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The doctor says he can't leave because then nobody will be there to help them. Why doesn't the Papal mainframe just take over? Then the doctor can leave and not die.

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The Papal Mainfram was already protecting Christmas even before the Doctor arrived though. –  Voldemort Dec 30 '13 at 8:49
    
@Voldemort Nothing tangible was at stake until Handles translated the Mysterious Message. The détente was a very different kind of thing before the translation. –  BESW Dec 30 '13 at 9:53
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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The Doctor's presence makes the other armies cautious.

Remember, Tasha Lem admits that any of the armies could crack open the shield if they wanted to--but none wants to be first.

The Daleks alone could easily fry the world, Mainframe or not, but razing Trenzalore is not an option so long as the Doctor can summon the Time Lords with a single breath.

The instant the Doctor left, the Mainframe would be unable to stand against the Daleks and other armies for long. Trenzalore would have burnt long ago if the Doctor hadn't been there with his finger on the "mutually assured destruction" button.

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But how would the doctor be able to tell if they were about to raze the world? –  Beatrix Dec 30 '13 at 6:05
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@user20755 The burning and exploding would be a good tip-off. –  BESW Dec 30 '13 at 6:06
    
well, i mean i'm thinking more like big red button planet-go-boom kind of thing. Because even if there were signs of what was happening, it would be too late, right? –  Beatrix Dec 30 '13 at 6:08
    
It takes a single breath for the Doctor to summon the Time Lords. Not even the Daleks would be confident enough that he wouldn't be able to manage it. Remember, it's less about reality than about perception here. –  BESW Dec 30 '13 at 6:10
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Much as Moffat keeps trying to explain thing to us, Doctor Who has a long tradition of ignoring continuity and logic whenever the story would be better without them. And sadly, often when it wouldn't. –  BESW Dec 30 '13 at 6:27
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The Papal mainframe alone are incapable of fighting off the several forces that had gathered around the planet. They have limited resources and manpower. Also they were infiltrated by Daleks half way through the war. So... They were literally running out of resources and people. The Doctor was the catalyst that allowed the Papal mainframe to defend the town.

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