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‘Doctor Who’ blogging: “Cold Blood”

(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode! and no comments from party poopers — this is a love fest only / previous: “The Hungry Earth”)
Oh my god.

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.

No.

“Nobody dies today,” the Doctor had promised in the last episode. (And it suddenly struck me how sad the Doctor’s life must be if it’s a good day when nobody dies.) But he wasn’t thinking about the crack in the universe.

I was really starting to like Rory. I still didn’t see much chemistry between him and Amy, but here, he suddenly sharpened into a person I cared about. Part of that is because of the intriguing gender dynamics at work in this episode: All the women are aggressive and violent and take-charge — from Restac and Alaya who despise “apes” to Amy rescuing Mo and leading him away even from saving his son (though with the right justification) to Ambrose tasering Alaya, and killing her, however unintentionally, with such malice pointlessness. All the men are conciliatory and helpful and calming, from Malohkeh, who turns out not to be a mad scientist after all, to the Silurian religious leader to Rory-the-nurse’s nurturing and tending to Tony and Alaya. And the Doctor, too, of course. (And yet none of that flipping of expectations is blatant or antagonistic, and none of it seems unreasonable or implausible: it’s just about these people — people, not “men” or “women” — being themselves.)

So Rory got to really be himself here, got to do what he does best. And even the mysterious things about him — why is he suddenly willing to lay down his life for the Doctor? had he done or said something special or extraordinary for the Doctor (in the previous episode) to plead with Rory to be on his side? — made him more complicated in an interesting way, like there were further sides to him that we hadn’t seen before.

And now he’s gone, erased from the universe forever. Amy has clearly forgotten him, no matter how much she didn’t want to. But has the Doctor? Was that why the ring was left on the console, so the Doctor would see it just at the right moment in order to remember him?

(And also, of course, so Amy wouldn’t later go, “Hey, why am I wearing an engagement ring when I’ve never been engaged to anyone ever?”)

We can’t tell, at this moment:

whether the Doctor is remembering Rory and is wondering if Amy does too, or if the Doctor is just worried for Amy because Amy looks worried.

Except she doesn’t really look worried.

Maybe it really was Amy and Rory on the hill in the beginning of the previous episode, so that it could be demonstrated here that things actually can change very dramatically. (Oh, poor Rory: “We were on the hill. I can’t die here.” Clearly, he can.)

I’m sticking with this theory for the moment: The Doctor is suffering a regeneration crisis (“Everybody knows except me”), and this is all in his head, à la Sam Tyler (he’s either mad, in a coma, or back in time, except it’s one of the first two), and the crack in the universe is actually his own sane self trying to break through. And so this moment:

may prove to be the moment when he first started to acknowledge, however subconsciously, that he does need to reach through and back to the other side of sanity. Because I cannot believe that, in real reality, the TARDIS could be destroyed:

though I can believe that the idea of the TARDIS destroyed could be a metaphor for the Doctor being not quite right in the head.

Whatever it all turns out to mean, I do think that Rory’s erasure is only a taste of the Bad Stuff to come.

There must be some significance to the Silurian religious leader narrating this episode from a thousand years in the future. We’ve already learned this season, in “The Beast Below,” that in the 29th century, humans abandoned Earth because of solar flares. So does that mean that the Silurians will wake up to an empty planet? Or will they wake up in another timeline where humans didn’t leave the planet? The Doctor says, after all, that this is “a temporal tipping point — whatever happens today will change future events, create its own timeline, its own reality.” So does this not fit within an already established timeline? How much can the timelines change… or is this yet another indication of the Doctor’s fractured thinking? Is there any significance to the fact that the Daleks of “Victory of the Daleks” also used gravity bubble technology, just as the Silurians do here?

Oh, okay, and then there’s this: The Silurian religious leader talks about the Doctor and “the terrible losses he suffered” and “the greater losses that were still to come.” How does he know about this stuff? Could this imply — given the theory that this is all in the Doctor’s head — that the Doctor is narrating this for himself, and is starting to become aware that he’s going to have to wake up and “lose” the continuity he’s been dreaming about?

I’d like to believe, on the other hand, that this is real, and that poor sweet young Elliot, after learning of his mother’s terrible mistake in killing Alaya, takes to heart the Doctor’s admonition:

A thousand years to sort the planet out, to be ready. Pass it on as legend or prophecy or religion, somehow make it known: This planet is to be shared…

That would be nice. It would be nice if Elliot turned out to be some sort of Ghandi or Dalai Lama or Galileo or Darwin for the 21st century, someone with something significant to say who actually got heard. If he could be “the best of humanity.”

And what about Tony (and Nasreen)? Why isn’t Tony dead? What is he mutating into? And what will he be a thousand years from now?

Random thoughts on “Cold Blood”:

• Okay, so the Doctor is not being tortured here:

He’s just being decontaminated. Yet Malohkeh and Restac don’t seem to be too concerned that he’s screaming, or even wonder why he’s screaming, if it’s not supposed to hurt. What’s that about?

In my theory about how this entire season — since meeting Amy, perhaps even since his regeneration — being a dream or a nightmare, this could be all about the Doctor’s expectations of what being strapped into a mad-science examination scanner thingie is all about.

Or else it’s nothing. Maybe the scan/decon does hurt him because he’s not human.

But wait. What does this mean?

Remove all human germs, you remove all the things keeping me alive.

Human germs are keeping the Doctor alive? WTF? Or does he just mean that he’s been hanging around Earth and humans so long that he’s developed immunities to human diseases that would otherwise overtake his Gallifreyan biology and that it would inconvenient and embarrassing if Amy were to sneeze and kill the Doctor should all his human germs be removed?

• Ooo, look! The Silurians don’t only have a Boy, Human, in cold storage:

They’ve also got a mammoth in the compartment to the boy’s right and what looks like some kind of dog to his left. And I bet they’ve got lots of other neato creatures, too. A dodo, perhaps? Maybe even a T. rex?

• Great quotes:

“Not got any celery, have you?” –the Doctor, hoping for its restorative properties to perk him up after not being tortured

“Probably worth mentioning at this stage: Amy and I travel in time a bit.” –the Doctor

“Malohkeh, I rather love you.” –the Doctor

“Where are we?” –Elliot
“Well, I gotta be honest with you, son: We’re in the center of the Earth, and there are lizard men.” –Mo
“Wow.” –Elliot
“Hi.” –Malohkeh

“An eye for an eye: it’s never the way.” –the Doctor

(next: Episode 10: “Vincent and the Doctor”)

MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
  • http://www,geeksaremypeeps.com Ken

    Who is this Rory guy you keep mentioning? I don’t remember a Rory

  • Ryan H

    I think this is all a little more subtle than a just-a-dream ending. My theory is that everything that has happened is taking place during the closing of the crack that happened at the start of The 11th Hour. All this is ‘real’ but part of a closed loop.

    And when it is done it goes back to the 11th hour and he gives young Amy that ride that we see her waiting for when the Tardis sound is heard at the end of 11th hour.

  • Joanne

    The regeneration theory is my pet theory too. Though I quite like Ryan’s theory too and it explains that scene with little Amelia. There’s definitely something timey-wimey going on.

  • Les Carr

    I’m not sure how it fits in, but I can’t help thinking that something has already been erased, and that explains why Amy thinks that the doctor didn’t come back for twelve years.

  • Ricki

    Though I think it’s interesting, I don’t think that this whole season could be just a dream. From the standpoint of a writer (and new head writer/executive producer of the series as a whole) it would be too daring to make the audience so attached to the characters in this season and so emotionally affected by the episodes (did anyone else cry when Rory ceased to exist?), only to reveal that none of it, in fact, actually happened. I’m not really sure what is going on, but remember that it is far more than just affecting the Doctor. It spans every place that the Doctor has ever been, asking why history does not speak of giant cyberman walking around Victorian London and other extraordinary events. I don’t see how it could all just be a dream, perhaps I am just not fully comprehending the theory. I am however, convinced that all those who went into the crack (Rory and the clerics) will come back. I don’t know why, it just seems like it would be the type of reunion that DW finales seem to love.

  • http://www,geeksaremypeeps.com Ken

    I’m not sure how it fits in, but I can’t help thinking that something has already been erased, and that explains why Amy thinks that the doctor didn’t come back for twelve years.

    I think it’s clear that at some point, the Doctor is going to go jumping back in the timeline. Young Amelia clearly is happy when she looks up and sees something the morning after she’s been sitting on her suitcase. It must be the Doctor, who then tells her the thing that he tells her to remember in that scene in the woods. But yeah, the question is why Amy would remember one of her encounters with the Doctor, but not the other

  • Max

    I’m still marveling at Matt Smith’s impersonation of Peter Davison.

  • Lady Tenar

    At this point, I’m not even trying to figure it out. I’m just waiting (im)patiently to found out how they’re going to tie all these little bits together. The ducks in the pond. The fact that Amy’s name is Pond. And that Amy’s name used to be Amelia. All the other stuff.

    I’m quite in suspense. Not just because it’s all fascinating, which it is. But also because, as much as I have enjoyed this season, I think that Moffat has sacrificed some character interaction in service of the building the arc. So the pay-off better be pretty damn good. Also, though he’s written some good stuff this season, I don’t think any of his episodes have been on par with his best work of the past 4 seasons. (Despite what the Russell Davies=Satan spawn, Steven Moffat=Jesus crowd says. God, they annoy me.) So I’d love to see him get his groove back in the final two-parter.

  • NickT

    So Rory now never existed. Only the Doctor remembers him (and I’m going with the theory that he does remember him, based on what happened before).
    Amy remembered the soldiers because a) she’s a time traveller, and b) she wasn’t too attached to them. I’m seeing the erasure as kind of a injury to the memory, where the soldiers were like a scratch – easy to shrug off, as she didn’t know them well – whereas Rory was more of a gaping wound for her.
    The Doctor may have liked Rory, but he’s only known him for a few weeks max, and with 900 years of memory, he’s a lot more resiliant to this sort of thing.

    This raises some questions I’d really like to see answers to. If Rory never existed, how did previous episodes play out? Did the Doctor have to find some other way to stop Prisoner Zero, not having a handy phone of multi-form shapes to use? Did he do something different, or are people’s memories just remembering it differently?
    And if the Doctor still remembers Rory (and the previous events with him), what would happen if he and Amy compare notes about the incidents?
    “Say Amy, how did we get you into that Vampire cult?”
    So many questions, and I don’t want ‘Timey-Wimey’ to be the only answer.

  • http://www,geeksaremypeeps.com Ken

    This whole season seems like one of those logic puzzles where you have to match up 5 different people with 5 different occupations, house color, etc. Each episode gives a new batch of clues that seem to tie into previous episodes (e.g. the gravity bubble tech and the 1000 year suspension in this one). I’ve been rewatching from the beginning, and noticing a bunch of new potentially important details.

    Just noticed in The Beast Below that the voting booth, while confirming Amy’s identity, states her age as “1306,” which two of the monitors agree with, while the other two appear to list her age as 200 years younger: http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/7201/tbbscreenshot20100531at.png

    This is probably irrelevant, but the Doctor points out in 11th Hour that all he has “20 minutes to save the world, and I have a post office, and it’s shut.” Bracewell’s implanted memories in Victory of the Daleks involve a post office as well.

  • Mo

    Here’s a potential question of the day for you: What do you do when you really need to have a good cry over something that happened in a TV show or movie, but you just can’t cry? (Well, what can you do besides getting a bad stomach ache for a couple of days. *sigh*)

    We can’t tell, at this moment:whether the Doctor is remembering Rory and is wondering if Amy does too, or if the Doctor is just worried for Amy because Amy looks worried.

    The love of her life (in time if not passion) has just died and she’s happily oblivious. That look says racked by guilt. This is the Doctor we’re talking about, of course he’s going to blame himself. One more layer of messing up Amy’s life and the universe guilt that might drive him to do something self-fulfillingly stupid like blowing up the Tardis…

    Maybe it really was Amy and Rory on the hill in the beginning of the previous episode, so that it could be demonstrated here that things actually can change very dramatically.

    That’s what I’m going with. That’s why Amy thought she saw him for a minute. Which means that timelines stay completely intact when a person is burned out of them by the crack. Even if Rory was the one who suggested they go say “hi” to themselves years later, Amy still ended up going on her own. And she’s still the same person now even though Rory was the only direct male influence on her whole life and part of the reason she was in the Tardis when she was. Hmm… “I don’t have any parents, just an Aunt.” I assumed they died, (and that the man in the earlier previews who turned out to be Van Gogh was her father in a “Father’s Day” sort of episode but that’s not the case,) but what if she meant it literally? She had an Aunt who had always been her Aunt, but she had never had any parents because they never existed- the crack got them.

    There is another bit of foreshadowing much like the people on the hill- River Song (and the Doctor and Amy) has to survive the Pandorica opening because she always has. That’s how she knew Amy already, the weeping angels came after the Pandorica. Does that mean that River is toast next?

    If all these clues are going to work out into something important, I’m really looking forward to it, because it may not be what any of us are expecting. Your theory is almost the opposite of mine- which relies almost entirely on timey-wimey elements rather than dreams. (I’m sorry, I can’t get past thinking of the it’s all a dream/regeneration crisis plot twist as an epic cop out. Though I suppose my thinking that the undoing of the cracks will fix things and bring Rory back isn’t any different in a way.) But my hair-brained theory needs some more research.

    But speaking of dreams and foreshadowing, I wonder if Time Lords actually literally dream of their future? Because Rory died in that dream a lot like he died here, and other parts of the dream were sort of like things that had happened in the past, so what if dream Rory was the dream absorbing a bit of the future?

  • http://www,geeksaremypeeps.com Ken

    “I don’t have any parents, just an Aunt.” I assumed they died

    I noticed this too, but she follows up that comment by saying that her mother carved faces into apples, so obviously Amelia does remember her.

  • Patti H.

    Losing Rory made me very, very sad.

    Thinking about how he could be brought back, and how the chaos wrought by the crack may be undone, and the “mystery” of Amy might be solved, is keeping me in delicious suspense!

    Oh, and there is Classic Who precedence for (temporary) destruction of the TARDIS.

  • Ryan H

    I also miss Rory. He struck me as a very Arthur Dent kind of character, which we don’t see too often in Who. Amy and the Doctor what to run towards the screams and he just wants to settle down somewhere quiet and have a good cup of tea.

  • Mo

    Just noticed in The Beast Below that the voting booth, while confirming Amy’s identity, states her age as “1306,” which two of the monitors agree with, while the other two appear to list her age as 200 years younger

    Hmm… Fuzzy, but I’m going to cautiously say nice catch.

    Durr, Lost, you changed my brain forever and now I can’t leave this sort of stuff alone.

    I noticed this too, but she follows up that comment by saying that her mother carved faces into apples, so obviously Amelia does remember her.

    Good point.

  • funWithHeadlines

    Interestingly, “nobody dies today” was contradicted not by the crack at all. Rory was shot. He was dead before the crack got to him. And why was Rory shot? Because the three of them delayed so that the Doctor could investigate the crack. If the Doctor hadn’t spent that time, Rory would be alive. So it was directly the fault of the Doctor that somebody died that day.

    That would give a person feelings of guilt.

  • MaryAnn

    Oh, and there is Classic Who precedence for (temporary) destruction of the TARDIS.

    That’s true. But then again, Classic Who was never *about* the Doctor and his neuroses the way New Who is. The (apparent) destruction of the TARDIS here almost *has* to be more than just a cliffhanger for the Doctor to get past.

  • VT

    I’m actually not buying the its-all-a-regeneration-dream idea, if only because it is such a massive cop out and so likely to cause mass audience annoyance, that I can’t really see Moffat resorting to it. So yeah, I’m with @Mo–I think there will be an entirely timey-wimey explanation.

    Also, I have no doubt Rory will reappear by the end of the series.

  • banquetbear

    …I spotted this link posted on another forum.

    POSSIBLE SPOILERS

    This youtube vid compares the “Two parts of space and time” scene from the Eleventh Hour and the flashback in Cold Blood. Timey Wimey indeed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D02hURuKbR8

  • MaryAnn

    I’m actually not buying the its-all-a-regeneration-dream idea, if only because it is such a massive cop out and so likely to cause mass audience annoyance, that I can’t really see Moffat resorting to it.

    I trust that Moffat could pull off the “it’s all a dream” scenario without it feeling like a copout. :->

  • BBQ Platypus

    Hmm…while your theory is interesting, I just don’t see this season going that route – it’s exactly the sort of thing that would both confuse and piss off a large portion of the audience. (Remember “Dallas?”) This is still a family show, and an arc like that is probably too clever by half. I mean, the AI shows that the Not-We couldn’t even keep up with Amy’s Choice (the poor, unfortunate souls). That’s why I think Moffat has been so unsubtle with the Crack arc. He wants to make sure that, if you miss an episode, you can still get it by the end.

    No, I think this series is for the most part exactly what it seems. I’ve had a couple of ideas of my own, but I’ve learned not to count too heavily on my little theories when counting a show and just enjoy the ride.

    Still, fitting that two weeks after an episode that reminded me A LOT of “The Mind Robber,” that a popular theory in regards to the events of that story (in which we ALSO saw the TARDIS being destroyed) should surface once again. Hmm. Maybe there’s more to this than I thought. I still don’t think that’s what’s going on, but there’s at least a smidgen of a chance.

  • Alli

    I think my original theory that the Doctor caused the crack is still possible here, especially now that he’s found the piece of the Tardis. I thought maybe sending the Time Lords back at the end of the David Tennant era may have done it some how. Of course, the Tardis could be in there because he sacrificed himself to close the crack for good, which is why he goes back to talk to little Amelia and why he tells Amy to remember in Flesh and Stone: he needs her to remember him to bring him back. Could also be how River “kills” the best man she ever knew.

    Human germs are keeping the Doctor alive? WTF? Or does he just mean that he’s been hanging around Earth and humans so long that he’s developed immunities to human diseases that would otherwise overtake his Gallifreyan biology and that it would inconvenient and embarrassing if Amy were to sneeze and kill the Doctor should all his human germs be removed?

    I know this isn’t where you were going with this at all, but it reminded me of something else. I really like how the new Tardis is made of old scraps of earth material, such as faucets and springs. It as if the Doctor and the tardis have such a connection with Earth now, that they’re becoming more human.

    She had an Aunt who had always been her Aunt, but she had never had any parents because they never existed- the crack got them.

    Like Ken said, she remembers her mom because of the apple. But here’s a theory: what if her mom was swallowed by the crack, but she remembered her mom because Amelia saw the apple? The Doctor suggests that Rory exists in her mind, so why couldn’t it happen to her mom? Is this why the ring is still around, so she can remember Rory later?

    There is another bit of foreshadowing much like the people on the hill- River Song (and the Doctor and Amy) has to survive the Pandorica opening because she always has. That’s how she knew Amy already, the weeping angels came after the Pandorica. Does that mean that River is toast next?

    But did River remember Amy? I thought River only said hello to Amy after the Doctor introduced the two, but I could be wrong.

    Okay, so I know this is a love-fest only, but my complaint comes from a place of love. I really love Amy Pond as a companion (I’ve even found excuses for why she treats Rory like she does), but this was the first episode where her quips seemed out-of-place and irritating. There were several moments in the episode when this happened: “Hey I was almost tortured/murdered, let’s say something cute and/or condescending.” Sometimes I don’t mind that (“If we’re going to die, let’s die looking like a Peruvian folk band.”). But when you’re about to be dissected, you don’t say stuff like, “Yah, and don’t come back.” It felt off. She also looked bored during the negotiations (I really hope that was Karen Gillan acting frustrated, not bored though). I don’t know. I think it was bad writing by Chibnall, not Karen Gillan or the character of “Amy Pond” herself. Besides, Karen was awesome at the end of the episode, and she’s been great for most of the season. I just think Chibnall made her a naive idiot in this episode.

  • http://lissainwonderland melissa

    I would just like to point out the Dr. River Song already died in the library episode. Do you remember that Mo? The Doctor couldn’t just let her go so he had the computer save her at the end? She won’t be the next do die. We have already seen how she dies.

  • JohnnyInc

    I keep thinking about the Prisoner Zero line from The Eleventh Hour, “The Doctor in the Tardis doesn’t know.” So at some point the Doctor won’t have the Tardis; which explains the blown up Tardis shrapnel from the crack. In the last Angel episode (where it looks like the Doctor comes back to tell Amy to remember what he said when she was seven), he could have been the Doctor sans Tardis. He would need someway to travel through time though. What if he uses the crack to move through time? He can apparently touch the time energy without getting wiped from history since he reached in to grab the shrapnel. What if he used the Tardis explosion to go back and deliver that message?

    Also, I caught a line from River at the end of the Angel episode when the Angels want the Doctor to sacrifice himself. “You’re not gonna die here.” River knows that she had to kill him in her past and his future. Possibly a sacrificial death to close the Pandorica. A death that could involve him causing the Tardis to self-destruct.

  • Janet

    Actually Alli, if you think about it, that little quip when the scientist was leaving makes perfect sense. Amy seems to me to be someone who (due to everyone she’s ever cared for except Rory leaving her) has serious issues with showing any type of emotion that she considers a weakness. This is in turn the reason for her quips in the face of danger response as well as her attitude with Rory. (I see her thing with Rory as her subconscious preparation for him to eventually come to his senses, realize she’s not worth it and leave)

    That scene up until he was called away, she was fricking terrified and showed it. i considered the quip to be her meagerly pitiful attempt to save ‘face’ in front of a stranger and try to show that she really wasn’t as scared as she appeared.

  • Alli

    Janet, I hope you’re right. I wrote a long post about the way she treats Rory after the Amy’s Choice episode stating something similar about her attachment and trust issues. I know, deep down, she’s a damaged little girl (even Prisoner Zero pointed that out), which would explain some of her behavior. Still, there were other lines that felt like Chibnall was trying too hard to make Amy seem clever.

    I guess if the Doctor has saved her so many times up until now, it would make her naive (and arrogant) enough to think nothing bad can happen to her if he’s around. That would be fine if we didn’t just have the Amy’s Choice episode when she learns that he can’t always save everyone (“Then what’s the point of you?”). What’s worse is she won’t even remember this time that the Doctor let her down… again.

    Just to be clear, I really like Amy Pond, but there were moments in this episode where I didn’t find her reaction to events believable.

  • Mo

    I would just like to point out the Dr. River Song already died in the library episode. Do you remember that Mo? The Doctor couldn’t just let her go so he had the computer save her at the end? She won’t be the next do die. We have already seen how she dies.

    But time is very in flux the moment one of those cracks show up. The Rory-on-the-hill died too- hopefully as an old man in bed. But the moment he was shot time changed. The moment the crack got him that future was burned out of time just like his past. If a crack gets River she’ll have never have existed. The future the Doctor saw will just be another memory of his that never happened.

    @Alli There’s a great quote of Moffat’s in the Confidential for Flesh and Stone where he says the thing about Amy is that she’s so determined never to be a victim that she’s constantly in danger of making herself exactly that. Basically, damaged abandoned little girl trying to make up for something. Bad one-liners included.

    Maryanne, I’m sure Moffat *could* pull it off well, I’m just not sure he *should*. I prefer that what happened actually happened and he has to deal with it. Nudge the timeline a bit, but still deal with it. Of course going back to River, the crash of the Byzantium from Time of Angels *was* in her little book… and the Doctor sure seemed pretty surprised by the prison development. Which would suggest it actually happened.

  • RogerBW

    But then again, Classic Who was never *about* the Doctor and his neuroses the way New Who is.

    Indeed. I don’t regard this as necessarily an improvement.

    Personally I’m pretty unimpressed with the script-writing this season. Everything slots into its heavily-foreshadowed place, clunk clunk clunk, and hang continuity or characterisation. MAJ is not the only person who’s suggested that the thing has diverged so far from even NuWho’s established canon that some sort of reset button is the only sensible option. But I’m still reading about the things here even if I now find them unwatchable, so they’re obviously getting something right…

    I shall be very interested to find out, once all these questions are resolved, whether anyone finds that this series [i.e. the Smith/Gillan episodes] rewards re-watching. (I don’t hear of people re-watching Alias or Lost, and I know a couple who deliberately didn’t buy the final Galactica DVD set – and gave away their earlier ones – because they found the finale such a let-down.)

  • Toby

    Don’t really mind what happens in the end, just as long as the Doctor doesn’t end up (or start up) having a love affair with River Song. Romantic love has no place in Doctor Who unless it is between incidental characters or companions. If people want soppy love they can watch a gazillion other shows!

  • Vanessa

    What if the crack is not erasing people, but rather it is like a version of the old weeping angels–it sends anyone that passes through into another time? The Doctor describes it as “two parts of space and time that should never meet” and references have been made to there being multiple cracks around the Universe.

    then the Doctor could use it to travel through time as JohnnyInc suggests, even after his Tardis explodes. It also means Rory isn’t dead and could return (as I suspect he will).

    The only drawback to making the series arc so explicit in the series, is that it makes the episodes themselves seem almost in the way. Given the apparent importance of the crack, and that the Doctor seemed to have figured out a few episodes ago that Amy is at the Center and needs “sorted”, why are they heading off to Venice for romantic dates and to Rio for fun?

    Is it possible that we are seeing episodes that come from several different timelines for the Doctor and we just don’t know it yet?

  • Lady Tenar

    Romantic love has no place in Doctor Who unless it is between incidental characters or companions. If people want soppy love they can watch a gazillion other shows!

    Oh, for pity’s sake. There are also gazillions (I mean, gazillions) of other forums for the chronic malcontents to piss and moan about the fact that the Doctor’s romantic and sexual side is now being dealt with. Romantic love has had a place in Nu Who from the beginning. Why can’t people just freaking deal with it?

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    I’m sticking with this theory for the moment: The Doctor is suffering a regeneration crisis…

    Not a regeneration gap? ;-)

    …and this is all in his head, à la Sam Tyler…

    Actually I’m reminded more of Dr. Gregory House–especially as he was in the season finales of House‘s fourth and fifth seasons. Granted, I doubt we’ll be seeing Anne Dudek showing up to sing a Specials song, but given the way Smith has echoed Hugh Laurie’s vocal inflections on that show in previous episodes (the most obvious example being the scene in Flesh and Stone where he lectures Amy), it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Moffat was going for a similar effect.

    Then again he could simply be echoing Dawn’s story arc in Buffy the Vampire Slayer–or giving us his own version of that same show’s “Normal Again” episode.

    We’ll see.

  • http://twitter.com/daveweeden Dave Weeden

    @Lady Tenar – well the Doctor is effectively immortal; he’s got a lot of history and he knows he’ll outlive any partner, and he’s not human. Are these reasons enough?

    I know this is a love fest, but this was the first episode this season that I found weak. Of course there were good things, but it didn’t make enough sense for me. Moffat wanted a big drill, so there was a big drill. Why? What was it doing? Where did parts come from? Where did the drilled material go? The ‘Silurians’ talking about ‘apes’ and the moon stuff just made no sense (I realise that was inherited from the Pertwee years, but I’d rather it had been forgotten). Elliott’s dyslexia went nowhere. Ambrose didn’t work as a character to me.

    The few things I liked. The return of the Doctor as catalyst. By which I mean the guy who inspires people to do something they otherwise wouldn’t and so gain self-esteem. I know that it’s a criticism of Ecclestone that he was too passive: I think that he was the ideal parent or teacher. He saw – and found a way to realise – the potential in everyone. Smith does this quite well too.

    Otherwise, disappointing.

  • Lady Tenar

    well the Doctor is effectively immortal; he’s got a lot of history and he knows he’ll outlive any partner, and he’s not human. Are these reasons enough?

    So…the problem is there’s just too much dramatic potential? Since when do problems make a story not worth telling? They’re what make a story interesting. And these particular problems have already been explored to very good effect.

  • http://verizon.net innpchan

    Like Ken said, she remembers her mom because of the apple. But here’s a theory: what if her mom was swallowed by the crack, but she remembered her mom because Amelia saw the apple?

    Umm, The Doctor’s very first line when he sees Amelia:

    “Can I have an apple? All I can think about! Apples!”

    So if he has just caused the crack (damaged TARDIS, etc.), and Amy’s Mom and Dad have just been its first victims (which would also explain why her Aunt is out), maybe Amy’s Mom somehow left him a (probably subconscious) message in passing so that she’d be remembered?

    “She sounds good, your mum.”

    Also, this might be a good time to quote Moffat in the 28 April issue of Doctor Who magazine, giving answers to questions we don’t know yet:

    “Because the the structural damage alluded to in the opening scenes has caused a certain amount of leakage. Yes, leakage. Shut up, it’s all planned, you wait till Episode 12!”

  • Vanessa

    Apples, eh?

    Not that we are overthinking it, but the scene where Amelia suddenly offers the Doctor an apple carved with a face has always struck me as “out of sync” like the jacket scene in Flesh and Stone. See–the Doctor has already spat out an apple in disgust, and eaten his fill of fish custard. Now they are upstairs investigating the crack in the wall. When and why would Amelia go back downstairs, get an apple, carve a face in it and bring it back up to the Doctor? Of course he needs it to prove to Amy later that he is indeed the Raggedy Doctor of her dream world, but is it just poor editing, or a bit of timey-wimey stuff? Did the Doctor bring Amelia back from a little later in time so she could give him an apple to insure that he later could convince Amy to trust him? UGH my brain is exploding….

  • Alli

    Moffat wanted a big drill, so there was a big drill. Why? What was it doing? Where did parts come from? Where did the drilled material go?

    Just to be clear, Moffat didn’t write this episode. Chris Chibnall did. Unless Moffat as Executive Producer told Chibnall to write a story about a big drill, I don’t think we should place the blame on Moffat for that.

  • http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/ Tateru Nino

    …the thing has diverged so far from even NuWho’s established canon that some sort of reset button is the only sensible option.

    Whew. That’s a really big ask. You’d have to have some sort of big explosion or rupture that essentially required space-time to be rebooted, so that you could establish entirely new canon.

    Oh, wait. ;)

  • Lisa

    @ Lady Tenar
    I think that Moffat has sacrificed some character interaction in service of the building the arc.

    I agree. The crack is like a big re-set button hovering in episode 12, so it’s hard to take anything that happens seriously. How many of you believe that Rory is not coming back, in some form or another? Difficult to grieve for him then. There are lapses in internal logic which really annoy me. Never mind the angels losing their powers, how does the dr know he can put his hand in the crack? How does Amy still have a ring if Rory never existed? How does the Dr beat Prisoner 0 without Rory? Dream or not, Moffat will have a tough time making sense of all this.

  • http://johat.wordpress.com Jo the Hat

    “Nobody dies today,” the Doctor had promised in the last episode. (And it suddenly struck me how sad the Doctor’s life must be if it’s a good day when nobody dies.)

    I refer you to the look of absolute joy on Christopher Eccelston’s face at the end of The Doctor Dances: “Just this once, everybody lives!”. I’m pretty sure David Tennant’s Doctor had a similar moment too. For me, Matt Smith’s “Nobody dies today” had echoes of The Impossible Planet. In reply to Ida Scott’s “We’ve come this far. There’s no turning back.”, the Doctor scolds her (gently): “Oh, did you have to? No turning back? That’s almost as bad as ‘nothing could possibly go wrong’ or ‘this is going to be the best Christmas Walford’s ever had’.”
    I really enjoyed this episode. I’m going to miss Rory (assuming he deosn’t come back) and can not wait for the finale now. Though Bill Nighy next week should be a complete treat. My only gripe is that it means he probably won’t be in the running for the role of Twelfth Doctor (whenever that is). Shame – he’d be superb.

  • http://www.facebook.com/englerp EnglerP

    @Lady Tenar – well the Doctor is effectively immortal; he’s got a lot of history and he knows he’ll outlive any partner, and he’s not human. Are these reasons enough?

    Didn’t really stop Leela and her Timelordfriend.

  • bronxbee

    Didn’t really stop Leela and her Timelordfriend.

    i never could see that relationship lasting… bet she left him the next time she could hitch a ride on a transgalactic freighter. or maybe she joined the military?

  • Dave

    OK It’s crazy theory time again. I know I have millions of them.

    Originally when the TARDIS crashed outside of Amelia’s house it exploded (or would have exploded) causing the cracks in the universe and possibly wiping out Amelia’s parents. The Doctor survived (or River or even someone else maybe) did something in the Pandorica that went back in time and allowed it to survive but the cracks caused by the explosion still exist.

    Or even more brain bending the Doctor goes back in time at the Pandorica (with the TARDIS) to save himself which would be very timey wimey indeed. Finding out about the cracks that he had to save himself in the past. It doesn’t make great sense in a logical standpoint but then neither does Blink.

  • http://www,geeksaremypeeps.com Ken

    No theories on this, but what’s with the blue glow in The Eleventh Hour, during the scene where the Doctor is trying to convince Amy to trust him for 20 minutes (you can see it in the screencap here: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/blog/2010/04/040610doctor_who_blogging_the_eleven.html)?

    It seems deliberate the way it enters and leaves the screen.

  • Robert

    I just came up with a theory.

    This whole season is a timey wimey paradox. I think the Doctor will decide at one point (in the last episode, probably) that he needs to fix what has happened before. Mainly Rory being erased and Amy not being who she used to be. Because he’s not supposed to be able to double-back on his own timeline, he himself creates the rupture in time.

    In this season, we’re basically seeing just one of the Doctor’s passes through his timeline, with certain exceptions. The strange and solemn remark to Amy when she can’t open her eyes in Flesh and Stone and the unexpected visit to little Amelia are both examples of the Doctor double-backing on his own timeline.

    But: because he’s the one doing it, this whole season is a grandfather paradox. The Doctor has to double-back on himself to fix the effects of the rupture, but the rupture wouldn’t exist if he hadn’t traveled back in his own timeline.

    Also: this theory fits with both the Silurian narrator’s remarks about the ‘suffering to come’ and River Song’s mentioning of her having to kill the Doctor. She has to kill the version of the Doctor that travels back in time, so that the Doctor we’ve been watching up to this point can keep on going. The Tardis does explode, causing the rupture, but it’ll still be there in the first (original) timeline, enabling the series to continue without the original Doctor knowing about what his ‘future’ self did.

    In any case: things are going to be very interesting. I don’t think we should write off Moffat yet, or assume that this whole season is going to have an insultingly simple end solution.

  • Mo

    This whole season is a timey wimey paradox. I think the Doctor will decide at one point (in the last episode, probably) that he needs to fix what has happened before. Mainly Rory being erased and Amy not being who she used to be. Because he’s not supposed to be able to double-back on his own timeline, he himself creates the rupture in time.

    That part is pretty much my current theory put much better than my sleep deprived brain has been able to manage this week. (And I like your version of the grandfather paradox even if I don’t agree with it.) Ever since I saw that charred bit of Tardis there have been a couple of quotes from “Time Crash” that have been bouncing around in my brain:

    It looks like two timezones at war in the heart of the Tardis. That’s a paradox. It could blow a hole in the spacetime continuum the size of… Belgium.

    and

    Your Tardis and my Tardis, well the same Tardis, different points in it’s own timestream collided. And *bloop* there we go, end of the universe butterfingers.

    And the main reason they’ve been bouncing around is because of how eerily similar the wording is to the Eleventh Hour quote:

    Two parts of space and time that should never have touched, pressed together… right here in the wall of your bedroom.

    I suppose my theory is, what if this season is Moffat doing the flipside of Time Crash? In his doubling back through time possibly to leave clues for himself the two times of the Tardis collide, sheilds or no sheilds. but this time there wasn’t a solution to keep everything constant so Belgium happened and left some cracks in the universe. And of course there’s nothing like a generous helping of guilt to make him try and hope he can change things so he`ll more or less keep trying anyway.

    What was it he kept repeating to himself in Flesh and Stone?: “Time can be unwritten. Time can be rewritten.” or something like that.

    @Ken:That`s lens flare from the way the shift to slow motion filming changed the way the film (or pixels) was exposed. It`s a director`s decision- they do it to give a scene a dreamlike quality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/englerp englerp

    never could see that relationship lasting… bet she left him the next time she could hitch a ride on a transgalactic freighter. or maybe she joined the military?

    According to the Expanded universe, you would be right about the divorce, but i think (Concerning the EU: i only know the Audios), it’s a bit more complicated:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leela_%28Doctor_Who%29#Appearances_in_other_media

    Ok, the EU is not explicit canon, but the Who-EU is in general more canony than i.e. the Startrek-EU.

    Concerning the current episode:Average episode imho. Not a masterpiece, but not terribly bad either. Also nice that the Silurians for once weren’t all killed at the end of the story. (They are kind of the woobies of the Whoverse imho).

    Because of that whole”Time can be rewritten-thing”, i doubt that Rory will stay dead. Hope i’m right: Would be nice to have a season finale where we don’t have to say goodbye to either the doctor or one or more companions.

  • http://www.newbspeak.com Newbs

    Dave Weeden (Tue Jun 01 10, 5:28PM):

    …the moon stuff just made no sense…

    Yeah, I hated this offhand remark. It really annoys me when sci-fi shows get the science bit wrong. There is pretty much universal agreement in the scientific community that the moon was formed after a huge, planet-sized object crashed into the earth while it was still very young, billions of years ago. Maybe the moon story is a leftover from earlier Who continuity as Dave Weeden suggests, but even so he’s right that it should’ve been abandoned.

    Apart from this, a really good episode. The death of Rory sort of felt a little emotionless, but I did like the idea that the Doctor remembers him and had to deal with it while Amy doesn’t even know.

  • Chris

    I hope Rory stays dead. Now, no hate please, I really liked Rory. Liked him better than Amy, actually. But If he’s going to die, he needs to stay dead. I HATE deus-ex-machina when it comes to things like that. The death loses all meaning if it can just be magiced away.

    Just like one of the biggest copouts ever, re: Donna’s brain grenade. The whole emotional strength of her fate was that she can NEVER EVER remember, or she dies. And then… nothing? I don’t like such crap.

    I would be ok with Rory being back ONLY if the Doctor ends up removing himself from (at least mostly) from Amy and Rory’s timeline. Happyish ending, blah, blah, only the Doctor remembers. But Moffat needs to be careful. If he goes too crazy with the end of this season, he may have lost much of my respect. He’s already sacrificed a lot for his story arc, and it better be worth it.

  • Lisa

    that’s why i find it hard to take his death seriously.

    I was fine with the way Donna’s story ended. I didn’t want her to die so I was left half happy half sad that she will never remember.

  • http://www.whofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=28291 Weimlady

    I found this to be a very disappointing two-parter.

    A) Every Silurian story is going to be the same. They emerge from hibernation, they try to take over/get their fair share of the planet back, it doesn’t work out, they get killed/go back into hibernation. The only alternative would be to henceforward depict Earth as being populated by both Homo Reptilis and Homo Sapiens and I don’t see that happening. There are better classic creatures to bring back, ones that would allow for more open-ended plot lines.

    B) I hate characters that are one-note nasty. Like all the female Silurians.

    C) I hate characters that do idiotic, nasty, hateful things and then try to excuse themselves based on the fact that they have reproduced. No, your child is NOT more important than the future of the planet. I’m with Captain Jack on that one. And, in this case, your child was safe. YOU and your idiocy put him (and everyone else) in more danger than anyone else. If you could reach into a TV and smack a character, that woman would have been black & blue.

    D) The writers seem to think we’re dense and/or not paying attention this year. I first noticed it in The Beast Beneath. Yeah, I got the parallel between the Doctor and the space whale the first time it was suggested. Thought it was overkill when it was mentioned again. Then felt I’d been whacked over the head with it at the end when Amy just came out with it, I guess to make sure no child was left behind and we all got it. Same feeling from the end of this one. Yes, I recognized that was a piece of the TARDIS as soon as the Doctor took it out of his handkerchief. I’m sure he did too. Having him hold it up to the living TARDIS was another “no child left behind” moment which rather spoiled it for me. Subtlety is so much more elegant and satisfying than being whomped over the head with something. Not that pulling a piece of the TARDIS out of the crack was even particularly subtle on its own.

    I’m not feeling any chemistry between the Doctor and Amy. I like them both on their own, he more than she, but they just don’t seem to have a relationship.

    I did like the Silurian make-up, and got serious goose-bumps at the reappearance of the crack. Seeing two people in late middle age fall in love was also a good thing this story offered.

    Hoping the series finale is brilliant.

  • Lisa

    I hope the finale is great too. Tiem Loops!

    Re (C) Let us now praise stupid women
    who have given us Literature

  • 1995dream

    First time that I can remember where the doctor was very concerned about a race other than humans. I don’t mean him finding planets for nasty aliens. After asking the group to be the best of the human race, he looks hugely disappointed when they fail, and at that point he is thinking that the Reptilis deserve the earth.

    Please, someone help me get some sleep at night by working on the number zero. After the first 2 episodes I was convinced it was part of an arc: Prisoner Zero, and the schoolboy who “was a zero, and nobody likes a zero.”

    Finally, does anyone else remember David Tennant declaring “no one dies today!” in some previous episode? Delivered in 2 very different tones, with different implications.

    Why the heck would he just put his hand in the crack when it could very well be where the Daliks got sent?

    I loved Rory because he diluted some of Amy’s attraction to the doctor. and also because he meshed with the doctor very well.

  • Emalia

    The TARDIS already got blown to bits this season, at the end of the “frozen star” dream. Maybe that is what the Doctor pulled out of the crack. No idea where that leads, just sayin’ …

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    Tiem Loops!

    Time loops like a wheel and fruit flies like a banana. Or something like that…

  • Radek Piskorski

    Oh MAJ, you’re so clever and optimistic. But couldn’t it be that the reason why the Doctor acts so weird and Amy comes across as vapid and artificial is because they are being portrayed by bad actors who are made to act in bad writing (compared to previous seasons)? There seems to have been a decision to make things cute and funny with a shallow companion and a goofy Doctor. That’s it.