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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Doctor Who thing of the day: the Doctor cannot die in Utah… because of Miracle Day

death of the Doctor April 22 2011 Lake Silencio Utah

Stuart Ian Burns — aka feelinglistess here in comments and at his own blog — has made an extraordinary discovery regarding the supposed death of the Doctor at Lake Silencio in Utah, which we witnessed, it seems, in “The Impossible Astronaut.” It is this:

the Doctor couldn’t die when he’s supposed to die.

Torchwood’s Miracle Day is set in and around 22nd March 2011 and knocks on for a good few months.

The astronaut parts of The Impossible Astronaut are set in Utah, USA, 22nd April 2011.

Burns captured evidence for the Miracle Day dating from Episode 2, “Rendition”:

Torchwood Miracle Day March 2011

After the latest episode, “The Gathering,” there is no question that April 22, 2011, falls well within the timeframe during which no one can die.

Now, well… there are still a few potential thorny matters here.

1) The Doctor isn’t human. Miracle Day has made it clear that it’s only humans who aren’t dying. So it’s possible that whatever made the Miracle happen did not affect the Doctor’s nonhuman biology.

2) The Doctor was standing on a null-field generator, such as we saw in Miracle Day Episode 7 (“End of the Road”), which would negate the effects of the Miracle.

3) As Burns notes:

Arguably [the Doctor] does become a category one, and they did burn the body.

4) It was a Flesh Doctor who is/was/will be killed at Lake Silencio — as I’ve been saying all along — which would be even less human than a Gallifreyan Time Lord, and hence almost certainly not subject to the Miracle.

5) The events of recent Doctor Who stories have been taking place in a parallel universe — as I’ve also been speculating — where the Miracle has not occurred on Earth.

6) Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat have introduced a whopping great paradox into their shared universe.

Which explanation works for you? Which do you think will turn out to be the case?

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

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