Some thoughts on Doctor Who and the rules of fictional worlds.

I’ve seen a few people on here complaining about the recent season of Doctor Who. Their view is that the Doctor shouldn’t have been able to prevent his own death because he only knew about it because it happened, and therefore if he prevented it then he couldn’t have known about it, and so forth…and that’s not how time travel works in Doctor Who.

Now, first and foremost I disagree with that whole point anyway. The Doctor was aware that he reportedly died at that specific time and date. The Doctor still reportedly died at that specific time and date. Nothing has changed, and, my personal opinion is that things happened exactly as they always happened. That’s how those events transpired. The Doctor didn’t change anything.

On the contrary, it was The Silence who were trying to alter time. What makes me say that? Well, the simple fact that there are stories about “The Fall of the Eleventh”…an event that transpires after the events that took place at Lake Silencio…an event that The Silence are aware of and are trying to prevent…means that by trying to kill The Doctor before “The Fall of the Eleventh” they are trying to alter time. They failed, because…heh…and this is going to fuck with your head a little bit…Lake Silencio was a fixed point in time. The events that transpired there couldn’t be altered…and they weren’t. Not by The Doctor. Not by River Song. And not by The Silence. By creating a fixed point in time The Silence actually defeated themselves by locking The Doctor into an inevitable and unalterable course of events.

However…that’s not the point that I really want to make with this post. You see, the part of this objection to Season Six that really bothers me is the “that’s not how time travel works in Doctor Who” part. Why? Because the rules of any fictional universe exist to serve the story. If the rules get in the way of telling a good story then the rules need to change and not the story. Especially in a show like Doctor Who which has no canon. Who says that the rules of time travel don’t work that way in Doctor Who? Where is it set in stone? Nowhere. Perhaps the rules of time travel can be rewritten. Perhaps they were rewritten. And we simply haven’t seen that story yet. (But I bet that Rassilon, Omega or The Other…or all three of them…has something to do with it!)

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