Edit: As I mentioned originally, I hadn’t watched much of Doctor Who. I had no idea the show progresses via season arcs, and each episode looked mostly detached from others in terms of continuity. In that same vein I thought the movies (i.e. specials) shared lore and notions from the show so far, but not necessarily be part of the continuing story. So yes, I was watching out of order. I’ve since watched everything, and am pretty glad I started where I did. Had I started pre-Moffat, I’m pretty sure I would’ve abandoned it.

I haven’t watched much of Doctor Who, and my question pertains to episodes I’ve watched a while back, so this may be just me misunderstanding or misremembering, as opposed to a plot hole.

In The Time of the Doctor, the 11th Doctor regenerates into the 12th Doctor. However, in The Impossible Astronaut, the 11th was killed. Yes, it was a future version of himself, but he still looked like the 11th Doctor.

Killing a much older version of the Doctor (and him travelling through time and all) is an effective way to not have to worry much about the event when writing the show, but shouldn’t that have made any regenerations into future Doctors (the 12th) impossible, since he died in his form as the 11th?

  • 15
    Have you seen "The Wedding of River Song"? That sort of explains this – Jason Baker May 26 '15 at 0:22

I'm not sure if you're watching the shows out of order, but this is a pretty huge part of the plot for the rest of that season. It comes to a head in "The Wedding of River Song".

In that episode, we learn that the Doctor's death at Lake Silencio is a fixed point in time, so nothing can prevent or alter it. In order to ensure that time remains stable, the Eleventh Doctor's death

was faked by using the Tesselecta shape-shifting robot.

  • 1
    A better question would be "Why is the event at Lake Silencio a fixed point in time?" given what we know about the outcome. – J Doe Jan 26 '17 at 20:10
  • @JDoe: well, we have no actual idea what the criteria are for a fixed point in time, because we’re not Time Lords and it’s essentially a necessary writer’s convenience in a show with a time machine. But, if we assume that fixed points in time are events that are so influential that changing them would have unpredictable and catastrophic effects on the universe’s timeline, then even everyone just thinking the Doctor is deaditty-dead-dead-for-realsies-this-time probably counts, given how influential he is. – Paul D. Waite Jan 27 '17 at 8:20
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite But everyone knows he isn't dead, because everyone was at Trenzalore, and he's encountered plenty of them elsewhere since too (e.g. meeting Davros and the Daleks at Skaro.) – J Doe Jan 27 '17 at 18:31
  • @JDoe: they know he isn’t dead when they see him at Trenzalore. In their timeline, that could be billions of years later. – Paul D. Waite Jan 27 '17 at 21:59

You are watching it in the wrong order, entire season 6 revolves around him getting shot in the impossible astronaut and is eventually resolved in "wedding of River Song." His regeneration into the 12th occurs afterwards, after season 7 actually, so no plothole, you just skipped 2 seasons :D

  • 2
    "No plothole" is a little generous, but yes it is all explained. – OrangeDog Jan 26 '17 at 18:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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