Death of the TARDIS?
After a few weeks of silence (excuse the pun) on the Series Five story arc, they gave us plenty to chew on in Cold Blood. Not only did we lose a regular character, but the crack was back and we got an even more intriguing tease of things to come.
At the end of Cold Blood, the crack in time returned and it was bigger than we’ve ever seen before.
Doctor: “Not here. Not now. It’s getting wider.”
Amy: “The crack on my bedroom wall.”
Doctor: “…and the Byzantium. All through the universe, rips in the continuum. Some sort of space-time cataclysm, an explosion, maybe. Big enough to put cracks in the universe, but… what? The Angels laughed when I didn’t know, Prisoner Zero knows, everybody knows except me. But where there’s an explosion, there’s shrapnel.”
The Doctor rather dangerously decides to reach through (how does it not erase him?) and discovers something…
In the most stunning scene of the episode, that shrapnel is revealed to be a scorched piece of the TARDIS! This obviously means the complete destruction of the TARDIS. How can that be? It has always been shown as virtually indestructible in past stories (the TARDIS was still intact after the Tenth Doctors explosive regeneration), so for the outer shell to explode, it must be big!
We know the crack originates from the date of Amy wedding (26th June 2010), so does the TARDIS blow up on this date and cause of the crack. It certainly seems likely….
Poor Rory gets fatally shot defending the Doctor. As if dying wasn’t bad enough though, he then gets consumed by the crack and supposedly erased from time. Not even Amy can remember him, but how does she forget when she remembered the Clerics in Flesh and Stone? The Doctor explains.
Doctor: “Keep him in your mind. Don’t forget him. If you forget him, you’ll lose him forever.”
Amy: “On the Byzantium I still remembered the clerics because I am a time traveller, that’s what you said!”
Doctor: “They weren’t part of your world. This is different…this is your own history changing!”
Now this does get into spoiler territory from here on, but Rory will return in Episode 12, The Pandorica Opens. Well actor Arthur Darvil will return, whether he is still playing the same Rory is another matter, as he is dressed in Roman garb. He could be helping the Doctor and is in disguise, or maybe it is something else?
In The Hungry Earth, Rory places Amy’s engagement ring on the TARDIS console, and it is still there after he dies. If Rory never existed, he never would have bought the engagement ring, so how does it still exist? One possible theory is the Doctor has made a mistake and the crack hasn’t actually erased Rory, rather taken him back to another time.
Perhaps the date of the wedding is a fixed point in time and Rory can’t be erased. Or because the ring is a time paradox, it is the very thing that causes the TARDIS to explode. Maybe the TARDIS can contain it for only so long before it goes boom. Notice that a lot of attention has been paid to the ring so it must be significant down the line.
Whatever happens, there’s only a few more episodes left before the finale, and this mystery is cracked!