Like Rosi mentioned in her opinion piece about the “Wedding of River Song” I didn’t think time could be fooled so easily by the Doctor in a Teselecta Doctor. In fact, I was very confused about this particular piece of time-foolery. But, as it turns out, I don’t think the Doctor-in-a-Doctor device was meant to fix time at all.
So here are the facts as we know them:
- The Silence want the Doctor dead.
- Time has gone all wrong, and everything is happening at once.
Now, to clarify these facts. Why do the Silence want so desperately to kill the Doctor that they’ve kidnapped a child and brainwashed her to carry his assassin out? Because “Silence will fall when the question is asked,” and supposedly, the Doctor is going to be the one who causes it. Ah! You see, all this Men in Black aliens, eye patches, and flesh babies buisness has happened because the Silence just want to kill the Doctor.
And why has Time gone wrong? River Song created a paradox (and we all know Time hates paradoxes as much as the Doctor loves bowties). She created this paradox by fiddling around with a fixed point in time– the Doctor’s death. In one instance she shoots the Doctor, in the other instance she drains the suits weapons systems therefore avoiding his inevitable death. There, paradox, River Song both killed AND didn’t kill the Doctor. And the paradox is the reason why Time is in such a fuss. Time is not wonky because the Doctor is alive, Time is wonky because the Doctor is both killed and not killed.
Do you follow me so far?
Now, this is the part where the Doctor saves the world. In order to fix time the Doctor has to rectify the paradox. How does he remove the paradox? He convinces River to shoot him. And the only way River will willingly shoot the Doctor is if she knows she isn’t really going to kill him. Hence, the Doctor-in-a-Doctor. Timey-whimey problem solved, no more paradox, River shoots the Doctor. See? The Doctor doesn’t really have to be dead in order for time to be fixed, the Doctor just had to be shot
The only reason everyone must believe the Doctor is dead is so the Silence will get off his back and stop wreaking havoc on the lives of the people he cares about.
The only objection you might have is that the Doctor’s death was a fixed point in time, and by cheating death the Doctor creates another paradox. In this paradox one version of events says that River kills the Doctor, in the other version River just shoots the Teselecta and the Doctor survives. But, I’m arguing that the Doctor never died in any version of these events. Way back in the first episode of this season when the “I-wear-a-Stetson-now” Doctor saunters back into the Ponds’ lives that is actually the Doctor-in-a-Doctor. And when River holds back a struggling Amy who’s trying to reach the shot Doctor, River already knows that the Doctor won’t die because he’s safe in the Teselecta. River always knew, but she had to grin and bear it in prison so the Silence would leave everyone alone.