With the 11th Doctor routinely dropping off his companions there is a wealth of material for additional adventures, set between the episodes. ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ begins with Amy reading a history book which details a few of these.
We first see the Doctor, hiding naked beneath the dress of Matilda, King Charles II daughter, having been the subject of one of her paintings. For this he was imprisoned in the tower of London (not the first or last time this happens) before escaping on a magical sphere, two days later.
Did the Doctor just come to the 17th century so that he could be painted by Matilda. He might have hoped that Amy would eventually see this, his way of waving at her. The fact that he was nude wouldn’t bother him, as his behaviour in ‘Time of The Doctor’ shows.
It is equally possible that there was something else going on in the court that the Doctor had to investigate. Posing for the painting might have been the only way for him to gain Matilda’s help or valuable information.
King Charles II is aware of the Doctor and seems to suspect he is up to no good. Might he been already hunting the Doctor, seeking to imprison him, before he discovered him under his daughter’s dress? This could have been the reason the Doctor was looking for somewhere to hide.
During his stay in the tower (and two days seems a long time for the Doctor to be imprisoned) did he notice the scratches his future self left in the 16th century during ‘The Day Of The Doctor’?
Is the magical sphere, twenty feet across, a hot air balloon or something advanced aircraft (possibly a UFO). Whatever it was who was piloting it? Who helped rescue the Doctor? Was it another companion, Matilda or the PCs?
Did they leave immediately or was there a threat that needed to be dealt with? Did he leave Matilda’s painting of him (and if so did it end up in the under gallery) or did he take it with him?
Next the 11th Doctor is leading some British prisoners to freedom via a tunnel, only to emerge in the commandant’s office, where the alarm is raised. This is a great cliff hanger that goes unresolved.
We can presume that the Doctor doesn’t have his TARDIS with him, otherwise escape would be much easier. So is it nearby or has it been captured by the Germans. This could lead to an exciting adventure to get it back.
Did the 11th Doctor deliberately allow himself to be captured or was he caught while in the time period? Was his goal to free the prisoners (and if so why has he chosen to change history here) or was joining the escape committee his best chance of getting free?
How did the Doctor escape once the alarm was raised? Did he manage to get anyone else out with him? A freed WWII prisoner could make for a interesting companion for the Doctor, equipped with valuable skills to survive his adventures.
Amy suggests that the Doctor is deliberately trying to be ridiculous to get their attention. Escaping the POW camp doesn’t, in itself, appear to be ridiculous nor is it obvious why this would be in a history book (unless the book is specifically about mentions of the Doctor).
It might be then that his means of escape once the alarm was raised was done in a ridiculous way. We don’t see who guards and the commandant were so there is possibility they weren’t human (whether the history book reveals that is another matter).
Laurel and Hardy
The most obvious example of the Doctor waving to the Ponds is where he does just that in a Laurel and Hardy film that Rory is watching (although he misses it). Presumably this isn’t the first time he has seen the movie so unless this is a special cut of the film then why didn’t Rory recognise the 11th Doctor before?
The film in question is ‘The Flying Deuces’ in which Laurel and Hardy join the Foreign Legion. It features them coming into conflict with a commandant and the duo escaping via a tunnel. This could be why the Doctor chose to appear in the film, after his adventures at the POW camp.
Further the reason that the main characters join the Foreign Legion is so Hardy can forget a failed romance. This is appropriate as this episode introduces the Silence, who make people forget.
At the end of ‘The Flying Deuces’ (SPOILERS!) Hardy dies and is reincarnated as a horse. The Doctor is also someone who can die and return in a new body, although he hasn’t come back as a horse yet. Potentially he could and might explain his ability to communicate with Susan in ‘A Town Called Mercy’.
The film was made in 1939 and it would be interesting to explore how the Doctor became involved and how he persuaded the director and the stars of the film for him to steal the limelight in the scene we see (he could possibly be in other parts of the movie). Did he have input into the script?
The director, A. Edward Sutherland, said he’d rather eat a tarantula than work with Laurel and Hardy again. Could this possibly be because of something the Doctor did? How did the Time Lord get on with the two actors?
WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN FOR THE DOCTOR?
For Amy and Rory it has been two months since they saw the Doctor. These events could occur during his absence or prior to ‘Closing Time’. It is equally possible that this could happen after ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’ either when the Doctor is travelling alone or with Clara. This gives you the freedom to decide what works best for your group.
This can also serve as a way for PCs to keep track of what the Time Lord PC is up to when they aren’t travelling together. They could stumble across records of his adventures while he is away.
When they meet the Time Lord again they might accidentally reveal foreknowledge of an adventure he hasn’t had yet. This could take them into the very adventure they were just reading about in the history books.