4 Reasons The Silence Should Return
Guest contributor James Kirkland thinks they were forgotten about before their time.
The Silence, created by Steven Moffat, are arguably one of the most popular new villains to appear on Doctor Who since its revival in 2005. They looked unique, had creepy powers and were just generally terrifying monsters. But, outside of their tragically small appearance in The Time of the Doctor, they were contained entirely to only 4 episodes of Series 6. However, I feel these creatures deserve a reappearance on the show. Here’s four reasons why.
Name the motivation of most of the Doctor’s main enemies. Daleks? Destroy all life in the universe. Cybermen? Convert all life in the universe. The Silence? Save the universe. They believe that, by killing the Doctor and preventing him from allowing the Time Lords to return to this universe, they are saving the universe from the horror of a Second Time War. It has been said the best villains are the ones that, under different circumstances, could be the hero. The Silence believe they are the heroes. They truly believe the Doctor poses such a massive threat to the universe and its future that they were willing to risk its complete annihilation in The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang. Villains who is willing to risk that much, and go that far, are certainly worth a second look. Especially ones who not only doesn’t see themselves as evil, but many other characters and races would probably agree are trying to do something heroic.
The Kovarian Chapter is Still Out There
The Time of the Doctor revealed that the villainous group of Silence that tried to kill the Doctor in Series 5 and 6 was a splinter faction from the Papal Mainframe. Madame Kovarian led this faction away from the Mother Superious to kill the Doctor before he ever reached Trenzalore to summon the Time Lords back. At the close of Series 6, the Kovarian Chapter was defeated. But, their defeat came in the crashed timeline of The Wedding of River Song. Meaning those events never happened. Madame Kovarian and her Silence suffered a severe defeat in The Day of the Moon, but chronologically those events took place before the events at Lake Silencio, meaning that at least some Silence are still alive. Madame Kovarian would still be alive as well.
What happened to them after their, to them, successful murder of the Doctor at Silencio? Maybe they returned to the Mainframe, at which point they were punished for their betrayal. But, one could easily presume they simply went their own way, content with their position as “saviours of the galaxy” after the Doctor erased all information on himself. But, even though the Doctor erased all information on himself, he couldn’t erase knowledge that had yet to exist. Maybe something the Twelfth Doctor has done, or will do, will make waves big enough for the Silence and Kovarian to see again. And one imagines they would not be happy to see the Doctor is still alive.
Their Connection To Gallifrey
The Silence’s goal is to prevent the return of Gallifrey. This runs exactly opposite to the goals of the Twelfth Doctor, who is now trying to find it again. Even Missy knows where Gallifrey is located, which would technically make her a target of the Silence as well. If Series 9 or even Series 10 is dedicated to the search for Gallifrey and its possible return to the universe, it would make sense for the Silence to return once more, trying to prevent the Doctor, and maybe even Missy too, from bringing it back. Perhaps Kovarian and her Silence could pose a threat big enough that would force the Doctor and Missy to team up to save their home. And, if they were willing to go as far as they did to prevent Gallifrey from returning back in Series 5 and 6, who knows what they could do to stop it this time. The possibilities are near limitless. Which leads to my final point…
They Never Got A Worthy Ending
For villains that posed such a large threat to the Eleventh Doctor, their final two appearances were rather lacklustre. In The Wedding of River Song, they simply stood in their cells, broke out, killed several soldiers and threatened Rory before being gunned down, never to be seen again. In The Time of the Doctor, which functioned as an origin episode for them, they made two very brief appearances before joining forces with the Doctor in the Siege of Trenzalore. Neither episode utilized the Silence to the potential they were shown to have in The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon. They are scary, intelligent and very dangerous.
Imagine an episode that had them teaming up with the Weeping Angels or trapping the Doctor on a planet infested with the Vashta Nerada. Imagine how the Twelfth Doctor would react to them, especially knowing they are trying to prevent him from finding his home. Or imagine if they did do an episode where the Doctor and Missy were forced to team up to try and find Gallifrey while the Silence try everything to stop them. And, even when Gallifrey does return, the Silence could evolve. Instead of trying to prevent its return, they could become dedicated to staving off the Second Time War they fear is inevitable while trying to send Gallifrey back, thus bringing them into conflict with the whole of Time Lord society and into an alliance with all of their enemies.
As I said, there are so many possible stories to tell using the Silence, I feel they should most certainly return to threaten the Doctor once more. Whether they do or not remains to be seen. But, whatever the future holds for the Doctor and his search for Gallifrey, I simply hope that we don’t forget the Silence.