10 Questions

Radio Times: Modern Doctor Who is hardly known as the most straightforward show on television – hence why most of its fans have become accustomed to glossing over most episodes’ lack of sense like some sort of long-suffering spouse.

But sometimes there are questions that are just too big to ignore – questions that, even as far back as 2005, are still giving fans sleepless nights. But what is the biggest question? From 10-1, RadioTimes.com have not only ranked the mysteries that Doctor Who fans need clearing up, but tried to find answers for them too.

But did your query make the top ten? Let us know in the comments below.

10. Is Osgood really dead? 

In the finale of Doctor Who series 8, the Master / Missy manages to break free of her restraints and blasts UNIT scientist and no 1 Doctor fan Osgood into dust. The death was sudden and cruel. A bit too sudden and cruel, in fact. Fans began to doubt whether she was dead at all. One popular theory was that the Osgood in Dark Water / Death in Heaven was actually the Zygon duplicate of Osgood seen in last year’s 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor; meaning that Ingrid Oliver’s real cosplay-loving dork was probably alive, well and browsing Crombie jackets online.

Is there an answer? 

Yes, and it’s not good news. Writing in Doctor Who Magazine, Steven Moffat addressed the Zygon theory with: “Nah. If that had been a Zygon, she wouldn’t have been killed so easily. Dead, I’m afraid.” Sad. But remember – first rule: Moffat lies!

9. Why have we never seen the Reapers from Father’s Day again? 

In 2005’s Father’s Day, it is established for New Who viewers that time paradoxes are a Very Bad Thing, with Rose’s abuse of time travel to stop the death of her father causing the appearance of Reapers: creatures that – in the absence of the Time Lords – sterilise wounds in time by consuming everyone within them. In that episode, the day is won when Rose’s father fixes the paradox by sacrificing himself to save everyone, but the question remains: why haven’t we seen the Reapers since? Surely since 2005 there have been enough instances of time paradoxes – A Christmas Carol, The Waters of Mars, The Wedding of River Song – to justify the creatures’ intervention? So, where the hell are they?

Is there an answer?

No. Or, at least, not an official one. Fans, however, have contorted themselves into an array of intricate knots to reason why they have not appeared again. The reason they didn’t appear in The Waters of Mars, for instance, is because there wasn’t enough time for them to manifest and Adelaide fixed the paradox my committing suicide anyway; in The Wedding of River Song, the paradox was far too big for them to consume; and as for The Day / Time of the Doctor, the Time Lords were present to keep the paradox in check. There’s also the theory that the  pile-up of paradoxes are yet to happen in the exact same way as they did in Father’s Day, so that’s why there hasn’t been a repeat of its events.

Or, of course, it could just be that they’re a bit of a rubbish, script-killing concept and Doctor Who decided to ditch them.

8. Is Jack Harkness really the Face of Boe? 

In 2005 episode The End of the World, we first meet the Face of Boe: a 5 billion year-old big head in a jar, who is apparently the last of “Boekind”. Following an appearance in 2006’s New Earth, he finally dies of old age in 2007’s Gridlock. But, apparently, those are not the only times we’ve seen Boe – albeit, with a slightly smaller face. For in Last of the Time Lords, Captain Jack Harkness, Doctor Who’s resident omnisexual immortal, worries how he’ll look if he lives for millions of years right before revealing that because he was the first person from the Boeshane Peninsula to join the Time Agency, he was featured on posters – earning him the nickname “the Face of Boe”. So, does this mean what fans thinks it means…?

Is there an answer?

Not really, no. Russell T Davies has been very keen to keep the whole thing as ambiguous as possible, stating that, “the moment it [becomes] very true or very false, the joke dies”. He has also refused the publication of any spin-off novels or comic books that have tried to definitively link the two. Sorry, Who fans, it just looks like we’ll never know.

7. How did the Statue of Liberty move across New York without being seen in The Angels Take Manhattan? 

This one is pretty straight-forward. In Angels Take Manhattan, the whole of New York is revealed to have been taken over by Weeping Angels, with even the Statue of Liberty getting in on the hot quantum-locked action. But just how does New York’s most famous landmark manage to move all the way across the city to Winter Quays without being, you know, noticed?

Is there an answer?

Yep! Steven Moffat, writing in Doctor Who Magazine, cleared the whole thing up with: “The Angels can do so many things. They can bend time, climb inside your mind, hide in pictures, steal your voice, mess with your perception, leak stone from your eye… New York in 1938 was a nest of Angels and the people barely more than farm animals. The abattoir of the lonely assassins! In those terrible days, in that conquered city, you saw and understood only what the Angels allowed, so Liberty could move and hunt as it wished, in the blink of an eye, unseen by the lowly creatures upon which it preyed. Also, it tiptoed.”

6. Why can’t the Doctor just visit the Ponds in the past in a place that isn’t Manhattan?

Another The Angels Take Manhattan mystery concerns its ending, where both Amy and Rory are zapped back in time by Weeping Angels and, for some reason that isn’t properly explained, the Doctor can never see them ever again. It was an ending that left even the most devoted of Doctor Who fans – those who deal with timey-wimey plot-lines on a weekly basis – scratching their heads. For if – as its inferred – the Doctor can’t visit the Ponds in ’60s Manhattan, then why couldn’t they just move to, say, England and let the Doctor visit them there?

Is there an answer? 

There is. Speaking to fan site Blogtor Who, Steven Moffat explained that: “New York would still burn. The point being, he can’t interfere. Here’s the ‘fan answer’ – this is not what you’d ever put out on BBC1, because most people watch the show and just think, ‘well there’s a gravestone so obviously he can’t visit them again’. But the ‘fan answer’ is, in normal circumstances he might have gone back and said, ‘look we’ll just put a headstone up and we’ll just write the book’. But there is so much scar tissue, and the number of paradoxes that have already been inflicted on that nexus of timelines, that it will rip apart if you try to do one more thing. He has to leave it alone. Normally he could perform some surgery, this time too much surgery has already been performed. But imagine saying that on BBC1!”

5. Who was the mystery woman in The End of Time?

All throughout The End of Time, David Tennant’s last story as the Tenth Doctor, a mysterious woman (played by Claire Bloom) appears to Wilf at various point to dispense cryptic statements. She’s briefly seen towards the end, standing behind Rassilon in full Time Lord garb, adopting the position of a Weeping Angel, and sharing a knowing glance with the Doctor. But when he’s asked by Wilf who the woman is at the end of the episode, he stays silent. So… who is she?

Is there an answer? 

Pretty much, yes. Claire Bloom’s character is never named in the script for The End of Time but an email reprinted in the book Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale – The Final Chapter does reveal that he created the character as the Doctor’s mother, and that this is what Bloom was told when she was cast. He has since backtracked on such a definitive answer, however, and has said that The Woman could be interpreted as friendly Time Ladies Romana and Susan.

4. What’s with the time machines in The Lodger and The Day of the Moon? 

In 2010 story The Lodger, the Doctor stumbles upon a machine that looks an awful lot like the inside of a Tardis. What it is or who it belongs to remains a mystery at the end of the episode, but another machine just like it shows up a year later in 2011’s The Day of the Moon, where it is being commanded by the Silence. So that’s the ‘who’ behind The Lodger machine, but not the ‘what’ or the ‘why’?

Is there an answer?

Not an official one, but that might be because there might not need to be one. Although this question still perplexes some Doctor Who fans, the answer seems to be out there – albeit lost in the messy plotting of The Time of the Doctor. In that episode, it’s said that a rouge group of Silence broke away from the Church – a group devoted to stopping the Doctor from bringing back Gallifrey – to travel back in time and dispose of the Doctor by blowing up his Tardis. It could simply be that this is a ship left over from that rogue group’s invasion of Earth. Nothing more.

It’s also worth noting the popular fan theory that The Lodger is actually the first time we encounter the Silence, with a few dubious scenes suggesting that Amy spots one on the Tardis but then forgets it. Could this be the Silent that programmes the Tardis to self-destruct?

3. In The Silence in the Library, why does River Song think the Tenth Doctor would know who she is? 

The Doctor’s first meeting with future wife River Song is her last, yet, initially, she doesn’t know either of those facts. Instead, when the Tenth Doctor professes that he has no idea who she is, she looks utterly heartbroken. But… why? Knowing the Doctor’s different incarnations intimately, she should have surely known that this version would have no idea who she is?

Is there an answer? 

Not really, no. It’s entirely possible, of course, that the Doctor’s life is so long that there are future incarnations she is yet to meet, and that’s why she automatically assumed that the Tenth is, like, the Twentieth or something. But, to counter that theory, she does say that she has a book with all his faces in it, and for that future incarnation theory to work, surely we would have to see River Song beyond the Eleventh Doctor? Which, it should be pointed out, we probably won’t. In 2011 DVD minisode collection Night and the Doctor, it is shown that the Eleventh is indeed the Doctor who takes River to the Towers of Darillium, the place he brings her just before Silence in the Library. Her story, sadly, is done.

2. And while we’re on the subject of River Song, how / when does she find out the Doctor’s name? 

In Silence in the Library, River Song is able to instantly gain the Tenth Doctor’s trust by whispering his real name into his ear. He’s dumbstruck. He says that there’s only person he would ever tell his name, and only one time he could. But, with Steven Moffat claiming that River Song’s story is done, we never find out what that time is. Why do we never see events that lead to the Doctor telling Song his name?

Is there an answer? 

Not an official one, but we might have an idea what the unsatisfying answer is: we’re just not meant to see it. Night and the Doctor, the DVD minisodes mentioned above, centres around the question of: what does the Doctor get up to at night when his companions are asleep? The answer generally seems to consist of lots of naughty dates with River Song – dates which we don’t see on TV. And that basically seems to be it: most of the Doctor and Song’s relationship simply happens off-screen. Including, it seems, whatever incredible adventure lead to the reveal of his greatest secret.

1. Whatever happened to the Doctor’s daughter? 

This is a question that has been lingering for nearly seven years. In 2008’s The Doctor’s Daughter, the Doctor’s blood is stolen by an army and a fully-grown person is born from it: Jenny, his so-called ‘daughter’. Reluctant to accept her at first, their bond strengthens until she is tragically shot and killed. Shock! Tears! And then… Twist! For Jenny isn’t dead after all. In the final scene she suddenly revives and steals a rocket, seeking to explore space just as her father does. So, with a character as big as the Doctor’s offspring out there presumably having adventures and what not, you’d expect to see her again, right? Nope. That’s the last you hear of her.

Is there an answer?

Not really. The whole factor of Jenny surviving at the end of The Doctor’s Daughter was, in fact, a suggestion by current showrunner Steven Moffat. This made fans think that he was eyeing up a return for the character, but, as Georgia Moffett explained to Doctor Who Magazine earlier this year, that’s not the case: “There’s some story where Steven Moffat said, ‘No, don’t kill her off’, and I think that’s been translated into ‘Because I might bring her back’ which is very much not how it went. I was having Sunday lunch with him one day and he just said, ‘No, it just seemed too predictable if she died.'”

So, it seems that that last scene was never intended to be a question to be answered, but just a means to make the episode a bit more interesting, which is no bad thing. As for whether she will return? Moffat has said the “door is open” for Jenny’s return, meaning that it will probably never happen.



About mydoctor1962

Doctor Who fan like few others. Also a fan of Science Fiction, Cooking Shows and more.

Posted on January 16, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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