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Published on October 13th, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

SFX’s Unanswered Questions

Like everyone who watched The Wedding of River Song SFX were left with many, many questions it felt needed to be answered. Unlike everybody else they’ve complied 15 unanswered questions into one thought-provoking article on just that subject.

The questions themselves range from the practical (How does drawing tally marks on your face help?), to the misleading (What was with the Series 6B trailer with the skeletal hand holding the sonic screwdriver?) and onwards to the metaphysical (just how are Dorium and the gnashing skulls still alive?)

However the real meat is reserved for The Silence and the Question:

So there’s this religious order called The Silence. Their mantra is “silence will fall”, which sounds like a goal. But we learn in season six that it’s actually something they are trying to prevent. “Silence will fall when the question is asked.” That’s bad, apparently. But then the Doctor complicates things by saying that the silence is “My silence. My death”.  So, er, which is it? Are there, in fact, three silences? The silence that will fall when the question is asked, the silence of the Doctor’s death in Utah and The Silence themselves? And isn’t that just a wee bit confusing?

For clarity’s sake lets ask the question: So are The Silence agents of the Silence in order to protect ‘silence’ from falling when the question is asked? I think its safe to assume no-one in the Silence owns a thesaurus. Perhaps there’s no need for clarity when you can just wipe people’s memories of ever having seen/heard of you anyway?

Speaking of questions; Why is knowing the Doctor’s true name such a catastrophic thing, as uttered by the head of Dorium, come the end of the season?

“Let’s look at that prophecy again. “On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never, ever be answered.”

That sounds like the Doctor will be forced to reveal the “terrible dangerous secret that must never be told”. And think back to Forest Of The Dead and the Doctor’s first encounter with River. There he says, “There’s only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There’s only one time I could.”

Back in 2008 that sounded like confirmation that River was the Doctor’s wife, and he was referring to their future wedding day. But it’s looking more likely now that he has known all these years that one day he will have to reveal his true identity – with potentially catastrophic consequences. We can’t wait to find out the truth…

However there is a feeling that with nearly fifty years of mystery built up around this very question that the answer cannot help but disappoint and infuriate in equal measure. Like Series 6, it’ll be a thrill getting there but all that will be left at the end will be yet more unanswered questions, questions, questions.

Be sure to check out all of SFX’s questions and perhaps share a few of your own…


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

3 Responses to SFX’s Unanswered Questions

  1. avatar daniel says:

    Here is a question for you…

    Amys house (as seen in the Eleventh Hour)has a flight of stairs to the first floor and another one leading up to the 2nd floor.

    But from the outside, thats not right?

    Is one of the silences time ships there? Do the stairs go to the attic?

  2. avatar Bryan Simcott says:

    I think the series B teaser trailer of the skeletal hand with the sonic was a promo for the book
    Borrowed Time which has a similar cover on it.

  3. avatar Rob M says:

    There are loads of questions that still have no answer and it’s driving me crazy! For example:

    Season 5:

    - Why does River point out the burn marks in the grass outside Amy’s house in “Pandorica Opens”? Who made them?
    - Who is the voice inside the TARDIS saying “Silence will fall”?
    - Why does the TARDIS explode in the first place?
    -If the Doctor never exsisted, why does River have a TARDIS notebook still? And how does she know to give it to Amy at her wedding?

    Season 6:

    -In Impossible Astronaut, why is the little blonde girl in the spacesuit if adult River is the one who kills the Doctor?
    -Why does River say the “TARDIS-like” ship has tunnels running under the entire planet?
    -How do River and Rory escape the “TARDIS-like” ship if there are Silence blocking the way out?
    -Why do the Silence take Amy and say she’s been there for many days?
    -In “A Good Man Goes to War”, Madame Kovarian says River will “put an end to the endless, bitter war.” What war is she talking about?

    And those are just my starter questions…

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