Tuesday, May 03, 2011

My take on the new season of Doctor Who

Now that the two part premiere of Doctor Who season 6 has aired I have my theory of what it all means. If you haven't seen these two episodes you should probably skip this post altogether as there are some spoilers present. If you have watched it feel free to read my speculation so that you can recall it with awe once these truths are revealed as the show progresses or so that you can ridicule me for my stupid theories that were way off the mark.

Rather than rehash the plotline of "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon" written by Steven Moffat I will focus on the relevant mysterious element of the show, mainly who was that astronaut who shot the Doctor, and who was that little girl?

In a nutshell I feel that the answer to both is River Song (Alex Kingston). Here's why. River Song is in prison for murder, and while she hasn't yet specifically said who she's killed, she has said it was the best man she has ever known. In the world of Doctor Who that can only be one person; the Doctor (Matt Smith). When the astronaut rises from the lake, the Doctor tells everyone to stay away no matter what happens,  he also announces to the astronaut that he knows who it is. We never see the astronaut's face, making it all the more likely it's someone we know as well and would immediately recognize. Also notice that after the Astronaut had shot the Doctor and walked back into the lake that River Song shot at it several times with a  large caliber  revolver from maybe ten feet away and apparently missed with every shot, yet throughout the rest of this story she displays incredible accuracy both in playfully shooting the Doctor's stetson from his head and seriously blasting through a room full of the Silence without spending a lot of time carefully aiming. Why couldn't she hit the astronaut? Is it because of some time paradox about killing yourself in the past? Is it because she knows it's herself in there, which would make sense, if she'd already experienced this in her own past.

Towards the end of "The Impossible Astronaut" Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) announces to the Doctor that she's pregnant, and then she isn't. We meet the little girl (Sydney Wade) wearing the astronaut suit, and then in the next episode Amy Pond encounters her again in photographs including one with herself lovingly with the child. The age of the child indicates some discrepencies in the passage of time. Either the child is able to age rapidly, or is jumping through time just as the Doctor and his companions do.

It might be a bit odd that Amy Pond turned out to be River Song's mother, but there are three connections which make this seem likely. First, as a writer, you are not going to give two of your central characters names that include bodies of water unless you are doing that deliberately, so that readers/viewers make a connection between them. Steven Moffatt is not a sloppy writer, so he had to have done this on purpose, otherwise he would have thought early on "I can't name her River. I already have an Amy Pond, so I'll have to change one of them." Secondly, in the same manner, there is a connection between the little girl and the person who shot the Doctor, and this is the astronaut suit, leading one to believe that they are one and the same character, lending support that the character who shot the Doctor was River Song since it was a little girl in the astronaut suit and not a boy. Third, the Doctor was shot in the middle of regenerating himself. We see the sand-like light energy pouring forth from his hands and face signaling his regeneration, and then it's gone. At the end of "Day of the Moon" we see the same regeneration energy pouring from the hands and face of the little girl, suggesting she's going through a regeneration. Is this because the Doctor figured out that River Song was going to kill him, and that it was going to happen when it did and transferred his regeneration energy to her as some sneaky means to keep himself from staying permanently dead? I think that part of this won't be answered until Matt Smith calls it quits as the Doctor and we need him to regenerate into his next incarnation. Even so, this could account for the little girl shifting through time, vanishing from Amy's womb and appearing as a little girl a short time later. It would also tie into the bit where River talks about how each time she and the Doctor meet she knows more about him, and he less about her, until eventually he's going to see her and have no idea who she is. Amy's own uncertainty about her pregnancy seems to indicate that something about it is unusual which I think has to do with the connection to the timelord regeneration energy.

This is all just my gut instinct based on a single viewing of these episodes, but because it all fell into place as I was watching them and not in hindsight, it feels right. Only time will tell how it plays out, and I could eventually come off looking like a big idiot instead of some kind of precognitive Doctor Who wiz.



Rich Johnston said...

The first time we ever see River? She's in a space suit.

The regeneration may be down to her gestating in the TARDIS.

The first time the Doctor sees River, she dies. Is it too much to consider that one of the first times River sees the Doctor he dies?

Pond and Song... two letters between P and S, two letters between D and G.

John Rozum said...

Thanks for reminding me, Rich. I've never been able to see that full story. We ended up with visitors with small children during the last half of it. And I haven't been able to catch it when it's re-aired.

GrayPumpkin said...

You've presented a VERY compelling argument I must say.

George Taylor said...

I agree with you on the River Song killing the Doctor part. It makes sense from what she has said and how she says it. Especially since her timelines are so strange.

We meet River well before Tennant's exit, so I wonder if Amy was named Pond in retrospect.

As far as River being Amy's daughter...Rory's last name is Williams. Maybe she married someone else before meeting the Good Doctor.

But still, you have some great thoughts!

John Rozum said...

George, I am assuming she did marry at least once before meeting the Doctor.