Doctor Who: the mystery of series 5's exploding TARDIS

Feature Nick Horton 30 Apr 2013 - 07:30

Nick ponders the unanswered questions that arose from Doctor Who's series 5 finale: what caused the TARDIS to explode, and why?

Warning: contains spoilers for Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS and The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

Now, after watching the fan-pleasing Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, it couldn’t just be me who noticed the parallels between this episode and the finale of Matt Smith’s debut series as the Doctor – namely cracks in time and an exploding TARDIS. Which reminded me, is Steven Moffat ever going to explain just why and who blew up the TARDIS back then, or will it be a mystery forever dangled (and half-forgotten about)? 

For those who may have forgotten this momentous event, here’s a brief reminder – in The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang finale the exploding TARDIS caused cracks throughout time which reverberated back throughout series five/thirty-one. River Song was trapped in the console room while a mysterious voice intoned ‘Silence will fall’ and various screens cracked. Then boom, and the universe was destroyed.

 

While the Doctor was able to use the Pandorica in order to create a second big bang and restart the universe, he discussed the unanswered questions at the end of the episode – what blew up the TARDIS and what was the nature of ‘silence’? Well one has been answered (sort of) on-screen, with the appearance of the Silence in The Impossible Astronaut, and later reveal of them as a religious order trying to make the Doctor's death a fixed point in time to prevent the question ‘Doctor who?’ being asked which will lead to their fall. However it’s arguably safe to say we’re still waiting on the exact cause of the explosion.

The most obvious and commonly held view is that the Silence blew up the TARDIS. This makes the most sense, at least superficially. One clever internet commenter has even suggested a way they could have done it, in which using timey-wimey trickery they used the crack through time in order to blow up the TARDIS which created the very same crack in time which let them destroy the TARDIS (you could spend years getting lost in the logics of time-travel). This is all good and well but fails to address the ‘why’ of their actions. What good would destroying the whole universe do them? Weren’t they trying to stop the Doctor from doing that in the first place by killing him? Did they just think ‘bugger it’, blow up the TARDIS and not really think through the consequences?

 

The other issue with this is that at no point has it been specifically addressed on-screen. It’s seemingly been left up to the viewers to fill in the blanks. Again, normally this wouldn’t be a complaint – one of the things I enjoy so much about Doctor Who is not having to be spoon-fed every single explanation all the time by the writers, but a bit of clarification on a question that was specifically mentioned by the lead character would be nice. The fact it’s been dangling for so long suggests that Steven Moffat has either decided to ignore it, is saving it up later for a massive pay-off, or doesn’t really know how to resolve it (or doesn’t want to). In Moffat’s tenure as showrunner, may he have lost sight of some of the very finer details as he spins his complex and entertaining web around the eleventh Doctor, even? Probably not, but it's still one theory.

So how about wild speculation time instead then? As several viewers have pointed out, why didn’t the TARDIS exploding this time cause the universe to end? Well perhaps it did. We don’t know what or who caused the TARDIS to explode in series five. Well maybe it was the TARDIS itself? Using one of those cracks in time, perhaps it sent its exploding self back to the point of The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang? Are the two separate explosions in fact one and the same? While this doesn’t explain the ‘silence will fall’ line, it would neatly tie the two events together. Of course this is all idle speculation, and requires faith that there is indeed a larger consistent continuity being rigorously adhered to in Doctor Who.

It may seem a trivial matter, but one of the common criticisms about Moffat and Smith’s otherwise often excellent run together is the tendency for unsatisfying resolutions, and in this case seemingly no resolution at all. At least not yet. I would bow down to The Moff if he pulls of a four-year-spanning mystery in a satisfying way, proving all the doubters wrong. And I really hope that it won't turn out to be a lost plot thread, slipping through the cracks in time.

Read our spoiler-filled reviews of Journey To The Centre Of The TARDISThe Impossible AstronautThe Pandorica Opens, The Big Bang.

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Well I don't think the TARDIS explosion destroyed the universe this time because it hadn't fully exploded yet, he said something about it eventually exploding in full? Then maybe the universe would've have ended.

As to the Series 5 plot, my theory was always that River Song did it, under the mind control of the Silence, I mean we can just connect the dots from what happened to her in Series 6. I'd like to know whose voice that was in there though. But yeah it'd be nice to get an on-screen confirmation of this. The 'why' could be that this was the first attempt of the Silence to kill the doctor? And that they didn't think the TARDIS explosion would break the universe?

I always expected the voice was Omega.

There are other unanswered questions and the one at the top of my list concerns Amy Pond. In Victory of the Daleks she doesn't recognise the Daleks which the Doctor doesn't understand (presumably because she should be aware of the events of the Battle of Canary Wharf). It again hints at the overarching story arc in Series 5 (cracks in time etc.) but was never answered either. Much of what Steven Moffat does concerning his story arcs remains unresolved; The Wedding of River Song - he doesn't tell River Song his name but he must do at some point in the future. It would be nice to think that at some point everything will tie together but I have my doubts. Whilst I love and will continue to love Doctor Who (and think that Matt Smith may be the best Doctor Who ever) my biggest dissatisfaction with new Doctor Who, and Steven Moffat's tenure in particular, is the story arc in each series which is then never properly resolved.

I really don't think there's a thread to finish off. However the fact it's unclear I think can be criticised. And I say that as a huge fan of this era. Unless I'm wrong and the end of they're tenure explains it! In which case I wld love to be wrong!!

I just assumed it was the Silence before the ended up with a proper design for them in series 6.

I thought it was obvious... if you play 'Fire Woman' by the Cult on the TARDIS hi-fi then all sorts of s*** starts to happen...

Good article. Whether Mr M is not resolving this old plot thread or he is, with the average viewer and me in fact it's a mistake either way. If he's forgotten/won't bother resolving, that's very poor story telling. Why should the viewer care about the drama if it isn't resolved (let's not mention the terrible plot resolutions thru love/singing/reset/deus ex machina etc). If it is resolved this year, the average viewer will long have forgotten so there's no dramatic pay off. It'd be like getting an exam result years after you did it. Few will be interested anymore....

I absolutely concur!

It was my understanding that the silence took control of the TARDIS using their mimic-TARDIS from the Lodger (the one that malfunctioned, and was seen again in 1969) and used that to blow it up. Perhaps they expected that the Doctor would act as he did and get trapped "out of time" as he did in the Big Bang - yet they failed to anticipate the restorative action of Amelia Pond's memory. Or perhaps, they didn't expect time itself to fracture and splinter due to the TARDIS exploding. Or maybe the Moff just wanted the stakes to be high enough...

I don't know that i can agree with the criticism that the showrunner shouldn't be able to develop storylines at his own pace.Individual writers have different approaches to how they write their stories.While Moffat has a responsibility to new viewers and casual viewers,if he was promised when he replaced Russell and turned his back on movie script writing that the BBC were committed to it's future,he was perfectly entitled to create a long term storyline for his new Doctor.Moffat is well aware he has a responsibility to reward the fans who replay their new episodes and constantly discuss/debate new storylines too.It did appear to me that the reappearance of the time crack may have been a deliberate attempt to relate the TARDIS explosion with what happened previously.I can't say i was satisfied that the Doctor was able to interrupt the timeline to avoid the explosion happening because the TARDIS couldn't facilitate that so that was only possible because of a friendly big button and a crack in time and space,i think.Although i enjoyed Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS ,it took some liberties.

The best Doctor, not the best Doctor Who

At the end of the Journey to the Center of the Tardis something fell onto the console. Did anyone else see it. Almost a 'blink and you'll miss it' moment. What was it? A mistake?

Maybe your dissatisfaction is indicative of how everybody wants anything as quickly as possible for their own convenience nowadays as it is of Moffat's ability to write.I think having ongoing plots to speculate about and generate controversy is a positive thing.

As long as they are answered in a satisfying way eventually, then I'm all for this. but it is starting to feel eerily like the ending of the new Battlestar Galactica where they seemed to decide they had no way to explain it all, so they'd just didn't bother.

No mystery there fella, in the final scene as the Doctor is talking to Clara he has a cloth in his hand, as he returns to the console he throws it into the air and it lands on the console.

Which is exactly my concern. I am not confident of a full resolution because the threads from one story arc and one season are not referred to when the next season begins. In fact, thinking on this some of the whole strange things happening to time idea started in the RTD era. In the Next Doctor the Doctor comments on how strange (and lets face it, it is) that the Cyber King is not part of established human history. I'm not saying that there is any link between this and the ongoing story arcs penned by Steven Moffat but it is another indication of the frustration when a story arc is abandoned. I am a patient man and love speculating as well, I am just concerned that there is nothing to indicate that there will be a resolution of these questions at all.

I don't think this arc has been forgotten. I think it is coming to a conclusion in this series, or in the 50th Anniversary. Let's think about it. Silence will fall when the question is answered. That question is "Doctor Who?" And that question has been asked by Clara, who incidentally also knows the answer as she read it in the Dummies guide to the time war book in the library. So the question, the answer and the Tardis exploding are all intertwined threads of the story. Also, let's not forget Moffat has a history of doing this with story arcs as the River Song arc started way back in the library with David T. So I wouldn't be surprised to see all of these story lines come together at the end of this series, or in the 50th Anniversary. Also, Tardis has something against Clara. Clara has existed in throughout time. Is she someone who fell through the cracks in time? Is she part of The Silence? She has a big role to play. she asked the question in the Christmas Special, and she saw the answer to the question in Journey to the center of the tardis. Also, the crack in time in the tardis in the latest episode was the same crack as from series 5, only rotated through 90 degrees. 90 degrees.... 90 degress out of phase? Has the cracks caused an out of phase universe? Notice also that the voices of previous doctors could be heard in the console room. This I think hints massively to a 50th Anniversary link. Something happened in the console room which allowed echoes of previous doctors to be heard. The next few episodes are building to a climax.

Moffat does like to throw little mysteries up which he never resolves. Watched The Empty Child last week for first time in years. When the Doctor has the dinner with the homeless children they talk about why they were not evactuated to the country, and they reply that they did, "but there was a man..."

That's small compared to the Tardis exploding. Is it relevant after three years? Is it possible to resolve it satisfactorily now? Is Moffat sloppy at times? Does he tie himself into too tight a knot?

At least the story arc with Clara is better than last series. "The Doctor definitely will die!" was crap. You know it's a lie from the start, and to know it was going to be dragged out for a whole series, which would have a lengthy mid-series gap, wasn't an exciting prospect, for me.

They did explain why Amy didn't remember the Daleks, but you might have missed it if you blinked. It's the same reason she had no parents. The crack in her wall was slowly eating away at her life and memories.

I asked the question about Amy as well to my friend, who is also a big fan of Doctor Who. He says that it was because of the crack in her bedroom. The Doctor did say it was feeding on Amy's memories at one point (possibly in The Pandorica Opens).

I want to find out who the woman was in The End Of Time. I know it is not Moffat's territory but I really want to know. Please don't just make it the Doctors mother!

What does anyboby else feel about the Console Screen cracking too, just as the Mag Grab starts to affect the TARDIS??
I was wondering if that was also a link back to the "Silence Will Fall". I personally think that it wa all tie together in the Finale, and lead us into the 50th, where the Doctor will need to go back through the cracks in time to get help...hence The BEST DOCTOR returns in MR. Tennant!

Well, I can't say I agree with everything you say particularly the out of phase comments at the end but well thought out and I can only hope you're right because the 50th anniversary would be an opportunity to tie everything together. My only concern is that the Zygons are being introduced to New Who at the same time, I'm not sure they would do that and resolve the arc but like what you said about the voices in the console room, I just assumed they were echoes from the past like the images of Clara and the Doctor. While we're on the Dummies guide to the Time War quick question...who wrote it?

I'm hoping that the similarities between the TARDIS exploding and the Doctor going through the crack, very much like Rory did is a subtle hint that it hasn't been forgotten.

I won't be angry if it doesn't get resolved, mostly disappointed. When it was announced Moffat would be showrunner I was expecting something better than what we've had.

That was specifically referenced in a crack-centric episode- think it was second part of the Angels two-parter? The Doctor smacks his head and says, "Of course that's why no-one remembers a huge Cyberking over London!", or something similar. I saw it as a sly dig by Moffat over some of the sillier aspects of RTD's run :)

The question that I think still needs answering is this: when the Silence kidnapped Amy, they said, "We do you honor. You will bring the Silence..." What does that mean (and how do we get an answer now that Amy's gone)?

I always thought the man was Captain Jack Harkness. He was gathering up kids in Children of the Earth in a flashback which was around the same time frame.

I've never seen this as too big a deal. The Silence did it, and they had a lot of power and influence. The exact specifics don't really bother me, though a mention in series 6 or this year might be nice I wouldn't want to go back too far into that territory.

Don't remember that exact line, but they were using Amy's pregnancy at that point weren't they?

Is it just me or does the voice that destroyed the TARDIS sound like The Great Intelligence?

I thought the reference to "but there was a man..." was a subtle hint that the man they stayed with was abusive and they needed to escape. No real mystery there.

Isn't there a serious problem with the theory that the explosion of the TARDIS in Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS is the same one as that in The Big Bang - namely, that the TARDIS DIDN'T explode in the more recent episode? Ok, it's core or whatever was shattered and the Doctor apparently can't save it, but he talked about the TARDIS having "put its hand around the explosion" to protect itself/the universe. The explosion was successfully halted. Not only that, but once the "big, friendly" reset switch was pressed, not even that happened - there was no explosion at all.

But even RTD had started to sow those seeds for series 5 in The Next Doctor... In that very episode the Tenth Doc asked the same question "Why has this massive event (i.e.a gigantic cyborg stomping on Victorian London) not been documented or remembered in the future?"

Nice thought process on the crack, it got me thinking about the fact that the Tardis was lying on its side, which was mentioned by one of the three salvagers when they entered and the Doctor pointed out the Tardis has it's own gravity. The crack was vertical in the Tardis, but the Tardis was horizontal in relation to everything else. I'm not saying I definitely think it's the same crack, but it is interesting.

The episode makes clear the fact that Jack was gathering those children up to give to the aliens.

Pretty sure it will get answered in the final episode. Remember on the fields of trenzalor when the final question (Doctor Who?) is asked the silence will fall so they might still be relevant to the story and also the exploding Tardis.

But that wasn't thought of by RTD and co till at least three years later. I'd like to know where you got this from, quite prepared to be proved wrong.

You're probably right. :)

For me it's obviously at the two explosions are one in the same. Somehow that needs to be resolved and I trust Moffat to do that. The broken screen, the crack in the TARDIS. It's all there.

I do think people are focusing on the answer to the question too much and not enough on who asks it. For me the Fields of Trensalore have to be the last moment The Doctor and River are together before Silence In The Library. She asks him. He knows that she knows the next time he sees her and so he has to answer and he has to answer truthfully. He has no choice.

He then gives her the sonic screwdriver and away she goes to her doom. I thought it was very convienient that he used the red setting on the sonic in Cold War because it has to have a red setting before River reaches the library.

HA HA!! Is that all. Funny. I spent ages looking at it falling...but not noticing that he threw it!! Seems obvious now...and I am ashamed of posting my question. Please accept my apologies. Thanks for answering. Hanging my head in embarrassment.

Shut up.

My brain is melting.

I don't think this explosion and that are connected. Though it is true we never really found out exactly what happened back then. I'm convinced the Silence were responsible, though I'm not sure they intended for the entire universe to blow up - likely they had no idea just how powerful this TARDIS thing was, and messing with things beyond your understanding often ends badly. I'm curious as to how exactly they managed it though.

Russel T Davies did say in The Writer's Tale that she was intended to be his mother (sorry)

Something just went off in my head, is River a time lord called The Silence? A tool used to silence the doctor or the answer to the first question?

Tennant the best Doctor? ROTFLMAO, he is about 10th best just ahead Pertwee & Cushing! It took me a season and a half to accept the grinning loon as the Doctor, it took me about 3 episodes to accept Eccleston and about 10 minutes to accept Matt Smith.

I'm just waiting for the arc with Clara to have some meat. There's been no hook for me, other than the Doctor can't figure out who or what she is. Her existence hasn't really related to any of this season's episodes all that much (Asylum and Snowmen aside) - especially the most recent couple - and I'm rather uninterested in the whole thing. I just don't seem to care about Clara or her mystery. At least the threads of the Amy/Rory/River/Doctor were interwoven and had some hooks attached. Just having the Doctor talking about Clara as an enigma doesn't make it interesting for me. I need some action that makes her enigmatic existence more than a bland puzzle for the Doctor to solve.

I keep forgetting about the Zygons. Maybe they have the 'real' Clara somewhere, and the one with the Doctor (either now or in the immediate show future) is an imprint? Amy was a Ganger and nobody (but the Doctor, apparently) knew.... It would be an excellent use of the Zygons.

Presumably the Doctor as he's the only person who survived the Time War (Well ok lot's of Daleks survived but I can't see them writing it... and I don't recall any of the surviving Time Lords handing over a book during the Tennant finale)

The question is why write a book with your name in it and leave so prominantly displayed in the library if you don't want people to know your name?

The interesting angle though is that it is the same cloth that the "android" brother is using to polish at the start.

After season 6 I inferred that the Silence had brainwashed River into doing it. But here could be a bigger payoff--JLC recently said that SteeMo had been laying the seeds for Name of the Doctor over the last few years.

I think the problem with these unexplained aspects to Moffs Who is just that they are not that interesting. I don't think anyone is that interested to find out what 'the silence will fall' means, perhaps it's already happened? Whatever. And the Tardis exploding, most people don't even know if it is something that has not been resolved yet. 'Why hasn't this pond got any ducks?' who cares? What are those strange burn marks in the grass at Amy's house? Oh dunno. Why is Rory always dying? I think something was said about it - blah blah blah. When Rose appeared in the first episode of series 4 it was like WTF!!!

Just reading through the comments and it really proves that people are NOT following Steven's plots, everyone has a different view on what's happened over the last few series. On here you always hear 'His stories aren't hard to follow it's just that he doesn't spoon feed his audience.' well I would go as far as saying he has put down and thrown the food all over the effing place! If you don't think so just check out the comments below (and even this article!) and remember all those posting are Who fans not the average viewer. I think it's time to just admit the last few series have been a bloody mess, with great production values!

Or, the best Doctor Whom?

At least that was just a Christmas special.

Loved Series 5, but the utter failure to offer any real resolution, while at the same time moving on to new threads which aren't being properly resolved, has become irritating.

Exactly.

Oh, I was extremely interested. For awhile.

>I don't think anyone is that interested to find out what 'the silence will fall' means, perhaps it's already happened? Whatever.

Wow, that is really deep in the weeds!

The Silence were bloody rubbish... they should have been called The Useless. They even shopped in Burtons.

I'd like to believe Moffat has left it open for resolution as everything from his tenure culminates in a big finale driven by all his dangling plots and arcs. I don't believe this though.

I think Series 6, which had several INCREDIBLE standalone episodes (Doctor's Wife, Girl Who Waited, God Complex...), got Moffat lost in his own head. I feel like he's simply forgotten about the Tardis exploding or abandoned it at best. If it were an ongoing thread, it'd have some recurring relevance, even if it went unresolved for a few years. But it hasn't been mentioned once since Series 5. And, don't forget, this is a family show kept strong on the attention of casual viewers. Any overhanging arcs, however long they go on, need to remain fresh in everyone's mind however invested they are and I bet many viewers have completely forgotten that there wasn't a resolution to that story. I've almost forgotten it myself on several occasions. I didn't like the trying-too-hard-to-be-twisty-and-clever feel of Series 6. Its resolutions were flat and embarrassingly obvious to me, never as thrillingly clever or ground-breaking as Moffat or his cast ever claimed. And it got him lost in his little twists and turns, blinding him to this big picture he set up in his first year. I want him to go back to it. But it feels too late. I think he'll just depend on the fact that MOST viewers won't remember what he's left out. And that's lazy storytelling. As clever and twisty as he and the people who adore him (often, that's me included) think he is, Moffat's big-picture storytelling is undeniably lazy.

You probably need to rewatch BSG then, as it made perfect sense.

Yeah and it was pretty obvious in the episode too. I do wonder if people actually watch the episodes these days, or just skim them.

I think it's fairer to assimilate somebodies writing retrospectively but then some people are impatient and have their own agendas.

I wonder if it was written in Gallifreyan and so as everyone else who could speak it were dead he decided it wasn't a risk. Which of course then brings up the question of how Clara read but of course this is just my theory

Oh, ok. thanks :( I guess it makes sense

My theory: Omega is the Big Bad. He tries to use the TARDIS to destroy the known universe in order to escape his imprisonment from the 'other universe' that he's stranded in. The Silence are an ancient order sworn to protect the universe from Omega and prevent the universe's destruction. Hence Omega's 'Silence will fall!' warning. The Silence see the Doctor and his TARDIS as an blind asset to Omega and try to assassinate him. (The army guys seen in AGMGTW are wearing a badge with the Greek symbol for.... Omega). The 50th anniversary will conclude with The Doctor taking on and defeating the Silence and foolishly paving the way for Omega to re-enter the universe and cause havoc/set up a new race of Time Lords/destroy the universe/kidnap Clara....etc.

Thanks Rayadamson for your pretty random grouping of words.

Those who are getting their knickers in a twist about Moffat's Easter eggs should remember that he's in good company in using that device. Whedon first pre-staged Dawn in Buffy at the end of Season 3 and lets not forget the last episode of season 4 which was full of references to episodes yet to be produced ("Spike's like a son to me" being my favourite). Marvel's phase one has Agent Coulson from its inception in Iron Man.

So what if not everything is resolved. In a programme with a history spanning five decades and multiple production crews there are bound to be inconsistencies. How many different origin stories are there for the Daleks? Or for that matter which decade was the UNIT era set in? Are there two Loch Ness Monsters? How does Patrick Troughton remember events that can't have occurred to him yet in the Five Doctors?

The shows younger SciFi sibling Star Trek is equally flawed as are some of the greatest works of literature from the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Mabinogion and the Bible onwards. All that matters is does the story work. Creativity shouldn't be sacrificed for consistency.

A perfectly reasonable inference, perhaps, but we were never told anything like that. As a matter of fact I've worked out my own fan explanation that ties up the voice in the TARDIS, where the Silence really came from, why Rory shows up as a Roman Auton, and a bunch of other dangling plot threads. It's possible to do. The question is, did Moffat even have any plan in mind when he wrote that stuff? If he did, he lost interest and forgot all about it.

It's not the Easter eggs. He does Easter eggs fine. It's when he says "Pay attention, this prophecy is really really significant and important!!!" and when the resolution comes it's nothing and he says "Huh, what made you think that would be important? After all, the Doctor always lies" that people feel jerked around. Soon we lose interest. "Hey guys, this next thing is going to be the most shocking and stunning reveal ever, you'll never guess!" Yeah right sure.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Tardis only destroy the universe in TPO because it was inside the Time Vortex at the time of it's explosion? It exploded at all points in time. That wasn't the case in JTCOTD.

BBC cost-cutting. After all the CGI there was only enough money left in the kitty for a single duster.

Been playing with the letters in Clara's name. If you put Clara's first and middle names back to back as in Clara Oswin you get - claRANIwso. Co-incidence? Is she The Rani? And yes I know I should get out more. Remember Donna's Dad, Wilfred Mott? That was an anagram of Time Lord FTW and that amounted to nothing or did it?????

This sounds brilliant. But is Clara an agent of Omega? Or...?

It's not that the ending itself didn't make sense, it did, it just left about a hundred unanswered questions from the last couple seasons.

It's been a while since I've watched it so I may need to go back through it, but I seem to remember something about a prophecy for the human/cylon child that never seemed to go anywhere. That's the one that stands out from my memory anyway.

Your welcome..Most people who have been critical of Moffat in these forums obviously have had serious issues about being fair.Sorry collecting words together to respond to you is so difficult for you to comprehend.

okay

First of all, extra geek points for writing TARDIS not Tardis, since we all now it is an acronym for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.

Anyway, I think Clara is a weapon that will end up destroying the TARDIS, and this is why it doesn't like her. She's not a bad guy of course, she is unaware of any of this, but someone/thing has been trying to get her on board the TARDIS for a while now, but keeps on missing the chance by her dying before she can complete her mission. Just as the alliance of enemies against the Doctor used his companion to trap him in the Pandorica, someone (probably the Great Intelligence) has realised his greatest vulnerability is his companions and so has created one for him to entice him into the trap. The ending I forsee (for this plot if not for the character) is that Clara will become aware of her darker purpose and will suicide to prevent the Doctor or the TARDIS being hurt.

Wilfred wasn't Donna's dad.

Oops I mean grandad

they did another series that chronicled the beginnings of the Cylons, but they only ran one season, then cancelled it. I loved it apart from the fact that they said "frakking" every 2 seconds and everyone smoked like a chimney. the series was called Caprica.

definitely his mother. she was even played by the same actress that played her in the classic series.

Why did the TARDIS explode? Because the Doctor blew it up in "Amy's Choice". (What, you thought that was a dream just because the episode continued afterward? Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey.)

I think that it was a member of the Aliiance that blew up the TARDIS, maybe of the same species as House. He probably had orders to kill the Doctor but got carried away

The human/Cylon child was the future of both races, at the end it turned out she was the ancestor of all modern humans.

The Doctor's mother never appeared in the classic series. And Claire Bloom (The actress who played The Woman) has never appeared in the classic series.

No wonder you guys have such difficulties with Moffats' stories when apparently you can barely cope with a sentence from anybody on a message board.

I think we get both doctors is when River says in AGMGTW that she has a visit from both doctors, it was tongue and cheek sexually but that may have been both Smith and Tennants Drs. And in another episode when the Doctors see himself with River he says he is off to Trenzalore dressed in a dinner suit and River is a gown.... all connecting

I did watch the pilot and enjoyed it, but there was such a gap til the actual season that I lost interest if I remember. Is it worth going back and watching now or does it end on a cliffhanger?

'Somebody else' hahaha ok thanks Rayadamson, I like what you did there. Subtle.

Ok, it has been too long since I've seen that series and you're right, I remember now. There was still the question of why there were two earths with the exact same continents as seen from space, what Kara was after she came back from the dead etc. It wasn't all answered at least as far as I know.

You're right that they never answered what Kara was when she returned. I kind of liked that. They answered enough to satisfy me, but left enough unanswered to keep things a bit mysterious. They did hint at an answer, though, that Returned Kara is connected to Head Six, Head Balter, Head Leoben, etc and that these characters are connected to some greater intelligence - who does not like to be called God - that is somehow influencing and guiding events in the universe.

Taking "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" as a single episode, rather than as an installment of a developing multi-episode interlinked saga, I found it extremely disappointing. I would even use the word "bad". (And I have been an avid fan since the program first aired in 1963.) My main criticism is that it was over-written. The screenwriter tried to put in so many sub-plots that the general feel was of a badly stitched-together quilt. Also, the salvage brother's spaceship looked too much like the Red Dwarf painted black! Coincidence? The sub-plot of one of the brothers being fooled into thinking he was an andriod was both feeble, unnecessary and badly acted throughout. The "zombies" within the Tardis were ridiculous and not sufficiently well thought-out by the writer. What I DID like was the concept of a story which explores the innards of the Tardis. Unfortunately, the poorly conceived and badly written screenplay continuously ruined its own possibilities. Were the "zombies" a product of the semi-living but very sick Tardis' antibody system? The script didn't say. Way back in the Tom Baker days there was a story set inside the vast interior of the Tardis, and there were howls of complaint when it was shown as the bare bricks-and-girders interior of a condemned NHS hospital. "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" was a similar let-down. Writer Steven Moffat needs to improve his abilities and stop trying to cram five bad plots into one episode in the hope that this will magically produce a good story. It did not! Marks - 3 out of 10.

PS - Actually, it wasn't Moffat this time, was it? Apologies.

I know this is going off on a tangent slightly, but I've a theory about how River learns the Doctor's name... In Let's Kill Hitler, the doctor is dying and he wants to talk to Melody Pond/River Song:

The Doctor: Ponds. Listen to me. I need to talk to your daughter.

The Doctor: Find her. Find River Song and tell her something from me.
River: Tell her what? {he whispers to her} Well I'm sure she knows—

I bet this is the time he tells her his name - having just met him, Melody/River doesn't appreciate the importance of it...

Other than that, I would like to see the original Tardis explosion be explained. I've been less impressed with Moffat's storytelling lately, but he does resolve stuff sometimes a lot later, almost when the impact of it has gone. Like when he goes back at the end of Angels Take Manhattan to see Amelia Pond in the Eleventh Hour - according to Moffat that was "a punchline I have been waiting to tell for two and a half years".

I'd dearly love to see some nice tying up of loose ends in the 50th anniversary...

people complain that Moffat's era has terrible resolutions but I dare say RTD's where worse. Particularly the end of series 1, 3 and 4 (the final episodes where good, but the resolutions where terrible)

Maybe Clara is the doctors mother! Ha! Did you notice her expression when she saw the crib the other week? It was a knowing smile, like she remembered it.

coughthedoctor'snamecough

Unanswered Doctor Who Questions from the 11th Doctor and plentiful and I think we are going to get a big pay off over the series finale and the 50th anniversary special. Well at least I hope we are...

We are still waiting on What made the Tardis explode in the first place. Was it the Silence? The Doctor himself? As yet we don't know.

We are waiting on Who is Clara? Is she something to do with the Great Intelligence? A time lord? Human? What?

We also know that on the fields of Trenzalore a question will be asked - the question being Doctor Who?. A place where no living thing can lie. A question where the Answer is so deadly a religious order (The Silence) was set up purely to stop this happening.
{{Maybe they are just trying to save the universe by killing the Doctor? Remember All other alien badies got together and locked up the Doctor in the Pandorica blaming him for the explosion. Maybe the Silence are doing the same but at a more specific time.}}

What if all these questions turn out to be answered by the same sequence of events? It has been hinted that if the doctor reveals his name bad things will happen....

So i keep thinking that on the fields of Trenazlore somebody or something, possibly the great intelligence asks the Doctor who is really is. He can't lie so he reveals his secret...Possibly saying his name out loud is a password of sorts (a lot of speculation on the internet as the Doctor is the only person alive who should be able to speak the Gallifreyian) and that starts a chain of events. Maybe the Doctor saying his name unlocks the Time Lock on the Time War. Doing so blows up the Tardis because it is being used like a Paradox machine (similar to the Master Season3 finale) and perhaps overloads. This could open up the Time Lords arc again similar to the last story line of the 10th Doctor. This could be the focus of the 50th special.

We know the 50th special contains both the 10th Doctor and the 11th Doctor so we know a Paradox is likely in some sort.

The question about who is Clara could be linked into the same story? Maybe she was in the Tardis when it exploded through Time. Maybe it had the opposite effect that it had on River Song when the Pandorica Opened. Instead of Clara being trapped in a time Lock, maybe her essence get thrown through the explosion, or her soul etc. Hence why it keeps cropping up through space and time.

Only thing that is still niggling in my head is that we know that Tardis exploded in "Amy's Time" not in "Clara's Time."......

Just a random though......

Why is this still a question?
It's just a Grandfather paradox, the oldest story in time travel based science fiction. Who was piloting the TARDIS? River Song.
Who are her parents and what have they just done? Rory has just killed Amy and this is before Amy has given birth to River or River has even been conceived.
So, River cannot exist and the TARDIS, as we know from several other stories, can't contain that kind of paradox.
We don't need the Silence or anyone else taking control of the TARDIS or any other off screen stuff, it's all there in front of us. The only element of mystery is in the fact that we don't get told about the Amy/Rory/River family connection until later.
As science fiction fans watching a science fiction show do we really need this to be explained to us?

dont forget everything is translated in the tardis , that is the reason she could read it if it was wrote in high gallifreyen .

Remember rose saying in the sycorax christmas special the tardis translates things inside her head .

get used to not knowing... i still want to know what happened to Ace.

The great intelligence, who is Omega. He is now consistently in the time line, to pull it together. He is the darkness that makes the Valyard. He destroys the Tardis to hopefully make enough of a crease to free himself. I think he did what he did in the name of Omega.

RTD did a good job of stand alone episodes with the season story arch being concluded at the end. It made you feel you had read a great book and couldn't wait for the next one.

I really like Moffat's Doctor Who but I do feel the lack of tidying up loose ends and the use of "resetting time lines" plot theme has gone to far and has gotten too confusing. At the end of "The Big Bang" I thought well what the hell was that about?

Saying that this season (7) has been much better with the last episode being a good lead into the 50th anniversary.

The TARDIS wrote it. Maybe "the library" is a physical dimensional manifestation of the TARDIS memory banks.

Don't know if this has been mentioned. But if the Doctor is stuck in the Pandorica, then silence begins to fall since there's no one to defeat the various schemes from the GI, Daleks etc, the universe begins to fade out of existence. The Tardis exploding keeps the Earth alive by acting as the sun, and in fact the whole universe alive by spewing out more time. The Tardis didn't cause the end of the universe, the lack of the Doctor did, the Tardis exploding gave the Doctor and the Earth time in which to save everything.

This is EXACTLY what I have been feeling but couldn't put in to words. You also listed the only three episodes of Series 6 that were actually (overall) good.

The TARDIS translates everything except Gallifreyan. The book must be in English since the cover is, but as to why an English copy of the 'Dummies guide to the Time War' is on display in the library I have no idea, unless it is some kind of trick made by the TARDIS, since the TARDIS doesn't like Clara for whatever reason. Or maybe it was somehow preparing her for whatever she did at the end of The Name of the Doctor, as the TARDIS would have known her memories came back.

I always assumed that it was River that blew up the TARDIS with the hasty wiring she did trying to open the door; the way she looks round and says 'sorry my love', it looks like she knows she's messed it up. As you point out, the Silence blowing up the TARDIS doesn't make much sense. I always thought they were simply trying to pilot the TARDIS to capture the Doctor, but things didn't quite go to plan. But now you mention it...sounds a bit too simplistic.

Actually...this is the most sensible explanation i've heard for a while...

I just wonder if this isn't all about River Song. Why was Amy's time so important? To prevent her marriage to Rory? Thus preventing the conception and birth of River Song? Was the exploding Tardis actually meant to trap and kill River Song? And is this because she died in the library instead of the Doctor? When Amy's time couldn't be prevented - was it then "they" decided to make her a psychopath - with the mission to kill the doctor? We thought Series 5 was all about Amy - but maybe it was actually all about River Song?

Another thing, Silence will fall when the Pandorica opens, we now know it was the doctor's silence and we know it didn't fall. Then when the oldest question in the universe is answered, silence will (or must) fall. Well that question was answered by River Song in the Name of the Doctor.

All this time we've been focusing our efforts on the Doctor, but what if actually it's all about River Song?

I agree. I think Moffat is a genius when it comes to creatively designing a story, I think he's inept at the execution. Saying on confidential 'it's all straight in my head' isn't enough, the true master leaves everyone in suspense and then exhilarated by a satisfying resolution. Where are the satisfying resolutions is what I want to know... And it's insulting at best to just hope people have forgotten.

If
the Doctor is trapped in the Pandorica forever, Amy actually finishes
dying at Rory's hands. If that happens, Melody Pond is never conceived,
and she never regenerates into River. So, while the Doctor is trapped,
River flies the Tardis...BOOM! Paradox! The explosion was just the
TARDIS's effort to contain that paradox.

The silence somehow used the explosion of the tardis from the newer episode, and re-directed it to the old tardis! it ties both events, answers the question "how?" and the whole "silence will fall" bit.
why? to re-create the universe! the silence must have somehow benefited from the universe being reset...

Perhaps the Silence blew the Tardis up to cause the destruction of the universe knowing that the Doctor would save it. We already know that the Silence are parasitic and get other races to build the things that they need. Maybe they were responsible for getting all the species together and getting them to build the Pandorica giving the Doctor a way to reboot the universe but without him being in it. This would mean that the question would never be asked and the Silence would never fall. After this fails then they try to create a fixed point in time to kill the Doctor?

Have been so over Clara since show 2. She should of been no more than a 2 part show if that much. All this is filler so Moffatte can go play with Shirley Bollocks. None of the stories so far have anything to them, they lack demison were directed, supervised by a child with aspergers PTSD. I would love to see Clara chucked out into a blackhole once and for all, the Dr. to hurry up regenerate and Moffatte to crash burn Sheryl. Get off Who and get someone that can write, direct, do there job he is incapable of multitasking and it shows. Look at how many production people have all left the show the last couple of years. It shows in the final product, cheap effects, costumes, Half the time you can see the actors under the masks. It looks like they are not even trying, just went to a bargain sale at Halloween world slapped it together. The Rings of Akhaten the makeup, masks are falling off the actors. You can clearly see them under everything. I was appalled, that would've never made it on air before, its getting as bad as before in the old days before the show was retired. I blame Moffatte he is incapable of doing the job, his writing is weak, he can't multitask, the schedule is a mess, he is not good at direction, he is clearly not looking at the work before it goes on air. If I were in charge I would fire him so fast his feet would not touch ground until he was in the parking lot. His ideas are weak turning what should be a 1 or 2 show idea into an entire season worth of shows is just crap. What's next the Dr. gets an hangnail and we have 4 seasons of that? Clara has her monthly that should be good for 25 years worth of shows the way he is going at it. I am so sick of everyone covering making Moffatt and even Smith out to be what they are not. Some sort of Dr. Who supermen, when you look at the work side by side with RTD others even back in the early day there is no comparison. Its getting more pathetic by the second. The BBC will run the show into the ground, and then put it back to sleep or sell it off to America Company like Torchwood and that will be the end of it once and for all. They have milked almost all the money out of it, so now keep phoning it in. Throw anything at the show viewer they are hooked and will watch paint dry as long as it has the Dr. Who name brand on it. Well nice try keep that up and you will see that we can go watch other better shows if we just give them the chance. There is always something new, better, more interesting if you're willing to give it a chance. Dr. Who is turning into the great disappointment again. Building an entire story ach around one character is never a good idea. Is he unable to work with more than one person at a time, or just trying to save on paper ink? He did the same thing with Amy, to the point that we all hated her. At least with RTD there were other people other storied mixed in, it was getting thick with Rose for a long time but he woke up. So sick of watching the Dr. his pet problem human getting them housebroken, they mess up, end of the Universe everytime, start over. Then next pet human, might as well bring back K-9 and loose Clara save the money she can't act to save her life. Don't get me started on having a straight married Dr. all to sell toys to the little kiddies. Can't have a gay, bi, evolved Dr like before might get the bible beaters all up in arms. Can't have the Dr. falling in love with another man, Clara could not of been a boy. I have made my feeling very clean on this on other sites too. Just sick of the show angry I paid to download them, disappointed not what I was told they were going to be. Junk not worth watching or keeping so off the harddrive and into the trash. I have several more rotten reviews to leave on several more sites like this one.

Its all going to be resolved with the real Pandorica opening and everything after, before, during that point has all been a computer generated fantasy to keep the Dr's mind from truly escaping. He has been in the box all this time, J Hurt is him once he gets out of the Pandorica for real an old bitter broken man. Clara, Amy, Rory the rest are all just virtual reality never happened, even the Great Intelligence was pulled from the Dr. Own memory by the Pandorica. Its all going to swing back to some juvinall stunt show stopper like that. That is why there are so many of these Crack Addict storylines left open and hanging in mid air. Like Dalles in the 1970 or was it the 80's not that it matters, he is going to wake up get in the shower and find out it was all just a bad dream. I do that everytime I remember Moffatte is still with the show. That is how he will play it off, not that he is a truly incompatent tool of a writer. But to save face and make everyone think he is a master story teller pulled one over on all of us. Like Amy when she was pregnant conected to the flesh he is living his life connected to the VR Flesh, the system crashes, the batteries die, something happens out he will pop the end. New show, whising with new writer and new stars. No luck still stuck with the worst write in the shows history, and so so star.

The simple answer would be River she is still alive in the Computer Library Mainframe and can walk around the Tardis. She also is the only person that knows that name. I know so many other plot holes in the show too. Could just be a future Dr wrote about his own life, journal. The Timelords are not dead just locked in the time war, and he used the TARDIS to do it. So if it's destroyed it could break the lock and open the war forever. Seem to remember that from every early show. His true name is written in the stars of the Medusa Cascade to "Fires of Pompeii"

It did not work for Clara the "The Rings of Akhaten" and other ones but best example why is that? She did not know about the Creature asking if she wanted to rent the Moped, things like that. Plot point hole or Moffatt Muff up? My money is on Moffatt's Muff ups again, they really turned out a turd in that show, masks makeup effects coming off the actors faces. Cheap costumes, sets, dollar store stage, set pieces, effects. Most Grade schools do a better job with a play production that is what the entire season reminds me of. A Kids play being put on by amateurs, skimming the budget to buy beer and crack, not caring what they put on the screen.

It felt to me like they were punishing River Song for not doing her job, since the River in the exploding TARDIS was post-Doctor-"murder." At some point the Silence would have figured out she failed and retaliated against her. I still want to hear how they did it but the "why" seems pretty clear.

What interests *me* is how they managed to project a Flesh avatar into the TARDIS. "The assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn't get through that door." Oh, but a Flesh projection could? Even the TARDIS didn't seem to be overly aware, since she was capable of stabilizing a Ganger and making it actually human, which obviously she didn't do with Ganger Amy. Odd. Very odd. Or maybe she *was* aware and understood on some level that they had to go through with the deception so that the timeline proceeded as it ought to. She was known for making those kinds of choices, especially in her "misdirection" of the Doctor here, there, and all over the place.

And does anyone else wonder about Madame Kovarian? She's all about the trickery and the hypnotism and the mind games. Remind you of anyone? She's still out there somewhere, since her death happened in an alternate timeline which has now been canceled. And she understood exactly what River was and what to look for in River's DNA. Odd, for a... human? I mean, she wasn't with UNIT or anything.

I don't think Moffat's done yet necessarily with all those loose ends. We'll see, won't we?

Me- I absolutely trust Moffat!
They- So he's not a madman?
Me-I absolutely trust Moffat.

I really believe that all questions posed in the beginning of the Matt Smith arc will be answered and very satisfactorily and we should just be patient little children and wait for his brilliant brain to blow our little brains again.

Another question about the explosion, where did the Silence get the technology to remotely hack and blow up a TARDIS? Supposedly all of the Time Lords and their technology are time locked within the time war. As far as i've seen in the series, no one else comes remotely close to that level of technology outside of the Daleks. So the only logical conclusion that I can come to from that information is that there could be a rogue Time Lord that wants to take down the Doctor, and is coordinating with the Silence to achieve that end. And as there's been no mention of a Dalek alliance with the Silence (on that note, do Daleks forget the Silence after they look away?), whom they would consider an inferior species and exterminate them, who else could possibly take over a TARDIS but another Time Lord?

another question, in general: why did the tardis not go into the void when the cybermen and daleks did in Army of Ghosts when Rose gets stuck in parallel universe? Just curious if anyone thought of that. It was covered in void stuff, so it should have been sucked in.

At least Moffat knows how to spell and use punctuation in his scripts...

Moffat recently stated that the majority of questions (like this one) will be answered in the 50th or the christmas special!

The Silence created River and she wad in the Tardis so they could have got a connection through her without her knowing.

I suspect none of us are yet close to understanding the full nature of the Silence movement or the interlocking story arcs. The smallest bit of connecting logic can make a huge difference. What if the Silence is multi-layered with some entity pulling the stings and the foot soldiers of the movement being nothing more than cannon fodder for some hidden agenda? Also, perhaps fracturing space and time and then having it repaired actually makes sense as part of a strategy serving the same interest - what happens in the interval between the fracturing and the repair? Also, is there something deeper to the shifting treatment of the doctor by the Silence? First they encourage his enemies to incarcerate him, which objectively preserves him, and then later they try to kill him. Could that be phases of the execution of a plan rather than utter madness? And, how can some experience in the Doctor's past or fear about it, that has meant that the Doctor has been "running from the question all of his life" have anything to do with all this other stuff? Anyway, congratulations to Steven Moffat for holding our interest and allowing a point of common interest for children and adults.

Thanks for the article. I do enjoy Mof's aspirations, but he is extrememly bad at cleaning up his crap. Amy and Rory are gone and he didn't even touch on the question of the exploding tardis past their 1st season. Sadly i think he is stuck in "Lost" syndrome where he just can't pull it together. I never thought i would miss Russel Davies, but i do especially since nothing Mof has put out has come close to Torchwood: Children of Earth.

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