01 December 2013
One thing I've discovered about Doctor Who fans is their ability to rationalize the most insane set of circumstances (probably no different than other fandoms though). This is mostly about one particular article but it's a general truth as stated by the Eight Doctor in the TV Movie. "I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there.". It's also the reason that Moffat can get away with as much unfathomable loose plot threads as he understands that no one will really call him on it. The fans will create a set of circumstances to explain away the problems.
I will be taking things out of context as the article I'm taking them from is long. If you're interested, you can read the article in its entirety at The Day of the Doctor: Sorting Out The Time Differentials. Remember, this is from one article but it's a pandemic through most of Who fandom.
Complainers, You're All Complainers
As often with Moffat storylines, people tend to become fixated on “plot holes” and “gaps” in the storytelling. For some, it’s just a case of not being able to fully comprehend the use of time travel. For others… well they just want something to complain about.
That's what is said when some problem is pointed out in the narrative. Plot holes and gaps in storytelling are a problem and all stories should be written well even if it is science fiction/fantasy. Science fiction shouldn't give writers a reason to be sloppy. The nature of Doctor Who is entertainment but that's no excuse for bad storytelling. And on the subject of understanding time travel, how many people on this planet truly understand time travel. It's not like you can take a course on it at your local community college. Some of us do not complain just to complain. But if there are plot holes constantly popping up then people have a right to complain.
Who Cares! It's a fez
The reason why entropy doesn’t kick in is unclear, but who cares right? It’s a fez!
Who cares? is not an answer, it's a blind rationalization at its worse. It doesn't even bother to try to make something up, it just points to some iconic item and makes believe it's alright.
Of all the explanations for anything that's every happened, this is the one I have the most trouble with. Take a reasonable question and then inquire how anyone could have a problem with it cause it deals with a fez. I have nothing to say here as anything else would just be a waste of my breath.
As for why the Moment behaves like the TARDIS… well it is a Time Lord creation with consciousness. It’s not that far fetched that they’d both behave in the same omni-scientific relationship to time.
The show has a reputation for some insane technobabble and for Doctor Who, that's normal. Unfortunately, this has rubbed off on the fans who don't necessarily understand the term. Ah, let me try. A is equal to the Rain in Spain cause ice cream don't have bones. That about covers it...
Show Some Imagination
This one takes some imagination, but it isn’t that hard to imagine the TARDIS has a copy of the “current” calculations. After all, software is useless without hardware and it’s already been confirmed that the Doctor gets his screwdrivers from the TARDIS (at least from his later lives on), so presumably the TARDIS installs the necessary “One Size Fits All Usage” software, along with the calculations when the Doctors upgrade.
James Burke he is not and the connection is unclear. This one takes some imagination is on par with the Who Cares? reason. Although the screwdriver is not a deus ex machina, that whole idea of having the War Doctor tell them he's started the calculations and make things automagically appear in a later incarnation. And it's not the first time Moffat pulled this out [i.e., getting the screwdriver back after being locked in the Pandorica]. Sounds a lot like of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure... AGAIN!
They Forgot. Yea, Selective Memory
The most logical explanation would be that the Doctor will only forget about the lion’s share of this adventure – specifically his interactions with his other selves and what they did together.
To explain away why the Doctors won't remember this is, is... wait a minute, something logical will come to me. Oh yea, the logical reason is it's a big gaping plot hole that is completely out of place that only by having the Doctors conveniently not remember the adventure is the only way to maintain the slightest shred of sanity. This is a fan's standard way to erase a plot hole. Give a character something they need at the present time but just wave your hand and they forget when they return to their own time. I'm smelling a deus ex machina here.
What? Were You Asleep Or Something?
It was a stealth explanation, but it was the Moment who let the Doctors back in if you missed it. If you’re wondering how it was able to do it…who cares?
And here's that Who Cares? explanation again. If you can't explain it, don't worry about it. Guess nobody can be bothered to read Jason Mittell's work on narratives.
Timey-Whimy. I Don't Know Where They Get This Stuff
The First Doctor must’ve been told of the Time War by his far future self at some point in his life and started the calculations in his TARDIS. After which, he forgot about the foreknowledge. But these calculations continued to run up until they reached the Eleventh Doctor’s TARDIS. All the Doctors presumably learned of the Time War just long enough to play their part in saving it before the knowledge was deleted from their memories and history was set back on track.
So all of the Doctors had been given future information so they could participate in the future time war and then all traces of these memories would be lost once the situation was concluded. The past Doctor's got their information to save the day and then it automagically disappeared from their brains and they went along on their merry ways. Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat. This is not a good narrative, this is plain and simple sloppy writing. Better yet, every Doctor has met every other Doctor. Really, that's your answer?
Moffat Created This Solution Before He Ever Became Showrunner
The Doctors didn’t change history. It may be hard to wrap your head around it, but this ontological paradox has always been present, ever since Rose back in 2005 – unbeknownst to the Doctor – until now.
Ontological, I do not think it means what you think it means. And unbeknownst to the audience and unbeknownst to Russell T. Davies but most of all unbeknownst to Steven Moffat when be began writing for the new series. It's so paradoxical that it was unbeknownst to everyone until it happened. 8P
They didn't change history cause it was always like that. So what we viewed, what we were told, what the entire new series centered around was the lone survivor of a great war suffering from PTSD was all a myth. Well there go all my fondest memories of classic Who.
Time. Don't Talk To Me About Time
If you want a timeline, then: The War Doctor messages the Time Lords before joining his future selves on Earth. Rassilon, fearing the worst, escapes to Earth on Christmas 2009. Tenth Doctor sends them right back into the war. Doctors Assemble saves Gallifrey. This is the order in which the events take place.
I can't recall any part of the entire 50 years that could explain this one. ALl that explanation just to get out of one gaping plot hole.
After Ten and Eleven helped the War Doctor fix the whole Time War that instead of destroying Gallifrey and the Daleks, they just tucked the planet away... somewhere. Then Ten continues with his life becoming fully unaware of what transpired only to face this Rassilon character who claims to be ruling Gallifrey and wants to destroy the universe. One of two points needs clarification. Either the Gallifreyians are the good guys, not led by Rassilon, and the Doctors saved Gallifrey in order to find it later on OR the Gallifreyains, led by Rassilon, were the most evil, vile creatures in the universe which needed removed from the universe for everyone's well-being.
Pick one cause you can't have both.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on how fans rationalize the plot problems. When people ask me what I have against Moffat, it isn't that he's a bad writer. He has created some of the best ideas the show has ever seen. Moffat's problem is his inability to resolve those brilliant plots he starts. And he gets away with it because the majority of the fans allow it. In fact they encourage it but turning a blind eye to the problems.
Doctor Who will never be classed as high literature but surely the fans should be a little less tolerant toward some of his shenanigans.