Doctor Who: More about those cracks in the universe

In the cold light of a Tuesday morning, we’ve had a lot of [[Doctor Who (TV Series)|Doctor Who]] stuff to digest since the weekend. Is it time to about the events at the end of Cold Blood now?

First up, Rory is dead. He’s been dead before (in dreams), but this looks like a more permanent arrangement with the Grim Reaper. Not only did he take a Silurian shot to the chest, but a light-emitting crack in the universe gobbled his corpse up.

But, arguably more important: The Doctor stuck his hand into the crack and pulled out a piece of shrapnel…a fragment of the TARDIS exterior. This leads most of the Doctor Who fans watching to believe that the finale will feature the explosion of the TARDIS and that the cracks throughout space and time are as a result of that event.

Before I get into the implications of the destruction(!) of the TARDIS, this Millennium Dome Elephant blog has some smart observations on the nature of these cracks and the apparent disparities in each episode:

There appear to be two distinct kinds of crack – or the producer hasn’t properly made his mind up (surely not): in “The Eleventh Hour” and “The Vampires of Venice” we have cracks that “something can come through” (be it Prisoner Zero or the eponymous Vampires aka Saturnynians); alternatively, in “Flesh and Stone” and again here in “Cold Blood” we see a crack that is spilling out “time energy”, which does the “erasing you from history” thing. What’s the difference? And what is the mysterious “silence” that we witnessed falling at the end of the Venice story?

In passing, how does the Doctor avoid getting his hand erased from history when he’s pulling shrapnel out of the “wound”? We can probably put that one down to “Time Lord Powers(TM)”; he does appear to be a bit agonised by the process, so possibly he is sticking his hand into non-existence.

Good description, and it raises the question of whether these inconsistencies will be dealt with in the course of the finale (when we expect the explanations to be laid out).

A few comments on this thread point out that Rory dying was one thing, but a TARDIS death is a virtual impossibility. Would Steven Moffat want to be remembered as the guy who killed the TARDIS? I don’t think so. Here are a few snippets…

So there’ll be a retcon at the end of the series, then?

Because after choosing that she’d rather die than lose Rory, who she has to marry to have a happy ending for the kiddies, we’re now supposed to believe he won’t come back because the Crack of Doom is irreversible? Oh wait, it’ll eat the Tardis too. So now we know it’s DEFINITELY reversible. (If they take the Tardis out or grow a new-shaped one, the fans will riot). So, no tension from the crack for the rest of the series.

Followed by this one…

I wasn’t too fussed about the TARDIS blowing up because I know she’ll get better. Same reason I was sad when Nine went, but was never worried about the Doctor actually biting it, because, let’s face it, it ain’t gonna happen. The fragment of TARDIS just makes me dread another fucking Giant Reset Button finale.

I’m kind of sold on the notion that if the TARDIS is part of the cracks in space and time, then it can’t possibly be destroyed permanently. It’s too integral to Doctor Who lore (unless – and I hope not – it’s a plot device to strand The Doctor on Earth like in the Pertwee era).

But if the TARDIS can come back, is there a possibility of a returning Rory? Well, let’s flick over to Mr Combom and have a look at some of his theories on how the finale will play out…

The rumour is again that a main character is to die, we know Amy is in season 6, Rory has died 3 times already (twice in dreams and once in 509 Cold Blood), he has been taken back to Roman Britain for the Doctor to find, and isn’t dead, we find him alive, well, and being a Roman Soldier. So does Rory die a 4th time? IMHO its already got somewhat silly here (virging on South Parks Oh no, they’ve killed Kenny), and the Doctor is always in Doctor Who so he can’t go, leaving the only real main character left – the TARDIS!

I’d be happy to see Rory back in the fold. I do like there being a couple of companions on board rather than just a twosome. But Rory hasn’t been terribly well received by other fans, so perhaps he’s expendible? Interestingly, BleedingCool point out that Rory will be in a bunch of Doctor Who books that are launched this year, so unless they’re part of the ‘between episodes’ adventures, it’s likely that he’ll return. Even if his official profile on the Doctor Who website lists him as dead.

Let’s hear it folks – what are your theories on these cracks that seem to be following The Doctor and Amy around the universe?

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9 Comments

  1. jefft

    Well let’s see. They just built a brand new TARDIS. Bit silly to throw all that money away for the sake of a big crunchy finale.

    But: There was a competition for an alternative tardis console which was promised an appearance in the series… although it was stated that it wouldnt be ‘the doctor’s tardis’.

    The Master has had his TARDIS appear as a Police Box in the past.

    And were it not for the reasonably intact nature of the TARDIS when it crash landed in Amelia’s garden, I might have expected the explosion to have been the cause of the regeneration that played out in episode 1 and of the crack.

    River Song says she killed the best man she knew.

    Well, she’s known plenty of Doctor incarnations, and would have well known that killing the Doctor in the name of some great enterprise would simply result in some new teeth and a visit to the hairdresser.

    I liked Rory. In fact, I should say I like his character better than Amy…

    But are the cracks following Amy, not the TARDIS?

    Who knows.. maybe the series ends on a big ‘is the Doctor Dead?’ cliffhanger so that if Matt Smith had gone down like a lead balloon in series 5, Mr Moffat had the opportunity to regenerate him for Series 6?

     

     

     

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I’m not sure River Song has an awful lot to do with it, to be honest. Just a feeling I have. I think she’s good for the odd tantalising appearance, but to give too much away too soon would be a waste of ‘spoilers’.

      The Master has had his TARDIS appear as a Police Box in the past.

      Yeah, and that’s a thought that keeps coming up – is it another Time Lord? And I know The Master’s TARDIS was set to mimic The Doctor’s one, but how many times would that plot device happen? Of course, you could argue that perhaps it’s a far future version of The Doctor’s TARDIS too. But if time can be rewritten…an idea that’s been in play this series…perhaps the TARDIS doesn’t have to explode at all?

      But are the cracks following Amy, not the TARDIS?

      I think it was that Combom article that argued the cracks could have been seeking out The Doctor…in the case of The Eleventh Hour, they may simply have arrived there too soon? The thing is, it’s hard to know who exactly they’re following, since The Doctor, Amy and the TARDIS have been together since the first crack.

      As for The Doctor being dead…that’d be a big cliffhanger. But they were very quick to confirm a sixth series, and Smith was signed on for something like three years right from the get-go. From a production standpoint, that kills off that kind of cliff-hanger (unless they could persuade Smith to say he wasn’t returning and surprise us all!).

       

  2. Jeffrey Scott

    It’s possible something is up with the Tardis, but I certainly believe it’ll all be better by the time the next series starts, unless that becomes an umbrella theme for next time, growing a new Tardis. However, let’s keep in mind the Tardis has been blown up / disassembled before and it’s still in use today.

    As for the cracks following Amy around, that’s what I’ve been wondering. We need to remember that she has no recollection of the Daleks and she should. Something is certainly amiss here. I’m finding this very interesting.

  3. Jeffrey Scott

    Yes, the Tardis has had several odd things happen to it during all the travels, but was once destroyed in the original series, ‘Frontios’. Bits of the Tardis remained and the Doctor tricked the Tractators into reconstituting it.

    I think something in the Troughton era there was another instance but I don’t really recall right off-hand. Especially considering so many of those episodes have been lost forever.

  4. alexwlchan

    although it was stated that it wouldnt be ‘the doctor’s tardis’.

    I can’t find a reference for this. Could somebody point me in the right direction?

    Household objects, eh?

    Maybe Amy builds one in her shed?

    I wonder if this is the episode “The Lodger/Don’t Go Up the Stairs”. It seems to have a domestic setting, so maybe that’s where the console slots in.

    River Song says she killed the best man she knew.

    Yep, I don’t think this would be the Doctor. Too obvious, IMHO. And in TToA, she said she learnt to pilot the TARDIS from “the best”, then gives the Doctor’s ego a kick by saying, “It was a shame you were busy that day.” I think she kills someone else – maybe close to the Doctor, but not the Doctor himself.

    I think something in the Troughton era there was another instance but I don’t really recall right off-hand. Especially considering so many of those episodes have been lost forever.

     

    Wasn’t the last episode of the Troughton era something like this? The Doctor was exiled, and forced to regenerate, and the TARDIS destroyed? Not sure, ‘cos I’ve never seen the episode: maybe someone can correct me.

    Coming to the crack, and my thoughts on it:

    1. I think it’s following Amy, if it’s following anyone. Remember the first crack that linked to Prisoner Zero’s, erm, prison appeared in Amy before the Doctor or the TARDIS showed up. Unless it’s one of these things that the TARDIS causes to happen by appearing, like in the Doctor’s Daughter, but I think that would be a tad confusing…

    2. Or maybe it’s not following anyone at all? We’ve been taught since “Bad Wolf” to look out for things that seem to follow the Doctor, do follow him. But the cracks that the Calvieri space-fish came through didn’t seem to be following him (they could reference in next season, but it would probably fall flat, as by then, we’d know what it was). I could see it stemming from one original crack, but I don’t think it’s exclusively following them.

    3. On the two cracks thing, my theory runs as follows, and it’s probably wrong, but hey. I think the crack is like some sort of hungry animal – hence it needing to be “fed”. If it’s left alone (like on the side of Starship UK, or Churchill’s bunker), it just sits there, not really needing to consume anything. When you poke it with a pointy stick, like having a stackload of Weeping Angels try to feed off it, or some loon in a bow tie stick his hand in it to pull stuff out, it gets hungry, and time energy seeps out, because some sort of seal-thing gets broken.

    4. With the TARDIS – SM is very good at leaving subtle hints whose importance fall into place afterwards – such as the Doctor’s ability to get his jacket back in F&S when he comes to tell Amy to “start trusting him” and “remember what I told you when you were seven” – the true significance of which I’m sure has yet to be explained. I think the TARDIS piece might be a red herring that turns out to be trivial…

    5. …or the TARDIS is destroyed, but not in the way we expect. Right back in Father’s Day, series 1, the exterior and the interior could be separated. Is it possible a crack in time throws out the inside of the TARDIS – given that time is damaged, like in Father’s Day – then the exterior is blown up, and he materialises a new one, but properly this time? That means it’s a proper blowing up, no reset switch, and the TARDIS is ok. Plus, the outside and the inside being out-of-sync could explain it’s lacklustre ability to get to the right time, which seems to have been fairly explicit this series.

    6. On his ability to leave subtle hints, here’s some more that need tying up – who goes walking through Amy’s house about a quarter way through TEH? The obvious answer is Prisoner Zero, but he’s apparently already seated in his room – why leave so early? And what caused the silence in Venice?

    Cor, long post. Sorry, but I got carried away. This is very interesting.

    AC

    Oh, and one final thing. This series has had the “fairy tale” element shoved down our necks since episode 1. And one fairy tale element that has been mentioned time and again during the new series is Bad Wolf. If we look at the “Theories” section of the website – http://www.badwolf.org.uk/theories.html – most of those have been fulfilled in some way or another, especially in RTD’s finales (e.g. Davros+reality bomb = “consuming and destroying totally”). The one that doesn’t seem to have been properly fulfilled is Bad Wolf as an object – the TARDIS warning Doctor & co. of impending doom. And it would tie in with the “Doctor and the TARDIS doesn’t know…” Or am I reading too much into this? Hmm…

  5. Jeffrey Scott

    Wasn’t the last episode of the Troughton era something like this? The Doctor was exiled, and forced to regenerate, and the TARDIS destroyed? Not sure, ‘cos I’ve never seen the episode: maybe someone can correct me.

    The Time Lords took his knowledge of Time Travel away from him. The Tardis was okay, he just couldn’t remember how to operate it.

     


  6. jefft

    Yeah, and that’s a thought that keeps coming up – is it another Time Lord?

    If it wasnt for the fact that the line saying something like ‘here – grow yourself a new one’ had been taken out of the transmitted scene where the DonnaDoctor and Rose head off into the sunset, I might have been tempted to guess it was the ‘other’ tenth Doctor’s TARDIS.

     

    The competition terms:

    “Children aged between six and 12 are invited to create the new control panel which operates the time machine.

    For the purposes of the plot, designs for the hexagonal console must incorporate household objects.

    The winning design, to be chosen by new Doctor Matt Smith, will appear in one episode of the sci-fi show next year.”

     

    Household objects, eh?

    Maybe Amy builds one in her shed?

     

    That competition winner, just to get you worried:


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