Doctor Who Problems

The problems of being a Whovian that plague your daily existence, plus musings on Doctor Who theories, GIFS, and anything else DW related. :] Please, feel free to submit a Doctor Who Problem, ask a question, or discuss fan theories through the ask box!
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  • Anonymous said: Hi, i was wondering if you could answer my question : I don't understand why the Doctor and River travel in opposite directions ? She has a vortex manipulator, why couldn't she keep up with the doctors adventures, instead of going the opposite way?

    I don’t think it would matter much. Imagine that River and the Doctor are facing opposite directions: she can transport herself to be totally parallel to him, aligned at the same event in time, even experiencing it side by side, but she’s still facing one way and he’s still facing the other. I think the manipulator can only really change where you are in time, not which direction it flows for you.

    Also, I’d imagine that constantly using the manipulator to keep up with someone’s events like that might have lasting consequences, either for the wearer or the section of the universe itself. (Think back to The Angels Take Manhattan, with the Doctor being unable to return to 1930s New York City because the fabric of space had been already so messed up from the angels and the TARDIS.)

    I’ve never heard a definitive answer about this though, so if anyone else has any input or other theories, I’d love to hear it!



    Elizabeth - Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea

    In honor of Burial at Sea: Part II’s release!

    Check out a makeup tutorial for this look here!

    (Source: spacecampgirlfriend, via spacecampgirlfriend)

    that-one-kid-with-that-one-url said: Ok, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a paradox based on death? For instance, it is possible to meet yourself in the past, but you can't touch yourself, such as shake hands, because the cells that are killed in the process of the touch are being killed by cells that will make them, making the action impossible. Then, if you should be killed by someone and it is stopped, that means that your cells are still growing, taking up resources that would eventually be used to support another life.

    Nope, a paradox isn’t strictly based on terms of life and death. A paradox can involve life/death situations, and often does in most fiction because that raises the stakes of the plot and makes things exciting, but it’s not necessary.

    Anonymous said: Although I don't have much to add, if like to agree with that complimenting anon in that your blog is the best doctor who blog I've seen, and the way you can talk about, explain, and be joyous about the show makes me ridiculously excited for it to return for the next season. So thank you, sincerely.


    I’m so excited that I made you excited, I think we can all agree this past series was far from the best, but I’m really, really feeling Series 8 and can’t wait for it to begin!

    i-hate-the-word-fan said: You just wrote the definition of a paradox… A paradox is when there is an action but there is no original starting point it’s all just a circle. This is kind of like figuring out where the name Melody originally came from.

    I don’t really see it that way here, though. Especially since no one is going back in time to send themselves any specific information, (like a bootstrap paradox) considering that this just has to do with two timestreams in opposite directions and time not being a linear thing on Doctor Who, and nothing is being canceled out in a way that questions logic and outcome like a grandfather paradox.

    (You might see this as a bootstrap paradox, but I still don’t really find that totally applicable here just because of the way that these are two different people passing the information, instead of one person learning from themselves in another time.)

    I guess technically yes, in a sense, this is still a paradox due to the closed-loop nature of the information discovered, but I think when most people question something being a paradox or not, it’s in terms of the thing not making any logical sense or having a clear solution. As explained in the other post, this seemed pretty easy to grasp, which is why labeling it as a paradox might confuse other people into thinking this is a plot hole or something, instead of just a thing that resulted from the rules of Doctor Who.

    So yes, it is a paradox, but I see it as a paradox that reasons out in the end instead of causing a true hole in logic.

    Anonymous said: bless you, you have the actual best Doctor Who blog on tumblr. i love your posts explaing paradoxes and things on the show

    Thank you! Messages like this make running this blog even better than it already is!

    thehideouspancake said: River told the Doctor in the library tha he could open the TARDIS by snapping his fingers. But if River knows because the Doctor does that when she met her in the future, and the Doctor knows that because of her, that must be a paradox.

    (This took me a couple of reads to get what you’re saying, so I could be interpreting this totally wrong)

    But nope, not a paradox, or at least not entirely! River and the Doctor have timelines that are pretty much headed in opposing directions with a few discrepancies: River knows all about the Doctor in Silence in the Library and he has no idea who she is, but Eleven has more knowledge about their relationship than she does in Let’s Kill Hitler.

    River tells the Doctor to open the TARDIS by snapping in his past; later on, the Doctor opens the TARDIS by snapping his fingers in his future/present, which means that action occurred in River’s past (when making the situation relative to the library.)

    River saw him open the TARDIS by snapping his fingers in her past (his present) so she told the Doctor about it again in her present (his past) which gave him the knowledge to perform this action in his future (her past, where she had already witnessed this and was able to inform him of the action.)

    So in a sense, it’s sort of the opposite of a paradox: it’s just an action made possible due to the nature of their timelines.

    (Alternatively, you could see this as a bootstrap paradox due to the closed-loop nature of the information being passed, but I wouldn’t call it a true bootstrap paradox because it involves two people sharing information through crossing timestreams, instead of one person teaching themselves in their own past.)

    I’ve tried my hardest to explain my own personal philosophies of paradox-ish stuff like this, as well as how this sort of thing is rationalized and explained on the show.

    Check out this post to see more of what I’m talking about (and apologies in advance if it doesn’t make sense at all/this post didn’t make much sense either. It’s really confusing trying to work out theories and timelines in a text post!)


    drbluesman said: Why didn't Oswin sound like a Dalek until the Doctor found out that she had been converted? I haven't finished series 7 yet, so this may be a REALLY obvious question to everyone else.

    I haven’t seen Asylum of the Daleks in a while, but I believe it had something to do with the fact that she was using a radio and believed her self to be human? I seem to remember this being explained or at least an explanation was implied, and I think it had to do with her being unaware of her true state/communicating through a transmission.

    But yes, there’s a lot about Oswin that makes her a fairly unusual girl, as you’ll soon see upon watching the rest of the series…