Another brain-scrambling Doctor Who finale has been and gone. Will Salmon looks at some of the questions still left hanging after two seasons of Moffat-vision
So, why go to the trouble of putting River in the lake?
Okay, so The Silence want to kill the Doctor. They know that he’s going to be a monstrously tough target, so they go to the trouble of scavenging technology to build the spacesuit we see in “The Impossible Astronaut” and “The Wedding Of River Song”. They take Melody and programme her to be the Doctor’s perfect assassin, but she escapes. Several years later, The Silence track her down and force her back into the suit. And, er, put her in Lake Silencio. Why? We know that Utah is a Still Point in time, which explains the location, but why dump her in the water? Was it just to freak Amy and Rory out? And isn't that a bit peculiar? Maybe they’re just a race with a sense of drama?
Speaking of the incident at Lake Silencio, did it really take the Doctor 200 years to come up with that escape plan?
Because, good as it was, it wasn’t so clever that the Doctor would take that long to crack it. Then again, he’s convinced himself that his death is an inevitability. Perhaps the depression is dragging him down. Though even Morrissey would struggle to sulk for two whole centuries.
What was going on with those photos of a happy Amy and baby Melody?
Weird one this. In “The Day Of The Moon”, while Ganger Amy is walking through the children’s home, she sees some framed portraits of herself holding Melody. But at this point she hasn't given birth. And then after the birth on Demon’s Run, it’s hard to imagine that they had any quality time together. Perhaps her mind is conjuring images of her hopes for the future, in the same way that it's giving her glimpses of Madame Kovarian.
How does drawing tally marks on your face help? Surely that’s an awkward place to mark yourself? You'd need to carry a mirror around with you at all times.
What's going on with Madame Kovarian?
She’s dead in the aborted timeline, killed by Amy. But since that universe no longer exists, she’s probably still knocking about with The Silence and basking in her apparent victory. Will we see her again? It seems likely, if only to give Amy a bit of closure. Then again maybe the Silence activated her Eye Drive as soon as their plan to kill the Doctor appeared to succeed.
What was that Season 6B teaser all about?
After “A Good Man Goes To War” finished, the BBC aired a brief teaser. It showed a skeletal hand grasping a dying Sonic Screwdriver, alongside the tagline “TIME RUNS OUT”. What was all that about? Time doesn't run out in “The Wedding Of River Song” – it just stops. And no-one is reduced to bones. So, er, yeah...
How are Dorium and those skulls still alive?
Dorium says that the Headless Monks “behead you alive” but a beheading is still a beheading! Yes, it’s a minor question that will almost certainly never be answered, but it would be nice to have some kind of explanation next time we see ol' blue head.
Are the Doctor and River married now?
Because technically River married the Teselecta, not the Doctor. We’re sure there must be a law against that sort of thing. Yet River still refers to being the Doctor’s wife in the scene with Amy and Rory in the garden...
Whatever happened to the Evil League of Evil?
Remember the big monster team up from “The Pandorica Opens”? They seemed to have fairly big plans for the Doctor. But after the end of season five we’ve not heard a peep from them. Was their alliance a one-time deal? Who organised it? Are they still out there? And do they have monthly meetings where they get together over drinks to discuss anti Time Lord leaflet campaigns?
Speaking of monsters, what’s up with the Cybermen?
The Cybermen in the Russell T Davies era were from an alternative universe where they were manufactured on Earth by Cybus Industries. Instead of converting humans whole, they just took the brain of their victims. It was a handy way of giving us a new Cyber origin story without trampling on past continuity. But come “The Pandorica Opens”, the Cybus logo has gone, and the Cybermen are converting people whole again. By the time of “A Good Man Goes To War” they have established legions in space. So are these now the “proper” Cybermen from “our” universe? And if so, isn’t it a bit odd that they look almost exactly like their parallel cousins? And when are they going to fix that emotional feedback bug? Seems a bit of a basic error for a race obsesses with eliminating emotions.
What’s going on with the other timeship from “The Lodger”?
Cast your mind back to “The Lodger” and the ship above Craig’s flat. As the Doctor notes, it was curiously TARDIS like in design, with a hexagonal control room and a perception filter similar to the TARDIS's Chameleon Circuit. It, or a ship very like it, shows up again in “Day Of The Moon” and is under the control of The Silence. So, is the ship in “The Lodger” the same craft as in “Day Of The Moon”— (having perhaps vworped to Colchester after River kills the Silence in 1969)? Or is it another of the same design? And are these the Silence’s own timeships, or have they just stolen the technology?
So who blew up the TARDIS in “The Big Bang”?
Was it The Silence? That seems likely, but we've never actually been told. A voice says “silence will fall”, but it doesn't sound anything like a Silent. And what caused it to blow up in the first place? In light of season six, it seems likely that it has something to do with River being on board at the time (given that she was programmed to kill the Doctor. Perhaps something about her caused it to explode). Whatever, its destruction causes the cracks in time that eat up Amy’s parents in season five. Was this deliberate? Because if so it rather goes against what we know of their plans now.
Now we come to mention it, what exactly is The Silence?
Right. So there’s this religious order called The Silence. Their mantra is “silence will fall”, which sounds like a goal. But we learn in season six that it's actually something they are trying to prevent. “Silence will fall when the question is asked.” That’s bad, apparently. But then the Doctor complicates things by saying that the silence is “my silence. My death”. So, er, which is it? Are there, in fact, three silences? The silence that will fall when the question is asked, the silence of the Doctor's death in Utah and The Silence themselves? And isn’t that just a wee bit confusing?
What is the question?
The biggie. The scene with Dorium at the end of “The Wedding Of River Song” implies that it is literally “Doctor who?” But why is the answer to that question so terrible? Presumably it’s not just that he has an embarrassing name, like Theta Sigma, Gary or Wayne.
Let's look at that prophecy again. “On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never, ever be answered.”
That sounds like the Doctor will be forced to reveal the “terrible dangerous secret that must never be told”. And think back to “Forest Of The Dead” and the Doctor’s first encounter with River. There he says, “There’s only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There’s only one time I could.” Back in 2008 that sounded like confirmation that River was the Doctor's wife, and he was referring to their future wedding day. But it’s looking more likely now that he has known all these years that one day he will have to reveal his true identity – with potentially catastrophic consequences. We can’t wait to find out the truth...
And finally, and most crucially… why was there a duck pond with no ducks in “The Eleventh Hour”?
Maybe they were on holiday.