One of the joys of having a chunk of the show’s past explored is that it allows for all kinds of speculation and for the myriad of TV shows, novels and audio offerings to be compared, contrasted and generally kicked over looking for gaps and contradictions.
The Name of the Doctor gives us plenty to chew over, so I thought I would start a debate on the interpretation and implications on the ‘c’ word (c*n*n). Some spoilers below but mostly some idle thinking…
What did Name of the Doctor tell us?
First it told us that one of the most advanced technologies ever could only afford black and white security cameras.
More relevant it was clear that the Doctor and Susan were together when they infiltrated the Gallifrey repair shop and took the TARDIS. This intersects with many other pieces of Who media over the years and I have picked on three to discuss:
- Nu-who continuity
- The Cartmel Masterplan
- Big Finish’s Quadrigger Stoyn trilogy.
The stealing of the TARDIS was covered in The Doctor’s Wife and there it was made clear that the TARDIS borrowed the Doctor! The sense we got from that episode implied that the the Doctor and the TARDIS had encountered each other before they fled Gallifrey. As presented in Name of the Doctor it came across as almost ad hoc (until Clara made sure the Doctor took the right one of many!).
The Cartmel Masterplan
Back in the death throws of the Seventh Doctor’s reign Andrew Cartmel led a re-think of the whole concept of the show and elements of this made their way onto screen and into print. In Remembrance of the Daleks we learned (courtesy of Ben Aaronovitch) that when the Doctor left Gallifrey he took the Hand of Omega with him. This was also shown to be a coffin sized container. Well unless it was lying around inside a TARDIS in the repair shop (really) this doesn’t fit.
Further, in Marc Platt’s Lungbarrow [yes I've become the kind of fan that says 'but in Lungbarrow...'] the Doctor takes the TARDIS, goes back into the show’s deep history then collects Susan. This is not what was shown, Susan was with the Doctor already!
As part of the celebrations for the 50th, Big Finish are producing a trilogy in the Companion Chronicles range centred on Quadrigger Stoyn who was inside the TARDIS when it was stolen. This still seems to work with Name of the Doctor and I beleive from reading behind some tweets that Big Finish were sufficiently clued in to make sure they fit this new presentation of events.
Were the cylinders the TARDISes? I think so and then we get the whole ‘when did the chameleon circuit fail and when did the TARDIS become a Police Box debate to have! I can’t wait!
What do you think? What other continuity needs re-exploring? Let me know