With only a couple of months until Doctor Who returns and plenty of questions left unanswered at the end of Series 5, CultBox asked you to vote for what you were most looking forward to discovering in Series 6…
1. Who is River Song? (60.8%)
With nearly two-thirds of all the votes, the mystery on most of your minds was the true identity of River Song. Fan speculation has ranged from her being the Doctor’s mother, the Doctor’s wife, Jenny (‘The Doctor’s Daughter’), the 12th Doctor and, rather inevitably, The Rani. However, it’s probably a safe bet that it’s none of these.
Steven Moffat has promised that we will finally find out who River Song really is in Series 6. Meanwhile, at the end of Series 5, River warned the Doctor that their next meeting is “when everything changes”.
Prior to the events of ‘The Pandorica Opens’ in her timeline, River was imprisoned, charged with the murder of a person she described as: “A very good man. The best man I’ve ever known”. The obvious victim would be the Doctor, although poor Rory is another possibility – could Mr Pond really die again?
In our three onscreen encounters with the archaeologist so far, from her perspective the stories have happened in the reverse order to the Doctor’s timeline – could this series finally show us River before her first meeting with the Doctor?
As Father Octavian ominously tells the Doctor in ‘Flesh And Stone’: “You think you know her, but you don’t. You don’t understand who or what she is.” Spoilers!
2. Who was trying to build their own Tardis? (12.5%)
What seemed like a minor plot element in the climax to one of Series 5’s minor episodes has since taken on more relevance, with the surprise reappearance of the faux Tardis from ‘The Lodger’ in the Series 6 trailer which aired after ‘A Christmas Carol’.
At the end of ‘The Lodger’, the Doctor states that the ship above Craig’s flat which had been luring in passers-by as potential pilots was “someone’s attempt to build a Tardis”, although it was too weak to link with a Time Lord and too strong for a human. Could the ship’s builder be the villain behind the “silence will fall” threats and the Tardis exploding?
3. What does ‘silence will fall’ mean? (10.6%)
Executive producer Piers Wenger has stated that “we’ll see [The Silence] in its physical form” in Series 6 and the phrase first cropped up in ‘The Eleventh Hour’, uttered twice by Prisoner Zero. The next reference came in ‘The Vampires of Venice’, with Signora Calvierri revealing that “through others we saw silence, and the end of all things” when discussing the cracks, while Rory later mentions “all I can hear is… silence” as the Tardis departs Venice.
The full phrase was again repeated by a sinister voice as River struggles to land the Tardis in ‘The Pandorica Opens’. Of course, if you look further back, River Song’s first episode was titled ‘Silence In The Library’ and was written by current showrunner Steven Moffat, although this could be a coincidence. The word “silence” also featured heavily in Abigail’s hymn at the end of ‘A Christmas Carol’, perhaps foreshadowing events to come.
4. What made the Tardis explode? (7.5%)
After plucking out shrapnel of the instantly-recognisable Tardis door from the crack following Rory’s death at the end of ‘Cold Blood’, the Doctor realised that the cracks were being caused by the Tardis exploding at some point in the future. This moment came in ‘The Pandorica Opens’, when the Tardis explodes with River trapped inside.
Although the Doctor manages to save River and reset the universe by flying the Pandorica into the Tardis explosion, he acknowledges in the series’ final scene that he is still unaware of what caused the Tardis to explode.
5. Is Rory still plastic? (6%)
Rory technically did really die in the cave at the end of ‘Cold Blood’, with only Amy’s dormant memories of him being used by the Alliance to create a Nestene duplicate in ‘The Pandorica Opens’.
So when Rory returns (again) for his wedding to Amy in ‘The Big Bang’, is he still the “Lone Centurion” who guarded the Pandorica for 1,894 years? It’s probably safe to assume that “the boy who waited” has been reset to the original human Rory, although he does seem to have some recollection of being plastic.
6. What does Amy now remember? (2.6%)
“Does it ever bother you, Amy, that your life doesn’t make any sense?”, the Doctor asks in ‘The Pandorica Opens’, and there’s now more confusion about Amy’s memories than ever. The events of ‘The Big Bang’ created an alternate childhood for little Amelia, first encountering the Doctor at the British Museum rather than in her back garden – oh, and also meeting her future self (“okay, kid, this is where it gets complicated”).
There’s also the question of how Amy now remembers her upbringing – ‘The Eleventh Hour’ sees Amy live alone with her Aunt Sharon, whereas Amy’s parents have been restored to the timeline by the wedding in ‘The Big Bang’, so presumably she had grown up with them here. When you include the Amelia who is taken to the British Museum and believes in stars that don’t exist, that’s three different childhoods. We’ve also had no clarification as to whether previous Earth-changing nu-Who stories like ‘The Christmas Invasion’, ‘Doomsday’ and ‘Journey’s End’ still took place within Amy’s timeline.
However, perhaps the rewriting of Kazran Sardick’s life in ‘A Christmas Carol’ wasn’t just a throwaway timey-wimey story after all, and serves to demonstrate the current state of Amy’s memories. As Kazran states, witnessing his life changing in front of him: “That didn’t happen… but it did.”