In the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, the three Doctors enter a painting and are able to edit the surroundings, such as pushing the Dalek out of the painting. My issue is this: if the stasis painting is not in stasis and things are happening inside it, why isn't the war finished inside the city, inside the painting? Shouldn't the painting be ruins?

The other end of that question is, how could the Doctors move at all in the painting if the painting is actually frozen? Wouldn't they be frozen too?

  • 4
    Possible duplicate of How did the Doctors enter the "Gallifrey Falls" painting?
    – tilley31
    Nov 30, 2015 at 22:29
  • Two unrelated questions, the possible duplicate states how to enter a stasis painting. This question asks how stasis paintings can be modified if it is a moment of frozen time. Nov 30, 2015 at 23:42
  • 1
    ... wibbly wobbly, spacey wacey, plot-y wotty.
    – RedCaio
    Dec 1, 2015 at 4:24
  • 3
    How does a stasis painting work? Very well, thank you. Dec 1, 2015 at 12:43
  • 2
    I don't think it's duplicate.
    – user931
    Dec 1, 2015 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


There are different perspectives for visualizing a stasis painting.

In Day of the Doctor, we saw Gallifreyian saying,

We'd lost in another dimension.

It means that when you create a stasis painting, one moment is frozen in time from our Spacetime perspective, but the contents are actually pushed to another dimension.

Now, the nature of the another dimension: It can have no time or it can have time. Just because it's frozen for us, it doesn't mean the time doesn't exist for that dimension. It simply means that time of that dimension is simply out of sync with ours (say their one second = our millions years; in theory, it should be our infinite years if it's really frozen).

In Time of the Doctor, we saw that Gallifreyians weren't actually frozen in another dimension.

Final Answer: The contents of stasis painting exist in another dimension with its time out of sync with ours. When you see Doctors moving that's from other dimensional perspective. As for how Daleks would fly out of that dimension to ours: We don't know the exact nature of stasis painting. Maybe, it puts a higher dimensional variable constraints on contents which Doctors broke with Sonic Screwdriver.

P.S. The reasoning hasn't been mentioned in the show. It's my theory and this is the best I can think of.


This is a total guess, but they could be 4-dimensional lifeforms in a 3-dimensional world.

Much like the creatures in Flatline are 2(3)-dimensional lifeforms in a 3(4)-dimensional world. Just the other way around. These 2(3)-dimensional lifeforms did also "edit" the surroundings if i remember correctly.

This is a transctipt wich contains a scene where these 2(3)-dimensional lifeforms
suck in a human.(a 3(4)-dimensional lifeform)

FENTON: Stan. Do your job.
DOCTOR [OC]: Clara, stop him.
(Stan's brush touches the wall and he is sucked in with a cry.)
RIGSY: Stan!
(The images on the wall turn around to face them.)
AL: What is this? What are they?
DOCTOR [OC]: They're wearing the dead like camouflage.
CLARA: Forget Stan. Your friend's gone.
DOCTOR [OC]: Clara, get them out of there!
CLARA: We need to move. Now.
(They run as the paintings slide off the wall and move across the tarmac.)

  • Do you have any sources which suggest the existence of this in the Who-verse?
    – Edlothiad
    Jan 11, 2018 at 10:27
  • @Edlothiad I added a link to a transcript and a quote from it. Jan 11, 2018 at 10:47
  • How does this explain what is asked here? Jan 11, 2018 at 10:50
  • @Fabian If 2(3)-dimensional beings are possible in a 3(4)-dimensional world (and interact with it), maybe 4-dimensional beings are possilble and can do teh same in a 3-dimensional "picture". Jan 11, 2018 at 10:55
  • Well, of course, just like you as a 3D person can walk on a 2D floor. But the painting isn't just a gate or something, it's something completely different, as you can read in the other answer. The alternative would be that you are correct and the other answer is wrong, but then you would just have Daleks flying out of the painting all the time. Jan 11, 2018 at 10:58

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