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Doctor Who: Control-Alt-Delete

Gustaff Behr looks at Doctor Who’s changing timelines.

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Matt Smith’s swansong left a bad taste in some fans’ mouths. Most of the fault from The Time of the Doctor stems from the fact that this episode almost completely negates The Name of the Doctor, a widely praised series finale, as well as the whole Impossible Girl arc setup during Series 7. If the Doctor didn’t die on Trenzalore, then Clara couldn’t have saved the Doctor, which means she wasn’t splintered in time and he never met her so she couldn’t save him on Trenzalore. Round and round the story goes, where Whovians land, nobody knows. I’m sure most of you get it.

This is a widely accepted complaint as nobody likes retcons. What is strange is the fact that fans have such a hard time with this particular incident when Doctor Who has pulled the same stunt numerous times before. Is it the scale of this retcon? Perhaps Clara lovers hate the result? I don’t know.

There’s always been a fine line between the whole parallel universe version of time travel and alternative timelines. Despite belief, they are not the same, only similar. Usually in Doctor Who you get a story where time has undergone a mistake and sprouted off into an ‘alternative’ timeline that is somehow ‘wrong’ and need the Doctor and company to correct it.

The difference, if you want to understand it better, between diverging the “main” timeline and changing back an alternative timeline is that in the latter’s case, the TARDIS isn’t used to travel back to the point needed and rewrite the events. Normally (but not exclusively) the Doctor and company will live through this timeline until they’ve found the mistake and correct it, thereby “shifting” things back to normal.

What’s not that common is when the ‘primary’ timeline seems to work out badly for certain people and the Doctor and company interfere and change it to suit themselves. Usually characters are made aware of what’s meant to happen to them and then alter it. This is what happened in The Time of the Doctor, but it’s not the only incident in Doctor Who’s legacy. There hasn’t been a ‘primary’ timeline since William Hartnell actually. Let’s find out more!

The Time Museum

The First Doctor and his companions were meant to be exhibits in the Moroks’ Space Museum, but due to a malfunction in the TARDIS, they arrived beforehand and learned enough about the events to keep it from transpiring. This might very well have been the first major diverging point in the “main” timeline of the universe. Timeline X1

The War Machines

This is one incident that has gone unnoticed for far too long mainly because few people recognize the brilliance of this story just because of one verbal slip up. WOTAN conquered Earth in the X1 timeline before it was changed by the First Doctor. According to The Time Travelers, a story set earlier in the First Doctor’s life, WOTAN was meant to be successful in its plans before the Doctor’s later intervention. Timeline X2

Day of the Daleks

Originally, the assassination of Sir Reginald Styles in the 20th century is what caused the 22nd century war in which the Daleks invaded Earth to happen, but thanks to the Doctor working out the paradox involved in the assassination, he was able to fix things so that the Day of the Daleks timeline in the 22nd century didn’t occur. Timeline X3

Genesis of the Daleks

To prevent the Daleks from becoming all-powerful and trying to prevent the invasion of Gallifrey and the outbreak of the Dogma Virus, Narvin sends Time Lord Valyes to instruct the Fourth Doctor that he must avert the creation of the Daleks on Skaro. Quite ironically, this event helped trigger The Last Great Time War. The Fourth Doctor succeeds (very partially) and manages to alter the beginnings of the Daleks and negate the backstory developed in The Daleks. Timeline X4

Pyramids of Mars – Timeline negated

While trying to convince Sarah that they should stop Sutekh, the Doctor shows her an alternative future 1911 where the Earth is now devastated. Not common, but this timeline isn’t the “main” one, instead it is a deliberate alternative creation concocted by the Doctor through temporary inaction to prove a point.

Renaissance of the Daleks – Timeline negated

The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa land in the 22nd century and discover that the Dalek Invasion of Earth didn’t happen. This is a case of the true timeline being tampered with and the Doctor and Nyssa needing to repair it.

The Boy that Time Forgot – Timeline negated

The Doctor and Nyssa meet Adric, now an old man who has tampered with the X4 timeline in which dinosaurs weren’t the dominant species anymore, instead replaced and eaten by intelligent, oversized scorpions. Thankfully they were able to correct the alternation.

Fanfare for the Common Men – Timeline negated

The Doctor and Nyssa arrive in a newly created timeline in which John Smith and the Common Men have taken the place of the Beatles as the most successful band in the world. As with the previous two entries, these changes were made to the “main” timeline and had to be corrected.

The Wings of a Butterfly

Upon being asked by a friend to investigate why the planet Bixor blew up, the Sixth Doctor discovered that his arrival on the planet to investigate the cause of its destruction turned out to be the actual cause of its destruction. Cue laughing…now!

The Sixth Doctor changed the timeline so that even his friend on Gallifrey couldn’t remember ever asking the Doctor to investigate Bixor because the planet didn’t blow up in this newly created timeline. Timeline X5

Colditz – Timeline negated

The timeline is changed when the Seventh Doctor and Ace are killed at Colditz Castle and his TARDIS confiscated, as well as Ace’s CD player which the Nazis use to develop laser technology ahead of time and win World War II. Don’t worry, it gets changed back again.

Protect and Survive – Timeline negated

In another instance, the Seventh Doctor had to prevent Vladimir Kryuchkov from succeeding Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union. This was enough to stop World War III from occurring prematurely in 1989.

TV Movie

The calling card for the Eighth Doctor you might say. In the X5 timeline, he originally failed in his mission to stop the Master from opening the Eye of Harmony and devouring the Earth, but was able to use (will Grace did anyway) his TARDIS to travel back into his immediate personal past and prevent this from happening. Timeline X6

Father’s Day – Timeline negated

Rose temporarily interfered in the X6 timeline by saving her father from being run over by a car, but the Doctor was able to fix the alteration and set history back on track.

Series 5

The TARDIS was supposed to blow in the X6 timeline at the end of the series. Actually it did blow up, and then the Doctor reset the universe so that it didn’t blow up. This event also changed the endings to multiple stories in Series 5 in the new timeline, most involving the cracks in time. I’m sorry if this explanation seems pedantic, but Series 5 is great fun to watch, but one hell of a timey-wimey ball to figure out. Just accept Timeline X7

The Girl Who Waited

Amy Pond was meant to have been stranded on Apalapucia for 36 years in the X7 timeline, but the Doctor and Rory took a page from the Eighth Doctor’s book and interfered in Amy’s history and changed this so that she didn’t have to. Timeline X8

The Angels Take Manhattan

Following on from The Girl Who Waited, Rory Williams was meant to be imprisoned in Winter Quay for the rest of his life after the Angels abducted him, but the TARDIS crew was able to partially change this by turning the living nightmare ending into a bittersweet ending, thus negating the first timeline. Timeline X9

Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

In the X9 timeline, the TARDIS was damaged by the van Baalen brothers and blew up. It’s not clear which ending to the episode is the divergent one, but this author’s personal opinion is that the timeline in which the Doctor sacrificed himself to give his past self the solution needed to survive this ordeal was indeed the “main” timeline. Timeline X10

The Time of the Doctor

In the X7, X8, X9 and X10 timelines, the Doctor was destined to die on Trenzalore at the end of his thirteenth incarnation. Thanks to the Time Lords affording him a new regeneration cycle, thus granting him twelve more regenerations, the Doctor changed the timeline yet again and lived past his supposed death. Timeline X11

These are just a couple of incidents.; just those that appear the most obvious. Whether you accept the examples I presented as evidence or dispute on which side of the border they land on is not the case. The case is that we haven’t been on the “main” timeline in quite a while. Multiple stories have proven there exists alternative Doctors in alternative realities. Stories and events get retconned and negated regularly. Perhaps just not on this scale. Things get shifted. We could very well be on timeline X2 000 000 by now and not even in a perfect numerical order. Perhaps the heart of the dilemma lies in the idea that Time negated such a widely praised story. Perhaps it’s not that. Perhaps the idea of negating any story, regardless of the format or era is unacceptable. Perhaps, as I mentioned, it’s the scale of the negation.

You may also be wondering why “main” is in quotation marks. Well, if you think about it, you can’t really have more than one “main” timeline without defacing the definition. Everything after the first is a newly established timeline. The Doctor hasn’t travelled in the “main” timeline for quite some time. There may even be stories that prove that those stories are also just set in another alternative timeline. It’s very confusing because the more you think about it, the more you’ll realize that since you’re dealing with non-linear storytelling, it may be possible for the X8 timeline to perhaps be X1 and the X7 timeline could very well be X100 for all you know.

Or maybe Steven Moffat is busy creating a monster for Series 8 that feeds on negates timelines and paradoxes. You never know.

Step back in time...

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136 comments
foolmentaljoker
foolmentaljoker

In the episode Father's Day, the Ninth Doctor said that a single Tardis could smooth out the damage of a paradox while preserving the alteration that caused it - he tells the people in the church that once he has his Tardis back, he'll be able to 'mend' the situation, then admits to Rose that the thing she changed 'will stay changed', and suggests that nobody other than he and Rose will remember the Reapers' attack or that time should have been different. Presumably, if all the power and resources of Gallifrey itself can be brought to bear, far larger paradoxes can be dealt with in a similar manner (in the same episode, the Doctor says his people would have 'stopped this'). 

ConradWesleyClough
ConradWesleyClough

It should be pointed out, I guess, that nothing ever actually said that the doctor's tomb on trenzalore definitely resulted from the death of the 11th doctor... it is quite possible that despite the new regeneration cycle, the doctor could end up dying (for real) back on trenzelore at some unknown date in the far future. In fact that makes even more sense when you consider how different trenzelore was even at the time of the 11ths 'death' than it was when we see his tomb... there is nary a grave stone to be seen of the giant graveyard that trenzelor is to become.

TheOncomingStorm
TheOncomingStorm

Note how none of those are from series 1-4 apart from Father's Day and even that was changed back to normal at the end. And then you have the whole of series 5 as one great big timey-wimey plot hole. When a whole series is like that, you have a problem. Don't get mad! That's my opinion, I'm not saying that series is rubbish or not enjoyable, I'm just saying the whole thing technically shouldn't exist. And that is undeniably a plot hole. Great read though.

Liana21
Liana21

If you want a simple linear series, go away, Doctor Who is not for who can't cope with all the Wibbly Wobbly-ness.

MarlonJBonnici
MarlonJBonnici

A good article and an interesting read however I'm not gonna comment any further than this knowing how my opinion upsets most people here.

A great read though! Truly!

JFrance
JFrance

Interesting article. 

teddybowties
teddybowties

Zagreus, Scherzo and Key to Time. Done and Done.



TonySimmons
TonySimmons

Maybe we should have subtitles up telling us if what we're watching is in timelines X 1 to 10? That way when we have a naff ending where , actually, what we've just seen didn't happen and all is resolved due to timey winey crapey wapey stuff, we won't feel so let down ! If that's the way the show is going I won't bother for much longer

DW_girl
DW_girl

Doctor Who is a big ball of timey-wimey stuff. That's all you need to know.

awkward912
awkward912

Time of the Doctor doesn't negate Name of the Doctor. Why? Because the Doctor's a time traveller. You're welcome. 

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

I always wonder why people get so hooked up on that problem in time, why can't the doctor going to trenzalore in TOTD and the final battle in which he dies be 2 seperate events? 

AllonsyGeronimo
AllonsyGeronimo

Good read but TNOD hasn't been undone because 11 and Clara went there in the future and went through his timestream and then went back for TTOTD. From their perspective those events still happened.

Temporal Tomato
Temporal Tomato

How quaint, I just watched the Space Museum... A brilliant story, the first "Timey-Wimey" story in the show's history as far as I can remember.

The Finn
The Finn

Ooh my head hurts! Greatarticle, not so sure I agree on all the counts.


Thomas Thomas
Thomas Thomas

I thought Moffat is the monster that feeds on negated timelines and paradoxes.



Oodkind
Oodkind

 In the X7, X8, X9 and X10 timelines, the Doctor was destined to die on Trenzalore at the end of his thirteenth incarnation. Thanks to the Time Lords affording him a new regeneration cycle, thus granting him twelve more regenerations, the Doctor changed the timeline yet again and lived past his supposed death. Timeline X11

Question: How did the Time Lords change the future by doing that? Why wasn't that figured into the timeline anyway? Nothing happened to deliberately go back and change it. I don't see that as being a real diversion of a timeline, it's just negating a POSSIBLE future. The Time Lords were always going to change it. We just didn't know it. Or something like that. The whole episode was a piece of work.

The_Ogri
The_Ogri

Gustaff Behr, if you're out there and can read this, the I just want to say you are brilliant. There is absolutely no way I could've explained it in the way you did.


TimReed
TimReed

It's actually really, really simple. The Doctor wasn't able to change his own future, the other Time Lords did it. He was supposed to die on Trenzalore, but the Time Lords stepped in and gave him a new regeneration cycle.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

It really baffles me that everyone gets confused over Time of the Doctor. It's really not that complicated. There's simply a lot we don't know. I think there's no negation or changing of any timelines, personally...it seems pretty firmly established that whether or not the Doctor actually died in that particular episode on Trenzalore, it is nevertheless his final resting place, whenever he finally does pass some billions and billions of years into the future. Let's face it, the fact that Clara only saw Twelve incarnations when she entered his timestream is easily attributed to the fact that at that point only Twelve incarnations had appeared on the show, they aren't going to cast random extras to play future versions of the Doctor who will probably never actually make an appearance onscreen. Especially considering that when at the time Name of the Doctor aired, the whole issue with the number of regenerations was still up in the air. It wouldn't have been much fun to spoil it by basically confirming that he would somehow find the way to break the limit by showing future incarnations. We can safely assume that Clara encountered more than all the Doctors just up to Eleven, but it just wasn't shown onscreen. Likewise, the fact that the TARDIS shown had the present console room is simply a matter of production convenience and not an indication that it was in fact Eleven's death. Nothing has been nullified or altered; we just still don't know the whole story, and I think it's fine to leave it that way. The Doctor will still die and be buried on Trenzalore someday. The grave will still exist for Clara to enter the time stream. We just don't know how and when he will die and we don't need to either. Alternatively, another explanation is that the grave on Trenzalore is commemorating the end of the Doctor's first set of regenerations. The scar tissue of his travels up to his eleventh incarnation were placed there and as was his old TARDIS, eventually. There are any number of easy ways to explain the apparent inconsistency, and I hope none of them are explored on screen. It's more fun not knowing.



ilyootha is back in home Universe
ilyootha is back in home Universe



As usual, great article, I always love how include not only the TV series in your research!

One thing though, I believe that Genesis is an example of a predestination paradox rather then of creating a new timeline. The Time Lords thought they can prevent the creation of the Daleks, but only ended up ensuring that history goes the way it did. It may not have been the authorial intention, but I think that the events shown in Genesis - the involvement of Valyes (he's Ferain, actually, but whatever), the Doctor and his companions included - are the original events of the Daleks' origins, but only because they were always the original events.





Also, that was alternative 1980 in Pyramids, not 1911, wasn’t it?



Goldenchest
Goldenchest

@ConradWesleyClough  That would be an interested theory, but remember that the console design of the TARDIS on Trenzalore definitely belonged to Eleven, and the time stream only contained the lives of every Doctor up to Eleven.

TheOncomingStorm
TheOncomingStorm

@Liana21  I don't want a simple linear series. I want a series that should technically exist by the end of it.

BJAMES
BJAMES

@MarlonJBonnici The opinion is always welcome if the spirit it's shared in is thoughtful, civilized, and respectful. Everyone here, all of us watch and hopefully love Doctor Who, and there is no one right way to experience it, or feel about it. It's the rude, and crude, the "I didn't like it so it sucked" classless expressions, where the people who work very hard to make Doctor Who take it on the neck via personal insult that needs to be avoided. Thoughtful sharing is wonderful, even if people agree to disagree. The Doctor is never cruel or cowardly, nor should we be. The good folks at Doctor Who TV run a great site for us all to interact, and it's not so hard to appreciate lots of passionate people who all love this show.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

@Ninjauthor  Explained several times in this comments section. For one, it's an uncanny coincidence. For two, the dramatic tension in "The Time..." is supposed to draw from the ominous future we saw in "The Name...". For three, it's said multiple times in "The Time..." that that was the battle that would have lead to the grave. For four, the tomb contained the lives of Doctors 1-11 and had the Eleventh Doctor's interior - could they have made it any more obvious? There's literally no reason to posit some alternative explanation that he's still going to die on Trenzalore but only have his first eleven lives entombed for... some reason and with his eleventh incarnation's second interior of all things, because it was stated explicitly that time was changed. People want there to be a problem with that, but there isn't.

BJAMES
BJAMES

@Oodkind You are, in my opinion, closer to an integrity about this than many others. We aren't dealing with a Gallifrey that, as in the BBC Books EDA's, was erased. They continue to exist, and let me offer a supposition. The High Council, with Rassilon in charge conceived of an endgame. The General, and the Military perhaps, held out hope, and here's my supposition, knew the Doctor would find a way to save them. By ending it all, if that was what need be, but note the General's attitude towards the Doctor's presence. His words described an irritant, the moment or so he took to ponder, confirmed what he knew would happen. The infamous renegade would save them all, hadn't he always done that? The Doctor had fled Gallifrey, but his dignity as a Time Lord had never left. He believed they could and would be better. The "piece of work" you mention, was always a long game, and whether or not RTD had this in mind, Steven Moffat took up the challenge and realized it. I agree with you Oodkind, at least in what I think you are suggesting, in that the Time Lords faith led them to a moment to change what the Doctor sacrificed himself to change. But hey had prepared for this, and saved him so that he could save them.

Gustaff
Gustaff

Thank u. Glad u enjoyed it. Mission accomplished

DW_girl
DW_girl

@Seaborn W Deadman To be honest I just like to see it as the timelords sustaining the paradox so both universes can still and did still happen. But good theory.

ilyootha is back in home Universe
ilyootha is back in home Universe

@Seaborn W Deadman I disagree (I believe that Trenzalore was specifically only Eleven's final resting place, and that after future was rewritten in Time, he won't come and die there anymore), but I like your theories :) It's an interesting suggestion that somewhere else in the giant TARDIS there also were Twenty-Three's, Thirty-Five's and so on console rooms, each with a timestream covering their respective set of regenerations.








Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

@Seaborn W Deadman   "It wouldn't have been much fun to spoil it by basically confirming that he would somehow find the way to break the limit by showing future incarnations."


- Um, "The Day of the Doctor"? :P


Nevertheless, I disagree. I think that, barring the circumstances that cause Twelve to re-enter the Time War and help his past selves save Gallifrey, the Trenzalore story is over and done with. Moffat said that he was bringing the Eleventh Doctor's arcs to a close with "The Time of the Doctor", and I can't recall where, but I think he also mentioned something about wanting to "clear the house," so to speak, for Capaldi. And the whole Trenzalore/Silence Will Fall thing was Eleven's arc. I don't see any reason to drag it out any further; it's concluded, and despite what some people on the Internet say, there are no plot holes or inconsistencies in the resolution that we got. As stated in the episode, the Time Lords allowed him to change the future that he saw, and it's as simple as that. It truly baffles my mind to see the confusion that this has caused - it's just an altered timeline like in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS", which takes place literally just four episodes prior to "The Time of the Doctor", and it is said in the episode that the Time Lords have the power to change it.

But anyway, there is just too much evidence to support the idea that the grave was erased (not that there's any problem whatsoever with that; see my comment below). For one, the whole point of it was so that "The Time..." could use the future seen in "The Name of the Doctor" as a point of drama - the Doctor is stuck on the very planet, at the very time that he knows he will die. That's where the tension is supposed to be coming from. "The Time..." hammers that point in multiple times over the course of the episode, and even "The Day..." mentioned it at the end as a preview of what was to come in "The Time...". Literally all signs are pointing to the battle in "The Time..." being the one that leads to the grave, no less the dialogue in "The Time..." that explicitly discusses the possibility of them changing the future seen in "The Name...".

For two, "The Time..." is something of a corollary to "The Angels Take Manhattan" in that both episodes discuss the possibility of changing the future, and both of them deal with the inevitability of having seen your future grave. In "The Angels...", the Doctor is powerless to stop what happens to Amy and Rory. In "The Time...", he is powerless to stop what he knows is going to happen to himself, which he would be able to sense because he's a Time Lord and can tell when time is fixed ("Well, I did come to Trenzalore, and nothing can change that now."). It's only the Time Lords on Gallifrey who are able to change the future, and we know that they have the technology since we have seen it before in "The Sound of Drums" - this is continuity that has been inexplicably ignored because people want there to be a problem with the grave erasure resolution even though there isn't one. You literally must ignore the facts in order to say that there is any kind of error in the resolution we are given.

For three, it just all adds up from a mathematical standpoint. The Doctor has seen his grave on Trenzalore. Now he's on Trenzalore and believes that he will die. It was said that he died in battle among millions. Now he's in battle among millions. Clara said that she only saw eleven Doctors in the tomb. Here he is, the Eleventh Doctor about to die and be entombed. Bonus points, the tomb had the Eleventh Doctor's console desktop. Yes, the window wasn't cracked like it was supposed to be, but that could just be an inconsistency within the CGI and prop departments. It happens all the time (like with the "Big Friendly Button" prop seen in this article's main picture). Or the crack could have just been re-opened somehow like it's now a weak point in the TARDIS' skin; maybe it would have been damaged in the war if it had continued, or maybe it re-cracked when the dying TARDIS shot up in size and started to degrade - at any rate, that's merely one tiny inconsistency that most viewers may not even notice). There is literally no reason to doubt what the episode is spelling out for us - this is what leads to the grave seen in "The Name...". The only reason why people question it is, again, because there is some inexplicable confusion over how he can have seen his future grave and now not die, but that issue was addressed and resolved in the episode.





Gustaff
Gustaff

@Seaborn W Deadman That's a very stable attitude to have. Not breaking your head to much about it. What's nice about Who is the fact that articles written on this site can be proven wrong given enough time and enough episodes. Who is 'right' is most commonly temporary as the mythology is constantly changing, which is why I added the Moffat bit at the bottom.


PS: I like your theories

Gustaff
Gustaff

@ilyootha My bad! Thanks. Though people seem to be missing the timelines and focusing too much on the canon part of the article. For the record, my whole article isn't canon, it's just a guide to help people =.

ConradWesleyClough
ConradWesleyClough

@Goldenchest @ConradWesleyClough Remember what the Great Intelligence said, though, before the end the Doctor would be known by many other names,including The Valeyard, we know that 11 was not The Valeyard, nor was he ever known as him... ergo that stuff is still in the doctor's future, and Trenzelore could not be the grave of 11. I would guess that the interior of the Tardis switched to 11's 'desktop' the moment he walked up to the doors. As for the time stream, we only saw glimpses of it, and it would be pretty hard for them to show future doctors that had not been cast yet.

TheDreamer
TheDreamer

@Goldenchest @ConradWesleyClough  Yes, but the Tardis has all his consoles archived (past, present and future), so she can always revert back to any of them should she wish it at some point. And maybe the time stream only contains up to 11 because that was his 1st cycle. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is always a way to change things to make it fit where they want to go from there. 

Unibot
Unibot

@Amy the Consulting Key Ring @Ninjauthor  I've got a different theory actually. You say that the Doctor's eleven lives were entombed in the Eleventh Doctor's interior -- this is true, but it is ALSO the Twelfth Doctor's interior. Which means there's the possibility for more of a narrative to occur before the Tomb is set. Maybe the Twelfth Doctor's lives are unstable with the residue of the previous 11's lives left over in his body and he has to splinter the old lives off and entomb it if he wants to live -- a way for "Trenzalore to catch up to him" in a sense. 



Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Well said, I agree. I think regardless of how it is explained away, there really is no issue here, it's all set out in stone that nothing has been negated or averted. It's just very timey wimey to figure out :)


Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Thank you! And by the way, BRILLIANT article I always love your contributions :)


BJAMES
BJAMES

@Gustaff @ilyootha I think, and I've tried to relate, that "Canon" is entirely subjective and relative. It can all change. Your article was much more than a guide. It was a very lucid (we can hope!) thoughtful, concise (kudos for that alone) appreciation of Doctor Who, which is something, despite the blue box, that no one can ever put in a box. Our playground, and the Doctor's, is virtually limitless. We can imagine away, and nothing has to " suck".

BJAMES
BJAMES

@ConradWesleyClough @Goldenchest  I prefer to think that timelines can both be experienced and averted. Everything we understand to have taken place, the events on Trenzalore, Clara diving into the Doctor's timeline to save him, actually happened. And then, in a sense, didn't. Time had been rewritten, and those who were present may well remember an event that took place, and than didn't. Just my opinion, but I believe the Doctor's death on Trenzalore was on course to happen, but another solution was brought into play. Through Clara's and the Time Lord's invention, that timeline was averted. And as all involved were present in the same timeline playing out (not brought in from others), they, unlike The Doctors in TDOTD will probably remember everything. It's now "Much Ado About Trenzalore". Just my theory mind you.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

@MarlonJBonnici @Amy the Consulting Key Ring @Unibot @Ninjauthor  There's no reason for Clara to not exist. It's literally said in "The Time of the Doctor" that the Time Lords are capable of changing the future despite it being a fact of history that must happen. We know that they have this capability based on previous episodes. We know that they have technology that can maintain contradictory timelines. They can keep the tomb timeline that Clara fragments herself with intact despite changing the future. Want proof? Watch "The Sound of Drums". But since people want there to be a problem with the resolution, we have to overlook that fact in order to accommodate the intentional dissatisfaction. It's not that Moffat's story doesn't make sense. It's that disgruntled fans won't allow it to make sense. And he didn't ignore the tomb at all! He mentioned it in "The Day of the Doctor" and then used it as a MAJOR PLOT POINT in "The Time of the Doctor". You would literally have to be watching a different show altogether in order to miss that!

Yes, his "wiggle room" explanation didn't make much sense, but that's not the explanation that we got in the episode anyway so it doesn't really matter. Not all viewers are going to have read an interview with Moffat on the Internet. However, most of them are going to have seen the episode, so that's the explanation that really matters.

MarlonJBonnici
MarlonJBonnici

@Amy the Consulting Key Ring @Unibot@Ninjauthor

I'm not struggling with the concept I just find it completely lazy on Mr Moffat's part. He needed a tomb for the Dr in one episode then completely ignores it in another. Clara shouldn't exist. Right now I'd be happy to hear that not only did the Timelords grant the Dr a new set of regenerations but they also tinkered with his timeline enough so that Clara still existed to ask them to grant him a new set of regenerations in the first place.

Moffat's "Wiggle room" Explanation is very much like his storytelling in general. Cheap and a cop out. P.S. this is all personal opinion, you don't have to like it and probably wont, but I'm not justifying my stance anymore than what I have. I'm not struggling to grasp anything I just find it a lazy explanation.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

@Unibot @Amy the Consulting Key Ring @Ninjauthor  That's fine and all; you make a good observation, but my issue is, why does it need to be made at all? There's no reason to believe that the tomb is still to come. "The Time of the Doctor" hammered in that point pretty hard. It's just a small subsection of the fandom that seems to be struggling with the concept of rewritten time, despite it having happened just four episodes ago, that's claiming the presence of an issue. "The Time..." addressed the problem, and then it solved it.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

What I meant was, it doesn't change any of the events that happened already. Eleven and Clara still went to Trenzalore in Name, Clara still entered the Doctor's time stream, and whether or not the grave still actually exists after the events of Time doesn't matter because, as the article so aptly states, this is the kind of show that can very fluidly move between timelines without causing issues.


BJAMES
BJAMES

@lukashcartoon I respect your point of view, but obviously differ. The fact that, unlike almost any other television show with a considerable fanbase (Star Trek would be another example, perhaps), Doctor Who survived and thrived in its "Wilderness Years" off the air via other media, namely print and audio, makes it a different case altogether. There really is no parallel, the Doctor and his mythology simply jumped to other means of expressing themselves. In the "Wilderness Years", the books, audios, and comics WERE Doctor Who. That quality of much of what went on there had an obviously significant impact on the people who would later make the show. RTD, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Rob Shearman, and we could go on and on, all even actually participated in writing Doctor Who in these various media. One could say that the various other media that Doctor Who lived on and thrived in evolved into its return to our television screens. What we see now much more clearly resembles the offerings we read in books, and heard on audio, than anything we saw in the original series. The Cartmel Masterplan at the close of the McCoy era aside, the ground gained and the strides made in audio and literary media are of one integrity and directly impactful upon current Doctor Who.

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

Sorry, I gotta disagree with that. With the exception of 8, who was cheated out of a proper TV run, only television shows should be followed.

Gustaff
Gustaff

@BJAMES @Gustaff@ilyoothaSuch kind words. Thank you :)


Well, I will continue to incorporate Big Finish into my work. People to need to listen, accept and fork over their money to Big Finish haha