The Julian Theory

25th April 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

The man generally referred to as The Flatmate of the Site, Julian Hazeldine (who will be joining us as a writer later in the series once prior commitments are out of the way), is quite good at coming up with theories, even when they don’t turn out to be correct (his predicted final words for the Tenth Doctor, “I’m that sort of a man”, were a better idea than the ones Russell came up with). And he’s got a doozy of a one about River Song, and Who She Really Is. I’ll hide it behind the jump for those who’ve yet to see The Time of Angels, as it relies partly on hints from the episode, but he reckons…

… that she’s “a part of the TARDIS, sheared off as a result of the crash”. This would at least explain why she can speak Gallifreyan, why she can pilot the TARDIS so well (incidentally, as Paul Cornell has pointed out, does last night’s revelation mean that the Master always leaves the brakes on as well? Was he taught to fly by the Doctor?), why her book looks like a TARDIS, why she knows so much about him, why she “always” trusts him at the same time as mercilessly belittling him… and I’d also add the fact that she specifically refers to the TARDIS as “her” at one point.

I’m sure you can pick holes in it, but it’s not a bad idea, and considering the fact that she clearly isn’t his wife (now that it’s been brought up onscreen and all), it’s as likely a theory as I’ve heard from anyone else so far.

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.

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24 Responses

  1. I rather like this theory. Mostly because I’ve spent the last few hours thinking exactly the same thing.

  2. Rob

    I like it! It would confuse the fuck out of the average viewer, but I guess there’s plenty of precedents for that in Who — and Moffat strikes me as the type who’d probably enjoy that sort of thing, anyway.

  3. Rosti

    Interesting concept, which means taking The Time of Angels out for another spin. It would go a long way to explain how she can fly the TARDIS alone smoothly, the work of 6 unskilled pilots in Journey’s End.

  4. Somebody

    Why would the Doctor refuse to help her if he found THAT out?

  5. Seb Patrick

    Because maybe she’s Not Supposed To Exist or somesuch. So maybe if the Doctor ever found out, he’d have to destroy her, or have her re-absorbed into the TARDIS, or summat. Maybe he doesn’t ever find out who she really is until the last time he meets her (from his perspective, not hers, obv).

    I’m not saying it’s necessarily true, just that that’s how I’d explain it.

  6. Hendiadys

    I think (and hope) she’s just someone from the Doctor’s future who has learned lots of things from him and several companions. This is lovely enough for me and I don’t want any additional twists (beyond exactly what their relationship becomes) – call me old fashioned, mind thee.

  7. Hendiadys

    You’re old fashioned.

    Blast! I was certain nobody would actually do it!

  8. Hendiadys

    I just like one logical step at a time, so things stay obvious. River Song is running away from the same place that Prisoner Zero came from? That would be a nice twist. River Song being a little bit of the TARDIS that when rammed back into its piping makes it work properly again? T’would be an shite twist.

  9. Andy M

    I’m liking this theory, but for the fact that I don’t think the crash we saw in ‘The 11th Hour’ could’ve caused something catastrophic like this: “she”‘s had worse crashes than that before.

    But it’s kind of similar to Compassion in the 8th Doctor novels, and they’ve been known to nick stuff from the books in the past. The only Big Finish audio I ever listened to had the 8th Doctor’s companion crawling round the ducts of the TARDIS before it’s about to explode (he materialised it around a supernova to absorb the blast or some shit: this is what I mean about the 11th Hour crash not being big enough) instructed by the 3rd Doctor who turns out to actually be a personification of the TARDIS. In my fan-wanky mind this is the kind of thing we get in 2013: you could do all the past Doctors like the b/w Eccleston hologram in ‘The Parting Of The Ways’.

  10. Andy M

    I’ve just realised that if tFotS’s theory is correct, Lawrence Miles is going to be more pissed at Moffat than ever before.

    And that’s got to be worth seeing, surely?

  11. Ploppy

    >(his predicted final words for the Tenth Doctor, “I’m that sort of a man”, were a better idea than the ones Russell came up with)

    Slight shame that Russell had already come up with that line 4 years earlier.

  12. Seb Patrick

    Er, yes. Well, that’s sort of the point, you see.

    The Doctor, having just regenerated: “I don’t know what sort of a man I am.”

    The Doctor, being about to regenerate again: “I’m THAT sort of a man.”

  13. The Flatmate of the Site

    >Slight shame that Russell had already come up with that line 4 years earlier.

    Yeah, so I reckoned he’s refer back to it- it was Tennant’s defining line in his first appearance.

    As for the River Song thing- we know that there’s going to be a twist, and since Moffat doesn’t appear to have much interest in the Gallifrey side of the show’s mythos, that really just leaves the TARDIS as the long-running element of the show. Whereas RTD held back the revelation that the TARDIS is a living creature until Boom Town, Moffat jumped right in during the final scenes of The Eleventh Hour with Smith directly talking to the ship, and in fairly affectionate terms.

    Oh, and the “materialising the TARDIS to save someone from falling” trick at the start of Time Of Angels shows that he’s got winding up Lawrence Miles down to a fine art already.

  14. I just looked up Alex Kingston on IMDB (her being mentioned as world famous in the reply convo, and me not knowing her outside of Who) and it says she’s in episodes 5.12 and 5.13, the season finale. Has anyone else seen or mentioned this anywhere?

  15. further investigation reveals IMDB is not entirely accurate. All my preconceived notions have been shattered, I heartily apologize, and go off to cry.

    Not really, I’m gonna eat some pancakes.

  16. Seb Patrick

    She is, though.

  17. Hendiadys

    The thing that’s bothering me now is the possibility of Daleks and Cybermen becoming a part of this year’s series finale.

    Interview with Nick Briggs (with possible spoilers):
    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/s7/doctor-who/tubetalk/a216005/qa-nick-briggs-talks-daleks-cybermen.html

  18. Pete

    >Er, yes. Well, that’s sort of the point, you see.

    Yeah, I got that. I’m just wondering how you can claim it’s a better line than Russell’s since, um, Russell wrote that line too. I think the repetition would have been lost on the casual viewer, whereas no-one could dispute the meaning of “I don’t want to go”. Now, you could consider that wanky and far too referential to the actor rather than the character, but that was the problem with the final two episodes rather than the final line.

  19. Hendiadys

    Fuck, I’m sorry, I’ve just realised that could be a massive spoiler in itself. Feel free to delete that post if you want, and just leave the link for people who want it. I wasn’t thinking, sorry sorry sorry.

  20. > I’m just wondering how you can claim it’s a better line than Russell’s since, um, Russell wrote that line too.

    Oh come on. Even by that logic, you can certainly argue that one RTD line is better than another, just as you can debate the relative qualities of episodes.

    But he never wrote that line as one of Doctor-depature. If you’re going to argue that context of a line doesn’t matter – the using of “I’m THAT sort of man” as a conclusion to Ten’s role on the series as a bookend to his first appearance being irrelevant to the words having already been used in that order before – then Davies didn’t ‘write’ “I don’t want to go” either.

    That’s a long-extant phrase. 500+ million appearances on Google. Every parent’s heard it from their offspring. It’s the placing in context – not just who says it, but when and why – that makes it ‘something RTD wrote’. The same is true of Julian’s suggestion.

    Now, me, sorry, I don’t think “I’ THAT sort of man” is a good or appropriate line at all. I think it’s a clumsy back-reference which suggests a self-discovery arc that isn’t there, one which was concluded in The Christmas Invasion. But the pitch – and the expression of preference – is reasonably creditable since RTD didn’t suggest that use, that way.

    It’s the suggestion of a callback. It’s its own idea, built on an existing one. RTD writes “The Doctor: ‘Get back to the Tardis!'” he’s both using a line a load of other Who writers have used…and writing it wholly himself. Placement, context, is relevant.

    But for the record, despite the surrounding episode, “I don’t want to go” is bloody perfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  21. Congratulations. You’ve become The Doctor Who Podcast’s kooky theory of the week! http://www.thedoctorwhopodcast.com/episodes/episode21.html

  22. And again! http://www.thedoctorwhopodcast.com/episodes/episode27.html

    Interesting line from River in The Pandorica Opens, when she sees Amy’s raggedy Doctor toys – “Oh Doctor, why do I let you out?”

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