In The Big Bang, after the Universe has been rebooted, the Doctor says:

Space and time isn't safe yet. The Tardis exploded for a reason. Something drew the Tardis to this particular date and blew it up. Why? And why now? The Silence, whatever it is, it's still out there and I have to --

(He's cut off by his phone ringing.)

In the next year we do find out what the Silence is (are?), but the entire plot of the Tardis blowing up is dropped.

Have we found out why the Tardis blew up, or was that just glossed over or left out?

  • 2
    We don't know yet, although there is speculation that the 50th anniversary will have some answers as to this and several related matters.
    – waiwai933
    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:20
  • @waiwai933: I thought about that, but it looks like Stephan Moffet is essentially planning one year story arcs and using just enough to tie them together. But the next season may prove me wrong. (I understand he's said the Ponds are gone after this season.)
    – Tango
    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:22
  • Well, Matt Smith has recently said that the Eleventh Hour holds a clue for how the Ponds leave. The only thing I could really see there that had nothing to really do with story, was the bit about the duck pond. So, could this relate to the Ponds leaving? And, if it does, how would it relate? Well, going back to the duck pond and associating it with leaving, we see that as an aspect in Catcher in the Rye, where Holden associates the duck pond with Allie leaving. So, there is a connection. I'm not sure if that's what it is, or even if they'll use that, but it is a possibility. Just a thought.
    – user7905
    Jul 22, 2012 at 2:58

2 Answers 2


If you're asking how the Tardis was blown up, that's not been revealed. If you're asking why it was blown up, it seems it was The Silence's first attempt to kill The Doctor. After it failed, the plot involving the Astronaut Suit was enacted. Or, at least that's what it seems like from the Doctor's point of view.

As the other answer suggests, it's likely out of order. The Astronaut Suit plan would have been first, which resulted in River's creation. Then the Pandorica was built. Once those all failed, the TARDIS was blown up, which was the most dangerous attempt on the Doctor's life, which resulted in the universe being destroyed.

The Silence seeks to kill The Doctor to prevent him from answering the question 'Doctor Who?' Doing so would result in the return of the Time War. The Silence are taking steps to prevent this from occurring. By killing the Doctor before he reaches Trenzalore, they remove any possibility of him answering, since he'd be dead (Time of the Doctor).

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    I bow down and yield to your knowledge and understanding of the Whoniverse!
    – Tango
    Feb 16, 2012 at 5:45
  • 1
    Interestingly, I think that prophecy is going to be of the self-fulfilling, counter to how it was read type... The Doctor was surprised to discover it's 'His' silence that 'Must' fall.. But I think by the Silence adopting that name, and initiating the attempts to destroy him, they will cause themselves 'The Silence' to 'fall' by his destruction of them somehow. Something about his answering the first question will destroy them. (For Piers Anthony fans, think like the Apprentice Adept series, and the Self-fulfilling prophecy with the Red Adept. )
    – K-H-W
    Feb 16, 2012 at 5:51
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    @DanielRoseman The quote in the question was the big clue. In addition, the Silence were the big mystery of S5. Their reveal in S6 means it's likely the climactic season finale of S5 would be related to them. As the most mysterious portion of that finale is the TARDIS being blown up, The Silence must have played a role.
    – user1027
    Feb 16, 2012 at 15:20
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    @DanielRoseman Timey-wimey.
    – user1027
    Feb 16, 2012 at 15:35
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    Updated since we now have a proper final answer to this.
    – user1027
    Dec 26, 2013 at 19:12

The most logical answer is this: The Silence planned to kill the Doctor by blowing up the TARDIS (to prevent him from reaching Trenzalore). However when the TARDIS exploded it was in the Time Vortex. Had it exploded just anywhere it would just be an explosion. But the TARDIS is part of the Time Vortex and when exploded inside the Time Vortex my best guess is that the Time Vortex itself exploded or imploded. So all of the Doctor's enemies or the alliance saw that the universe was cracking (from the TARDIS blowing up the Time Vortex) "created a scenario that the Doctor could not resist." They planned that if the Doctor doesn't step foot in the TARDIS again it can't explode. But they did not know that River Song could fly the TARDIS. Thus resulting in the TARDIS blowing up inside the Time Vortex from the Silence blowing it up.

  • 1
    +1 Excellent answer. I hadn't even thought about the fact that the TARDIS was in the time vortex when it blew up. Jun 21, 2013 at 18:43

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