6

This question already has an answer here:

In the 50th anniversary special, after Gallifrey is saved this conversation happens:

WARRIOR: So I won't remember that I tried to save Gallifrey rather than burn it. I'll have to live with that.

DOCTOR 10: I won't remember either, so you might as well tell me.

DOCTOR: Tell you what?

DOCTOR 10: Where it is we're going that you don't want to talk about.

So I'm really confused. Why do the first 10 Doctors, William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, John Hurt, Christopher Eccleston, and David Tennant, have to forget the events of the episode, but Matt Smith's and Peter Capaldi's Doctors can be the only ones to remember? Every Doctor should remember saving Gallifrey but only Smith's and Capaldi's can remember which is weird.

marked as duplicate by alexwlchan, Rand al'Thor Aug 28 '16 at 18:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Yes, logically, it would seem that either all of them or only the latest Doctor should be able to remember. – Rogue Jedi Apr 13 '16 at 1:50
  • 2
    In summary, because they pretty much ret-conned the whole New Who series by changing the events of the time war. If the ninth and ten doctors remembered saving Gallifrey instead of destroying it, nothing of the first seven seasons would make sense. – tilley31 Apr 13 '16 at 1:52
  • 2
    Think about it. Why would the Ninth Doctor say he destroyed Gallifrey in Series 1, if he actually knew that he saved it? – tilley31 Apr 13 '16 at 1:54
  • 3
    He wouldn't. But it's too late to go back and change the dialog in series 1, so instead they said he had to forget. I haven't even seen the episode (50th anniversary) and I can answer this. – The Photon Apr 13 '16 at 2:33
  • 1
    @AndrewCasali If it's a duplicate, then it's a duplicate. You say you want to know the answer, well if there's a duplicate question, it will already have an answer to your question. (Not saying it is, just saying "if"). – Adeptus Apr 13 '16 at 5:47
5

The first 8 Doctors wouldn't have remembered it because the end of the Time War hadn't happened for them yet. The War Doctor, Eccleston, Tennant and Smith would not remember changing events of the end of the Time War until Smith and Tennant went back in the Doctors time line to change the events of using theThe Moment. The War Doctor and his future incarnations were unable to retain the correct memories until the timeline caught up with the Eleventh Doctor. The guilt that the Doctor felt for destroying the Time Lords was the motivating factor for coming up with a way to change history.

  • The War Doctor and his future incarnations were unable to retain the correct memories until the timeline caught up with the Eleventh Doctor. this dosent make sense matt smith and peter capaldi remembers the events of the 50th – Andrew Casali Apr 13 '16 at 3:33
  • @AndrewCasali: Smith's Doctor doesn't know until the events of 'The Day of the Doctor'. Smith then remembers everything. Capaldi's Doctor remembers everything because he was after Smith's Doctor. – sfhq_sf Apr 13 '16 at 3:42
  • what does this mean The War Doctor, Eccleston, Tennant and Smith would not remember changing events of the end of the Time War until Smith and Tennant went back in the Doctors time line to change the events of using theThe Moment. The War Doctor and his future incarnations were unable to retain the correct memories until the timeline caught up with the Eleventh Doctor. – Andrew Casali Apr 13 '16 at 3:43
  • @AndrewCasali: The War Doctor used The Moment to destroy the Time Lord and the Daleks. By using The Moment, he was forced to remember all the death that it caused and carry that guilt with him it also caused time fissures in his time stream which allowed future and past versions of himself to interact. The Moment also was able to resolve the paradox of their interaction by not allowing the regenerations before Smith to remember what happened until Smith experienced them 'real time'. – sfhq_sf Apr 13 '16 at 4:15
  • Why did the moment think making regenerations before smith to forget to events of the 50th until 11 went through the events was a good idea – Andrew Casali Apr 13 '16 at 4:19
6

It is a well established fact in Doctor Who canon, that when he crosses his own timeline (ie, meets his past selves) only his most recent incarnation retains the memories.
(there may be some minor exceptions, but this is the usual rule)

Out-of-universe, this is to avoid contradictions with previous stories.
In this case, the guilt at destroying Gallifrey drives a lot of the 9th and 10th Doctors' actions. If he knew he hadn't destroyed Gallifrey, he would have acted differently.

In-universe? It's wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.

  • 1
    Another out-of-universe reason: if a past Doctor could retain his memories of an adventure with a future Doctor, then the future Doctor would already know everything that was going to happen in that adventure before it started for him, which would take a lot of the suspense and excitement out of it. – Rand al'Thor Apr 13 '16 at 10:57
  • @Randal'Thor That's kind of what I was getting at, but in more of a big picture view (the Doctor's overall actions & character, rather than the events of a specific adventure) – Adeptus Apr 14 '16 at 0:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.