't know about it). So to put it simply, when Earth is established as a major galactic force in the future, you're dealing with future humans speaking a future language and are probably members of future countries within a united Earth (one exception to this is probably The Beast Below). When dealing with the near future, you're probably dealing with British characters on some remote base somewhere speaking pretty normal English, unless otherwise specified (see Dalek). Same when dealing with stories set in the present or near present day (technically every story in the most recent seasons have been in the near future given the liberal time skips in the first half of Matt Smith's last season). Any story set in the past more than two centuries and you're probably dealing with people not speaking modern English and frequently not even being from England. There's nothing strange or unexpected about this. If a character is likely to be British then they probably are. If a character is unlikely to be British then they probably aren't regardless how they speak.
- The TARDIS was first exposed to Earth languages in London, back when Susan was studying at Coal Hill. It's only to be expected that the default accent its translation system would adopt when converting other languages and dialects to English would be a British one.
Why doesn't the Doctor try to hypnotize his enemies?
- It's established as early as the third Doctor's tenure (perhaps earlier) that the Doctor is a master hypnotist, just like the Master. Yet it's a power he very rarely uses. Why? Sure suppressing someone's free will for a little while is a bit rude but it's pretty convenient non violent way of not getting yourself murdered. Sure it might not work on everyone as "strong willed individuals" exist, but its still worth a try when your in a tight spot. And that type of hypnotism is within his abilities as I can think of exactly one tight spot where the Doctor did in fact try to hypnotize someone, in the giant swamp squid episode during the key of time season (4th Doctor). Of course from a narrative perspective it's either too easy a fix for most situations and having it try and fail constantly would not be entertaining, but I can't think of any in universe explanation as to why he never gives it a try beyond that one time.
- Suppressing someone's free will and essentially controlling their minds against their wishes is more than "a little rude", it's denying them their agency, individuality, freedom, and full independent control of their mental functions — all of which are things the Doctor values quite highly. If the Doctor's faced with someone pointing a gun at him, trying to talk them out of shooting him might be harder, but it also shows more respect for them as a sentient, thinking being. A person in control of their own thought processes can be persuaded to act for or against a particular course of action, but someone under hypnosis (in such a manner as the Master uses) is being denied the ability to choose for themselves what to do. Simply put, it would violate the Doctor's principles to do things like that, and he tends to try and avoid doing such things that violate his principles unless the stakes are particularly high. If he started taking over people's minds to serve his own purposes and get himself out of every little jam he comes across, he'd be no better than the Master is. And the Master's a pretty bad guy in part because he does things like take over people's minds and force them to do things against their will to serve his own purposes.
- If it is because it's heavily against a moral code of his, then why did he do it on that once instance? And considering the Doctor has shown himself to be willing (albeit reluctant) to outright kill in order to save lives on many occasions, there's no real indication that suppressing someone's free will temporarily would be off limits. And I stress the word temporarily. He doesn't need to go around making slaves of every enemy he meets but telling them to put down their gun and go rethink their lives is quite preferable to letting innocent people get shot.
- Didn't the Doctor once hypnotize the entire human race into murdering an entire race? I really don't think he's above hypnotism.
- That was more a case of his stock Doctor-tactic of making an opponent's own powers rebound against them. If the Silence had just kept quiet and not bragged about its own kind's crimes, then it and its fellows would've been perfectly safe.
- The sixth Doctor also tried (and failed) to use hypnotism to subdue an enemy in Revelation of the Daleks.
- It's probably because he is not as good at is as The Master. Master could do it just by making eye contact and commanding them, while the Doctor required props, a calm situation with a trusting target, or otherwise circumstances that were somewhat favourable to the attempt. It is likely he simply can't hypnotise someone with too much hostile intent towards him at that moment, and lacks a reason to do it in other cases.
- Original troper here, that's actually a pretty reasonable explanation. On the two times when he has tried to hypnotize an enemy, one was when he was in a death trap where the enemy was at a calm state of mind, and the other was a panicked reaction to a clearly crazed lunatic that was chasing him. He had a pendulum and was trying to get the guy to just calm down (it worked for like two seconds). Still, there's probably dozens of other instances out there where he has just as much reasonable cause to attempt to hypnotize someone. Oh, and just for the sake of posterity, it is in fact established that he has hypnotism powers from as early as the first Doctor when he tries to free Dodo from mind control using hypnotism in The War Machines.
Does Missy know about the new regeneration cycle?
Not sure if this belongs in Headscratcher or fridge logic but I am putting it here, feel free to correct me.
- There are several incarnations of the Doctor who never met the Master, such as War and Nine (Ten did not know that the Master had been brought back from the dead to fight in the Time War and Eleven (Twelve did not know that Missy had escaped the time-freeze). Plus it is likely that Missy do not know about the Meta-Crisis regeneration. Therefore it is possible that the Master is unaware of these regenerations and thinks that the Doctor is still at his tenth life instead of fourteenth. If this is the case then it would shed a new light on the Valeyard prophecy.
- In "The Doctor Falls", Saxon and Missy speculate about ways to kill the Doctor, but reject throwing him off a rooftop repeatedly because they suspect he has too many regenerations left. ("We'll be up and down the stairs all night.") So presumably they know he has more lives than is usual for a Time Lord: else, they'd presume he has only three or four more regenerations to go, tops.
- Let's spell out the math here. They presumably know *about* regenerations they haven't been shown on-screen with, most notably the War Doctor. Judging by the reception he got on Gallifrey, from peasants and soldiers alike, stories of the "Doctor of War" were pretty well-known. If we're not including Expanded Universe stuff, the Master never met Nine or Eleven personally, although Eleven was, again, pretty well-known throughout the universe, so Missy likely would have come across stories of him. They definitely knew each other on their first regenerations, and were seen on-screen with Three onward in the Classic series. (Theories about the War Chief being the Master aside, we don't officiallyknow about any meetings with Two.) So, that makes only two Doctors they might not know about, plus the Metacrisis regeneration. So, that's nine Doctors they definitely know about, meaning they should think he only has at most four left. On that tall a roof, if there are no regular elevators, throwing him off the roof, waiting for him to regenerate, then getting him back up (presumably not in a cooperative mood) and back to the edge....yeah, that might have taken the rest of the night. So no definite answer can be inferred from their comment either way.
- The Master knew about Two, as they both appear in "The Five Doctors".
- The Master was likely on Gallifrey when the Time Lords gave the Doctor a new regeneration cycle, prior to the "mutual kicking out" Saxon mentions, and so would know about it.
Canon/continuity of Whoniverse
- It's said Doctor Who doesn't have a canon, but other sources say that all BBC programmes have to have a canon, if you consider the BBC as the ultimate authority (a contentious point amongst fans), so would this make the Whoniverse, Big Finish Doctor Who examples of Alternate Continuities? Would the comics - the IDW ones and Doctor Who Magazine themselves qualify as Alternate Continuities and Broad Strokes??
- If I understand it clearly, it's not so much that BBC TV shows have to have a canon as much as BBC TV shows have to be self-contained within themselves — that is, you can't make an episode of a BBC show which requires the viewer to purchase or access some "outside" content (such as a book or radio play that they have to pay extra for) in order to fully understand it. I don't think the BBC overlords honestly care that much about canon as a concept — certainly not to the extent that they mandate that all BBC TV shows must have some clearly-defined sense of what does and does not count as "canon" (especially since, realistically, how many viewers would honestly care about canon anyway? It's just not a factor for most of television outside of shows like Doctor Who). They just don't want to field complaints from people who don't want to have to buy extra merchandise in order to fully understand the TV show they've already paid a license fee to watch. So the usual BBC line appears to be that if you want to count the Virgin New Adventures or Big Finish or whatever as canon, that's absolutely fine, but the TV show isn't going to directly confirm them as such outside of cute little inside references for the fans because that means you have to start buying other products (and other products that aren't directly produced by the BBC to boot) to follow what's going on. The TV show is the "main" continuity largely because the BBC owns the concept and happens to put it out mainly as a television program, so it ultimately doesn't matter how 'contentious' the fans find it — the BBC owns it, they don't, so they'll just have to suck it up.
- As for whether or not they're Alternate Continuities, ultimately that depends on the fan. There are some fans who love trying to cram everything into one timeline no matter how insanely impossible that is, there are others who just count the things they happen to read or watch or listen to but ignore everything else (so someone who reads the comics might count them as "canon" but might not bother with the Big Finish plays), others like to imagine that the Doctor's personal timeline is so complicated that he's got all kinds of Alternate Universes or wiped-out timelines going on, some of which we see in the Expanded Universe, others just like to adopt a Broad Strokes fashion, and others just don't worry about it.
Face of Boe and the "Boekind"
- The Face of Boe is repeatedly said to be "the last of his kind", with his species being identified as "Boekind". However, in "The Last of the Time Lords" it's revealed the Face is a future version of Jack Harkness, and the word "Boe" comes from Boeshane Peninsula, where he lived as a youth. Therefore it seems unlikely that Jack at some point joined a pre-existing species called Boekind, because it would be quite a coincidence that he would just happen to become a member of a species with the same name as his old nickname. So what the heck was the Boekind then? Did Jack somehow create his own species? If he did, how is that genetically feasible? Wouldn't the "Boekind" just be mutated humans (similar to Lady Cassandra), which would mean the Face is hardly the last of his kind?
- Jack has always had a knack for B.S. He probably made up stories about a Dying Race of "Boekind" not long after his transformation, the better to obscure the truth about his origins, and kept on telling them for millions of years until nobody was left who could dispute their veracity.
- Or he just never told anybody who asked what he was, post-transformation, so the other species around him just assumed he was one of an obscure race they called "Boekind" by default. Same as how Star Wars fans have to call one of that setting's races "Yoda's species" due to lack of other information.
Dalek Emperor vs Supreme Dalek
- The Daleks are, at various points, lead by both the Dalek Emperor and the Supreme Dalek. Why are there two different titles for what appears to be essentially the same position?
- There have been a lot of different Dalek factions. Maybe they are leading different groups of Daleks, or one group won out over the others and installed a different leader with a different title at different points.
It's 2018, where's Salamander?
- A second Doctor story involved him fighting an Mexican doppleganger of himself that was trying to take over the world by creating artifical natural disastors. He was a major world figure, having designed radical new farming methods and erected puppet rulers in several world "zones". Back in the 60s, this rather cool story was set in the distant year of 2018...so has it been retconned out of the modern continuity? Have all the people in this story become part of the could have been king's army of meanwhiles and neverweres? The only other instance I can think of in the shows history catching up with the modern day is the Tenth Planet, which they actally did reference as still happening when the 80s rolled around.
- Same place that well-known superhero in the ''Hourly Telepress'' comic book the Karkus is. And the manned British missions to Mars in the 1970s (or was it the 1980s?). And the fact that lemonade cost ten quid in the 1990s. And the time everyone in attendance at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony disappeared from the venue live on television. Basically, it's Zeerust Canon. It happened but it didn't. Make of it what you will.
- See, I can believe all those things still exist in the New Who continuity, they're pretty small and unimportant. The Kaucuss can still exist even if Rose or Martha never mention him (though they missed the opportunity to have a great continuity nod by not referencing him in "The Return of Doctor Mysterio"). Salamander's world conquest is much more wide spread and depends on an entirely different national set up. I know they'll probably never bother to resolve this clash of continuity (they even went to Australia in the 2017 story! For the first time since Enemy of the World I believe. That would have been the perfect chance to drop a reference), but I would be immensely pleased if he was referenced in some way as still existing in some form. As I mentioned, they were willing to reference the Tenth Planet when the 1980s rolled round again. I guess maybe if Enemy of the World was a more popular story they'd do something with it, but alas, here we are (although the year's not over yet, perhaps there is a surprise waiting for us down the road).
- History has been re-written many times in this series. Barring a contrary reference in Season 11, it's best to assume that Salamander - and the worldwide disasters he was causing - were erased by one of those changes.
Why so many white men?
- Based on Thirteen and Missy, we know that Time Lords changing gender while regenerating is possible, and doesn't seem to be that uncommon (since neither the Doctor nor Missy make a big deal out her being a woman now). And based on River Song, we know that one's skin colour can change with regeneration too. Also, we know that the Doctor at least doesn't really have control over how he regenerates, since after he each regeneration he seems to surprised at how he looks like now. But if all is this is true, why is it that first thirteen of the Doctor's incarnations (counting the War Doctor) were all white men? If regeneration for him is random, statistically it would extremely unlikely that he would regenerate with the same characteristics so many times in a row. It's obvious what the Doylist explanation for this is (the hegemony of white men), but what would be the Watsonian explanation?
- He might have consciously or unconsciously chosen to represent himself as a white male due to the existing hegemony (which appears, from what we've seen, to be similarly common on Gallifrey) and has only now decided to shake things up a bit. Alternatively, given that we don't know exactly how Time Lord genetics works for obvious reasons (it's entirely made up), perhaps there is something within a Time Lord's DNA that inclines a Time Lord to adopt particular characteristics during regeneration; sort of like dominant-recessive genes, that kind of thing. So it might not be entirely 'random' but might be a bit of a genetic lottery where anything is technically possible but certain outcomes are generally more likely (he's never been ginger either, suggesting that ginger hair is also an unlikely outcome for him). After all, most other recurring Time Lords we've seen have generally appeared to have the same gender/ racial make-up in the times we've seen them (we've only seen one female Master, no male Romanas or Ranis, no female Borusas or Rassilons etc.), suggesting that while these things can change, the process isn't entirely randomised.
- If it was purely randomized, then half of the regenerations would have been women. Just because something is possible, and possible enough that a big deal isn't made out of it, doesn't mean it's exactly common.
- Even if he has been subconsciously influencing the races and sexes of his regenerations, there's no grounds to assume he's doing it to conform to a particular social-hierarchy paradigm. Possibly he's simply been emulating some individual Gallifreyan he'd admired, growing up - a parent, a teacher, a mentor - who just happened to be male and light-skinned. Or, at least, looked like that when the young One knew them.
Shooting the Dalek Eyestalks
- Is it just me or does it seem like actually shooting the eyestalk would be way harder than they make it look on the show? Not only is the lens/opening only about an inch across, but it is constantly moving around. It seems like it would be like trying to shoot a dragonfly out of the air while being shot at yourself. I can see a trained sniper shooting one but we often encounter normal people who are able to do it just fine.
- "Often encounter normal people who are able to do it just fine"? Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we only see them shoot a Dalek eyestalk successfully four times in the series, three of which are successful in incapacitating the Dalek, and two of them by the same person. The first time I can remember is the female programmer in Parting of the Ways, and that was through sheer luck and perseverance. And she was shot immediately after! The second time was Wilfred, in The Stolen Earth, and, again, through sheer luck, and he wasn't under fire like the previous example. And he used a paint gun. The other two were by Rory in The Big Bang, and he was a Nesteen plastic duplicate with nearly 2000 years of experience in shooting to protect the damn Pandorica, and the Dalek in question was a partially restored remnant from when the universe was not collapsing in on itself because of a giant explody-wody TARDIS.
- It occurs a couple of times in the classic series, but if memory serves it's usually soldiers or the like doing the shooting.