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Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! (Part 2)

The second part of our look at some of the more intriguing questions posed by the most recent season of Doctor Who.

2) Why does the Silence tell Amy to tell the Doctor “what he must know, and what he must never know” and what does that refer to?

Some have separated the two so that “what he must know” refers to telling the Doctor that she’s pregnant and “what he must never know” means the Doctor’s own death. This might be possible but mitigating against this answer is that Amy only tells the Doctor inadvertently about this death, when she thinks he’s a ganger, and does so some time later. Maybe that might still count (after all, we don’t know exactly how the Silence post-hypnotic suggestions work, and it should be noted Amy doesn’t actually tell the Doctor immediately about her pregnancy either even after her meeting with the Silence telling her to do so – she waits until the end of the episode), but it perhaps seems more likely that both are referring to Amy’s pregnancy (which is what she tells him first). This leaves the question as to why the Silence would want the Doctor to know about that, as given that they had kidnapped her in the first place without the Doctor knowing, why would they want to arouse his suspicions that she’s not the “actual” Amy?

The answer appears to be that they want his suspicions aroused as they had a trap set for him at Demon’s Run (In A Good Man Goes to War). The trap isn’t to kill him (which must happen at their “fixed point” at Lake Silencio in Utah) but to have him humiliated (from being badly outwitted and at such a personal cost to his friends) which they figure is much more likely to happen if the Doctor is uncharacteristically angry about something (ie. kidnapping his best friend and her baby). Sure enough the Doctor is uncharacteristically outwitted due to the anger and the bad guys escape with Amy & Rory’s baby. This starts a slow descent for the Doctor’s character over the next few episodes as the Doctor is more reflective about the dangers his companions who already have their baby taken away from them against their will, culminating in the Doctor essentially losing faith in himself in The God Complex. I think this is important to the Silence’s plan because they need (or perhaps “prefer” would be a better term) a Doctor who won’t fight back/lost the will to survive against the odds - it’s a lot easier to kill him outright (with the ultimate humiliation of it being his wife and daughter of his best friends doing the deed) if the Doctor has accepted his apparent fate and destiny that he needs to die. This suggests turning point for the Doctor may have been his meeting with Craig in Closing Time where, while he’s still sad about going to his apparent death, goes out of his way to fight and care for his friend (possibly inspired by the positive stuff Craig has to say about him).

3) Who blew up the TARDIS in The Pandorica Opens? How did they do so and why?

Although the first part of this was answered in that episode, for some reason fans seem to keep asking that over and over again. The “Silence Will Fall” utterances as the cracks appear suggest pretty strongly that it is either the Silence or one of their agents which has done the deed. We have not yet quite learned the “how” yet, though we do not know the full extent of their power, but the why – as in what do the Silence have against the Doctor – is further answered in The Wedding of River Song. We do not know the full extent of the reasoning as yet, as that’s a deliberate mystery that will no doubt be answered in an upcoming season. Some may ask why they would try to kill him that way first if they know that there’s a fixed point in time where he dies later on. Given that they are the ones that artificially created the fixed point in the first place, they likely hadn’t started to do so until “Plan A” succeeded. Of course, as the TARDIS exploding nearly destroyed the universe everything suggests three possibilities: (a) that there is something extra-dimensional about the Silence that would allow them to survive the destruction of the universe (unless they don’t care if they die, as long as the oldest question in the universe is not asked); (b) they anticipated that the Doctor would overcome the exploding TARDIS but expected him to be caught on the wrong side of the crack (which they caused in the first place) at which point he would be wiped out of existence and be unable to answer “the oldest question in the universe” (whether it is hidden in plain sight or not), while they would be restored along with everyone else. This suits their plans perfectly (and d oesn’t actually contradict the first possibility) and suggests that they only thing they didn’t count on was Amy’s extraordinary (and presumably unplanned) ability to remember the Doctor back into the world after he’d been stuck on the wrong side of the crack; or (c) that, not having exploded a TARDIS before, the Silence greatly underestimated the extent of the damage it would cause.

4) So how was it that Amy was never killed by the crack, even though she grew up next to it and even though it originally ate her parents?

We appear to have the answer to this one now. See answer #2, which demonstrates that the Silence (who caused the TARDIS to explode and created the crack) needed Amy alive as a contingency plan to help create a weapon (River) that would be able to kill the Doctor in an artificially-engineered fixed point in time (created at Lake Silencio in Utah as it is a still point in the universe, apparently making it easier to create a fixed point).

5) Why an astronaut suit?

I suspect the real reason is, that, like the selection of the amazing lake location for The Impossible Astronaut, because it just looks so freaking cool, and it allowed the identity of the character to remain hidden until the end of the season. In terms of the in-story reason, we know why the location was chosen, the suit was adapted to include laser weaponry capable of killing a Time Lord and its oxygen tanks allowed its occupant to emerge unimpeded, unabated and un-noticed from the water where the fixed point could be created.

1 Comment...

I thought the astronaut suit was in order to get the Doctor’s attention so that he’d go back to 1969, recruit Nixon, etc.? If they’d wanted the Doctor to go back to the middle ages they could have had River wearing a suit of armor.

Posted by Alex  on  10/18  at  01:55 AM

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