“Then he was dead, then he didn’t exist, then he was plastic.”

nexusofrealitiesIn ‘A Good Man Goes To War’ the Doctor is trying to work out whether Amy and Rory could have conceived their child while on the TARDIS. He explicitly states that while Rory joined them in ‘The Vampires of Venice’ in the current post-reboot of reality they first time they were onboard was on their wedding night.

As I’ve frequently discussed Doctor Who usually presents a universe where the actions of time travellers are already taken into account. Put simply the Doctor and his companions actions are pre-destined to occur in order to ensure their own existence.

Here we have the Doctor casually confirm that his early adventures with Amy and Rory never happened. From the perspective of someone in a rebooted reality they first time that the Doctor made contact with Amy and Rory (this version of Amy and Rory) was at their wedding reception.

From his statement, we can also take it that when the crack in time wiped Rory from existence that a new reality was formed. From ‘Vincent and the Doctor’ to ‘The Big Bang’ we were watching a universe where Rory had never been born and an Amy that had never known him. While we always knew this information it is still staggering to think about.

Amy was still travelling with the Doctor so the events of the previous episodes must have generally played out the same. There are still some interesting consequences to the lack of Rory.

How would Amy’s life have been different without Rory in it? It is suggested that she confided in him about her ‘imaginary friend’. How might Amy have been different if she kept this information to herself?

We know that Amy went away with the Doctor the day before her wedding day. Again it is suggested that she goes with the Doctor because she is running away from this commitment, wishing to hold on to her youth just a little longer by travelling with her mad man in a box.

Without Rory would Amy have been getting married to someone else? If she wasn’t in a relationship how would she react to the Doctor. We already know that even engaged she throws herself at him in ‘Flesh and Stone’. What would she have done if she was single?

The Vampires of Venice’ is an important episode for Rory, as he does save Amy. Since she doesn’t fade out of existence without him we must assume either she was able to save herself or someone took Rory’s role in the story (and there are numerous candidates in the story itself).

The same episode is a significant divergence in the rebooted reality. The Doctor says that Rory and Amy didn’t travel with him until after their wedding. While this could mean that Amy still did travel with him the fact she wakes up on her wedding day at home in Leadworth suggests that she didn’t.

This means that ‘The Eleventh Hour’ to ‘The Big Bang’ didn’t occur in any capacity in the current canonical Doctor Who universe. For a Doctor Who campaign this has a huge importance.

There are now adventures that need to be filled. PCs could take the place of the Doctor, Amy and Rory. The actual plot can be altered to surprise participants as in this version of events the cracks in time didn’t exist (which probably eliminates ‘The Vampires of Venice’ and rewrites the ending of ‘Flesh and Stone’).

If you don’t feel like rehashing those plots the PCs can still cross paths with the 11th Doctor in a new version of his early days. This could be a good opportunity for the 11th Doctor to discover he has a past he doesn’t know.

What we do know is that ‘The Lodger’ still occurs since ‘Closing Time’ is a direct sequel. This isn’t surprising since Amy is in the TARDIS for the whole story. The basic plot works perfectly with an 11th Doctor who travels on his own and could be reflective of how he operates in the current reality.

If we take all of this to be true then there are still further implications to how the universe works. The existence of River Song is very important, since the Doctor first meets her in ‘Silence In The Library’ and she won’t come into existence for at least two rewrites of the universe.

Again, from the perspective of someone in this pre-‘Cold Blood’ reality River Song is impossible. Her parents don’t get married in this reality and never will (since time gets rewritten before then). She can’t be captured by the Silence, she can’t be trained to be an assassin, she can’t kill him in a fixed point in time and she can’t be imprisoned in the Storm Cage.

There are two options; firstly that the River Song encountered in ‘Silence In The Library’ is not the same one encountered in ‘The Pandorica Opens’ or that either River Song was able to travel to the pre-rebooted universe or the Doctor and Donna skipped a time track into a universe post-reboot.

The former option is strengthened by the fact that we know very little about River Song. There is nothing in ‘Silence In The Library/Forest of The Dead’ that indicates she was once a prisoner. All we know is that she had a past with future versions of the Doctor who knew she would die in the library.

Supporting the latter is the conclusion of ‘The Wedding of River Song’ where she returns to visit her parents after the events of ‘The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone’ indicating that those events happened, even if they shouldn’t in the new reality.

Auton Rory is also an example of a being crafted from an erased reality. He retains the memories of the original Rory and when time is rebooted again this new version of Rory holds the memories of both the original Rory and his auton replacement.

Amy is also revealed to be partly immune to time being rewritten again in ‘The Wedding of River Song’ by the crack in her bedroom, something that quite likely didn’t happen to this version of her. Remember, while she might retain her original memories her physical body is different.

This all indicates that things aren’t exactly clean cut. People and things apparently shift back and fore between multiple different versions of the universe. This opens up the possibility of meeting people from future alternative realities (which will become the prime reality later).

The Wedding of River Song’ presents another occasion when reality was rewritten but by the conclusion things are put back the way they were after ‘The Big Bang’.

This casual approach to rewriting the universe can be fun as long as everyone is fine with trying to work out what did and didn’t happen in the new timeline.

This entry was posted in 11th Doctor, A Good Man Goes To War. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Then he was dead, then he didn’t exist, then he was plastic.”

  1. jay042 says:

    I’m reminded of a line Adric had in “Keeper of Traken” about the Doctor’s time logs and how they descibe an event happening, but then not happening, and then explaing it happened many years before.

    Logically, the very act of stepping out of the TARDIS into another time alters the flow of events. The Butterfly Effect does happen, if probably not on the “Nazis win the War and we live in a fascist dictatorship” level. For example, you buy a pomegranate in Ancient Rome, you go back to your own time, and you find your neighbor who was a success lawyer is now an investment banker. His wife is the same, his kids are the same, his job is just sligthly different. Considering you also stopped an alien invasion while you were in Rome, it’s sufficent to say if that’s the side effect of keeping reality going on the rails, well I think we can all live with that.

    Unless of course your former lawyer now investment banker happens to have the Feel the Turn of the Universe Trait. In which case the poor sod is probably a step short of a nervous breakdown.

  2. Pingback: “The destiny trap. You can’t change history if you’re part of it.” | Bigger On The Inside

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