The Pandorica Opens – S31 (5) 12

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  • #15721
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    The Doctor’s friends unite to send him a terrible warning; the Pandorica – which is said to contain the most feared being in all the cosmos – is opening. But what’s inside, and can the Doctor stop it?

    #15748
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – we’re down to watch this tomorrow, I know, but one of your loose ends is very specific to this episode.

    I’ve never really seen the TARDIS exploding as a ‘loose end’. It hung in the air for a bit, yes, but it’s now been tied up; once you find out that Amy and Rory are River’s parents, there’s a fairly clear explanation for the explosion.

    River’s piloting the TARDIS. And River, at the moment the TARDIS explodes, has just become a living example of the Grandfather Paradox. Not only is her father plastic, but her mother’s just been killed. Before River was conceived.

    So she’s impossible, and she’s piloting the TARDIS. Oops. Cue explosion.

    Later on, in The Girl Who Waited, the Doctor refuses to let Older Amy in the TARDIS for a similar reason; the TARDIS couldn’t cope with such a huge time paradox.

    #15817
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Yes, I know, I know. We’re supposed to be watching this tomorrow.

    To me, the real loose end in this episode isn’t ‘Why does the TARDIS blow up’. It’s ‘Is someone controlling the TARDIS?’ That’s what River says; that’s what stops her getting out and so causes the TARDIS to explode from the endless paradoxes involved.

    So, what do we learn about the Doctor in this episode? That he’s the most dangerous man in the universe. The most feared being in the Cosmos. He rides a black horse (River and Amy both ride greys). And that he doesn’t know ‘who’ he is.

    Who is the Doctor? The question in the title was largely ignored until Moffat’s era: to the extent that when he yelled “Who da man?” in Eleventh Hour, nit-picking fans pointed out that the Doctor was never really called Doctor Who. And missed (as did I) that this is something underlying the Smith/Moffat era; it’s one of Moffat’s running themes.

    Doctor Who? Who is the Doctor? In The Lodger, he doesn’t use the ‘John Smith’ name. Instead he remarks that he doesn’t really remember why he called himself The Doctor. In The Beast Below he talks of changing his name. In The Name of The Doctor we discover that ‘The Doctor’ represents something. But what?

    Doctor: A nameless terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a million galaxies, the most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.

    Who is The Doctor? Is he doomed to become solely that ‘nameless, terrible thing’? Or is it something he’s already been? The older this regeneration gets, the more the Doctor seems to apply the word ‘monster’ to himself. He’s a monster. A lonely one, one that can be kind, but essentially – a monster. He needs his companions; they keep the monster under control. Fairy tales again, another constant Moffat theme. The fairy tale that seems to be in the Doctor’s head is ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

    His Companions and his wife have a much clearer view.

    River: I hate good wizards in fairy tales. They always turn out to be him.

    The Doctor’s personal history is another theme, referenced once or twice in series 5 and also in 6 and 7. He’s been a parent; he hates seeing children crying uncomforted. He’s the last of his kind (he thinks). He keeps an empty cradle in his TARDIS. His entire race only exists in his memory; they fell out of the universe. No wonder he only wants to remember the Time Lords and Gallifrey in the good times; perhaps, somehow, the good Time Lords might be brought back. If he remembers them.

    He has nothing to live for. He has nothing to lose. All that’s left is hope; that if he travels hopefully, someday he’ll arrive.

    And in the meantime, he’s the Doctor. Why did he choose that name? He doesn’t remember. But he knows what it doesn’t stand for. If he’d lobotomised the Star Whale, he would have changed his name; the Doctor would never do that, and if he had done that – he’d no longer be the Doctor. Whatever the Hurt Doctor did, this Doctor believes that it was something ‘The Doctor’ would never do. Should never have done.

    By the end of the episode things can’t possibly get any worse. Companions: dead. Universe: over. Doctor: in a prison he can’t get out of. Resources? Well, he’s a Time Lord, always at their most dangerous when they’re desperate. Because that’s when they say: ‘screw the rules’.

    And he has reason to be desperate. The stars explode. And at the moment all the stars have died, the background music stops, mid-beat.

    The rest, is silence.

    #15821
    Anonymous @

    Still watching this (@bluesqueakpip, will read your comment after finishing!), I’m just at the point about 24:25 when Amy is in the cupboard and a great fight is going on outside the door with the Cyberman; but she can’t see anything, only hears the fight (and has her own assumptions as to what’s going on, i.e., the Doctor has come back to save her).

    I suddenly thought of this scene in To Kill A Mockingbird when Scout gets attacked, but can’t see clearly what’s happening through her ‘Prize Ham’ costume (and has her own assumptions about who has or has not come to save her).  There’s even that knife!  (in both scenes, albeit in TPO, it’s a sword)

    #15833
    Anonymous @

    Finally finished re-watching this!  @bluesqueakpip, from your first comment (and a partial read of your 2nd!):

    River’s piloting the TARDIS. And River, at the moment the TARDIS explodes, has just become a living example of the Grandfather Paradox. Not only is her father plastic, but her mother’s just been killed. Before River was conceived.

    So she’s impossible, and she’s piloting the TARDIS. Oops. Cue explosion.

    Later on, in The Girl Who Waited, the Doctor refuses to let Older Amy in the TARDIS for a similar reason; the TARDIS couldn’t cope with such a huge time paradox.

    The interestesting change on your last point is that while the Doctor couldn’t let two Amys into the Tardis, River can’t get out of the Tardis.  Why wouldn’t the Tardis just eject River somehow, in order to save herself?  Is it because it is being controlled by something else?  If so, what?  ‘Silence will fall’.  Are we with 20-20 hindsight to assume the Silence are controlling the Tardis?  How?  and why?  To save their manufactured assassin?  But keeping River in the Tardis means it will explode, and ‘all suns will supernova’ and reality will collapse on itself.

    I’m not badgering you in particular!  These are just questions I think after this episode.

    Also, this ep ends with the stars going out – just like in TNotD …

    #15835
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – good question. That’s what I asked in my second post – the real ‘loose end’ is the question of whether something else is controlling the TARDIS.

    Though if, by the time River gets the doors open, the TARDIS is already beyond hope of saving herself – she’d probably do a very similar thing to what she does. Namely, seal River inside a time-loop to keep her safe. And she can’t do that if River then exits; River would be just outside an exploding TARDIS – which is probably not the best place to be…

    #15837
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The associated Confidential can only be found in parts. So:

    and

    and finally

    #15845
    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – always a pleasure to view the late, lamented Confidential.  Thanks for posting those.

    I have to put on my Continuity Nazi hat and wonder, how the heck did River get changed from her Cleopatra garb into her Indiana Jones costume?

    #15850
    Anonymous @

    This episode and its second part are to me the high point of the Moffat era of Who and probably of the Nu Who as a whole. And really it’s kind of a trilogy with the Eleventh Hour in many ways and the strong book-ending of the first and closing episodes of Series 5 is what, to me, makes it almost definitely the strongest series in the AG iteration of the show. (There are no real clunkers in Series 5, where every other Nu Who series had at least one Fear Her or Boom Town or Night Terrors. But I’ve played Series 5 to death and it’s still yielding new joys on every rewatch.)

    And I’m not sure Who has ever been quite so successfully epic as it is here. RTD always strove for spectacle and I think always almost delivered — we’ve waited years for an epic Dalek vs Cyberman confrontation but in the end it slightly disappointed. And was only redeemed by the emotion of the farewell at Bad Wolf Bay. But Moffat clearly learned from that because the ‘epic’ here is always grounded in emotion, in character, rather than just chucking more and more CGI at the screen.

    This is Doctor Who filtered through Spielberg. The Raiders of the Lost Ark influences are riven right through The Pandorica Opens. They’re not hard to miss. The descent into the murky tomb for a dangerous artefact, the skull fright of the Cyber-head, the racing on horseback. And Murray Gold takes a lot of his musical cues in this episode from John Williams’s Raiders soundtrack.

    And Matt Smith continues to cement his Doctor as one of the greats in this episode. There are glimpses of other Doctors in there — Troughton’s bumbling as he struggles to recognise Rory, Davison’s emotional helplessness with Amy, McCoy’s defiant shouting down of the enemy — but for all that he is by now clearly his own Doctor. And he’ll take it even further in The Big Bang.

    Not that the supporting actors are slumming it in this story. I don’t think River has been better. I sometimes find River a little OTT. For instance, in Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone I occasionally find her a bit grating and overpowering, but she’s perfectly judged here. And Karen Gillan is great as Amy, with a perfectly balanced combination of bolshiness trying and failing to cover up her essential frailty and, well, damaged psychology.

    (To me, Amy is one of the greatest companions because the Doctor actually owes her so much. He essentially ‘broke’ her as a little girl and is constantly running now to try and make up for it, to mend something that he never can. Smith’s Doctor is less preoccupied with survivor guilt over the Time War because he’s got another whole new lot of guilt over what he’s done to Amy.)

    And then there’s Rory. Back from the dead (again) but forgotten by the love of his life. Who only then remembers who he is as he’s revealed to be an Auton and then kills here. It sounds like fanwank when you write it down but it’s an awesome bit of writing I think. And Arthur Darvill plays it perfectly.

    A great cliffhanger too. It kind of cheats its way out of it but that doesn’t stop the ending of TPA being devastating in its completeness. Not only is the Doctor trapped in the Pandorica (defeated at last by all his enemies — a classic ‘fan-dream’ plot that is used as nothing more than an aside), but Amy is dead, killed by the man who loves her, the TARDIS is exploding and the universe dies (not with a bang but a whimper).  Has there ever been an episode of Who that ended with such comprehensive hopelessness and despair?

    And yet…

    #15859
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot

    I have to put on my Continuity Nazi hat and wonder, how the heck did River get changed from her Cleopatra garb into her Indiana Jones costume?

    What, seriously? You think she didn’t have time to change into riding gear while the Legion was finding and saddling three horses?

    Mind you, given the amount of costume changes River has plus the seeming lack of any bag to hold said costumes – I reckon the Doctor has, at some point, given her ‘bigger on the inside’ pockets as a birthday or anniversary present. 🙂

    #15862
    janetteB @janetteb

    I agree with @jimthefish. (like the Sam West Doctor avatar too) Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston really come into their own in this episode. I think that this was when I finally warmed to River Song. Rory was simply wonderful. His expression when the Doctor fails to notice him is etched in my memory as is his agony when he kills Amy.

    Yet for all that I still felt that there was something unsatisfying about the episode. It sets up so much more than it can deliver. I feel that S.M is not fully in his stride in this series. He is still trying to emulate the RTD big bang stories which just are not his style. His small stories are brilliant, but in this final two parter he has stepped out of his narrative comfort zone and doesn’t quite succeed in pulling it off. The universe had been destroyed one time too many already.

    Cheers

    Janette

     

     

    #15902
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I still think this is a rare treat, and I’d disagree that Moffat is channelling RTD for this finale. I think he’s subverting what had become a pretty stale two part finale where you kind of knew what to expect – Part 2 of the Dalek story, or Master story. Good stories for the most, but very little surprise. I think people had almost become programmed with an expectation for a big returning villain. I can still remember all the posts on the Guardian guessing who it would be (this is where the “It’s FENRIC” joking started).

    It’s a cracking good yarn, from the breakneck rush through old characters from early serials delivering Vincent’s message to the Doctor, through those outstanding scenes in the Underhenge with the damaged Cyberman (the head attack and the skull falling out got a genuine shriek out of one small child I was watching it with).

    I loved the reveal of the Romans as Nestene Replicants. Such a surprise and I just thought “oh you clever Bugger”. One of my pet bugbears with Rose was Plastic Mickey. I thought it robbed the Replicants of the genuine menace that anyone could be a Replicant – you only know when the hand falls away and they try to kill you.

    After reminding us the very name of the Doctor can scare away people in Eleventh Hour, here he gives Matt another grandstanding performance shouting down the fleet – and it all goes horribly wrong. Pride comes before the fall is a repeating theme for 11, and doesn’t it feel good?

    There was a goblin, or a trickster. Or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it or… reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.

    And that switch to show how his enemies see him is another lovely bit of subversion.

    At the end of this episode, I genuinely had no idea what to expect in the second part. That was the really exciting thing about it.

    #15903
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @bluesqueakpip

    Yes, I’m with you on the TARDIS question myself. I wrote a post on one of the blogs about it, which I may as well repeat.

    @Shazzbot – In The Girl Who Waited the Doctor talks of the magnitude of paradox the TARDIS can contain, and her destruction if exceeded.

    Now consider what we didn’t know at the end of season 5. We saw River fly the TARDIS with ease in the Angels two-parter. Far better than the Doctor.

    Fast forward to Pandorica Opens, and the TARDIS starts struggling as soon as she gets in. What has changed? Her father has been erased from history. She’s a Paradox within the TARDIS, but perhaps a minor one. Her mother is alive, and an aspect of her father remains in Rory the Roman. River asks the TARDIS why it has bought her to Amy’s house. “What do you want me to see”. She explores and discovers the pictures of Rory the Roman, Amy and that something is up. The TARDIS was trying to tell her what her problem was. She was the problem. We (and the Doctor) didn’t realise this at the time.

    Back in the TARDIS she’s struggling. In rapid succession her mother is killed, and the only person who has a vague possibility of resolving the paradox is thrown into a Stasis prison. River becomes a bigger Paradox and …. Bang.

    A theory? Perhaps. But exhibit A here is helpful. A short that was developed from a competition that was run for schoolchildren. That Steve Moffat helpfully added a bit of cheeky dialogue to, and told the audience he’d added it.

    You only have to watch the first little bit and listen.

    “I can’t believe River blew you up” – as he throws a fez onto the console. I know a lot of people are still speculating on this, but the reason I don’t is that I think it has been answered, but the resolution places the emphasis on the audience to work it out. Others disagree.

    #15904
    Anonymous @

    I’m liking @phaseshift‘s TARDIS theory.

    However, hasn’t SM said recently that the anniversary/Xmas specials are going to address the exploding TARDIS issue. And it looks as if it’s going to be done without reference to River — or so he says anyway (I know, Rule 0…)

    And is it just me or did the ‘Silence will fall…’ voice in the TARDIS sound suspiciously like John Hurt?

    #15906
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @jimthefish  That does sound suspiciously like John Hurt. Has the Moff Masterplan possibly been in preparation for quite so long?

    #15907
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift and @jimthefish – well, if Prisoner Zero represents Doctor Zero, then yes.

    Regarding booking John Hurt; I remember working with the late Nigel Stock and finding out that he was so very busy that you basically had to grab him a minimum of two years in advance. It wouldn’t surprise me, given that John Hurt is at least as busy as Nigel Stock was, to find that they’d booked him for the 50th Anniversary back in 2010.

    #15908
    Anonymous @

    @wolfweed and @bluesqueakpip — if that’s the case then it would be simplicity itself to get him to record a single line of dialogue to be slipped into TPO. The long game indeed…

    #15922
    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip“well, if Prisoner Zero represents Doctor Zero …”

    Hmm, was that a throwaway comment, or a nascent theory being developed?  Because the Atraxi got him/it at the end of The Eleventh Hour.  Do you think Hurt is Doctor Zero?

    For everyone talking about ‘the long game’ I’m in utter agreement that certain big names (Hurt, Capaldi) surely have to be booked well in advance, so Moffat has equally surely been locked into certain plotlines / developments for quite a while.

    But my money’s still on Hurt being between 8 and 9, or as I believe @MadScientist72 posited a while back, Hurt could actually be playing an unregenerated (older) McGann/8.

    #15926
    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @bluesqueakpip @phaseshift

    Can I just ask if I have your theory about the TARDIS exploding correct?

    Is it this?:

    The TARDIS reacts to events occuring in the timeline in which the TARDIS is present. River is in the TARDIS at a point where, outside in the timeline, her mother is killed by her already dead father whose memories have been copied and inserted into a Nestene duplicate and therefore, she represents a paradox in that timeline: she exists but should not because the people who cause her to exist have ceased to exist before her birth.

    Is that correct?

    Or is there a further, key point – that the Doctor, the one person the TARDIS knows can confound paradoxes, is placed in confinement and so is incapable of dismantling the paradox.

    I am just trying to understand the argument.

    I always assumed it was one of two other things, but happy to be convinced otherwise.

    #15931
    Anonymous @

    @htpbdet – you mention “I always assumed it was one of two other things” but you don’t describe … what are your own theories?

    #15932
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot and @htpbdet

    Do you think Hurt is Doctor Zero?

    I meant Prisoner Zero = Doctor Zero in a metaphorical sense, not in a literal in-story way.

    As to Hurt being ‘Doctor Zero’ that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the Doctor before Hartnell. Just that – unless Capaldi turns out to be the Thirteenth Doctor, and Matt Smith has in fact been playing the Twelfth, Hurt has to be ‘not in the count’. He’s the Doctor With No Number, Doctor Zero.

    Or is there a further, key point – that the Doctor, the one person the TARDIS knows can confound paradoxes, is placed in confinement and so is incapable of dismantling the paradox.

    Could be. I do feel another blog post coming on….

    The TARDIS, being reasonably intelligent, seems to be able to cope with repairable paradoxes. But looking at The Pandorica Opens artistically, the order of shots is that the Doctor is placed in confinement, River can’t get out, and Amy dies. And the stars go out.

    So yes, you can certainly say that because the Doctor is placed in confinement the TARDIS explosion and Amy’s death can’t be prevented. But the stars go out when Amy dies. 

    #15933
    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @bluesqueakpip

    Okay – so you think the Doctor’s confinement might not be causative – but that the loss of the second progenuitor of River is?

    The Universe in that timeline ends because the River Paradox, caused by Amy’s death,  is too big?

     

     

    #15934
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @htpbdet

    The Universe in that timeline ends because the River Paradox, caused by Amy’s death,  is too big?

    The Universe can cope with it. The TARDIS can’t. The Universe can’t cope with an exploding TARDIS – only the Time Lords know how to stop that, and they’ve just locked the Last of the Time Lords up. The entire sequence is a perfect storm.

    • Without Amy’s death, River is still possible (presumably there was some way to get Rory back).
    • Without River being trapped inside the TARDIS (the topic of ‘who trapped her inside’ is still a loose end) the TARDIS wouldn’t blow up – I’d guess River would just vanish like all the other erased people.
    • Without the Doctor being locked inside the Pandorica, River wouldn’t be trapped inside an exploding TARDIS – he would either know how to get her out, or tell her what to do to stop the explosion destroying the whole of space and time.

    If you take away any of the three things, the explosion doesn’t happen. As long as Amy’s alive, River’s possible. As long as River’s outside the TARDIS, it doesn’t blow up. As long as either Amy or River are alive and unexploded, they can rescue the Doctor. If the Doctor hadn’t been locked inside the Pandorica he could probably have either saved Amy or stopped the TARDIS exploding…

    Which other things did you think?

    #15939
    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @bluesqueakpip @Shazzbot

    I rather think I just take a default position of looking for the simplest explanation – and by that I don’t mean anything other than what seems clearest to me.

    The two things I thought might have caused the TARDIS to explode were:

    (a) The intervention of an as yet unknown force (because, as you say @bluesqueakpip, there is still the question of who trapped River inside the TARDIS when it was exploding and it is at least possible that the two things, the trapping and the explosion, are linked);  or

    (b) River had gone to Amy’s room after some of her memories, which had been powerful enough in that room to permit copying by the Nestene Consciousness, had been diminished by what the Nestenes had done. Whether or not that mattered, she still took the TARDIS to the house at a point where the Crack was bigger than it had been before. I just took it, there being no further explanation proferred in the programme itself, that the TARDIS being that close to the Crack was no good for the TARDIS and the interaction between the TARDIS and the Crack caused the TARDIS to explode, the TARDIS being , effectively trapped by the Crack.

    The reason that the River paradox solution never appealled to me was because I could not see how it was consistent with the rest of the season (and I prefer a world, and this is just me obviously, where everything works together).

    I could not see how the death of Amy and Rory could be a problem for the TARDIS in relation to the paradox of River because the TARDIS had never reacted badly to Amy – yet, Amy was herself a paradox, her family having been taken by the Crack (and wiped as though they had never existed) and the TARDIS had, happily enough, operated with Amy on board. But maybe I have just misunderstood something there?

    There are other residual questions too:

    (a)    Is the explosion at the end of Pandorica separate from or related to the explosions in the  TARDIS at the commencement of Eleventh Hour?

    (b)   What does it mean for the entire Pond arc that the end of Angels Take Manhatten apparently sees the Doctor arriving in Amelia’s backyard – so that she is not a disappointed little girl who waits?

    (c)    To whom does the omnipotent sounding voice belong? – if it is Hurt (who must surely have been around and easily accessible given Merlin duties at the time) is what he did that the Doctor disowns related to the exploding TARDIS in Pandorica?

    #15947
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    But maybe I have just misunderstood something there?

    @HTPDET – I think so. The difference between Amy and River is that Amy still exists because her parents were swallowed by the crack after she was born. In fact, since she’s in the house on her own, it’s entirely possible that her parents were swallowed by the crack just before she started praying to Santa – and that’s why she’s so scared. She doesn’t remember why, but she knows the crack is terrifying.

    Rory, otoh, is killed before he can conceive River with Amy. Their wedding is tomorrow throughout Series Five; the universe only comes right again after they’re married.

    Amy was born, then her parents vanished. Amy still exists; it’s just that she doesn’t have any parents. In the same way, the photo of Rory and the engagement ring still exist, even though Rory was never there. Echoes survive when people fall into the cracks. Amy and the engagement ring are just such echoes.

    River, however, has just become a living Grandfather paradox. In this case, it’s a double Grandfather paradox. BOTH parents have died…

    Intervention of an unknown force: fine – but what did the unknown force introduce into the TARDIS to make it blow up? If it’s River, then that’s why she can’t get out. The unknown force is using River to make the TARDIS explode.

    Too close to the Crack? Didn’t we have a picture of the Crack on the screen in The Eleventh Hour? And a Crack in the TARDIS itself when the Doctor’s time-line is rewinding?

    #15950
    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @bluesqueakpip

    For my own part, I can’t see a difference based upon when X was born in the situation we are discussing.

    If Amy’s parents have been removed from the timeline by the Crack then she is a paradox. The people who gave birth to her had never existed, so nor should/could she exist. The TARDIS does not react badly to that.

    River has had a parent die and a parent erased – perhaps before they could conceive her. I quite see that there is a difference, factually, in the two situations but I am not sure if there is a difference conceptually.

    In either case, the paradox remains. The progenitors are erased – therefore the child can’t come into existance.

    I don’t remember anything in the series which suggests a difference between the two scenarios – is there such a reference that I have missed? (It is quite likely I could have missed it)

    As to what the Unknown Force may have introduced into the TARDIS…perhaps another TARDIS? Isn’t River the one thing that we know the Unknown Force did not introduce to the TARDIS ?

    I am not sure what you mean by the presence of the Crack? Doesn’t Forest of the Dead establish that proximity to the Crack can have consequences which are unpredictable?

    I am not, for a moment, wanting to be understood as thinking that you or @phaseshift are wrong.  It may well turn out exactly as you say.

    I just cannot see what you both see so clearly.

     

    #15956
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    If Amy’s parents have been removed from the timeline by the Crack then she is a paradox

    @htpbdet – No, she isn’t. I really do feel a blogpost coming on, because this needs a diagram.

    Broadly, when people are removed from the timeline, all memory of them is removed. All their effects, however, are not removed. You can see this from a) the engagement ring and b) the photo.

    If Rory has been removed from the time line and all the effects of Rory have also been removed, then that photo shouldn’t exist. He shouldn’t have been in it. He wasn’t there to be in it. You can argue that the engagement ring was protected by the TARDIS – but not that photo.

    But it exists. So, in a similar way, does Amy. The photo (a physical object) was in existence when Rory was removed, and so it stayed. Amy (a physical object) was in existence when her parents were removed – and so she stayed. Judging by Amy and the photo and the engagement ring, anything physical that’s not actually swallowed up by the crack sticks around. It’s just that people can’t remember how it got there.

    Amy: I don’t have any parents. Just an aunt.

    We took that to mean her parents were dead; Amy meant it quite literally. She doesn’t have any parents. She’s never had parents.  She just has an aunt. Her parents were swallowed up by the crack: but she wasn’t. The paradox is not retroactive; the Grandfather paradox doesn’t apply if your grandfather is killed after your parent was conceived. Similarly, any paradox created by the Cracks is not retroactive. The people actually swallowed never existed; the people and objects they created still do. Well, until the universe finally blows up. 😀

    River, however, was not in existence when her father was removed from the time-line. He is not there to create her – so she’s a genuine paradox.

    There is only one time she pilots the TARDIS between Rory’s removal and the universe re-boot – and the TARDIS is distinctly unhappy. As @phaseshift has pointed out, she tries to explain why she’s so unhappy by taking River to Amy’s house, showing her that the Roman soldiers are all constructed from Amy’s memories – and showing her that the ‘Rory’ River has just met isn’t the real Rory.

    River is becoming a paradox. While Amy’s alive, there seems to be a path through; a way for River to still be born. When Amy dies, however, the stars go out.

    #15971
    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @bluesqueakpip

    Are there rules in the real world about what does or does not constitute a time paradox?

    You may be approaching this from a scientific basis, wheras I am just thinking about it in terms of the story.

    My starting point is that the writer can do whatever the writer chooses (and usually does).

    Could there not be a difference between the way the paradox affects living, breathing sentient creatures and the way it affects inanimate objects? You equate Amy with a physical object – but I am not sure why that needs to be or should be so?

    The photograph is interesting – because of what happened in Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS. There, the timeline changed and so did the photograph. But that is not what happened to the Rory photo in Pandorica. An error or something deliberate?

    One of the things that has always troubled me is why the Crack didn’t swallow Amelia? I assume there is a reason but I dont think I know what it is – perhaps that is yet to be clarified as well?

    The ring exists because someone made it. Rory bought it, but he didn’t make it.

    I don’t know who took the photograph but it might be that because of the Crack, Amy’s room became some sort of “safe zone”, where she could live and grow up and not be affected – and everything that happened in that room was preserved. Possibly even enhanced. This notion helps explain why the memories had special powers which could be used by the Nestenes and detected by River – and why Amy’s powerful memories turn out to have the redemptive powers they do (for the Doctor).

    Amy remembers the Doctor and Rory, but little Amelia does not remember her parents. When the universe is restored, you see that Amy has a perfectly normal relationship with her parents, so why didn’t Amelia have the ability to remember them? Is it because the prolonged exposure to the Crack gave her greater powers of memory? On the other hand, if she couldn’t remember them, how could she bring them back?

    While I quite see the force of your argument, I am not sure it is the only way to make sense of what happened.

    River says she feels like the TARDIS is being controlled by another force. The Doctor seems to accept that and suggests she shuts down the TARDIS. There is an unexplained voice.

    Can you tell me how your argument deals with these issues? I ask only because I don’t understand.

    These things suggest to me that it was not the TARDIS taking River to the house to express her unhappiness. And we have never seen the TARDIS behave in that way before (which is not to say that is not what the TARDIS is doing, just that it is unexpected).

    They suggest to me that something else was going on there which may yet be played out.

    But, as I have said before, you may be entirely right and the loose ends which bother me will just be left dangling.

     

    #15979
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @htpbdet

    Are there rules in the real world about what does or does not constitute a time paradox?
    You may be approaching this from a scientific basis, whereas I am just thinking about it in terms of the story.

    Fine. So why are you ignoring the information given in Act Two of the story in favour of the information given in Act One?

    Act One (Series 5) information – Rory has fallen out of the universe. When people fall out, some things remain (the Doctor talks about half eaten meals and voices in empty rooms). Things that remain from Rory are a) the engagement ring – not the fact that it was made, the fact that it was in the TARDIS. b) the photo – a photo of someone who never existed. Created before Rory dropped out of the world, it remains after he never existed.

    Amy doesn’t have parents – but exists. She has a life that ‘doesn’t make sense’. Could there be a difference in the way the paradox affects inanimate objects and living objects? That would be a possibility – but we don’t need to make that assumption. All we need to say is ‘Amy is like the photograph. Created before her parents dropped out of the world, she remains after they never existed.’
    More information: River is kept inside the TARDIS; not by the door refusing to open but by it being blocked when she opens it.

    Act Two (Series 6) information. River is the daughter of Amy and Rory, and she was conceived after the events of Act One – on their wedding night, in the TARDIS (A Good Man Goes To War). The TARDIS cannot cope with a massive paradox (The Girl Who Waited).

    Further Act Two information (from an entr’acte) – the Doctor believes River blew up the TARDIS.
    Conclusion: from the information given in Act Two, the massive paradox that was River (just before the Act One climax) blew up the TARDIS.

    I honestly don’t see why you appear to think this is incompatible with a force controlling the TARDIS – I’ve said several times in different posts that the force controlling the TARDIS is the real loose end. The force controlling the TARDIS seems to have trapped River inside – and trapping her inside caused the TARDIS to blow up (and Silence fell).

    [The photo in Journey is quite possibly an entirely different case – note that the Doctor at the end of the story is wiping the console with Tricky’s rag from the beginning of the story. He seems to have made an off-screen visit to their ship]

    #15983
    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    @bluesqueakpip

    I never said that your theory was incompatible with a force controlling the TARDIS.

    I also don’t ignore information given in what you refer to as Act Two.

    Nothing you say proves any aspect of your theory. You may well be right, but there is no proof for your theory in the programme. I admire your certainty about your thoughts.

    The paradox the TARDIS is trying to deal with in Girl Who Waited is an entirely different type of paradox from the one you insist occurs in Pandorica Opens. I do not see how having two versions of the same entity in the one timeline (a matter which caused no concern to the TARDIS in either Three or Five Doctors) is necessarily the same or lesser or greater than a paradox involving a person conceived by parents who have never existed or a person whose parents have died prior to conception.

    You do – and that’s fine.

    I also never said anyone needed to make any assumptions. But your theory assumes there is no difference between inanimate and inanimate objects.

    I don’t know what happened. But I don’t see there is any evidence in the programme – as yet anyway – which shows that the TARDIS exploded because River was an impossible paradox because Amy died.

    Not that I care about the “entr’acte” because it is not part of the programme, but it is equivocal anyway. If the Doctor thought River was just a bad driver of the TARDIS he could say what he says there.

    For reasons which I do not think have been explained, the TARDIS exploded at the end of Pandorica. It might be because of the reason you suggest. I just don’t see that it must be for that reason. Or that anyone who does not think that way is ignoring the facts.

    The intervention of an outside force, who traps River in the TARDIS and then destroys the TARDIS (either with or without the aid of the Crack) is, of itself, a sufficient explanation albeit as yet unstated.

    If it were the case that the rationale for the explosion was the paradox that was River, why did the Doctor not spend any time at all trying to work out what happened? That is a problem too for the outside force theory – indeed, the easiest answer to that question is that he just assumed River did something wrong in the TARDIS.

    I am happy for you to have your theory and to be convicned by it. It’s a good theory.

    But it is just a theory.

     

    #15985
    Anonymous @

    OK you two.  Your dance is becoming a tarantella.  😀

    I repeat my questions from earlier (emphasis added):

    while the Doctor couldn’t let two Amys into the Tardis, River can’t get out of the Tardis.  Why wouldn’t the Tardis just eject River somehow, in order to save herself?  Is it because it is being controlled by something else?  If so, what?  ‘Silence will fall’.  Are we with 20-20 hindsight to assume the Silence are controlling the Tardis?  How?  and why?  To save their manufactured assassin?  But keeping River in the Tardis means it will explode, and ‘all suns will supernova’ and reality will collapse on itself.

    To me the Bad-at-Theorising, I’m stumped and remain stalled on the question of who is controlling the Tardis – and why.  “Silence will fall” in John Hurt’s voice or not, we heard that; and we are meant to assume some connection with the Silence (whom we’ve not met yet) or else the Atraxi (who we first heard saying those words in The Eleventh Hour).

    Even with 20-20 hindsight, the crux to me (and I know I’m debating waaaay out of my league here) is what force could control the Tardis above River’s skills – and create a brick wall out of the exit doors (or, more pertinently, create a perception filter so she thinks she sees a brick wall).  And the answer to that question has to be tied into ‘WHY’ – what force could do all that, and for pity’s sake, why would they do it?

    All the debating points about how much of a paradox River is or isn’t (or Amy is or isn’t) is fascinating to read, and to mull over.  But it doesn’t address the main issue of why River (thinks she) can’t fly the Tardis; why the Tardis goes to Amy’s house; why River (thinks she) can’t get out of the Tardis.

    And … is it really exploding?  We’ve seen lots of sparks flying around the console room over the years, none of which meant the entire ship was breaking up for good.  With future episode knowledge, we might know there’s a lot of energy escaping the Tardis right now.  But is she really, really, absolutely, an explosion in stasis?

    To me, the real bonkers theorising is predicated on those questions.

    Interruption over, regular transmission resumed.  😀

    #15986
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Nothing you say proves any aspect of your theory. You may well be right, but there is no proof for your theory in the programme. I admire your certainty about your thoughts.

    @htpbdet – good. I will now explain why I see my solution as a more straightforward reading than your proposed solution. ‘Straightforward’ in a Moffatian sense, of course. 😈

    If you choose to ignore the line in the BBC3 mini episode, and regard it as ‘not part of the main programme’, you can do that. It was certainly not broadcast on BBC 1 as part of a main episode. However, my case would be that the said mini-episode was commissioned by the Head Writer, produced by the BBC Cardiff production team and broadcast by BBC TV, using the actors from the current production. And in that mini-episode, the Doctor (played by Matt Smith) suggests that ‘River blew you up’. ‘You’ being the TARDIS. Equally, I’d argue that the ‘Pond Life’ minisodes are official, even though they were only ever ‘broadcast’ on the web.

    That, to my mind, makes ‘River’ the simplest explanation for the TARDIS blowing up. It’s the literal reading of an production-team approved line.

    Now, my certainty about my thoughts is always subject to the available evidence. If it turns out in a later programme that the Silence managed to sneak a load of semtex on board, I will happily accept that River didn’t blow up the TARDIS, that the Doctor was mistaken – and quite possibly that Steven Moffat had a better idea than the one he first thought of. 😉

    In a similar way I fought very hard for the theory that Clara was the next Doctor – but now I know it’s Peter Capaldi, I’m not going to insist that Clara is still the next Doctor and Mr Capaldi is nothing but a red herring. Actually, I’m really looking forward to Mr Capaldi’s Doctor – yet again, Steven Moffat has thought up something that was better than my idea. 😀

    I cheerfully admit that one thing that really annoys me is when there’s a line which explains a ‘loose end’ and because people don’t like that solution, they ignore it – and continue complaining about loose ends. There is a line. The Doctor thinks that River blew up the TARDIS. It was broadcast on BBC 3, it’s in the DVD extras. The line is not a theory; the line is a line.

    All my theory does is explain how River blew up the TARDIS. It doesn’t come up with that idea: Steven Moffat came up with that idea. He uses the character of the Doctor to suggest that idea. Similarly, there’s a line that explains the loose end  ‘when did Amy get kidnapped by the Silence?’ Before America.

    In both cases we can come up with alternative explanations – but the alternative explanations are contradicting the text. To make them work, we have to come up with an alternative reading. Alternative readings are not the ‘simple’ solution.

    To me, neither of your theories explain why ‘River blew you up’. If you can explain to me how they don’t require that line to be read as something other than its literal meaning, that would be great. My theory does explain why ‘River blew you up’ – and it is a perfectly straightforward reading. She quite literally blew the TARDIS up by becoming a bigger paradox than the TARDIS could cope with. It’s that simple – and it fits with The Big Bang, which is all about time paradoxes.

    Some things have alternative explanations and always will have alternative explanations. The Maitland children finding the photos of a time-travelling Clara, for example. They found them at school. I suggested they found them because the GI ‘arranged’ things so that they found them, and I seem to remember that you went for the plain and simple explanation that they just found them.

    And unless Neil Gaiman mentions it at a convention somewhere, either of those alternative explanations could be right. It might have been the GI, influencing the Doctor’s time line, trying to get the kids killed so that Clara won’t travel with him any more. Planting a photo so that Artie saw it in class.

    Or it might just be that one of the photos coincidentally came up in a history lesson, Artie noticed – and then he and his sister spent some time doing an image search.

    I prefer the GI theory – it seems the ‘interesting’ solution. You prefer the ‘coincidence’ – it seems the ‘simpler’ solution. Pick one; we’ll probably never know. 😉

    #15987
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @htpbdet

    I just cannot see what you both see so clearly.

    While this is a tragedy, I believe it’s one I can cope with.

    @bluesqueakpip

    Well argued I think, on all counts.

    @shazzbot

    There is an easy answer to the “River trapped in the TARDIS question” and relies on where the TARDIS ended up, and whether it would be safe to eject her at this point. I’ll address it in The Big Bang blog, where it belongs.

    #15988
    Anonymous @

    This is all very interesting and a fine example of the kind of thing this site was set up for in the first place.

    Just to add that surely the most likely explanation for an external force controlling the TARDIS would be a Doctor — i.e. the Hurt Doctor. And could the cracks in time be his entry point back into the universe if he is indeed time-locked (or even does in fact turn out to be Prisoner Zero).

    Also, while it’s easy to assume that ‘Silence will fall’ must refer to the Silence, it isn’t necessarily so and seems to me to be exactly the kind of misdirect that SM would like to pull…

    #15989
    Anonymous @

    @htpbdet

     I just took it, there being no further explanation proferred in the programme itself, that the TARDIS being that close to the Crack was no good for the TARDIS and the interaction between the TARDIS and the Crack caused the TARDIS to explode, the TARDIS being , effectively trapped by the Crack.

    This is what I always figured. The TARDIS fell into the Crack and exploded. The explosion of the TARDIS in turn Cracked the universe. (Since the TARDIS exists across all of time and space simultaneously, it’s immune to the usual laws of causality.) With the destruction of the TARDIS, the universe’s last link to the time vortex ceased to exist (possibly even the time vortex itself ceased to exist). Without the vortex, the “arrow of time” ceased to be. This is what caused the stars to go out (nuclear fusion needs temporal directionality). It’s also why the TARDIS’s death got stuck looping over and over. Without time, the universe couldn’t move forward.

    @bluesqueakpip

    In Flesh and Stone (repeated in Cold Blood), the Doctor told Amy “If the time energy catches up with you, you’ll never have been born. It will erase every moment of your existence. You will never have lived at all.” So, HTPBDET is correct in his assertion that the Crack swallowing Amy’s parents makes her a paradox. If her parents never existed, she never should have existed. The Doctor also explains that Rory’s a special case, because Amy’s a time traveler (presumably amplified by Rory also being one himself) & that by concentrating on him she could “save his memory” (Cold Blood). Her unexplained crying in Vincent and the Doctor indicates that she was partly successful (on a subconscious level). The big difference between Amy’s parents and Rory is that Amy’s parents got swallowed before Amy started travelling in time and, as such, she didn’t get the time traveller’s exemption for memories of them. Because Amy can (sort of) remember Rory, his return to existence remains a possibility & this keeps River from becoming a true paradox.

    #15990
    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift

    There is an easy answer to the “River trapped in the TARDIS question”… I’ll address it in The Big Bang blog, where it belongs.

    *screams at the sound of her Topic Dalek crown being ripped from her head*

    😀

    #15991
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish

    Just to add that surely the most likely explanation for an external force controlling the TARDIS would be a Doctor — i.e. the Hurt Doctor. And could the cracks in time be his entry point back into the universe if he is indeed time-locked (or even does in fact turn out to be Prisoner Zero).

    Now, that’s interesting.  I’m sure @bluesqueakpip and I had an exchange about this – on the Companions thread, maybe? – and now I have to re-visit The Eleventh Hour for any embedded clues as to whether Prisoner Zero could be post-de facto scrunched into a Hurt Doctor-sized package.

    You’re also right, Jim, that just including the cryptic ‘Silence will fall’ message could be classic Moffat mis-direction.  As @MadScientist72 said:

    This is what caused the stars to go out (nuclear fusion needs temporal directionality).

    … and I assume nuclear fusion is a rather noisy affair.  No stars = silence.  No need for the ‘Silents’.  (And I don’t doubt those homophones absolutely delighted one S Moffat.)

    #15992
    Anonymous @

    @Shazzbot

    To me the Bad-at-Theorising, I’m stumped and remain stalled on the question of who is controlling the Tardis – and why.

    IMO, the prime suspect would have to be the GI. We know he’s got the motive. (How better to ruin the Doctor than to destroy the TARDIS?) Jumping into the Doctor’s timestream gave him opportunity. And, if you accept that the GI is the Lovecraftian entity Yog-Sothoth (I don’t know if this was ever explicitly stated in the series, or just in novelizations), then  he would certainly have the power (method, in courtroom-speak). An ultra-powerful being who predates the universe could reasonably expect to survive said universe’s destruction. (I also strongly suspect that we’ll eventually learn that the GI was behind the Silence, too.)

    @bluesqueakpip

    That, to my mind, makes ‘River’ the simplest explanation for the TARDIS blowing up. It’s the literal reading of an production-team approved line.

    But it’s equally plausible that the line was simply a case of the Doctor looking for someone to blame. A sort of “You were driving my car when the crash happened, therefore you crashed my car”, even if it was really the driver of the other car’s fault. The line doesn’t prove that River blew up the TARDIS, only that the Doctor blames her for it blowing up.

    #15993
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish

    But wasn’t this Prisoner Zero?

    Prisoner Zero

    #15994
    Anonymous @

    @MadScientist72 – nice pic.  And should we draw any inference to the wee creature that burst out of John Hurt’s chest in ‘Alien’?

    I know, I know, we’re here to banish all thoughts of Malcom Tucker from our 12th Doctor thoughts, so why bring up a decades-older role for another DW actor.

    But it honestly wouldn’t surprise me, upon reflection, if Steven Moffat didn’t know all about getting John Hurt on board for the future, and instructed the CGI department to create something that echoed his past film career for an episode that would pre-date his appearance on the show by many years.  Just for the craic.

    #15995
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @MadScientist72

    In Flesh and Stone (repeated in Cold Blood), the Doctor told Amy “If the time energy catches up with you, you’ll never have been born. It will erase every moment of your existence. You will never have lived at all.” So, HTPBDET is correct in his assertion that the Crack swallowing Amy’s parents makes her a paradox. If her parents never existed, she never should have existed. 

    Good stuff. That’s certainly the literal interpretation of the line. 😀 In The Pandorica Opens the Doctor tells Rory, very specifically, that he was never born at all.

    Okay, having looked at what people say, you now have to look at what happens when people drop out of time. In Time of Angels, the officer doesn’t remember his missing clerics. However, do you notice any other changes? Does something else vanish? Those clerics did quite a bit of shooting at angels – by the time the cracks finish, we’re down to Father Octavian, only. But seemingly, none of the angels got past Father Octavian by himself.

    In Cold Blood, it’s Rory who warned the Doctor about Restac – then it’s Rory who pushes the Doctor out of the way when Restac shoots. Does the Doctor suddenly regenerate when Rory is wiped out of existence? Nope? We see Amy and Rory come to Wales to wave at their earlier selves. At the end of Cold Blood, we see Amy by herself. Seemingly, she’s taken exactly the same action she would have done with Rory. The only thing that’s changed is that there’s no Rory.

    We can look at this in a bit more detail during The Big Bang, because we see an awful lot of people vanish. What I’ll leave you with now is: when little Amelia vanishes, Amy doesn’t suddenly vanish back into the Pandorica. Yet it was little Amelia who opened the Pandorica.

    The conclusion I’ve come to is that while the people never existed, they’re cut out of time like a shape out of a piece of pastry. You end up with a Rory shaped hole. The things they did still exist. Amy’s parents had a baby – so Amy still exists.

    The ducks are gone; there never were any ducks – but everyone knows that’s a duck pond. How can you have a duck pond if there’s never been any ducks?

    Amy Pond is the ‘duck pond’. There never were any parents – but everyone knows that’s Amelia Pond. She’s the duck pond that has, seemingly, come into being without there ever being any ducks.

    #15997
    Anonymous @

    Hiya @bluesqueakpip – I again start by saying my debating skills are not worthy.  I post only as the amateur village idiot who (hopefully) has something to say which is so idiotic no-one else posited it before, and perhaps contains a grain of truth.

    Amy Pond is the ‘duck pond’. There never were any parents – but everyone knows that’s Amelia Pond. She’s the duck pond that has, seemingly, come into being without there ever being any ducks.

    We know that Amelia is Scottish, living in an English village.  We know that she lives with her ‘aunt’.  Is it possible that ‘everyone’ only knows Amelia as having come to live in Leadworth with her aunt, and therefore where her parents are – or aren’t – isn’t of concern to them?  (other than as idle gossip, which as a denizen of a rural village I’m all too aware of)

    It begs the question of which ‘aunt’ she lives with – the assumption that her parents were taken by the crack in her wall also assumes that she moved to Leadworth with her parents and also her mother’s or her father’s sister.  And in this scenario, once her parents were absorbed by the crack, then the aunt was left, and no-one has a problem with her being a Pond ‘come into being without there ever being any ducks‘.

    Just to be contentious (!), my village has a so-called ‘duck pond’ which never has any ducks in it.  I’ve avoided mentioning it because it just seemed a turn of phrase, y’know ‘duck pond’ whether or not ducks actually want to visit its murky waters.  (They much better enjoy the nearby river.)  Also, sheep often jump the dry-stone wall and drink – bleurgghh – from the pond, so it probably should be re-christened the village ‘sheep pond’.  🙂

    #15999
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    But it’s equally plausible that the line was simply a case of the Doctor looking for someone to blame.

    @MadScientist72 – ah, but that’s a reading of a possible subtext. It’s not the literal sense of the line. Now you need to look for evidence to support that subtextual reading.

    😉

    #16001
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – well, you’d think that her aunt at least would notice the complete absence of any parents. Having a niece or nephew when you’ve never had a brother and/or sister is normally considered a bit of a puzzle. If we were back in the 1960’s, everyone would probably assume that Amy’s aunt’s ‘niece’ was her illegitimate daughter, but nowadays?

    As to the ‘duck pond’. Yes, you can have something called ‘the duck pond’ when the ducks last visited in the winter of ’83 (that’s 1883). But we’re talking Amy Pond, here, and the Doctor’s very worried about that duck pond. The pond, one presumes, is a metaphor for the Pond. How can something be a duck pond if there never were any ducks? How can there be an Amy Pond if there never were any Ponds?

    #16003
    janetteB @janetteb

    The apple with the smiley face is freshly cut when Amy gives it to the Doctor, adding to the impression that her mother has just be swallowed by the crack.

    Given the Doctor’s jealousy of his wife’s superior piloting skills his comment on entering the Tardis could be easily dismissed.  Also we don’t know if the Doctor knows why the Tardis exploded. He might well blame it on River’s piloting.

    I don’t think Doctor Zero is associated with prisoner Zero as the later is evil. The paradox theory does explain the exploding Tardis well enough, but so does @MadScientiest72’s theory that the Tardis fell into the crack. I favour the later one because I was not comfortable with the Tardis being able to destroy the entire universe. If the explosion takes place in the crack then the repercussions might be greatly amplified. Both theories would fit but the real answer will probably surprise us all, if indeed, we ever do find out Moffat’s reasoning.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #16004
    Anonymous @

    @janetteb – that’s an excellent point about the apple’s freshness.  I guess I had always assumed that Amelia did that herself, copying what her mum used to do.  I’ve skimmed the above posts and still can’t find who first suggested that Amelia’s parents might have disappeared on the very night 11 shows up (sorry!), but your suggestion fits that theory, too.

    #16005
    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – you’re right that it would be odd to find onself suddenly alone with one’s niece in a large house and not have some kind of feeling that it’s all very weird when one cannot remember ever having a brother/sister!

    I threw in our local village ‘duck pond’ just because it amuses me that there really is such a thing that never has ducks in it.  But again, you’re right that it’s all about the metaphor in the script and Amy’s surname.

    How can something be a duck pond if there never were any ducks? How can there be an Amy Pond if there never were any Ponds?

    Indeed.  🙂

    #16007
    stevethewhistle @steve-thorp

    Re: Ducks

    I’d just like to point out, for the benefit of readers who aren’t into cricket, cryptic crosswords or bad puns, that:

    duck = zero.

    (ducks quickly before a virtual cricket ball comes through the computer screen)  🙂

    #16010
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Given the Doctor’s jealousy of his wife’s superior piloting skills his comment on entering the Tardis could be easily dismissed.  

    @janetteb – indeed. But having dismissed the writer’s offered solution, don’t then go on to call it a loose end. 😀

    @Shazzbot – I think I might have suggested Amelia’s parents have only just vanished at the top of this thread, but I don’t know if I was the first on this forum. The fact that she was alone in the house, the fact that she was scared enough to pray to Santa, the smiley face on the apple – all of them suggest her parents, or at least her Mum, have only just vanished.

    @Stevethewhistle – ooh, good spot! Another reference to ‘zero’ in our Dr Who Tale.  🙂

    #16024
    Anonymous @

    @janetteb‘s observation about the smiley apple highlights an indication that, even as a child, Amelia Pond was a bit paradoxical. While the Doctor’s examining the Crack in her bedroom wall, she says “I used to hate apples, so my mum put faces on them.” She remembers her mum, the mum that got swallowed by the crack and never existed. Clara’s clearly not the first “impossible girl” to pal around with the Doctor.

    @bluesqueakpip – I’d say that the events you mention from ToA/F&S and CB, as well as those of tPO/tBB, indicate that the Universe and the TARDIS have a certain level of tolerance for paradox. River’s continued existence after Rory got erased & Amy died is paradoxical. Amy’s continued existence after her parents got swallowed is paradoxical. But they’re timey-wimey people who have travelled with the Doctor (or, in young Amelia’s case will have travelled with him – remember that past, present & future kind of become irrelevant when the TARDIS is involved), so there’s always the possibility to wibble & wobble their way back to non-paradoxicality. Even the 2 Amy’s in tGWW shouldn’t be too much for the TARDIS to handle, regardless of what the Doctor said. As someone (@HTPDET, I think) pointed out, there have been multiple Doctors on board on more than one occasion, without ill effects. Since the TARDIS exists at all times simultaneously, to her every version of  everyone who has ever been on board is always on board. To her perception, there are already multiple Amys on board. The Doctor must have had some other reason for not letting the older Amy in that he didn’t want to share.

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