In Face the Raven, the chronolock was taken off Rigsy by


in an attempt to buy time to find a solution. But we find out it was

a trap for the Doctor, and she now has the death sentence. They can’t fix this, and she has to die.

Then, after the Doctor spends

4.5 billion years in the confession dial and gets back to Gallifrey, he wants to save her, but the Time Lords won't allow it.

TIME LORD: She's been dead for half the lifetime of the universe. If you tried to change that, you could fracture Time itself.

Why was the death a fixed point in time? Why can’t they fix it?

  • 1
    You answered your own question... She stated that the death couldn't be cheated period. – DoctorWho22 Apr 19 '16 at 5:37
  • Although, "cheated" is a relative term.... If you've watched the rest of the season, there is some cheating going on. – Adamant Apr 19 '16 at 6:52

Why was her death a fixed point?

It's not entirely clear. It would seem that with unstable points, you can change something and time will heal, whether to a somewhat different reality (for want of a nail) or to the same reality (in spite of a nail).


  • When the Doctor saved Adelaide from the Martian nuclear water zombies (a phrase I never thought to hear myself say), she committed suicide, and set history back on exactly the path it had been on. Time healed itself.

  • When the Dalek Emperor started taking control of Earth through the Jagrafess, the Doctor encountered a timeline where Earth's development had been held back significantly. Time healed itself, but to a different reality.

Some points, however, cannot be changed. What this apparently means is that if one messes with them, all of history will start happening at once, and then the universe will unravel, as seen in The Wedding of River Song.

In that context, consider the following script:

ASHILDR: Still no pulse?

CLARA: Time isn't healing. I am still frozen.

ASHILDR: You know what that means?

CLARA: It means my death is a fixed event. The universe depends on it happening.

It is unclear what makes something a fixed point, so the first part of the question cannot be answered. But as to why it couldn't be changed, if it were to be changed time would fail to heal itself around her. If time had healed around Clara, she would have come back to life, properly, and another course of events would have proceeded. Since it did not (as indicated by her continued lack of a pulse), it indicated that her death must be a fixed point. Swapping out a double simply would not "work," because her death is what is fixed, not someone's perception of it.

We can't really answer the why, only the "how do we know" and "why can't it be changed."

Note that Clara cheated. She has to die in that alley at some point in her personal timeline, but as to when...who knows? So she can have as much time as she wants. It's a very Doctor-ish loophole, isn't it?

  • but how come the doctor and Clara will never be able to see each other again forever – Andrew Casali Apr 19 '16 at 13:38
  • 1
    Nah, she just needs to swap in a convincing duplicate that dies and lay low for a while. Worked before. sorta. :-] – John McNamara Apr 19 '16 at 13:46
  • what do you mean by she just needs to swap in a convincing duplicate that dies and lay low for a while when has it worked before – Andrew Casali Apr 19 '16 at 23:34
  • 1
    Oh my God, do you even watch the show? :P He's talking about the Doctor faking his death by swapping in the Tesselecta robot. – Roger Apr 20 '16 at 13:59
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    It is unclear what makes something a fixed point - actually, it's pretty darn clear what makes something a fixed point. When the writers say it's fixed, it's fixed. Period. End of story. Until they change their minds... – FreeMan Dec 19 '16 at 13:23

It was fixed because the sentence cannot be revoked once it is transferred. It was explained that the Shade created a type of quantum lock on the individual that could not be broken, not even by a time lord. Because of this, her death became fixed as soon as she took the Shade from Rigsy.

  • Why did she think switching it was a good idea it was really stupid – Andrew Casali Apr 19 '16 at 4:31
  • Why couldn't they fix it the doctor was really sad – Andrew Casali Apr 19 '16 at 4:35
  • Because there are some rules in the universe that just can't be broken. This was one of them. Clara wasn't aware of this, she thought that taking the sentence for him would truly by them some time. – user56021 Apr 19 '16 at 13:21

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