Doctor Who News Matt Smith as the Doctor in Asylum of the Daleks

Published on October 12th, 2012 | by Meredith Burdett

Timey-wimey Chronological Disorder?

Matt Smith as the Doctor in Asylum of the Daleks

Even the Doctor can’t fathom Steven Moffat’s plots…

Here’s a thought for you to ponder: have we seen some of the Doctor’s latest adventures out of chronological order?

You may remember a scene from A Town Called Mercy were the Doctor reminds Rory that he left his phone charger in Henry VIII’s en suite bathroom, in the following episode, The Power of Three, we see the Doctor, Rory and Amy in Henry’s bed chamber, hiding under the bed presumably just around the time that said charger was being left behind but that’s a whole episode after and during the following adventure.

So what we’re seeing is a episode three being shown after the events of episode four, which sounds very confusing but not necessarily unexpected since the show is run by Steven Moffat who loves to twist the narrative with Doctor Who, turning events inside out and even erasing the Doctor from history, twice.

(Or it could just be that production pressures meant a last minute change in the episode order…)

But does it really matter, when watching a standalone episode, if we see some events out of context? It certainly hasn’t affected the fun or enjoyment for anyone and it definitely hasn’t created any spoilers as such, it seems to be more a bit of throwaway fun that only a show like Doctor Who could get away with. Could EastEnders talk about a certain event in the past and then show it happening a week later? We think not!

We would love to hear your thoughts on this – as it’s something that’s troubled Kasterborous editor Christian Cawley for some weeks, as demonstrated in a recent podKast!

(Via FlickFilosopher)


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

3 Responses to Timey-wimey Chronological Disorder?

  1. avatar Iltu says:

    Not very complicated. And not taking place “after” at all – “during”!
    A town called mercy takes place during the little trip on Amy’s and Rory’s wedding anniversary party.
    It’s the last adventure they have before the doctor brings them back to their party ( just look at Amy’s clothes!)
    But as they can’t show one episode in the middle of another one…. (“A Town called Mercy” would take place after exactly 13 min 38 sec of “Power of Three”….) they had to either show it before or after – simple.

  2. avatar GeminiPete says:

    When I saw that scene that’s immediately what popped into my head as well, then thought perhaps they had gone back to try to retrieve th phone mentioned in ATCM. Then I realized it was a flashback montage – a sort of “these are the crazy adventures we get up to when traveling with the Doctor” and just to sort of remind the audience what goes on in general, not a specific linear scene specific to the events of TPO3. I even thought the opening scene where they are deciding not to decide right then whether to stop traveling with the Doc was also out of order and quite possibly wen they got picked for the Mercy trip, since the story before thy are dropped off at the and of DOAS instead of staying in the TARDIS. It was odd to me that every story shd them getting picked up and dropped off rather than just staying and traveling, so I expected tat to be a significant plot point since they go out of thir way to show the Ponds are just with the Doctor all the time (and indeed is revealed that they are leading”double lives” so to sek).

    In other words, just as the Doc is talking about a past event when discussing the phone getting left but isn’t actually part of the Town called Mercy story, so the flashback to (presumably) this same adventure in Cubed is not actually part of this story either. Just flashes to th fun past!

  3. avatar Pete from NZ Howdy, y'awll says:

    It’s all timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly stuff! Explained perfectly in the episode with Sally Sparrow. The Doctor doesn’t travel linearly through time, but our perception of him does. So when Sally meets him at the end of the episode, and hands him the ‘spoilers’ folder, he knows exactly what, and when to do things, to restore the linear sense of time, even though, to him, it has already happened, and he is just caught in a kind of ‘time loop’, where he knows it’s all going to work out right, because IT HAS! ;) Time is not a line, but a triple Mobius strip, with extras at every turn, and every turn having infinite turns on the side. See? So simple, even a 3rd regeneration Time Lord could understand it! ;)

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