By Heather S. Vina
Written by: Steven Moffat
Previously: The Doctor finds out about his death at Lake Silencio, Utah. Madame Kovarian takes River away. The Teselecta (people dedicated to justice in time, who travel in a shapeshifting ship) reveals that Melody Pond, AKA River Song, is the person who kills the Doctor. The Doctor finds out that the Silence – a religious movement dedicated to preventing the asking of the oldest question in the universe – want him dead, but no one knows what the question is.
Recap: London, 5:02pm, 22nd of April, 2011. A very different London than what we are used to. Pterodactyls fly around in a park. Cars float in the air via large balloons. There are trains on rails in the sky. A Roman centurion rides the streets in a car. Charles Dickens is being interviewed on TV. And Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice), the Holy Roman Emperor, is talking with his doctor – a Silurian – and wondering why it’s always 5:02pm, and always the 22nd of April. This has always been the time, he’s told, and this has always been the date. But Churchill is disturbed and calls for his soothsayer.
The soothsayer is brought to him. Churchill repeats the soothsayer’s words that “something has happened to time…all of history is happening at once.” He wants the soothsayer to explain to him what has happened. The soothsayer looks up and it’s the Doctor.
“What has happened to time?” says Churchill.
“A woman,” the Doctor replies.
Flashback to the past: The Doctor (wearing his Stetson hat from Craig) finds a damaged and dying Dalek, and accesses its data core for information on the Silence. This information takes him to the Docks of Callisto B and to Father Gideon Vandaleur (Niall Greig Fulton), a former envoy of the Silence. Only, it’s not the real Father Gideon; the real one died several months earlier. This is a Teselecta ship, captained by the same man (Carter, played by Richard Dillane) that the Doctor ran into in “Let’s Kill Hitler”.
The Doctor knows that they are investigating the Silence and he wants some information. Specifically, he wants to know what their weakness is.
The Doctor ends up in a “live chess” game with a being named ‘Gantok’ (Mark Gatiss). The live chess game entails actual live pieces, crackling with electricity. The Doctor has Gantok in a bind: If he moves the piece he has to move, he will be electrocuted, but he has to move it because he has no other move to make. The Doctor makes Gantok a deal: He will concede and spare Gantok’s life, if tells Gantok tells him what he needs to know. The only one who actually has the answers that the Doctor needs is Dorium Maldovar (Simon Fisher-Becker), the being who was killed by the Headless Monks in “A Good Man Goes To War”, and Gantok knows where to find him.
Gantok takes the Doctor to the tomb of the heads of the Headless Monks, where the skulls seem to still be alive. Dorium’s head is in a box, still alive and talking. The Doctor thanks Gantok for taking him there, but Gantok is ticked off and tries to kill him. However, Gantok falls into a trap and ends up being eaten alive by the skulls. Eeeek…creepy.
Dorium is happy to see the Doctor and is in a fairly jovial mood, which is surprising, considering he’s just a head in a box now!
Back to the “present day”: Churchill is doubting the Doctor’s story, but the Doctor urges him to trust his instincts. In another time, they were friends and Winston senses that. Winston asks the Doctor about this “woman” he mentioned. The Doctor says he is getting to her.
Dorium is telling the Doctor that his life isn’t so bad. He had a media chip put in his head a long time ago and the wi-fi is good in the tomb, so he keeps himself entertained! The Doctor isn’t interested. He wants to know about the Silence. Dorium explains that the Silence consider themselves the “sentinels of history”. They want the Doctor dead, not because of his past, but because of his future.
When the Doctor asks why they are afraid of his future, Dorium explains: “On the fields of Trenzelor, 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.” The Doctor concludes, “And Silence will fall when the question is asked.” But Dorium corrects him that a better translation is that “Silence MUST fall.”
The Silence are determined that the question never be answered and that the Doctor never reach Trenzelor. The Doctor doesn’t understand what the question has to do with him. Dorium explains to him that it’s the “first question, the oldest question in the universe, hidden in plain sight.” Despite Dorium’s hinting of the dangerousness of the question – hints that seem to worry the Doctor – the Doctor wants to know what it is. And so, Dorium tells him.
Not us, though!
A visibly distressed Doctor rushes into the TARDIS, carrying a protesting Dorium’s box. Dorium tries to reason with the Doctor, telling him that “we all have to die” and the Doctor more than most. He must see that now, knowing what the question is. He has to die.
Back in the present, Churchill and the Doctor are walking the halls. Churchill is asking what the question is and why it meant that the Doctor had to die. The Doctor puts to him a question: Suppose there was a man who knew a terrible, dangerous secret, that must never be told. How would Churchill erase this secret before it could ever be spoken? Winston answers that, if he had to, he would destroy the man.
“And Silence would fall. All the times I heard those words, I never realized it was my silence, my death. The Doctor will fall.”
The Doctor looks up and sees where they are. He is puzzled that they arrived at the Senate room. He asks Churchill why they are there and neither one quite remember why they left Churchill’s office in the first place. The Doctor realises he has been running and he is confused as to why Winston has his revolver out. Uh-oh. Winston is not quite sure, either, but tells him that he’s “dangerous company”. The Doctor looks down at his arm and sees a mark on it. A mark eerily similar to the ones he, River, Amy, and Rory made on themselves, back in “Day of the Moon”. Uh-oh!!! The Doctor is worried, but continues his story when Winston prods him.
The Doctor asks Dorium why Lake Silencio, Utah. Dorium explains that it’s a “still point in time”, and makes it easier for them to create a “fixed point”. And the Doctor’s death is now a fixed point; he can’t escape it. The Doctor flippantly tells him that he’s been “running all of my life; why should I stop?” Which is a nice callback to when he tells (or told) Amy, Rory and River that he had been “running all of my life” and that it was now “time to stop” in “The Impossible Astronaut”. Dorium tells him that, now that he knows what it is at stake, he can’t delay it, anymore. But the Doctor has no plans to meet his death.
The Doctor pulls out the phone and calls up an old friend for a get-together – Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart! And what a lovely surprise this was for me! I had no idea that they would mention him. He’s one of the longest-running Companions ever in Doctor Who. He use to be the #1 leader in “appearances with the Doctors”, until Sarah Jane had adventures with Ten (David Tennant in “School Reunion”) and Eleven (Matt Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures, “Death of the Doctor”). Now, the Brigadier is set at six Doctors (One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Seven) while Sarah Jane clocks in at 7 (One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Ten, and Eleven). Sadly, with the passing of both Nicholas Courtney and Elisabeth Sladen this year, this will forever be the stats for both characters.
The Doctor rants to Dorium about how he has all the time in the world; it never ends for him; and he wants to go hang out with the Brigadier. Alas, the Doctor is informed that the Brigadier passed away several months earlier. He’s told that the Brigadier always poured a brandy for him, just in case he dropped by. This sad news takes the wind out of the Doctor’s sails, as he’s confronted with the death of one of his oldest friends. It put a tear in my eye, as I thought of the fact that the real actor had passed away. I always liked the Brigadier and I think it’s lovely that they commemorated Nicholas Courtney’s contribution to the show like this.
The Doctor takes this as a sign that it is time to confront his death. He goes back to the Teselecta captain and hands him the TARDIS blue envelopes, asking him to deliver them. He tell him that, according to their files, this is the end for him. They’ll deliver the messages for him. When the Doctor starts to leave, Carter tells him that, no matter what he thinks of them, they are champions of law and order, just as he’s always been, and there’s an admiration in the captain for the Doctor that comes through. He asks him if there is anything more they can do with him, but the Doctor just shakes his head, and leaves.
We see flashes from “The Impossible Astronaut”, of Amy and River receiving their envelopes. Churchill asks why the Doctor would invite his friends to see his death. The Doctor tells him, “I had to die. I didn’t have to die alone…if it’s time to go, remember what you’re leaving. Remember the best. My friends have always been the best of me.” Churchill asks him if he told them he was dying and the Doctor tells him that it would be best if Churchill stopped interrupting. Especially since the Doctor looks down at his arm again and, instead of one mark, there are now two. He whispers to Churchill that they don’t have much time.
Churchill asks the Doctor (didn’t the Doctor just tell him to STOP asking questions?) if this woman the Doctor told him about was there, as well, and the Doctor tells him yes. River Song was there…twice. More flashbacks to “The Impossible Astronaut”, as the Doctor explains to Churchill that he only had one thing left to do: Die.
The Doctor goes to confront the astronaut. While all of the flashback scenes leading up to this are the exact ones that we saw in “The Impossible Astronaut”, the confrontation scenes are new.
The astronaut puts up its visor and River is revealed. She tearfully tells him that the suit is in control and she can’t stop it. She urges him to run, but he tells her that he’s done running and it’s okay. This is a fixed point in time; this has always happened and has to happen. But she won’t remember it. He urges her to turn her head and see herself on the beach. Her future self. He gently tells her that she’s serving time for a murder she probably can’t even remember – his murder. She reproaches him, asking him why he would make her watch him die. He explains to her that he did it so that she knows that it’s inevitable and that she is forgiven; she is “always and completely forgiven.” She begs him to run and tells him that time can be rewritten, but he tells her, “Don’t you dare.”
As River’s raising her hand to shoot him, the Doctor tells her goodbye and braces himself for the impact of the suit’s death rays…but they never come. Oh, they fire around him, but nothing ever actually hits him. He opens his eyes to see River now smiling at him: “Hello, sweetie.”
The Doctor demands to know what River did. River explains to him that she drained the weapon’s systems. The Doctor is flabbergasted, because this is a fixed point in time and fixed points can’t be rewritten. She begs to differ, but the Doctor tells her she’s wrong. As he does, everything starts blanking out.
Cut back to Churchill and the Doctor, with Churchill wanting to know what happened. The Doctor tells him, “Nothing.” And nothing kept happening, or, “Everything happened at once and it won’t ever stop.” Time is dying and it’s going to be 5:02pm forever.
Churchill realises that there’s gunsmoke in the air and he’s fired his gun, though he doesn’t remember doing it. The Doctor now has a spear in his hand and he has no idea how he got it. The Doctor realises that they’ve been defending themselves.
The Doctor explains to Churchill about the Silence and how, as soon as you look away, you forget they were there. He looks down at his arm and now sees four marks there. The Doctor tells Churchill not to panic – in small numbers, they’re not too difficult. However, as he makes a move with his spear, he looks down at his arm and now sees over seventy marks on his arms, signifying way more than a “small” number of Silence! The two men look up and see over a dozen Silence hanging on the ceiling of the room!
The Doctor and Churchill make a move to run, and end up being saved by a group of soldiers, led by Amy! The Doctor is horrified when he sees her approach him with an eyepatch on, exactly like Madame Kovarian. He asks her what happened to him and her answer is to stun him.
The Doctor wakes up on a train car and sees Amy again. He tries to explain to her that, in another version of reality, she knows him; they’re best friends. He desperately tries to get her to remember, until he finally stops for a moment and takes a look around the room and sees the pictures she has drawn of their adventures together. He realises that he’s holding in his hand a small replica of the TARDIS! Seems Amy has been remembering their past life together, after all!
They have a sweet little reunion and she gives him a version of his tweed suit to change into. She explains to him that some of them have realised that time has gone wrong and are trying to correct it. He asks her where Rory is. She hands him a picture she has drawn of Rory. She knows he’s her husband and she loves him very much, but she can’t find him.
The Doctor explains to her what has happened. Amy remembers two different versions of what happened at Lake Silencio. The Doctor tells her that’s the problem: two different versions of the same event happening at the same time. Time is disintegrating and it will keep spreading until all of reality simply falls apart. The two are interrupted by a soldier arriving to let Amy know that they are coming up on their destination. It’s Rory! Only, Amy still doesn’t recognize him as Rory, just as Captain Williams, a valuable soldier. The Doctor laughs and tells her she will find her Rory; she just has to look hard.
Amy points out that the Doctor is aging. How come he’s aging, if time has stopped? He tells her that time has stopped for everyone else but him. He’s the epicenter of what has gone wrong. He is what went wrong because he’s still alive. Interestingly enough, they have managed to make Matt Smith look older. I think it has something to do with the bad hair.
The railway train makes its way to its destination: a pyramid, AKA Area 52. Rory gives the Doctor an eyepatch, which is an external storage for them that helps people remember the Silence. They’ve captured about one hundred of them and are storing them in water tanks, which insulates them from their ability to use electricity as a weapon. When Amy asks why the human race aren’t killing the Silence on sight, anymore (the Doctor’s way of organising the fight against the Silence in “Day of the Moon”), he tells her it was another reality, so therefore, it hasn’t happened in this one.
Rory is concerned with the way the Silence are looking at the Doctor, and the fact that they are talking and are more active than he has ever seen. The Doctor goes off to take a look at the tanks then dashes back to talk to Rory. He basically encourages Rory to ask Amy out, trying to matchmake them. Very cute!
The Doctor follows Amy into the main room. River is there, also wearing an eyedrive. And whom should she be interrogating but Madame Kovarian, who is quite displeased that the Doctor didn’t die. The Doctor makes a move to touch River and Amy orders the soldiers to keep them apart. The only way to reset time to the way it should be is for the Doctor and River to touch. They’re opposite poles of the disruption. He tells her that, but she already knows.
Meanwhile, Rory discovers that some of the tanks that house the Silence are starting to crack and leak. The Silence are breaking through the tanks.
Back in the control room, Amy notices that the ceiling is dripping. The Doctor asks how many Silence are trapped there. Madame Kovarian interjects that there are none trapped there. They planned this; they were waiting for him to arrive.
Rory bursts in and tells them that all of the Silence have escaped, and are coming after them. Madame Kovarian points out that they are wearing eyedrives that are designed after hers. That’s a mistake, because the eyedrives are designed to attack the wearer. Several people drop dead from theirs and the soldiers in the halls who are fighting the Silence start dying instead of fighting. River pulls her off and helps Amy off with hers, as the Doctor takes his off. Madame Kovarian continues her gloating…until her eyedrive starts to attack her, too. Heh. Guess you just can’t trust anyone, can you?
The Doctor tells them that the only way they can stop it is by resetting time and letting him die, but they refuse. They want to show him what they have been working on and they finally convince him. They head off, but Rory stays behind, determined to fight off the Silence and give them some time. Amy tells him he has to take his eyedrive off before it attacks him, and he tells her it’s too late it, it already is, but he can’t take it off because, otherwise, he won’t be able to see them. She still doesn’t remember him, but there’s a moment when she’s leaving where she seems to.
Unfortunately, just as the Silence break through, Rory falls to his knees in pain from the eyedrive. The Silence taunt him, calling him the “man who dies and dies again.” It tells him that he will die one final time, and he will die knowing that she won’t come back for him. But they’re wrong. Amy rushes back into the room with a machine gun and mows them all down! Go, Amy!
Amy pulls Rory’s eyedrive off. They are making their escape when Madame Kovarian weakly calls out to Amy. She begs Amy for mercy, but Amy remembers who stole her child and turned her into a psychopath. Coldly, she tells Madame Kovarian that River didn’t get all of her ruthlessness from Madame Kovarian. And with that, she puts Madame Kovarian’s eyedrive back on her and lets her die.
River takes the Doctor to the top of the pyramid, where the Doctor realizes that they built a distress beacon. She’s been sending out a distress message to the future and the past and the outside universes: “The Doctor is dying. Please, please help.” The Doctor tells her it’s insane and no one would care. She tells him that the reports of the sunspots and the solar flares are wrong. “There aren’t any. It’s not the sun. It’s you. The sky’s full of a million, million voices. Saying, ‘Yes, of course we’ll help.’ You’ve touched so many lives, saved so many people; did you think, when your time came, you’d really have to do more than ask? You’ve decided that the universe is better off without you, but the universe doesn’t agree.”
Okay, I still tear up every time I hear that speech!
Anywho, the Doctor is touched, but is unmoving in his declaration that he has to die. He can’t let everyone suffer for him, but River cries and tells him that she will suffer most if she has to kill him. The Doctor finally relents and demands that Amy uncuff him. Amy does. He takes off his bowtie and has River wrap one end around her hand, while he does the same with the other end. He has Amy and Rory say, “I consent and gladly give,” and then tells River that he’s going to whisper something in her ear, but she must tell no one what he said. I’m getting Supernatural flashbacks here. If you watch that show, you’ll know what I mean!
They pull back and River looks him in the eyes with hope in hers. He announces that he just told her his name. He tells her that she’s the woman who married him and that he has a request: The world is dying and he can’t stand it; please help him fix it. She tells him that he can kiss the bride and he promises to make it a good one. As they kiss, time is reset and runs down the correct way, where he dies and the others mourn him. His body is burned and his voice tells River that she is forgiven, always and completely.
The world resets to normal and time goes back to the way it should be.
Tick Tock, goes the clock.
He gave her all that he could give her.
Tick Tock, goes the clock.
Now prison waits for River.
Back in the correct world and time, at night, Amy sits outside and drinks a glass of wine. There’s a sound nearby and she tells someone that she figured they were coming. It’s River. They sync up their times (River is just coming from the events of “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone”). For Amy, it’s just after the death of the Doctor. River asks Amy how she’s doing and it’s not well. Amy admits to River that she killed Madame Kovarian in cold blood. River points out that it didn’t really happen, since that time didn’t really happen, but Amy remembers doing it and that’s enough. Amy needs to talk to the Doctor, but she can’t. River tells her that the Doctor isn’t really dead, but Amy tells her, not for her, because River is seeing the younger version of him. But River says that’s not what she meant. She’s going to tell her something that she shouldn’t: what the Doctor whispered in her ear. Amy points out she knows what it was – the Doctor’s name. But River laughs and reminds her of the first rule: The Doctor lies.
River tells her that she has to lie, too: “spoilers”. She has to pretend to not know that Amy is her mother, to not know who was in the spacesuit. Amy has hope in her eyes now. River tells her that the Doctor is always one step ahead, always has a plan.
“River, what did he tell you?” Amy asks.
Rory arrives home and sees the women jumping and hugging outside. He comes out and asks what is going on, and Amy tells him. Not us, though! Rory asks if River is sure and River says, of course she is. She’s his wife. Amy is stunned as she realises that she’s his mother-in-law. River laughs and tells her father to get her mom a drink.
Back at the tomb of the heads of the Headless Monks, Dorium is demanding to know who is taking him back. He wants his door opened this time! His box is set down and the door opened. As the figure turns away, Dorium calls out to it. He knows who it is, but he wants to know how he could have possibly escaped.
Flashback to the Captain of the Teselecta asking the Doctor if there is anything more they can do for him. The Doctor sadly shakes his head and leaves, but after a second, he pops back in with a grin on his face and tells the Captain there is something else they can do for him, after all!
When the Doctor whispered in River’s ear, he told her to look into his eye. When she did, she saw a tiny little him with a tiny little TARDIS! Turns out he borrowed a shapeshifting ship from the Teselecta to use for this little experience. He wasn’t killed and he wasn’t hurt at all. “A Doctor, in a Doctor suit. Time said I had to be on that beach, so I dressed for the occasion. Barely got singed in that boat.”
Dorium asks if he’s really going to do this – let everyone believe that he’s dead. The Doctor explains that it’s the only way: He got “too big, too noisy.” It’s time for him to “step back into the shadows.” Dorium brings up that River will be in prison for a crime she didn’t commit and the Doctor tells him it’s the only way. But, while the days will belong to the prison, the nights will belong to them.
Dorium promises him that he will keep his secret, but tells the Doctor that he’s a fool, because it’s still waiting for him – the fields of Trenzor and the answer to the question that must never be asked: “The first question. The question that must never be answered. Hidden in plain sight. The question you’ve been running from all your life! Doctor Who? Doctor Who? DOCTOR WHO?”
Review: I still get chills every time I see this episode. Heck, every time I see this final scene! I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Steven Moffat does a brilliant job of planning out a season-long arc, planting all of these little seeds throughout the episodes, and bringing it all together in a satisfying and exciting way!
To make the question be THE question of the entire series, the title of the series, no less? Wow. That really just blew my mind.
Despite the fact that not all of our questions were answered, and there are still so many mysteries and questions that Moffat left unsolved, I feel very satisfied with this season ender. It both fulfills my desire for an answer to questions (Who killed the Doctor? Who is River Song? What happened on the beach of Lake Silencio? How will the Doctor survive? Why is River in prison? Why does the Doctor care for her so much and hang out with her so much, etc.?), as well as making me excited for the next season. Which is what every show should do, but so few actually manage to pull off.
Where should we start…River Song. I admit it: I was never a big fan of River when she first showed up in “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead”. I like Alex Kingston, but in her first two appearances, she played River as a little too cocky. I got annoyed rather than intrigued with who River was, with her “spoilers” and her knowing so much more than the Doctor, and seeming to get off on knowing it. But I warmed up to her in her later appearances and I quite like her now.
And now we know: River is the Doctor’s wife. Though I must say, I think the Doctor married her, less out of any great romantic love for her and more out of feeling like he owed her something for everything she is going to be put through to keep his secret. I really don’t see the Doctor as a romantic character. The closest I’ve ever come to ‘shipping’ him with someone would be with Sarah Jane, and even with her, I still can’t see them together sexually or romantically.
But even setting that aside, I really don’t get a romantic/sexual love between River and the Doctor, so much as a connection based on what has happened between them and what will continue to happen between them, as long as River lives. River’s whole life has been about the Doctor: killing him and loving him. The Doctor knows this and he cares for her deeply. Marrying her is about giving something to her, for all that she will be put through. Much like taking her on her trips is.
So, even though I wasn’t happy with the idea of River being the Doctor’s wife back in “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead”, it ended up working for me.
It’s still pretty bizarre that the Doctor ends up “married” to the child of his two contemporary Companions. But time is a funny business!
I wonder when he tells her his name, though….
I’m really glad that we see River visiting her parents and connecting with them, now that everyone knows who everyone else is. It still bothers me a huge amount that Amy and Rory will never have their daughter to raise, but at least we get to see them bonding as adults.
I really thought that it was going to be a Flesh Doctor who died on that beach! I never expected it to be the ship version of him. So, even though the Doctor didn’t actually, really die, a version of him dying was enough to correct the timestream? He was there. He did fall. History has it that he died. But maybe it wasn’t so much that he really needed to die as history needed to believe that he did.
I don’t know. This time stuff hurts my head, sometimes!
I teared up several times in this episode. When they revealed that the Brigadier had died. When River was telling the Doctor that so many people he had helped and saved said, “Of course we’ll help!” when they called out for help to save him. That scene reminds me of the scene in the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, where the entire town comes in and rallies to save him, and he finds out that he really had touched so many people and they were all there to support him in his time of need, as he had supported them in theirs. I just loved it.
Matt Smith does a brilliant job of jumping through conflicting emotions. From sadness to determination to love. I absolutely love his transition from denying that there was anything more that the Teselecta could do for him and walking out the door, all kind of mournful and sad, to popping back in with the excitement and determination of the Doctor on a new mission! Brilliant.
I wonder, though, if the Doctor is going to continue the ruse that he is dead, at least for now, how can he continue to travel with Rory and Amy? The Silence know that they are his most recent Companions. I would think that they would keep an eye on them, to see if they disappear. I imagine it’s doable, but it will be a very tricky thing to make it explainable that they can still travel with him and yet, continue the myth that the Doctor is dead.
And he will have to be careful now in his battles. No more frightening enemies with the mere mention of his name. He will have to be stealthy and under the radar, like he was before. This could be similar to when the Doctor was on the run from the Time Lords and trying to hide from them, and just ducking out when he could. He has a huge reputation now, but he won’t be able to use it. Not unless he wants to be found out.
This should be interesting.
A minor quibble: I guess the Doctor really was 200 years older by the time we saw him last season? That still kind of bugs me, but in the face of how much enjoyment I got out of the rest, I’m willing to let it go!
As to the big question, the one that must never be answered, and the one that is apparently going to happen “at the fall of the Eleventh.” Hmmm…you mean, when Eleven regenerates? Because the “fall of the Eleventh” sure sounds like that to me! I kind of hate that part, as I don’t want to see Matt Smith change, yet. But I wonder if this means that Eleven really is Eleven. There’s been some question in the past as to whether or not the Doctor that William Hartnell played – One – was really the first or not. I’ve always thought yes, but you never know.
Anyways, this question could be something amazing, or a real letdown. I am blown away with the way Steven Moffat turned the “big” question on its ear, with it being the actual title of the show, the actual real original mystery of the entire series. Seriously, that blew me away!
But when I think about it, I wonder. Because the Doctor – while amazing and adventurous and basically an all-around miraculous guy – just seemed like a regular Time Lord in the past episodes we’ve seen. Well, not regular, per se, since he was the one who struck out on his own, defied their conventions, and went off to not only see the universe, but to save it, too. But still, anytime we saw him on Gallifrey, he was just a regular Time Lord, with history with the people there, whom he had known when he lived there. He ended up President of Gallifrey. And he turned out to be the last surviving member of his race. But still, the times we saw the Doctor with his people never seemed to imply there was anything more to him than a rebellious Time Lord. So, what could Steven Moffat possibly have in mind for this answer to “Doctor Who, the question that must never be asked?”
When the Doctor is asked this question and isn’t able to follow his first rule – the Doctor always lies – what will he answer? This has the possibility of being truly mindblowing and amazing, or a complete letdown.
Considering how, in two seasons of Doctor Who, Steven Moffat has – despite some issues I’ve had with him here and there – not let me down, and indeed has given me two of the most overall satisfying seasons of television that I have ever experienced, I’m leaning more towards the former!
I can’t wait for this Christmas and for next season!
The Doctor: Hello, again! The Teselecta, a time-traveling, shape-changing robot, powered by miniaturized people. Never get bored of that!
The Doctor: And they (the Silence) want me dead.
Dorium: No, not really. They just want you to not remain alive.
The Doctor: Well, that’s okay, then. I was a little bit worried for a minute, there.
The Doctor: Been knocking about, bit of a farewell tour. Things to do, people to see. There’s always more! I can invent a new colour, save the dodo, join the Beatles! Hello, it’s me, get him, tell him we’re going out, and it’s all on me! Except for the money and the driving! I have got a time machine, Dorium! It’s all still going on. For me, it never stops. Liz the First is still waiting in a glade to elope with me! I can help Rose Tyler with her homework. I can go on all of Jack’s stag parties in one night!
Dorium: Time catches up with us all, Doctor.
The Doctor: Well, it has never laid a glove on me!
The Doctor: She said you were a Mr. Hottie…ness. And she would like to go out with you for…texting and scones.
Rory: You really haven’t done this before, have you?
Madame Kovarian: Oh, why can’t you just die?
The Doctor: Did my best, dear. I showed up. You just can’t get good psychopaths these days.
Amy: The Doctor is very precious to me; you’re right. But do you know what else he is, Madame Kovarian? Not here. River Song didn’t get it all from you, Sweetie.
Amy: So, you and me, we should get a drink sometime.
Amy: And married.
River: Those reports of the sunspots and the solar flares, they’re wrong. There aren’t any. It’s not the sun. It’s you. The sky’s full of a million, million voices. Saying, “Yes, of course we’ll help.” You’ve touched so many lives, saved so many people; did you think, when your time came, you’d really have to do more than ask? You’ve decided that the universe is better off without you, but the universe doesn’t agree.
Rory: I’m not quite sure I understand.
Amy: Um, we got married, had a kid, and that’s her.
You can buy this episode, and the rest of season 6, on Amazon.com.